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Thursday, February 26, 2009

I'd Like Some Comments!

I was very excited during my Oscar live-blog to get some comments. I'd love to hear more from my readers, so I'll give you a topic to discuss. Name 5 movies that you really really love. These don't necessarily have to be your favorite per se (because I know how hard that can be).

I'll start it out:

-The Apartment
-Singin' in the Rain
-Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
-Rear Window


Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Quick Oscar Wrap-Up

So, after looking back at ceremony, here are a few thoughts.

What I Liked:

-The thematic format. I thought it was cool to go through the process of making the movies, and it seemed to move the awards through fairly quickly, at least in the beginning.
-The presentation of the acting awards by the former winners. I did miss the acting clips a little, but the format was really poignant. I don't know if it should be used every year, ,but it worked well to change it up.
-Tina Fey and Steve Martin presenting the screenplay awards. Can they co-host next year?? Please??
-Kate Winslet's dad whistling.
-Dustin Lance Black's (screenwriter for Milk) speech
-Anne Hathaway singing with Hugh Jackman.

What I Didn't Like:

-The "tributes" to animated, action, and romance movies. What's the point of showing long montages of movies that you didn't even nominate?? So Joe Shmoe can feel a connection to the Oscars.
-The musical number with Beyonce. Not necessary, and especially not that it included tributes to Mamma Mia! and High School Musical 3.
-The honorary award to Jerry Lewis. Can't we just cut the honorary award? It would actually make the ceremony clock in around 3 hours.
-No shockers in the big catergories. I respect all the choices, but its always fun to see at least one surprising win, and there really wasn't one.

What I Sort of Liked

-Hugh Jackman and his opening. It was pretty funny, but it didn't blow me away. As a host, Jackman also did a pretty nice job. As I said above, I'm still voting for Tina Fey and Steve Martin for next year.....

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Now that I've seen Hugh Jackman give Barbara Walters a lapdance.....

I will begin my live-blogging of the Oscars. Seriously, I just turned on the very end of the Barbara Walters special and was treated to Hugh giving Barbara a provocative lap dance. I hope this does not continue as he hosts the show....

I will provide periodic updates throughout our evening.

8:00 pm

Already, Kate Winslet looks great rocking the one-sleeve dress.

8:10 pm

Yes, Mickey Rourke has pins of his dead dog Loki on..... poignant.

Yes, Zach Efron just said Dev Patel was a "great kid." I guess when you are 21, that makes an 18-year-old a kid.

Viola Davis is so great and classy. And she's willing to have snot running down her nose in her big scene in Doubt. I'd be happy to see her win tonight.


Meryl looked frumpy, Sarah Jessica Parker too poofy, and Anne Hathaway and Penelope Cruz looked great.


Pretty funny opening Hugh. Not great, but acceptable. And I had no idea Anne Hathaway could sing.


Ahhh, so having lots of former winners is the "format change" they were talking about. Interesting. Its actually very moving seeing the actresses so moved by the kind words

Winner- Penelope Cruz! I'm 1/1 so far. I slightly preferred Viola Davis, but Cruz was amazing as well. Good for her.


Original Screenplay. The only major category where I've seen all the films. Wall-E was my favorite screenplay, but way to go for Milk.

And of course...... Tina Fey and Steve Martin. SO funny.


I think this is a cool idea-going through the process of making movies. It also seems to be moving quicker than usual.


If you read my last post, you know I saw all these live-action shorts yesterday. Spielzeuguld was not the best (by any means) but its about the Holocaust and involves children, so I figured it would win.


OK, that musical number was semi-entertaining, but do we REALLY need a tribute to the stars of Mamma Mia! and High School Musical 3??


Cuba Godding Jr.?? He was picked as one of the 5 best supporting actors to present?

Also, I predict that the standing ovation for Heath will be at least 30 seconds.

Documentary: Man on Wire

Damn, I REALLY wanted Trouble the Water to win this one. I just saw it and it was astonishing (look for my review very soon).


Well, at least Jerry Lewis kept it VERY short. Surely there was someone else who deserved an honorary Oscar more than him....


Some good scores this year. I especially like Wall-E and Slumdog.


I like all three of these songs, but WHY wasn't Springsteen's "The Wrestler" nominated. Amazing song.


I always forget that some of these people have died. Interesting fact: Anthony Minghella and Sydney Pollack were the producers of The Reader and they both died this year. We all miss Paul Newman. What an actor and what a star.


As expected, Danny Boyle. It was a big jump from Trainspotting to Slumdog Millionaire (although they both have scenes where the lead character jumps in a toilet).

I didn't even think this was the best female performance of the year (I preferred Anne Hathaway and Sally Hawkins) but I LOVE Winslet and am so happy she now has an Oscar. The moment where her dad whistled was priceless.

Sean Penn: "I know how hard I make it to appreciate me, often" (LOL). I'm really glad he won. I thought Rourke was terrific, but the Rourke cult had been getting a bit much these past few weeks.

Slumdog, as everyone and their grandmother expected. Not the best choice the Academy has ever made, but certainly not the worst. Good for them. It's a good story of a small movie making it really big.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Live-Action Shorts

The National Archives held a screening of the 5 films nominated for the Live-Action Short award. The woman introducing them (from the National Gallery of Art's film division) stated that, this year, the "shorts were much stronger than the best picture nominees." This led to a "oooh" (as in "oh-snap") by the Academy savvy audience. Whether they are "better" than the best-pic nominees or not (to me its a bit like apples and oranges), they did absolutely captivate me and make me more interested in seeing shorts. Here are the films, in my descending order of quality.

New Boy

I absolutely loved this short from Ireland, based on a Roddy Doyle story. Its a rather simple story of an African boy who is new in an Irish school. While he adjusts to his first day, the film flashes back to his school and family in Africa. Funny, poignant, and beautifully shot.

Auf der Strecke (On the Line)

This movie was by far the longest of the bunch (30 min), and its able to tell a lot of story in a short amount of time. As it starts, it seems to be a slight comedy-drama about a shy man in love with a woman he works with. It quickly changes to something much darker as it deals with death, guilt, and responsibility. Powerful stuff.

Grisen (The Pig)

Dutch film that was the funniest of the bunch, and also the most provocative. Its about a Dutch man who is in the hospital and grows very attached to a whimsical picture of a pig. When a Muslim man shares his room, his family takes the picture down. A rather ridiculous fight ensues, and the movie raises questions of tolerance in modern society without providing easy answers.

Spielzeugland (Toyland)

At first, I was resistant to this film, as I didn't really think we needed another film about children and the Holocaust and it seemed overly reminiscent of Life is Beautiful. By the end, however, I was crying along with most of the theater. I still have some reservations, but it definitely moved me. Bet on it for your Oscar pool.

Manon sur le bitume (Manon on the Asphalt)

A very French film about the ways our lives intersect with others, the things we value, and how important it is to tell others. If this sounds trite, I think that's because it is. The Diving Bell and the Butterly covered similar material more skillfully and deeply. Still, the movie was well-made and it told its tale well.

Overall, a highly enjoyable bunch of movies. If you have any chance to see them, I recommend it!

New Boy: A-
Auf der Strecke: A-
Grisen: B+
Spielzeugland: B-
Manon sure le bitume: B-

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Frozen River/ The Edge of Heaven

Frozen River (2008)

In my quest to see many Oscar-nominated movies in the days before Oscar, I watched Frozen River, which is nominated for Best Actress (Melissa Leo) and Best Original Screenplay (Courtney Hunt, who is also the director).

First off, I'll say that Melissa Leo absolutely deserves her nomination. She fully inhabits, without any hint of condescension or self-awareness, the working-class mom who unexpectedly finds herself in the immigrant-smuggling business. From the first moments of the movie, as the camera pans over her weathered skin, her pink bathrobe, and her pack of cigarettes, I was drawn to her character. She kept me engaged and interested through the movie.

The bad news is I don't really think the movie, or the rest of the cast, was as good as her. Misty Upham, who plays the Native American woman who teams with Leo in her business, a little flat as an actress. So as good as Leo was, the scenes often felt a little unbalanced.

The movie as a whole is fairly engaging, but also a little predictable. After the first 15 or 20 minutes, you can imagine many of the places the movie will go. I did find the ending poignant without leaning too hard towards depressing or hopeful. The movie is worth seeing for its portrait of working-class poverty and especially for Leo's performance.

Grade: B-

The Edge of Heaven (2008)

The Edge of Heaven follows 6 major characters (2 mothers and daughters, 1 father and son) and their connections to one another. In outline, it calls to mind similar cross-cultural movies such as Babel and Crash. I tend to enjoy these types of movies, and The Edge of Heaven is a worthy addition and puts its own spin on the genre.

The movie concerns Germans and Turks who throughout the movie move between the two countries. The movie begins with an older Turkish man living in Germany who falls in love with a Turkish prostitute living in Germany. Events ensue, and his son ends up going to Turkey. The prostitute's daughter ends up coming to Germany (and then back to Turkey), and so on and so forth.

The movie addresses in a beautiful way the ways that parents and children interact, and what happens when those bonds are broken. It also looks at the connections that can take place outside the bonds of family. Many sad things happen in the film, but it doesn't leave you feeling depressed. In the days since I've seen it, I've thought about the characters a lot. Its one of those movies where you wish you could follow the characters even longer. The director, Faith Akin, also never forces the connections between the characters. While lives intersect, I found the connections plausible and never forced.

Grade: A-

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Finalish Oscar Predictions

So here are my final Oscar predictions, although I reserve the right to change a few. I realized when coming up with these that there is one great thing about the acting nominations this year. While my preferred nominees aren't favored to win in 3 out of 4 (or possibly 4 out of 4 depending on who's doing the predicting) categories, I'm perfectly happy with those who are favored to win. So, at least in the acting categories, there's little chance of it being an embarrassing night for Oscar.

I'm writing who I think will win, who I think has the greatest chance to upset (although in some cases the chances are close to zilch), and my personal preference.

Will Win: Slumdog Millionaire
Alternate: uhmmmm.... nothing. OK, I guess The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Should Win: Milk

Will Win: Tough one, but I'm sticking with Sean Penn (Milk)
Alternate: Mickey Rourke (The Wrestler)
Should Win: Penn

Will Win: Kate Winslet (The Reader)
Alternate: Meryl Streep (Doubt)
Should Win: Anne Hathaway (Rachel Getting Married), BUT I will still be thrilled if Kate wins the Oscar. She deserves to be a winner three-times over.

Supporting Actor
Will Win: Heath Ledger (The Dark Knight)
Alternate: Josh Brolin (Milk)- but there's absolutely no way Ledger will lose.
Should Win: Brolin

Supporting Actress
Will Win: Penelope Cruz (Vicky Christina Barcelona)
Alternate: Viola Davis (Doubt)
Should Win: Davis

Will Win: Danny Boyle (Slumdog Millionaire)
Alternate: David Fincher (The Curious Case of Benjamin Button)
Should Win: Gus Van Sant (Milk)

Original Screenplay
Will Win: Milk
Alternate: WALL-E
Should Win: WALL-E

Adapted Screenplay
Will Win: Slumdog Millionaire
Alternate: The Reader
Should Win: The Reader

Will Win: WALL-E
Alternate: Kung Fu Panda (but.... really. no.)
Should Win: WALL-E

Will Win: Slumdog Millionaire
Alternate: The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Should Win: Slumdog Millionaire

Art Direction
Will Win: The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Alternate: The Duchess
Should Win: The Dark Knight (have not seen the others)

Foreign Film
Will Win: The Class (going out on a limb)
Alternate: Waltz with Bashir
Should Win: The Class

Will Win: Man on Wire
Alternate: Trouble the Water
Should Win: Man on Wire is the only one I've seen....

Costume Design
Will Win: The Duchess
Alternate: The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Should Win: Milk (go 70s era clothing)

Will Win: Slumdog Millionaire
Alternate: The Dark Knight
Should Win: Slumdog Millionaire

Will Win: Slumdog Millionaire
Alternate: WALL-E
Should Win: Slumdog Millionaire

Will Win: "Jai Ho", Slumdog Millionaire
Alternate: "Down to Earth", WALL-E
Should Win: "Jai Ho," but where THE HELL is Bruce Springsteen's "The Wrestler"

Sound Mixing
Will Win: The Dark Knight
Alternate: Slumdog Millionaire
Should Win: WALL-E

Sound Editing
Will Win: The Dark Knight
Alternate: Slumdog Millionaire
Should Win: WALL-E

Visual Effects
Will Win: The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Alternate: The Dark Knight
Should Win: The Dark Knight

Will Win: The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Alternate: The Dark Knight
Should Win: The Dark Knight

The categories where I have no real idea:

Animated Short
Will Win: Presto
Alternate: La Maison en Petits Cubes

Live Action
Will Win: Toyland
Alternate: The Pig

Documentary Short Subject
Will Win: The Witness
Alternate: The Conscience of Nhem Eh

Predicted Total Numbers

Slumdog Millionaire: 7
Milk: 2
Benjamin Button: 3
The Dark Knight: 2

I think everything else will be single wins.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Class Conflicts

Doubt (2008) and The Class (2008)

I've been looking forward to Doubt for quite a while. Philip Seymour Hoffman is probably in my top 3 modern actors, Meryl Streep in my top 3 favorite actresses, and I find Amy Adams quite delightful. Looking at that cast list, what could be better than a series of scenes between these actors?

For the most part, the film did not disappoint. All three of the leads (despite their supporting nominations, Hoffman and Adams are just as much leads as Streep) create vivid characters that bring the thoughts and ideas of the movie to life. Streep plays an Sister Aloysius, an old-school nun and school principal in the Bronx in 1964. Hoffman is Father Flynn, the new and progressive priest, and Adams is a young nun and teacher at the school. As you probably know (but if you don't you should probably stop reading), the movie concerns a struggle over the question of whether Flynn's relationship with the school's only black student is inappropriate. The young nun rather innocently brings the allegations, but is torn between the two forces.

In the first portion of the film, the viewer is involved in deciding which of the two is telling the truth. Hoffman's character is mostly likable but possibly corrupt, whereas Streep's is scary but possibly correct. Adams works as a perfect conduit for the audience, trying to decide where her true sympathies lie.

The movie acts much as a cat-and-mouse came until the 2-scene arrival of Viola Davis as the boy's mother. She carries the movie and its philosophical ideals of faith and doubt to a whole new level. Instead of deciding which character is correct in the argument, Davis makes us think about the implications of the situation in a whole new way. I have been a huge proponent of Penelope Cruz winning the Supporting Actress Oscar for Vicky Christina Barcelona, but I think I may switch my allegiance to Viola Davis based on her incredible performance.

The movie is obviously a stage adaptation and at times its source shows a little too much. I think a better director might have found a more involving way to tell the story rather than simply placing groups of 2 or 3 actors in different locales. Nevertheless, Doubt is a highly engaging movie to watch, and it definitely leaves the viewer with questions to ponder and discuss.

Grade: B+

The Class (2008)

I caught The Class, France's entry for foreign film this year, in a screening at the National Geographic Society last night. It opens on Friday in DC (and many other cities), and I hope it generates the audience it deserves.
The Class is based on a memoir by Francois Begaudeu, a teacher in an urban Parisian school. The director actually cast Francois as himself. The movie follows Francois over a year of teaching his 14- and 15-year old multiracial pupils. The movie is so realistic that it is easy to wonder if it is a documentary. It's not, although the filmmaker did use real French students as actors. Working from only the bare bones of a script, they developed their characters through workshops and their characters feel incredibly true.

With no musical score and few moments of what is usually considered extreme drama, The Class is nonetheless a suspenseful and riveting film. It is the most honest and revealing film of the teaching profession I have seen, and certainly puts American urban-teacher movies (with the exception of Half Nelson, another great and realistic film) to shame.

The movie is set in Paris, but I believe the position of the teacher with his class is universal to any teacher, particularly those in environments where race and nationality come into play. Through Begaudeu's give-and-take relationship with his students, the film examines issues of power, dialogue, and respect in the classroom. It also brings up issues of race, nationality, and the relevance of traditional education in a modern world. The movie bursts with life largely because of the young actors. They portray students who are bright, curious, but also constantly questioning the usefulness of what they are learning and the motives of their teachers. There are also scenes where we see glimpses of the students' home lives, although always in the context of the classroom.

The Class is a great film, one of the best of the year, that is thought provoking and engaging in the best way. As a teacher (although of much younger students), I certainly related to it in an especially powerful way, as I think most teachers will. If you are not a teacher, this movie will give you a glimpse into the passions and struggles that go into every single day in the classroom. See it.

Grade: A

Monday, February 9, 2009

Altman Gives Hollywood a Comeuppance

The Player (1992)

Robert Altman made The Player in 1992, and it satirizes the movie business that was often quite unfriendly to this talented director (one of my favorites). Tim Robbins plays Griffin Mills, a studio executive who ends up murdering a screenwriter. The film follows Griffin as he woos the screenwriter's lover, listens to movie pitches, and tries to dodge the law.

The movie works best as a satire of the big-studio industry. The movies that are pitched are hilariously ridiculous ("The Graduate Part II," "Out of Africa meets Pretty Woman"). Other movies are pitched as pure independent films and then end up as big-studio schlock. The movie also includes tons of cameos by early 1990s actors- including Cher, Julia Roberts, and Bruce Willis. It's a lot of fun to spot the actors in the scenes. The movie also begins with an 8-minute unbroken tracking shot, a great homage to Orson Welles' Touch of Evil.

The scenes when the detectives try to catch Griffin are also hilarious. Whoopi Goldberg and Lyle Lovett play cops who follow Griffin and take him down a few notches.

The movie is a lot of fun, but I think has lost a little of its bite over the past 15 years. Luckily, I do think the independent film scene is much more vibrant than in the early 1990s. While the big studio offerings have maybe not improved much, I think there is more available for the discerning moviegoer. Not that this negates the point of the movie, but as a faithful moviegoer who is usually able to avoid things that are terrible, I'm not quite as horrified by the workings of the studio system.

A fun movie, but I don't think its held up as well as a few other films from 1992 that I love: Howards End, Unforgiven, and Malcolm X. If you haven't seen any of these, watch them now. Short Cuts, Altman's film from 1993, is coming up soon on my Netflix queue. I saw it many years ago and remember it fondly, so look for the review soon!

Grade: B+

Sunday, February 8, 2009

An Obsessive Vision

Man on Wire (2008)

Man on Wire is a documentary that tells the story of Philippe Petite, a French high-wire artist who achieved the amazing feat of crossing between the World Trade Center towers on a cable.

The movie is part study of a man with a (crazy?) obsession, part heist movie. The most entertaining parts to me were the depictions of the how the feat was accomplished. The director used reenactments to show how the men got into the building, how they got their equipment up, and how they strung the wire across the building. At one point, men in both towers had to hide while guards paced the floors they were on. These depictions are highly suspenseful, and I think the movie could have done even more with the details. We meet everyone involved, but except for Philippe and his girlfriend at the time, I don't think we fully get a sense of the personalities of each person and what drew them to this remarkable attempt.

Phillipe himself is an interesting character. He loves to perform high-wire feats (having walked across Notre Dame and the Sydney Bridge before), and states that when he first saw a picture of the planned towers, he knew that he was meant to climb them. He truly seems to believe this and makes this his life's goal. He knows he will be arrested and may die, but absolutely does note care. There are many times when he seems deluded, but many other times when you admire the single-minded determination, training, and skill that led him to this feat.

The movie wisely avoids any 9/11 imagery, and leaves the connections for the viewer to ponder. As I watched the crowds gather to applaud him, I thought how interesting it was that Philippe saw the Towers as a symbol that could bring him and his fellow citizens joy, while on September 11th they were targeted because of their image as a symbol of Western arrogance that would bring pain when they were destroyed. It does make the viewer think about the power of imagery and perception in how we interact with the world.

Overall I enjoyed, but didn't love, Man on Wire. I think it actually could have been improved with a little more nitty-gritty about how the feat was planned and more backstory on the main players. I'm a bit surprised that it's been sweeping all of the Documentary prizes at the awards shows. I have a few documentaries to catch up with (I'm especially excited to see Trouble the Water), but it's not a film I would label best. Overall, though, it's definitely worth a viewing.

Grade: B

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

My Favorite Films of the Year

Since I am behind on my 2008 Oscar-season diet, I will refrain from making my top 10 list (look for it in a couple months when I've caught up with some more flicks). Nevertheless, I am dying to write about my favorite films of the year. As I look back in the year, there are really only 3 films that I walked out of and felt just about completely energized and satisfied by what I had seen These would be my top 3 of the year, and I doubt if anything will overtake them. I'll write about them in the order I saw them.

Wall-E (2008)

When I read about the premise of this movie, I couldn't quite wrap my head around it. A movie that takes place hundreds of years in the future and stars a robot who is the only remaining "creature" on the desolate wasteland that is our planet? Now I'm a big fan of Pixar, and think they have done wonderfully innovative things, but I wondered if this would stretch even Pixar's imagination to the limit.

The moment the movie started, and pretty much the whole way through, all my doubts were erased. The first half, with Wall-E and Eve interacting on Earth, was absolutely sublime. The physical comedy and poignancy was absolutely reminiscent of the best of Charlie Chaplin. Somehow everything comes together to make us care about these two robots.

The second half, taking place on a spaceship full of obese humans, is slightly different, perhaps not as lovable, but no less fascinating. It's actually quite amazing that Pixar got such pointed satire through the studio.

As a whole, Wall-E is brilliant because it is completely original in an absolutely accessible way. I think it will definitely stand the test of time as one of the all-time greats of animated film.

Rachel Getting Married (2008)

If I had to pick a genre that I typically love, it is probably the naturalistic drama about family relationships, when it is well-done of course (You Can Count on Me, Junebug). Rachel Getting Married joins my list as one of the best. On the surface, it's about a sister (Kym) getting out of rehab for the weekend to attend her sister Rachel's wedding. Underneath, it's about much more than that. The movie is never played for cheap laughs or cheap sentiment.

Jonathan Demme directs in a style very reminiscent of Robert Altman (a favorite director of mine). His camera twists and turns and picks up conversations here and there. The movie does not feel excessively plotted (some probably find it underplotted and rambling), but that's what I love about it. You feel that this is a very specfic family with very real feelings, resentments, and joys. The wedding itself (which takes up a lot of the end of the movie) is a joyous occassion. As soon as I left the theater, my moviegoing companions and I all remarked we wished we could go to that wedding. Leading up to the wedding we learn a lot about this family and what has brought them to this point.

The performances could not be better. Anne Hathaway has gotten a lot of awards traction for this role, and she deserves it. She plays against type and is able to absolutely inhabit a prickly, wounded, guarded, character. Rosemarie Dewitt plays the responsible sister Rachel beautifully, with the right mixture of characteristics to avoid being heroine or villain. Bill Irwin, an actor I was unfamiliar with, has a key role as the father and the peacemaker of the family. The moments when his emotions slip are quite beautiful. Debra Winger also has the small but crucial role of the mother. Her quiet performance hints at deep layers underneath the surface actions of her character.

A great movie (my favorite of the year) and I can't wait to see it again.

Milk (2008)

Biopics are usually not my favorite genre. While they are often quite watchable, the scripts can often seem paint by numbers, as if you know exactly where they will go (even if you know next to nothing about the person). So why doesn't Milk fall prey to the same problems? First of all the movie wisely focuses solely on Harvey Milk's political awakening and subsequent career. When dealing with only a handful of years, it is much easier to develop interesting characters and not have to breeze through the obligatory plot points. It reminded me of how Capote focused not on Truman Capote's entire life, but only on his research and writing of In Cold Blood.

Much of the success of Milk certainly has to go to Sean Penn. Like many great performances this year (Kate Winslet, Anne Hathaway), Penn plays against type. He is also able to inhabit a gay character without becoming overly effeminate or mannered (this is no Robin Williams in The Birdcage). He is also backed up by an extremely impressive cast. I loved Josh Brolin as his political nemesis Dan White, James Franco as his lover, and Emile Hirsch as his political protege.

While I think I would have loved this movie regardless of its release date, I think part of the reason it is so effective and was its political moment. Harvey's line of "You've gotta give 'em hope" was especially poignant as I saw this between the election and inauguration of Obama. While the repeal of Proposition 8 in California certainly makes this film bittersweet, it does show how far our country has come. Seeing Milk's political successes makes you think that with enough passion and leadership, change is gonna come.

Don't let the talk of politics bore you. Milk is vibrant, alive, engaging, and never didactic. See it.

Wall-E: A
Rachel Getting Married: A
Milk: A

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Great Kate Winslet Scene

My viewing of The Reader made me think about great Kate Winslet performances. Especially in Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, one of my all-time favorite movies. Enjoy.

Slumdog Again

The Directors Guild of America, with an excellent predictive track record, gave their Director award to Danny Boyle for Slumdog. That settles it- Slumdog has won the Screen Actors Guild, Golden Globe, Producers Guild, and Directors Guild awards. It's in. I don't believe any other movie has ever won this many awards and then lost Best Picture. It won't be the best choice Oscar has ever made, but it certainly won't be the worse (see my review a few posts below).

Hopefully a couple of the actor's races will stay semi-interesting.