Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Woe is the Widow of the Banana Truck Driver

That's right, Tennessee Williams could craft a clever story.   That and two more movies put me right at the edge of five hundred.   Stay tuned for a special five hundredth movie blog post coming soon, as well as a new direction for the blog.  But first three more movies to review.

The Rose Tattoo (1955) - Based on the Tennessee Williams play about a woman whose husband dies while smuggling with his banana shipment and then closes herself off to the world.  A great performance by Anna Magnani, who won best actress for her role, shows how years later she has to come to terms with the truth about her husband's character, her daughter's life and whether to love again.  A really good film that doesn't get shown often enough.

And this now closes out 1955 a rather weak year in a rather weak decade.  This time the Academy got it wrong and the best film was The Rose Tattoo.  Not that it is such a great movie, it's just better than the films it was competing with.  Second is Mister Roberts, another good movie, but not great.  Third would go to Love is a Many-Splendored Thing, well acted but might be considered a bit racist today.  Next is Picnic which is a great story and has good acting, but William Holden attempting to be a twenty something in his fifties kind of throws you off.  And last, very last is Marty.  A film that not only should have not won best picture, but not even nominated.  What was the Academy thinking?

Django Unchained (2012) - Another Tarantino film that is too long, too violent and ignores facts in an attempt to make a historical drama.  Otherwise it does have very good acting.  If you are a fan of Tarantino then you will love this movie.  If you are not, then it is six hours of your life you will never get back.  Personally I fall somewhere in the middle.

This now makes the seventh out of nine films for the year.  I still have Argo as top picture, Beasts of the Southern Wild still second, no change for Silver Linings Playbook in third or Life of Pi as fourth.  I would keep Les Miserables in fifth and have Django Unchained as sixth even though  Les Miserables is a musical, but at least they took themselves seriously.  And last is Zero Dark Thirty with no chance of ever climbing up.

Roman Holiday (1953) - Watching this reminds me why this decade wasn't that great when it comes to movies.  A rather lighthearted comedy about a spoiled princess who runs off to see Rome with a journalist who doesn't want her to know that is what he does.  Audrey Hepburn did win best actress and it was nominated for a number of Oscars.  Filmed in Rome so there are some nice shots of the city.  And I need to note that this is the 499th film that I have seen so far!

Another year done and unlike two years later, the Academy did get it right and From Here to Eternity was the best film of the year.  In second I would put Shane since westerns do not get enough recognition and it is such a great movie.  It gets tighter for the next two spots but Julius Caesar will fall into third and The Robe in fourth, the tie breaker being the acting.  And fifth is Roman Holiday.

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