Sunday, January 28, 2007

Do you have monkeys in Scotland?

This weekend I took a little time out to see a couple of movies that I wanted to see before the Oscars. Here are some thoughts:

Half Nelson - This little indie movie kind of came and went when it was first released in theaters, but I remember reading great reviews, especially the raves for Ryan Gosling, whose work I have recently admired in Stay and The Believer. The basic story revolves around an inner-city social studies teacher trying to teach his students about dialectics, but he is a very troubled soul. He is a drug addict, and one day one of his students, played exceptionally well by Shareeka Epps, catches him smoking crack. Their relationship and the seemingly unstoppable downward spirals they both live in form the center of the rest of the film. The movie is a complex character study that offers no easy solutions or feel-good platitudes. But it is a very good and complicated film, and Ryan Gosling's Oscar nomination is very much deserved. And as a very big bonus side note, the soundtrack is by Broken Social Scene.

The Last King of Scotland - Not only is Forest Whitaker's work worthy of all the praise he has received, but The Last King of Scotland is also one of the best films of 2006. The film tells the story of the rise to power of Idi Amin, and Whitaker's performance is transcendent and powerful. Also very impressive is the work of James McAvoy (Mr. Tumnus in Narnia), who plays Amin's doctor and adviser. Director Kevin MacDonald, previously a documentary filmmaker, has done an excellent job. The style, cinematography, and music all contribute to a film that is at times very funny, at times very heart-wrenching, but always fascinating. I give this film a huge recommendation. And Whitaker will win the Oscar.


At 7:55 PM, Blogger constant_k posited...

Where have I heard the name Idi Amin before?

Oh that's right: in Hail Mary when Tupac is likening himself to a bunch of bloodthirsty dictators.

Hey Dub have you seen "The Queen"? I saw it today with my momma and grandma and I thought it was pretty good. The median age in the theater must have been about 63.

At 8:24 PM, Blogger CoachDub posited...

Yes, I have indeed seen it.

At 9:28 PM, Blogger Josh posited...

hail mary fulla grace help me win this stock car race!

At 5:42 PM, Blogger Pammy posited...


and yet they still wanted to go to alpha dog.

go figure.


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