Tag Archives: David Strathairn

[Review] – Lincoln

18 Nov

Title: Lincoln
Year: 2012
Director: Steven Spielberg
Writer: Tony Kushner, based on the book by Doris Kearns Goodwin
Starring: Daniel Day-Lewis, Sally Field, David Strathairn, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, James Spader, Hal Holbrook, Tommy Lee Jones, Jackie Earle Haley, Lee Pace, Walton Goggins, Jared Harris, David Oyelowo, John Hawkes, Tim Blake Nelson
MPAA Rating: PG-13, an intense scene of war violence, some images of carnage and brief strong language
Runtime: 149 min
IMDb Rating: 7.8
Rotten Tomatoes: 91%
Metacritic: 87

No disrespect to Timur Bekmambetov and the utterly mediocre Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, but we all know that the real 2012 film about honest Abe was the one directed by Steven Spielberg, starring Daniel Day-Lewis as the beloved President and featuring no vampires. This was a movie that Mr. Spielberg had been wanting to make for over a decade (at first he had Liam Neeson pegged for the role) and that he took his time assembling the team to make it happen, getting Pulitzer Prize winner Tony Kusher (who had co-written Munich for him) to adapt Pulitzer Prize winner Doris Kearns Goodwin‘s massive book about Lincoln and then assembling a truly stunning ensemble to bring the story of the final four months of such an iconic life to the screen.

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[Trailer] – Lincoln

13 Sep

Finally, here it is, feast your eyes upon it, the first full trailer for Steven Spielberg‘s Lincoln has just been released, and you can watch it below.

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[Review] – The Bourne Legacy

11 Sep

Title: The Bourne Legacy
Year: 2012
Director: Tony Gilroy
Writers: Tony Gilroy and Dan Gilroy, with a story by Tony Gilroy, based on the series of novels by Robert Ludlum
Starring: Jeremy Renner, Rachel Weisz, Edward Norton, Joan Allen, Albert Finney, David Strathairn, Oscar Isaac, Stacy Keach, Zeljko Ivanek, Corey Stoll
MPAA Rating: PG-13, violence and action sequences
Runtime: 135 min
IMDb Rating: 7.0
Rotten Tomatoes: 56%
Metacritic: 61

I’m a big fan of the Bourne series. I saw Doug Liman‘s first film, The Bourne Identity, and absolutely loved it, it pretty much reinvented in a way what the spy action genre could be because of how damn smart it was, how much it catered to thinking adults and not to people who just wanted stuff to blow up. It also, of course, cemented the status of Matt Damon as a bankable Hollywood leading man. From that point I went back and read Robert Ludlum‘s book trilogy, since it was evident that the film franchise would be a trilogy as well after the success of the first entry in it and because my dad was always telling me I should read those books (he read them when he was younger and also loved that first film).

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[Trailer] – The Bourne Legacy

31 May

Jeremy Renner is about to have three action franchises under his belt. He was in last year’s incredible Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol, starred in this year’s massive The Avengers (which, to date, is the only A+ I’ve given in 2012), and now he’ll be the lead in The Bourne Legacy, taking over duties from Matt Damon. And you can watch the new trailer for that film after the cut.

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The Whistleblower

3 Sep

Title: The Whistleblower
Year: 
2011
Director: 
Larysa Kondracki
Writers: Larysa Kondracki and Eilis Kirwan
Starring: 
Rachel Weisz, Vanessa Redgrave, Benedict Cumberbatch, David Strathairn, Monica Bellucci
MPAA Rating: 
R, disturbing violent content including a brutal sexual assault, graphic nudity and language
Runtime: 
112 min
Major Awards: –

IMDb Rating: 
7.2
Rotten Tomatoes: 
72%

I’m a huge fan of Rachel Weisz, I think she can be seriously tremendous when she wants to, and as such The Whistleblower seemed like a great film to see, one that put her front and center in a rather meaty kind of role I was sure she was definitely capable of rocking. And boy was I right, Ms. Weisz gives a riveting performance here, one of her best ever actually, and she’s the one that elevates the film to whatever heights it ultimately reaches. Though, to be honest, the film itself was probably a bit too straight-forward for my liking, and, good as it may have been, I believe a better approach to this great story could have potentially made her soar even higher.

Because, really, the film’s tone sometimes misses the mark, the human drama that’s beating at its core is sometimes used too much as melodramatic material, and at times it goes off into a very sort of preachy area that just didn’t work for me, and it certainly could have been handled in a better way. But the fact of the matter is that even though The Whistleblower could have probably been a better movie, it still has that undeniably great lead performance to keep it solid, to ground it and not let whatever mishaps may have occurred veer it off the road, and in the end that’s really more than enough, because the film itself is a huge success if only just because of that terrific acting showcase by Ms. Weisz.

The film is based on the true story of Kathryn Bolkovac, a Nebraska cop who agrees to join the U.N. as a peacekeeper in post-war Bosnia. What transpires when she goes there is that she uncovers evidence of a profitable sex trafficking operation involving underage girls that were being bought and sold in the region, and the U.N. was covering it all up, ignoring her when she presented them the evidence. So from a woman who was going into a devastated area to help with the rebuilding of a nation, she gets to be in the middle of a corrupt net full of intrigue and cover-ups happening by the very same multinational she was working for, and as such The Whistleblower becomes this pretty satisfying corporate thriller because of how effectively Ms. Weisz is at playing Kathryn.

So, you see, The Whistleblower is certainly a film that will be able to fill you up with rage over what went on, it’s obviously a pretty incendiary topic that lends itself to a great deal of emotional response that Ms. Weisz is so perfect at conveying with her performance, and as such the gritty backdrop of a post-war Bosnia also serves to give the film a pretty great and compelling feel. The firm responsible for the atrocities in question was a private security firm working there at the time, and that’s apparently still employed by the U.S. government even today, but Kathryn starts discovering that while they were the ones igniting the whole chain of monstrosities, the local police and other U.N. peacemakers like herself were also deeply involved, and you kind of get angry about how so many people could be aware of such a horrible ordeal and do pretty much nothing against it, it’s really unbelievable to think that high-ranking officials of the U.N. were aware of such a thing.

Maybe first-time writer-director Larysa Kondracki’s lack of experience is to blame for the fact that the film itself wasn’t as gripping as it could and should have been (though the script was certainly well-researched), but I think she should still be applauded for the performance she got out of Ms. Weisz, or at the very least the performance she didn’t get in the way of this great actress delivering. Because this whole film is one big and incredible Rachel Weisz show, it’s a truly bracing performance, emotionally connected to her very core to the story she was telling, the quiet intensity she brings to the role of Kathryn as she witnesses all of these horrible events is tremendous to watch unfold.

Because horrible is the right word for all that she sees, and the film does a neat job at not shying away from that, showing Kathryn going to these clubs where underage girls were exhibited, threatened and eventually sold to people who would do as they pleased with them, and Ms. Kondracki really does deliver a few sequences that are definitely a bit hard to watch. And it’s good, it really is, the fact that I keep saying that I didn’t love this film as much I could have doesn’t come from the fact that it had elements I didn’t like, but from it missing some which I wanted it to have, it needed a quicker pace, it needed to have some sort of building tension that would really have made it be an excellent political thriller, instead of just a very good one.

I do recommend The Whistleblower quite a lot though, it may be missing a thing or two which I desperately wanted it to have, but the fact that I wanted so badly for it to be better while I watched came from the fact that there was so much already there that was playing so great. Especially the performances, the supporting cast includes the legendary Vanessa Redgrave, David Strathairn, Monica Bellucci and Benedict Cumberbatch, all seriously great actors. And then there’s Ms. Weisz, who made a great decision to play Kathryn not so much as a heroine, but just as a cop who still does her job by the book, and that approach did all the difference, as she churned one of the better performances in her already-outstanding resumé, she alone is more than worth the price of admission for this one.

Grade: B+

Golden Globe Predictions

13 Jan

I still have four reviews left to do on 2010 films (namely: Blue Valentine, Biutiful, The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest and Country Strong), but I’ve now seen all of the 2010 films I intend to see (210 in total) and thought that since I probably won’t do all four of those reviews in one swoop before the weekend I should do a post about my predictions for the Golden Globes, which are taking place this Sunday.

I’ll outline each category, list the nominees, do a brief parragraph about the state of the race and then pick the one I think is going to win, and the one I’d pick to win were the Globes up to me. And since I’m also an avid TV-watcher I’ll weigh in on those race, too.

BEST MOTION PICTURE – DRAMA

Nominees

  • Black Swan
  • The Fighter
  • Inception
  • The King’s Speech
  • The Social Network

State of the Race

Much like at the Oscar’s, one would think the big race is going to come down between The King’s Speech and The Social Network, and in all likelihood that’s what’s gonna happen at the Globes, too. However, don’t count The Fighter out of this one just yet, as it may ultimately deliver a huge upset and further establish itself as a real threat to the aforementioned two-pack come Oscar time, this is, after all, the same organisation that went with Babel in 2007, and with Atonement a year after that.

Who I Think Will Win

I’m guessing The Social Network here. It has pretty much swept through the precursor awards, and unless something bizarre happens then the Globe should be another trophy for its crowded mantelpiece, and a big stepping stone for the Oscar.

Who I Would Give the Globe To

If I ran the Globes then I would give the award to Black Swan, no questions asked. This to me was, far an out, the best film in all of 2010 and a true modern masterpiece.

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A MOTION PICTURE – DRAMA

Nominees

  • Halle Berry for Frankie and Alice
  • Nicole Kidman for Rabbit Hole
  • Jennifer Lawrence for Winter’s Bone
  • Natalie Portman for Black Swan
  • Michelle Williams for Blue Valentine

State of the Race

Portman is thought to be a lock to win this one, and with good reason, she gives the best performance of her career in what, to me, was the best movie of the year, so she should no doubt get her second Globe (she has already won for Closer) and further cement herself as the leader of the pack come Oscar time. However, the Globes absolutely LOVE Nicole Kidman, having already bestowed three of their awards to her (To Die For in ’96, Moulin Rouge! in ’02 and The Hours in ’03) so that upset wouldn’t be that crazy.

Who I Think Will Win

Though the Kidman upset is something I could see happening this really is Portman’s to lose, and I don’t think she will.

Who I Would Give the Globe To

As I said, Ms. Portman delivers the best performance of her career in the best film of the year, so this should no doubt go to her. However, if by some reason she finds herself losing the award to Michelle Williams for Blue Valentine then I actually won’t be that pissed.

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A MOTION PICTURE – DRAMA

Nominees

  • Jesse Eisenberg for The Social Network
  • Colin Firth for The King’s Speech
  • James Franco for 127 Hours
  • Ryan Gosling for Blue Valentine
  • Mark Wahlberg for The Fighter

State of the Race

Look, the Best Actor race, in the Globes, or the SAGs, or the Oscars or in any other precursor award is not really a race at all. If you’ve seen The King’s Speech then you know what I mean, Colin Firth gives a masterclass in acting in that movie, and he won’t find himself losing any of the big ones. If I had to pick a threat to his throne I’d say Jesse Eisenberg or James Franco, but I really don’t see that happening.

Who I Think Will Win

Colin Firth, no questions asked. The man has had an illustrious career, and here he tops himself delivering a truly unbelievable performance that should easily grant him his first Globe.

Who I Would Give the Globe To

Much like in the Best Actress race, I’ll say there’s no way I wouldn’t give it to Mr. Firth. However, if he should lose to Ryan Gosling for Blue Valentine, then I won’t be so pissed.

BEST MOTION PICTURE – COMEDY OR MUSICAL

Nominees

  • Alice in Wonderland
  • Burlesque
  • The Kids Are All Right
  • Red
  • The Tourist

State of the Race

This was the race that caused the most outrage when the nominations were announced. The quality of the films here, with the exception of the sublime The Kids Are All Right, is truly abysmal. Personally even, the grades I gave to the films are all over the place Alice in Wonderland got a B from me, Burlesque a C+, The Kids Are All Right an A+, Red a B and The Tourist a C+. Considering slots could have been filled with much worthier nominees such as Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, Greenberg, Easy A, Cyrus or Love and Other Drugs this is really shameful.

Who I Think Will Win

The Kids Are All Right will probably be an eventual Best Picture nominee at the Oscars, as well as player in some of the other big races, while the other films won’t even in any sort of contention for any major awards at the Oscars. So yes, it’s The Kids Are All Right all the way here. Though considering the Globes were stupid enough to nominate this bunch of films an upset could somehow happen.

Who I Would Give the Globe To

As I said, I gave The Kids Are All Right an A+, while no other nominee got even a B+. Enough said.

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A MOTION PICTURE – COMEDY OR MUSICAL

Nominees

  • Annette Bening for The Kids Are All Right
  • Anne Hathaway for Love and Other Drugs
  • Angelina Jolie for The Tourist
  • Julianne Moore for The Kids Are All Right
  • Emma Stone for Easy A

State of the Race

With the exception of Angelina Jolie this race did have some worthy nominees. But considering the Best Actress race at the Oscars is thought to be a battle between Natalie Portman and Ms. Bening and the former isn’t in this race then I’d say the latter has this one in the bag.

Who I Think Will Win

Annette Bening, hands down. And I really don’t see any of the other nominees delivering an upset.

Who I Would Give the Globe To

And, again, Annette Bening, no question.

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A MOTION PICTURE – COMEDY OR MUSICAL

Nominees

  • Johnny Depp for Alice in Wonderland
  • Johnny Depp for The Tourist
  • Paul Giamatti for Barney’s Vision
  • Jake Gyllenhaal for Love and Other Drugs
  • Kevin Spacey for Casino Jack

State of the Race

This is another race I really don’t understand. The HFPA obviously loves Johnny Depp (as we all do) but a single nomination would have done, especially considering that The Tourist was horrible and that nod could have gone to a much more deserving Ben Stiller for Greenberg.

Who I Think Will Win

If the HFPA loved him enough to nominate him twice for two sub-par performances considering what he’s done in the past, then I’d say they’ll love him enough again to actually give him the damned award for Alice in Wonderland.

Who I Would Give the Globe To

I actually haven’t seen Barney’s Vision yet, but my guess is that Paul Giamatti would be a deserving winner. My pick, however, would most certainly be Jake Gyllenhaal for Love and Other Drugs, a film I thought was rather underappreciated.

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE IN A MOTION PICTURE

Nominees

  • Amy Adams for The Fighter
  • Helena Bonham Carter for The King’s Speech
  • Mila Kunis for Black Swan
  • Melissa Leo for The Fighter
  • Jacki Weaver for Animal Kingdom

State of the Race

The Best Supporting Actress race to me has been by far the toughest one to call throughout the whole season, as it’s full of equally deserving and amazing performances. I could genuinely see any of these five ladies winning the Globe and thinking they earned it. Just a very very tough one to call.

Who I Think Will Win

My guess is that it’ll come down between the two ladies of The Fighter. And with good reason since they’re both unbelievable in it. Melissa Leo has the flashier role and is loved by everyone in Hollywood, so she’d be the more conventional pick. But I’m biased towards Ms. Adams because I love her and actually thought she was better in it, so I’ll go ahead and bet on her.

Who I Would Give the Globe To

As I just said, Amy Adams I thought was amazing in The Fighter, but if I had to power to pick whichever one I wanted I probably would have to go with Mila Kunis, just because in a dream world Black Swan would sweep with everything.

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE IN A MOTION PICTURE

Nominees

  • Christian Bale for The Fighter
  • Michael Douglas for Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps
  • Andrew Garfield for The Social Network
  • Jeremy Renner for The Town
  • Geoffrey Rush for The King’s Speech

State of the Race

The usual suspects here, and my guess is that at least four of them will repeat with an Oscar nomination. Michael Douglas is the one I think may not get an Oscar nomination, in favor of probably Mark Ruffalo or John Hawkes, but he got in with the Globes because they adore him. Though the race was once thought to be a head-to-head between Christian Bale and Geoffrey Rush the latest precursors have cemented Mr. Bale as the clear leader in the race.

Who I Think Will Win

Christian Bale should win this one easily, his was a knockout performance and I don’t see even Mr. Rush beating him. However, as I said, the HFPA loves Michael Douglas, and considering how much he’s gone through lately a win from him here wouldn’t be that out of the blue, though ultimately it’s still quite unlikely.

Who I Would Give the Globe To

I guess I’d give it to Bale, as well. Not only because his performance was terrific but because he’s due some recognition for his work, which he really hasn’t gotten in the past. Though a part of me would love to see Andrew Garfield winning this one.

BEST ANIMATED FEATURE FILM

Nominees

  • Despicable Me
  • How to Train Your Dragon
  • L’Illusionniste
  • Tangled
  • Toy Story 3

State of the Race

The state of the race with the Animated Film category is that it’s never really been a race. Toy Story 3 had this one in the bag the second it came out.

Who I Think Will Win

Again, this isn’t even a question. Toy Story 3.

Who I Would Give the Globe To

These are actually all very good animated films, but none comes close to achieve what the geniuses at Pixar did with Toy Story 3.

BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM

Nominees

  • Biutiful from Mexico and Spain
  • Le Concert from France
  • The Edge from Russia
  • Io Sono l’Amore from Italy
  • In a Better World from Denmark

State of the Race

To be honest I haven’t seen neither The Edge nor In a Better World, so I can’t really comment fairly in this race. However, Biutiful was such a knockout film to me, that I can’t see it losing. Though I0 Sono l’Amore would also be a worthy adversary.

Who I Think Will Win

I’m hoping Biutiful. However, maybe the film was a bit too tough and raw for voters to see in its entirety, or at all, and that may sway them in another direction.

Who I Would Give the Globe To

Biutiful. One of the most powerful films to have come out in all 2010.

BEST DIRECTOR – MOTION PICTURE

Nominees

  • Darren Aronofsky for Black Swan
  • David Fincher for The Social Network
  • Tom Hooper for The King’s Speech
  • Christopher Nolan for Inception
  • David O. Russell for The Fighter

State of the Race

The Best Director race seems to be a six-way race, with Joel & Ethan Coen for True Grit trying to get into the race (most likely at the expense of David O. Russell), they failed to get in here and with the DGA, so I’m guessing they may also miss out at the Oscars, though you never know with those two geniuses.

Who I Think Will Win

I really can’t see a scenario in which Fincher doesn’t leave with the Globe firmly in his hands.

Who I Would Give the Globe To

Again, I’m biased as hell because I think Black Swan was the best film of the year by a mile, so I’ll say Aronofsky. Though Fincher is equally deserving.

BEST SCREENPLAY – MOTION PICTURE

Nominees

  • Simon Beaufoy and Danny Boyle for 127 Hours
  • Christopher Nolan for Inception
  • Stuart Blumberg and Lisa Cholodenko for The Kids Are All Right
  • David Seidler for The King’s Speech
  • Aaron Sorkin for The Social Network

State of the Race

This one also isn’t that much of a race, it’s Aaron Sorkin’s to lose. And he just won’t.

Who I Think Will Win

Mr. Sorkin has this one in the bag.

Who I Would Give the Globe To

I’m a lover fast dialogue and witty remarks, and as such there’s no way I wouldn’t give it to Aaron Sorkin.

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE – MOTION PICTURE

Nominees

  • Alexandre Desplat for The King’s Speech
  • Danny Elfman for Alice in Wonderland
  • A.R. Rahman for 127 Hours
  • Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross for The Social Network
  • Hans Zimmer for Inception

State of the Race

This one’s a pretty damn competitive race. Desplat, Zimmer and the Reznor and Ross collaboration all seem to have pretty good odds to me.

Who I Think Will Win

Again, I could potentially see all three of the ones I named above coming out winners, but if I had to guess I’d say that Hans Zimmer is the most likely to win for his fantastic score for Inception and pick up his third career Globe.

Who I Would Give the Globe To

Personally the score I loved the most was the one Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross created for The Social Network, so that’s definitely my pick. Not only that, but seeing Trent Reznor win a Globe and make a speech would be the icing on the cake.

Now over to the TV categories—

BEST TELEVISION SERIES – DRAMA

Nominees

  • Boardwalk Empire
  • Dexter
  • The Good Wife
  • Mad Men
  • The Walking Dead

State of the Race

Two rookie series making the shortlist, with Boardwalk Empire being a predictable entry and The Walking Dead being a much more surprising freshman nominee. Good stuff.

Who I Think Will Win

Mad Men hasn’t lost this category before, and my guess is that they’ll make it four in a row here, as they rightfully should. Though I could actually see an upset at the hands of Boardwalk Empire happening.

Who I Would Give the Globe To

Out of the five nominees Mad Men to me is by far the best series, so I would give it to them, no doubt.

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A TELEVISION SERIES – DRAMA

Nominees

  • Julianna Marguiles for The Good Wife
  • Elisabeth Moss for Mad Men
  • Piper Perabo for Covert Affairs
  • Katey Sagal for Sons of Anarchy
  • Kyra Sedgwick for The Closer

State of the Race

The usual choices in Marguiles, Moss and Segdwick. And then we have two more surprising picks in Sagal and Perabo. I was extremely happy to see Sagal nominated, since I think she’s riveting in Sons of Anarchy. As for Ms. Perabo, on the other, I’m not entirely sure what the HFPA was thinking with that nomination. Granted, I’ve only seen two episodes of Covert Affairs in my life, but unless Ms. Perabo seriously stepped up her game on the ones I haven’t seen I can’t really get the nomination.

Who I Think Will Win

I could see Ms. Sedgwick winning this one, but my guess is that the HFPA will go with Julianna Marguiles for her fantastic work in The Good Wife.

Who I Would Give the Globe To

I’m a huge fan of The Good Wife, so for me it’s Julianna Marguiles for sure. Though Elisabeth Moss I’d like seeing winning this one, too.

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A TELEVISION SERIES – DRAMA

Nominees

  • Steve Buscemi for Boardwalk Empire
  • Bryan Cranston for Breaking Bad
  • Michael C. Hall for Dexter
  • Jon Hamm for Mad Men
  • Hugh Laurie for House

State of the Race

Very solid picks here, with Steve Buscemi breaking into the pack for his amazing job in Boardwalk Empire’s first season, and Bryan Cranston finally getting in for his masterful job in Breaking Bad.

Who I Think Will Win

Bryan Cranston hasn’t lost at the Emmy’s for his performance in Breaking Bad so far, winning three times in a row, and yet the Globes hadn’t even nominated before, which I’m taking as a sign that they don’t love him as much. And because of that I’ll go ahead and say that Jon Hamm will pick up his second Globe for portraying Don Draper come Sunday. Though an upset at the hands of Buscemi is something I could see happening.

Who I Would Give the Globe To

Were it up to me I would no doubt give it to Cranston, no other nominee comes close to his level of acting in Breaking Bad.

BEST TELEVISION SERIES – COMEDY OR MUSICAL

Nominees

  • 30 Rock
  • The Big Bang Theory
  • The Big C
  • Glee
  • Modern Family
  • Nurse Jackie

State of the Race

Usual suspects here, too. Though I thought it was nice to see The Big C break into the race (most likely at the expense of The Office), however, as we saw last year, this race will probably come down to a fight between the two sophomore series: Modern Family and last year’s winner, Glee.

Who I Think Will Win

They rewarded Glee last year for it’s breakout first season, and while it’s having a very strong sophomore showing I’m hoping the HFPA will be smarter this time around and give the trophy to Modern Family.

Who I Would Give the Globe To

I’d give it to Modern Family. I was kind pissed it didn’t win last year so this one would be deserving.

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A TELEVISION SERIES – COMEDY OR MUSICAL

Nominees

  • Toni Collette for United State of Tara
  • Edie Falco for Nurse Jackie
  • Tiny Fey for 30 Rock
  • Laura Linney for The Big C
  • Lea Michele for Glee

State of the Race

Pretty predictable stuff here, with Laura Linney being the only newcomer in comparison to a year ago, replacing Cougar Town’s Courtney Cox. And to be honest, she’ll probably win it.

Who I Think Will Win

I loved Laura Linney in The Big C, I thought she did some really fine acting and the Globe should be hers, no problem.

Who I Would Give the Globe To

I’d get a knife and cut the Globe in two, give one half to Ms. Linney and the other to Ms. Fey.

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A TELEVISION SERIES – COMEDY OR MUSICAL

Nominees

  • Alec Baldwin for 30 Rock
  • Steve Carell for The Office
  • Thomas Jane for Hung
  • Matthew Morrison for Glee
  • Jim Parsons for The Big Bang Theory

State of the Race

Compared to last year, David Duchovny was exchanged for Emmy-winner Jim Parsons. And that’s a good thing, considering I have a feeling that Mr. Parsons may just win the Globe, too.

Who I Think Will Win

As I just said, I’m guessing Mr. Parsons will follow his Emmy victory with a much deserved win at the Globes. But then again, you really can’t ever count Alec Baldwin out. And, to be honest, I could also see a Matthew Morrison victory here, though I really wouldn’t like that one bit.

Who I Would Give the Globe To

Jim Parsons all the way.

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE IN A SERIES, MINI-SERIES OR MOTION PICTURE MADE FOR TELEVISION

Nominees

  • Hope Davis for The Special Relationship
  • Jane Lynch for Glee
  • Kelly MacDonald for Boardwalk Empire
  • Julia Stiles for Dexter
  • Sofia Vergara for Modern Family

State of the Race

Good stuff all around here, a varied pool of nominees who all have done terrific jobs.

Who I Think Will Win

I guess it’s common knowledge that Jane Lynch will be the favorite to win this one so long as she’s playing Sue Sylvester. But I have a hunch that my personal favorite, Kelly MacDonald, may be able to pull off an upset.

Who I Would Give the Globe To

Kelly MacDonald. Steve Buscemi may get the beefiest scenes to showcase his talents in Boardwalk Empire, but Ms. MacDonald is as much of a reason for my continued viewing of the superb HBO series.

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE IN A SERIES, MINI-SERIES OR MOTION PICTURE MADE FOR TELEVISION

Nominees

  • Scott Cann for Hawaii Five-0
  • Chris Colfer for Glee
  • Chris Noth for The Good Wife
  • Eric Stonestreet for Modern Family
  • David Strathairn for Temple Grandin

State of the Race

There’s not a single repeat nominee from last year, in which John Lithgow won for his stellar turn in Dexter, so that’s pretty interesting. Kudos to the HFPA for rewarding Mr. Caan with a nod, he’s the main reason why the reinvented Hawaii Five-0 is so good right now.

Who I Think Will Win

I would think Chris Colfer has the better shot at the trophy here.

Who I Would Give the Globe To

I wouldn’t mind seeing Mr. Colfer pick up the Globe here, as he’s really terrific in his dramatic scenes on Glee. Though Eric Stonestreet would also be a very welcome winner.

And that’s it for my Globe predictions. I realize it’s a horrible lenghty post, and I’m fearing it’ll all look bad and too long when displayed in the site, but I just thought I’d share my thoughts before the ceremony on Sunday. Next year I’ll give the predictions in bits and pieces and not in just one 3750+ word entry.

Howl

20 Dec

Title: Howl
Year:
2010
Directors:
Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman
Writers:
Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman
Starring:
James Franco, Aaron Tveit, Jon Hamm, David Strathairn, Mary-Louise Parker, John Prescott, Alessandro Nivola, Bob Balaban, Jeff Daniels, Treat Williams
MPAA Rating:
Not rated
Runtime:
85 min
Major Awards:
IMDb Rating:
7.0
Rotten Tomatoes:
56%

 

I’m a big fan of Allen Ginsberg, and Howl, the film depicting the obscenity trial he went through after the publication of the poem of the film’s title, certainly doesn’t disappoint. And the liking I have for this film is mostly due to James Franco, who portrays Ginsberg and who’s probably the actor who had the best 2010: the guy was seen on television, on that stint on General Hospital as well as playing himself on 30 Rock, had supporting performances in Eat Pray Love as well as in Date Night, and of course there’s also his masterful starring performance in 127 Hours, in addition to this one, in which he also excels.

And Mr. Franco really rocks as Ginsberg, and you can tell that he has a real passion for the subject matter as you see his electrifying performance unravel. The film is far from perfect, there are some things in it that don’t really work, but because Mr. Franco anchors the movie so powerfully everything else ends up being okay, and we spend a good chunk of the movie hearing him making his way through the poem, and he’s really good at delivering it, this guy just feels as though he would have most certainly been a part of the Beat Generation had he been born in that era.

This is a film that surely won’t be amazing for everyone, but it surely was amazing for me. I’m a fan of the poem it’s based on, and I’m a fan of the man who wrote it, and as an exploration of writers, and the creative process they go through, this is a film that seriously works. And it’s because the Beats are just an amazing bunch of people that it works so well. I’m a huge fan of their work, and I love how legendary they and their lifestyle and work have become. And as such, a film focusing on a decisive point in their history and a pivotal man in their formation certainly did the trick for me.

And it’s precisely because Howl deals with such an early stage in the history of this movement that it feels so innocent in some ways. It sees one of the fathers of a generation as he becomes what he would be, as he was creating the magnum opus that would stimulate so many minds to this very day, and as he, a man who would be one of the first prominent openly gay men, didn’t want his father to find out about his homosexuality. And it really is riveting to see this part of Ginsberg’s life, before he was so open about everything and was just a rather unsure young man, before he was such a legend and was just a regular young guy, driven by the thrill of creating art.

I loved how everything is portrayed here by Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman, the film’s directors and writers, they have a very good sense of how it all was, and how to properly show it. The courtroom scenes and its dialogue are taken straight from the transcripts. And very well portrayed were also the scenes before the trial, which focused on the life of Ginsberg, which included parts with Jack Kerouac and Peter Orlovsky, the guy he’d live with until his death in 1997.

And then of course the best parts are when he’s at that coffehouse, reading aloud that poem, with Mr. Franco’s wonderful voice and presence just bringing the powerful poem to life in front of us, but then that best part of the film also brings forth the worst part of the movie. Because, as I just said, Mr. Franco is fully able to bring the poem’s wild imagery to life by himself, and yet the film has a need to try and aid him with these animations that illustrate the poem, animations that while very honest and literal don’t manage to capture at all the poetic sense of the words, and that feel wholly unnecessary to the purpose of the film.

But besides those animations I loved how this film treated this poem from the time of its birth. The poem to us is a classic, a very wild one, sure, but one that we’re used to hearing being discussed in classes and stimulate massive discussions amongst our classmates. But to watch the reaction that very same poem had at that time, to see how people behaved in reaction to it, and how it would make its indelible stamp on modern poetry is just amazing.

This is just one very strong film, the animation bits of it feel like a very weak component in an otherwise outstanding movie, but the performance given by Mr. Franco here more than makes up for it, he is really amazing, and I guess part of the reason why I don’t like the animations at all is because I would have much rather had the camera focus on Mr. Franco, who inhabits Ginsberg to perfection, and gives a performance as raw and powerful as the poem that inspired the film.

Grade: B+