Sunday, November 18, 2012

WHAT I'M THANKFUL FOR THIS MOVIE SEASON


It's Thanksgiving week and there is a lot to be thankful for in regards to 2012 movies. Granted, the first half was anything but stellar, but the last few months have been superb. And there are more holidays goodies to come. So without further ado, here's what I'm especially appreciative of this year. (And I hope you'll share what you're thankful for in the comments section after this post!)


LINCOLN
It’s my pick for best film of the year so far because of Steven Spielberg’s tough, taut direction, Tony Kushner’s literate and witty script, sumptuous, top-rate production values and a cast of marvelous character actors filling even the smallest roles. And then there’s the year’s best performance by the utterly incomparable Daniel Day-Lewis. Wow! What a film.

BEN AFFLECK
He’s one helluva director. And GONE BABY GONE, THE TOWN, and ARGO are a testament to his knack for filmmaking and picking great scripts. (I now officially forgive him for having ever dated J-Lo. And making GIGLI with her.)


MARION COTILLARD
I love it that even when she appears in fashion spreads (like in the current issue of W) she pushes the envelope. Just like in all the roles she takes. We can look forward to her in the upcoming RUST & BONE. Can’t wait!

HOLLYWOOD MAKE-UP ARTISTS
Their amazing skill is gloriously on display this year what with LINCOLN, CLOUD ATLAS, HITCHCOCK and THE HOBBIT. Prosthetics never looked so damn believable.

RIHANNA
She’s making movies. She could be a Bond girl, don't you think? Perhaps this GQ cover is her audition.

DISNEY
They gave us FRANKENWEENIE and WRECK-IT RALPH this year. Clearly, their partnership with Pixar is paying off quite a byte. (And fingers crossed for what they can do with STAR WARS.)


THE ART DIRECTION IN WRECK-IT RALPH
The candy-themed world that Ralph ends up in is a witty, sumptuous feast for the eyes. If there is any justice in Hollywood, it will get an Oscar nomination come January.


PAPERMAN
The animated short shown before the regular feature WRECK-IT RALPH (pictured above) is a sublime black and white pantomime about love, longing and paper airplanes. 

HELEN HUNT
She’s as emotionally naked as she is physically so in the incredibly moving dramedy THE SESSIONS. Her amazing performance could win her another Oscar. I hope it does.

JOHN HAWKES
And speaking of THE SESSIONS, he’s one of the best actors in Hollywood, and thankfully he’s getting a ton of work as a leading man like it that film, and a supporting one as in LINCOLN.

A GREAT BOND VILLAIN
There haven’t been too many in the last few films, but Javier Bardem’s Silva is a silky, purring panther whose wit is almost as lethal as his claws.

THE GOLDEN GLOBES
Not only is it always a raucous party Globe night, but the Hollywood Foreign Press gives movie musicals and comedies their due with their own categories. Let’s hope that means there’s some awards love for comedies like TO ROME WITH LOVE, FRIENDS WITH KIDS and RUBY SPARKS this year.


UGGIE
He stole my heart in THE ARTIST. What a great actor he is! And now he's got an autobiography out and it's a delightful read. Plus, if you follow him on Twitter and Facebook, you'll get to appreciate his wit on a daily basis. Uggie puts the wow in ‘bow wow’! (You can order his book here @ Amazon:  http://amzn.to/UOiGx0)

PAUL THOMAS ANDERSON
Is there a more unique and riveting filmmaker working these days? He’s explored porn in BOOGIE NIGHTS, megalomania in THERE WILL BE BLOOD and now cults in THE MASTER. I can’t wait to see what he’ll do after that. And after that. And after that.


JENNIFER LAWRENCE
Not only is she a terrific actress but I love that she’s refusing to fall into the skinny girl trap of Hollywood. In fact, she’s thumbing her nose at it. Publicly. Every chance she gets. Love that. Love her. (And I'm anxious to see her in SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK this week.)

BENEDICT CUMBERBATCH
He’s conquered the stage multiple times in London, and on TV too with his sublime performance as SHERLOCK. Now, he’s starring in films with an important supporting role in THE HOBBIT as well as a villainous lead in the new STAR TREK movie in May. (His trajectory to the top of Tinsel Town appears to be rather elementary, wouldn't you say?)

DENZEL WASHINGTON
In FLIGHT, he miraculously he not only saves a doomed plane, but as an actor he makes the audience care for his stubborn, self-destructive alcoholic pilot every second of his downward spiral.

BETTER FOOD CHOICES AT THE CINEPLEX
Theaters are going gourmet with exotic chocolates, coffee drinks, sandwiches, muffins and smarter snacking choices. (Can a co-op with Whole Foods be far off?)


KEIRA KNIGHTLEY
She’s taking one big, challenging role after another in films like A DANGEROUS METHOD and the soon-to-be-released ANNA KARENINA. (Who says Millennials aren’t ambitious?)

SETH MACFARLANE – OSCAR HOST
The Academy showed some real balls picking him to host the Oscars next February. (Did they see TED? Better get that 5 second delay ready.)

STADIUM SEATING
Ever sit in a regular theater after spending time in stadium seating? Impossible.

Well, those are some of the things I’m thankful for. How about you? Oh, and no matter what, be sure and have a great Thanksgiving.  And go see a movie. There's so much to see!(What? You’d rather shop?)

2 comments:

  1. I too am thankful for a LOT of the output from Hollywood this year so far. But, boy oh boy, do I have a LOT of catching up to do before Uncle Oscar comes around. Have to admit I am skeptical about MacFarlane. I wish him luck.

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  2. So glad to hear from you, Dave! And some really good movies this year for sure. (Though not much from the first few months other than TO ROME WITH LOVE.) You may be right about Seth. But I hope not!

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