Tag Archive: robert duvall


 

emma

Here are the nominees for Best Supporting Actress:

Patricia Arquette – Boyhood

Laura Dern – Wild

Keira Knightley – the Imitation Game

Emma Stone – Birdman

Meryl Streep – Into the Woods

Who Should Win: Hm.  Meryl is the definition of ‘legacy nominations’, I felt like Laura Dern’s character was more important to the story than the actual performance.  I’d argue Arquette’s was really a lead performance, so that leaves two.  I’d barely put Keira over Emma because of what each character meant to the story that was being told.

Who I’m Cheering For: As I noted in my reviews, both Keira and Emma showed things in their performances that were new (and good).  I’d be happy for either of them, but…

Who Will Win: Has Patricia Arquette lost any award yet?  I don’t think so…

Here are the nominees for Best Supporting Actor:

Robert Duvall – the Judge

Ethan Hawke – Boyhood

Edward Norton – Birdman

Mark Ruffalo – Foxcatcher

J.K. Simmons – Whiplash

Who Should Win: It would be really hard to go wrong with any choice this year, but really Simmons stands above the rest.

Who I’m Cheering For: The first ballot Character Actor Hall of Famer of course!  Go J.K.!

Who Will Win: The worthy ‘congrats on a great That Guy career’ star of the moment, J.K. Simmons.

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‘The Judge’

JUDGE, THE

Robert Duvall is nominated this year for playing the title character in this courtroom drama.  The strong patriarch with three sons with different personalities, a death on a fishing boat, Robert Friggin Duvall; impossible not to draw comparisons to ‘The Godfather’.  I’d still like to see Duvall, Robert Downey Jr, and Vincent D’Onofrio in an ‘epic’ family drama (this one has a smaller budget and gets a little melodramatic at times).

Quick backstory here is RDJ is a hotshot Chicago defense attorney who is pulled back to his small Indiana hometown to defend his father (Duvall) on a murder charge.  Another completely unfair but can’t help it reference is ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’.  Everything in this film is building up to the courtroom showdown between Downey and Duvall.  It pays off in my opinion.  With Gene Hackman in retirement, this is a nice potential bookend to the career of one of our great American actors.

 

“There’s no such thing as a small part, just small actors.” – Sidney Lumet

Being out of town delayed this post by a few days, but when you’ve contributed to American cinema what Sidney Lumet did, an appreciation is better late than never.  Non film geeks be warned, I’m going in on this one.  While his name does not have the crossover appeal of Spielberg or Scorsese, you can’t talk about Hollywood filmmaking without talking about this man.  A brief rundown for the uninitiated…

  • 12 Angry Men – Has to be in the debate for one of the best directorial debuts ever.  I believe I was in high school (possibly middle school even) when I was first shown this film, about a jury deliberating over the guilt or innocence of a kid on trial.  The majority of the film takes place in a jury room, and as television has given us even more access to the workings of our justice system, 12 Angry Men (in my opinion anyway) is probably even better now than it was when it was first made.  And this was his first film.  Damn.
  • Serpico – Much like ‘On the Waterfront’, the rare film where you completely sympathize with the ‘snitch’ (and yes I understand the snitches in these films were played by Brando and Pacino respectively).  Based on the true story of a NYPD officer who ratted out his coworkers’ corruption (and dealt with the repercussions of that), it’s a fantastic piece of 70s cinema.
  • Dog Day Afternoon – By leaps and bounds my favorite non-Corleone role by Pacino, and also number one of my list of ‘I Could See Hollywood Trying to Remake This, and I’ll Have Me a Good Cussing Fit That Day’ Movies.  Also based on real events, a down on his luck guy and his buddy decide to hold up a bank, and literally from the moment they say ‘This is a Stick Up!”, their day and their plan gets worse and worse and worse.  One of the first DVDs I ever bought.
  • Network – Even if you’ve never seen this film, odds are you’re familiar with the phrase, “I’m mad as hell, and I’m not gonna take it anymore!”  Well if you didn’t know, it came from this film.  Some people say this film in its own way predicted the genre we all call ‘reality TV’.  I don’t know about all that, but when you get Robert Duvall and Faye Dunaway in their peaks, and a Hall of Fame catchphrase and performance by Peter Finch, you’ve got one hell of a movie.
  • The Wiz – I’ve caught slack from some of you for not holding this film to the same standard as the films above.  As compensation for this slight, I offer the next time we go to karaoke, I’ll perform this (complete with highwaters, glitter vest and matching bow tie…)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ML-qN_6ZeCU&feature=related

That said, IREFUSE to call the Wiz a cinematic classic.  BUT.  BUT…not only was this the film debut of my Idol, but it was during the making of this film that he met the cat playing piano in the clip above (a musical genius by the name of Quincy Jones).  They decided to make a couple albums together.  I think you know the rest…

I’ll start to wrap it up, even though I haven’t even mentioned ‘The Verdict” (a great film and for many people’s favorite performance of Paul Newman).  And while there’s no way to document this, he’s widely credited as being the one who suggested that in the Pacino remake of Scarface, they make Tony Montana and company Cuban immigrants.  (Wow.) That, my friends, is a first ballot Hall of Fame Hollywood career.

So rest in peace, Sidney Lumet.  You won’t bump Liz from the final spot in next year’s In Memoriam segment of the Oscars, but I’ll be damned if you’re not second.

Crazy Heart

 

Crazy Heart tells the story of an alcoholic, washed up country singer who is inspired to try for one last chance at redemption.  In the lead role, Jeff Bridges comes off as more than believable in the lead role of the singer whose real name we only hear briefly in the third act.  As me and my friend joked on the way out, you almost forget that he’s the son of a Hollywood legend in his own right (and not somebody who grew up in Texas or Oklahoma).  Almost.  As far as Maggie Gyllenhall goes, this is the perfect type of role for her.  I was pleasantly surprised to find out when I got home that she’s also nominated for her performance in this movie.  Well deserved.

As far as the film itself, it takes me back to the 70s in terms of the style of filmmaking.  A first time writer and director probably helps; I couldn’t help but smile to see Robert Duvall prominently involved, both in a supporting role in the film, as well as being one of the producers.  There’s another star in this movie who’s not advertised in the promos; he’s a good actor but feels miscast in this film; I won’t ruin it for you if you haven’t seen it.  Like Duvall, he also only appears in a few scenes.  But this is Bridges’ movie.   He won the Golden Globe for his performance; if he takes home the Oscar too, it won’t be surprising.