Intermarkets' Privacy Policy
Moron Meet-Ups
Any interest in a MI/Midwest Meet-up?
It has a website!

Any interest in a SoCal Meet-up?
Contact Jim

NY/NJ MoMe: August 23rd, 6pm-9pm in Hoboken
Contact CBD

SW Ohio MoMe: 10/20/2018
Contact ibguy

Texas MoMe: 10/20/18
Contact Ben Had
No Wonder Al Franken Turned Tail and Ran From John O'Neill (Hoke) | Main | You Want to Be Called What, Senator? (Hoke)
February 20, 2005

Best Pictures (Hoke)

As of last night, when I caught The Aviator, I've seen them all. I know I've reported on what will win. For those who may want to fill their Oscar dance card this week, I'd see the nominees in the following order.

5. Ray: Patton is the prototype for biopic. Take one sliver of the protagonist's life and go from there. Unfortunately, Ray tries to cover too much ground, including Ray Charles' impoverished and tragedy-filled childhood, his rise, and his fight against heroin addiction. Even with this broader canvas, the film is repetitive. Jamie Foxx's performance rises above mimicry, but this is a missable film.

4. Million Dollar Baby: Eastwood's picture is occasionally elegant, and always sparse, but when all is said and done, there's not a damn thing in this movie that is unexpected. For the last third, it is a dead man walking and a chore to stay for the bitter finale. Worse, the picture is sloppy. Early on, a relationship between Eastwood - a plagued boxing manager - and a Catholic priest is merely hinted at (really, played more for laughs). Later, when Eastwood must truly rely on the priest, the scene is stiff and unconvincing. Another, between Eastwood and an estranged daughter, is unrevealed, which is a cheat and a waste of time. Good performances, no great shakes.

3. The Aviator: I expected it to be awful. Gangs of New York awful. It wasn't. DiCaprio partially overcomes his central handicap (he looks like a reptilian boy) to bring us the audacious and increasingly insane Hughes. Scorsese keeps a pace and infuses the film with inventive camera-work (much of the picture is flight). Cate Blanchett owns Katherine Hepburn, an actress who never separated acting from being. It's a solid, big, Hollywood picture.

2. Sideways: This film masks a love story - not between Paul Giamatti and Virginia Madsen, but between Giamatti and his polar-opposite, old college roommate Thomas Haden Church. The two men go on a long wine-tasting (Giamatti's thrill), pussy-hunting (Haden Church's aim - he's to be married), golf week in California wine country. They each meet women. Giamatti falls in love with Madsen, Haden Church irresponsibly dallies with Sandra Oh. In the end, Haden Church's immaturity ruins Giamatti's chances with Madsen, yet Giamatti must still attend to his friend, as if they were knights bonded by a blood oath. It is a distinctly male concept usually only revealed in films of violence and retribution. Here, however, the bond is established in subtle scenes of the two characters simply abiding, cheering up, or laughing with and at each other. It's a great, smart picture.

1. Finding Neverland: Johnny Depp's turn as J.M. Barrie - who becomes a father/uncle to the four sons of the widow Kate Winslet while he writes Peter Pan - is perfect. I was watching Donnie Brasco the other day on TNT. There's really nothing Depp can't do. He is a real special talent and in the film, he is capably supported by Winslet, Julie Christie (as Winslet's domineering and protective mother), and Dustin Hoffman (Depp's financial backer, Charles Frohman).

But the film is stolen by actor who plays one of the young sons, Peter. Over the past several years, there have been some stunning performances by children. The two daughters in last years' In America, the two children in The Others and Haley Joel Osment in The Sixth Sense come to mind. But Freddie Highmore's Peter is so affecting and deft, I was knocked over.

This is a touching, expert film, ultimately about very simple and some might say sentimental concepts. It is no slave to historical accuracy (it states rather frankly at the outset that it is merely "inspired by true events"). For example, Barrie did become close to the family and eventual guardian to the chilren, however, he befriended the family prior to the death of their father, and six years prior to the opening of Peter Pan. There were also five boys, not four.

There are also persistent rumors that Barrie's real-life interest in the children may have been sinister. The film addresses the rumors briefly with a simple denial of such monstrous allegations by Depp. Another of the five boys (Nico) strongly denied the insinuations, stating that Barrie "was an innocent--which is why he could write Peter Pan" and Barrie's primary biographer finds no basis for the claim. What cannot be denied is that for three of the boys, their ends were tragic - one was killed in WWI, one drowned in 1921, and Peter threw himself under a subway train in his 60s.

None of which detracts from the fact that Finding Neverland is the best picture of the year.

digg this
posted by Ace at 11:53 AM

| Access Comments

Recent Comments
Eromero: "Whiskey trucks and John Wayne! Ain't Texas grand? ..."

Farmer: "Be well all. Time for bed here...Rock on tomorrow. ..."

Skip: "For a good chuckle see at Legal Insurection the #W ..."

SMH - Get right or get left: "Guess the Navy isn't paying their dentists well... ..."

wammo: "sounds like the posters here! ..."

Skip: "Have to get more pancake mix, made the last Friday ..."

Farmer: "Time to make the pancakes... *pulls chute* Post ..."

Skip: "Just saw recently my township has a dog park. ..."

Farmer: "I'm pushing 60 real fast, me and John John would h ..."

Farmer: "Hey red, I should go to bed but I'm still here af ..."

Slapweasel, (Cold1), ([b]T[/b]) [/i] [/b] [/u] [/s] Now 17% More Elite: "Time to make the pancakes... *pulls chute* ..."

Skip: "How those boat pwners went out with storm warnings ..."

Recent Entries

Polls! Polls! Polls!
Frequently Asked Questions
The (Almost) Complete Paul Anka Integrity Kick
Top Top Tens
Greatest Hitjobs

The Ace of Spades HQ Sex-for-Money Skankathon
A D&D Guide to the Democratic Candidates
Margaret Cho: Just Not Funny
More Margaret Cho Abuse
Margaret Cho: Still Not Funny
Iraqi Prisoner Claims He Was Raped... By Woman
Wonkette Announces "Morning Zoo" Format
John Kerry's "Plan" Causes Surrender of Moqtada al-Sadr's Militia
World Muslim Leaders Apologize for Nick Berg's Beheading
Michael Moore Goes on Lunchtime Manhattan Death-Spree
Milestone: Oliver Willis Posts 400th "Fake News Article" Referencing Britney Spears
Liberal Economists Rue a "New Decade of Greed"
Artificial Insouciance: Maureen Dowd's Word Processor Revolts Against Her Numbing Imbecility
Intelligence Officials Eye Blogs for Tips
They Done Found Us Out, Cletus: Intrepid Internet Detective Figures Out Our Master Plan
Shock: Josh Marshall Almost Mentions Sarin Discovery in Iraq
Leather-Clad Biker Freaks Terrorize Australian Town
When Clinton Was President, Torture Was Cool
What Wonkette Means When She Explains What Tina Brown Means
Wonkette's Stand-Up Act
Wankette HQ Gay-Rumors Du Jour
Here's What's Bugging Me: Goose and Slider
My Own Micah Wright Style Confession of Dishonesty
Outraged "Conservatives" React to the FMA
An On-Line Impression of Dennis Miller Having Sex with a Kodiak Bear
The Story the Rightwing Media Refuses to Report!
Our Lunch with David "Glengarry Glen Ross" Mamet
The House of Love: Paul Krugman
A Michael Moore Mystery (TM)
The Dowd-O-Matic!
Liberal Consistency and Other Myths
Kepler's Laws of Liberal Media Bias
John Kerry-- The Splunge! Candidate
"Divisive" Politics & "Attacks on Patriotism" (very long)
The Donkey ("The Raven" parody)
Powered by
Movable Type 2.64