Happy Friday, My Friends!
I'd like to tell you about four new-to-DVD movies I've seen within the past few weeks. All were Academy Award nominated, and some were winners.
First, Tree of Life: This movie is unusual. However, it's beautifully made because it was directed by Terrence Malick. The problem: I cannot even give you a hint about the plot because I do not know what this movie is about. It seems to be a passage through time that includes dinosaurs and the lives of a family in more recent years. It's gorgeous. It's beautifully shot. If you appreciate the look of a film and if you have ever loved Terrence Malick (Days of Heaven, and yes I could follow that plot easily), then you will want to see Tree of Life. If you want your movies to have a clear plot, then don't bother with Tree of Life.
Second, Hugo: Loved it. Absolutely loved. The story of Hugo, a young boy who lives in the walls of a Parisian train station, turns into a magical mystery tour into the the beginnings of films. Directed by Martin Scorsese, this is no Casino or The Departed, so don't rent it or buy it expecting typical Scorsese. Hugo is totally different. Also beautifully shot. Love the color palette.
Third, Warrior: Loved it. Absolutely loved. Two estranged brothers fight in mixed martial arts competitions. They end up in the cage competing against each other for $5 million. One brother wants security for his family; one brother wants to give the money to the wife and children of his fallen Marine comrade in Iraq. Who will win? Beautiful performances all around, especially by Nick Nolte as the brothers' recovering alcoholic father.
Fourth, My Week With Marilyn. This one is more of a chick flick. I thought it was cute and is Michelle Williams' (Marilyn Monroe) best performance to date. It tells the story of Monroe in England to make The Prince and The Showgirl with Laurence Olivier (a crusty Kenneth Branagh). Olivier is a nasty grouch. Monroe is a nervous, barely able to perform wreck. She becomes involved with an assistant director on the shoot, who later wrote a memoir about the brief experience. I'm not a Michelle Williams fan, but she captures Monroe nicely without being too giggly or too breathy. The best parts of her performance are when she dances and sings. Then she almost seems to be Monroe. The problem: No one is Marilyn Monroe except Marilyn Monroe.
Here's my ranking of these four movies, with #1 as the movie most worth your time:
3. My Week With Marilyn
4. Tree of Life
So, should you want to watch a movie this weekend, now you know what the Junebug thinks.
Infinities of love,