January 26th, 2015

Oscar season is upon us, and to that end there are a number of films for me to catch up on.   I saw for a second time Imitation Game this weekend and re-confirmed what I had been thinking; that this is one of the Best Films of the Year.  So far it is my pick.  And although it is a biopic, and agreed on my part with Alison, that it isn’t as much of a stretch for an actor (here we have a man, Turing who has been dead since 1954).    I like the various themes here, and the notion that it was women (not only Joan Clark but the receiver of messages on the wires) as well as this gay man who solved Enigma and shortened the war effort by a couple years.

I saw Birdman and also Cake this weekend.

Birdman was really good on a number of levels.   Michael Keaton was really good and so was Edward Norton.    I typically am not an Emma Stone fan, but she was also very good in a supporting role.    It is an interesting view on fame, relevance, the theatre and critics.   All at the same time.   It is well acted, with some extraordinary interactions.  It is beautifully filmed in NYC, and in a theatre with great use of lighting and colour.   The music too adds much to the whole feel of the picture.    Here we have a tortured narcissist and actor who had been a great comic book movie star, but has done little since.   He is looking to become relevant by creating an original play for Broadway (writing, acting and directing).   Norton re-affirms what I already knew about him; he is a great actor and needs to work more on quality projects.    The interaction among the characters is its strength and it has great writing.    Worthy of its’ many nominations (Best Film, Director, Actor, Supporting Actor and Actress).

Cake was okay.  A rather simple story really of a woman in chronic pain after an accident of some kind.   A fellow woman in pain therapy had taken her own life (Anna Kendrick) and that leaves this woman trying to understand herself and this other woman’s motivations.   Can’t say that this was an Oscar performance, and Aniston was not nominated (although she got a Golden Globe nomination).   It was a bit slow, and I can’t say that the acting (beyond showing pain) was over the top excellent.  Here like Birdman is a protagonist who has internal voices, or those who speak to them that are not necessarily there.

Guess I need to see The Theory of Everything at some point.

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