Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Nine review

After seeing Nine a few days ago, I can't say that it was a perfect film. I enjoyed the musical numbers, but the story didn't quite work. First of all, Rob Marshall uses the same concept for the musical numbers that he used for Chicago: having the main character imagine the songs in their head. The problem with this is that, unlike with Roxie Hart, the film makers never give a reason why Guido would imagine songs in his head. Another problem is that the characters are never developed enough. Take Marion Cotillard: She's good, but stuck in a one-note role that needs more screen time. Same with Judi Dench. But I thought that Penelope Cruz was exceptional. She's great in her musical number and is able to make her character work. Daniel Day-Lewis is miscast and is unable to make his character be very interesting or compelling. The rest of the cast is good, but it seems like their more cameos then performances. So my grade for the film is a C plus leaning towards to a C. So tell me, what do you think of this film if you've seen it? If you have, do disagree with anything that I've said?

Monday, December 28, 2009

All of my favorite Best Actress nominees

Since a few fellow bloggers have been doing this, I've decided to make my own complete list of all of my favorite Best Actress nominees.

1950: Bette Davis in All About Eve
1950: Gloria Swanson in Sunset Boulevard
1950: Anne Baxter in All About Eve
1954: Judy Garland in A Star Is Born
1965: Julie Andrews in The Sound Of Music
1967: Anne Bancroft in The Graduate
1967: Faye Dunaway in Bonnie Clyde
1974: Faye Dunaway in Chinatown
1976: Sissy Spacek in Carrie
1978: Jill Clayburg in An Unmarried Woman
1983: Debra Winger in Terms Of Endearment
1985: Whoopi Goldberg in The Color Purple
1987: Holly Hunter in Broadcast News
1988: Glenn Close in Dangerous Liasons
1989: Michelle Pfeiffer in The Fabulous Baker Boys
1990: Angelica Huston in The Grifters
1991: Geena Davis and Susan Sarandon in Thelma And Louise
1994: Winona Ryder in Little Women
1995: Elisabeth Shue in Leaving Las Vegas
1996: Brenda Blethyn in Secrets And Lies
1997: Helena Bonham-Carter in The Wings Of The Dove
1997: Judi Dench in Mrs. Brown
1999: Annette Benning in American Beauty
2000: Ellen Burstyn in Requiem For A Dream
2000: Laura Linney in You Can Count On Me
2001: Nicole Kidman in Moulin Rouge
2001: Sissy Spacek in In The Bedroom
2002: Diane Lane in Unfaithful
2002: Julianne Moore in Far From Heaven
2004: Kate Winslet in Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind
2005: Felicity Huffman in Transamerica
2006: Judi Dench in Notes On A Scandal
2006: Meryl Streep in The Devil Wears Prada
2007: Laura Linney in The Savages
2007: Ellen Page in Juno
2008: Anne Hathaway in Rachel Getting Married
2008: Melissa Leo in Frozen River

Saturday, December 19, 2009

My ranking of most of Stephen Sondheim's scores

I'm doing this because Sage's ranking of The Golden Girls (I love that show as well) inspired me to do a post that didn't have anything to do with film or the Oscars. And being a huge Sondheim fan, I'm also doing this for fun. So, here it is:

1. Into The Woods: Not everyone loves it as much as I do, but it is my favorite of all of his scores. It is thought provoking, heartbreaking, funny, ect. The entire cast is great, especially Joanna Gleason and Bernadette Peters.

2. Sweeney Todd: This show is probably considered to be Sondheim's best. Although it isn't my personal favorite, it comes close. A very powerful,disturbing,and emotional score.

3. Company: Very beautiful and insightful. All of the songs are great,but my favorites are: Company, The Little Things You Do Together, Another Hundred People, Barcelona, and The Ladies Who Lunch.

4. Follies: A score which grew on me considerably. Stirring and simply brilliant. Original version is the best,even though it isn't complete.

5. A Little Night Music: Just wonderful. Favorite songs are: A Glamorous Life, You Must Meet My Wife, Every Day A Little Death, A Weekend In The Country, Send In The Clowns, and The Miller's Son.

6. Sunday In The Park With George: Hmm, took me a little time to get used to, (The show itself is a mixed bag and Mandy Patinkin is extremely annoying in the first act), but is eventually rewarding.

7. Assassins: Has a few tracks that I skip, but it still works. Unworthy Of Your Love is truly haunting as is the rest of the score.

As for the rest, I never really got into Passion, Pacific Overtures, and Merrily We Roll Along and I don't count West Side Story and Gypsy since he just wrote the lyrics and I've never listened to A.F.T.H.O.T.W.T.F. So if you care enough to comment, what do you think of Sondheim? What score do you think is his best work?

Monday, December 14, 2009

My thoughts on the awards season so far

This year is not as exciting for me as it was last year. There were more films that I wanted to see and a lot more of contenders that were released before December. The only three ''award contender'' films I've seen are A Bright Star, An Education, and Precious. I absolutely hated A Bright Star and I had favorable to mixed feeling about An Education. Let me just get this out of the way: What's the deal with Mulligan? I mean, she was good, and most likely nomination worthy,but Oscar-caliber? No. Despite my opinion, she's the hot favorite right now to win Best Actress. As for Precious, I really liked it. Maybe the fantasy scenes got a bit much at times, but the performances were great and the script was solid. Well, the Golden Globe nominations came out today and it looks like the Best Picture race is a three way race between The Hurt Locker, Precious, and Up In The Air. Nine might be able to gain some steam,but it's gotten mixed reviews so far. The Lovely Bones used to be the frontrunner,but after seeing the trailer I thought it would back fire and it looks like it did,given that has a 43 % on Rotten Tomatoes according an Oscar site that I follow. Best Actor seems to be between Jeff Bridges (Crazy Heart), Morgan Freeman (Invictus), George Clooney (Up In The Air), and Colin Firth (A Single Man). Best Supporting Actor is a total mystery to me and it looks like Monique is dominating the Supporting Actress race. So,tell me,who do you think will win and/or be nominated this year? What are your thoughts on the awards season so far?

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Guess Who's Coming To Dinner? review

I wasn't planning to watch this film today. I watched about half of A Room At The Top on my computer and I was going to finish it but I watched G.W.C.T.D instead on TV (thanks for giving me the link to it anyway Sage and I might rewatch it). I have to say that I didn't like it at all. It's a horribly dated film which is extremely hard to take. On the plus side,Spencer Tracy and Sidney Poiter delivered strong performances and Tracy's big speech at the end is quite good. As for Hepburn,I don't think that she deserved her Oscar.She is not bad,but her performance is dull and not Oscar-caliber. But I do think that her role is a leading one. Yes,her role is underwritten,but she and Tracy are co-leads. But when I do a Best Actress ranking,she'll probably rank somewhere near the end. But tell me what do you think of this film? Do you disagree with anything I've said about it? Do you think Hepburn deserved to win?

Sissy Spacek in Carrie