Tag Archive: alec baldwin


‘Still Alice’

 

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Not so fast Amy Adams and Jessica Chastain…

Like most of you, I’ve been a fan of Julianne Moore since Boogie Nights (at least).  If ‘Still Alice’ gets her the Lifetime Achievement Oscar, I won’t be mad.  The film is about a brilliant professor who is diagnosed with early on set Alzheimer’s.  Off of the top of my head, I’m pretty sure that’s the best depiction of that specific disease and how it angers and frustrates both the person with it and the people who care about them.

The supporting cast is filled out nicely with some familiar faces. Kate Bosworth as the cold, eldest daughter.  Alec Baldwin as the supportive husband. Kirsten Stewart as the daughter who’s struggling to be taken seriously as a dramatic actress (not touching that joke with a ten foot pole).  But the film belongs to Julianne Moore and of course she’s talented enough to carry it.

Smaller, character piece, you know I dug it.

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‘Blue Jasmine’

 

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Let me start by telling you (if you didn’t already know) that whenever I see the title card that says ‘Written and Directed by Woody Allen,’ that’s an automatic plus one on the review.

Blue Jasmine follows a middle aged woman (the always on point Cate Blanchett) who has to move in with her sister after her New York upper class life completely falls apart.  Definite allusions to A Streetcar Named Desire in this one.  The movie is told in both present day and flashback; we see Jasmine attempting to rebuild her life, and in flashback we see her living the high life with her husband (played by Alec Baldwin, who else?), and watch piece by piece how events from the past affect how the characters react to the world (and each other) in the present day.

Seinfeld had a great B-story about this in one of their episodes, but there really is a ‘cult’ of film geeks/comedians who I’m sure to this day will answer yes to ‘Do you want to be in a Woody Allen film?’ without asking what character they’re playing or what the story is about.  So to see Louie C.K. and Andrew Dice Clay pop up in this film wasn’t completely surprising. What was a little more surprising (kind of) was how both guys brought heart to their minor characters.

This film is definitely set in ‘the New York world’, so if you’re not a hardcore Woody Allen mark, you may not be into this one as much.  I enjoyed it though.

Get Caught Up on ‘Luther’

 

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As promised, a couple of political comments to start the week:

First, I heard a couple of people mention this last week, but after seeing some clips, Secretary of State Kerry’s face…does appear to be…a lot…smoother?  OK.

Also, one of my first bosses in this town, Alec Baldwin, is apparently going to be joining the MSNBC crew with his own show.  If you anything about that man at all, you know that is a perfect match.  If it’s just a televised version of his podcast (Here’s the Thing), then I don’t know how the TV show will NOT succeed.

Moving on…

I’m in one of those ‘Working 8 Days a Week’ stages (probably until I’m safely on the next rung of the ladder), but thanks to On Demand I was able to watch the 4 episodes that made up this year’s series (British term) of ‘Luther’, starring Idris Elba.  If you like cerebral dramas (and you probably do if you we have similar tastes) then you need to check out this show.  The only reason I can think of you that you may not know about it or hear as much about it is because it’s not an American show; it’s a product of the BBC.  You don’t have to have watched the earlier seasons to enjoy where the story is at now (so it’s not ‘Breaking Bad’ for example), but of course there are details and story turns that you’ll get more from if you’ve watched the whole series.

Apparently Idris as Mandela is really good too.  I…will be the cynical one here as far as all the brothers doing good work getting recognition come Oscar time (Forrest in ‘the Butler’, Mike Jordan in ‘Fruitvale, Chewy in ’12 Years a Slave’).  We’ll have plenty of time to talk about all that before the year is out.  But if the system is catching on that stories with three dimensional black leads can be critically respected AND profitable, then that’s a huge step forward we can all celebrate.

See, I was trying to stay off the soapbox.  Ah well.  Start your week off right.