Notes from awards committee:
Zero Dark 30 was by far the best motion picture of the year. Unfortunately ZD 30 was snubbed by the academy for the top honors due to a clueless PC controversy. This is an intelligent, well-constructed film for grown-ups. And we award ZD 30 a well-deserved Best Picture Simpson, and Jessica Chastain wins the Best Actress Simpson award. But make no mistake; as the supreme CIA Tribute nothing beats ZD30
For best actor Tommy Lee Jones starred as Douglas MacArthur in Emperor, a forgotten film about the American occupation of Japan, which BTW is the only foreign policy success by State and Defense departments in the last seventy years. Tommy Lee Jones does an excellent portrayal of Douglas MacArthur, copying the style and mannerisms that we have seen in 1940s news reels. He could have easily overacted the part, but stayed low key and perfect.
Gambit - a very funny crime–comedy with a whip-smart Coen brother’s screenplay and a stellar cast.
Sightseers is a perfect example of offbeat, dark British humor. We loved it. Not as bold and imaginative as Kill List, but certainly another score for ace British indie director, Ben Wheatley. And congratulations, Ben, for winning the “WTF did I just see” Simpson award two years in a row.
The Impossible is a well-crafted adventure/ disaster film based on a true story about a family vacation rudely interrupted by a series of tidal waves. Naomi Watts received well deserved praise for her role as the strong mother, and young actor Tom Holland was a pleasant surprise and carried a large part of the film. A stark reminder of the indifferent power of Mother Nature.
Room 237 – Best documentary in the past several years featuring a series of stunning visual montages and an offbeat, fun journey into the land of conspiracy theories.
Skyfall was the weakest JB movie to date. When I started rooting for the assassins to kill off M, I knew the fun had gone out of the franchise.
Silver Linings Playbook failed my 15 minute rule – if a “comedy” cannot start off with a few good laughs from the beginning, forget it. My wife wanted to see it, so we plodded (painfully) ahead. The flick was a jumbled mess and never figured out what it wanted to be: comedy, quirky love story, Cuckoo’s Nest, family healing story, concern for the mentally or emotionally ill? One thing for sure – it is not funny. And mixing mental illness with a dancing contest also reeks of Oscar bait.
Lincoln - Daniel Day-Lewis portrayal of Honest Abe is flawed by the fact that the sixteenth President’s screen presentation has now reached mythic proportions; we are not seeing a real person but a deity. Also annoying were the too-modern, token black actors, and the film does not play to Spielberg’s main strengths – that being his total grasp of capturing dynamic movement on film. Instead we get talk, talk, and more talk about the 13th Amendment, with not even a dash of suspense or emotional punch.
Argo brought back bad memories of the 1979 Iranian hostage crisis, and tried to spin a real life shit-show into a happy story. I am not buying it.