Friday, January 31, 2014

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

10 thoughts on...August: Osage County

  1. Families are a complicated business.
  2. I had low expectations for this film that has been universally called a weak version of the play. I've no doubt that this is probably true but the strength of the material and the talent of the cast ensure that there is much to enjoy, despite the overall lack of a cinematic voice.
  3. Julia Roberts shows once again that her talent has been sorely underused throughout her career. Like with Closer (my choice of her best work), she bravely transforms into a dislikeable character without losing that underlying charisma that makes it bearable. I can't imagine many American Sweethearts that can manage that trick so successfully (see: Meg Ryan, Sandra Bullock, Reese Witherspoon).
  4. Abigail Breslin is collecting an impressive range of screen mothers - Toni Collette, Sarah Jessica Parker and now Roberts. 
  5. There isn't enough attention been given to Juliette Lewis whose performance manages to avoid being simply 'the insecure sibling'. You get a sense that she has struggled, in a way that is perhaps crueler than that of the older generation because she is the only person that seems to have been excluded completely. Her family has no time, patience or respect for her. It's quietly crushing to watch.
  6. I hope I never have such a dramatic dinner with my family.
  7. I'm slowly becoming a fan of Benedict Cumberbatch, here again he proves he's a very talented actor. 
  8. Margo Martindale is so good in Alexander Payne's piece in Paris Je T'aime. And is, obviously, great here.
  9. What is Ewan McGregor doing in this film?!
  10. This could have been a better film, but I'm sure it will always find it's true voice on stage where the vicious nature of the characters can be given the space to impact the audience and the audience is watching the tragedy(?) unfold live in front of them.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Drinking coffee/tea x4

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

A thumbs up.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

10 thoughts on...Inside Llewyn Davis

  1. Is this the Coens' most understated film? Whereas their protagonists usually find themselves forced into a life changing experience, Llewyn Davis fails to do so throughout the film. The only drama that is created within the film is created by himself, there is a very little help from the other characters or events.
  2. Carey Mulligan has a beautiful voice, and this song is rather heartbreaking.
  3. I'm not sure what I think about the cinematography, it's rather distracting and feels as if someone used instagram.
  4. Jean is a fascinating character, one who I would have liked to spend more time with. Her anger towards Llewyn is a hint at something much deeper. And Mulligan did a fantastic job.
  5. Oscar Isaac deserves more roles like this.
  6. This should have been Oscar nominated for Original Screenplay.
  7. F. Murray Abrahamson is an incredible actor. (I love Amadeus.)
  8. This is a quietly tragic film. And one that will linger.
  9. Garrett Hedlund is beautiful.
  10. I wish I knew more about the history of music, I'm sure I would have got much more from this film if I did.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Smile.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

10 thoughts on...Dallas Buyers Club

  1. This is the type of film that Hollywood does well; a handsomely crafted film celebrating the real (and extraordinary) events that would otherwise be seen as sentimental, heavy-handed and unbelievable.
  2. Jared Leto deserves to win the Oscar for Best Supporting Actor.
  3. I can't imagine how frightening it must have been for those unfortunate enough to have contracted HIV during this period.
  4. The film could have gone into more detail about the reasons why there was such a control over the drugs, in a similar style to The Constant Gardner. I would have liked to see the story unfold as Ron versus the system, rather than Ron simply fighting for his and other people's lives. Or perhaps that is unsentimental of me to suggest...
  5. ...Although it may have helped give the film a stronger third act, as it does lose its way in the final 15-20 minutes. There must have been a decision to go with a low key ending, celebrating in a quiet way this man and the influence his work had. Which is a shame as the rest of the film is impressively epic in its portrayal without being overly worthy in tone.
  6. Jennifer Garner always comes across as one of the loveliest women you could ever meet.
  7. Matthew McConaughey is as impressive as you would expect him to be from his work over the last few years. And I won't begrudge him if he is to win the Oscar (but my vote would go with Leonardo DiCaprio or Chiwetel Ejiofer).
  8. Jean-Marc Vallee hasn't been getting much attention during the awards season, but his work here is solid. After this, The Young Victoria and C.R.A.Z.Y. he is definitely a director I'll be watching out for.
  9. Remember when Steve Zahn was going to be a star?
  10. I hope this continues to be watched by a large audience.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Cats in film x4

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Pause.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

10 thoughts on...Her

  1. Technology is altering how we interact and communicate with people, on a professional and personal level. Have we already started to have unnatural relationships with the devices that allow of to communicate with others and find comfort as depicted in the film? There are moments in the film (e.g. when Theodore is lonely in bed and searches for someone via his phone) that already happen in reality. This film could represent the future...
  2. ...And is this a good thing? That is a question the film doesn't dwell on, instead suggesting that we will always have the same problems when it comes to relationships, regardless of who (or indeed what) it is with. Love is always going to push you out of your comfort zone and create extreme emotions. I think it would be easier to accept those conflicts with a fellow human though, rather than being *spoiler* rejected by a computer.
  3. As you can with the two above points, Spike Jonze has created a touching and powerful film about relationships, love and expectations.
  4. Joaquin Phoenix is a very good everyman. Who's have thought?
  5. This is a much more gentle script than anything by Charlie Kaufman. Arguably this doesn't achieve quite as much as Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, but it still has a big impact. Particularly some minutes/hours after the end of the film when you relay moments in your mind and they seem to chip away at your heart.
  6. Amy Adams has such a strong screen presence, even when convincingly playing an everyday person. She is incredibly talented, and being released and seen alongside American Hustle only highlights this more.
  7. Chris Pratt is always watchable. (I'm sure I'm not alone in my excitement for The Lego Movie.)
  8. This is a very deserving Oscar nominee for Best Picture (and its other nominations), and should have made in for Best Director too. As well as Supporting Actress for Adams, Cinematography and Editing.
  9. I can't wait to watch this again.
  10. Jonze is one of the greatest and most interesting film directors working today, right?

Friday, January 24, 2014

Thursday, January 23, 2014

An irresistible statement.

"I just try to live every day as if I've deliberately come back to this one day. To enjoy it. As it was the last full day of my extraordinary ordinary life."

I'll be the first to agree that About Time is overly sentimental but what's wrong with sentimentality sometimes? Particularly when it's delivered by actors with as much skill as Domhnall Gleeson?

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Top of the class. Films of the 1990s.

10. The Piano

9. Muriel's Wedding

8. Howards End

7. Titanic

6. Edward Scissorhands

5. Four Weddings and a Funeral

4. Beauty and the Beast

3. Fight Club

2. Fargo

1. Magnolia

Honourable mentions: American Beauty, The Birdcage, The English Patient, Eyes Wide Shut, Jurassic Park, LA Confidential

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Monday, January 20, 2014

Smile.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Kiss.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

An image to treasure.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Subtitled wisdom.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

An image to treasure(?).

As I've said before, I'm not sold on Maleficent. She is one of my favourite villains in any film but there's more than a whiff of Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland off this film. The poor CGI being one of them...and Imelda Staunton's fairy does seem rather unusual to look at. I'm not sure what to make of it. I guess it's better than having her (glorious) face hidden behind a CGI creation? Or perhaps not? We'll see soon enough...

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Smile.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

An irresistible statement.

"I hope we don't get locked in here, we'll have to make love to keep warm."

Saturday, January 18, 2014

My favourite shot...the trailer for Looking

I have high hopes for this show, which could showcase the type of characters that we rarely get to see on screen. I can't wait.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

How do you describe a feeling?

Attempting (and failing) to be alluring.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Thursday, January 16, 2014

An irresistible statement.

"Don't defend your sex!"

Thursday, January 16, 2014

10 thoughts on...the 86th Academy Award nominations

  1. Amy Adams receives her fifth nomination in nine years. That's pretty impressive, even if it seems very unlikely that it will amount to a win.
  2. The Academy liked American Hustle. And I can't see what film would prevent it from winning Best Picture at this stage, perhaps Philomena if it gained enough emotional support but otherwise this is a done deal. As is Director (Alfonso Cuaron), Actress (Cate Blanchett), Actor (Matthew McConaughey)  and Supporting Actor (Jared Leto).
  3. It's a shame that Captain Phillips wasn't included for Best Director or Best Actor. Both would have been deserving nominees, as deserving as the men that are included. Shame. But it was good to see Barkhad Abdi nominated for Best Supporting Actor.
  4. No Emma Thompson for Saving Mr. Banks? Scandalous.
  5. Sally Hawkins receives her second first nomination for Blue Jasmine. This is very exciting, and I am very proud that I stuck my neck out and predicted her over Oprah Winfrey for Best Supporting Actress...
  6. ...in fact I did surprisingly well in my predictions. I was spot on for the Screenplay and Supporting Actor/Actress categories, and didn't do too badly in the other categories either. Something must be kicking in after all of these years of enthusiasm/addiction.
  7. I don't see the attraction of The Wolf of Wall Street. Martin Scorsese is a great director and the two nominated performances are terrific, but it's an incredibly flawed film. One that would have been forgotten about if it had been released in the summer or autumn.
  8. I don't know how 12 Years A Slave missed out on a Best Cinematography nomination. Impossible?
  9. I haven't seen Her but I am intrigued with its nomination for Best Production Design. It seems like that branch are acknowledging more subtle work, at last!
  10. There wasn't the surprise snub/nomination that would shake the race. This may be a rather straightforward season from this point on.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

5 wishes for...the 86th Academy Award nominations

  1. Before Midnight is nominated for Best Adapted Screenplay. (It's a shame it isn't in the running for other categories such as Best Picture, Best Actor and Best Actress!)
  2. Amy Adams is nominated for Best Actress. I also don't think it's impossible that she finds herself nominated for Best Supporting Actress for Her. The Academy seem to like her, right?
  3. I want there to be a surprise to shake up the race as Ben Affleck's absence as Best Director did last year. That also had the upside that in his (and the two other deserving and expected nominees Kathryn Bigelow and Tom Hooper) place there were Michael Haneke and Benh Zeitlin. That is the kind of surprise that I would like to see today.
  4. Captain Phillips does not suffer as a result of the shake up I'm hoping in the above wish. It's a superb film, one whose excellence seems shadowed by the fact that it has been a regular nominee without any wins thus far. And that's unlikely to change.
  5. I would love if Blue is the Warmest Colour and The Great Beauty (outside of Best Foreign Language Film) were nominated in other categories. Such as cinematography. Is that too much to ask for? I'd also love to see Frozen as one of the Best Picture nominees, something that I'm surprised hadn't been gaining momentum as it continued its critical and commercial success.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

How do you describe a feeling?