Monday, 18 January 2010

67th Annual Golden Globe Awards

Best Motion Picture – Drama: Avatar
Ok... it was pretty good, but I can't help but wish Tarantino had got this for Inglorious.

Best Motion Picture - Musical or Comedy: The Hangover
I did think this film was hilarious, and although I liked Nine it was lacking in something essential to  make it a classic, so I'm fairly glad that did not win.

Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture – Drama: Jeff Bridges for Crazy Heart
Unfortunately I haven't seen this yet, but no comment.

Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture – Drama: Sandra Bullock for The Blind Slide
I have also not caught this yet, but I'm not a Sandra Bullock fan so I imagine I would be dissatisfied.

Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture - Musical or Comedy: Robert Downey Jr. for Sherlock Holmes
Hurrah, is all I can say to this!

Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture - Musical or Comedy: Helen Mirren for Julie and Julia
Ok, Helen Mirren is good, but Marion Cotillard happens to be my biggest girl-crush ever, so I do wish she had won this for Nine, her performance made the film.

Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture: Christoph Waltz for Inglorious Basterds.
Waltz as incredible as Col. Hans Landa, there was no competition.

Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture: Mo'Nique for Precious.
Didn't see this, but Penelope Cruz was a strong contender for me so it's a shame to see her usurped.

Best Director - Motion Picture: James Cameron for Avatar.
Same feelings as before; he's good, but Tarantino was better.

Best Screenplay - Motion Picture: Up in the Air.
Fair play...broken record that I am... INGLORIOUS.

Best Animated Film: Up.

For the nominees and the rest of the awards, go here.
What did you think of the results?

Monday, 4 January 2010

Nowhere Boy

Director: Sam Taylor Wood
Starring: Aaron Johnston, Tom Sangster, Kristin Scott Thomas and Anne-Marie Duff.

Let us ignore the somewhat questionable relationship between the 40+ Director and the 19 year old star in this film. It has actually made me think about the irrelevance of such details; aside from rare dictation of who gets what role in the film, how can we consider gossip and scandal as a deciding factor in our judgement of films? Conversing witha  good friend the other day, I was asked, somewhat to my surprise 'How can you watch Platoon when you know what Charlie Sheen has done?' My response to this was, obviously, it's a good film, it doesn't matter who is in it or what they have done. Some musicians have questionable personalities and 'habits', can we let this get in the way of our appreciation of their work? Lord Byron was a known arse, yet his poetry is some of the best I have ever read.

Ranting aside, it is safe to say my external opinions of some people involved in the making of this gem did not obscure my appreciation of this film, and nor do they or should they matter to you. The acting is incredible, expected from Scott Thomas and Duff, and something of a pleasant surprise from the younger stars in this film, who have come a long way from Love Actually and Angus, Thongs and Perfect Snogging... The shooting was also beautiful, perfectly nostalgic and reflective of the 50's and early 60's, and the easy relation s between Observer and actor make empathy for the young John Lennon unavoidable, even when he is not acting in a way that calls for sympathy in any way. Go and see this, go and enjoy this, then tell me what you thought!

Sunday, 3 January 2010

A Serious Man

Director: The Coen Brothers (Joel and Ethan Coen)
Starring: Michael Stuhlbarg, Richard Kind, Fred Melamed and Sari Lennick

I've been long awaiting this film; it's not often that a director, or in this case the directors, are so consistent at making amazing films. And A Serious Man flouts no preconceptions of the siblings' work. The film is darkly hilarious, wonderfully awkward and the protagonist's frustrations and despairs translate seamlessly into the viewer's reality. The film is characteristic of the Brothers' work; strangely pleasing and wholly random, but with social and cultural commentary in it's veins. If you liked Barton Fink and Raising Arizona, it is closer in style to these than more light-hearted films like Burn After Reading and O Brother Where Art Thou. Whatever your preferences, even if the names Joel and Ethan Coen are fresh to your poor, incomplete ears, watch this film, fork out the cinema fees. It's another Coen Masterpiece.

Personal Favourties From the 'Noughties'

Ingloriuos Basterds; Quentin Tarantino (2009). What Tarantino film doesn't fit the bill of the perfect film? Inglorious has to be one of my favourite films of all time. And the acting... Impeccable, especially on the part of Christoph Waltz, who chills to the bone as the masochistic Colonel Hans Landa. Laugh, cry, grimace... do whatever you want, so long as you admire.

Into The Wild; Sean Penn (2007). One of the films that sparked my love for all things cinema, introduced me to Emile Hirsch, and made me want to burn all my money and run away... until the end. It is an imperative part of life that you see this film; if you're anything like me, it will change yours.

The Dark Knight; Christopher Nolan (2008). Epic in every sense of the word. Amazing in every sense of the word. and hats off to Maggie Gyllenhaal for making the only disappointing character in the preluding film, Batman Begins, a central and fascinating role. And, obviously, Heath Ledger wows and terrifies us with his penultimate and best performance, winning a posthumous Oscar, which was certainly not just out of pity.

The Prestige; Christopher Nolan (2006). Another of Nolan's masterpieces, the Prestige is amazingly clever and lots of fun, a good film all round, and it fails to surprise me that he features twice in my line-up...

O Brother Where Art Thou; Joel & Ethan Coen (2000). This could be any one of these incredible sibling's films, but O Brother... just so happens to be a favourite of mine. These two geniuses are figureheads of modern cinema.

Slumdog Millionaire; Danny Boyle (2008). Wiped the board at the awards and for good reason, Boyle's adaptation of the little known novel Q&A is a menagerie of visuals, audio and acting that leave your mouth open in wonder.

La Vie En Rose (Fr: La Mome); Olivier Dahan (2007). You can't go amiss with a good musician's biopic, and singer Edith Piaf's rubble-to-the-Ritz life is explored beautifully in this French wonder, for which Marion Cotillard won a much deserved Oscar.  

Sherlock Holmes; Guy Ritchie (2009). Perhaps because it is so fresh in my memory, but this film was resoundingly excellent, as is the pattern with Ritchie's films, I have loved Snatch, Lock, Stock... and Rock n' Rolla all as much as this. Reviewed below.

Public Enemies; Michael Mann (2009). For me, Johnny Depp never fails to impress; it's a wonder this is his only film I have chosen. Obviously dashingly handsome, mind-blowingly good at acting, in fact possibly one of the best actors in history. I do not exaggerate. Along with Christian Bale and Marion Cotillard, Depp stars in the incredible story of John Dillinger; definitely one to watch, if you haven;t already.