Sunday, March 7, 2010
MOVIE MANIA -- SPECIAL EDITION
Today's the day. Today is MY 'SUPERBOWL': The 82nd Annual Academy Awards -- with hosts Alec Baldwin and Steve Martin
On the ballot are:
Best Picture Nominees:
*The Blind Side
*The Hurt Locker
*A Serious Man
*Up In The Air
*Jeff Bridges -- Crazy Heart
*George Clooney -- Up In The Air
*Colin Firth -- A Single Man
*Morgan Freeman -- Invictus
*Jeremy Renner -- The Hurt Locker
*Sandra Bullock -- The Blind Side
*Helen Mirren -- The Last Station
*Carey Mulligan -- An Education
*Gabourey Sidibe -- Precious
*Meryl Streep -- Julie And Julia
Best Supporting Actor:
*Matt Damon -- Invictus
*Woody Harrelson -- The Messenger
*Christopher Plumber -- The Last Station
*Stanley Tucci -- The Lovely Bones
*Christopher Waltz -- Inglourious Basterds
Best Supporting Actress:
*Penelope Cruz -- Nine
*Vera Farmiga -- Up In The Air
*Maggie Gyllenhall -- Crazy Heart
*Anna Kendrick -- Up In The Air
*Mo'nique -- Precious
A little Oscar trivia:
*This year the academy has controversially decided to implement shorter speeches for those who aren't nominated in major categories in order to keep the program contained to it's schedule so as not to run over in time.
I agree. I don't personally care to hear a five minute long speech by the winner of 'Best Lighting For An Animated Documentary Short Foreign Language Film' thanking everyone from their gardener to the person who adhered their false eye lashes made out of real mink.
Okay, so there's not really such a category as 'Lighting For An Animated Documentary Short Foreign Language Film'. But you get my drift.
*Also new this year is the doubled length of the 'Best Picture' category from five to ten nominees.
*James Camereon ('Avatar') is up against his ex-wife, Kathryn Bieglow ('The Hurt Locker'), for Best Picture and Best Director.
Now, ask me how many of these films have I seen?
However, I will. I wait until they come out on cable or DVD. I prefer my entertainment from the comfort of my own home.
Regardless, I never miss The Oscar's. From the time I was a little girl I tuned in to see what everyone was wearing.
I love the glam of it all and get to see my favorite stars walk the red carpet.
My one big criticism of The Oscar's is that they need to lighten up. The old blood needs to acknowledge the new wave of cinema in form of great comedies like this years blockbuster; 'The Hangover', which was completely overlooked.
More so, Zach Galifianakis was outright robbed of Best Actor/Best Supporting Actor for his role in above mentioned film.
Fret not; word is they're making a sequel.
In other news, I may not get to watch anything tonight.
Our T.V. just blew up.
Okay. Not literally, but the inside imploded when we went to turn it on giving off a loud 'BOOM!' that had me ducking and covering.
It's simply no longer working.
So, we have to buy a new T.V.
This is going to be tricky financially but we'll just have to work it out -- and I'm pissed!
The reason I haven't seen any of the nominees is because I don't like to go out and spend money.
We only have the one T.V. in the house and it's located in the living room -- that's it. And we've had the same T.V. for twenty years. All these flat screens, HD -- it's all Greek to us.
I don't go to the movies (Ed does occasionally with the boys, but I rarely go anywhere), we don't go out to eat, we don't travel, we just don't.
We stay home and watch our favorite cable programs, sitcoms, reality shows, DVD's, etc.
That's our entertainment.
So, this will hurt.
In other news, I'm going back in time once again for todays film review.
I bring to you my favorite film of all time:
'The Godfather' ( part II is equally fantastic but skip part III, it should have NEVER been made!)
No film has ever had such an impact on my love of movie mojo as this film, that really needs no introduction.
Don Vito Corleone, played superbly by the great Marlon Brando, rose up from Sicilian tragedy as his mother and father were both murdered by the local mobster in his early childhood.
Traveling alone as a boy to Ellis Island, he made his way to the top the hard way; starting out small, trying to be fair and earnest in making a living while supporting and loving his wife and growing family of three boys and a daughter.
However, opportunities presented itself and he slowly and reluctantly became the one to fear.
Always loyal to his wife and family -- we come to see Don Vito as a sympathetic character -- still trying to be fair in his violent world -- in spite of his underworld ties.
The movie begins with the wedding of his daughter, Connie (Talia Shire -- sister of the films maker and director, Francis Ford Coppola, and aunt to Nicolas Cage, who changed his name from 'Coppola' to 'Cage' to make his way into the business on his own).
According to Sicilian tradition, on the day of a Don's familial wedding, favors may be asked. The opening sequence shows characters of all sorts coming to the Don to tell their story of woe and ask for the Don's 'assistance'.
However, favors may only be granted if one shows respect.
The old adage of 'honor amongst thieves' plays heavy in the film.
Don Vito tells one admirer -- who comes to ask Don Vito to exact revenge on a slight in regards to his 'ready to marry' daughter; "You ask me this favor yet you show me no respect. When was the last time you asked me to your home? Or your wife inviting mine over for a cup of coffee?"
This scene was a beautiful example of the inner workings and torment of a man who didn't necessarily want this position, but to merely live a simple life with friends and family.
He didn't particularly ask for this, but he got it -- and all he asks in return is respect.
The Don is looking to turn over his business to one of his offspring:
~'Sonny' (James Caan): 'the hothead', willing to do whatever it takes, usually on temperamental impulse, to get the job done:
~Fredo (James Cazale): 'The weakling'. Sickly as child, Fredo wants the respect but has a reputation for botching jobs:
~Michael (Al Pacino): the 'quiet, reserved one' who wants nothing to do with the family business, only to marry his love, Kay (Diane Keaton) and live humbly:
~Connie (Talia Shire): the youngest, spoiled and only daughter:
~ Tom Hagan (Robert Duvall): the even-tempered 'adopted son' and 'consigliere' (Lawyer/advisor) for the Corleone family:
Regardless of Michael's insistence that he remain uninvolved in the family business, complications arise that leaves him no choice as they act out a plot of revenge against the men responsible for a murder attempt on their father.
The women of the Corleone family know their place and remain mum on the activities that provide them with the lifestyles to which they've become accustomed -- except for newcomer Kay, who urges Michael to stay out of the family business.
The most poignant, and my favorite, scene of the film comes when an ailing Don is sitting in his garden having a rare heart to heart with Michael -- to whom he deeply loves and respects:
With quiet humility and a tone of sadness that tugs at my heart, the Don says: "I never wanted any of this for you."
Michael: "I know, Pop. I know."
Like his father, Michael got it whether he likes it or not.
And so the story goes.
Rightful winner of three Academy awards including Best Actor for Marlon Brando, Best Picture and Best Writing (Mario Puzo and Francis Ford Coppola).
Another piece of trivia: John Cazale, who played Fredo, died a few years after the making of 'The Godfather I and II' due to cancer. He was engaged to a young, unknown actress at the time named Meryl Streep.
Enjoy The Academy Awards, everyone. I may have to make a trip to Sears' electronic department, bring a lawn chair and popcorn.