Tag Archives: Academy Awards

The Oscars 2012

Ah, the Oscars! The most eagerly anticipated movie awards ceremony of the year. We’ve already had the BAFTAs and various others, but when it comes to coveting an ornament saying “You’re brilliant at what you do in the film industry,” it’s that golden statuette that stands head and shoulders about the rest. (I’m so sorry, I couldn’t resist the terrible pun!)

So, here are the categories with who I would like to win each award along with who I think will win them. Where the titles are highlighted, you can click on the links to be taken either to my review or my husband’s where I haven’t written one (of course, some we haven’t reviewed at all!). I’ve not included the documentary and animated short categories, as I have not seen any of the nominations and have no opinions on them:

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Movie Review – The Descendants (2011)

Film: The Descendants
Released: 2011
Director: Alexander Payne
Stars: George Clooney, Shailene Woodley, Amara Miller, Nick Krause, Beau Bridges, Matthew Lillard, Judy Greer

Synopsis:
Based on the novel by Kaui Hart Hemmings, the film stars George Clooney as an indifferent husband and father of two girls, who is forced to re-establish his relationship with his daughters after his wife suffers a boating accident that leaves her in a coma, and deal with the aftermath of learning about her affair.

What I thought of it:
Mixing drama, tragedy and comedy effectively is a difficult task to attempt, but The Descendants pulls it off with flair. This is largely down to the very fine performances, not just by established Hollywood hard-hitter Clooney, but also his young co-stars. Both Woodley and Miller show and emotional depth and ability that belies their age, and they easily match the standard of their BAFTA and Oscar nominated co-star.

It was also something of a joy to watch Krause as the somewhat bumbling Sid, who initially comes across as a brainless, tactless idiot, but is revealed to have surprising warmth, depth and understanding of the situation, as well as offering his unerring support to the family during their most trying and emotional time. He adds much of the lighter, comedy sides of things, but doesn’t skimp on the serious stuff either.

Clooney is, in my opinion, our generation’s Cary Grant. He oozes charm, and has the quick-fire wit, versatility and faultless timing of one of Hollywood’s best loved actors, and he truly deserves accolade for his performance in this heartwarming film.

My hubby’s review HERE.

Rating:
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Movie Review – The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo (2011)

Film: The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo
Released: 2011
Director: David Fincher
Stars: Daniel Craig, Rooney Mara, Christopher Plummer, Stellan Skarsgard, Robin Wright, Joely Richardson, Steven Berkoff, Julian Sands

Synopsis:
This English-language adaptation of the Swedish novel by Stieg Larsson follows a disgraced journalist, Mikael Blomkvist (Daniel Craig), as he investigates the disappearance of a wealthy patriarch’s niece from 40 years ago. He is aided by the pierced, tattooed, punk computer hacker named Lisbeth Salander (Rooney Mara). As they work together in the investigation, Blomkvist and Salander uncover immense corruption beyond anything they have ever imagined.

What I thought of it:
For once, I actually found the remake better than the original! (For the record, I watch and enjoy foreign language films on a semi-regular basis, so it wasn’t because it was a foreign film I disliked the original). This is far more cohesive and easier to follow, dwelling on things long enough so that their significance is established without overstaying their welcome and dragging things out. From the opening sequence (which is very Bond-esque in style, with women covered in dripping ink) this is a polished production which is more intense and watchable than its predecessor. The only problem I had was with the performance of the lead, Daniel Craig – every other cast member had a Swedish accent throughout, but he didn’t bother even trying, which I thought was a poor show and indicative of his limited ability. However, that’s my only quibble and I hope they will remake the other two films in the Millennium trilogy as I will certainly watch them.

My hubby’s review HERE.

Rating:
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Movie Review – Tinker,Tailor, Soldier, Spy (2011)

Film: Tinker, Tailer, Soldier, Spy
Released: 2011
Director: Tomas Alfredson
Stars: Gary Oldman, Colin Firth, John Hurt, Tom Hardy, John Hurt, Ciarán Hinds, Kathy Burke, Benedict Cumberbatch

Synopsis:
In the early 1970s during the Cold War, the head of British Intelligence, Control, resigns after an operation in Budapest, Hungary goes badly wrong. It transpires that Control believed one of four senior figures in the service was in fact a Russian agent – a mole – and the Hungary operation was an attempt to identify which of them it was. Smiley had been forced into retirement by the departure of Control, but is asked by a senior government figure to investigate a story told to him by a rogue agent, Ricky Tarr, that there was a mole. Smiley considers that the failure of the Hungary operation and the continuing success of Operation Witchcraft (an apparent source of significant Soviet intelligence) confirms this, and takes up the task of finding him. Through the efforts of Peter Guillam, Smiley obtains information that eventually leads him to Jim Prideaux, the agent at the heart of the Hungary fiasco. He is then able to put together the pieces of the puzzle, which lead him to the identity of the mole and the true intent of Operation Witchcraft.

What I thought of it:
I don’t know if it was just that I was very tired, but I found this adaptation of John Le Carre’s famous cold war spy novel incredibly confusing. There’s absolutely no doubt that the cast is superb and they all gave phenomenal perfomances, but the plot seemed ot be all over the place with little coherance. I do, however, plan to watch the old TV series and read the book in the hope that I’ll have that “Aha!” moment where everything clicks into place and I ralise I dozed off during some crucial plot revelation that would have made the whole thing make some kind of sense. As it was, come the end of the film, my immediate thought was, “This is how thick people must feel when they watch CSI,” because I’m so used to being one step ahead with this kind of thing. Perhaps if I watch it again when I am not half asleep, I’ll get more out of it.

I can see there being a few Best Supporting Actor Oscar nominations for performances for this ensemble cast, but it will miss out on the bigger prizes like Best Film and Best Director.

My hubby’s review HERE.

Rating:
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