Best Picture Hall of Fame

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Gladiator

Let’s just get it out in the open right now. I am not a fan of movies like this. Never cared for gladiator films. I actually think they are extremely boring. They are somewhat torture for me to sit through.

Anyway, I saw this only once before. That was when it was out in the theaters. I was with a guy who was determined to go see it. I really didn’t want to, but he knew he was going to get me to agree just because Joaquin Phoenix was in it.

If I had one problem with this film, I wish it wasn’t as long. I think some of the fight scenes could’ve been cut down. Of course a true gladiator film should have gladiator fights, but some of it was too much. I don’t remember feeling that way when I first saw the film, but as I know I mentioned a few days ago, I wasn’t well while I watched these. So maybe I was a little more impatient during such scenes for that reason. I don’t know.

I personally think it is a beautiful-looking film. The story is fine. I always like something that has a bit of a Shakespearean feel to it. The performances are good, too. While Russell Crowe was very good as Maximus, I wouldn’t have given him the Oscar. I will always stand by my opinion that Geoffrey Rush was robbed of the award. He was, in my opinion, the most deserving in Quills. Joaquin Phoenix, on the other hand, was robbed for his performance in this film. I honestly thought he was going to get it that year. He deserved it. Case closed. He plays the role of the twisted Commodus so well (and, as a bonus, he looks so damn good while giving this excellent performance) that I actually find myself feeling a bit of pity for the guy. I could be wrong, but I have kind of come to the conclusion that Joaquin will be one of those actors that will never be given any respect until he lives long enough to congratulate him for doing so by giving him a Lifetime Achievement Award.

Anyway, this movie may be better than other gladiator films for me because the story is much more interesting. As I said, I think it has a Shakespearean feel to it and that always helps make me more interested in stories that are set this far back in time.

Out of all the films that were nominated that year, I think this was the most deserving. I also think it was a weak year for films. I really didn’t care for anything else that was nominated. And I am not saying that Gladiator was weak in any way (I think it is a very strong picture, actually). It is just that the others were SO weak to me that I don’t think there was any sort of competition for it. Even if there was, I think this still may have ended up the winner that year.

__________________
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"Money won is twice as sweet as money earned."



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All the King’s Men

Another rewatch.

I can’t lie. I am not a big fan of this film. It has been years since I have seen it and the reason for that is because I just didn’t like it then, and I still don’t care for it now. I maybe like it more now than I did then. I was younger when I watched it. So I can appreciate more of it now, but I am really not a fan. I don’t hate it. I just don’t like it.

While all of the performances are fine, I just don’t have that much interest in the characters, which, therefore, makes the story not all the interesting to me. I know there will be others out there that just love this film (if nothing else, for the statement it is making), but it just isn’t a good movie to me. There really is nothing about it that is interesting. And if I am not interested in something, I am not going to care for it all that much.

It is kind of a wonder to me how this won Best Picture. Like I said, it is making a statement (I suppose), and that was the appeal. If I were able to change the history of the Oscars that year, I would’ve given it to either The Heiress or Twelve O’Clock High. This film, in my opinion, pales in comparison to those two. I just don’t see how either one was overlooked for this one. I really don’t get it.



And if you want to see a film of a man's rise and downfall, A Face In the Crowd is much better, I think.



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A Beautiful Mind

A movie that I never planned on watching. Why not? It never seemed like it would be too interesting.

I really didn’t know what it was about going into it. I knew that this man was some kind of genius mathematician (and I had heard the name of John Nash), but that was it.

I will admit that I wasn’t all that interested in the story. It was fine, but at the same time, it seemed to drag. There were parts that I liked, and I would find myself fully engaged in the story, but then there were the times where the film would just slow down and then feel like it was never going to end. That is a shame, in a way, because, really, this is kind of my sort of film that I end up really liking. And it just didn’t work out that way for me this time.

Russell Crowe was fine, I think, for the man that he was supposed to be portraying. I don’t care for Jennifer Connelly – in anything –and I don’t see how she was an award winner. Nothing about her performance stood out to me. Ed Harris, on the other hand, I am a huge fan of. Needless to say, he was probably the character I was the most interested in, despite it being such a supporting role.

I liked how the hallucinations played into the story. Truth be told, I really didn’t see that coming.

I don’t know. I just wish this would’ve been one that I would’ve liked better than I did. I don’t think I would’ve given it Best Picture. If I had had it my way that year, I would’ve given it to Gosford Park. I saw that in the theater when it came out. I really enjoyed that one the first time I saw it (and every time afterwards that I have watched it). That is a reason, among many others, that I felt it deserved it more than A Beautiful Mind.




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On the Waterfront

It has been so many years since I have seen this film. I really liked it when I saw it.

At least I think I did.

Maybe my memory is starting to fade and I don’t remember the past as well as I used to.

This was the movie that I fell asleep during. Twice.

I don’t know if it was because I didn’t feel well (I was pretty sick at the time that I watched it). I don’t know if it was a lack of interest. I just don’t know if I can come up with any reasonable explanation for what had happened, but I didn’t care about it.

It seems to me that I was really engaged with the characters and the story when I saw it so many years ago. But when I watched it now, I don’t see how I ever would’ve been able to get that into it.

The basics of the story are fine. I liked the performances (aside from Eva Marie Saint – how did she win an Oscar for this?). I think Marlon Brando (God, did that man look good when he smiled!) and Karl Malden were the favorites for me. Malden generally is a standout for me, anyway. I’ve always felt he was a tad bit underrated. I just found myself not caring about anything that was happening in the film.

This was a movie that I watched years ago because it was during my “I have to watch every classic” phase when I was like 12-14 years old. It was a film I’d heard about and it had to be watched. In a way, I kind of wish I hadn’t rewatched it now. Like I said, in my memory, I enjoyed the film. This viewing changed my opinion. Do I think it is a bad film? Not at all. It is just one that I honestly don’t care if I ever see it again. Should it have won for Best Picture? Looking at the other nominees, maybe. But then again, I am a sucker for Seven Brides for Seven Brothers. I would’ve voted for that one because it is much more enjoyable for me to watch.

I feel kind of bad for not liking this one more, but it is what it is. Elia Kazan has some excellent films. I just don’t think this is as high as some of those others.




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Moonlight

Every year my mother and I would get all of the Best Picture nominees to watch at home and decide if we thought the Academy got it right or wrong.

Out of all the films last year, this was the one that I was the most interested in seeing. I wanted to see what the hype was all about. Part of me understands the hype (black, gay teenager who ends up a thug drug dealer), and part of me doesn’t (this day in age I don’t think there is anything that special about having such a character/storyline in a film).

The movie felt very independent. Very low key. Very small. And that is fine. I like a lot of movies like that. And a lot of those movies probably deserve the attention a lot more than this film did. But ultimately, this is the one that will go down in history as having won an Oscar. That will make this one be remembered a lot longer than those other films. Maybe because something that seemed so “small” got the attention that it did, that will help people start to pay attention to other quality independent films out there.

I felt exactly the same this year as I did last year when I watched this movie. I thought it was OK. Pretty average, actually. I didn’t think anything really stood out in it. But it was a good movie to kill an afternoon with.

I actually like the third part of the story best. I liked seeing the outcome of the two boys. I liked seeing the men they became (and how different could they be?). I liked that there was this “bond” between them to this very day. And I knew how the film ended. I was happy with the ending last year. I am just as satisfied with it this year.

For me, the film that was most deserving of Best Picture was Hacksaw Ridge. I actually really loved that one. So that would’ve been my pick. And I am not saying that the Oscars got it wrong with this one (I wasn’t the biggest fan of most of the nominees last year), but I will accept this as a winner without too much argument.




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Forrest Gump

Yeah, I love Forrest Gump. I will make no apologies for it.

That last time I watched this movie was back in 2012. My mother had just had surgery on her hip and this was on TV overnight that night. I sat, as usual, unable to sleep, in her hospital room watching this at 3:00 in the morning. Thank goodness it was on because it got me through the night.

I saw this when it was originally out in the theaters. I saw it twice. I have watched it a few times through the years. Then a few weeks ago I started to watch it on TV, but I eventually turned it off. I just didn’t seem to be in the mood to sit through it. So when I saw it nominated now, I knew I had to make it through it this time. Of course, I fast forwarded to the moment I stopped watching it on TV. No need to watch all of that a second time.

I have always enjoyed how his story gets told through history. I think it is actually a fun film to watch. I am doing nothing but staring at the screen watching these people act out a story, but I am actually having fun watching them do it. And I like how not all of it is light-hearted. There are some darker, deeper parts of the story, and I think that helps all of the unrealistic things that happen in Forrest’s life seem as if it were possible for these things to happen.

I like all of the supporting characters (and the actors’ performances – particularly Gary Sinise) in it. I almost forgot how heartbreaking the outcome of Bubba’s story is for me.

Speaking of Bubba, that whole time spent going on about the various types of shrimp there is out there is still one of my favorites parts in any film ever.

Acting wise, I think Tom Hanks deserved it for this. And I know I have brought it up before (and I know it may be an unpopular opinion, but I don’t care), but I think he deserved it much more for playing Forrest than for his role in Philadelphia. I, personally, thought Denzel should’ve been nominated, and won, for that film. Not Tom Hanks. I could go off on why, but this isn’t about Philadelphia, this is about Forrest Gump, and I will focus on that.

People have always mentioned the film’s soundtrack, which is good. But I have always been a fan of the film’s score. That never seems to get as much attention. In the history of film scores, this definitely ranks in my top 10. The theme is simple, which makes it simply beautiful. I think it is one of the loveliest pieces of music that anyone has ever composed for a film.

I don’t know why exactly, but this film got to me. I’ve always found it to be a sad film. I really do think it is, but I just couldn’t handle it. I don’t know. Maybe because every now and then I still have a tough time with all that has happened in my life (it has only been 4 months for my mom and 3 for my dad), and I just have so much stress over many things in my life at the moment, but this movie got to me. I cried. I did. It really hit me hard for some reason this time around. But it didn’t make me like this film any less for putting me in a deep depression after having watched it. I still think it is an excellent film to watch.

Best Picture worthy? Definitely. I think so. Of course, if I had to rank where it should’ve placed, it would’ve been third behind The Shawshank Redemption and Four Weddings and a Funeral. Still, I will never go against it having won, though. I like it too much.




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Rocky

If we had ever had a Blind Nomination HoF (like what was discussed), this was going to be my nomination. I have never seen it, but I was always curious to see it. I wanted to see what the big deal was.

I liked this movie. Not as much as I thought I would (I always thought the scenes that I knew and the plot would be something that would turn it into a film that I would absolutely love). Truth be told, I was a little disappointed. Something was lacking and I can’t quite put my finger on what it was.

It is a fine story. It is a film with fine acting. Yet, something is just not there for me. I think that, perhaps, if there wasn’t always such a big deal made about the film, my expectations wouldn’t have been so high for it. At least I think that is why I wasn’t as impressed with this as I thought I would be.

Truth be told, I don’t have a logical reason for why this film didn’t make me fall in love with it. I should’ve done so. I just didn’t.

Although, what this film did do was make me curious to see the sequels. So, at some point, I will be watching those. I kind of feel like now that I have seen the first one, I have to see them all. And now that I have seen this film, I will probably give it a try again before I watch all of the other ones. I want to like this movie more than I did. So I want to give it a try to see if I am just being a little unfair to it in some way. Or, perhaps, maybe there was just something I missed that would make me like it more.

OR MAYBE IT IS BECAUSE I ALREADY KNEW THE ENDING. I really wish I didn’t know how it had ended. I think that would’ve helped my good opinion out a lot more than it did. I knew what to expect and that isn’t a good thing to know going into this film.

I admit that I wouldn’t have awarded it Best Picture. I can kind of see why it won, but my personal preference would’ve been for Taxi Driver to have won.




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One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest

It has been years since I saw this one.

I have very strong opinions on mental institutions and how people are treated in these facilities. I know some may think that people weren’t being treated as harshly anymore, but yes, they were. I am a big advocate for someone with a mental disability being treated with the same respect as everyone else. And although this was a fiction, it still infuriates me to see how people can be treated. I am just not a fan at all. I do like that this film (and the book it is based on) allows people to see how inhumane people can be treated who were unfortunate enough to be born without the ability to be “normal” like everyone else. It is a very, very sad thing to me.

I think this is a pretty strong film that I was into the moment it started. Two of the best performances in it come from Jack Nicholson and the underappreciated Brad Dourif. I do think Nicholson deserved the Oscar (although, I will then say Al Pacino did – it is a hard year for me to give a definite answer on that one).

This isn’t a movie that I am probably going to watch again for a long time, but it was one that a rewatch was long overdue.

I don’t really have much more to say about it than that. I am not overly fond of the ending. I kind of hate seeing things end that way (I actually forgot that was how it ended), but part of me feels that could it have ended any other way? So I can do nothing else but accept it.

As for Best Picture, this is a good one. But I still would’ve given it to Dog Day Afternoon. That is one of my all-time favorites, anyway.




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12 Years a Slave

I want to start by saying that I have read the book. I knew about this man’s story for years. And while I know not everyone will know it, I thought for sure that modern day people knew that there were people in the past who were free and were kidnapped and sold into slavery. It kind of astonished me what a big deal this film was when it came out because I thought that was common knowledge, in a way. After all, that was something I learned in elementary school. So I didn’t understand why people reacted like they’d never heard of such things happening before, and then they kind of acted like this film was some kind of big deal for revealing “secrets” about America’s past.

Anyway, as I have said a few times now, I tried to watch this awhile ago, but the DVD didn’t work. I never got to finish it. And the main reason I decided to nominate it was because, quite frankly, I wanted to finish watching it. Yes, I could’ve done it some other time, but I never would’ve gotten around to it some other time. This HoF would’ve FORCED me to finally do it!

I do have some problems with the film. While I understand what the filmmakers were saying in regards to one scene of the film, I still thought it was completely unnecessary and somewhat disrespectful to create such a scene. Who is it disrespectful to? The real Solomon Northup’s wife. What is the scene? Well, I won’t go into detail, but if you saw the movie, you should know it is the one with the slave woman who goes to Solomon in the night. Like I said, I understand what the filmmakers are trying to say regarding why they had that scene in there, but I thought it was kind of poor taste. And disrespectful because nothing like that had been written in the book.

And if anyone wants to argue that something like that wouldn’t have been in a book written back then, well, read it. That man makes no effort of hiding rape or the fact that the masters were having children with the slaves. So sex is talked about in his way of doing it in 1853. Times were changing by then. There is a lot more in literature if you know how to really interpret what you are reading. So that made up scene was silly in the film.

My other problems? The three actresses in the film. I didn’t like either one of the women who were slaves. I thought they were both a little too melodramatic (I don’t understand how Lupita Nyong’o won). And because of that, I honestly had NO sympathy for their characters and I couldn’t care less about their outcomes. They annoyed me. The stories of the REAL women (particularly Eliza) were heartbreaking. And the portrayal of Mary Epps seemed as if Sarah Paulson was acting in a high school play. I thought it was a joke.

Now, talking about real life, this was fairly accurate to the story (assuming all that was told in his book was true). I was surprised by that. Of course, there were some differences. There was no attempted rape of a woman on the slave ship. Solomon may have been tied to a tree, but he wasn’t hanging there. His first master, William Ford, Solomon REALLY liked. He even said, essentially, that if he could have his wife and children there (he had 3 kids, by the way, and not 2), he would’ve been willing to spend his life working for him. He felt that Ford was one of the nicest men and he was just unfortunate enough to have been born into a life where he felt slavery was an OK thing to do because that was the way that he was raised. And if you thought Edwin Epps was a bad guy, he was actually much worse in real life than how they portrayed him to be.

As for the scene with Solomon and John Tibeats,
WARNING: spoilers below
I wish they would’ve had it in there how the overseer told Tibeats that he deserved the beating that Solomon gave him. That was something that I loved in the original story. There is also a moment when he is on the one ship where a sailor agrees to send a letter for him. So he tried right from the beginning to get out. I think that should’ve been included in the film. And I think they should’ve made it clear that the person responsible for “saving” him was the man who was a part of the family that had once owned his father. Yes, his father was a slave at one point in time.


I just wish some of it would’ve been a tad bit more faithful to his story rather than altered for a film. I know for dramatic purposes they do what they do, but I don’t care for it all the time.

I also think they should’ve aged him a bit more to make it look like he not only suffered through the hardships of slavery (it couldn’t be easy for a man to go from the life he was living to that), but also it was 12 years. He should’ve looked a little older.

Anyway, other than my nit-picking (which shouldn’t be a surprise by now), I did like the movie. Other than the women, I liked all of the performances. This is my kind of movie. This is the kind of film that I will, possibly, pay to see in a theater. I am a sucker for dramatic historical pictures, and this was right up my alley. And I am very happy to have finally seen it. Although I will say that I much prefer the original book.

I actually think the year that this film was nominated was one of the strongest years for movies in a very long time. Would I give it Best Picture? Yeah. I would. As much as I like some of the others that were nominated, this is the one that I think I liked the best (now that I have seen them all - except for Gravity – I have never seen that and I don’t really care to).




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Mutiny On the Bounty

It has been years and years since I have seen this one. I didn’t remember much about it at all. I didn’t care for it when I first saw it, and that could be why I didn’t remember much.

It is an alright film. I never read the book. So I can’t compare to that, but the movie is OK. My main problem with it (other than Charles Laughton – I think he is one of the MOST repulsive people that God ever allowed to walk the face of the earth) is the whole Tahiti stuff. I am OK with seeing them there and seeing how they were living, but I think that part goes on too long. I am much more interested in the story on the ship and the aftermath of it all.

I think the performances were good (apart from Laughton - I don’t even like looking at the man). I am biased when it comes to Clark Gable. So I will always say that he is my favorite in a film (he is the main reason I watched this in the first place so many years ago). The story is interesting to see what made these men do what they eventually did. And I loved the look of the ship and the way the film was shot. I bet it was impressive to see in the theaters in 1935.

Otherwise, it wasn’t necessarily a film that I would’ve thought would’ve even been considered for an award that year. It was good. I just didn’t think it was THAT good. My pick for Best Picture that year would’ve gone, hands down, to Alice Adams. I am like the one person who really loves that movie.

Anyway, it was OK to watch this again. I don’t know if I will ever watch it again, though. I try to avoid Charles Laughton as much as I can.




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The Godfather

”It insists upon itself.”
If anyone knows what that is in reference to, then you will be my new best friend on this site.
I told my brother “I have to watch The Godfather. Mom would’ve known what to say to that. What do you have to say?”. He smiled at me and said “It insists upon itself”.

I have said repeatedly that I have seen parts of this movie. Apparently not as many parts as I thought. Interesting.

Before I go on about the movie itself, this is now going to allow me to go on about the whole connection of Vic Damone (you know, my loverboy crooner that I have talked about and nominated like crazy in the one song tournament ) and this film. He was offered the role of Johnny Fontane. It was written with him in mind. But the story of that character is actually based on a story rumored to be attached to Frank Sinatra. Because of that Damone asked Sinatra if he should play the part. Sinatra told Damone to do whatever he wanted, but I think Sinatra wasn’t thrilled at the thought of it. Damone didn’t accept the offer (and I think he really regrets the fact now that he didn’t take it), and it ultimately went to Al Martino. But for those of you who have seen the film and know Johnny Fontane’s song, this is Sinatra’s version, and this is Vic Damone’s version. And you can kind of see why they wanted my love to play the Sinatra-inspired character. I just die when Vic Damone sings it, though.

ANYWAY, BACK TO THE MOVIE!

I am not going to lie to you guys. I wasn’t looking forward to watching this. I was actually afraid of it being nominated. From what I had seen, I wasn’t overly fond of the movie. So I wasn’t too enthusiastic about it.

So some of you may be surprised by my reaction, some may be a little mad at me , and some may just be downright disappointed. I didn’t care for it. I really didn’t. I hated that whole wedding scene. They dragged that on a little too long. And I hated, just HATED, the parts in Italy. I don’t even know why they were all that necessary. I don’t really know why some of these scenes went on as long as they did, and the film would’ve been so much shorter had they not dragged those scenes on. I swear every scene that I had seen of the film were all of the major moments in the story. What is up with that??

I thought the acting was fine, though. It was the story that I didn’t care for. Or, rather, the way the story played out. But I really didn’t like Marlon Brando in it at all because I couldn’t stand the way he spoke.

So, yeah, I am not going to go down in history as being one of the biggest fans of The Godfather. Yet, I do have some positives. Silly ones: I always forget how cute a young Al Pacino is, and how appealing a young James Caan is to me (and Robert Duvall isn’t bad either ). Non-silly one:
WARNING: spoilers below
The final moments of the film. That ending scene was FANTASTIC!!! That made up for everything else that I didn’t care for. I thought his lying to his wife, then having her watch those men in the room with him as the door gets closed on her face was just BRILLIANT! I smiled a VERY BIG smile at that. I just wish the whole rest of the film would’ve been as good as that one moment. I will say that that has to now be on my list of favorite movie moments.


Best Picture? No. I would’ve given it to Deliverance. But anyone who knows me well enough will know that my personal favorite of that year would be 1776, which never would’ve had a chance of being nominated for anything.


-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

So, I didn’t watch The Silence of the Lambs last night. I watched The Godfather Part II instead.



Oh, my God, did I LOVE this movie!!!!!!

Why wasn’t this nominated instead? And don’t tell me that you have to see the first to see the second. I don’t think it would’ve been necessary.

I was into it right away. None of it felt draggy. None of it felt dull. I loved the flashback scenes (and Robert DeNiro was quite beautiful in it, by the way ). I loved the look of the film. I loved the cinematography. I was really into the story. I loved all of the acting. I don’t know what to say about it. I thought it was an incredible film.

What’s my one complaint? The ending wasn't as good as the one in the first movie. I think maybe because I was so in love with the second film I really had high hopes for how it was going to end, and that may have made me a little disappointed. But that is OK. You know why? Because if I ever create one of those Top (fill in the blank with a number) Movie lists, I now have a new one to add to it with The Godfather Part II.

Best Picture for this one? DEFINITELY!!!

Rating?

Did you think it would be less?


And, yes, I will be watching Part III sometime this week just because.



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I'm looking forward to getting that second list in. Sounds like it will be GBG or Vamp at this rate, although I'm not far behind. Gladiator tomorrow.
Yeah, I should have my list this week to send in. If I hadn't become obsessed with watching the second Godfather film last night I would've had it for you today. But I will watch The Silence of the Lambs this week and then get the list in as soon as I do.



I'm looking forward to getting that second list in. Sounds like it will be GBG or Vamp at this rate, although I'm not far behind. Gladiator tomorrow.

I finished watching the movies, but I probably won't be the next person to send in my list. I have a tentative list right now, but it might change before I send it in. I like to think about the movies for a while and read other people's reviews before sending in my list. Sometimes I even rewatch some of the movies if I read something that makes me think it might change my opinion of the movie.



...Any thoughts on when you're going to start the next general HOF?
This Friday, sometime in the evening I'll make the thread for it. Hopefully that works for most people?




On The Waterfront (Elia Kazan,1954)

On The Waterfront Brando almost always knocks it out of the ballpark, but here he's sanctified in his role as Terry Malloy the man who goes up against a very tough wall.

He's the embodiment of Kazan's theory on characters, 'that every protagonist should have a dark side, and every antagonist, a soft spot'. And Brando does, he's both sensitive & gentle...and violent & powerful. Brando makes this film.

Father Barry is the crux to the story, it's him who turns the tide by his impassioned speech about the evils of looking the other way as wrong is done in the world. Strong stuff, he is Kazan speaking to the audience.

Eva Marie Saint, I thought she was real and believable. I read that Grace Kelly had been asked to do the role but declined in favor of doing Rear Window. I'm glad it was Eva Marie Saint who got the part, she's special here.

Rod Steiger was a power house and one of my favorite actors, Lee J. Cobb really made this a memorable film. All around a fine cast.


You know the movie writer never gets enough credit. On The Waterfront won 8 Academy Awards, including
Best Writing, Story and Screenplay: Budd Schulberg, who also wrote: (A Face in the Crowd & The Harder They Fall).

The script is tight! Kazan said the producer Sam Spiegel (who he did not like), kept asking Budd to rewrite the script to sharpen it to a fine point. Kazan said it was the best script he had worked on.

The movie has so many elements that are layered, like Terry Malone's past as a prize fighter who was ordered to take a dive for the big boss....And the entire subplot of caring for pigeons among the hawks of organized crime.

Elia Kazan is the man!



Moonlight



Well, this may be the review that was most anticipated in this Hall of Fame, since I was obviously very downtrodden last year about La La Land or Manchester by the Sea not taking home the top prize. And the Warren Beatty debacle made it even worse for me as well. I had stated that I wanted to give the film a fair shake but I was in no condition to watch it last year for giving it it's fair chance.

Fast forward to now with the Best Picture Hall of Fame. If it's admittedly not nominated there's a good shot I don't watch it yet for another year or two.

My first comment will be one with controversy but I didn't really get why Mahershala Ali was so praised for his performance. Not that I thought it was bad or anything but there really wasn't much that stood out to me as extraordinary. Good, but that's about it. I did like the structure of the film and the fact that all three actors who played Chirron still had the same frame of mind. It helped to keep the continuity of the film going. I also thought the cinematography was pretty good and there were a lot of cool takes.

Naomi Harris wasn't bad I guess. She had a couple scenes that I would say we're probably the best acted in the film. I didn't mind those who acted as Chiron. And I didn't mind the acting of Kevin, although the character wasn't very well liked by me. I thought it was a despicable scene with him punching Chirron after what the two had been through.

I feel like Chirron really had nowhere to go, which made the movie a bit depressing to me. I do like some films that are rather depressing (like Manchester) but for some reason I felt it would have suited this film to have a bit of a more cheery ending.

Overall, not as bad as it could have been but not anywhere near a favorite best picture Oscar winner. As I said, they have gotten it wrong a lot since they were pretty good with the 2000s and 1990s winners. Still pissed it beat La La Land as well.

But still, a respectable
+



I never could get the hang of Thursdays.
On the Waterfront


I feel the same second time round watching this movie: I like it but I don’t love it.

I really liked the music (which was also nominated for an Oscar but didn’t win). It reminded me in some bits of the music for West Side Story and sure enough, when I looked it up it turns out Leonard Bernstein wrote it.

It’s well shot; there are some parts that look really good - the whole alleyway scene where a truck drives at them is a stand out.I also liked when the priest is lecturing the men looking up at them. The film makes good use of black and white, from the light illuminating Eva Marie Saint when she first appears to the murky shades of gray surrounding the docks.

I like that Terry’s this conflicted character, a bad guy who does the right thing or a good guy who’s been on the wrong path. Marlon Brando is pretty good, but he was thirty when he made this and he does look a bit too old to be the ‘kid’ he seems to be playing. I liked the whole ‘coulda been a contender’ scene in the car and I believed in his romance with the naive convent school Edie. I liked, too, that towards the end Edie is begging him not to do anything, to just run way, but he’s finally following what she and Father Barry have been urging and standing up to the bullies.

Father Barry, played by Karl Malden, was the real standout character and performance for me, though. Shame he didn’t win although he was nominated.

What bothered me last time I watched it still bothered me this time: this gang has murdered three people over the course of the film for more minor reasons than the things Terry has done against them, and yet they just give him a beating and then hey presto, he wins. It’s almost a sort of cop out. But maybe the boss had already lost by then.

I guess in the end I as much as I like the stuff I like, I don’t feel as much of a personal connection to it as to some of the others.

Did it deserve to win the Oscar? Probably. It’s a good film. I haven’t seen the other nominees (besides Seven Brides which is definitely not in the same league).