I went out to see Manchester By The Sea with all of the good reviews and award nominations that is has received. Casey Affleck then last night wins the Best Actor Award in a Drama for his performance.
A quick sidebar about the Golden Globes last night. La La Land was nominated in 7 categories and won every one. It became the movie with the most Golden Globe wins ever. I have to say that I have little interest in seeing this homage to Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers, nor particularly in the whole musical on film genre. Best Picture Oscars have been awarded to Chicago and The Artist and other such films but for me they are not all that intriguing. I certainly do not need to see them on the big screen, especially in this instance with Golden Globe winner Emma Stone who I really don’t like much. Meryl Streep went off on a political rant as well as others such as Hugh Laurie. In the end, they all need to accept the fact that Americans voted as they did. And they’re not going to like it for the next four years. Some of the dresses were pretty, others less so. I wonder why dudes (like Jonah Hill) who wear sneakers with a tux don’t get lambasted as much for their lack of class and fashion sense than the women do.
Onto the Misery by the Water. As described by Alison this was not a feel good movie. This is a movie of an emotionally detached guy, and for good reason, who needs to address and accept the death of his brother, and his brother’s unilateral decision to make him the guardian of a walking hormone 16 yo son. There are good performances all around. This is NOT the Best Picture of the Year. Casey himself is a portrait of a man who internalizes and then lashes out unexpectedly at times. He has an alcohol issue and should be kept away from most bar situations. The story then unfolds as he and the boy and those around them address this new state. The use of flashback sequences is effective to fill in the gaps about these people, and what occurred, to show their history and current attitudes. There is some humour, mostly with the boy and the interactions with his uncle. I think that the music was used as effectively as at any time in recent memory. The music plays, much like the first few minutes of UP where you see the couple’s life unfold without words, with the voices being muffled and you see the body language and emotions of those on screen to the actions that have taken place. It is powerful. In the end there is a thought-provoking story that raises many questions to be discussed. I am glad to have seen it, but I had to be prepared for it. Everyone here is damaged in one way or another, without fail. I was a little taken aback by the conclusion. I’ll leave it at that. Is this a movie about depression? I am not sure. It is certainly a movie about death and dealing with it. It can also be about small town issues and dealing with small minds and one’s past. Lion in comparison had emotional aspects to it that were powerful. Here too there was power in the message but different. Hard to describe.
I finished Westworld which I (gulp) downloaded. I am a bad person. But it had to be done. Crichton does love his twists and turns or at the very least the Nolan Brothers do. There is more gratuitous violence and nudity than required here. I guess it gains audiences for titillation but does not add much to the story. I did like the arc of the story for Anthony Hopkins. Also too Bernard. Thandie Newton was very good and I think better than Evan Rachel Wood. I had not seen the original movie from 70s. Still this held my attention and was glad I watched closely together as the story remained fresh. There are plenty of interesting insights about people, and happiness and what drives us.
Game of Thrones Season 5 is done and onto Season 6. The Jon Snow ending was kind of unexpected but I am aware that we have not seen the last of him. I think I will relish seeing the end of the religious fanatics as much as Cersei. The Bran story does not hold my interest.
The title “Lion” will be misleading for this Golden Globe nominee for Best Picture. Dev Patel is nominated for his work as well. A couple of times when I was watching I paused and thought about the title and then just let the story envelop me. Here is a recent story from 1986, and into today which in many ways is a good companion piece to previous Best Picture Slumdog Millionaire. The story is a simple one. Young boy in India accompanies older brother for some work, and then gets separated from him at a train station. He boards another empty train looking for him and becomes lost. I give away nothing by saying that he eventually is adopted by a couple in Australia and then later to seeks his real family.
The performances are all very good, and notably by the little boy who gets lost. His eyes are so full of life, and he has a resilience which allows him to overcome many obstacles thrown his way. His adult persona played Dev Patel is also very good as he struggles with his memories and trying to figure out how to find his past.
This is a story about families, adoption, brothers, and struggle. Yet again I am reminded of the blessed life and upbringing we have in Canada and the West. 1986 is not ancient history. The little boy lived in squalor and mother was a labourer who moved rocks. Rocks.
You care about these people. All of them, and they take you on a worthwhile journey that is something you will talk about when it is done. It is another Golden Globe drama nominee that I am pleased to have seen. Hell or High Water was another.
Have a fabulous 2017 one and all.
P.S> on the home watching front, I have been catching up on Game of Thrones, now in Season 5. The twists and turns here, and no particular loyalty to keeping characters you like alive makes this fun watching. Also I have watched 6 episodes of Westworld, which has been good as well. Well cast with Sir Anthony Hopkins, Thandie Newton and Evan Rachel Wood you have robots in an adult amusement park waking up to their reality from the Crichton book made into a film with Yul Brenner long ago. Christopher Nolan’s brother is involved. I did thoroughly enjoy The Crown about Queen Elizabeth.