Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Just get through the goddamned day.

I've seen some movies lately. Here are my mini reviews:

Precious is a powerhouse of a film, fueled by an amazing cast. Newcomer Gabourey Sidibe is astounding as Precious, an obese, almost illiterate, inner-city teenager who is pregnant with her second baby, both fathered by her own father. Precious has a few dreams, but she has been so damaged by her abusive family, led by an absolutely amazing and disturbing performance by comedian Mo'Nique, that she cannot really see any way out. While the film is mostly a depressing and disturbing one, notes of hope shine through.

Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans is fucked up. Nicolas Cage does some of his most interesting work in years, and director Werner Herzog adds some very strange touches, and overall this film is worth seeing. The story is compelling and very darkly hilarious. Did I mention the break dancers? How about the iguana's-eye view from a coffee table? Yeah, this movie is fucked up. Go see it.

Invictus is good, but not as good as it should be. Of course Clint Eastwood is a great director, but he does better with darker material. While the direction here works well, it lacks the Eastwood edginess that he adds to his other, better films. Morgan Freeman plays Nelson Mandela, and does a fairly good job. One does not like to criticize Freeman, or anything to do with Nelson Mandela, but I think Freeman could have used a little more time with the dialect coach. Matt Damon, on the other hand, does a great job as the captain of the South African rugby team. I liked this movie because it portrays something about history I did not know. It puts a familiar time period in unfamiliar light, and that aspect works well. Invictus definitely has some very good, goose bump-inducing moments, and I definitely liked the movie. But I did not love it. Its pedigree warrants more.

A Single Man, directed by iconic fashion designer Tom Ford, is a visually stunning film. Set in the early 1960s, A Single Man tells the story of a lonely college professor mourning the death of his longtime partner, who has died in a car accident. Colin Firth, the excellent British actor, plays George, the lead character--and Firth truly shines here. This performance, filled with sadness, passion, and cleverness, will earn Firth an much-deserved Oscar nomination. Julianne Moore (one of my favorites) plays George's drunken best friend, who wants to be more to George than a friend, but of course George is gay. Young British actor Nicholas Hoult (most well-known as the kids from About a Boy) also does an excellent job here as an eager student looking to broaden his horizons, and this film will open a lot of doors for this young actor. Director Tom Ford has a wonderful eye for capturing glorious shots and finding beauty in sadness. A Single Man is a pretty depressing film, and probably not for everyone, but it is an impressive directorial debut.


At 10:16 AM, Blogger matt posited...

Are you going to be live blogging the Oscars again? I need someplace to hang out via web chats during that time. Also, is it odd that I am gearing up for an event that is still over three months away?

I can't stand living in central Minnesota largely due to the fact that I have to travel an unreasonable distance if I want to go see a movie worth seeing. I'm still amazed that St. Cloud is showing "Up In The Air."

At 8:00 PM, Blogger CoachDub posited...

Hi Matt. Yes, I'm sure I'll be blogging the Oscars! Stay tuned . . .


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