Monday, December 29, 2008

December Movie Watching

December is always the busiest month for film watching. I saw 12 films theatrically this month.

I saw I've Loved You So Long for the Oscar buzz on Kristin Scott Thomas-- it wasn't worth it! Dull as dirt. Then from one of the worst to one of the best...

Frost/Nixon was one of the best films of the year. Stellar in every aspect, and to my mind the most recommended "Oscar" film this season. It's easily one of Ron Howard's top films (maybe his best alongside Apollo 13). Howard will probably never make a "masterpiece" per se, but he can surely make some solid "Hollywood" films.

The Reader wasn't bad, but not great-- pretty much what the reviews are saying. However, the more I think about it, the more I feel that Kate Winslet will win the Oscar for Best Actress-- and it'll probably be for The Reader (unless this is considered "supporting"), which makes it kind of a must-see.

Three films benifitting from terrific old-timer male lead comebacks: The Wrestler, JCVD, and Gran Torino. I hope that Clint does stick to this as his last performance. Plus, I certainly wouldn't want him to win, but I would not be upset to see Clint placed in the Lead Actor category for an Oscar nomination (although I don't think I'd have room for him on my own personal ballot-- much too competitive year for Lead Actor, this year).

At a second-run theater, I caught up with My Winnipeg-- and I'm glad I did. So odd, but such a worthwhile experience. (And I was glad to have seen it mid-month just before Ann Savage's passing [on Christmas Day].)

Three entertaining films: Bolt, Benjamin Button, Valkyrie-- they certainly run the gamut.

Three so-close-to-classics: The Class, Doubt, and Revolutionary Road. The Class just couldn't get itself out of the ordinary and there was SO much good stuff in it-- in other words, why would I want to see the film again?-- a shame. Revoltionary Road had a lot of terrific scenes interpersed with the same old (plus the era finds itself in the long shadow of Mad Men these days). Doubt was the whole Oscar package, but not for the ages.

On TCM on saw Dreyer's Vampyr (laying on my DVR since October)-- interesting, not great. I also saw a couple of the Charles Laughton films from last month-- Rembrandt (mostly a showcase for Laughton) and The Barretts of Wimpole Street (well done, mostly an actor's piece).

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