Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Screeners and Movie Reviews, Part 2 (More Nominees and others…)

This post is a continuation of my last post, which included all 7 nominated films in the Oscar Best Picture category. If you are interested in those, click here.

Best Adapted Screenplay~

Before Midnight is the last in a trilogy. I would definitely recommend renting the first two films, before you see this one. I think it makes it all more meaningful.

The first of the films, Before Sunrise, was made in the mid 1990s and it's fun to see the characters and the actors, age and change, throughout the years. The three movies were made 9 years apart. I really enjoyed them, and hadn't watched them all, until recently. Thank you Netflix. 

The script, of the most recent film, was written by the two actors and the director. It was so natural and yet has a poetry in its reality. The three of them also collaborated on the second film. I also love that the movies are set in Vienna (Before Sunrise) Paris (Before Sunset) and Greece (Before Midnight.) 

Here's the trailer for the first film, Before Sunrise.

If you like movies that are character driven, as opposed to plot driven, I think you will enjoy them.

And, I love Julie Delpy! On top of being an actor and screenwriter, she is a director and writes music for her films. Here's the sweet song she sings in the second film, (directed by Richard Linklater) which she wrote for her character.

I went to film school to make films
just because you're in control of the story.
~Julie Delpy
Actor, writer, director

Best Actress, Best Supporting Actress 
August Osage County- I watched a screener and kind of wanted to shoot my TV. 

I know people, whose opinion I very much respect, who really liked it. I think I would have loved to have seen the play, from which it was adapted, but somehow seeing this at home … I was glad when it was over and I could get these horrible, unlikable, personalities out of my bedroom!  

There was also a bit of the "chewing up of the scenery," as we like to say, in the acting world. I liked Chris Cooper a lot though, and some of the smaller roles, I guess. I won't say don't see it, because a lot of people really like it, but I would never watch it again. 

Best Actress, Best Supporting Actress
Blue Jasmine- Let's take a moment to discuss the goddess that is Cate Blanchett. She is amazing, and was robbed out of the best actress Oscar, for her role as Queen Elizabeth. 

Yes, she won a best supporting Oscar for The Aviator, but really … for her generation, I don't think that there is anyone better. I shouldn't say "better" since everyone has a different acting instrument that they bring to the table, and each actor brings their own "toolbox," but really … she was incredible in Blue Jasmine

Here're a clip, from the film.

Now, I want to see her do Streetcar on stage. (In case you are unfamiliar, Blue Jasmine is a pretty much a modern version of Streetcar Named Desire.) And, whatever your feelings about Woody Allen, the script was great.

I think that's what I love about my life.
There's no maniacal master plan.
It's just unfolding before me.
~Cate Blanchett

Best Cinematography, Sound Mixing
Inside Llewyn Davis- (Winner of  Grand Prix at the Cannes Film Festival.) 
First of all, it has great music. In fact, I ordered the LP before I even saw the movie. (Yes, by LP, I mean vinyl.) Been listening to it ever since!  On top of that, they created such an interesting visual world, where you feel like you are stepping back in time. Not far back, but back to the early 60s.

It's a quiet film, and a slice of life. I'm glad I saw it on the big screen, at a good theater. In part for sound system, and also the beautiful, desaturated cinematography, in mostly cool tones  I also love coming out of a film feeling I was transported and when the lights come up it feels like .. Oh yeah, this is the real world, as if you have somehow forgotten.

If you are looking for a plot movie, this wouldn't be it. If you enjoy the Coen Brothers, you should definitely see it.

The amazing actor, Oscar Isaak, singing as his character Llewyn Davis ...

We tend to do period stuff 
because it helps make it one step
from boring everyday reality.
~Ethan Coen

more movies ...

The Butler- Oprah was great, as was Forest Whitiker, which is not surprising. I think I always love Forest, but especially in The Last King of Scotland!

Anyway, were scenes that were beautifully done, in The Butler. Then, there were a few that I felt were … a little like I was watching a movie of the week. Basically, some of it worked well, and some of it didn't. It was a bit uneven.

 …Cuddos to Danny Strong for some great dialog. I had acting class with him years ago. Nice guy and very talented.

Saving Mr. Banks- I went to a screening of this at the Director Guild, and cried through the last probably 20 minutes of the movie. Actually, I got choked up, several times during the movie. It was a very shiny Hollywood Movie, with great production value, but was much more serious in tone than I had thought it would be. I also liked the movie more than I expected to, and found it very moving. 

Emma Thompson was wonderful. She is one of my all time favorite actresses. (Her big scene toward the end of Sense and Sensibility is one of my all time favorite acting scenes, on film.) Emma is Brilliant, and I feel that she always brings the best of herself to whatever she is doing. She's fearless and funny and raw. Love that and I loved her in this film. 
I was a little bummed she wasn't nominated. 

Having professed my acting love for Emma, I must say that I have always loved the movie Mary Poppins, so the music and all the references to the "making of" the movie stuff, within Mr. Banks, were very entertaining and enjoyable. I would say, you should definitely rent this. 

Here is a featurette about the music, in the film.

I love hearing what filmmakers have to say, about the process. Below, is a press conference, with the cast and filmmakers, of Saving Mr. Banks. As aways, Emma is a hoot.

We don't make movies to make money,
we make money to make movies.
~Walt Disney

I've seen a few of the nominated documentaries, as well, but I will post those later. 

For a full list of Oscar nominations, click here.

Have a great week!
Blessings and light!

Pain is temporary,
film is forever!
~John Milius


KathyA said...

We're not 'go to the movie' folks -- generally wait until we can rent them at home. However, we really want to see MONUMENT MEN and SAVING MR. BANKS. I just love Emma Thompson.

donna baker said...

Boy, I would love to watch movies with you. Love that you notice things we, who are not in the business, don't. I haven't watched the Before... series of movies. I have heard Julie Delpy's name, buy knew nothing about her. Very interesting. I didn't like AOC either; the stars were spotted in and around Tulsa near where it was filmed. And by the by, have you told us what movies, plays etc. you have acted in?