Tag Archives: Daniel Day Lewis

Terse Movie Review – Lincoln, dir. by Steven Spielberg

Tedious and boring and unimaginatively directed.  Importance of subject and quality of movie is a false equivalency.  The most interesting parts were the machinations to get the amendment passed.  All other business – the son’s return, the soldiers at the beginning, anything to do with Mrs. Lincoln, anything within twenty minutes of the ending – were extraneous.  When it was over I really believed there was a fantastic 100 minute thriller about the politicking involved in politics being smothered inside a 150 minute movie.  At least Daniel Day-Lewis was good.

(Apologies for this being less-than-terse, but as Lincoln seems fated to win Best Picture at the Oscars, it seemed fair to go big.)

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The Best Picture Project – Driving Miss Daisy (1989)

Directed by Bruce Beresford

Screenplay by Alfred Uhry, based upon his play

Starring Jessica Tandy, Morgan Freeman, Esther Rolle and Dan Aykroyd

When The King’s Speech won Best Picture this past year at the Oscars, I was a bit beside myself over it, because I didn’t really fancy it as Best Picture.  An enjoyable film?  Sure.  Best Picture?  No.

In retrospect, though, it doesn’t make sense I would get upset about it, after all, the Academy has shown a history of honoring films just like The King’s Speech: solid, inoffensive films that are hardly loved, but more importantly, hardly hated.  In other words, unlike Black Swan or The Social Network, which had a tendency to be divisive, The King’s Speech is least likely to offend voters and therefore, most likely to rise to the top. Continue reading

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The Best Picture Project – Going My Way (1944)

Directed by Leo McCarey

Screenplay by Frank Butler and Frank Cavett, story by Leo McCarey

Starring Bing Crosby and Barry Fitzgerald

Here’s an intriguing question:  What does it take for an actor to win an Oscar?  Leaving the little matter of politics out of it, my curiosity is over what kind of performance does it take for an actor to win an Oscar?  Is it better to play a showy role where the scenery can be chewed in all it’s glory, or at least one where we know a part is being played?  Or, is it better to play a role that rewards the naturalistic, showcasing the kind of acting where the actor doesn’t’ even seem to be acting? Continue reading

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The Best Picture Project – Gandhi (1982)

Directed by Richard Attenborough

Screenplay by John Briley

Starring Ben Kingsley

Is a movie – or any work of art – about a great man inherently a great movie? The answer is clearly no. There are many terrible films about great men – how many times has Jesus been on the big screen in a steaming pile of crap? Similarly, there are films about despicable men that are not automatically despicable themselves. For example, see A Clockwork Orange, or Taxi Driver. Both films are about morally bankrupt individuals, and yet, they are great films.

Clearly, a great subject does not naturally make a great film, just as a reprehensible subject doesn’t naturally make a reprehensible film. Continue reading

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