12 Years A Slave – This is a powerful story, that is slow at times. Well acted with a particular nod to the main actor (Chiwetel Ejiofor) who will get a Best Actor nomination here. He is excellent, and more for what he doesn’t say than what he does. He has such an expressive face and eyes, that he speaks volumes about what he has endured. This is an important and necessary story to be told. It won’t win favour in the Deep South and I wondered about any compensation that was ever considered for slaves and their families. Hell if the Indians can get compensation from us, and the Japanese from WWII internment, surely here too.
Winter’s Bone – watched this on Netflix as I wanted to see the earlier Jennifer Lawrence Academy Award nomination. Had not seen before. Another slow, plodding along story that is very simple. Family in boondocks, nowhere USA (likely West Virginia) has teen girl (Lawrence) taking care of two younger siblings and her Mom who is basically incapable of action. She is everything on this little house and land. Then the law shows up looking for estranged Dad and says if he misses his Court date, that the house will be lost as it was put up for bail. Lawrence goes off to try and find Dad.
It seems to me that roles with a wide range and tremendous range of emotion do get the nods for awards. Here Lawrence shows this. She did not win. A resilience but also showing deep and powerful emotion. Hanks does this as well in Captain Phillips. Each principal role in the three movies reviewed here have it. So it has been a good week for films. More to come.
Captain Phillips – seen earlier in the week. I am glad to see this. Hanks will also likely get an awards nod for this role. There is truly a part of me that thinks if the money spent to deal with these pirates was just given to them (or their country) then many of the problems could be solved. Think of the money and men spent to mobilize against this situation, and the lives that were put at risk. In truth I did not see as much of the political message here. Yes a people who have very little are looking to survive, but being modern day pirates does not seem to be to be a sympathetic path for them in their quest. The supporting cast was very good, especially the Ethiopian leader (Barkhad Abdi).