Posts tagged Best Actor
“Don’t Try This on Your Own”
127 HOURS received a number of Academy Award nominations, including Best Picture, Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Film Editing, Best Original Score, Best Original Song, and Best Actor for its star, James Franco.
Franco, of course, plays Aron Ralston, the hiker who in 2003 was hiking by himself in a remote area in Utah when his right arm got pinned underneath a boulder, which he wrote about in his book, BETWEEN A ROCK AND A HARD PLACE.
The most interesting part of the story, of course, is that after failing for days to be able to dislodge the boulder, Ralston amputated his arm with a small knife in order to save himself from dying.
So, if you already know the whole story, you might think, why bother seeing this movie?
The story begins on a Saturday with Ralston arriving in the area where he is going to start hiking.
He encounters two young women who are lost, and he tells them how to find the place they are looking for, but they look at him with suspicion.
Realizing why, Ralston removes the bandanna from his face and says, “I’m only a psychopath on weekdays. Today is Saturday.”
While the three of them spend some time together, Ralston tells them that he is an engineer, but hiking in areas like this is what he really wants to do, and he considers this his second home.
The girls invite Ralston to a party the next night at the place where they are staying, they say goodbye, and then the interesting part of the story begins.
Ralston falls in a crevice, and a large boulder dislodges and traps his arm against the rock wall.
The girls are out of shouting distance at this point, and now, you might ask, how can the story be interesting for the rest of the movie?
It might not be if the rest consisted of just grimacing, struggling, frustration, more struggling, more grimacing, even more struggling, and even more grimacing, but don’t forget all those Academy Award nominations and the talents of the writers, director, and actor.
127 HOURS is worth all the awards it receives, but don’t try this on your own.
“Life Changed Forever”
LOVE AND OTHER DRUGS is a bittersweet romantic comedy with a twist, and by “twist” I don’t mean a twist of lemon that could be applied, but rather a subplot that provides its “wink, wink, nudge, nudge” jokes.
Jake Gyllenhaal and Anne Hathaway star, two excellent actors who are not only easy on the eyes, but also both of whom have already been mentioned as possibilities for Best Actor and Best Actress awards in 2011 for this movie.
The time is 1996, and Jake plays Jamie Randall, an enthusiastic salesman of practically everything, but most of his successful sales seem to be to attractive women, if you catch my drift.
In fact, his sales techniques and satisfied customers tend to get him fired, too, and so at a family dinner with his parents and millionaire brother, when they talk about their professional accomplishments, Jamie has to announce, “I am looking for other opportunities.”
Jamie finds a job, and he goes through six weeks of training to become a pharmaceutical representative for a major drug company. The job requires hard-core sales, and he has a quota he has to meet.
That includes paying $1,000 to Dr. Stan Knight, played by Hank Azaria, to let Jamie shadow him one day, and if anyone asks, Jamie is an intern.
One of the patients is Maggie Murdock, who has early onset Parkinson’s Disease, and Jamie is instantly smitten.
Maggie finds out about Jamie’s deception, but she agrees to go out with him anyway, because she is just like him, not looking for any long-term relationship, except that in her case she doesn’t want to become an inevitable burden to anyone.
Then Jamie’s company comes out with a little blue pill called Viagra, and that changes everything in Jamie’s life.
Of course, Jamie’s and Maggie’s relationship has its ups and downs–wink, wink, nudge, nudge–and I don’t mean just physical.
If this enjoyable romcom has a moral, it would be “Everybody needs someone to take care of them.”
And, of course, people like Jamie and Maggie don’t believe that originally and fight it as long as they can.
LOVE & OTHER DRUGS also shows how you can meet one person and your life is changed forever.
“Get Down to Business”
GET LOW is a wonderful little film starring Robert Duvall, Sissy Spacek, and Bill Murray that will have you chuckling throughout and wiping away a tear at the end.
It takes place in the 1930s and is based on a true event in which a local recluse wanted to throw a funeral party for himself while he was still alive so he could hear what people had to say about him.
Duvall plays Felix Bush in an outstanding performance that could easily win him an Academy Award nomination in 2011 for Best Actor.
Bush is a local legend who has lived alone in his house out in the woods for 40 years, which causes the kids in town to gather up their courage and go out to throw rocks through a window.
Whenever Bush harnesses his mule to his wagon and goes into town, it causes a sensation, one that doesn’t always end well.
When the preacher asks what he means by “get low,” Bush explains, “Down to business.”
However, when Bush tells the preacher what he wants, the preacher turns him down.
On the other hand, business has been bad at the funeral home, and when the funeral director, Frank Quinn, played by Murray, hears about Bush’s desire and especially about his wad of money, Quinn is eager to do business with the recluse.
However, Bush has more in mind than just a funeral party and hearing what everyone has to say about him. Bush has a secret that he wants to reveal, and he also wants to sell $5 tickets for a raffle, the winner to get Bush’s house on 300 acres of uncut timber when he does die.
Well, money makes people do funny things, and everything doesn’t go as planned, to say the least.
Spacek plays Mattie, a widow, and as Bush puts it, he once “had a go” with Mattie, but she also figures prominently in Bush’s secret and why he has been a recluse for 40 years.
GET LOW gets down to business as an excellent film that I admired for its story, the acting, and its rewarding conclusion.