Obscurity Knocks

Earnest, empathetic, industrious, unpretentious, gay Virgo in Milwaukee with a great life, amazing friends, and a wonderful family.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Four films

I've seen four movies in the theater over the past two weeks:

1. "Slumdog Millionaire." I didn't know what to expect from this film, but I had heard good reviews. I was not disappointed. Part fantasy, part fable, part epic, part game show. I don't know how to explain it, but it's one of the most unique and original movies I've seen in a long time. The acting, particularly by the kids, was excellent. It was also great because there was not one actor that I knew, so I wasn't distracted thinking, "Oh, it's X celebrity playing this role." Grade: A.

2. "Milk." I was really excited to see this movie, and it lived up to my expectations. Arthur Miller wrote "The Crucible" about the Salem Witch trials, but he was really writing about the communist witch hunts of the 1950s. "Milk" is similar in that the film is a biography of Harvey Milk, the first openly gay person elected to public office in the United States, but it's also about the gay rights movement of today and how our civil rights are being denied. I couldn't help but wonder why there isn't an elected official today with Harvey Milk's passion. It's unfortunate that his life ended so tragically, because we could use him today as state after state passes constitutional amendments banning gay marriage, and there isn't much outrage that citizens are being denied their civil rights. Sean Penn proves once again that he is one of the greatest living actors. Grade: A.

3. "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button." I wasn't excited about seeing this movie, mainly because I am so sick of both Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie, I can barely stand seeing either one of them. I can't figure out why so many people think that Angelina Jolie is some deity and that she and Brad Pitt deserve reverence and worship. Neither of them deserve anything, and I'm sick of their over saturation in the media. Nevertheless, I saw "Benjamin Button," and it exceeded my low expectations. Yes, Brad Pitt turns in a good performance. But the true star of this film is Cate Blanchett. Cate's acting is superb, and she proves that she is one of the best actors. I hope that she is nominated for an Academy Award for this role. Grade: B+.

4. "Doubt." I know with certainty that Meryl Streep is the greatest living actor. She proves that fact again in this movie with her portrayal of Sister Aloysius. La Streep has excellent company in this film with Amy Adams, Philip Seymour Hoffman, and Viola Davis delivering superb performances. You knew that you were going to see a real battle of excellent acting when Streep and Hoffman went up against each other. But I was particularly impressed with Viola Davis's portrayal of Mrs. Miller. She holds her own and then some against Streep in a truly memorable scene. The movie is a real tour de force, with a compelling moral message about doubt and certainty. Grade: A.

Now I really want to see "Frost/Nixon," but it doesn't open here for another couple of weeks.


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