Friday, November 13, 2009

7 Word Reviews: A Single Man, Crazy Heart, Broken Embraces

Until I have time to elaborate and we're closer to the movie's opening ... some very limited thoughts. This time of year always make me seasick as 10-15 months of buzzy golden expectations crash up against the undulating realities of the movies themselves. Some movies will be great. Some will be bad. Anywhere inbetween when expectations run high can equal disappointment.


A Single Man
Gorgeous but limited. Egregious slowmo /strings abuse!
Oscarable PS: Worry not -- Colin/Julianne are probable nominees

Crazy Heart
Bridges in fine form. Otherwise languorously familiar
Oscarable PS: Bridges will be nominated. Other categories unlikely.

Broken Embraces
Pedro Shows exquisitely but won't stop Telling.
Oscarable PS: Not really. But Penelope is sexy/marvelous.
*

29 comments:

Victor S said...

Any chance of Julianne winning over Mo'Nique??
Maybe they will feel as guilty as they were last year with Winslet....

Guy said...

Damn, I sweated out 900 words on "Broken Embraces" back in July, and you go on and summarize my exact thoughts in just seven!

Is it sacrilege to say I don't think Julianne is all that award-worthy in "A Single Man"? And I really like the film.

Seeking Amy said...

Nathaniel you think Julianne is a probable nominee, but as for yourself, do you think it's a good performance and worthy of a nom?

Robert Hamer said...

I had a feeling Crazy Heart was not going to have much originality.

Billy D said...

I'm so happy you are not echoing the chorus of purely effusive praise of ASM that I've read on other blogs! You've tempered my expectations, thankfully....

gabrieloak said...

Surprised you found A Single Man limited. That film's imagery has stayed with me vividly since I saw it mid-September. One of those films I can't wait to see again.

No Julianne can't win over Mo'Nigue unless Mo'Nigue does something really stupid between now and February.

I think Broken Embraces is underrated. Lluis Homar and Cruz are so fine in the film. Embraces is Almodovar's Day for Night.

NATHANIEL R said...

victor s -- no.

seeking amy -- too soon. i'm still thinking about the two performances.

gabrieloak -- i just felt like the imagery was too polished (like he was going for every shot being breathtaking -- felt very selfconscious) and too derivative (you can see his influences) but the imagery is the best part anyway. by "limited" i mean its emotional and intellectual content. it really felt like a short film to me. i don't know. i didn't feel it. but certainly a pretty film.

Kent said...

So Jeff Bridges may finally win the Oscar? It seems likely that he'll win over any of the other actors since it looks to be weak field.

gabrieloak said...

I found the last 15 minutes of the film heartbreaking. I found there was a lot of emotion lurking underneath those gorgeous images. In the short scenes between Firth and Moore you could really feel their relationship. I guess I experienced the film differently than you.

gabrieloak said...

I wouldn't say it's a weak field for actors but Bridges has a good chance to win because he's been around so long and has always given good performances. Right now his main competition is Firth but it will be interesting to see DDL's performance.

Paul Outlaw said...

Of course, Julianne Moore in The Private Lives of Pippa Lee is the performance we really should be talking about. ;-)
A hoot.

Victor S said...

Talk about what of Julianne Moore in The Private Lives of Pippa Lee?
That she's on the screen for 3 minutes and that the movie didn't needed her for anything??
Its just a cameo. A good one, but a cameo.

NATHANIEL R said...

something that has confused me about some media coverage of A Single Man: i've heard a lot of people call her role a cameo and it's actually prety substantial. It's true she only has one big scene but that scene is quite a lengthy chunk of the narrative and Ford intercuts her throughout. Plus, there's barely anyone else in the movie really. She's the only character other than Firth that is explored in any meaningful way.

I think she has a very good chance at a nomination.

mrripley said...

i think moore may not get nommed a feeling i have is cruz,mo'nique.wiesz,farmiga and dench.

adelutza said...

I recently saw Los abrazos rotos and while it doesn't climb up there with the best of Almodóvar, compared with the films I've seen this year , in my opinion, it's on a league of its own. I still have to see the latest offerings, but for me Almodóvar still is the best. I know I sound like a fangirl, but I am!

NATHANIEL R said...

A B- is still a recommended film by me. I just was very disappointed. He's been on such a tear of A level work... I knew it couldn't last forever. 1999-2006 was one of the most incredible runs I've ever witnessed from a filmmaker.

Paul Outlaw said...

@ Victor S:

That three-minute cameo made more of an impression on me than her limited screen time in A Single Man. Just sayin'.

Iggy said...

I think Pedro, the writer, falls in love with his characters so deeply that Almodóvar, the director, doesn't realize that sometimes they can't hurt the movie as a whole (i.e, the blonde woman at the beginning or the two sons needed some extra editing, imo). Focusing on the central love story would've worked much better, imo.

Free Movies said...

That is simply great. I have enjoyed it. Thanks for your awesome reviews of the movie "A single Man,Crazy Heart,Broken Embraces"
Best of luck to you
bye

NATHANIEL R said...

Iggy... i think you're right.

Natalie Portman is gay said...

The frontrunner in 2008's Best Actress was KATE WINSLET. Meryl Streep wasn't a frontrunner... because practically SALLY HAWKINS won all the awards (critics, Globe...) previously to Oscars. So I don't think it was a surprise.

josh said...

Natalie isn't gay, but Fergie is

Howler said...

I actually might prefer Pedro's old, crazy sense of humour in 1987-1993. Let's see: Kika (B+), Tacones lejanos (B+), ¡Átame! (A), Mujeres al borde de un ataque de nervios (A-), La Ley del deseo (A-)
I sadly think of "La mala educacion" as a polished version of "Law of desire", switching true emotion for pretty/sexy images. I love "Volver" for what it is, but it somehow lacks nerve and courage of "Women..." and tries to be too polite, I'd even say: appealing to masses, and I feel I can't have it all for myself, if you know what I mean ;). And finally, hadn't it been for his previous movies, "Hable con ella" wouldn't be that brilliant, would it?
I wouldn't recommend "Broken Embraces": it's overstuffed with weirdly dull self-references, it's shockingly cold for Almodóvar and there's not a single music sequence, which I find unforgivable, but I can appreciate it as something that Almodóvar made for himself.

Noa Bos said...

Can't wait to see Ford's directorial debut!

http://londonoa.com/2009/11/15/a-single-man-by-tom-ford

Noa Xx

Nasim said...

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Best of luck for your nice and rich blog post.
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Styx said...

So "Crazy Heart" is essentially Jeff Bridges' "Tender Mercies"? And isn't Robert Duvall in this film too? I'm surprised more hasn't been made of that connection yet. Can't get all that excited about such deja vu, but if this is Bridges' "The Wrestler", then I'll make the time to see this one this season.

joe burns said...

Will Moore score a nomination at the Film Bitch Awards?

Criticlasm said...

Interested to know if you've read A Single Man. I just read the Tom Ford interview in Advocate, and I found it highly annoying. Although he says he's not about style, all the changes he makes seem to make the story about him instead of about what it is. We so rarely get interesting main stream gay material--I'm already bugged and I haven't even seen the film. The book's great--I imagine the film will suffer from the same thing that any adaptation of an internal monologue does, but I'm trying to keep my mind open. Trying.

moviefreak said...

Could any actor out there be more deserving than Jeff Bridges ? I would have no problem with him winning. He has been solid in every film he has been in. Even some of the ones that were not well recieved.
Seeing the Oprah special has made me want to see Nine even more. I don't like musicals all that much but why is my antcipation high ?
I was surprised in seeing the new clips how serious Day-Lewis character is. I thought the musical would lighten him up, but I was rivted by watching his dialogue with Marion Cotillard. I also thought his accent was good too ( should that be surprising ? )