Tag Archive: cate blanchett


‘Thor: Ragnarok’

 

Tessa-Thompson-as-Valkyrie-in-Thor-Ragnarok

So we all agree this was fun right?  Good.  So this will be an ‘actor’s review’…

If one thing bothered me consistently, it was Idris Elba.  Not as an actor or a character, but ‘how is Idris Elba the movie star the sixth wheel in this?’  Having said that, I’m sure one ‘third sequel on a Marvel franchise’ paycheck is equal to ten ‘leading man in movies only film geeks see’ paycheck (and that’s being extremely generous.  So it is what it is.

For we Adler disciples, seeing Mark Ruffalo inhabit all the best parts of Brando (just becoming the character, even in a popcorn movie) is a joy.  And in a time of deconstructing our Hollywood idols, by all accounts he’s a nice guy who is genuine in his social activism.  So double cool points.

Speaking of people ‘above’ being in movies like this, Cate Blanchett has always been in that tier right behind Meryl Streep in ‘she can play anyone convincingly’, so watching her ham it up for two hours was joyful too.  Really, this whole movie was well written and casted.

And as far as Tessa goes…beyond being a bad ass…using the ‘proper’ English accent, well…

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So yeah, all the recommends for this one.

 

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cranston

Here are the nominees for Best Actress in a Leading Role:

Cate Blanchett – Carol

Brie Larson – Room

Jennifer Lawrence – Joy

Charlotte Rampling – 45 Years

Saoirse Ronan – Brooklyn

Who Should Win: Cate has been here. You can kind of feel the people are wearing on J.Law.  No more ‘Hunger Games’ helps, but she may need to do the Natalie Portman/Anne Hathaway ‘lay low’ move for a minute (and she’s still really young which is part of it).  Brie should win here.

Who I’m Not Cheering For: Charlotte Rampling.

Who I’m Cheering For and Who Will Win: She’s paid her dues (which actors love) and from the Q&A I went to, she seems to have remain grounded from all the years before this.  Brie Larson.

Here are the nominees for Best Actor in a Leading Role:

Bryan Cranston – Trumbo

Matt Damon – the Martian

Leonardo Dicaprio – the Revenant

Michael Fassbender – Steve Jobs

Eddie Redmayne – the Danish Girl

Who Should Win: By degree of difficulty…it should be Redmayne going back to back right? That might be my Method bias…

Who I’m Not Cheering For: Matt Damon

Who I’m Cheering For and Who Will Win:

 

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Here are the nominees for Lead Actress:
Amy Adams
Cate Blanchett
Sandra Bullock
Judi Dench
Meryl Streep
Who Should Win
MALIK: It’s the freshest performance in my mind, but I think the most filled out performance was Judi Dench in Philomena.  Don’t think she’ll win though.
ART: I agree. Judi Dench is pretty great. But, Cate Blacnhett is fierce. Been a fan for years. Just one of those actresses where anything she does, you gotta take notice.
Who Will Win
MALIK: Probably Cate Blanchett, though I will always argue it’s way too much Blanche Dubois for my personal taste.
ART: You may be right, but she does a great Blanche. Sandra Bullock did an underrated turn in Gravity and I wish she received more recognition, but Cate will take this category.
Who We Want to Win
MALIK:  I’d like to see Dame Judi honestly.  Not saying I hope she retires, but it would be a nice capper to an impressive career.
ART: Whoever Malik wants to win, who is… kidding. I’m a fan of each actress in this category. But, Cate had the showiest role, with the least controversy. Certainly, Amy Adams is on the fast track to being a frontrunner, but the film, Blue Jasmine completely lives or dies based on Cate’s performances and it would not have the attention it has without her effort. She should take this.
And here are the nominees for Lead Actor:
Christian Bale
Bruce Dern
Leonardo DiCaprio
Chiwetel Ejiofor
Matthew McConaughey
Who Should Win
MALIK: McConaughey is on an absolute tear right now, but he’s earned it.
ART: I agree. He may pull a Bo Jackson in acting and win in an Oscar for his movie work and an Emmy for his TV work, because his acting in Showtime’s True Detective has been just as stellar. I’m not sure what happened, but it’s like somebody sat him down and was like, “Yo, people mostly know you for the mellow California accent and taking your shirt off, what you gonna do about that?” He’s on a roll.
Who Will Win
MALIK: Alright alright alright…
ART: Christian Bale already has an Oscar and Leo is Leo. Bruce Dern may be the sentimental favorite and dark horse and Chiwetel will be lauded for simply getting a nomination. Matthew McConaughey, the guy wasn’t taken seriously even three years ago, will take this. Oscar loves a great comeback story.
Who We Want to Win
MALIK: Even though I’ll probably lose every dramatic role I want for the rest of my life to him and David Oyelowo, it’d be nice if Chewie won.
ART: I really, really want to say Chiwetel, for obvious reasons. May still say it… His turn was the only one that nearly moved me to tears, especially within the last ten minutes of the film. But, Matthew McConaughey really went all out with his portrayal. That dude earned it this year.
Last post of the week will break down one of the most unpredictable Best Picture races in a few years…

‘Blue Jasmine’

 

blue-jasmine

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.

 

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The Curious Case of Benjamin Button is nominated for several Golden Globes, including Best Screenplay, Best Motion Picture – Drama, Best Director (for David Fincher), and Best Actor (Brad Pitt).  With that pedigree, you can rest assured Benjamin Button is one of the surefire Oscar picks for this year.  The story is about an ‘odd’ man named Benjamin Button who ages in reverse; he’s born as a withered newborn and regresses into youth.  The effects are impressive, but I’ll focus on the performances:

Taraji P. Henson: Playing Benjamin’s adoptive mother Queenie, Taraji (hopefully) is starting to get some of the crossover respect she rightfully deserves.  She was named one of Variety’s “10 Actors to Watch” this year, but if you’ve seen Baby Boy, Talk to Me, or Hustle and Flow to name a few, you’ve known for awhile the sister can act.  She hasn’t had a true ‘headliner’ role just yet, but somebody smart will give her the chance.

Cate Blanchett: She’s already got an Oscar to back it up, but a quick recap of her recent roles, shall we?  A convincing Katherine Hepburn (the Aviator), a convincing Bob Dylan (I’m Not There), and in this film she goes from playing a young ballerina in her 20s to a dying woman on her deathbed, with all the various ages in between.  I’m personally more of a Kate Winslet fan, but this woman right here is why Kate doesn’t have an Oscar.  For my money I’d say she’s the most talented actor in the game right now, male or female.

Brad Pitt:  More than ever, I’d say to succeed in this Industry you have to know how to play to your strengths and know your ‘brand’ (this message brought to you by malikaziz.com).  Is Brad Pitt one of the best actors in the game today?  Eh…  Is he one of, if not the best movie star in the world today?  Well, you tell me.  Paparazzi target?  (Check.)  Movie star girlfriend? (Check.)  ‘Good guy’ image? (Check.)  In Benjamin Button, Pitt plays the title character as more of an observer to his life instead of a catalyst.  He uses a slight Southern accent, but not strong enough to be distracting.  Can Brad play over the top?  Sure (the slightly underrated Snatch, Exhibit A.)  But playing to his strengths means playing to his looks and not trying to do too much.  I don’t know if he was the Best Actor of 2008, but I won’t complain too loud if he does end up winning. 

The movie runs 3 hours, and was written by the same guy who wrote Forrest Gump.  As I was watching this, that movie came to mind more than a few times.  If you’re looking for a traditional ‘David Fincher’ film (Seven, Fight Club, Zodiac), um, you might want to sit this one out.  But it’s a nice family film, a decent holiday film. When Hollywood does big budget right.  Overall, PROPS for this one from me.