January 6th, 2020 Happy New Year

Happy New Year as we enter not only a new year, but also a new decade.  Time flies!  I think back on the decade that was, but also on the decade ahead where (should I still be around) I would finish in my sixties!  Holy crap!  That just doesn’t sound right!

The Golden Globe awards are tonight (I am writing this on sunday) and it should be an interesting awards show.   Usually the fashion is much more interesting than the awards themselves!

On Netflix, four time Golden Globe nominated The Two Popes was on my list.  It is nominated for Best Picture (Drama), as well as Best Actor for the excellent Jonathan Pryce, and Best Supporting Actor for Anthony Hopkins.   I can safely say that I learned more about the current Pope (Pope Francis) than I have ever learned about any Pope ever.  I was pleased to know it.   The movie focuses on the time after the death of the beloved Pope John Paul II.   The church has been feeling much pressure, for scandals like the priests sexually assaulting the altar boys and attendance is falling dramatically.   More and more people see the church as out of touch.   In electing a new Pope, the choice for the Catholic Church was to select German, conservative Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger (Pope Benedict).  He was seen as a unifying vote, but there are grumblings amongst the other Priests.   Among them from Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio from Argentina.  The Argentinian wishes to resign, but the Pope wouldn’t engage in a letter exchange and it forces the two to meet face to face.   What transpires is an exchange of differing philosophies on the overall direction of the church.   There are discussions about “changing” versus “compromising”.   Pope Benedict says he disagrees with virtually every attitude that the Cardinal has.   The Cardinal has a colourful past which comes to light as the two men get to know each other better, and have a growing respect for one another.   There was some humour, as it isn’t all heavy discussion.   I am glad that I watched this.  Pryce in particular was excellent, even though I am not sure that he actually speaks all the Spanish in the film.   I learned something, I was entertained, and I thoroughly enjoyed seeing the sets and in particular the Sistine Chapel.  Having been there, I enjoyed seeing it and remembering just how blue the room is (more than I had expected).   This movie is worth your time,

I went to the theatre on Janaury 1 to see Little Women, principally from the positive reviews and the presence of Sairose Ronan and also Timothee Chalamet, two of the most in-demand and dynamic actors working these days.   I like them both.   Greta Gerwig, who previously directed Lady Bird with Ronan, directs the classic American family tale from the 1800s.   This movie has been done before and notably in 1994 with Susan Sarandon, Winona Ryder and Christian Bale.   For an actor, it is a young persons role mostly and young female talent will seek it out.  Ronan received a Golden Globe for her take on Jo.   Jo is the writer in the family, and this becomes a movie about the creation of the book that becomes this movie.   The challenge for young women of the age was to find their path when their choices were so limited.   Usually it was find a young man of means and status, and then provide heirs for the family.   Florence Pugh, who plays Amy (with a Marcia Brady like complex held by Jan Brady) takes a different turn from Midsommar earlier in the year.   She is also very good.   The weak link in the cast for me is Laura Dern as the Mom.  She isn’t very believable, and I think others in the role would be better.   Dern is 52yo.  Maybe a Jennifer Connelly, Naomi Watts or a Cate Blanchett would have been better.  Emma Watson isn’t the same caliber actress as Ronan and Pugh.   But besides that, this isn’t a movie you need to see on the big screen.   But it was still enjoyable.   Not much happens and reflects life on a farm in New England.   Louisa May Alcott who wrote the story, is encouraged to change the ending for the book to make it more romantic.   In real life she never married.  Beyond this book, she wrote two sequels that were not as well known.   Alcott is similar to Emily Bronte, also in the 1800s,  in looking for a direction in her life.   She found her voice given that 150 years later they are still making movies about her story.

Adding some Golden Globes musings from last night’s proceedings (in no particular order):

  • As talented as he might be, Jacquin Phoenix is a weird dude, and I wouldn’t want to share in whatever vegan meal that he is enjoying
  • Renee Zellwegger, see above, is about as weird as Jacquin, but has a face that still looks like a puzzle with a couple pieces put in wrong.   How does SHE win for a movie no one has seen?
  • Salma Hayek
  • Why all this love for Quentin Tarantino and his movie, while The Irishman and Martin Scorsese left out in the cold?   Shut out?
  • Was Brad Pitt really the best supporting actor?  Against The Irishman P-actors (Pacino and Pesci)?
  • How does Olivia Colman best Jodie Comer?
  • Tom Hanks acceptance speech for the Cecil B deMille award was touching and honest and everything you would expect from this actor.   Tearing up as you look upon your family sitting before you is a tremendous sign of character.
  • 1917 winning Best Picture, I can roll with that, even though most people haven’t seen it yet, including me.  Add Best Director too.  Okay.
  • Salma Hayek (you can’t say the name just once, you just can’t)
  • I need to watch Fleabag.
  • I don’t need to watch Ramy.
  • How does Jared Harris lose to Russell Crowe?
  • Ricky Gervais is profane and deserves to have his mouth washed out with soap, but he pulls no punches and doesn’t care about who he offends (especially calling out the politically inclined winners)
  • Kate McKinnon on introducing Ellen DeGeneres for the Carol Burnett Award, first rate speech.  Fist pump for that.   Heartfelt and genuine.
  • How is Jennifer Aniston nominated for anything?  I think she is there so they have a camera on her as she gazes at Brad Pitt when he wins.




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