It has been over two weeks without a post from yours truly and I figured I needed to close the year in proper blogging fashion. Being that I will NOT be posting a best films of 2013 list before the end of the solar year, I thought I would gather my thoughts to share my favorite acting performances of the last five years.First, I will give you my favorite 10 male performances in alphabetical order followed, in a couple of days, by my 10 favorite female roles of the half-decade from 2009 to 2013 (warning: blind spots in 2013 abound!)As usual, I expect discerning tastes, and I would love to hear some recommendations as to whom should have made my list. Continue reading Top 10 favorite male performances of the last 5 years
Genre: Action/ Thriller
Cast: Henry Cavill (Superman/Kal-El/Clark Kent), Amy Adams (Lois Lane), Michael Shannon (General Zod), Russell Crowe (Jor-El), Kevin Costner (Jonathan Kent), Diane Lane (Martha Kent)
Writer: David Goyer
Director: Zach Snyder
As a summer flick of blockbuster proportions, Man of Steel delivers the thrill and excitement that audiences seem to respond to at this time of year. The question I like to ask myself is whether these kinds of films offer anything extra beyond pure entertainment.
In the case of Man of Steel, director Zach Snyder (300, Sucker Punch) tries to give the film that added dimension, but coming just short of the standard bearer of the modern wave of superhero films: The Dark Knight trilogy.
Director: Jeff Nichols
Cast: Michael Shannon (Curtis), Samantha (Jessica Chastain)
Directed by Jeff Nichols, “Take Shelter” is yet another existential drama where dreams and reality mesh on a year where many films seemed particularly interested on this subject.
The movie is anchored by the great performance of Michael Shannon playing Curtis, husband to Samantha (Jessica Chastain) and father of a little girl who was born deaf. The film is about his struggle to maintain the seemingly perfect life he leads while dealing with deeply upsetting dreams and visions that feel like premonitions, both to the audience and to his character.
Following my previous post in which I summarized my thoughts about film in 2011, I think it would be interesting to continue the so-called “Vanguard Award” idea and expand it to include categories that are handed out in the Academy Awards.
The Vanguard Awards will be handed out by The Blog of Big Ideas to films, actors, and film makers that advanced cinema with their artistic vision and dexterity, helping to construct some of the most interesting pieces of art of the last year. It will be an annual award handed out on the same day as the Oscars. In subsequent posts of this coming year, I will be nominating films that I think should be given consideration until it all comes to a close with the awards themselves.
The Vanguard Award will be given to films of artistic relevance, where there are aspects that are unique, original and that may even be considered ahead of its time. This is not to say that the recognition I give to these films necessarily means that these are the films I thought were the best, just the most thought-provoking.
♦ Vanguard Film ♦
Drive (Nicholas Winding Refn)
Melancholia (Lars Von Trier)
The Tree of Life (Terrence Malick)
Take Shelter (Jeff Nichols)
Bellflower (Evan Glodell)
As I managed to finally close a project at the firm I work in just this past weekend, the Academy Awards announced their nominations for the best in another year of film.
As always, the Academy surprises all of us, in positive and negative ways, unless you are at the ends of the spectrum of taste that is. For those who enjoy blockbusters or mainstream cinema, the Academy gave several nominations to “Bridesmaids”, “The Help” and “Puss in Boots”. If, on the other hand, you love smaller, modest films, the Academy gave space to “Albert Nobbs” or “A Better Life”. Even for those who enjoy the oddballs, art-house type films, the Academy managed to shine a light, even if it was a very dim one at that, to films like “The Tree of Life” and “Drive” (it was only nominated for technical awards).
Having said this, lets dig in deeper and talk about each category while I throw in my predictions: