Thursday, January 25, 2007
more movies & the oscars...

Okay. Let's start with "Bobby". Yes, I saw this film, too...For anyone who is not familiar with any of the current films, this is about June 4th, 1968 at The Ambassador Hotel, here in Los Angeles which was Bobby Kennedy's headquarters for this very important day...What was this day? It was the day of the Primary election, here in Los Angeles and if you look in my archives I wrote a post about this very day because I had worked on the Eugene McCarthy campaign...he was running against Bobby Kennedy as Democratic candidate for the Presidency of The United States, in 1968.

This is a very worthy film. Written and Directed by Emilio Estavez, (one of Martin Shean's sons), it is very heartfelt and an important piece of work. Why is it important? Because of all the wonderful things that Emilio Estavez has chosen to include from Bobby Kennedy's speeches. And there is much that we hear said in Bobby Kennedy's voice...wonderful, eloquent, meaningful things that we can take to our hearts in this horrific time we are living in right now as I write this.....As I said in that archival post...we have no voices like this now....We have no Martin Luther King's, (who was assassinated exactly two months to the day before Bobby Kennedy was shot....Kennedy died two days later on June 6th), We have no Bobby Kennedy's.

Can any of you who didn't live through all this imagine what it was like to live through those few months back in 1968?
Can any of you imagine what it was like to have two of the last great hopes for the leadership of this country, killed, just two months apart? It was more than horrific. I don't think our country has ever recovered from these terrible losses that began really with John F. Kennedy's assassination in November of 1963, and continued with the killings of Medgar Evers and Malcom X, and then MLK and Bobby Kennedy. Truly, the country never really has recovered.

But back to "Bobby"....This is not a great or perfect film....I wish it were. It has too many recognizable 'stars' in it that I found distracting, unfortunately....too many 'famous' people playing parts in the film that could have been played by people we do not yet have an association to....
Lindsey Lohan? Sharon Stone? No. I was taken completely out of the movie by these two actresses, and it's really not their fault. They are both very good and worthy actresses, but there is just too much media hoopla surrounding
them, particularly Lindsey Lohan....the constant "in your face" photographs and the watching of every move made under a microscope----it is hard to separate all that from 'the work' least it was for me. And again I say, it is not her fault.

I saw "Babel", too.....another very worthy film, but so damn depressing...! It is a complex story that jumps around from one country to another, but all the stories are connected, ultimately, and it is filled with violence...So many films today inundate us with horrible awful violent scenes....again, too much for me....The actors are all truly truly wonderful, and I was not distracted by 'the star' names in this film, at all, and I'm not sure why exactly....but, anyway, it has now been nominated for Best Picture by The Academy.

2006 was quite a year, as it turned out, for a lot of really good good films. Besides the previously mentioned "Babel" there were four other very wonderful films nominated for Best Picture of 2006. And these other terrific and memorable films are, "Little Miss Sunshine",
a small but utterly delightful and engaging ensemble film with exceptionally wonderful performances by everyone who is in it, but I would have to say the two 'stand out' performances are the fabulously talented Alan Arkin, (who should win for Best Supporting Actor, but probably won't because Eddie Murphy will win that one....) and that darling little girl, Abigail Breslin, who is the little Miss Sunshine of the title, and who has been nominated for her performance in the Best Supporting Actress category. The chances of this dear little girl winning are slim, because it is pretty much "a lock" for Jennifer Hudson.

Then we have "The Departed", the Scorsese film which I liked very very much---it is a 'movie movie' in the old fashioned 1940's-studio-film-kind-of-way....I was never bored for a second....and it has some very wonderful performances in it, too. Both Leonardo DiCaprio and Matt Damon are very very good, and as always, Jack Nicholson is terrific. It is kind of spooky, but at times you are not sure if you are looking at Matt Damon or Leonardo DiCaprio....and it is obvious that that is what Scorsese wanted....and it works like gangbusters! And of course, as with any film by Scorsese, it too is filled with a lot of violence.

And then we have the superbly touching film "The Queen", with the always 'spot on' Helen Mirren, (this may be her year, too, for the Oscar...though one never knows what the Academy members might do....) "The Queen" is a truly truly wonderful picture.
Very moving and quite funny, too. It is a beautifully rendered depiction of the events in England immediately following Princess Diana's death...And the great Helen Mirren of course plays Queen Elizabeth II and is magnificent...There is not one false move in her truthful performance. It is in no way a caricature but always a flesh and blood woman with a heart. Not an easy.

And last but by no means least, there is my personal favorite, and my pick for Best Picture, "Letters From Iwo Jima", which I wrote about already in a previous post. I hope with all my heart that it wins though I don't think it will, even though I think it should...though, again, one never knows what the Academy members will do....and quite frankly, I kind of like that the Academy is often unpredictable.

I didn't intend this to be about the nominations for the Oscars but they were just announced on Tuesday morning and I am so glad that I have now seen so very many of the films and performances nominated...It makes the Academy Awards much more interesting for me if I have seen the films....Do I think "Dreamgirls" was shut out? No! It received the most nominations of any film...I believe that number was 8 nominations. So to suggest that it has been snubbed or shut out, which is what 'the media' is trying to tell us and 'sell' us just because it didn't receive a Best Picture Nomination, is total hogwash.

It would be very very interesting if "Little Miss Sunshine" wins
Best Picture as it did from The Producer's Guild of America....And there is an outside chance that that could happen...As I have already stated the Academy members always go there own way, and if "Sunshine" does win, that would be rather a triumph considering it is a little movie that is about a little but important idea...the other movies that have been nominated are 'big' movies in every sense...big subjects each with a panoramic sweep....Not so with "Little Miss Sunshine", but a very important little picture, none the less....Time will tell.

More To Come....

had this to say:

Oh I sooo wish I had the time and opportunity to see all the greatest latest films the way I used to! I hate that movies come out and have their run and end up not even on dvd but tv before I have the chance to see them. It's just not the same!! Back when I was doing my Arts degree (in Media) I used to see everything. I guess that's why I love reading posts like this, at least I'm kept up to date - and in a wonderfully intellegent, informative way too! Thank you Naomi!!! Great post!

Thursday, January 25, 2007 at 3:00:00 AM PST 

had this to say:

The Oscars are always hard to call aren't they but as you say there are some very deserving perofmances and films in the nominations.

I don't think 'The Queen' did so well over here and it saddens me that most of the UK is anti-monarchy these days. It strikes me that this is becasue the majority of the populace misunderstand the role of the monarchy and how important our Queen is internationally as THE ambassador for the UK and the Commonwealth. They dod not understand her role in the constitution, her role as head of the armed forces or as head of the Civil Service (which prevents Blair adn others like him from becoming President and over-riding Parliamnet etc.). This is of course due to the media.

I have yet to see some of the films that ahve been nominated but I will do, excpet perhaps Babel for now as I really don't want to watch anything depressing, though I am intrigued by the film 'Bobby'. I think there are many potential great leaders out there but who never realsie that potential because the time is not right for them or because most people who rise to the top do so for money and power and not because they have a genuine interest in making things better.

Thursday, January 25, 2007 at 6:55:00 AM PST 

had this to say:

I've seen little miss sunshine, and thought it was great. I haven't seen any of the others. I'm anxious to see where the awards go, I usually disagree with the decisions, so it should be interesting. =)

Thursday, January 25, 2007 at 7:52:00 AM PST 

had this to say:

I have not seen any of these movies yet, Naomi, but I hope to very soon. I will skip the ones with violence though. I really don't enjoy seeing that.

Thursday, January 25, 2007 at 8:56:00 AM PST 

had this to say:

I've seen The Departed and Little Miss Sunshine and liked them both. Little Miss Sunshine was my favorite movie of the year.

Thursday, January 25, 2007 at 9:47:00 AM PST 

had this to say:

I haven't seen any of these, but I would like to see Little Miss Sunshine. It sounds adorable! No violence for me though!

Thanks for this post. You keep us well informed Naomi!

Thursday, January 25, 2007 at 9:52:00 AM PST 

had this to say:

I think that when famous people play famous people as in "Bobby", it does distract you and pull you out of the story, so I know what you mean. It's different when they are creating a character that you don't have a picture of if that makes sense.

I haven't seen any of the nominated movies. In fact, I've almost forgotten what a movie! Oh well, we'll see what happens this year. ;)

Thursday, January 25, 2007 at 10:54:00 AM PST 

had this to say:

Big sigh here.. i sure miss seeing all the movied before the oscars like I did when De let me view them... now I can't leave the house to see a movie until I can buy it or see it on television.

So I can't even "cast my virtual vote" here!! (bummer)..

I do believe the Oscars aren't what they pretend to be though.. which is why we never know how things will wind up!

Thursday, January 25, 2007 at 11:31:00 AM PST 

had this to say:

Ohhhhhh dear... the ONLY one of these I've seen is the LITTLE movie with the little but important idea. I did find it to be entertaining and the point was well made ... but I don't really think it's award quality. I'll be REALLY surprised if it wins!

Thursday, January 25, 2007 at 2:39:00 PM PST 

Anonymous Lyn M.
had this to say:

Not having seen any of the films you reviewed with your own very sincere approach to the Oscars, I can't express an opinion on them except to say...I certainly intend to see them all. I'm often at odds with the choices made by the academy and while I love movies in general, I'm less and less drawn to all the violence of recent years. However, there are those that we need to see as a reminder of what once was Hollywood and this great land of ours and the very different world we live in today.

Thursday, January 25, 2007 at 3:48:00 PM PST 

had this to say:

I really enjoyed Little Miss Sunshine. I hope to see Babel soon, if it ever gets to our theatres and Bobby. I'm proud of Emilio Esteves. I feel like I grew up with him so I'm glad he has a chance to prove himself. The Oscars always surprise me so I love to watch!

Thursday, January 25, 2007 at 5:00:00 PM PST 

had this to say:

Alan Arkin was absolutely brilliant! And Abigail Breslin is a real find. She was great on Grey's Anatomy last year too, so she's not a "one hit wonder" (like I'm afraid Jennifer Hudson is).

Thanks for your reviews! I love reading what other people think about current films.

Thursday, January 25, 2007 at 7:26:00 PM PST 

had this to say:

Thanks for the reviews. For some reason, I missed practically every Oscar-nominated movie this year (maybe too much time blogging), and I'm trying to rush them all in before the ceremony.

Thursday, January 25, 2007 at 7:59:00 PM PST 

Blogger srp
had this to say:

I so agree with your comment about the over whelming violence in most movies today. Can you remember when violence if present was only implied and when cursing and f-words and others were just not done? I remember going to see Sunset Blvd on Broadway and before we went I rented the original film with, I believe William Holden. The story was the same, settings very close and the ending the same. But in the movie there was no swearing at all, in the show there was quite a bit worked into the lyrics.... and totally unnecessary. It added nothing and took away from the fabulous staging. I truly enjoyed that old black and white movie, wonderful performances.

Friday, January 26, 2007 at 12:22:00 AM PST 

had this to say:

Thank you so much for the review. I'm still waiting to see _Bobby_ and _Letters_. I saw _Departed_ and _Sunshine_, both were fantastic movies in their own ways. I did reviews on each of them a while back when they first came out. I love the Academy Awards and will be watching to see if there are any surprises.

Friday, January 26, 2007 at 5:38:00 AM PST 

had this to say:

Great reviews and helpful too. I haven't seen any of them! I want to see The Departed just for the hometown Boston scenes and accents alone. I had the feeling the Bobby was a little like the Nashville of politics with all those stars running through it. I still find the period heartwrenching and I feel angry that nothing was really resolved about those assinations. I'll definately see your best pick but might skip some of the others.

Friday, January 26, 2007 at 6:46:00 AM PST 

had this to say:

Hi dear Naomi! Thank you for your visit and kind words about my city!
About the Copan Building, I never could to live in such big building with 5000 folks! Due to the large number of residents, the city hall gave the building its own ZIP code!
On my next post I will talk a little more about skyscrapers and also show more Carlos's photos! I think that Carlos and I have been a productive partnership on this blog!

I will return soon to read this current post and leave a comment, too! So long!

Friday, January 26, 2007 at 6:55:00 AM PST 

had this to say: should be doing movie reviews on a professional level. Thanks so much for all of them. I'd wondered what Babel was about and now see, I'll pass on that one.
I'm dying to see Letters from Iwo Jima, The Queen and Little Miss Sunshine....actually, "Sunshine" is next on our Netflix list and we'll probably receive it tomorrow.
I agree that when one sees the movies it sure makes the Oscars much more interesting. Great job, Naomi.

Friday, January 26, 2007 at 10:16:00 AM PST 

had this to say:

What a great Oscar report - very readable - thanks for sharing!
Wishing you a lovely weekend too:-)

Friday, January 26, 2007 at 2:08:00 PM PST 

had this to say:

The only movie that made to the golden globes or the oscar that I watched was the departed. Well it is full of violence as well.

I am planning to watch little miss sunshine. ANyway, hope you have a nice weekend!

Friday, January 26, 2007 at 3:19:00 PM PST 

had this to say:

Little Miss Sunshine is such a delightfully funny, sweet movie. My daughter and I LOVED it, and then we took the boys to see it and they loved it too.

We shall see who gets to take home Oscar!!

Friday, January 26, 2007 at 3:32:00 PM PST 

had this to say:

The only one I've seen that you mentioned is "The Departed". I just haven't had a lot of time lately to see movies. I used to see so many ...

Friday, January 26, 2007 at 8:03:00 PM PST 

had this to say:

I'm in the position of watching only a few of the many movies I'd love to see and then it's on DVD months or years after they've been out. My daughter has been a great source for recommendations for "fun comedy" for her and I to bond over at home. Usually, she's already seen the movie at the theatre with her teen friends.

We did just see a "new release", at least it's new to me! It's called "The Illusionists" and she and I both thoroughly enjoyed it. (It was not a comedy...)

I keep a list of books and movies recommended by bloggers whose taste seems to run near mine. Thank you so very much for your inside information and valued opinions on these movies!

Saturday, January 27, 2007 at 12:50:00 AM PST 

had this to say:

Me again, Naomi. Thanks for your interesting reviews and for keep us well informed about those movies. I haven't seen yet any of the nominated movies. But I would like to see principally "Little Miss Sunshine". I agree with Terri, you should be doing movie reviews to a movie’s magazine or to a newspaper!

Have a lovely weekend!

Saturday, January 27, 2007 at 5:11:00 AM PST 

had this to say:

Wonderful post. I am so out of the loop with movies.
Thank you so much for sharing.
Hubby is working on downloading the ones you mentioned in the post so we can watch them. We have downloaded so many bad movies. We watch 5 or 10 minutes and delete them. These look good!

Have a wonderful day!
(=':'=) hugs
(")_ (")Š from
the Cool Raggedy one

Saturday, January 27, 2007 at 8:11:00 AM PST 

had this to say:

We don't watch any tele.
Your posts are my portal to that wonderful world.
We have downloaded so many movies based on the popularity of the download. We watch 5 or 10 minutes and end up deleting them.
I gave my hubby the list of movies from this post and he is downloading them now. They all look like good ones.
Thank you for sharing them with us.
Have a wonderful day!
(=':'=) hugs
(")_ (")Š from
the Cool Raggedy one

Saturday, January 27, 2007 at 8:14:00 AM PST 

had this to say:

I just saw little miss sunshine this week! I positively loved it!
I hope she wins!

Saturday, January 27, 2007 at 2:18:00 PM PST 

had this to say:

I'll be rooting for Little Miss Sunshine. A tight little film, hilarious, refreshing and still manages to be touching.

Monday, January 29, 2007 at 3:20:00 PM PST 

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Name: OldOldLady Of The Hills
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