Thank you Tom Hooper! It’s been awhile since we’ve had a musical that’s made us want to slit our wrists.
The film is set against the backdrop of sociopolitical upheaval in 19th century France and revolves mostly around Jean Valjean (Hugh Jackman), a escaped convict who spent time in prison after stealing some bread to feed his sister. He is on-the-run from a vengeful officer named Javert (Russell Crowe), but in the meantime, changes his ways, finds a woman named Fantine (Anne Hathaway), and eventually, goes out to look for her daughter named Cosette.
I’m not going to lie to you, I am not the biggest musical-lover out there but if I have to sit-down, watch one, and at least enjoy myself, chances are, I’m going to enjoy myself. That’s why I was a bit skeptical of this flick, not just because I haven’t ever seen the musical this is based-off of, but because it seemed like the type of musicals I’ve grown to despise. Everybody’s crying, everybody’s moping, and everybody’s so self-indulgent, almost to the point of where it’s just one, long cry-fest that is more likely to have you want to jump-off a bridge, rather than get in the Holiday Cheer. For some people, jumping off of a bridge is getting in the Holiday Cheer, but for me, it isn’t and that’s why I was a bit worried of what I got myself into on Christmas night. Thankfully, I stayed very, very far away from the Ben Franklin bridge and instead, stayed home and cried myself to sleep. Oh, the holidays.
Right off the bat, you should know that if you don’t like musicals where every single-line of dialogue is spoken through song, then this will definitely not be your bag, baby. Because if you hate that about certain musicals and get bum-rushed into seeing this, you are going to be one, pissed-off monkey for the next two-and-a-half hours, and most likely, going to just switch your plans and see Django Unchained. No problem with that whatsoever, but if you’re bag is in-fact a musical where everybody speaks in octaves, then you are going to go fuckin’ bananas over this, especially if you are already a fan of the source-material in the first-place. Tom Hooper was, obviously, and that’s why this is not your typical, run-of-the-mill musical. It’s got style to it, and that’s what so different.
What I mean by the “style” that Hooper apparently uses here, is that instead of going for the grand-scale, epic-feel of this material and showing us how huge this world is, with all of these large, sweeping song-notes that take you from one end of the Earth, to the other, he keeps it small, secluded, and very emotional. We get a lot of close-up shots on these people as they sing and we feel as if we are right there, not only to feel what it is that they are singing and emoting about, but to also have us placed-in this world that is dark, cruel, and very, very *cough* miserable. Hooper does get the look-and-feel of this movie and never for a single-second has us believe that we are watching a play on the big-screen, or even a musical for that matter, it actually feels natural to the story and how it’s trying to make you feel.
Not for a single-second did I think that I was going to cry during this movie, and don’t worry all of my fellow dude readers out there, trust me, I can assure you that I did not cry, but I sure as hell teared-up a whole lot more than I ever expected. Seriously, we all know about the “I Dreamed a Dream” number that Hathaway sings, executes-perfectly, and makes us all pull out the boxes of Kleenex, but there were so many more moments that just hit me where it hurt the most and not only did it surprise that the one time actually happened, but surprised me even more that it continued to occur. Everybody’s singing loud, proud, and right there for us to see clearly, and because of that, you really feel hit with the raw emotions that this story brings-out in it’s meaning, and how you can actually receive it. So many equal moments of pure beauty and sadness just really get to you and once you see the actual people sing them, on-camera, live, and for all of us to hear and see, you’ll know that it’s not because you have a soft-heart for a bunch of rambunctious college kids facing-off against the system, but because the musical-numbers have a feeling of power that you so rarely see in musicals nowadays. You feel as if every musical-number is meant to be apart of this story, is general to those characters and what they’re feeling, and exactly what it means for the rest of the movie.
Actually, that’s probably where my only problem for this flick actually came-from: when they weren’t singing. About 95% of this flick is full-on, singing, but the rest of 5%, obviously isn’t and really seems out-of-place, especially when people seem to hit breaks that don’t feel necessary to it’s story, or it’s believeability. Honestly, had the movie been 100% pure song, dance, and emotional breakdowns, I would have no problem, but whenever these people got the right ideas to just talk out of nowhere, and then continue to sing as if the actual, spoken-words never happened, then it seemed a bit too strange. However, then numbers like “One Day More”, “On My Own”, and “Stars” came-up, and all of my problems went away with the soothing and wondrous voices of this cast, and all that the brought to the table.
I think it should be noted right-away, that this isn’t your typical musical, mainly because what you see and hear on-film, is pretty much what stars gave-out. They don’t lip-sync, they don’t read from some script and have it gelled in with their mouth-movements, and they sure as hell did not take the easy way out and just record it in a studio, but instead, just did it, all in front of the camera, with an ear-piece in that played the background music. In ways, this works for the songs and the performers because you get a natural feel you wouldn’t normally get with any, other musical, but in other ways, it doesn’t because not everybody is exactly on-cue with the music that surrounds them. You understand the lyrics more, now that you actually get to see the live-wire lyrics come-out through the mouths and emotions of these characters and believe in everything they feel, no matter how bitter or joyous it may be. However, it’s more good ways then bad, so if anything, I have to give Hooper more credit for being even-more ballsy with his artistic and subdued direction of a musical that could have gone totally out the window into Annoyance-ville. There isn’t a real place called Annoyance-ville, but if there was, that’s where most musicals would be found.
As for the performers themselves, just about each and every-one here is as perfect as they come with the music they’re supposed to sing, the looks they’re supposed to be giving, and the feelings that go through characters like these. Hugh Jackman finally gets to show the world what he can do as an actor and performer, into one, amazing performance as Jean Valjean. Jackman, as we all know, can sing his heart out to the highest mountains and can definitely act, but the combination of both, in such a raw-feeling and way, is what really makes him stand-out among the rest, even when he takes the back burner a bit later-on in the flick. Jackman nails all of the song-notes he has to hit perfectly, but when it comes to being a guy that we feel a real, utter sympathy and love for, then Jackman succeeds even more and it’s one of his finest performances, mostly because it shows us that when you give him good material that he can work with, he will, and work with it to the best of his ability. The best of his ability is this performance here as Jean Valjean, and thank the singing gods for that!
A lot of people have been trashing the hell out of Russell Crowe as Javert, and how his singing-voice just really does not fit with the character, nor the rest of the flick, but I have to be honest: I sort of feel bad for the guy. Believe it or not, Crowe is not as much of a random-choice for this role as some may have you think otherwise, because he’s actually apart of a rock band called Thirty Odd Foot of Grunt and apparently, does a nice job with the material for them. However, that’s a rock band-like voice that’s used, not an Opera-like, musical voice that’s meant to capture the hearts and souls of millions across the globe. Okay, maybe that was a little too drastic of a point to make, but what I’m mainly getting at is that if you don’t have a powerful enough voice to handle this material and make it work when you play the menacing and evil character, Javert, then you may have a bit of problems coming down the pipelines. Okay, maybe more than “a bit”, but you catch my drift.
Does Crowe deserve the panning that he’s getting for his role in this movie? Yes and no. Yes, because he is the weakest-link out of the whole cast and shows just what happens when you cast a in a role, mostly because he’s a big-name, and no, because he isn’t terrible to watch. Maybe since I have never once heard the actual-play done itself and don’t know how Javert is supposed to sound, but I thought that Crowe did the best that he could with a role that definitely needed some great and powerful moments of song to be handled with grace and care, and that is exactly what Crowe did, except it wasn’t what everybody out there in the world wanted. You’re never going to please everybody with every little thing you do, so don’t worry Russell, you won me over and I’m glad to say that you weren’t all that bad of a choice to begin with. However, they could have seriously gotten somebody else, I hate to say it.
Of course the buzz that has been surrounding the hell out of this film is Anne Hathaway’s performance as Fantine, and the heartbreaking, show-stopping rendition she gives of “I Dreamed a Dream”, and all of that buzz is deserved because holy hell, did she make me tear-up. Hathaway’s character of Fantine isn’t around for a terribly-long time, but for how long she is alive and well on-screen, you see a real, true, and harrowed woman that does all that she can to make ends meet, but yet, still finds herself taking off her nickers just for a quick buck here and there. It’s heartbreaking and sad to watch and Hathaway makes you believe in this pain and strife that her character goes through, and when she breaks into that song, try your hardest to control-yourself because trust me: you won’t succeed. Hathaway is the one you really remember when you leave the theater and I don’t even know why we have to wait 2 more months for the announcement, just give her the damn Oscar! The gal deserves it, if not just for this perfect-performance, but for all of the other perfect-performances she’s given over the years. Not looking at you, Bride Wars.
Another gal in this cast who gives a whopper of a performance, in terms of acting and singing, is Samantha Barks as Éponine. If you don’t know recognize the name or don’t even know who the hell she is and why she’s even here in a star-studded get-together like this: don’t worry, you don’t need to because she will have you remembering her name, long after the credits roll. Granted, she obviously was going to knock the singing out of the park because she was cast in the musical a couple of years ago, but still, the woman is terrific in all that she does here and the two songs that she’s given to perform, are equally as heartbreaking and powerful as Hathaway brings to the table. She’s got a great look, a great style, and most importantly, a great voice and I wish to see a whole lot more of in the future.
The cast gets even better, though, with Eddie Redmayne as Marius, who surprised the hell out of me because after seeing him in My Week with Marilyn and countless other flicks, I thought he was nothing more than just another pretty face, but here, he shows me he’s more. He can hit the notes he’s supposed to hit, and he hits them with a great deal of charm and wit that makes you like the guy right from the start, even if you think his face is a bit goofy at times. However, that’s just a tiny nit-pick of mine, so don’t mind me and my asshole-like self. Some will probably be bummed to see that there isn’t a real, huge-part for Amanda Seyfried here as the older Cosette, but don’t worry, she still gets to show-off those pipes of hers (not those pipes you pervs) and doesn’t, not for one-second, get out-matched by anybody else in this cast.
Consensus: If you don’t like musicals before, then chances are, you are going to hate the ever-loving piss out of Les Misérables but if you do like musicals, then you are going to love just about every-second of this as each and every song is filled with bright emotion, power, drama, and simplicity, that’s very hard to capture in any type of musical, especially one this much of a grander, epic-scale.
FDR was the perfect family man. Just don’t let him stay alone with your oldest daughter.
The story takes place over a weekend in 1939 where a little-known and rather peculiar affair FDR (Bill Murray) had with his cousin Margaret ‘Daisy’ Stuckley (Laura Linney) took place, as well as a visit from King George VI and Queen Elizabeth at their upstate New York cottage.
Without Franklin Delano Roosevelt, who knows what the hell type of state our country would have been left in. Not only did he get us through one of the worst times to ever be alive and live in America (The Great Depression), but he also got us through a Second World War. Basically, when it comes right down to it, the man is an inspiration to all Americans, let alone, human-beings out there and it only seems suitable that the guy be part 2, of 2012′s “president-gets-a-movie-year”. However, I wish it wasn’t this movie.
Taking the same approach that Lincoln did, as instead of focusing on the president’s whole life and adventures, they take a little snap-shot of his life and whereas that movie seemed to be focused on a more-important aspect of Honest Abe’s life, this story takes place around a time of FDR’s that should seem important and should seem interesting, but simply, is not. Director Roger Michell definitely seems like he wants to have fun with this story and make it seem like we really are there for the weekend, just as much as the King and Queen are, but we never really get that true-essence of fun, mainly because of who the story is focused on and why.
Instead of making this an important story about FDR and King George VI became buddies, in order for England and America to unite and fight WWII together, the story is more about how FDR got his rocks off with his 5th cousin. That’s all juicy and sensational and definitely provides an interesting-take on a romantic-comedy plot-line, but is just boring and after the first 10 minutes where FDR and Daisy share an intimate moment in a field together (which is one of the biggest “WHAT THE FUCK?!??!” moments of the year) it all goes downhill from there and never brings us back-up to date with anything that’s going on or what’s going to happen. Seriously, after that scene, you’re not going to know what to think and keep on wondering as to whether or not you should laugh, leave, or just laugh, in the unintentional way. Your pick, I guess.
Underneath this semi-romantic story, actually lies a deep and understood one about the uniting of these two nations and they definitely provide some of the best scenes of the whole frickin’ movie. There’s a sweet, subtle scene between King George VI and FDR where they both chill out, share a couple of after-hour martinis, and just shoot the shit on being a ruler, being the hot-shot on campus, and most of all, just life in general. Since the story/movie is apparently supposed to be told through Daisy’s eyes, it’s a tad strange that we get a look at this private moment between the two, knowing that it could have never been seen through her eyes, but regardless, it’s still a nice, heartfelt scene that shows that maybe this movie can do more than just try it’s hardest at giving us a weird-romance to care about.
However, it falls right back into it’s formula that it tried so hard to leave in the first-place and just really bummed me out since there is promise for a strong story here, but no Michell just wanted to keep on throwing soapy melodrama at us, as if we care for this relationship in the least-bit. Anytime Daisy gets upset over the fact that FDR is doing things that takes his eyes and attention away from her, she slips into a rage-fueled break down that makes her seem so childish, and just makes the movie seem all the more dramatic than it needed to be. It wouldn’t have sucked so much if we gave a crap, but the fact of the matter is, we just don’t and I would have much rather seen the film about FDR and the King and Queen getting along, rather than him and his cousin, well *ahem* getting along.
What also makes Daisy the weakest and most annoying-aspect of this movie is the fact that Laura Linney seems terribly miscast as her, simply because the gal is a bit too old. No offense against Linney, but she’s almost 50 and she’s playing a person that has the emotions and love-swindles of a 7-year-old girl who finds her first-crush in the playground out in the school yard. Linney does what she can with this mediocre role, but it isn’t enough to save her character from being really, really strange, not just by how she reacts to FDR’s womanizing-ways, but also to how she falls in love with the guy in the first-place. Other than the infamous field scene, there really isn’t all that much between the two that would really have me feel the love and in the end, just ends-up less and less believable as the story goes on. Yes, I know it’s a real-life account that is straight-from the personal diaries of Daisy, but there has to be some sort of dramatic-license taken here. There’s just gotta be!
The most interesting aspect of this whole movie, and probably the best as well, is the fact that it has Bill Murray playing non-other than Mr. FDR himself, and it’s a move that not only seems like a stretch, but also pretty risky, right? Well, in a way, it is a pretty risky maneuver trying to have one of the most famous comedians of all-time, play one of the most iconic president of all-time with little or no make-up used, but it’s a risky maneuver that Murray does very-well of getting past, mainly because the guy just has the most lovable screen-presence of any comedian/actor working today. Not only does Murray capture the undeniable fun and charm that was behind FDR and all his ways, but he also captures the presence of a dude that could never stand, yet was the happiest and tallest one at a party, mainly because of his happy-go-lucky personality towards everything. Sometimes when I was watching him, it really seemed like it was Bill Murray playing Bill Murray, rather than it being Bill Murray playing FDR, but I could mainly get past the fact and just enjoy the hell out of Murray and all that he did, and could do as FDR. It’s just a shame that DDL had to come-out and play Honest Abe in the same-year as Murray playing FDR, because the guy would have gotten some real Oscar-talk.
Possibly the biggest-stretch of this whole movie that wasn’t even apparent to me until I started watching was how this movie featured both the same King and Queen, that were portrayed by Colin Firth and Helena Bonham Carter so famously about 2 years ago with The King’s Speech. It would almost seem like blasphemy to try and feature another movie with the same real-life figures, and not have them be played by Firth and Carter, but surprisingly, Samuel West and Olivia Coleman take over those roles pretty-well and are most likely the most interesting-aspects of this movie. West does a nice-job with the stammer and doesn’t go into a full-on Firth-impersonation, and Coleman allows herself to be a little weird, but reasonable as the Queen, but when then are together, it’s just so fun and electric to watch that you really feel like you’re watching a married-couple that knows each other so, so very well. However, it probably would have been way more epic to see Firth and Carter, come over from that movie into this and give a little two cents of their own. Now that, my friends, is an Oscar-caliber movie. And probably a lot better than The King’s Speech, if you don’t mind me saying so myself.
Consensus: With so much promise in the air, it’s a total bummer to admit that Hyde Park on Hudson fails to bring-out any type of importance out of it’s somewhat, historically-important story, and instead, decides to just focus on how much FDR liked his stamp collection, martinis, and most of all, some nice booty here and there, especially the ones that weren’t his wives. Yeah, that’s exactly how we all want to remember one of our finest presidents of all-time.
Just when you thought vampires were getting lame, Jack Sparrow comes along and makes them hip again — sort of.
The movie centers on playboy Barnabas Collins (Johnny Depp) who is turned into a vampire and buried alive when he breaks the heart of the witch Angelique Brouchard (Eva Green) back in 1752. When he wakes up two centuries later in 1972, his manor has fallen into ruin and his descendants are in such state of discord that matriarch Elizabeth Collins (Michelle Pfeiffer) has called on the resident psychiatrist (Helena Bonham Carter) to help her and her family out a bit.
It seems everybody out there already realized that Johnny Depp and Tim Burton can’t get enough of each other. I mean this is their 8th collaboration and judging by it, I think it’s time for them to separate. It’s not always easy, but it’s for the best, guys.
The first trailer for this flick really had me anxious. I don’t know a lot about the 60′s cult TV show that this movie is based off of, but from what I hear, it definitely was all work and no play. Everything was so serious on that show, whereas the trailer promised a slightly goofy flick that more or less made a lot of jokes towards the earlier premise, rather than play them in a serious matter. Sadly, all of those laughs and all of that humor goes away pretty quickly and that’s when I realized that once again, I was jipped by Hollywood. Damn you!
That’s not to say there isn’t any humor here, because there is and it does work to an extent. The jokes and gags are funny and had me laughing a lot when I least expected to, but the problem was that all of the funniest material was already done to death by all of the commercials and trailers. Once again, damn you! The humor this flick has does add a little lift to the story, and whenever the film actually starts to focus on the soap opera melodrama that made the TV show so famous, Tim Burton goes more for a tongue-in-cheek approach that brings out some laughs. Funny stuff but should have been so much funnier.
With a plot like “ancient vampire, wakes up in 1970′s and experiences a culture shock”, you would expect that there would be an enormous about of jokes for Burton to play up; but instead he plays a more serious note. I know that the original TV show was sincere and all, but to have an idea that seems pretty original and something that would be deemed “comedic gold” turn into a plot the gets weirder and weirder just for the sake of being weird only makes it seem like Burton wanted an excuse to make a film to bring him back to his weird-o childhood days. Then again, maybe it’s as original as I once though and maybe it’s been done before. But come on, guys, what would you rather see?: a melancholy but meaningful “Dark Shadows” movie, or a “Dark Shadows” movie full of one-liners and odd humor? I choose the latter, but some folk might drift the other way.
As always though, Burton’s film does look pretty good in his dark, CGI way. Everything is so dark and gloomy, but yet very lavish; it shows that once again, Burton can do almost no wrong when it comes to his production designs. However, the whole gothic style started to wear off by about the third or fourth time I saw waves crash against the rocks, or whenever there would be an eerie piece of music played in the background when Depp came walking into a scene. It seemed like Burton didn’t have much faith in this material in the first place, so he just resorted to a bunch of random moments that would hopefully keep his audience glued. I was watching the whole entire time, but that’s only because I was waiting for Burton to really pull me in and give me something that I wasn’t expecting from him. Sadly, that is exactly what I got.
Regardless of what Burton did here, I still have to give a lot of credit to Johnny Depp because no matter what flick he is in, he always give it his all and that is no different here. Depp is fully committed to playing Barnabas Collins with his Old English delivery and goofy faces, and still gets most of the film’s laughs despite being a one-joke the whole way through. Collins is a vampire from another time, that is simply trying to adjust to a very different world but Depp is better than that and allows Collins to be one of his more erratic characters to date. Which is definitely saying a whole lot.
Backing up Depp when it comes to the laughs is Jackie Earle Haley as Willie Loomis, the bum who cleans the Collins estate and pretty much delivers every line with sarcasm and a snarl in his voice. Haley is so funny in this flick and it’s a real wonder as to why Burton didn’t give him more material to play around with. Michelle Pfeiffer is also pretty good here as the family matriarch, Elizabeth Collins Stoddard, even though her character gets pushed to the side by the last act; Helena Bonham Carter brings some laughs as the alcoholic psychiatrist Dr. Julia Hoffman, but should have been a whole lot funnier; Eva Green is very easy on the eyes but very over-the-top with her villainous role here as the evil witch Angelique; and Chloë Grace Moretz is fine as the teenage daughter of the family that is constantly being weird and seems like she’s about to sneeze every time the camera is on her. Still, with a cast like this you can’t go wrong but somehow Burton is able to just let them all fall by the waste-side so he can have some fun with his “passion project”.
Consensus: Definitely has some moments that are funny and very cool to look at, but as a whole, squanders a original premise with annoying jokes, loses its comedic edge with it’s semi-serious tone, and lets a great ensemble cast like this, do nothing other than play second-fiddle to the Tim Burton and Johnny Depp freak show.
Song of the Day: (hope you like this little thing I got going)
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CGI is better than costumes.
After flying through a space “worm hole,” astronaut Leo Davidson (Mark Wahlberg) crashes on a planet where simians rule over humans. Aided and abetted by a sympathetic chimpanzee (Helena Bonham Carter), Davidson leads a small band of rebels against their captors.
Back in August when I watched ‘Rise of the Planet of the Apes’, I said it was a 100 times better than this 2001 piece of junk, but actually, this one isn’t so terrible to begin with.
Director Tim Burton is a guy who’s usually known for doing some crazy ish with his material, but here he doesn’t do anything real different with this material, instead of just gives us pretty good-looking visuals. The action is here and there but the problem that Burton runs into, is that it doesn’t really get off the ground and it feels like he just pushed this film to its ending without any real emotional connection or point about his story.
It’s kind of a shame considering how great of a director Burton can be, and if he didn’t direct this, I wouldn’t have noticed because there’s nothing really striking at all about this material that reminds me of Burton classics such as ‘Ed Wood’ or ‘Edward Scissorhands‘.
The script is also pretty terrible because the lines are just so incredibly cheesy to the point of where I was laughing, and when these “characters” aren’t spitting out corny one-liners, they are either growling, snarling, or making crazy little ape noises at each other. I liked how the plot is all new and taking a cool new twist on this plot, but they way it ended up and turned out, seems kind of disappointing because the script was kind of a real let-down.
However, I have to say that even though this can all be pretty lame, I actually enjoyed myself for the whole 2 hours of this flick. The plot moves along at a slick pace, and even though it sometimes falls into some boring spots, it still kept me interested. The action here is also pretty fun because there are actual ape-on-ape battles that actually are pretty fun to watch as well as some other cool moments to watch.
I also really liked the the visuals and the costumes that Burton supplied with this film because a lot of it looks really cool. The world of the Apes seems straight-out of the original and still looks pretty to look a. The costumes of all of the Apes that were done by Rick Baker were done very well, with a great deal of detail added to each character, but the real problem with the costumes is that these Apes just look so damn goofy. I mean they have these funny and little goofy faces where their teeth just show and they make these funny hissing noises, and instead of actually being horrifying they are actually pretty laughable but I guess the film really wasn’t going for any seriousness.
Marky Mark is one of my favorite actors, but his performance here as Leo Davidson is one I think he should try to forget. Wahlberg doesn’t really have the strength here to actually command this film and his lines are even worse. He does seem a little confused and with no idea what to do with this lead role, other than make scared faces and do his “signature voice”. Still, he’s the man.
Tim Roth actually turned down the role of Severus Snape to play Thade here, which is a real shame cause he could have really had such a bigger career with that role instead of this. Roth isn’t bad here, cause he’s actually pretty menacing, but his villainous character is so cartoony and cheesy that nothing really comes out as scary and more of just goofy. Helena Bonham Carter plays the nice ape, Ari, and does her usual crazy lady performance; Michael Clarke Duncan is loud and full of yelling as the black Ape, Attar; Paul Giamatti actually made me laugh as Limbo; and Estella Warren is pretty damn laughable with her performance as Daena. The cast is all OK, just nothing really special since the film doesn’t really take them all too seriously.
Consensus: Planet of the Apes is cheesy, poorly written, and filled with sub-par performances from the impressive cast, but it’s still an entertaining B-flick with great visuals, some fun action, and a feel of not taking itself too seriously which is good for any film about a world of apes.
Weddings: best place to score one night stands.
Sparks fly at a wedding reception when a man (Aaron Eckhart) and woman (Helena Bonham Carter) with an ambiguous connection are reunited in this stylish romantic drama. As the layers of their past relationship gradually peel back, they rekindle a smoldering flame. Unable to contain their desire, they soon slip away to her hotel room — but will passion give way to regret after the champagne wears off?
Right from the beginning you notice that this film just looks like another gimmick, with a meaningless story to back it up. However, the surprising thing is that you almost forget about the gimmick half-way through this 1 hour and 24 minute film.
The screenplay here is what works the best. This film starts off as just another two people meeting, and flirting but then all that playfulness turns into something more deeper and emotional. Then you start to notice that these two know each other, quite well in fact, and that’s when the film starts to get juicy. I liked how the screenplay touched on many elements that have to do with a romantic relationship that once failed. We get a sense of how these people feel through their strong words, and through their speech we understand the loss that both of these people had. There were very real emotional moments here that actually work, and had me astonished by how genuine it all felt and sounded.
My only problem with this film is that I felt it was almost a little too contrived. There were moments that were emotionally good, but never did I feel myself almost clinching to my seat as to how real, and truthful it was. The ending almost pissed me off, and I felt like that there should have been more questions brought up, and answered for that matter. I get what they were trying to do with this ending and the film, but I never really found myself completley taken away by it all.
The acting here is extraordinary, cause this some very complicated stuff here. Since this film is split-screen focusing on both of these stars at the same time throughout the whole film, it’s not when their speaking is when they have to be powerful, but it’s when no words are spoken and you just look at that person and you can feel the performance within them. Here, these two do that. The chemistry that Helena Bonham Carter and Aaron Eckhart have is where the real heart of this film lies because you believe almost every action they take with one another as well as every emotion they give to each other. I liked how they were sometimes goofy with each other, but then at other times, completley serious as well, and it to me just felt like a real relationship, and both nail it.
Consensus: Though a bit too contrived at moments, Conversations With Other Women benefits from a great screenplay, that is heightened by the powerful, and genuine chemistry between Bonham Carter and Eckhart.
So as everyone among the film community know, it is Oscar time babyyyyy!!! So that means get ready for some of the biggest upsets, wins, and probably tearful moments of the year. It was a great year in the film, and this is what has all come down to it people. The big night, and here are my predictions, I hope I do well.
Best Animated Feature: Will Win: Toy Story 3 Should Win: Toy Story 3 Wild Card: How To Train Your Dragon
Best Documentary Feature: Will Win: Restrepo Should Win: Restrepo Wild Card: Exit Through The Gift Shop
Best Foreign Language Film: Will Win: In a Better World Should Win: Dogtooth Wild Card: Biutiful
Best Documentary Short, Best Live Action Short, Best Animated Short: Will Win: Can’t say I care too much
Best Editing: Will Win: The Social Network Should Win: The Social Network Wild Card: Black Swan
Best Cinematography: Will Win: True Grit Should Win: Inception Wild Card: The King’s Speech
Best Visual Effects: Will Win: Inception Should Win: Inception Wild Card: Alice in Wonderland
Best Sound Editing: Will Win: Inception Should Win: Inception Wild Card: Unstoppable
Best Sound Mixing: Will Win: Inception Should Win: Inception Wild Card: The Social Network
Best Art Direction: Will Win: Alice in Wonderland Should Win: Inception Wild Card: The King’s Speech
Best Costume Design: Will Win: Alice in Wonderland Should Win: Alice in Wonderland Wild Card: True Grit
Best Makeup: Will Win: The Wolfman Should Win: The Way Back
Best Original Score: Will Win: The Social Network Should Win: The Social Network Wild Card: Inception
Best Original Song: Will Win: We Belong Together (Toy Story 3) Should Win: We Belong Together (Toy Story 3) Wild Card: I See The Light (Tangled)
Best Adapted Screenplay: Will Win: The Social Network Should Win: The Social Network Wild Card: 127 Hours
Best Original Screenplay: Will Win: The King’s Speech Should Win: Inception Wild Card: The Fighter
Best Supporting Actress: Will Win: Hailee Steinfeld Should Win: Melissa Leo Wild Card: Amy Adams
Best Supporting Actor: Will Win: Christian Bale Should Win: Christian Bale Wild Card: Geoffrey Rush
Best Actor: Will Win: Colin Firth Should Win: Jesse Eisenberg Wild Card: James Franco
Best Actress: Will Win: Natalie Portman Should Win: Natalie Portman Wild Card: Annette Bening
Best Director: Will Win: David Fincher Should Win: David Fincher Wild Card: Tom Hooper
Best Picture: Will Win: The King’s Speech Should Win: The Social Network Wild Card: Toy Story 3
I must say that this is a pretty solid year for the Oscar’s this year. All the nominees look just about right the only problem is how will the picks turn out? This year, everything seems like it’s coming down to Old School (The King’s Speech) vs. New School (The Social Network). The past couple of years The Academy (I hate that word) has been looking more towards hip, new films to win it’s Oscar Best Picture. Films such as Slumdog Millionaire, The Hurt Locker, and American Beauty have all been unconventional new films that have seen their taste of Best Picture gold. But there has also been countless period piece wins for films such as Gladiator, Shakespeare In Love, and The English Patient. Also, many other major award shows have already presented the Best Picture win to The King’s Speech which is really chasing up people’s noses, as many other award shows have been choosing The Social Network as theirs. In my opinion, I liked Inception more than both of them, and yeah it’s nominated, but in all honesty it has no chance of winning. When it comes down to it I think that The Social Network should win, because it is an age-defining film, that went from being known as “The Facebook Movie” to being known as the top contender for every Oscar it’s nominated for. I hope that The Academy goes for the new school, because if they had The King’s Speech win, everyone would feel robbed really.
As for Best Actor, I think that Firth deserves to win for all his years dedicate to films, but Eisenberg fully deserves it. I think what the Academy is doing more and more now, is honoring actors & actresses not for just a certain performance they had, but their careers and saying that it’s their time. I don’t mind seeing stars like Jeff Bridges, Kate Winslet, or Colin Firth win an Oscar, because of the career they have but I’d rather see the “best performance of the year award” go to the BEST PERFORMANCE OF THE YEAR.
When it comes to the Best Actress category, it seems like Natalie Portman is the sole winner for here, as she has won almost every single Best Actress nomination at every award show. However, there is once again that little idea that it’s Annette Bening’s “time” to win, as she has been nominated twice, and still has not won yet even though her career has been going on for so long. I want Portman to win, and most likely she will, but I still have a feeling that The Academy may pull something out of their pockets and surprise us all with a Bening win.
I’m very disappointed that my main man Christopher Nolan was not nominated for Best Director this year. He was snubbed for The Dark Knight, and now he’s being snubbed again, and it just pisses me off knowing that certain directors that do such a good job with daring material, don’t get the credit they deserve. I think if Nolan was nominated, he should have won, but I know it’s The Oscars, and not everything works out the right way.
This year had great films, and I’m glad to see that the Oscars have turned out to be this way. I loved 2010 as a year, and the films made it awesome. Here’s to 2011, and let’s just hope that the Oscars are awesome.
Thanks everybody for always reading, and keep on checking!!
Hugh Grant really is going to kill someone!
Britain’s King George VI (Colin Firth) struggles with an embarrassing stutter for years until he seeks help from unorthodox Australian speech therapist Lionel Logue (Geoffrey Rush) in this biographical drama. Logue’s pioneering treatment and unlikely friendship give the royal leader a sense of confidence that serves him and his country well during the dark days of World War II.
Period Pieces really haven’t been as great as they used to be. And after this one, it looks like they may be right back on track.
You really do feel like you are in 1920′s-1930′s Britain with this movie. The set pieces look so realistic, as if they were almost all taken out of a old photograph, and the costumes all feel ripe and in style just like the time. For anybody that likes to look at old outfits from the 20′s, and feel like their there, this is surely the film.
The dialogue is also very good presenting a lot of the problem’s that people face with a stuttering problem, as well as kingship, and the honor as well as pressure it holds. The only problem I had with this movie, is that it really is nothing different. It is your typical, inspirational story, that takes the route your expecting it to right from the beginning. In all honesty, it’s not a good thing, but yet at the same time, it’s not a bad thing either. The film is pleasing because it keeps you entertained even though you know where this film is going, and it really is a film that the whole family can watch and learn something from it. Hell, my grand mom saw this before me, that just shows you the films appeal. At times it does get too sweet for my taste, and in the middle there is a bit of a drag within this film, and it doesn’t quite know how to get itself out of it.
It really is a film that since I’ve watched it already, I can say that I have watched it and be done with it. I’ll watch it maybe in the next year or two with my pop-pop, and I’ll like it, but it won’t be something that I’ll watch again, and again.
Colin Firth who has been in all those British romantic comedies, and every weird girls English sexual fantasy, does a very good job here of playing King George VI. He’s faced with the challenge of a stutter which from an actor’s perspective, is hard to pull off but he really does well here. He may not be the heart-throb in this that many expect from him, but he has that signature likability, almost that palpable general goodness about him that wins you over right away. I also liked seeing Helena Bonham Carter actually in a normal persons role, rather than the crazy, weird-looking Tim Burton/Harry Potter films. When she was starting out she was in a lot of period pieces, and it was nice to see her return to form once again. The best performance out of this cast is Geoffrey Rush, who I have never seen half-ass a role in his career. He’s frank, funny, and likable and brings so much to the screen every time he’s on, cause you can tell he really is having a great time with this material, and that didn’t bother me one bit. The times he and Firth are on screen together, feel genuine and really do bring out a lot of emotion within this film that I was not expecting. Also, many other familiar faces show up such as Guy Pearce, Derek Jacobi, Michael Gambon, and Timothy Spall.
Consensus: Though you know the direction of where it’s headed, and it’s not something different, but with its great performances, and realistic feel and look of the 20′s, you still can’t help but fall for the goodness that is The King’s Speech.