Sunday, January 31, 2010


The category is Best Actress and the year is 1982 and let me tell you this was the easiest pick I have ever had to do. So:

1.MERYL STREEP IN SOPHIE'S CHOICE: Not really surprised, huh? Well, Meryl Streep easily put on the best performance by a female actor with this one, if you ask me. The role itself screams: OSCAR! It has everything: romance, drama, grief, sadness, desperation, holocaust, accent, everything the Academy goes for. It's simply so terrific, it's still in my mind and I can recall it very easily, even though I saw it four years ago. The choice scene again is alone worthy of an Oscar, but before watching that, prepare yourself, because it's a traumatizing experience. Along with Sophia Loren, the best winner of this category ever. Meryl should have received three Oscars for it.

2.Jessica Lange in Frances: And there's Lange also giving one of the greatest acting performances ever. In ANY I mean ANY other year she would have been the rightful and deserving winner. I'm so sad that Frances wasn't released in 1981 and Lange easily would have won and would not have won for Tootsie. About her acting: her meltdowns are thrilling, her character is heartbreaking, her scenes at the asylum are chilling. Easily the best work of the great Jessica Lange, which really should have had an Oscar attached to it, but unfortunately she was nominated with Meryl.

3.Debra Winger in An Officer and a Gentleman: Well, I liked this role, even though it was so limited and I considered it a supporting one. And a very good one at that. I like the acting style of Winger, I loved her performance in Terms of Endearment (one of my favorite movies) and she managed to create a warm and lovable character here, but it is not enough for me. Although An Officer and a Gentleman was very disappointing, Winger gives some depth to a shallowly-written character, so she deserves some recognition for this role.

4.Sissy Spacek in Missing: Well, I saw this movie not so long ago, but I can much more easily recall Jack Lemmon's heartwrenching turn as the father that Spacek's performance. It's very good and I really liked it, just like Spacek and I feel that the nomination was deserved. She was just nothing very memorable and I feel very neutral about her, so I guess I'm just not going to bother to say much about it.

5.Julie Andrews in Victor/Victoria: Hmmmm.... I loved this performance until she started playing a man. I really expected a perfect comedy performance because I read everywhere that she Andrews was brilliant in this. But I think she did not have to do anything really. I always felt that something was missing from the character, which is obviously not her fault and of course the fact that the movie is a bad drag comedy does not help her. But her scenes in the restaurant with Robert Preston was hilarious so for that she deserves a better grade. The Sound of Music remains her best work.

There's such a huge gap between the first two ladies and the remaining three. Streep and Lange gave career-best works, but the other nominees are simply good. But Streep and Lange are simply MINDBLOWING.

Congratulations Kathryn!

I just can't tell you happy I am that Kathryn Bigelow won the DGA, and thank God she is very likely to receive the Oscar too. I love Avatar as well, but I think Bigelow really deserved this one. So well done Kathryn!

P.S.: Is there ANYONE who saw Crazy Heart? I'm really curious.

Saturday, January 30, 2010


So the category now is Best Actress and the year is 2004. This was a really strong year, still the weakest nominee managed to win somehow. So the ranking:

1.Imelda Staunton in Vera Drake: The Academy loves the Brits, but always at the wrong time. Why couldn't she win for this compelling and heartbreaking performance. Her character Vera Drake, is an incredibly hard one to play and Staunton managed to solve it magnificently. From the beginning to the very end, you just cannot take your eyes off her and boy she's so real. Imelda Staunton disappears completely and you see a desperate woman, trying to prove that she only wanted to help young women. This performance is one of the best ones that Oscar ever nominated. Shame on them for not giving her the award.

2.Catalina Sandino Moreno in Maria Full of Grace: This was a fantastic and incredibly heartbreaking breakthrough. She plays a 17-year-old pergnant girl who becomes a drug mule in order to live. It was interesting to watch a girl become a responsible woman and of course her scene in the toilet of the plane was unforgettable. I guess those minutes will always stay with me: the desperation, the sadness and biterness is communicated by Moreno so thrillingly that you will become speechless when you witness it. Ground-breaking performance, which easily could have won as well.

3.Kate Winslet in Eternal Sunshine of a Spotless Mind: I can't help it but sometimes I felt that this performances is mostly adored because the character, Clementine is so extraordinary and this is probably the only film where Winslet is neither naked nor having rough sex. I like this performance just as much as Winslet herself and she is exceptional in most of the scene, but the first time I watched this movie, I felt that something was missing from this performance. Other than that, she's great and has some great moments and I love this woman so my

4.Anette Bening in Being Julia: This is probably the most enjoyable nominee of the bunch. Bening manages to put on a funny and delightful performance as Julia Lambert, the aging superstar of the London stage having an affair with a young man. Of course she's not as brilliant as Bette Davis was as Margo Channing, but who expected her to be? Lots of people are disappointed that she lost, but I really don't think that this is Oscar-worthy acting. But it's definitely nomination-worthy, so I have no problems with it.

5.Hilary Swank in Million Dollar Baby: OK, I hate this win because it's useless. Was she great enough? NO. If she wasn't great, was she overdue then? NO. Than what was the reason? I am not saying that I hate Swank, because I do NOT, since she managed to give one of the greatest performances ever in Boys don't Cry. I just think that Million Dollar Baby is a very phony and sentimental movie and her acting in it is simply good. I still cannot explain this win, but why did they give it to her when there were four other more deserving nominees? I still cannot understand.

Overall, this was a very-strong year and either Staunton or Moreno could have won. But let me add, that I think this year was the worst for Oscar EVER. None of the main winners were deserving (only the screenplay awards).

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Thoughts on this award season

So, we are through with all of the major awards, except for BAFTA, but it's very unlikely to influence the Oscar votes, because the BAFTA loves awarding their fellow brits (and I think it's alright).

Best Actor: I have become much more confident in saying that Jeff Bridges will win. He's the Kate Winslet of the year, except for the fact that he's not begging for the Oscar, I mean campaigning hard :-). The Globe, the BFCA, the SAG and some other awards, the overdue factor and the possibly strong performance (I haven't seen it, but well he's Jeff Bridges) are all likely to carry him to the Oscar podium and I guess it's just alright and I am happy that it will happen. Although until now I was confident that Clooney will have the Sean Penn case, he does not have the major awards (remember Penn had the SAG), so I'm thinking BRIDGES.

Best Actress: Sandra Bullock can prepare herself to become an Oscar winner and so can the world. I liked her in The Blind Side because she was the only good thing about it, I love her in general, and I even wanted her to get some kind of a recognition, so that she can prove that she's good. Still, if she wins, I will be immensely disappointed. I'm really hoping that in the end it will be Meryl and at this point it's likely, but the SAG for Bullock hit me very hard. And if you say that Meryl has the biopic factor for her, remember Bullock is also portraying a real-life person. So what's gonna be the result? At the moment I am still saying Streep. Or is this just wishful thinking? I do not even dare to hope that Gabby Sidibe wins.

Best Supporting Actor & Actress: Oh, gosh these categories tend to offer some surprises, but it's pretty much predictable who will win (Christoph Waltz and Mo'Nique). In Mo'Nique's case it is going to be richly-richly deserved but in the case of Waltz well... I should be happy for him right? I mean everybody loves him and thinks he's deserving and I am probably the only one who doesn't. I guess I really have to (re-)re-watch the movie.

BEST PICTURE: Well, I am pretty much in trouble. No, I withdraw that, because if any of the three front-runners (namely Avatar, The Hurt Locker and Up in the Air) win, I will be very happy, because I loved all three of them in different ways. Avatar amazed me by its visuality and it was such a treat to my senses, I was certainly amazed, but there's The Hurt Locker. It shocked me with its brutally intense dramatic tension, its pace and wow that last scene with the man shouting and the child's body were brutal and they still haunt me. Up in the Air was a heartwrenching experience, I loved its honesty and nice humor and it was the kind of movie which relaxed me. However, it's Up in the Air which has the least chance out of the three. And well of course there's Precious, which I loved at first sight, but I realized how forced it was sometimes and the only truly unforgettable scene was Mo'Nique's cathartic monologue in the end. The other 6 movies will be only space-fillers and the Academy can realize how idiots they were to allow 10 nominees. Yes that system worked in 1939, but it was the golden age of studio system, but damn it, it was 70 years ago and now there are very few deserving movies and I don't want blockbusters to be nominated (as much as I like to watch them). So now I am saying the winner will be The Hurt Locker, because Avatar seems more logical and I like to take risks.

P.S.: I'm sorry for not writing for a long time, I just had a very busy week and before that I was skiing.

Thursday, January 14, 2010


The category is Best Supporting Actor and the year is 1977. So let's see my ranking for this very weak year, which did not offer any legendary performances (at least no in this category), but I chose to do it because this one was the eastiest to decide.

1.Jason Robards in Julia: No doubt, he won for the same performance twice, but this is one of the rare examples when the second one is better. I think that Jane Fonda and Vanessa Redgrave steal the show in Julia, but Jason Robards manages on his own and he was able to create a memorable character. I think his best scene is the big moment of Jane Fonda in the end, in which he's able to show how amazing he is in it without threataning Fonda's performance. So great character actor, deserved win.

2.Alec Guiness in Star Wars: I'm so sorry for this terrific actor. He hated this performance of his, so I won't embarass his memory by giving him the #1 place. I can really appraciate this performance, because he's able to be decent with such an awfully written character.He said those cheesy lines as if they were worth something. I guess being good in a well-written part is easy, but in this kind of role, it's a miracle. Something comes to my mind which was said by Walter Huston: "Hell, I ain't paid to make good lines sound good. I'm paid to make bad lines sound good."

3.Peter Firth in Equus: Oh, this movie was such a phony one. And sometimes I felt the same with the performance of Peter Firth. Sometimes I felt that it was fake, I think he did not always make the right decisions and I think that Richard Burton outshined him. His big scene was nothing memorable for me either, so some people might adore this performance, I just could not really like it. I might need to rewatch Equus.

4.Maximillian Schell in Julia: Hmmm, what was he doing in this movie? Well, nothing maybe? For the first time I did not even recognise him and I really did not care about his performance. I really think that Schell is an excellent actor, who gave a great performance in Judgment at Nuremberg, but this nomination was quite an undeserved one. I just don't think that I should waste more time to this performance, which could have been great had he had more to do.

5.Mikhail Baryshnikov in The Turning Point: Oh, how much I hated The Turning Point and this great ballet dancer is simply awful in it. His nomination is sooooo pointless. He did not do anything or what he did was so unremarkable, that I was simply appaled that he got this nomination. Well his dancing is excellent, but his acting does not exist.

I am apologizing for not finding a decent picture of Robards.

P.S: I am not going to able to write an entries until next Saturday because I will be skiing in France next week.

Sunday, January 10, 2010


As a bit of response to Joe, but I already planned to do this so Best Supporting Actress, 2002.
My ranking is:

1.Meryl Streep in Adaptation: This performance (and also the movie) was so weird, that I loved every minute of it. I mean how often do you see a man having fantasies about Meryl Streep or Meryl using drugs? It's so much fun, which I really don't want to give away, but let me tell you that this was one of the most enjoyable nominees I've ever seen. Her scenes with deserved Oscar-winner Chris Cooper are simply hilarious, but I also appreciated that Meryl added some depth to this very interesting character. So much fun, so much fun.

2.Julianne Moore in The Hours: I think the only reason why I picked Meryl was that I prefer her in general, because Moore is almost equally brilliant in The Hours as Laura, the unstable and unhappy housewife in the 50s. Her last scene is simply heartbreaking. You really feel for this character: sometimes she's selfish, sometimes she has meltdowns but you always sympathize with her. For me, Julianne simply stole this movie from her co-stars and she managed to put on an unforgettable performance.

3.Catharine Zeta-Jones in Chicago: I really dislike musicals, except for Cabaret and All that Jazz. This performance is either hated or adored. Although I don't loathe it, I really disliked it. I mean, she's sexy, she's an awesome singer, but her actual ACTING is quite thin and weak. I mean the scene where she tries to be friendly with Renée Zellweger is so weakly acted, that I was really shocked that it received the Oscar.

4.Queen Latifah in Chicago: I'm so sorry to rank her this low, because I love her so much and I actually liked some of her scenes as Morton Mama, and her own number is just great, I just think that she had nothing to do in Chicago. I bet had she had something to work with, she would have outacted all of her co-stars. Because it has the potential of becoming great, she just does not have enough time. Again, I have to express my sadness but I just could not get myself to give her a higher ranking.

5.Kathy Bates in About Schimdt: Kathy Bates is an awesome character actress, who can do miracles with some roles. Well, not this one. She has one goodnude scene, which is funny, but actually the fact that it's funny is due to the facial expressions of Jack Nicholson. I must also add that I found her character to be indescribably annoying and it might have been the point, I just was not impressed by her, that's all.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Review: Butterflies are Free (1972)

This was a beautiful, charming movie, which I enjoyed so much. Well can something be bad if Goldie Hawn (LOVE) and Eileen Heckart are in it? The answer (at least in this case) is definitely no.
It's about Donald, a young blind man (Edward Albert Jr.) who one day meets his eccentric neighbour, a 19-year-old and ditzy girl (Goldie) and Don falls for her. However, things get a bit different and difficult when Don's overbearing childbook-writer mother (Eileen Heckart) turns up.
The story is a very decent one, the movie is full of funny scenes and some remarkable line (especially the ones said by Eileen Heckart). In my opinion it would have deserved a Best Adapted Screenplay nomination, because it was lovely.
The two young leads, Hawn and Albert create memorable and lovable characters with whom you sympathize and you care about them, root for them. I think the Golden Globe nominations were richly deserved, and even though Hawn's role has some strong simliarities with the one in Cactus Flower (Ok, it's nearly the sam), she's able to show a completely new side of hers. Edward Albert is also excellent and I was surprised by his achievement, because I expected much less from him, so he was the most pleasant surprise.
But Eileen Heckart steals the show. Completely. She's so great, so memorable, she's hilarious and heartbreaking at the same time. Before I rewatched this movie she had been among my favorite winners, but now I think she's in my Top 5. Her line-readings are dead on, I mean who can forgets such lines as "so is diarrhoea" or her scene as the "evil witch from Snow White". But there's one scene when she completely breaked my heart and it's not her last one. My favorite scene with her is when she tries to persuade Goldie Hawn to leave Don alone. When she says "I can only irritate him, but you can hurt him" still haunts me. I think the only mistake in her performance is that she's too good and steals the spotlight too much and for some time I felt that the movie was about her even though she was clearly supporting. But that does not mean anything bad and her performance is still brilliant, I just said that she's too brilliant. :-) Although I feel, that this should have been her second Oscar (with the first one for The Bad Seed, if you remember).
The cinematography was great, although I'm not sure if it deserved the nomination.
So, I recommend this difficult-to-find movie to everyone, who wants to have a great experience. (I don't promise anything, but I'll try to post it on Youtube)
My grade: 8.5/10
Nominations: Best Actress in a Supporting Role (Eileen Heckart, WON); Best Cinematography; Best Sound
My wins: Most definitely, Best Supporting Actress, one of the best wins ever.


We go for another round, this time with Best Supporting Actress and the year is 1982. Let me tell you, I had some tough decisions to make and even I am surprised at my ranking, so let's see:
1.Teri Garr in Tootsie: In case I haven't told you, Tootsie is my all-time favorite movie and I've seen it a thousand times. And the more times I watch Tootsie, the more convinced I am that Garr should have won. She's so hilarious as Sandy, an actress without talent. The greatest scene is when she asks Dustin Hoffman if he's in love with someone else. Her reaction is so much fun. Her performance is full of golden moments, you laugh at her, but also feel so sorry, because after all Sandy is a bit bitter woman constantly hoping. Very human and humorous performance.

2.Glenn Close in The World According to Garp: Oh, this movie was such a boring mess. I constantly felt that it wanted to impress me with the weird and unbeliable scenes and the only reason why I did not stop watching it was Glenn. I think it's not a secret to anyone how fond I am of great Glenn and I certainly loved her in this role. Her character is a humorless woman and Glenn adds such an irony to this character that it makes it worth watching her. She's funny, moving and convincing at the same time and Glenn was able to keep this movie together.

3.Jessica Lange in Tootsie: I am much more forgiving of this win than most of the people. I think Jessica, one of the greatest actresses ever, put on an excellent performance as Julie, "the slut of the Southwest General". Julie is just as sad person as Sandy and the reason why I prefer Garr is because Lange is not given that great comedy scenes. She's very effective sometimes, but when she could have some really great moments, someone's always there to steal her scene unfortunately. Still, a good effort by an extraordinary actress.

4.Lesley Ann Warren in Victor Victoria: If you want to see a disasterous drag comedy, than Victor Victoria is your movie. It was such a mixed bag, because if it wasn't for Warren it would have been really awful. She's able to give some good moments and even though she really overacts sometimes, at times she's simply hilarious. I really don't have much to say about her, she's there, she's funny, she has her moments. But again, something's missing.

5.Kim Stanley in Frances: Kim Stanley is a strange case to me. I watched Séance on a Wet Afternoon yesterday and I was blown away by it, she was very worthy in that movie but after all Anne Bancroft remained my pick. However, in Frances she really did not impress me the least. She was good, but I don't know, Jessica Lange might have been too great and stole the spotlight from her and that's why I did not like her, because I really did not care about her. I really thought I would liked her, but after all I was left unimpressed by Stanley.

P.S.: It's funny, the first received 5 stars, the second got 4, the third 3 and so on. LOL.


The category is Best Actress and the year is 1967. I'm ready with this year's acting categories so I think I will post all of them quite soon, but let's start with Best Actress, because I feel guilty for not doing enough Best Actress Smackdowns (and I guess this category has the most fans).
So my ranking is:

1. Dame Edith Evans in The Whisperers: This performance is still with me. It's so haunting and brilliant, full of unforgettable scenes. My favorite one is when she's listening to the radio about abandoned old people (just like her) and she says "Poor old chaps!". Or when she's at the house of those disgusting people and then she starts telling about her young days, balls, which may have been only fantasies. Simply, this is an acting triumph for me at least, but I don't blame the Academy for not choosing her, because this movie is so un-American, but at least Dame Edith won all the other awards.
Grade: *****

2.Anne Bancroft in The Graduate: Why did not they give it to Bancroft then? She's equally brilliant (I prefer Evans by a nose) and Bancroft put on one of the iconic performances. I mean, can you imagine The Graduate (one of the best movies ever) without Anne Bancroft whispering to Dustin Hoffman "Do you want me to seduce you?". She's simply magnificent. Mrs. Robinson represents an awful lifestyle, she is full of sadness, regrets and she's deeply unhappy with her life. I guess people did not handle these subjects that well and they could not really make out the point of Bancroft's brilliant performance, or they did just voted against her.

3.Faye Dunaway in Bonnie and Clyde: The role that made the beautiful Faye Dunaway a great star. And thank God for that. She's like a diamond as Bonnie: she's wild, she's sexy, she's horny, she's sad, she's unsatisfied, she wants to have a better, much more interesting life. She also has iconic scenes: my favorite when she's running away to see her mum and when she finally does, it's so heartbreaking. It seems to me that this was a tailor-made role for Dunaway (and she wasn't the first choice to play Bonnie) and she really nailed it. So great actress, great performance, deserved nomination.

4.Audrey Hepburn in Wait until Dark: I love Audrey like everybody else on this planet, but I was a bit underwhelmed by this performance. I loved the movie, it was really chilling and Audrey was very good, I just missed something from her performance. She did not really blow my socks off as I expected her to, but she had some excellent moment, but not nearly as brilliant one as the other ladies previously mentioned. But still there was something missing from her performance and I really cannot tell what.

5.Katharine Hepburn in Guess Who's Coming to Dinner: I'm shocked by this win, really. If they were so sorry about the death of Spencer Tracy, why did not they give the Oscar to him, who actually deserved it? I'm not saying that Hepburn is bad, because she's not, but all she does is looking teary, shaking her head and watching Spencer Tracy with much love. She could do this in her sleep and I'm shocked because she did not win for A Long Day's Journey into Night and The Philadelphia Story but she won for this. It's so unfair and especially for her. But I must mention that there's one scene which is dead on. (The "Don't speak Hilary! Just go!")

OK, to sum up, either Evans or Bancroft or even Dunaway could have won, but they decided to give it to Hepburn. And add this: Hepburn got this award alone and she won for her career-best performance in a tie (?????!!!).

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Review: Shampoo (1975)

Wow, this movie was so BORING. The cast is so impressive, full of actors that I either admire (Jack Warden, Warren Beatty, Lee Grant) or really love (Julie Christie, Goldie Hawn). This movie was quite a big disappointment and I just could not make it out what it was all about or what it wanted to say.
The movie takes place in Los Angeles in 1968 around the presidental election. It's about a hairdresser (Beatty) who keeps humping all of his clients, most of them rich ladies like Felicia Carp (Lee Grant). He also has some kind of a girlfriend (Goldie Hawn) or something like that and an ex-girlfriend (Julie Christie). He also wants to open his own salon and tries to get financial support from Felicia's husband (Warden).
I'm not saying that this is a bad movie and I expected much less from it because I read a review giving 2 points to this movie out of 10. So it was quite a surprise that I actually enjoyed this movie in some scenes, there were some really funny scenes, especially the one when Warren Beatty "makes Julie Christie's hair".
Warren Beatty's performance in the lead is very overrated and self-centered. He's constantly showing how cool and hot he is and that he can sleep with anyone, I think this style of acting is not my thing, even though I like Beatty on a regular basis. I just did not like this performance. And I did not think that I would EVER write this down, but Julie Christie gives a very weak performance, which is really nothing special and except from the scene where she says "I want to suck his c*ck" there's nothing memorable about it.
However the supporting cast saves the show: Goldie Hawn gives nearly the same performance for which she won the Oscar in Cactus Flower, but it still works and sometimes I really felt sorry for her character even though in the beginning I thought she would be the worst part of it.
Jack Warden was also outstanding and gives a truly great comedic performance which was most certainly deserving of the nomination, but a win would have been too much considering his competition (George Burns, Chris Sarandon, Brad Dourif, Burgess Meredith), but I really liked Warden in this.
And finally the Oscar-winner Lee Grant: she shines in her small, but very memorable performance, which is sometimes hilarious ("Is she the one with the ulcer?":D) and in her last scene, simply heartbreaking. She was truly deserving of the Oscar even though when I saw this movie for the first time, I thought she was completely undeserving. But this time I was able to see her brilliance. Unfortunately her win is quite underrated.
I must also add that I'm very disappointed with the direction of Hal Ashby, because I expected much much much more from him.
But to sum up this was not a horrible movie just a mediocore one which is sometimes enjoyable and sometimes intolerable.
My grade: 5.5/10
Nominations: Best Supporting Actor (Jack Warden); Best Supporting Actress (Lee Grant, WON), Best Original Screenplay; Best Art Direction

Monday, January 4, 2010

Review: Up in the Air

This movie was a heartbreak for me. I've read many-many rave reviews a few very negative ones, but I have to join the rave camp, but I'm quite a sucker for small movies (Sideways, Little Miss Sunshine). This movie was indeed the best one I've seen this year along with The Hurt Locker.
It's about Ryan Bingham (Clooney), a lonely man who is hired to fire some people instead of their coward bosses. He's constantly travelling and he does not seem to have a so-called normal life and he does not even intend to get one. He becomes the instructor of a pushy and a bit hyperactive dynamite girl (Anna Kendrick) and he gets romanitcally(?) involved with a woman (Vera Farmig), who is "Ryan with a vagina".
Jason Reitman has already made some feel-good dramedies such as Juno and Thank You for Smoking and well that's all. You can either love or loathe these films, but they were certainly NOT masterpieces. But now Jason Reitman seemed to have improved a LOT, this movie is much more mature and subtle, and it has probably the best screenplay out of them, which is most certainly deserves to win the Oscar and probably that's the most certain award for this movie. So I think Jason Reitman has a great chance of becoming an Oscar winner, even though he won't win Best Director.
George Clooney as Ryan Bingham is terrific and this is one of his most personal performances. He gives a really subtle, but very effective and emotional performance, that reminded me of Jack Nicholson's terrific turn in About Schmidt. So I think all these critics' awards were deserved but I cannot decide about the Oscars yet. It certainly would not be undeserved.
The supporting ladies are both very good, especially Vera Farmiga who is memorable in her not too big part as the female Ryan. Her performance is full of humor and I certainly loved it. Anna Kendrick, well, she is in my opinion a bit overrated, because I felt that sometimes she was a bit over-the-top. I don't think that they should or will win over the terrific Mo'Nique (who's a bit overrated but still brilliant).
I think that a nomination would be deserved for Best Original Song for the one that's during the wedding scene.
So overall, terrific and heartbreaking. It would be hard for me to choose between this and The Hurt Locker. The experience is too fresh so I have to wait and rewatch both of them.
My Grade: 9.8/10
Possible Nominations: Best Picture; Best Director; Best Actor (Clooney); Best Supporting Actress (Kendrick, Farmiga); Best Adapted Screenplay; Best Original Song

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Review: The Hurt Locker

For me this movie was the biggest surprise of the year. It was the most hard-hitting movie I've seen since No Country for Old Men. It was so exciting, I was biting my nails throughout the entire movie.
SSgt. William James (Jeremy Renner) joins a bomb squad in Iraq in order to disarm as many bombs as possible. He's also an adrenalin-addict who does not seem to care about the danger of death at all and this causes a lot of arguments and fights between him and Ssgt Sanborn (Anthony Mackie), who's responsible James' security. This seems to be quite a thin storyline, but there's much more in the inside.
The movie successfully tries to prove that war is a drug and it's a bad thing. I know that this sounds very cheesy, but actually I got a lot out of this movie and I liked the way it dealt with these very current problems.
Kathryn Bigelow, no doubt, deserves to win the Best Director Oscar. She is able to keep your attention, her direction moves you to tears, makes you grab your seat during some real terrific and devastatingly perfect scenes. Especially the one when SPOILER SSgt. James tries to remove a bomb from the chest of a native man shouting all the time "I don't want to die!". That's one of the best-directed and acted scenes that I've ever seen.
The screenplay is also worthy of the award: the story, the character development, the dialogues, EVERYTHING is perfect about it and I really hope that the Academy recognises this not too showy, but magnificently accurate screenplay.
There are some great performances escpecially the ones by Jeremy Renner and Anthony Mackie. Jeremy Renner has a great chance of being nominated for the first time and although a win would be to much for him, a nomination would be very well-deserved. He gives a very mature and subtle performance and although before watching this movie I had only seen him in Senior Trip, I believe now that he's one of the most talented actors of his generation.
Yet, I believe that the greatest performance is given by Anthony Mackie, who gives (mark my words) the best supporting performance by a male actor. His last scene was so emotional, that it haunts me to this day. Unfortunately, he's not likely to receive the nomination and the win that he deserves in my opinion. But I really hope that the Academy surprises us and he gets a nomination like Michael Shannon last year (with the exception that he will deserve it).
The technical part is also one to praise: the cinematography and the editing are top-class and so is everything else about this movie, which is in my opinion the Best Pictre of 2009.
My grade: 10(!)/10
Possible nominations: Best Picture; Best Director; Best Actor (Renner); Best Supporting Actor (Mackie, PLEASE!); Best Original Screenplay, Best Cinematography, Best Editing, Best Sound Mixing, Best Sound Editing


The year is 1977 and the category is Best Actress in a Leading Role (mark this, because this is the first Best Actress Smackdown). This was a very competitive year, the nominees were great in general (except for one maybe), so from now on I'll give stars like everyone else, which I opposed to do at first, but now I try it and see if it works.
So my ranking is:

1.Diane Keaton in Annie Hall: How can anyone dislike Annie Hall and Keaton in it? Easily as I see, but I just adore this performance. How can you forget Keaton yelling "Oh, my God! There's a parking place!" or her horrible driving or her iconic clothes (OK, it's not her performance) or her flashbacks with her previous boyfriends. Her Annie Hall is interesting, loveable and a joy to watch. Annie Hall is full of unforgettable scenes such as the one with the lobster and Keaton's timing is excellent in all of them. Hands down one of my favorite winners this category has ever given.
Grade: *****

2.Marsha Mason in The Goodbye Girl: Oh, well I'm a bit negative about Marsha Mason, because in my opinion, she's a bit limited actress, who married quite well. But this performance is still cute and funny. My favorite scene when her purse is stolen with all her money in it, that's one of the most heartbreaking scenes in a comedy I've ever seen. The Goodbye Girl was a very good and enjoyable movie, which I really liked, but I just wasn't as enthusiastic about this performance as so many others. Great effort, though.
Grade: ****

3.Jane Fonda in Julia: I love this woman, I really do. She's one of the greatest American actresses and I've always liked her films. In Julia, she gives one of her most acclaimed and dramatic performances and in the 70s she was on the top of her craft. Although in the greatest scene of Julia she's outacted by Vanessa Redgrave (who IMO deservedly won the Oscar), she managed to create a unique and loveable character, one of those, who you really care about. But her last scene is a real tear-jerking one. Exceptional work.

4.Anne Bancroft in The Turning Point: Well even though she has about 25 minutes of screentime, I felt as if she had twice as much as MacLaine (even though the contrary is true). I'm very surprised that this performance is so disliked, because I found it to be a very good and subtle work by one of the greatest actress who ever lived. I really liked her character Emma, who's losing her only important thing in life: her career for which she sacrificed her private life. I strongly believe that she gave the only memorable performance in The Turning Point which is quite an overrated movie.

5.Shirley MacLaine in The Turning Point: I'm so astonished by the love she gets for this performance. She had no screen presence in this movie, she was always there, but had no moments and in my opinion Bancroft outdid her in all of the scenes. I don't know in their big catfight scene I found Shirley to be over-the-top and hysterical and it was all too much. Although it started well and fortunately ended well, in the middle she did not do anything that caught me. I'm quite surprised that she was so underwhelming for me, because I like her in general.

What do YOU think?

Saturday, January 2, 2010

I'm begging again XD

Can you give me links to Come Back, Little Sheba, Sunday Bloody Sunday, and Coming Home? Or if you are able to help me anyhow to get them (especially Coming Home), I will be very happy.

Friday, January 1, 2010


The year is 1974 and the category is Best Supporting Actress.
And the ranking is:
1.Valentina Cortese in Day For Night: Oh, I love this so much, Day for Night is probably the best movie about moviemaking. But this is not the reason why I picked Cortese as my favorite. She gives one hell of a performance as Severine, a terrific actress going through a very tough period. Cortese nails both the dramatic and the comic sides of this character. She's hilarious, but at the end of her big scene, you feel sorry for that unlucky woman. She's perfect and very underrated in my opinion and she does not get enogh love for her performance.

2.Dianne Ladd in Alice doesn't Live here Anymore: This was a very strong and memorable turn by a good actress. She plays Flo a sharp-tongued waitress who is very hostile with Alice at first, but soon they become good friends. This is definitely not one of the best supporting performances ever, but Ladd's scene-stealing acting is able to make you like this character.

3.Ingrid Bergman in Murder on the Orient Express: I am astonished when I read so many hate-comments on her performance. No, she did not deserve to win, but she was not bad. I mean, she had some very strong moments and some very funny ones. I might be biased because she's my favorite actress ever, but this is in my opinion a very entertaining performance.

4.Madeline Kahn in Blazzing Saddles: And I am just as astonished when I am reading that Kahn's performance in Blazing Saddles is one of best performances ever given. I really like Kahn as an actress, but this performance was not that great (at least for me). Yes, her musical number and her accent are very funny but apart from that she does not give anything special.

5.Talia Shire in The Godfather Part II: Oh, she did not do anything for this nomination. I think she managed to get this nomination because of the sweep of the movie. I really dislike the Coppola family, because they are all so big-faced about The Godfather trilogy. And Shire does nothing in this movie except arguing with Al Pacino.

So what's your opinion?