Best Picture Hall of Fame Part 2

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Think you used enough dynamite there, Butch?
I have to write up a review for Unforgiven then I have King's Speech, Gandhi and American Beauty left
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They say: that after people make love there's a kind of melancholia, the petite mort, the little death. Well, I'm here to tell you, after a romantic night with yourself there's a very acute sensation of failed suicide. ~Dylan Moran



Think you used enough dynamite there, Butch?



The King's Speech

Lionel Logue: [as Albert prepares to light a cigarette] Well, please, don't do that.
King George VI: I'm sorry?
Lionel Logue: I believe sucking smoke into your lungs will... will kill you.
King George VI: My physicians said it relaxes the... the... the throat.
Lionel Logue: They're idiots.
King George VI: They've all been knighted.
Lionel Logue: [sarcastic] Makes it official, then.

Firstly, out of the 10 nominations for Best Picture of 2010 I have only two others; Inception and True Grit, both of which I do, very much enjoy, I have a feeling that The King's Speech was a worthy winner for that year.

This was a Blind Grab for me since this was a film I've been wanting to see, being very much up my alley.
A historical period piece chock full of actors I enjoy and several I [email protected] right love. There is also a warm, endearing center to this film that focuses on the British royalty that were preparing to look down the barrel of the coming second world war. It involves the passing of the previous King, George V, the abdication of the throne by the first son, Edward VIII (a story all on its own) and, the second son's struggles with a stammer and the national speech he would have to do, via the radio and the speech therapist he goes to, to help him overcome his stutter.
Part of that warmth was brought about from a box, found by the speech therapist's grandson containing Lionel Logue's diary, his appointment book, notes from his speech therapy sessions with King George VI, and over 100 personal letters to Logue from the King. It was given to the director and screenwriter to flesh out the relationship between Lionel and "Bertie". Also, Rush and Firth read through them as well. Firth insisting on one line from it, that occurred following the famous speech; ("You still stammered on the 'W'." / "Well, I had to throw in a few so they knew it was me.").
This film is chock full of such little moments that Endearing is the ideal description for how I feel about this film that I was enthralled with from the very beginning to the notes before the credits rolled.



Gandhi



First and foremost, it really was an excellent performance by Ben Kingsley. I don't know a whole lot about Gandhi, but I feel Kingsley really did his research to absolutely nail down the role. I wasn't as impressed with much of the rest of the cast, but obviously the movie wasn't really about them either.

The production and the time that was put into this movie was really impressive to me. The amount of film extras in this film is insane, as I think someone said before it was pretty much a record at the time. The film looked really good and had good costume design too.

That being said, I didn't enjoy it all too much as I definitely felt it's length and was at times bored with it. But I can certainly respected it, even if I may or may not ever see it again.




The Departed



I saw this three weeks ago, but with everything going on in the world I forgot to do a write up about it. My apologies.

I consider this one of Scorcese's better works, and I realize that I'm probably in the minority on that, but I really think it's a very well directed and put together film. The screenplay is really good and there really isn't much lacking in terms of the acting. DiCaprio, Damon, Nicholson, Wahlberg, and Farmiga all bring their A games in my opinion.

The last 30 minutes or so are just great entertainment and great scenes overall. Shocking the first time and now oh so entertaining. Glad I got to see it again.




Platoon

This is one that I respect a bit more than I love. I wouldn't necessarily say I didn't like it, I think it was really well directed and I think it really conveyed a lot of thoughts on just what war can turn into: which is ugliness. The performances are all actually really good too, it's a shame Charlie Sheen couldn't continue to have success with his film career although Two and a Half Men is his masterpiece certainly. I liked seeing Whittaker and Depp in their small roles before their careers really started to take off. Really liked Dafoe too and you can obviously see that Berenger was made for that sort of role. It's a good movie, and I've watched it a fair amount of times. But Best Picture wise, I would say it's in the middle of the road as far as those go. And I got to give good points to a really good score too.

+



Unforgiven

Siddon did me a favor by nominating one of my favorite films of all time. It's a film that has no flaws for me. The story of revenge is just so rewarding to watch for me. William Munny is a very intriguing character. The acting in the film is all brilliant. The shots that Eastwood uses are perfectly composed. I don't have a lot to say about the film because I am completely mesmerized by just how great of a movie it is for me. This is also one of the more iconic and well done endings in any film for me. It gets the full points from me and was a perfect way to end this HOF for me.

+



Think you used enough dynamite there, Butch?
I'm done sorry for being a slowpoke. Just waiting on @edarsenal
Way to go, :EDIT: raul!!

I guess I'll need to get my @ss moving then lol
Give me a couple of days and I'll knock this out



Think you used enough dynamite there, Butch?



Unforgiven

In 1992, Unforgiven beat out The Crying Game, A Few Good Men, Howard's End, and Scent of a Woman. The only one I haven't seen is Howard's End, which I've always been curious to see. Against these and their excellent runs, I'm sure Unforgiven was a worthy surprise. So, I would definitely say it was a decidedly good win for Eastwood that year.

Common Knowledge Spoiler: Eastwood made his bones on several iconic spaghetti westerns back in the sixties, before taking the helm as director, into the seventies.
Bringing all of that and continuing onward with this film that has a secondary plateau of viewing pleasure: Witnessing the later years of the persona he portrayed some thirty-plus years previously. Done in pure iconic Eastwood gritty western style we've come to appreciate and, for me, [email protected] love.
The grit is represented, as in the past, with stellar talent. Two of which, Gene Hackman and Richard Harris have starred in some favorite Westerns of mine. For Hackman, Wyatt Earp and The Quick and the Dead and for Harris, A Man Called Horse which I NEED to watch just for placement in my Westerns List. Can't remember anything about the second one, Return of-- or whether I saw it or not.
Nevermind that they're some of my favorite actors, period.
And, well, Morgan Freeman is. . . [email protected] MORGAN [email protected] FREEMAN!! Ya know?
Backing them up, as also in the past, bringing their "A-game" with them. Starting with Jaimz Woolvett (The 'Schofield Kid'); the blustering youth needing to prove something. Those moments when the fear and uncertainty slip out make for an endearing character. Not extraordinary, but an excellent season to this pot of western stew. Steeming with the "grays" of multiple layers of Western Rights & Wrongs.
Anna Winger also delivers, as she had when I first saw her in The Crow, as Delilah, the cut-up prostitute, prompting the other "girls" to put a price on the one responsible, and his buddy, since The Law not doing nuthin bout them but a fine and a "Ya all take care now,".
As does the buddy, (Rob Campbell) bringing one, of so many, Western morality quagmires that permeates this excellent Revenge/Was Done With The Life Only To Be Dragged Back In, style film. He's a decent guy doing his sincere best to abide by The Fine, bringing one of his best horses to Deliah. Adding to the multi-layered afore-mentioned quagmires when his fate in the canyon occurs.

This is part of the echelon of Eastwood Westerns without a doubt and with (for me) serious rewatchability -- which I have.



Think you used enough dynamite there, Butch?
It's the most beautiful thing I ever saw.



lol, my dumb ass hit Save instead of Preview as I started typing out my review.

In fact, that is pretty funny, I'll post a new reply with the finished review:



Think you used enough dynamite there, Butch?



American Beauty

In 1999, American Beauty beat out The Cider House Rules, Sixth Sense, The Insider and The Green Mile. I've only seen the beginning of The Cider House Rules and truly wish to see all of it. Somewhat remember The Insider, really love Sixth Sense and. . . I can see American Beauty as a win, though, for me, I find The Green Mile the greater film.

One could argue that perhaps it's because American Beauty detonates the truth beneath the everyday facade so many of us confine ourselves to so that the bills continually get paid and appearances are kept up. And it's a hard pill to swallow. A very necessary one, but, still,
Until, one day, simply masturbating in the shower as the highlight of one's day is no longer how you wish to merely exist. To break from, what Thoreau expressed how "Most men lead lives of quiet desperation." Lester Burnham (Kevin Spacey) decides to stop being a docile man and just. . . live. While yes, it's less than a year of life, but, hey, a lot of us don't get that year - or even a day for some sad few. So, yay Lester.
I do feel sorry Annette Bening's Carolyn, who's grasping at crackling veneers and any time she attempts to let her grip relax and just be happy -- something goes sideways. Every time.
Poor girl.
Important Lesson: young ladies who stand on apartment roofs and flash traffic copters MUST remember to, later in life, to take the time out to feel the sun on - well, you know, make yourself laugh, very very loudly, doing something out of the ordinary.

There is an amusing metaphorical Hays Code going on with this film. Much like within Noir films where crime NEVER pays and anyone breaking the law, dies or goes to jail.
Instead of kowtowing to his job and meekly accept that he is expendable, Lester blackmails them for another year's full pay with benefits. Only to get caught up in his new neighbor's homophobic terror of his own sexuality resulting in the back of his head abruptly getting air-conditioned and thereby, a pulpy mess is made all over the white tile.

Mendes does nail it with some intense theraputic-like self-examinations across the board of everyone involved, including the teenagers.
I have not seen this since it first came out. Thanks @ahwell for nominating this!