Saturday, December 31, 2011

My Week With Marilyn

My Week With Marilyn tells the story of a young man named Collin Clark, who gets a job as the third assistant director of a film starring Marilyn Monroe and Laurence Olivier. Marilyn's insecurities drive everyone crazy especially Olivier, but Collin falls in love with her.

I don't really know what to think about this movie: It's very much like a T.V movie, it's just not cinematic or big enough of a story. I wanted to see much more, more of the making of The Prince And The Showgirl,more of Marilyn, more of her assistant Paula. And more of Judi Dench!!! I love her, and she's just great in this! Anyway, Michelle Williams is mixed for me. I thought she was good, but the material affects her work and sometimes I thought her Marilyn was an obvious imitation at times. But her performance has a subtle,striking depth to it that makes it worthwhile and I wouldn't say a nominaion is undeserved. I liked seeing Emma Watson as Marilyn's wardrobe lady, knowing that she can do something out of Harry Potter, and Eddie Redmayne was fine as Collin.

So, I was disappointed in My Week With Marilyn mostly because it feels very fake and doesn't ring true as a biography of Marilyn Monroe. As for William's Oscar chances, she has a very good chance given her critics awards,but unless she wins the SAG, I don't think it'll happen yet fort her. WE'll see. The critics choice awards and the Golden Globes awards will be announced in two weeks and then we'll all have a better idea who the frontrunners are.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Best Actress 1965: Julie Christie in Darling

Julie Christie received her 1st Oscar nomination and won for playing Diana Scott, a selfish, manipulative young woman who goes from affair to affair until her actions come back to haunt her.

Darling is a rather dull film. Maybe it was deliberate, given it's point is to show the shallowness of the upper-class, but it is simply not too interesting and it's often confusing and random. But it's all held together by Julie Christie who is the only reason to watch the film.

Diana Scott is, as I've said, is a very selfish character. She cares only about herself, and runs from man to man simply for pleasure. But Julie Christie makes her likeable: Christie brings a certain charm and delicious quality to Diana that makes us like her despite the fact she is a total liar. Christie captures the playful, childlike quality of Diana and gives an extremeley subtle, brilliantly executed performance.It's a very low-key, unusual portrayal and it's a testament to her acting ability that Christie simply becomes Diana.No actress could have played Diana,in fact I don't even consider it a role.It's that believable.

Christie uses her face and her presence on screen to show us every layer of Diana. We see how much she loves manipulating people and the pleasure she gets out of men. We also see how much she likes children, and a great scene is when she has just had an abortion and we see how devastated she is. Despite the fact her co-stars are extremeley boring,Christie is able to succeed with them, especially Harvey. My only complaint is the material sometimes drags her down. There are scenes when she randomly gets angry and they don't seem to work, though they're wonderfully acted. Christie gets better and better,developing the character of Diana so well, it's wonderful to watch.The ending of the film is so powerful and well-played by Christie, it's mesmerizing.

Christie's performance starts on a strong note and builds and builds,resulting in a unique, terrific performance that rises above a mediocre film.

Friday, December 23, 2011

The Artist review

The film which is currently the frontrunner for Best Picture is certainly worth seeing. It's about an actor named George Valentin (Jean Dujardin) who is a famous silent film star.He meets a woman named Peppy Miller who is an aspiring fan of his who soon gets a job at the studio he is working for.They fall in love,but he soon is hampered by the rise of talking pictures and becomes washed up and extremeley depressed.

This film is such a beautiful, sophisticated one. The story isn't too original,but the inventiveness and the creative storytelling makes it brilliant. Valentin's dog is a such a funny and touching aspect to the movie. I was so scared that he would shun the dog or he would be hurt by somehow,thank God he didn't!I just hate seeing animal abuse on screen. Anyway,the film brings up a lot of questions about silent movies, at least for me. Are they still a worthwhile type of film? This one certainly's such an expressive story, the words aren't really needed.And were people really tired of silent films or did they just want to see something new?

The performances in this film were fantastic: Jean Dujardin gives such a suave, powerful performance.He makes his character so well-rounded and magnetic. Bernencie Bejo is terrific, making her character so illuminating and truthful. Both deserve Oscar nominations, and maybe even wins.

The Artist certainly is one of the year's best, though i wouldn't quite call it Best Picture. It doesn't quite have the gut or the magic that I see in a film I think should win Best Picture. I would have no complaints if it won though, and I highly recommend it.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

The way I'm feeling right now

I'm so happy to be back in the blogging current now, this may seem cheesy, but I'm feeling so good to be back!!!

The Descendants review

Yesterday, I saw my 1st Oscar contender, besides The Help, this year. The Descendants is about a man named Matt King(George Clooney) whose wife Elizabeth King is now in a coma and has no hope for recovery. He is now in responsibility for his two daughters, Scotty (Amara Miller) and Alex (Shailene Woodley). He soon discovers that she was cheating on him, and he makes it his main goal to discover who he was.

First of all, George Clooney gives a great performance. Instead of just playing himself, he goes deeper then he's ever been, showing the real sides of this man. He deserves an Oscar nomination, and maybe even an win. As for Woodley, I found her overrated. She's great in the beginning, but she becomes increasingly annoying over time. Miller is fine, but there are some strange, unbelievable things with her character.For example, when she gives the finger to the man who was somewhat responsible for her mother's fate and the fact that her father had a councilor tell her that her mother would die. If I was in that situation, I'd feel so much worse that a stranger had told me instead of a family member. That just doesn't work. The standout supporting performance is Judy Greer who should be nominated hands-down. She's so great and heartbreaking as Elizabeth's lover's wife. Anyway, the script is fantastic: Despite some predictable moments, it tells such a wrenching, touching story with some humor along the way. But I would never call this a comedy. The film is so sad, I'm still a little down about the whole thing.

Another really effective aspect of the film is the Hawaiian setting. The scenery is so beautiful, and the music fits it perfectly. I really reccomend this movie, though it did hit close to home because my Grandfather was in a similar situation. I personally wouldn't want to see it again, but I think it has really good chances at the Oscars and it's definetely worthy.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Best Actress 1965

Since it's been so long since 1971 was started, I've decided to put it on hold and instead do 1965.

The nominees were:

Julie Andrews in The Sound Of Music

Julie Christie in Darling

Samantha Eggar in The Collector

Elizabeth Hartman in A Patch Of Blue

Simone Signoret in A Ship Of Fools

So who are you rooting for? Who do you think will win?

P.S: I REALLY REALLY mean to finish this one and revive this blog. The only time there will be updates on Fridays or weekends, and it'll take longer then I used to, but the computer has gotten very boring to me and I want to branch out in my interests again. Plus, it's Oscar season! YAY!!!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Open Thread:

Hello everyone!!!! Again, ugh, long time no see. I've been literally off the blogging circuit for quite a while now. Anyway, to get the momentum rolling again, I present an Open Thread, that will kick off the new Oscar Season.

Obviously, the topic is, who do you think will win? Are you rooting for anyone right now? Any particular films out now that you think are interesting?

Saturday, October 8, 2011


I've always been one of the few who likes Andrew Lloyd Webber. I think his songs are somewhat mediocre at times, but their extremeley beautiful and sometimes very captivating. I was never too in to Evita until last summer, when I really fell love in it.

It tells the real-life story of Eva Peron, a woman who grew up extremely poor in the country of Argentina,but her ambition to get herself out of the gutter took her on a mountain-climb where she became an actress, a radio star, a singer, a model, and, eventually, the First Lady Of Argentina. I find the story quite compelling and interesting and I think the adaptation is quite great.

First, of course, the music: I find the score overall very strong, though there are some mediocre moments such as The Art Of The Possible (A very dull, monotounus song, except for Eva's Part). The rest of the songs are fairly great, although I feel some are rather badly written, but still listenable and not horrible. Just, Webber writes a great song, but includes some mediocre verses that drag the song down a little. The song Eva, Beware Of The City is a teriffic number, but the chorus parts for Eva's family are simply not very good, plus the singers aren't that pleasant to listen to. But the best songs in this are probably Buenos Aires (A very zesty, fiery song, full of life),I'd Be Surprisingly Good For You (Quite entrancing and enjoyable), Another Suitcase In Another Hall (So sad, yet great), A New Argentina (Powerful!), Don't Cry For Me Argentina (Of Course!), Rainbow High (A personal favorite, such energy!), The Actress Hasn't Learned The Lines/The Money Kept Rolling In (Great, unusual too!).

Of course, Patti Lupone was the perfect Eva and it shows on the cast-album. It's a star-making part, and she gives it such power, and strength. Lupone states that it was a huge challenge to play the part, given how hard the score is, plus no one ever gave her any support or direction on how to play her. I find the latter part hard to believe, given I've been in a musical (maybe not a professional one, but still) and it's impossible that no one would help you play a part. But anyway, Lupone was amazing in the role, and won a well-deserved Tony for it. As for Mandy Patinkin, he is Che, but I don't really care for him. He is fantastic, but I just don't like his style. It's much better here then in S.I.T.P.W.G though, and I've grown to like him.

So, I highly recommend looking into this show if you haven't, and anything by Ms. Lupone in it, though this is clearly her best work.

Sunday, October 2, 2011


It's been a long time since I've posted here, and commented on anyone's blogs really, and I'm really sorry about the latter especially. Well, I have been busy, but that's not the main reason: I'm simply burned out on movies and the Oscars, but I think my spark will be re-ignited come this Oscar Season.

But another reason is that I've felt angry about the fact that I didn't get as many comments or interest in my blog as before, and I've felt this way for a while, but I think that's mostly my fault due to not posting as often as I used to, and as I've said before, I concentrate a lot of my energy on my singing now, so that and school have taken up my most time. And also, because I'm more interested in musicals right now then in theatre, and my interests usually peek between those two. Perhaps I could post posts about them instead? But I don't know how many of you are interested, but I'll give it a shot! plus, I REALLY REALLY want to do an Open Thread! And I want it to be a really long and engaging one! Any topic suggestions?

Monday, September 5, 2011

Best Actress 1971: Jane Fonda in Klute

Jane Fonda received her 2nd nomination and won for playing Bree Daniels, a call-girl who doesn't really know or like herself, and is addicted to what she does because it is the only thing that makes her feel secure. But she is being stalked by a man who beat her up previously, and a detective named John Klute (Donald Sutherland) who is investigating the disappearance of a man who is in some ways connected to the case, comes to investigate her and the two begin a strange, yet profound relationship.

No matter what her political motivations are, there's no doubt Jane Fonda is a fantastic actress. She was terrfic in They Shoot Horses Don't They? two years earlier and wildily impressed me in Julia which came out 6 years after this performance. Bur here, she outdoes even Julia, and it's no wonder she won the Oscar.

Bree Daniels is, in someways, a pathetic character: She has no self-confidence, and no self-respect, and she does what she does so she can feel like she has some control over her life. But we can't help but like her, even love her. Bree is not stupid: She's actually quite intelligent, but her feelings get in the way of doing the right thing because she finds it so difficult.

Fonda shows the transformation of Bree brilliantly: She starts out quite insecure and sad, but changes as she sees that Klute cares about her, and how her life-style is so dangerous and evil, and how Klute's love or affection for her is so shocking, yet so meaningful to her. Her therapy sessions are amazing scenes for Fonda, because she shows us the person behind Bree's facade: A vulnerable, confused, and self-conscious woman whose life is taking it's toll on her.

When I mentioned that Bree is somewhat of a loveable character, it is because how well Fonda plays her sarcastic line banters with Sutherland. She just pulls it off so well.

Jane Fondas is subtle, complicated, and terrific as Bree, a role which could have gone horribly wrong in another actress's hands. She gets

Monday, August 22, 2011

Best Actress 1971: Janet Suzman in Nicholas And Alexandra

Janet Suzman received her first Oscar nomination and last to date for playing Empress Alexandra in Nicholas And Alexandra. She is a woman who takes advantage of her husband to get what she wants, especially with regards to her son, who is sihttp:with hemophilia, a genetic disorder which causes terrible bleeding. Alexandra makes her husband call on Rasputin, a foolish, power-hungry man who claims to have holy healing powers. Eventually, the royal family is disgarded and disgraced from the palace after the people have had enough of being denied their well-being due to the power hungry Alexandra and Nicholas.

This movie is simply a confusing mess. The story is indeed somewhat interesting, but is just so mishandled and hard to follow that you stop caring towards the end. I suppose the acting is alright, and Suzman is indeed the stand-out of the film. Alexandra is not a terrible person, merely she only cares about things that affect her and her family, especially her son, she pays no attention to the suffering of her people. She does a strong job of showing her grief over her son's disease and her determination to stop it. I'd say her best moments are in the beginning, these moments where she's trying to help her son. Unfortunately, the middle of the film is such an over-wrought mess that she is lost in the shuffle, and becomes underwhelming (I also thought her delivery was a bit too mannered at times, but that's a minor complaint).

When the family are removed from the palace and sent to Siberia, she is fairly good, and quite great when we see her shattered from her experience of being poor and hated. But the film just focused on her husband and random, confusing things that took all the focus away from Suzman, and her performance does not recover.

I'm divided on what to give her, but I suppose I'll give her a

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Best Actress 1971

Yep, that's right! Joe Burns is back on the Best Actress train! I'm excited and determined to finish it with well-paced timing!

So, the nominees were:

Julie Christie in Mcabe and Mrs. Miller

Jane Fonda in Klute

Glenda Jackson in Sunday Bloody Sunday

Vanessa Redgrave in Mary , Queen Of Scots

Janet Suzman in Nicholas And Alexandra

Your thoughts? What do you think my ranking will be? Which nominee would you like me to do first?

Monday, August 15, 2011

Open Thread: Upsets

Open threads are so much fun! And this is a juicy topic! Here we go: In this open thread, we will discuss so-called oscar upsets, meaning what you think is the biggest one of all time, which one was the biggest one in a particular category, one in which you were happy that happened/happy about, and upsets that, in your opinion, were not upsets, and so on and so on.

Let's make this a long and fun conversation/debate!

My opinion on the biggest, but a thrilling upset:

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Stage Door (1937)

Today, I watched Stage Door with my mother on TCM which turned out to be a pretty entertaining, if somewhat melodramatic movie, but with great acting from Katharine Hepburn in particular. It is about a wealthy woman Terry Randall, who has moved into a boarding house for women pursuing careers in theatre. She meets a shattered actress (Andrea Leads), who is desperate for the new role in a play called Enchanted April, a bitter dancer looking for love ( Ginger Rogers), among others.

The concept of this film seems so original and fantastic today: Can you believe it? A house for girls wanting to make it in the theatre? Such a great idea! In fact, back then, these houses really existed, according to the hosts of TCM.

Anyway, the script has a lot o great points, especially with Hepburn's character, who is so witty and shot out of a cannon. My personal favorite though was Rogers: I loved how perfectly she captured this woman, and made her so affecting and likeable. But sadly, neither received an Oscar nomination: Leads did for her role as Kay. I thought she was good, but the character lacked other dimensions. Too bad she was the only one nominated from the cast.

Anyway, I felt the film was entertaining and effective, but the ending didn't work as well as it should for me. I didn't buy the resolution to the film: It felt too predictable at points, like a new girl arriving at the house to replace the one who just left. We've seen that before! Still, I reccomend the film for it's story and overall great acting.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

B.S.A: Mary Steenburgen in Melvin And Howard

Mary Steenburgen received her first Oscar nomination and won for playing Lynda Dummar, the crazy wife of Melvin Dummar, a loser who one night picks up and befriends a man who claims to be Howard Hughes, and sometime into the film, we discover that it really was him, and that he left him quite a bit of money in his will.

Melvin And Howard is a crazy, entertaining film that is a bit of an awkward mess. Right after Hughes disappears from the movie, we are simply rushed into the situation of wife leaving, then his daughter leaving, then getting married to her again. Huh? There needs to be more explanation here, and it just doesn't click. I suppose this is the point of the movie though, and although she's hampered by the flaws in the story Mary Steenburgen does succeed with her part.

Lynda is an eccentric, rather stupid, but in a good way, and Steenburgen has fun with the part, doing everything that she should do. The part fits her like a glove, no one else could play the part as well as she could. Steenburgen aslso brings radiance and love-ability to Lynda, we like her despite her stupid decisions and the scripts poor handling of her.

Still, the scripts bad handling of the part is too damaging for me to love her performance or call her one of the best winners in this category, but like the film itelf, we can't help finding it enduring and wonderful at the end.