And the Oscar Goes To… Not a Clue

Currently browsing the "Stanley Tucci" tag.

Review: Supernova

No, this isn’t another space movie, though the title may give you that impression. It’s a placid roadtrip movie, featuring a middle-aged gay couple riding through England’s Lake District in a camper van, pondering life’s joys and sorrows in the shadow of a terminal dementia diagnosis. If it were anyone other than Stanley Tucci (Big Night, The Hunger Games) and Colin Firth (A Single Man, The King’s Speech) in the lead roles, it might not resonate all that much. But the two actors – and longtime friends – share an easy chemistry that is quietly compelling to watch, under the direction of Harry MacQueen.

Review: The Children Act

The Children Act is a quiet and thoughtful drama starring two of the most versatile actors of our time: Emma Thompson (Sense and Sensibility, Howards End, Saving Mr. Banks, Harry Potter) and Stanley Tucci (Big Night, Spotlight, The Hunger Games). Thompson plays Fiona Maye, a British High Court judge tasked with making difficult, time-sensitive decisions involving the health and welfare of children. Her job is all-consuming, and her devotion to it has taken a heavy toll on her 20-year marriage – to the point where her loving but frustrated husband Jack (Tucci) tells her he is going to have an affair. The pronouncement sends Fiona into an emotional tailspin just as she’s getting swept up in the high-profile case of a teenage boy dying of leukemia.

Beauty and the Beast

Beauty and the Beast represented near-perfection for an animated musical when it competed for Best Picture honors in 1991. So it’s hard to imagine that any reimagining of the “tale as old as time” could possibly hold a candle – or a lumiere – to that instant classic. But Disney’s live-action Beauty and the Beast does what it set out to do, and that’s bring a strong cast, a contemporary vibe, and a few new songs to audiences old and new. And while it’s not perfect, it is quite enchanting.

Spotlight

This one has Oscar written all over it. It features a fabulous ensemble cast in a compelling docudrama based on a Pulitzer Prize-winning investigation that still reverberates. Spotlight is the name of an investigative reporting unit at the Boston Globe that exposed the Boston Archdiocese pedophilia cover-up in 2001. The film begins as the team is sniffing around for their next story, which can frequently take them some time. But when the paper brings in a new editor-in-chief (Liev Schreiber), rather than letting them choose their own, he hands them an assignment that would become a bomb-shell in a city with deep Catholic roots. What begins as a cursory look at an old story of a single pedophile priest grows larger and reaches higher, and the team does what the best of journalism does, they follow their leads no matter what. And it is devastating.

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1

Hollywood can be so cruel. Splitting the third and final book of The Hunger Games trilogy into two movies feels so… unnecessary. Lucrative, in a “hey, Harry Potter and Twilight got away with it” kind of way. But still, totally unnecessary. Thus Mockingjay – Part 1 is a good movie that could have been great. It’s a means to an end – and that means fans of the franchise will (and should) see it despite my frustrations with a narrative cut short. Then – come next year – we will all surely see it again, as part of a movie marathon, when Mockingjay – Part 2 bows in theaters. Just in time for Thanksgiving 2015! May the odds of remembering what happened in the books – and the first three movies – be ever in our favor.

Mockingjay – Part 1 finds our reluctant heroine Katniss Everdeen (still played brilliantly by Jennifer Lawrence) waking up in the rebel safe haven of District 13 after having put a fork (okay, an arrow) into the craziness that was the Hunger Games – where kid ‘tributes’ from the districts of Panem had been forced to fight to the death as part of some annual penance devised by the autocratic Capitol. Why? It’s complicated. If you really care to know, read the books. See the movies.

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire

Catching Fire is both satisfying and frustrating in that it definitely leaves you hungry for more. Sadly, the final installment of the Hunger Games trilogy won’t be dished out for a while, and even worse, it’ll be broken up into TWO additional flicks! As sequels go, Catching Fire is about as good as it gets. The characters, old and new, are well-drawn and well acted. There’s humor, horror, anticipation, allegory and dread as our heroine, Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) is forced back onto the battlefield for another fight to the death, along with her Hunger Games co-victor and fellow tribute Peeta (Josh Hutcherson). If none of that makes any sense, you’re probably going to skip the movie anyway. So cruise around the Chickflix site for some other cinematic options! For the rest of you, here’s all you need to know as Catching Fire sets the box office ablaze:

Margin Call

If you’re just dying to see how Wall Street crashed and burned in 2008 from the insider view, then Margin Call is the movie for you. Set inside a firm that is a fictional stand-in for any number of real investment banks, the film takes place over the span of one day in which the entire house of cards threatens to fall apart, taking every person in the company down.

Captain America: The First Avenger

Holy androstenedione, Batman! Or whatever else it is that’s in the experimental serum that transforms a scrawny kid from Brooklyn into the ultra-buff Super-Soldier known as “Captain America.” He’s really hot, but the movie’s just luke-warm.

Burlesque

It’s no Chicago or Dreamgirls, but if you like musicals (as I do), then you’ll like Burlesque well enough because the singing and the dancing are superb. The storyline, the acting and the dialogue are all… well… let’s just say the singing and the dancing are superb! The rest – is pretty darn cheesy, with a capital “C”.

2010 Fall Movies

We’re moving out of the summer blockbuster kids’ movies and into the fall when traditionally a more serious adult roster hits the screens. This year? Well, there are a few that seem Oscar worthy, several with our favorite men headlining, a couple that look like real chick flicks and what just might be some nice comedies. See for yourself.