Wednesday, January 22, 2014
oscar thoughts

So much to write about, and nothing to say except some personal opinions regarding the coming 
Academy Awards.....

So let's go back to the SAG Awards for a minute.....
I enjoyed them very very much....
I love actors and their passion for what they do.
As to the Voting:
Not everyone I voted for won, but about 80% did.
Not a bad average.

The Oscars are coming and it will be interesting to see just how many of the same actors will come away with Oscars that also won The SAG Award......
I personally think it will be the same four as SAG:
 Cate Blanchett Matthew McConaoughay, Jared Leto and Lupita Nyong'o

Best Picture is harder to call.
What I hope will win is 
"12 Years A Slave".
This is a a very powerful and important film---one that should be required viewing for everyone.
And what Lupita Nyong'o had to do in this film was devastating and deeply moving.
(And by the way: I absolutely loved Jennifer Lawrence in "American Hustle", and I think she is an extraordinary talent, but I think Lupita Nyong'o goes that extra mile because of the nature of the subject matter of this true story......)

And speaking of "American Hustle", this is a film that could certainly win the Best Picture Oscar, but honestly, to my way of thinking....."12 Years A  Slave" goes that extra mile there for me, too. I want to see a film of great substance---which '12 Years' is----be recognized and rewarded for it's bravery and it's importance in regard to the history of our country.
Not an easy movie to watch...but so very often the truth isn't easy, and as we know----it can be very painful, too.
Don't let that keep you away from this magnificent film.  

Let's talk about the Scorsese/DeCaprio film.
"The Wolf Of Wall Street".
It is an interesting film and DeCaprio is very very good, but for my taste, it is much too long.
I think the points made were made and made and then, made again.
Alright. I got it!
No question Scorsese is a Great Great film maker, but I think he sometimes falls in love with certain things and then just can't seem to let them go.....
Also.....Personally, I am disturbed by his treatment of women in almost all his films----I find his depiction of woman, rather despicable. They are greedy and conniving and manipulative and pretty much without any moral fiber.

And another kind of strange thing----there are never any black people in Scorsese's films. 
How can you make a film that takes place in New York, and not have any black people? Not even in the background???
Woody Allen, too.

Same thing.
No black people---I mean, like none!
Strange and not realistic, at all.
I wonder what that is about?

"August, Osage County"
I had some problems with this film.
It seems to have been touted as a comedy---and though there are some funny things in it, it certainly is not a comedy.
It is a film about a dysfunctional family
who have tremendous problems and there is much pain and sadness in the film.
I had trouble with the performances.
I love Meryl Streep and I love Julia Roberts, but not in this film.
I may be in the minority here, but.....I don't want to see actors "working"....or, to put it another way....
I don't want to see them "acting".
And, that's what I saw.
A lot of "ACTING"!

This takes me back to Judi Dench in "Philomena" where she just "is" that women.
To me, this is the Best Performance by an Actress this year.
The simplicity of her performance----less is really more---she gives you everything by seemingly doing very little.
I say seemingly because it takes great skill and heart to make one's performance so fluid, and without any histrionics.
No, I don't think she will win The Oscar, but I think she should.

Cate Blanchettis wonderful in "Blue Jasmine"----the film itself?  Not so good.  But I think she will get the Oscar.

Some weeks ago I wrote a post about "Dallas Buyers Club" and said in that post that I could hear Oscar calling  both McC. and JaredLeto
What is stunning about Jared Leto's performance is his truthfulness----you believe completely that he he Rayon, the Transgender women----there is never a moment of doubt or a comment within that performance....both these actors are stunning .
And the picture is an important film; again, it should be required viewing lest we forget the struggle of AIDS in those early years.

There are other worthy pictures.....but, that's all I am going to write about today...

More To Come.......

had this to say:

I was waiting to read your post on the nominated films! I've managed to see Philomena and I LOVED THE FILM. I also saw August: Osage County and Blue Jasmine. I wasn't impressed with either of them and I don't get the obsession with Cate Blanchett.

I'm hoping to see a few more films in the next two weeks!

Thursday, January 23, 2014 at 3:59:00 AM PST 

had this to say:

Twelve Years a Slave is on my must see list as well as Philomena. Judi Dench is one of my favorites. I never miss "As Time Goes By". She does it all.
I too thought August Osage County was a comedy but those who have seen it deny that. Think I will pass.
I do so look forward to your reviews. Thank you.

Thursday, January 23, 2014 at 4:34:00 AM PST 

had this to say:

I am so far behind on movies this year -- I haven't seen a one of them, though I'm hoping Philomena sticks around another day or two so I can see it this weekend when my film friend comes to visit. I'm very curious!

Thursday, January 23, 2014 at 6:11:00 AM PST 

had this to say:

I love reading your thoughts on movies...and really like that you don't just "love everything". In my opinion you should have a job and get paid for being a dang good critic!!..

Thursday, January 23, 2014 at 10:28:00 AM PST 

had this to say:

I haven't seen all these movies, but I agree with you about the ones I have seen. I hadn't noticed the lack of black people. How weird indeed. I hope I get to see 12 Years a Slave before it goes off at our local screen.

Thursday, January 23, 2014 at 2:02:00 PM PST 

had this to say:

I'd say 80% is a good score!

Agree on Scorsese. I mean, what is it?? Granted the areas he usually makes films about - the mob, organized crime and in this case Wall Street - are, shall we say, underrepresented by women. (Not that I think more women should become criminals!) But still.

I loved Philomena best out of all of the ones I've seen that you've written about here. Still want to see Dallas Buyer's Club.

Thursday, January 23, 2014 at 7:59:00 PM PST 

had this to say:

I love your lead in ... so much to write about and nothing to say ... and that you want a movie of substance. You have been so right on so far on your movie review comments. I'm sad to hear that about Osage County. It looked so good in the trailer and touche on your comments about Allen and Scorsase. I knew there was something off. You see all the new movies before me!

Friday, January 24, 2014 at 6:46:00 AM PST 

had this to say:

I don't want to see that Osage County film - there's something about the trailers they have shown that just put me off.

Jared Leto must be so good in that film - I am looking forward to seeing it. I like to watch key films before the Oscars and so I need to see this one.

I love to read your opinion of films.

Friday, January 24, 2014 at 10:15:00 AM PST 

had this to say:

You are so far ahead with some of this list. In some cases they haven't hit UK cinemas yet. I've seen the trailers for Osage County and Dallas Buyers Club which both look interesting.

I tend to agree on Wolf and haven't had a chance to see Slave or Philomena yet.

Still...its good that there's some interesting titles around.

Saturday, January 25, 2014 at 9:52:00 AM PST 

had this to say:

I have seen Blue Jasmine and loved it. I really am a fan of many of Woody Allen's films. Why didn't you think it was very good? It's funny isn't what appeals to one person and not the other.

I really want to see 12 Years a Slave.

Saturday, January 25, 2014 at 11:05:00 AM PST 

had this to say:

I enjoyed reading your review – as always you are very perceptive about all these films. I saw 12 Years a Slave the day after Christmas and liked it a lot.

I thought about you last Tuesday when my husband and I went to the theatre around 12:30 pm. We started with the film Philomena which I really like because I think Judy Dench is a wonderful actress. Then we saw Inside Llewelyn Davis. We were tempted to see Saving Mr. Banks, so we did see it, and then we saw August: Osage County. My husband said why don’t we see one more, so we started to go and see The Woolf of Wall Street but left after about 25 minutes because I did not like it and instead we saw American Hustle. I liked this movie and thought it was funny timing, what with corruption in New Jersey government. But watching 5 1/4 movies the same day was a record for me, we left the theatre at 12:35 am, having been there over 12 hours! I was tired of sitting and hungry. You are right – Jennifer Lawrence was tremendous. I really liked the couple in Osage County, the sister and brother-in-law of Violet (Meryl Streep) they looked natural in their acting and were effective and had great lines. I loved the scenery of Oklahoma which I have never visited, and it did look large and bleak, but I could not get into the movie really – I felt like I was seeing Meryl and Julia “acting” at being mad at each other. They were good in their roles, but it felt just like “roles” to me. I also felt that Meryl Streep was over-acting a bit, maybe because it was a play originally. She reminded me of Elizabeth Taylor in Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? But I liked Elizabeth better. I was pleased to have seen these 5 movies though.

Saturday, January 25, 2014 at 7:42:00 PM PST 

had this to say:

Naomi, I love reading your personal opinions and reviews on that movies. I haven't seen all these movies and I am late with many others movies too. You know, where I live there are no movies... I would love to see all them, but I would like to see soon "Philomena" and "Dallas Buyers Club".
Thanks Naomi, for your always great reviews!
Have a pleasant Sunday.

PS: Thanks for your nice comment on my mother's pictures.

Sunday, January 26, 2014 at 3:57:00 AM PST 

had this to say:

I have read others 'in the biz' say similar things re Roberts & Streep in that film. I am with you all the way including Scorsese and Allen's films---always left me scratching my head.

Monday, January 27, 2014 at 10:41:00 AM PST 

had this to say:

I agree with so much of your appraisal of these movies and the acting. M and I just saw Dallas Buyers' Club yesterday as our local theatre brought it back. Wow. That was a good movie. We didn't see it the first time around because I'm not a fan of Mr. McC. I've found his acting to be hit and miss and too often playing the same type. He seldom gets lost in a role. Although I didn't quite seem him get lost in this role, I found his performance very believable. Jared Leto on the other hand was not only lost in the role, I found his performance so believable and so wonderful. Of all the Oscar nominated pictures I've seen this year, and I think I've see all but 12 years a slave, I found Dallas Buyers' Club to be the movie that most "took me away" where I totally forgot I was in a movie theatre. I was spell bound. On another note, I've never noticed that about Scorcese films, I'll have to pay better attention. I don't see Woody Allen films at all for personal reasons.

Thursday, January 30, 2014 at 8:45:00 AM PST 

Blogger Pat
had this to say:

I'm really looking forward to being able to access the movies you write about and I shall be consulting your posts for sure.
I so agree with you about not wanting to watch the wheels turn as regards acting.
I'm just reading the latest book on Elizabeth Taylor and Burton and he learned a lot from her and
seeing she was apparently doing nothing - just being.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014 at 4:22:00 AM PST 

had this to say:

Totally agree with 12 years a slave. Amazing!

Saturday, February 15, 2014 at 8:42:00 PM PST 

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