Monday, February 9, 2015

Oscar Nominations: Fawning and Yawning


PLOT:  It is about Dr. Martin Luther King determined to secure equal voting rights.

                No, it’s not a biography of Dr. King just a small part of his legacy.  He was trying to make President Lyndon Baines Johnson to sign for all people to vote by peaceful protest and if not blacks would march in Selma.  Director Ava DuVernay showed Dr. King as a human being as well as a noble but determined man that wanted justice.  David Oyelowo (The Butler and Red Tails) is very good as Dr. King. 

Don’t expect the famous speeches he gives, for he doesn’t.  He has doubts but forsakes it is for the greater good for the people.  Carmen Ejogo is beautiful and wonderful as Coretta Scott King.  Tom Wilkinson is great as President Johnson.  He is salty and scheming but wants to be a good man.  The film is nominated for best picture and best song Glory.  I wish it was for best director for Ms. DuVernay did an excellent job.


PLOT:  The true story about the physicist Stephen Hawking

                Remember in 2014 when people and celebrities on the internet and TV splashing water over them for Lou Gehrig’s disease?  Well Stephen Hawking has that disease at the young age of twenty one.  The actor who played him Eddie Redmayne (Les Miserables) is extraordinary.  A brilliant mind in a broken body with a sense of humor is hard to portray but he did it.  Felicity Jones (The Amazing Spider Man 2) is very good as his wife who endures the hardships of taking care of husband with his condition.


PLOT: Coming of age movie of a child from 8 to 18.

                What makes this different than other movies that the director filmed this for 12 years with the same cast!!  It makes the film very realistic.   Mason (Ellar Coltrane) is a young child who sees the world differently and it shows as he grows up. Patricia Arquette is so good as the mother who has bad relationships with men but takes care of her kids, graduates college and gets a good job.  Mason’s father is Ethan Hawke and he is equally good as father who cares but not enough to sustain employment.  The movie is long: over two hours and thirty minutes (feels longer) but I believe the director Richard Linklater wanted to show the audience life is slow and mundane. 


PLOT:  Actor does a serious play to be taken seriously as an actor.

                Riggan Thomas, (Michael Keaton) who wants to do a dramatic play on Broadway to be taken critically as a talented actor and director.  He was “The Birdman,” a popular superhero and he wants to get away from playing in a successful franchise.  He hears “The Birdman” in his head and this play cost him financially and emotionally. 

This movie is not for everyone.  To tell you the truth it is for actors for actors who are constantly typecast all the time.  They love the attention and the money but they don’t want to be known for that one character that made them famous.  Actors need and want variety.  The writing is very well done-especially between Riggan and the critic for it tells what is wrong with Hollywood today.


PLOT: An unhappy woman becomes a pill-popping addict.

                Claire Bennett (Jennifer Aniston) was in an accident and in constant pain.  She goes to therapy, sleeps around and verbally abuses her maid but nothing makes her happy than her pain-medicated pills.  She hides them and even goes to Mexico to get her meds.  She is sad most of the time or viciously funny other times.  Aniston does a good job but she wasn’t nominated but she should have been.  She transformed herself to an average female which is hard for her.  Adriana Barraza as Silvana, her maid should have been nominated as her religious maid who also wanted to be her friend. 

PLOT:  Apsiring drummer goes to a music school where the teacher drives him to the extreme.

                Andrew Neiman (Miles Teller) is an ambitious drummer who goes to a top-notched music school and has to deal with prompt music teacher Terrance Fletcher (J.K. Simmons Spiderman 2002 ).  This teacher curses at you, degrades you, humiliates you to force a great performance out of you. He explains why he does this but is it truly necessary?  Mr. Simmons is very good at being very bad.  It also shows what a good teacher influence can change a student or students lives.  Mr. Teller gives a good performance also as a driven artist who will stop at nothing for perfection.


PLOT:  The true story of Alan Turing , an English code-breaker.

                Alan Turing (Benedict Cumberbatch, Star Trek) is brilliant British  code-breaker but he is also gay, anti-social and arrogant.  He invented what became the modern computer and saved many lives in World War 2.  When Hollywood makes a “true story” it is usually not accurate so you have to read about the subject and draw your own conclusion.  Mr. Cumberbatch is touching as Turing.  You like him one minute, hate him the next.  I don’t care for the actor myself he creeps me out but he is a very good.  Keira Knightley is very good as a smart and amusing as Turing’s further wife.  The movie is humorous in the beginning then it gets slowly serious.


PLOT:  Based on a true story Cheryl Strayed who walked 1,100 alone.

                Cheryl( Resse Witherspoon) had a reckless life with drugs and wrong men after her mother died so she decides to walk by herself  over a thousand miles in three months to find herself.  She is driven as there are many flashbacks with her sad, abused life.  This story happened in 1995.  She was a brave woman for in many times she probably was going to be raped and killed.  She met good people, bad people and strange people but she continued on to prove to herself she mattered.  Witherspoon is tough!  She doesn’t cry when things go wrong she cruses and goes on.  Worth watching.


PLOT:  An educated woman in her fifties develops Alzheimer’s.

                Alice Howland (Julianne Moore) is a professor of language, she a loving husband, three great grown up children and soon to be a grandmother when she is told she has Alzheimer’s.  If you don’t know what Alzheimer’s is it affects your memory and your mind.  It is a terrible disease for it is progressive meaning it gets worse until you die.  It is not a popcorn movie, people.  You see a vibrant woman deteriorate before your eyes.  Moore does an excellent performance.  She is another Meryl Strep.

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