Tag Archive: rachel mcadams


The-Big-Short-25

CHRIS: And here to present the next two awards, here is Academy Award nominee Emma Stone, and the Associate Producer of ‘Trojan War,’ Malik Aziz!

(audience applause as they take the stage)

EMMA: An outlaw trying to survive in a room of seven Hateful men. A woman supporting and coming to grips with her husband’s changing sexual identity.  A partner trying to reel in one of the greatest creative minds of the last century. A few of the great performances from this year.

MALIK: That’s right! And you know what else they all have in common?

EMMA: (awkwardly fidgeting) Um…what?

MALIK: They’re all nominated tonight for Best Supporting Actress!

EMMA: (relieved) Yes. Yes!

MALIK: Wait, what did you think I was going to say?

EMMA: Nothing. Nothing.

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

Jennifer Jason Leigh – The Hateful Eight

Rooney Mara – Carol

Rachel McAdams – Spotlight

Alicia Viklander – the Danish Girl

Kate Winslet – Steve Jobs

Who Should Win: Probably Jennifer Jason Leigh.

Who Will Win: One of this year’s ‘It Girls: Viklander

Who I’m Cheering For: A small chance based on the movie that McAdams wins, and she’s pretty solid in everything (including last year’s True Detective).

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

Christian Bale – The Big Short

Tom Hardy – The Revenant

Mark Ruffalo – Spotlight

Mark Rylance – Bridge of Spies

Sylvester Stallone – Creed

Who Should Win: Hmmm.  I could make a case for Ruffalo. I could make a case for Rocky.

Who Will Win: Everything’s lined up for Sly, and if Mike and Ryan are happy for him then I am too (I guess).

Who I’m Cheering For: 

Midnight in Paris

 

First off, hope everyone had a nice New Year.  Now let’s get back to business…

As I watched Midnight in Paris, I appreciated the irony of this particular story.  A writer who spends quite a bit of time daydreaming about his idols finds a time warp that allows him to hang out with Hemingway, Fitzgerald, Gertrude Stein and company.  Some people have been hyping this film as Woody Allen’s best film in years (I disagree).   But I will say this film more closely ‘feels’ like Woody’s most celebrated films (such as Annie Hall and Manhattan) than anything he’s made recently.  So I wonder how many of the critics who’ve fawned over the film are overly nostalgic themselves for the Woody Allen films of the 70s and 80s?  Is he making a comment about his own career arc and fan base?  I don’t think so actually but it’s a sign of respect for the man that I’m even thinking about it and throwing it out there.

Led by Owen Wilson in the ‘Woody’ role, and featuring a stacked supporting cast including Rachel McAdams, Marion Cotillard, Kathy Bates, and Adrien Brody, the thing I took away the most from Midnight is that Woody still has ‘it.’  I know a lot of film lovers, but I know very few (I think) who still plan to be active when they get to Woody’s age, let alone put out high quality work.  That statement alone makes the film worth watching.

Love And Other Drugs

 

I’ve respected but never really been ‘all-in’ on Anne Hathaway.  Not as highbrow as Natalie Portman, not as ‘that girl’ as Rachel McAdams.  But after watching Love and Other Drugs, I get Hathaway’s appeal now.  She has some of the qualities of those two and the other actresses of her generation.  We use the term ‘Everyman’ alot to talk about actors (like her costar Jake Gyllenhall) for example, Hathaway is something of an Everywoman – the qualities she uses can change seamlessly from scene to scene.

The story you’ve seen a million times before (spoiler alert): Boy Meets Girl, They fall in Love, Things Fall Apart, Realize They Love Each Other, & Reunite.  It’s a huge credit to the two leads that we embrace the two characters and go along for the ride.  Gyllenhall plays the womanizing salesman who’s sort of a loser until he finds his calling in the drug game (which in this case means legal prescription drugs you’d get from your doctor).  Hathaway plays a sickly type who has the early stages of a medical condition that I won’t ruin if you plan to see the film.  I completely forgot these two played husband and wife in Brokeback Mountain, but their comfort and chemistry with each other is on display even more in this film.  No pun intended, but the first hour is really these two “on display” if you catch my drift, so it’s hard not to acknowledge the collective attractiveness on the screen.

I mentioned this film raised my opinion of Anne Hathaway.  Of the two, this film is really about her character.  There has been some early talk of Oscar for her performance in this film.  It didn’t scream ‘Best Actress’ to me, but we’ll see I suppose.  She’s got the hosting gig, so maybe she’s already won.

Sherlock Holmes

 

Sherlock Holmes is the latest character to get a ‘reboot’ for today’s generation in an attempt to start a new Hollywood franchise.  And in this case…I think they got it right (as a film, the box office will decide if it becomes a franchise of course).  Robert Downey Jr. continues to make all of us who are fans of his immense talent look good for hoping he would conquer his demons (personally I’ve been a big fan of his since Chaplin).  As the title character, Downey plays into the best parts of his own persona (a possible genius internally who looks like a simpleton on the outside) to headline a fun, ‘could/should this have been a summer release?’ movie.  And in my opinion, the action may be a wee bit too slow for the summer, but it’s perfect counterprogamming right now (even though that didn’t stop Downey from getting a Golden Globe nod here).  Jude Law is pitch perfect as Watson, used here as the sensible more down to earth member of this Dynamic Duo, and Rachel McAdams still has one of the prettiest smiles in Hollywood and is perfectly charming as the love interest.

Even the story of the film feels right, a ‘supernatural’ villain who comes back from the dead to terrorize London.  But that’s not possible right?  I don’t know how ‘rewatchable’ this film is,but it’s fun for the audience to play along with Holmes and try to figure out how certain things happen in the story.

So a fun film for the holiday season in the middle of the more serious stuff that’s popping up with awards season also in full bloom.  Nice if you just want some good old fashioned Hollywood ‘junk food’.

State of Play

 

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Thrillers are one of my favorite genres, bar none. The ‘newsroom thriller’ has provided some great films over the years (most notably All The President’s Men).  I read Roger Ebert’s review of this film; he thinks newspaper thrillers will continue, even if the newspaper itself dies off in the next couple of years.  I disagree on both points, but I’m guessing you want my opinion of this movie, so away we go…

The setup for this story is a pretty girl who just happened to work in the office of a young and upcoming Senator (played well by Ben Affleck) is murdered in the DC subway system.  It’s soon revealed the Senator was having an affair with the girl, and his best friend Cal (played by Russell Crowe) is constantly dancing on the line between being the Senator’s friend, and a top notch investigative reporter for the Washington Globe.  The cast is filled out by Robin Wright Penn as the Senator’s wife, Rachel McAdams as the cute blogger who represents the next wave of journalism, and Helen Mirren as the editor of the newspaper.

I’ll spare you more of the plot for two reasons.  One, it’s a thriller, and the who/what/why is the reason you go to see movies like this.  Secondly though, in my opinion, this is one of those movies that had one twist too many, so by the end, while the story was well told and I had all the facts, I was still trying to piece together who was playing who.  The easy answer is, well that’s DC politics (and it is I’m sure), but for entertainment purposes I think they could have simplified it a little.

The casting was solid from top on down.  I heard Brad Pitt was the original lead; it’s hard for me to imagine him in this role (and I’m a Pitt fan for the most part).  One person I didn’t mention in my cast rundown: Jason Bateman.  It gives none of the story away to say that, again, he steals scenes like he was born to do it.  Dodgeball, Hancock, and I’m sure I’m leaving more films out, but you want to talk about carving a niche for yourself and running with it.  I think Fred Willard is the only one who does it better than him.

Anyway, don’t let my complaints turn you completely off.  Overall I thought it was a pretty solid flick.  Not a bad way at all to kick off what’s looking like a busy summer for your neighborhood film geek…