Friday, January 17, 2014

The Golden Globes, the Academy Award Nominations, and the Week in Reviews

[I review the movie "August, Osage County" and DVDs "Thanks for Sharing," "Renoir," "The Awakening" and "Adore."]

But first

It's Awards Season at the movies, and for movie lovers, that's our play-offs leading to our Super Bowl, the Academy Awards.

The Golden Globes were last Sunday and there were a few surprises.

The first surprise was how unfunny Tina Fey and Amy Poeller were compared to last year, other than the joke about George Clooney when describing "Gravity:"

"It's the story of how George Clooney would rather float away into space and die than spend one more minute with a woman his own age."

Jennifer Lawrence stole "American Hustle," but I was surprised she beat Lupita Nyong'o ("12 Years a Slave"). 

Love Jennifer Lawrence, hated her dress. 

But, Lupita Nyong'o had the best dress.

Another upset was Matthew McConaughey beating out Chiwetel Ejiofor for Best Actor in a Drama. I thought Ejiofor was a shoo-in for that.  Now I am wondering what the Academy will do. If he doesn't win, I won't have to learn how to pronounce or spell Chiwetel Ejiofor.

So glad Elizabeth Moss won for the mini-series "Top of the Lake."  She is probably better known for "Mad Men," but here she stars as a complicated New Zealand cop trying to find a missing girl. Her accent is so good I thought she was from New Zealand, but she was born in Los Angeles. I am watching it now on Netflix (streaming).  When it aired on television it was a critical success, but I don't think anyone saw it.  If you liked "Twin Peaks" or "The Killing,"  you will like this.

Highly recommended.

And then there's Jacqueline Bisset. 

Jackie, Jackie, Jackie.  One, I don't feel she didn't deserve that Golden Globe.  Though I loved "Dancing on the Edge,"

her part just wasn't that difficult an acting job.  Hubby said she won because she still looks so good. 

And two, her acceptance speech. What the hell?  Methinks she had been a tippling.

She stood on stage for a full 23 seconds before she said a word and then this is some of what she said:

I mean, does this make sense to you?

"I want to thank the people who've given me joy and there have been many. I say it like my mother ... she used to say 'Go to Hell and don't come back.
I believe, if you want to look good, you have to forgive everybody. You have to forgive everybody. It's the best beauty treatment. Forgiveness for yourself and for the others. I love my friends. I love my family."

Couldn't believe Woody Allen had written and directed 74 films in 48 years.  That is incredible that he not only directed that many, but WROTE that many.  His getting the Cecil B. DeMille award was well-deserved.  Some of my all-time favorite movies are Woody Allen films.

And I have to say, I not only called "12 Years a Slave" as Best Picture and Alfonso Cuaron ("Gravity") for Best Director, I did it BEFORE the nominations. 

And can I just say, why in hell don't people who are nominated and could win, prepare a speech?  There was so much bumbling around with the speeches I thought I was at amateur night at Toastmasters.

As for the Academy Award nominations (which were announced yesterday), few surprises, and I called almost all of them, except I can't believe Tom Hanks did not get nominated for "Captain Phillips," nor did the director, Paul Greengrass. "Captain Phillips" got screwed.  It was a great film.  As I said in my earlier blog "Oscar Predictions," what Tom Hanks did in the last few minutes of that film was acting at its finest. 

And why wasn't Emma Thompson nominated for "Saving Mr. Banks (which I reviewed in last Friday's blog)?"

However, I am glad to see Leonardo DiCaprio getting some props.  I think he is one of Hollywood's most underrated actors.

I had forgotten that up to 10 films can be nominated, so I only called five, but had I remembered, I would have called all of the films with the possible exception of "The Wolf of Wall Street."  But where was "Saving Mr. Banks," "Fruitvale Station," and "Inside Llewyn Davis?"

What did you think of the Golden Globes? 
Did they get it right?

Which Actors or Films were snubbed for Academy Awards?

***In Theatres Now***

A funeral brings a dysfunctional family back to Oklahoma.

The movie poster says it all.

Based on Tracy Letts' Pulitzer Prize winning play (2008), this film brings together an incredible cast:  Meryl Streep, Julia Roberts, Ewan McGregor, Benedict Cumberbatch, Chris Cooper, Juliette Lewis (good to see her back again), and more for two hours of dark comedy.  Letts also wrote the screenplay, and he deftly brought the visual aspect to what is basically a family getting together around a table to air their dirty laundry. 

As Tolstoy wrote in "Anna Karenina,"
"All happy families are alike; each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way."  And boy is this family unhappy.

I saw the Broadway touring company of the play a few years ago.  It starred Estelle Parsons as the irascible, drug-addicted mother.  She was in her 80's and running up and down the stairs of the set and she was fabulous.   But Meryl Streep is just magnificent in this film.  Glad to see she is nominated for an Oscar.

Rosy the Reviewer says...See this for the acting, especially Streep's performance. 
As Hubby said, "She is a National Treasure."

You Might Have Missed
And Some You Should Be Glad You Did
(I see the bad ones so you don't have to)

Thanks for Sharing (2012)

Three men struggling with sex addiction.

This could be the poster child for AA, it's so earnest.  Not a huge Mark Ruffalo fan.  His acting puts me to sleep.

Rosy the Reviewer says...A formulaic film, but nonetheless entertaining.

Renoir (2012)

Set on the French Riviera in the summer of 1915, Jean Renoir -- son of the Impressionist painter, Pierre-Auguste -- returns home to convalesce after being wounded in World War I. Both father and son are enchanted by the artist's muse, Andree.
This film depicts the elder Renoir at the end of his life and son Jean, before he became the famous filmmaker.
Rosy the Reviewer says...See it for the cinematography and the gorgeous French countryside.  As beautiful as Renoir's paintings. (subtitles)

It's 1921 and ghost-hunter Florence Cathcart travels to a boy's boarding school to debunk ghost sightings there.

Rebecca Hall is a wonderful British actress who is underrated.  She has been in a ton of things, but has yet to break out as a big star ("The Town," "Parade's End"...).  She is rumored to star in the next "Pirate's of the Caribbean."  Perhaps that will bring her stardom.  She deserves it.
Rosy the Reviewer says...If you liked "The Sixth Sense," you will like this except this one is scarier.

Adore (2013)

Naomi Watts and Robin Wright star as best friends who fall in love with each other's young sons. 
Sounds kinky, but this is a really good film.  Filmed in Australia, Watts gets back to her Aussie roots while Wright does a good job with her Aussie accent.
Rosy the Reviewer says...gorgeous New South Wales scenery, gorgeous young men, gorgeous acting.  Adored it!

***Book of the Week***

Stitches: A handbook on Meaning, Hope and Repair by Anne LaMotte (2013)
Lamott strives to make sense of this crazy world of ours and how we put ourselves back together after devastation and loss.  Her solution?  You do it one stitch at a time.
To find meaning, Lamott says it is enough to search for it. 
"The search is the meaning, the search for beauty, love, kindness and restoration in this difficult, wired and often alien modern world."  That's helpful to hear as I search for that meaning in my retirement and the rest of my life.
Rosy the Reviewer says...When crap happens, you need books like this.  It is comforting.  Similar to Harold Kushner's "When Bad Things Happen to Good People."
That's it for this week.
See you Tuesday!
Thanks for reading!
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Check your local library for DVDs and book mentioned.


  1. One more to add to the under the radar, but must see movies of 2013--About Time.

    1. I loved that movie too but strangely enough, I found it on some critics' lists where it was listed as a disappointment. But I thoroughly enjoyed it.