Tag Archives: True Grit

Oscar 2011

This year, ten films are nominated for the award of Best Picture. I present to you in order of worst to best.

10. Winter’s Bone

This film is the reason why the Academy Awards should not have been extended to ten films. Here we have a boring film about a girl wandering from house to house asking, “Have you seen my daddy?”

9. The Social Network

Meh. It’s an okay film, but it’s surely not as AMAZING as everyone was saying it is. It’s an interesting tale, and it’s well filmed, and it’s well acted, but nothing in there is special. Worth watching at least.

8. 127 Hours

I wrote about this film earlier this year. I’ll say it again, decent film, not worth the fuss, James Franco’s not the right person for the role.

7. The Kids Are All Right

This is the point where the films start to get really good. This is the story of a family falling apart and the difficulty of marriage. The film watches well, and it’s another excuse to see Julianne Moore’s nipples, is there a single film where her shirt stays on? All five leads are excellent, and there’s not a moment that’s uninteresting.

6. The Fighter

Batman AND Marky Mark! Amazing. I really dug this film, it was interesting, but it left me asking the one question I ask about boxing films… why would anyone in their right mind want to be a boxer?

5. Inception

I think Inception was the first of the films I saw. I was bored one day. A friend said I should go see it. I watched the trailer. It looked like crap. I didn’t go see it.

Later, another friend invited me to join her for the film, and I figured, “why not?” Mostly because that friend is awesome. So we went to the see the film. Surprise, it was awesome! It’s a fun romp, and interesting, both the visuals and the narrative.

Also, Claire adds, “Leo’s hot.”

4. The King’s Speech

Hooray for films about the monarchy! Hooray for films with Colin Firth! Hooray for films with Helena Bonham Carter! Hooray for films with Geoffrey Rush!

Carter’s performance as Queen Elizabeth (the Queen Mum, not the reigning monarch) was excellent.

3. Toy Story 3

Toy Story 3 is not a kids’ movie, definitely not, certainly not. For one, it’s scary! For another reason, it’s really about interpersonal relationships… between toys. The film follows the formula of the previous two Toy Story films, in which toys are stranded away from home, and have to get back, but this time the difference is that this story has even more depth than the first two, which aren’t shallow films. I need to watch this again.

2. True Grit

Another film I wrote about previously. This is a damn good film, and while Jeff Bridges and Matt Damon are fabulous in this film, Hailee Steinfeld steals the show. Steinfeld’s performance is stellar. If it wasn’t for Black Swan, this should win, hands down.

1. Black Swan

But there is Black Swan and we cannot ignore the brilliance of this film. While I’m not a big fan of Darren Aronofsky, I cannot, without a doubt, deny how amazing this film is. The visual storytelling uses the medium of film better than any of these other films, it is the best example of great cinema. Visually this film is stunning, upsetting, and uncomfortable all at the same time. While it’s a film I will probably never want to watch again, I think everyone should see this.

Film Roundup

True Grit

A young girl’s father dies, and she heads to the town to finalize his affairs, and hire a US Marshall to track down the murderer. While it seems that Jeff Bridges and Matt Damon are the stars of the film, within a few minutes of watching, you see that their only purpose is to support the real star Elizabeth Marvel who plays Mattie Ross, the young girl. Her performance is brilliant, and it’s quite the gripping film. While the Coen brothers can be hit or miss, this might be their best yet. In my mind their only competition is O Brother, Where Art Thou?

See this as soon as possible.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part I

I saw the seventh Harry Potter film in the same sitting as True Grit. I’m happy I saw Harry Potter first, as while it’s a good movie on its own, it pales in comparison. There’s no point in comparing the two.

If you haven’t seen the previous six Harry Potter films, you obviously have no interest in seeing this. It’s a fun romp, about a wizard who must find numerous horcrux which the evil Lord Voldemort has hidden parts of his soul to enable himself to live eternally. Simple enough plot. This is the journey of Potter, Hermione Granger, and Ron Weasley to find these horcrux and save the world, for both wizards and muggle alike.

As it was decided to split the final story into two films, this allowed for a more mature film, and better pace, as we got more introspection, and a better a tale of the interpersonal relationships in the franchise’s trinity. This part isn’t the most action packed of the Potter story, but it reveals more of the characters behind it than any film yet.

Barney’s Version

Barney’s Version is the story of Barney Panofsky, a Montreal Jew, a loudmouth, an asshole, a drunk, a television producer, a murderer, and a lover. As the novel by Mordecai Richler is quite long, and in-depth, and rambles, as it’s told from the perspective of Barney1, it doesn’t quite lend itself to film, and to be adapted would require considerable rewriting. It think the screenwriter Michael Konyves did an excellent job by focusing on one aspect of Barney’s story, his love life. The man married three time2, but only found love once3. The story is his journey to Miriam, and their life together.

If you’re Jewish, and have yet to see it, you’re nuts. If you’re not Jewish, it’s a really good film about love and loss.

I started reading the novel before the film came out, and I’m slowly making my way through it. It’s quite good, too.

  1. Hence the title. It’s Barney’s version of his life story. []
  2. Clara, The Second Mrs. Panofsky, and Miriam []
  3. Miriam. []