The Golden Globes are upon us, and since it’s officially awards season, it’s time for a quick rundown of the some of the movies I watched over the holidays.
True Grit (2010)
Quick Stats: Written and directed by the Coen Brothers. Second adaptation of a 1968 novel of the same name. The original Western won John Wayne his only Oscar. Was not nominated by the Hollywood Foreign Press for any Golden Globes.
Starring: Jeff Bridges, Matt Damon, Josh Brolin, and Hailee Steinfeld.
Plot: Fourteen year-old Mattie (Steinfeld, in her feature film debut) hires a merciless U.S. Marshall, Rooster Cogburn (Bridges, Crazy Heart), to hunt down her father’s killer, Tom Chaney (Brolin, Jonah Hex).
Verdict: I love this movie!! It’s entertaining, funny, and just a solid showcase of acting. Since it’s a Western, the movie stands out from today’s indie “dramedies” and big budget blockbusters. The characters are something else, especially Rooster and LeBoeuf (Damon). Although Bridges outacted him, I’m really starting to dig Damon in these subtly hilarious roles, like his lead role in The Informant! And I have to mention Steinfeld- the chick is younger than my little brother, and she has a bright future ahead of her. Even if you’re not a Coen Brothers fan (definitely don’t blame you), I recommend this movie.
Black Swan (2010)
Quick Stats: Directed by Darren Aronofsky, of The Wrestler fame. Nominated in four major Golden Globe categories.
Starring: Natalie Portman, Mila Kunis, and Vincent Cassel.
Plot: The virginal ballerina Nina (Portman) wins the role of the Swan Queen in Swan Lake over her sensual rival Lily (Kunis), but the part soon begins to consume her.
Verdict: I know that I should love this movie, especially since my adoration for Natalie Portman is well-documented. And honestly, I really can appreciate the artistic qualities and production value behind Black Swan. You can just tell this movie will be dissected and analyzed for years to come. But did I enjoy it? No, the film is meant to be disturbing. My initial reaction was that it was a mind**** (yes, fill in the blank). Still, I guess it might be a must-watch because otherwise, you just won’t get what everyone is talking about.
The King’s Speech (2010)
Quick Stats: Directed by Tom Hopper. Based on the true story of King George VI. The screenplay was based of the Queen Mother’s personal diaries. Nominated for seven Golden Globes.
Starring: Colin Firth, Geoffrey Rush, and Helena Bonham Carter.
Plot: The film tells the story of the Duke of York (Firth) and speech therapist Lionel Logue (Rush) who helped the future king overcome a stammer.
Verdict: This is my type of movie. I’m a history buff, especially when the British royal family is involved. To some, the subject may feel irrelevant, but George VI came into power at the height of the radio era, so strong speech skills were of a newfound importance- especially once WWII started. I loved this movie- despite the slow, steady pace, this is a great blend of history, politics, and drama.
All of these movies have the potential to be Oscar contenders. Have you seen any of these? Which ones are your favorites? And are you watching the Golden Globes tonight?