Friday, December 15, 2006

Golden Globe Noms are in

Okay, this is already old news for die hard movie buffs (from YESTERDAY) but I can't help giving my 2 cents about the Best Picture Nom's...

Today, the Dramas:

BABEL
BOBBY
THE DEPARTED
LITTLE CHILDREN
THE QUEEN

I loved two of these films (Babel and Little Children) I really liked the other three. I think I've listed the films below in the order I'd rank them...

BABEL is a little sad but totally engrossing. I've been planning working on a blog post comparing and contrasting the themes in Babel with another good film I saw at the festival this year, BREAKING AND ENTERING. But that film hasn't opened yet. (opens at Christmas?) Anyway, for me, Babel shows the worst of human nature and Breaking and Entering the best... I
talked about Babel on the Drunk Writer Talk blog a while ago, so won't do it again, here...

LITTLE CHILDREN really blew me away, too, and is another film I'd like to see again... There are so many layers to it... Some which I'm sure I didn't notice or get on first viewing... It explores suburban life, personal fullfillment over family obligations, settling, infidelity, child abuse (on both overt and more subtle levels), guilt, shame, prejudice, mob mentality...
I also think the film was just interesting as films go, using some devices like voice overs and other intrustions that I really thought worked and added humor to what could have been a very dark film. This film didn't get a very wide release, but maybe this nomination will help that. If it comes to your town, check it out. I also talked about this movie on Drunk Writer Talk...

THE DEPARTED. Okay, now I'm thinking about it again, I'd probably put it on my LOVED list along with BABEL and LITTLE CHILDREN, but I thought it deteriorated into almost comedy at the end... (So tragic it becomes comedy?) But maybe the "everyone's corrupt", "you can't trust anyone" message is encapsulated in the way this story ended. I think I'd like to see this film again... and to see the Chinese film it was based on, INFERNAL AFFAIRS. But both Leonardo di Caprio and Matt Damon blew me away in this movie. Molly likes to say you could see Damon's character's ulcers growing. I just thought he made an amazingly charming (and therefore diabolical) bad guy. (Although I already knew he could do this from THE TALENTED MR. RIPLEY... which I liked more than most people did... but I'm a big Patrica Highsmith fan. And I liked Damon's Ripley much better than other supposedly "better" actors who have played him, including John Malcovich... It's easy to believe Malcovich is evil and the point of Ripley is that he's a sociopath hidden in sheep's clothing. Cloying, engratiating, self-effacing sheep's clothing... Okay... how did this become a blog on Patrica Highsmith's wonderful character, Tom Ripley??

Back to the films...

Anyone who reads this blog or the Drunk Writer blog, knows I love multiple interconnected stories... but I think BOBBY suffered from not having strong enough story arcs for each of the individual stories in the film. Most were just character sketches...
I also think viewers of this movie need to know some of the historical facts in order for the movie to have any tension or forward drive... This, to me, makes it an imperfect movie -- though like I said, I did like it...(I knew the "important historical fact" going in, not because I remembered, if I ever even knew, but because someone had given me a spoiler, which I normally hate, but for this movie, I think it helped me enjoy the film.) The spoiler detail is that other people were shot the night Robert Kennedy was assassinated. If you know this... you watch the movie wondering which of the characters, Emilio Estevez (filmmaker) is introducing us to, will get shot. It adds some drama and tension in a film that doesn't have a whole bunch until the final 10 minutes, which are then nothing but tension and drama. I expect politics also affected this nomination... That is, the film's very politically relevant today with the US in another unpopular divisive war.

THE QUEEN was another film I liked but didn't love. I admit I have an odd soft spot for QEII. Maybe it's because when she was younger, I always thought she looked a bit like my mom... (Probably just the same hairstyle. My mom is prettier.) Or maybe I associate her with Christmas because our family used to always watch her on TV Christmas morning. Andrew is a few years older than I and Edward a few years younger and I think my sisters and I felt like we grew up with those boys, watching them (and their stodgy older brother Charles) appear with their mum in our living room every Christmas morning via the TV. But this movie really boils down to some amazing performances... I agree with the best actress nomination for Helen Mirren... (I also think the actor who played Tony Blair -- Micheal Sheen -- and maybe the guy who played Prince Charles should have been nominated... but I'm not sure about the movie getting nominated... But also not sure what I'd nominate in its place, so there you go...

3 comments:

Maia said...

Has anyone ever mentioned that you should write movie reviews? This was great. I loved The Talented Mr. Ripley too. Can't wait to see The Departed. I don't get the hype over Bobby. Seems everyone thinks the world would be a better place if he'd lived, we would all be living in peace, etc. but they forget that he was a smarmy Kennedy. Wasn't he in Marilyn Monroe's bedroom just hours before she died? Hmm. Everyone overlooks his naughty side. Thanks for the reviews. I'll have to see these films before the Globes air. That's my favorite award's show.

Maureen McGowan said...

Thanks Maia. I don't think I know enough about movies to do real reviews... but I do like watching them... and arguing with Molly and Sinead about which ones are good and which ones suck. (And comparing notes on the ones we agree on, too, which is probably more than we disagree on... it's just the disagree ones are more memorable.)

Maureen McGowan said...

Oh, and I love the GG's too. All the drunken acceptance speeches...

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