Tag Archive: jonah hill


 

Jennifer Lawrence

Here are the nominees for Best Supporting Actor:
Barkhad Abdi
Bradley Cooper
Michael Fassbender
Jonah Hill
Jared Leto
Who Should Win
MALIK: Another category that could go a few different ways and not really be ‘wrong’.  I love what Fassie did in 12 Years, but I was really affected by what Leto did in ‘Dallas’. He’s the frontrunner for a reason.
ART: Jonah Hill. Really? Yes. Really….? No. I really liked what Barkhad Abdi did in Captain Phillips. He was great. But, a win ain’t happening. He gets the “it’s great to be here” award. Fassbender was sadistic and electric. But, Leto took his performance to the next level. His may be the only guaranteed win I can see.
Who Will Win
MALIK: Abdi has been making a little more noise, but I still think this is Leto’s to lose.
ART: Leto. No doubt. He hit on all cylinders.
Who We Want to Win
MALIK: Got to go with Leto.  The extended layoff in between movie roles is just icing on the cake of ‘if you’re one of the guys comfortable enough to take chances, you should be working more.’
ART: Leto. Just a great example of inhabiting a character.
Here’s the nominees for Best Supporting Actress
Sally Hawkins
Jennifer Lawrence
Lupita Nyong’o
Julia Roberts
Jane Squibb
Who Should Win
MALIK: Lupita was the Best Supporting Actress this year. The End.
ART: No doubt. I like Jennifer Lawrence. I respect Jennifer Lawrence. I think she’s great and I get why Hollywood is in love with her at the moment. But, this race isn’t close. Lupita blew everyone away with her performance in 12 Years and also is doubling right now as the person most likely to get away with murder if the jury is made up of African American women.
Who Will Win
MALIK: Look, I love Jennifer Lawrence.  She’s beautiful, she’s talented, she still has that ‘realness’ and a spark to her that we all respond to. But THIS year, for the 20 or so minutes of screen time she had in American Hustle, that’s not the Best Supporting Actress role this year. It just isn’t.  But we shall see…
ART: We’re saying the same thing. I agree. Except, I’ll add this… Nothing against J.Law personally, but her role in American Hustle – I’m not even sure it served an essential purpose in the story. It feels and smells like Oscar bait. She was excellent in Winter’s Bone. Here, she was just a crazy lady in 70s clothes. Nope.
Who We Want to Win
MALIK: Lupita, of course.  She’s undeniable; I know I’m far from the only person writing parts with her in mind now,  just because we want to see her keep showing up on our movie screens.
ART: Lupita. My only question? Is Hollywood ready to actually use her talents in prominent roles after this awards season? I don’t want to sound cynical, but I am really curious to see.
Tomorrow, we look at Lead Actor and Actress…

‘Wolf of Wall Street’

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I was in as soon as I heard ‘Martin Scorsese’s new film’.  Doesn’t mean I’ll automatically love it (we’ll get to that), but I’ll see what he’s selling.

And Leo.  He’ll always have the blessing and the curse of Titanic, but as an actor, he almost always comes through with the parts (and choices) he makes.  Like DeNiro in his prime, working with Marty doesn’t hurt of course.

So that brings us to Wolf of Wall Street.  Marty and Leo take us through Wall Street before it came crashing down, when an ambitious kid learned how the system work (a great, great two scene contribution from McConaughey), then figures out where the loopholes are and takes advantage (until he inevitably gets caught).  It’s a very modern, American tale of sex, drugs, and rock and roll, with a lot of laughs (enter Jonah Hill) mixed into this ‘new school’ crime tale (this is still Scorsese we’re talking about).

My gripe with this film is a catch 22.  It’s three hours long.  And none of it is bad per se, but it is a 180 minute long movie.  As interesting as I think the world is, do I personally think we needed to stay here for a longer time than we spent with Goodfellas, The Departed, Raging Bull, the Aviator, Casino, or Gangs of New York?  Nope, I’d put all those films ahead of this one.  But who is going to tell Martin Scorsese how long his film needs to be?  Again, I don’t know if anything felt completely out of place, but at say, 2 and a half hours, I think it might have been in the same class as the six films I listed above.  Impossibly high standard I know, but he set it.

Moneyball

As far as book to film translations go, Moneyball is an entertaining movie that keeps the spirit of the book.  ‘How does a small market team compete/win in the imbalanced world of modern baseball?’  Brad Pitt produces and stars as Billy Beane, the Oakland A’s GM who ‘revolutionized’ the game by incorporating new math formulas into figuring out how to build a good baseball team for little to no money.

Now, that plot description is not remotely cinematic; what the film does well is frame the story as a forward thinking man (Beane and his mathematical genius sidekick played by a still portly Jonah Hill) who comes up against friction at every turn.  The old school scouts whose years of expertise are being thrown out; the players who have been conditioned to believe they’re washed up, Beane’s own self doubt at knowing this is his ‘last chance’ to make something of himself.  I’m enough of a sports fan to know (SPOILER ALERT) the Oakland Athletics haven’t won a World Series in this timeframe.  I won’t ruin where the film ends, but I thought it was satisfying.

So does that make it a good film?  It is.  But like making a crime film, the bar is impossibly high for what makes a ‘great sports film’.  During the Q&A after the screening I attended, someone asked the filmmakers how they felt their baseball film stacked up against Field of Dreams or 61*.  Whether you feel the question was a little rude or not, the filmmakers said they only focused on making the film they were making (good answer).  And the film they made was entertaining.