Saturday, February 15, 2014

Oscar Season - Best Actress

Today we saw Philomena which features Judi Dench's Oscar nominated Best Actress performance. Dench's was the last Best Actress nominee for us to see, so I now feel I can give an opinion on this category.

I loved American Hustle and though Amy Adams was just wonderful, she is overshadowed by others even in that movie. A share really; in a different year this might have been enough to win. When you see these clips you realize how amazing she was:

I am a big Gravity fan, and thought Sandra Bullock's performance is the glue that binds that startling story together; the amount of time she is the only thing on the screen must have been frightening to consider. But, I needed a little bit more from her than I got. I'm not sure what that would have been, but just a little something more. Hard to find a clip that showcases Bullock's range in this film, but just know that the emotion you are getting in most of these scenes is transmitted through her eyes and her voice; nothing else is even real.

Judi Dench was spectacular as the real life Philomena and in a normal year, she might win for this amazing performance that is funny and poignant and vulnerable and all so real.

But through it all one performance kept pulling me back. Kate Blanchett in Blue Jasmine jut blew me away. As the widow of a Bernie Madoff type character who has lost everything, she is nothing short of spectacular:

So for me that was it, a slam dunk for Blanchett. And then I saw August: Osage County and Meryl Streep just killed it. Every time I think I have seen everything that Streep can give us, she gives us something new, something more. This is not the best scene in the film by far, but you can surely see here that she is on top of her game.

So my choice for Best Actress is the incomparable Meryl Streep.

Saturday, February 08, 2014

Oscar Season - Supporting Actress

Oscar season is upon us and like every year, I like to be a well opinionated person. When I give an opinion of who or what should win, I like it to be based on knowledge of all nominees, not just one or two. So, this time of the year we see a lot of movies.

Last night it was 12 Years A Slave, up for nine Academy Awards:

Actor in a Leading Role
Actor in a Supporting Role
Actress in a Supporting Role
Best Picture
Costume Design
Film Editing
Production Design
Writing (Adapted Screenplay)

Yeah, it was pretty damn good. A little hard to watch, the inhumanity of slavery is just too much for my sensibilities, but a very good film. With this film, we have now seen all of the "Actress in a Supporting Role" nominees, so I can now venture an opinion on this award.  To me it is a close race between Julia Roberts for August: Osage County and Jennifer Lawrence for American Hustle. I would be happy with either winning, though I think I would vote for Jennifer Lawrence by a hair.

Both have extremely powerful scenes, worthy of an Oscar. When Julia Roberts says to her mother, "I'm fucking in charge!" she had me completely, but when Jennifer Lawrence admits, "I don't like change, It's really hard for me," in my opinion, she won the award. See what I mean:

Monday, February 03, 2014

A Long, Long Time Ago

Fifty-five years to be exact, that was the day the music died for a whole generation of rock and roll fans, the first generation of rock and roll fans.

I don't remember the year, but it was the early 60s and I was playing a stack of my brother's 45s as I was wont to do in those days. A lot of doo-wop, a taste of Del Vikings, a little Stagger Lee ("Oh the night was clear, and the moon was yellow...") and something I had never played before. It was a song called "Oh Boy" and I found it infectious.

When my brother came home later that day I asked him who the Crickets were and he looked at me and said, "Oh...that's Buddy Holly."

And I said, "I like these others Jack, but this is just the best. Do you have any of his recent records? I want to listen to them." And that's when he told me.

And I was shocked, because in my world only really old people died and this guy didn't sound old. And it changed me a bit. Buddy Holly taught me that anyone could die. But over the years he taught me that anyone could live on beyond their body's demise, 'cause the Beatles played Buddy Holly and the Rolling Stones played Buddy Holly and over the years lots of people played Buddy Holly. And even those who did not record Buddy's songs, were influenced by his music.

Thank you Buddy, I wish I could have known you.

If it Wasn't for Junk EMail...

...I wouldn't have no email at all. To paraphrase Mr. Ray Charles.
I am not sure who the spammers think I am, but every single day I get two emails for each of these products/services:
  • Exotic Car Rental
  • Luxury Yacht Rental
  • Private Jet Rental
People, I make a good living, but not that good of a living.