Monday, February 04, 2008

I think I may be beginning to disappear.

I have been trying to catch up on some films that I missed earlier, especially some Oscar-nominated films, and I have made a little progress. Here I offer some capsule reviews.

The Savages -- I did not know too much about this family comedy/drama going into it, except that it involved serious dysfunction. But I also knew it starred Philip Seymour Hoffman and Laura Linney, two actors who almost never misstep. Linney is nominated for Best Actress, and the nomination is well deserved. And of course Hoffman is always great. The movie is darkly entertaining, but also quite sad. The Savages tells the story of two siblings who must decide to put their estranged father in a nursing home. I enjoyed it, though I did not love it. The acting, however, is top notch.




Eastern Promises -- Wow. Now this is a disturbing film. Viggo Mortensen is terrific as the driver for a Russian mobster, and his Oscar nomination is definitely deserved. The movie, directed by David Cronenberg, tells a twisted tale of crime, a baby, a rape, love, and family, all punctuated by a whole mess of slit throats. Mortensen's performance represents what they call "fearless," as the knife fight in the steam room epitomizes. Eastern Promises is a very good film, but is at times very hard to watch.




Away From Her -- I love Julie Christie. From Dr. Zhivago to McCabe & Mrs. Miller, I think she absolutely commands the screen in every film she chooses. And in Away from Her, the directorial and screenwriting debut of actress Sarah Polley, Christie once again proves she is one of the best. And Polley makes an impressive debut as well. Away from Her is a heartbreaking, touching, and unflinching portrait of Alzheimer's and the deterioration of memory. Gordon Pinsent, a Canadian actor before now unknown to me, gives a stirringly heart-wrenching performance as the husband dealing with his wife's mental downfall. Christie won the SAG Award for her complex and insightful portrayal, and she may be the leading contender for the Oscar as well.




3:10 to Yuma -- I have no idea why I missed this at the theater, but I wish I had seen it on the big screen. Nevertheless, I absolutely loved this film. Of course Christian Bale and Russell Crowe give excellent performances, and I also think that Logan Lerman does a masterful job as Bale's son. A well-made Western is a thing of beauty, and 3:10 to Yuma is wonderful. Not only is it gorgeously filmed and smartly acted, but I also found it to be touching and profound.

13 Comments:

At 12:47 AM, Blogger Kath posited...

I saw Away From Her on a plane & knew Julie Christie would be nominated. Up until this weekend, I would have said she was a shoo-in to win, but then I saw La Vie En Rose, and Marion Cotillard was astounding--she completely disappeared into the role of Edith Piaf...

 
At 5:56 AM, Blogger CoachDub posited...

La Vie En Rose should be arriving from Netflix today or tomorrow. From all I have seen, Cotillard is amazing.

 
At 11:44 AM, Blogger Johnny V posited...

Viggo for best nude action scene of all time.

 
At 4:18 PM, Blogger P "N" K posited...

My Dad and I went to see 3:10 to Yuma when it came out and we both thought it was great too. At this point, I'd probably be up for watching any movie with Bale in it.

 
At 4:56 PM, Blogger Johnny V posited...

Even the new Terminator movie?
Normally I would be all about a new Terminator movie.
However, a Terminator without the Governator just doesn't seem right.

 
At 5:31 PM, Blogger P "N" K posited...

I forgot he was going to be in that. You're right. Arnold is that franchise...

but based on what he did with Batman (I am a big, big, big fan of the Batman Begins version) I'd give it a shot.

 
At 5:48 PM, Blogger CoachDub posited...

I'll assume you mean what Christian Bale did with Batman, because if you are still talking about Arnold, you'd best recheck your head. Mr. Freeze!

 
At 5:51 PM, Blogger Kid C posited...

God, "Batman and Robin" was awful.

 
At 6:03 PM, Blogger constant_k posited...

"Ice to meet you!"

 
At 6:04 PM, Blogger constant_k posited...

hey dub did you see tom petty's boring-ass superbowl halftime show?


or was last year's prince post special because hell, he's prince?

 
At 6:05 PM, Blogger constant_k posited...

did you know viggo mortenson is also a published poet and an accomplished jazz musician? because it is true.

 
At 6:44 PM, Blogger CoachDub posited...

Max, I did not see the halftime special because a) I only watched about 15 minutes of the Super Bowl, and b) a Tom Petty performance sounds boring by its very nature.

 
At 7:16 PM, Blogger P "N" K posited...

Oh man, yes, Christian Bale in Batman Begins. Sorry if that wasn't clear.

 

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