Why David Fincher (and the whole ‘Benjamin Button’ Crew) Deserves All the Awards

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button is one of my favorite films in the entire universe. Period. It’s incredible in every facet possible.

But never mind the lovely and excellent story, the incredible direction, the phenomenal special effects, sound, editing, and music. The scene below shows how amazing filmmaking is and how touching it can be. All the elements of film are at their absolute best in this one scene, and it confirms why Fincher is one of my favorite directors, and why I have to be a filmmaker.

Lincoln

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Don’t you love it when you see a good film? I mean, a really good film? It’s as if you can almost forgive Hollywood’s slew of crap and truly appreciate a really great movie. Well, that’s just the case with Lincoln. If one can overlook the temporary injections of corniness, they can witness a beautiful, passionately and wonderfully acted, and an even charming film blossom before their very eyes.

Lincoln follows the 16th President and his cabinet’s journey to establish the 13th Amendment; you know, the one that gets rid of slavery? Obviously, it’s kind of a big deal, and some people don’t like it. Abraham Lincoln must convince his nation to ratify this measure, all while attempting to bring the Civil War to a close, grieve with his wife Mary over the death of his son Willy, raise and love his other two boys, and deal with a bunch of old, grumpy white guys.

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In short, Spielberg’s still got it. All of these topics are handled gracefully and flow smoothly with each other, also managing to paint a touching portrait of Lincoln. (Lincoln’s kind of like the Grandpa you wished you had, who would go off topic and tell funny stories, then somehow tie that story into his preceding point, and look really cool and wise.) While Spielberg’s direction is great (one is always aware of the camera, but it seems more like a warm invite than an irritating awareness), let’s give a round of applause for Tony Kushner, the screenwriter. It takes great skill to construct an accurate and pleasing portrait of Lincoln and his presidency. And the assassination: tactful, despite how weird that may sound. The death of America’s President is sad, yet bittersweet.

And wow, I forgot to mention the acting; that’s just how good it is. Everyone falls completely into their characters, and I bet you $100 Daniel Day-Lewis is winning that Oscar.*

Lincoln is one of the best films this year, no doubt about it.

☆☆☆☆

*I’m sorry, I actually can’t give you a $100. 

Shakespeare in Love

You know, being known as the “film girl” is not all that great. It’s a label, a mere tag that’s supposed to sum up your whole character. And it sucks, no matter the label people – or even yourself – try to slap upon your existence. So, though I’m in love with films, I’m not watching much movies lately. And I like it. If you rush it, watching films becomes an expected duty of some sort, and it definitely lessens the experience. I’ve been expanding my world into other artistic realms – slam poetry, great books, cool music, whatever. And I love it. But lately, I’ve started to get hungry. Hungry to see a movie. I think it’s time to go back, and it feels just right. I’m going back because I want to – not because it’s expected. (This long introductory paragraph is supposed to stand as a reason for my lack of blogging for the past few weeks. :))

Let’s continue…

Shakespeare is everywhere, unfortunately. It’s bad enough people are regularly indoctrinated at school, but his writing permeates modern literature, television, numerous plays, even video games. (OK. Maybe not video games.) This overindulgence leads to a watering down of his slicing prose, lending his works to infamy and therefore annoyance. Now, instead of focusing on other, more talented writers of the past, director Thomas Madden decides to weaken the name of Shakespeare even further with his Shakespeare in Love. It’s not a pretty sight.

Shakespeare in Love is one of the best reasons why the Academy Awards is a very bad joke played on the public for decades. Winner of Best Picture in 1998, Shakespeare attempts to fill in the spaces of William’s personal life while he wrote the illustrious Romeo and Juliet. What occurs is a cliche-ridden mess.

Common, yet still disappointing, Shakespeare in Love is brimming with historical inconsistencies. (Note to filmmakers: putting your actors in stuffy, fluffy costumes does not justify lazy writing regarding the accuracy of historical fact.) Shakespeare is a fictional tale, but from what history details: Shakespeare was not a dashing, charming young man who swooned rich men’s daughters; fat, broke, and brilliant would be more accurate. Queen Elizabeth, performed by Judi Dench, did not randomly show up to public playhouses. (Is it me, or is Dench somehow contractually required to show up in every English film ever?). And Romeo and Juliet wasn’t so popular at first.

But never mind that. The “love” story between Shakespeare (Joseph Fiennes) and Viola (Gwenyth Paltrow), a soon to be married daughter of a rich man, is problematic. For one, it’s all been done before. You know, the rich-daughter-wants-poor-man-but-has-to-marry-another-rich-guy-who-is-really-mean-and-old-so-she-runs-away-and-eventually-lives-happily-ever-after-with-poor-dude plot? Yeah, that one. In addition, the other boring, uninteresting, and meaningless subplots cloud an already stressed and overused love story. The only time the story gains strength is when it aligns with history. In the 1500’s, women weren’t allowed to perform on stage. A movie adaptation of the significantly important story of the fight of creative rights for women would be far more fascinating than this bloated, overrated film.

In one key scene, Viola defends the honesty and purity of plays and poetry to the Queen of England.

“Plays cannot show the very truth and nature of love,” Queen Elizabeth declares.

Viola is adamant. “Oh, but they can!”

I’m sorry, Viola. Others have succeeded, but Shakespeare in Love is not one of them.

Another Legendary Day.


Why hide it?

President Barack Obama has been re-elected for another four year term in America. The United States has made history again by giving the first African-American President two terms in office.

And for those who say Obama hasn’t fulfilled his 2008 promises (we’ll just ignore the messy presidency before he inherited the office), here’s a list of acts and actions accomplished from 2008-2012. (Hint: 5 million job growth, free healthcare [which most countries in Europe have handled with ease], and the death of Osama Bin Laden are some of them.)

Obama’s Top Fifty Accomplishments  – Washington Monthly

Angry Birds and Time Travel and Oh My!

As you know, I’m all about finding the greatest stuff on the Web and showing it with others. Too many times does great stuff go under the radar in the slew of Youtube vids, Tweets, and Facebook Statuses.

As you also know, I love movies and books that surround around time travel. The hilarious video below includes time travel and an amazing plot – exactly my cup of tea.

Check It Out Below: