Tag Archive: George Clooney

Movie Review: The Descendants

George Clooney plays Matt King, he is the descendant(Get it? It’s the title) of Hawaiian royalty, he owns a large piece of land along with a dozen other cousins. His wife on the eve of a land deal being put in place, gets into a boating accident and is in a coma. He tries to connect with his two daughters. Through his oldest daughter played by Shailene Woodley we find out that his wife was having an affair. The family must work through their emotions and try and make important decisions, responding to the accident.

This movie is really heavy, just know that going in. I knew this movie would have a different balance to it. Alexander Payne’s “Sideways” to me is a modern classic. I love that movie. This is his follow up and man does he hit it out of the ballpark. This movie doesn’t pull any punches. It’s emotional and funny all at once. The film never really blinks and never hesitates. The opening of the film makes it clear that even if you live in paradise, doesn’t mean your life is great. Clooney’s character is a great one, he’s very wealthy but yet doesn’t play with it. He keeps it hidden away from his family. We never meet his wife, we just hear about her through other characters, we never see her in a great light which to me is a let down. We only know her as a cheater and possibly the only reason she married Clooney’s character was for money.

A surprise though is Shailene Woodley, who I think was on an ABC Family show. She plays the older daughter who is a lot like her mother. Problem is she hates her as she wants to expose her for cheating on her dad. The girl has problems with cursing and has had drug and alcohol problems. Her performance isn’t ground breaking but very impressive.

We spend a lot of time with the family as they travel to another island in Hawaii. They track down the man the wife was having an affair with and find out he has his own family. The story has many moments where you can find yourself choking up. This film does cement Clooney as just a great actor of this generation. I want to see more from Payne, waiting this long between films is not fair, I love his style and mixing small bits of comedy in with intense emotional scenes. It moves at a slow pace and if you go in expecting a laugh riot, you’ll be confused and let down. The movie is deeper and about living life and understanding what is important in life.

Rating: 7.5/10

I didn’t really respond or post much about the Golden Globes(Thought they were “alright”). I’ve decided to not stay silent about the Academy Awards though. I’ll be going over the larger categories, listing the nominations and giving thoughts. This is my first year doing this hopefully you’ll be coming here for years and commenting on how wrong I am.

BEST PICTURE: The Artist, The Descendants, The Help, The Tree of Life, Hugo, Midnight in Paris, Moneyball, War Horse, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close

I’m actually rather surprised by this list and delighted all at the same time. Hugo is really gaining a lot of steam this awards season. I personally loved The Artist and Moneyball, War Horse deserves to be there. The Tree of Life making it is a surprise along with ELAIC which hasn’t really been making any headlines recently. If I had to guess though this is between the Artist and The Descendants, don’t be surprised if Hugo wins though.

BEST ACTOR: George Clooney(The Descendants), Brad Pitt(Moneyball), Jean Dujardin(The Artist), Damien Bachir(A Better Life), Gary Oldman(Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy).

Wow! Now this is full of surprises. No Leo, no Fassbender(which is a Shame… Get it? The movie he was in was called Shame… I’ll move on) but Damien Bachir and Gary Oldman are in there, they both really deserve it. I really dug Brad Pitt in Moneyball but I don’t think he stands a chance. I think it’s a race between Dujardin and Clooney. I hope Dujardin wins, but I think Clooney is bringing it in.

BEST ACTRESS: Glenn Close(Albert Nobbs), Viola Davis(The Help), Rooney Mara(Girl with the Dragon Tattoo), Meryl Streep(The Iron Lady), Michelle Williams(My Week with Marilyn).

This is rather interesting because how close this will be. The Globes copped out by placing Michelle Williams in the “Musical or Comedy” actress role but they couldn’t do that here. All Streep does is win so you have that. Viola Davis made a huge impression in The Help. Glenn Close played a chick who is so ugly she can pull off being a man. Any other year and that wins the award for you. Michelle Williams deserves this one but Mara is going to get over looked which is a real shame. That was such a hard and daring role. I just hope the Academy members realize that Streep has won before, like a lot, so let someone else get a trophy.

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR: Kenneth Branagh(My Week With Marilyn), Nick Nolte(Warrior), Jonah Hill(Moneyball), Max von Sydow(Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close), Christopher Plummer(Beginners).

Well to start off it will probably be Plummer. Love that Nick Nolte got the nomination for a role most over looked, hell the movie “Warrior” got over looked by most of America(Check it out you won’t be let down). I don’t get why Jonah Hill keeps getting nominations, he didn’t really bring anything to that role. I just feel like this is people trying to push him as a real actor, hard to do that when your upcoming movie is the “21 Jump Street” remake. For me Branagh should win, but I don’t think he will.

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS: Berenice Bejo(The Artist), Melissa McCarthy(Bridesmaids), Janet McTeer(Albert Nobbs), Octavia Spencer(The Help), Jessica Chastain(The Help).

Octavia Spencer is getting this even though it should be Berenice Bejo(Who should be in the “Best Actress” category). Sad to see Melissa McCarthy here though. Mainly because she doesn’t belong and it’s obvious this was done as a ratings booster. Try and get people who love this movie to check out if she wins. She won’t but come on really? She was funny but… Come on!

BEST ANIMATED FILM: Rango, Chico and Rita, A Cat in Paris, Kung Fu Panda 2, Puss in Boots.

Doesn’t this list seem fake? It just is weird first off not seeing a Pixar movie here. Seeing anything with a “2” in it is weird. One of the films is called Puss in Boots. I loved Rango so I hope it wins but for the comedy of it I hope Boots takes home the trophy.

BEST DIRECTOR: Michel Hazanavicius(The Artist), Alexander Payne(The Descendants), Martin Scorsese(Hugo), Woody Allen(Midnight in Paris), Terrence Malick(The Tree of Life).

Well there is a lot of talent there. The list is simply perfect. To me it should be Hazanavicius. Will probably be Payne. Glad Woody Allen got on there and especially Terrence Malick. Wouldn’t be too surprised though if Scorsese came out on top here.

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY: Nat Faxon, Alexander Payne(The Descendants), Aaron Sorkin and Steven Zaillian(Moneyball), John Logan(Hugo), George Clooney and Grant Heslov(Ides of March), Bridget O’Connor and Peter Straughan(Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy).

Yes I’m doing the scripts… Because I write scripts as a hobby. Anyway this is going to the Descendants but I think Moneyball should get it. Ides of March was also a very well done script but I think with the political tone going on right now it won’t get a lot of votes.

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY: Woody Allen(Midnight in Paris), Michel Hazanavicius(The Artist), Kristen Wiig and Annie Mumulo(Bridesmaids), JC Chandor(Margin Call), Asghar Farhadi(A Separation).

Saved the best for last! This is a stacked category. The Artist of course should get it but I really believe this will be the place where Bridesmaids gets one as a “see we’re cool” item for the Academy. It’s nice to see Chandor and Farhadi make the list but I don’t think they stand much of a chance.

Well there it is… Some of the nominees and my responses. I look forward to the show it’s like the Super Bowl for movies and I love every second of it.

Movie Review: Ides of March

Right now America is caught up in some crazy politics, watching GOP candidates beat on each other verbally to try and win the nomination. One mistake can send a career into a tail spin. So it’s perfect timing for the Ides of March to come out. The plot follows Governor Mike Morris(George Clooney) is trying to win the Democratic primary in Ohio. He has one of the best in Stephen Myers(Ryan Gosling)who is a young and overly ambitious idealist who has basically bet all in on Morris. He butts heads with the storied campaign manager, Paul Zara(Phillip Seymour Hoffman). Once Stephen makes the mistake of taking a meeting with the rival candidates campaign manager(Paul Giamatti) everything starts to spiral out of control.

George Clooney is simply a master, his directing skills for a film like this are frankly amazing. This film feels old school but yet it’s so overly modern. Even though the film focuses on a Democratic primary the film never feels overly political. The behind the scenes nonsense that goes on in politics is just hard not to be interested in. The best thing Clooney did is allowed the actors some breathing room. There are no quick cuts every actor gets time with their scenes. For us it pays off. Of course Ryan Gosling stands out here, the guy is simply a movie star, every time he is on screen it’s hard not to watch him. Hoffman chews through his lines and comes off as a man who has really seen the rough battle of politics year after year. I just eat up everything about this film.

Even the romance between Gosling’s character and a twenty year old intern, played by the amazing Evan Rachel Wood doesn’t feel forced. Frankly it’s one of the most important moments in the film. I really don’t want to go into detail about the plot. The trailers did a good job of keeping everything in the dark. Just know that this film is very current and Clooney playing Mike Morris is very brave since decisions he makes in the film are not exactly classy. It’s a brave film and every actor gives it all and frankly the movie is just a pure treat to anyone who enjoys film.

Ides of March is important too because many Americans need to realize that politics in this country has simply turned into a dog fight. People using dirt and lies to control others and manipulate voters. Even though the characters are great and well written and the actors are all top notch, you very much feel disconnected to all of them. Everyone minus one major character is lying all the time. The world of politics that sets America’s leadership is essentially flawed, this movie plays with that and is like a huge wake up call. The film is lightly flawed as once the plot is fleshed out, it’s rather basic, and the film feels rather short. These are minor flaws though in an over all great experience.

Rating: 7.5/10