Now is the time to catch future Oscar contenders on the big screen, especially crowd pleasers like True Grit, The King’s Speech and Black Swan.
True Grit is the Coen Brothers’ splendid Old West story of Mattie Ross, a girl of unrelenting resolve and moxie played by 14-year-old Hailee Steinfeld in a breakthrough performance, and Jeff Bridges is perfect as the hilarious, oft-besotted and frequently lethal Rooster Cogburn. The King’s Speech is the crowd pleasing story of a good man (Colin Firth) overcoming his stammer to inspire his nation in wartime with the help of a brassy commoner (Geoffrey Rush). Darren Aronofsky’s Black Swan is a rip roaring thriller and a showcase for Natalie Portman and Barbara Hershey.
Biutiful is a grim, grim movie with a great performance by Javier Bardem in a compelling portrait of a desperate man in desperate circumstance, directed by Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu (Amores perros, 21 Grams, Babel).
Somewhere is Sofia Coppola’s (Lost in Translation) artsy portrait of a man so purposeless that he can find no pleasure in pleasure. An A-list movie star (Steven Dorff) is living at the Chateau Marmont with his expensive toys, booze and drugs and an inexhaustible supply of beautiful, sexually available women, but without Without any purpose or connection to others, his debauchery is completely joyless. To his surprise and discomfort, his eleven-year-old daughter (Elle Fanning) moves in for a few weeks.
I strongly recommend Rabbit Hole, an exquisite exploration of the grieving process with great performances by Nicole Kidman, Aaron Eckhardt, Diane Wiest, Sandra Oh and Miles Tenner. The Fighter is an excellent drama, starring Mark Wahlberg as a boxer trying to succeed despite his crack addict brother (Christian Bale) and trashy mom (Melissa Leo). Fair Game, the Valerie Plame/Joe Wilson story with Naomi Watts and Sean Penn, is also excellent. All are on my list of Best Movies of 2010.
I Love You, Phillip Morris is an entertaining offbeat combo of the con man, prison and romantic comedy genres. Red Hill is a stylish contemporary Aussie Western. Season of the Witch is a bad Nicholas Cage/Ron Perlman buddy movie set among the plague, crusades and witch hunts of the 13th century.
For trailers and other choices, see Movies to See Right Now.
I have not yet seen Another Year or The Way Back , opening this weekend. You can see the trailers at Movies I’m Looking Forward To.
My DVD pick is The Naked Kiss. For my recent DVD choices (including trailers), see DVDs of the Week.
Movies on TV include Jason and the Argonauts, Hannah and Her Sisters, D.O.A., The Shop Around the Corner and Night of the Lepus on TCM.