Imagine this shaped like an Oscar statuette. Wouldn’t that be something?!
Tonight’s the big show in L.A. where Hollywood honors its own, and while The Lint Screen doesn’t have a clue how the statues will be dealt, this is a quick round up of what we (I) liked.
Best picture: Philomena. A movie that’s got a great, true story with wonderful performances. Judi Dench can rip your heart out with one eye tied behind her back. It’s got heart, big heart. Close runner up: Wolf of Wall Street. Yeah, it shows greed, drugs, sex, overindulgent narcissistic pricks on parade. We’re talking Wall Street, dammit! The script by Terrence Winters is the best. Three action-packed hours with nary a wasted scene. Oh, and this Marty Scorsese fellow, well, let’s just say the guy’s got a future in film.
Also in the top tier: Nebraska. Bruce Dern and Will Forte bring a colorful strained family relationship to life in this black and white beauty. A damn fine film.
Dallas Buyers Club. McConaughey and Leto are probably locks for Oscars, and they deserve it. This is a moving movie made sadder by the fact that it’s mostly true.
Inside Llewyn Davis. Hollywood and the public didn’t give this flick much love, but it’s a rich story of the struggles of the artistic journey. Think art sells itself? Think again. The Coen brothers once again deliver the goods, and T. Bone will have your toes a-tapping.
American Hustle. Yes, the performance are a feast. A fun film that’s confusing at times, and a satisfying ride. But when it’s all over, well, there you are. A must see, but not one for the ages.
Here is a drive by of other major films.
Captain Phillips is gripping and Hanks and Barkhad Abdi own their slabs of silver screen. But the Cappy’s backstory feels forced. And we all know the ending. Good film, but not great.
Gravity is an incredible film for technical whizbangery, and the acting’s fine, but the dialogue and the story are pretty thin. (Probably also not a good idea to see this film with a N.A.S.A. engineer, like I did, who explained all the logic and physics flaws.)
Her is a film that I liked quite a bit. Actually, I like the idea of the film better than the film itself. It makes some very good points, societal commentary while you wait, but it’s somewhat labored and repetitive after awhile. It is frightening to see our future with Sans-a-belt slacks up to our bellybuttons. Still, this is a movie worth watching for the ideas and performances.
Oh, how I wanted to love 12 Years a Slave. If ever there was a subject more ripe for moving one emotionally, this was it. But, the movie missed. Again, it’s a very good film, but not a great one. A pity. Something was off.
Saving Mr. Banks was surprisingly good. Emma Thompson is terrific, and the story is engaging, entertaining and compelling. Hanks as Disney is fun, too. Give it a go.
Ron Howard’s Rush is also a film to seek out. A very interesting true story about Formula 1 racing in the 1970’s is a wild ride. It’s well-told, well-acted, well-shot. Well, see it already!
And then there’s Woody Allen’s Blue Jasmine, a film that’s fun with a character who is hard to take. A good flick.
I also liked Lee Daniels’ The Butler, well worth renting for Forest Whitaker’s performance and lots of fine cameos. Interesting tale and true. Plus Oprah, who never once asks us to look beneath our seats.
That’s it. A pretty great year for film. Now, let’s see what the industry recognizes.