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Movies, Movies, Movies! #30 March 24, 2020

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Welcome to another installment of Movies, Movies, Movies! I’ve been busy watching Season 2 of Altered Carbon, saw the ‘tween series anime, “Unsleeved,” and will plan on covering all three probably next week.

Queen & Slim (2019)
Starring: Daniel Kaluuya, Jodie Turner-Smith, Bokeem Woodbine, Chloë Sevigny
Director: Melina Matsoukas
Genres: Road Trip; Fugitives
Synopsis: Two decent, lonely people meet on a blind date. Events conspire to send them on a cross-country adventure together, fugitives against their will, hoping beyond hope they can reach freedom. Not only do those they meet on the way see them as reluctant heroes, you will also. The acting of these two are superb as they are thrown out of their comfort zones time and again but manage to find small bits of joy along the way despite the gravity of their situation. The cinematography is exquisite and so is the soundtrack.
Grade: 8.5
Etc.: Nominated for 27 film awards, won 10 of them, but not a peep from the Academy Awards. Academy, you should be ashamed of yourselves. Interestingly, this is the first feature film directed by Melina Matsoukas. All of her previous directing work has been with music videos. I will be looking forward to seeing what she does next!

 

Dark Waters (2019)
Starring: Mark Ruffalo, Anne Hathaway, Tim Robbins, Bill Camp, Victor Garber, Bill Pullman, Mare Winningham, William Jackson Harper, Louisa Krause, Brian Gallagher, Kevin Crowley, Mike Seely, Jon Osbeck, Tyler Craig
Director: Todd Haynes
Genres: Corporate Evil; Legal Drama
Synopsis: Newly made partner of the firm who defends chemical companies gets drawn into investigating the toxic dumpsite located next door to a friend of his grandma’s in his small hometown and makes it his life’s mission to pick through the intricate system that protects corporate polluters and allows them to continue to stay open for business. Mark Ruffalo’s character is a hero. Tim Robbins as his supportive boss, and Anne Hathaway as the supportive spouse make this compelling watching.
Grade: 8
Etc.: based on true events; MUST SEE to educate yourselves about DuP*nt and other similarly evil corporations that tirelessly continue acts which make our planet increasingly uninhabitable. The legal battle continues in real life.

 

 

Harriet (2019)
Starring: Cynthia Erivo, Leslie Odom Jr., Janelle Monáe, Joe Alwyn, Jennifer Nettles, Clarke Peters, Vanessa Bell Calloway, Zackary Momoh, Deborah Ayorinde, Vondie Curtis-Hall, Omar J. Dorsey, Tory Kittles, Tim Guinee, Antonio Bell, Claire Bronson, Joseph Lee Anderson, Don Hartman, Nick Basta
Director: Kasi Lemmons
Genres: historical drama
Synopsis: Harriet is a daughter of slaves, where their masters were supposed to release them based on the wishes of the now-deceased father of the current master. She is tired of the status quo and against all odds makes her way, alone, cross-country 100 miles, to Philadelphia, which has a large population of free blacks that also provides a support system for slave refugees. Though warned it is too risky to return, Harriet listens to her “sixth sense,” which is thought to have become well-developed after a head injury as a child, and travels back to get her husband. Instead she brings several other slave refugees with her. So begins Harriet’s mission, which is to rescue as many slaves as she can. There are many difficult scenes in this movie to watch, so be prepared. The callousness of the slave owners is frightening. Hoping that all reading know that Harriet Tubman is a real historical figure.
Grade: 7
Etc.: Nominated for 2 Academy Awards: Best Actress and Best Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures. Nominated for a total of 35 and won 19 awards. I was surprised to learn that Cynthia Erivo is the same actress who played lead in, “Bad Times at the El Royale.” It shows her versatility as an actress. She has a great singing voice!

 

My Fair Lady (1964) (blu ray)
Starring: Audrey Hepburn, Rex Harrison, Stanley Holloway, Wilfred Hyde-White, Gladys Cooper, Jeremy Brett, Theodore Bikel, Mona Washbourne, Isobel Elsom, John Holland, Alan Napier, Marni Nixon
Director: George Cukor
Genres: musical, comedy
Synopsis: dvd.com blurb: In this classic cinematic version of the Broadway smash, Audrey Hepburn is at her most radiant as Eliza Doolittle, the Cockney flower girl transformed into a poised duchess by Professor Henry Higgins (Rex Harrison, reprising his Broadway role.)

I hadn’t seen this since I was a child. It was fun watching as an adult, especially to see how gender roles have changed over time. Rex Harrison dominates every scene he is in (except the one I chose for the video clip.)  Not that he isn’t exceptionally good at what he does, it just highlights the undisputed patriarchy of the times. Audrey Hepburn is very funny in this movie, especially how she hams it up with her “street” accent. They have done an excellent job of restoring the glory of the film. The images are crisp and full of color. There are a plethora of hit songs in this movie, all very well-done by a great cast. Harrison talks his lyrics, but everyone else sings.
Grade: 8.5
Etc.: The film won the following Academy Awards: Best Picture, Best Actor, Best Director, Best Color Cinematography, Best Color Art and Set Direction, Best Color Costume Design, Best Sound, Best Music, Scoring, Adaptation, or Treatment; nominated for Best Supporting Actor, Best Supporting Actress, Best Writing, Screenplay Based on Material from Another Medium, Best Film Editing. Nominated for a total of 25 awards and won 13.
3 hours long, may be best viewed in 2 sittings. The restored and remastered special edition includes an audio commentary with crew members and Doolittle’s singing voice, Marni Nixon.

 

12 thoughts on “Movies, Movies, Movies! #30 March 24, 2020

  1. I enjoy your movie review feature- keep them coming. A couple of these I have on order at the library- hopefully we get open sooner rather than later.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Hans, I enjoy writing them also. I hope you are right about sooner than later on libraries, but I think it will be awhile. This thing could mushroom big before subsiding.

      Like

        1. I hate to say this but I hope it’s pushed at least a week or two beyond that. Better to see the curve of cases on the decline instead of rising rapidly before calling that. Congress needs to get its head out of its a** with aid to the millions economically in crisis right now. No joke.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. I agree. I don’t see us coming back in two weeks. Sadly the peak isn’t in site yet, I don’t think. I agree on Congress- It would be great in November if every single one of them were thrown out- Democrat- Republican- Communist- Socialist- Independent etc.

            Liked by 1 person

            1. I do think that the structure of our representative government is in need of some serious tweaking. How it’s set up now benefits only a small segment of the population. The rest of us just tread water.

              Liked by 1 person

  2. Dark Waters…I like the story line. I should have some time to watch more movies now…I’m at working from home now…right now they are keeping me busy but it will get slow soon.

    Liked by 1 person

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