True love, hot sex, Hollywood egos and a furry face in London. Those are elements you'll see in these current movies that you might dig as much as I did. Eddie Marsan was unforgettable as the angry Brit whose temper boils over as he tries to teach a steely optimist how to drive. Sally Hawkins, the Blue Jasmine Best Supporting Actress of 2013 Oscar nominee, should've received her first Oscar nomination for playing that optimist in Mike Leigh's Happy-Go-Lucky. In Marsan's performance, you could practically feel the veins pop out in the neck and forehead of his hot-tempered teacher.
Reese Witherspoon also deserves to be in the Best Actress Oscar race for her performance in WILD. Wow. This is the best film and one of the finest performances she's delivered since her 2005 work as June Carter in the Johnny Cash biopic, Walk the Line. In Wild, see Witherspoon once again play a real life person. Cheryl Strayed goes on a long, grueling Pacific Coast hike. She's also boldly crossing through the wilderness of her troubled soul to get to a spiritual/emotional clearing in her life. Cheryl has been sexually reckless, did her time with drugs, had a marriage that ended in divorce and she suffered extreme heartbreak when her mother died.
Not getting an Oscar nomination does not mean an actor's work lacked merit. Nowadays, I often wish we didn't put actors in competition with each other thus making art seem more like a horserace. However, if Imelda Staunton had received a Best Supporting Actress Oscar nomination for her role as the working class, small town woman who defies town bigotry and embraces diversity in PRIDE, I would have cheered. She's fabulous and so is the film. Imelda, playing a real life character, is a woman who may be conservative in her attire but not in her viewpoints.
Pride deserved more promotion than it got. It also needed more specific marketing. When I saw the lobby posters and the trailer, I expected something along the lines of The Full Monty. Wrong. There is humor and a very festive dance scene in the movie but it also deals with some serious and historical events. Pride is, to a degree, a biopic.
You may be able to see WHITE BIRD IN A BLIZZARD on Amazon. Actor Chris Meloni is a big, brawny, handsome and versatile actor who acquired a large TV fan base with his work as the killer prison inmate on HBO's Oz and as the tough, compassionate New York City cop on Law & Order: SVU. This movie got overshadowed by the major box office popularity of Gone Girl. Both stories show us a wife who disappeared and a husband who wants answers. Meloni, playing against his TV image, is the passive, somewhat dorky 1980s suburban husband. Shailene Woodley is a knock-out as the complicated teen daughter who accompanies her father when seeking help from a detective.
Here's a situation: A young Peruvian bear with a sweet, brown face seems to be lost and alone in a big city train station cafe. You strike up a conversation. Soon, the bear is going home with you. Personally, I've had dreams like that which I won't go into right now, but this is the open of a feature that's mighty fine if you need family entertainment.
Paddington finds a family that loves him. He learns about his own bear family background. And he escapes from an evil taxidermist played by Nicole Kidman.
Well, there you have it. Some movie entertainment for you to keep in mind.
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