Poll

What should this month's theme be?

Shocktober
4 (44.4%)
Week 1 of The Ratings Project-Best screenplay Oscar winners
5 (55.6%)

Total Members Voted: 8

Voting closed: October 02, 2012, 07:20:54 PM

Author Topic: October 2012 MDC: Academy Award Best Screenplay Winners  (Read 5024 times)

MartinTeller

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Re: October 2012 MDC: Academy Award Best Screenplay Winners
« Reply #30 on: October 13, 2012, 11:04:34 PM »

Going My Way - Father Fitzgibbon (Barry Fitzgerald) is struggling to keep St. Dominic from being foreclosed upon by the mortgage holder (Gene Lockhart) and his son (James Brown, and no, not that James Brown).  The bishop sends in the spunky young Father "Chuck" O'Malley (Bing Crosby) to try to get the church back on its feet and generally just make everyone's lives hunky-dory.

What follows are random thoughts, not feeling up to the task of trying to organize them.

I've seen the sequel, The Bells of St. Mary's, without knowing it was a sequel.  I disliked that movie for its overly wholesome and saccharine tones.  This one isn't nearly as cloying in that regard, although it's still pretty gosh-darned wholesome.  O'Malley is an all-around swell dude who always does and says the right thing.  Crosby is charming, but only in the blandest way.  A group of hooligans (who *gasp* steal turkeys... what is the world coming to?) gets transformed into a boy's choir.  A young woman (Jean Heather) is caught in a potentially scandalous arrangement with Brown, but... wouldn't you know it, they'd already gotten married.  Whew, sin averted!

Crosby gets numerous opportunities to sing, which he's lovely at.  The first rehearsal scene with the choir (try making a movie nowadays about a Catholic priest taking a bunch of young boys under his wing) is one of the best, a sweet rendition of "Silent Light".  But the title tune is a stinker.  "This road leads to Rainbowville"?  Are you kidding me?  This road leads to Cornville.

Famous opera singer Risė Stevens does a very nice "Carmen".

Why exactly doesn't Mortgage Jr. tell Mortgage Sr. about his wedding?  "It was in all the papers"?  He doesn't seem to have an especially acrimonious relationship with his dad.  Was he afraid of disapproval?  He doesn't seem to care after the fact.  I don't get it.

I could get offended that the one person openly identified as an atheist is depicted as Awful Grumpy Man.  But the most pious character (Mrs. Quimp) is depicted as a snooty busybody, so I guess I'll let it slide.

What mostly saves the film is Fitzgerald, the most interesting character and the most enjoyable performance.  Two of the best scenes -- returning to the church and the finale -- revolve around him.  His balance sweetness and grumpiness strikes a deeper chord than Crosby's do-goodery.

Figures that the Academy would pick this over both Double Indemnity and Gaslight.  Sigh.

I guess the best way to sum it up is I didn't hate it, and I fully expected to.  It's too long and too bland, but it does have some nice little moments.  Sentimental and hokey, sure, but not to the obnoxious degree of its follow-up film.  Still, I can tolerate wholesome, but I've got to be charmed by it.  This movie's charms are too few and far between.  Rating: Fair (64)

1SO

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Re: October 2012 MDC: Academy Award Best Screenplay Winners
« Reply #31 on: October 13, 2012, 11:50:37 PM »
I pretty much agree with all of this, especially the title song stinking, Barry Fitzgerald being the better performance and this being better than The Bells of St. Mary's. The only thing you left out is "Swingin' On a Star", the best musical moment of the film (though still not a great 'musical' moment.)

KoDa

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Re: October 2012 MDC: Academy Award Best Screenplay Winners
« Reply #32 on: October 16, 2012, 12:18:36 PM »
Looking forward to seeing it, 1SO.

Konnel shall watch:



Apologies for not getting this posted sooner but I had to watch Midnight Cowboy twice and only just got done with it.

The short version: I didn't like it. In fact, I had a pretty negative reaction to it, so much so that, given it's popularity, I felt I needed to watch it again in case I was missing something (disclosure: the first viewing was spread over 3 days because I couldn't stick with it). I couldn't recommend this to anyone. I was offended, not by the subject matter but by the abusive technique. Which is strange on two accounts: one, I like Schlesinger's later films and two, I like the method of editing different film stocks and pushing film in other movies such as Natural Born Killers.

The longer version: I have two major issues with this film. I see it as an historical artifact, both in terms of the filmmaking and content. I'm 41 so the movie is a bit older than I am and many of the visual symbols and signs felt dated even to me. The visual metaphors and styling I found incredibly derivative and not well done (I'm thinking of the Voight's sexual dalliance with the call girl). I have a friend that works as a professional editor and she often expresses difficulty watching older films because of the editing style and while I have always disagreed with her the feel and flow of Midnight Cowboy does seem dated to its detriment.
The second issue is the acting. Jon Voight's performance made me self-conscious which in itself is not a strike except it didn;t seem in the best interests of the story. I had a very difficult time deciding if the performance was intended to be comic, satirical, or dramatic especially as it generally failed at any of those.

The heart of the story is, despite how difficult it is, how two characters make a genuine human connection, and how true intimacy is achieved through that and not by filling the void in one's soul through meaningless sex. There's probably something also about the degradation of poverty and the sex trade but it was buried. I haven't read the book but I expect it's much better at communicating this.

KasperL

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Re: October 2012 MDC: Academy Award Best Screenplay Winners
« Reply #33 on: November 02, 2012, 02:14:45 PM »
I haven't seen 'Midnight Cowboy' for more than a decade, but I remember loving the film - and Hoffman's performance in particular.

But thanks for giving it a second chance :)

I had more luck with my dictation:


The Lion in Winter (Anthony Harvey, 1968)

The caliber of the acting - whatever one thinks of big performances - pretty much makes this a must-see.

Hepburn (who won an Oscar) is one scary, talented lady, but also the one, I'd say, who at times goes most over-the-top.

O'Toole's tour-de-force as the king I shall never forget, and I also very much enjoyed the work by Anthony Hopkins and Timothy Dalton.

PeacefulAnarchy

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Re: October 2012 MDC: Academy Award Best Screenplay Winners
« Reply #34 on: November 11, 2012, 09:14:44 PM »
Coming Home - 8/10
This lacks a certain cohesiveness, often feeling like a series of somewhat connected scenes. But wow, there are some really amazing scenes in there. The finale of course, but a lot of the ones in between as well. Voigt in particular gives an increasingly powerful performance, culminating in two rather reserved but powerful little speeches. The rest of the cast has at least one great scene each where their character's turmoil is laid bare. Those scenes alone are well worth watching the film for. Still, the disjointedness bothers me. The central relationship never felt fully genuine and the soundtrack is as distracting as it is great. Instead of tying scenes together this splits them apart, confining all the emotions into little boxes and taking away from a bigger picture.

ses

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Re: October 2012 MDC: Academy Award Best Screenplay Winners
« Reply #35 on: November 11, 2012, 09:19:43 PM »
I would agree with that review.  I am glad you liked it overall.  I would say that it's worth watching for Voigt's performance alone. 
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oldkid

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Re: October 2012 MDC: Academy Award Best Screenplay Winners
« Reply #36 on: December 05, 2012, 11:31:15 PM »
Ordinary People

That has got to be the worst title in the history of movies.  Who wants to see a movie about ordinary people, doing ordinary things?  I mean, we see that all the time already, don't we?  At least this was the thought of my teen self when I first had the opportunity to watch this film.  No matter what the academy awards, the great performances (Mary Tyler Moore, really?), I wasn't interested.  Never have been interested.

The first half of the film confirmed my suspicions.  Nothing to see here.  But the final third of the film put it all together and made it all worth it.  MTM was fine, but I was more impressed by the acting chops of Sutherland and Hutton.  The character arcs were completely believable and the ending was solid and not manipulative or heart-wrenching.  I'm not sure how ordinary these folks are, but it works out spectacularly well.  But I have to penalize it a bit because the first half of the film didn't have to be as dull as it was.  Recommended, but not highly recommended. 3.5/5
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Antares

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Re: October 2012 MDC: Academy Award Best Screenplay Winners
« Reply #37 on: January 30, 2013, 05:09:31 PM »
Un homme et une femme (1966) 72/100 - This is a film that's burgeoning with style. yet rather thin on substance. The plot is so threadbare, it had to be padded out with an abundance of jump cuts and extraneous filler scenes to make it more than just a time travelogue of the mid sixties. But I can't complain, because at least I got to gaze upon Anouk Aimee for ninety plus minutes. She's another actress who can make the argument that today's actresses are just amalgamations of their plastic surgeons and fitness trainers. She's soft, alluring, mysterious and incredibly seductive, and you can believe that a man like Jean-Louis would drive all the way from Monte Carlo to Paris, non-stop, and then back to Deauville just to be with her. I will probably re-visit this film again sometime in the future, but only if it is released with a more substantive set of subtitles. Nothing drives me more nuts than when a media company releases a DVD where bits of dialog or lyrics to songs aren't translated and that happens quite a few times in this film. I would have loved to know what the woman was singing when Jean-Louis and Anne are approaching the train station, or what Anne's husband was singing in those samba lyrics. It may have helped me to understand why she fell in love and why she was still in love with him.
            
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PeacefulAnarchy

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Re: October 2012 MDC: Academy Award Best Screenplay Winners
« Reply #38 on: January 30, 2013, 06:37:52 PM »
I would have loved to know what the woman was singing when Jean-Louis and Anne are approaching the train station, or what Anne's husband was singing in those samba lyrics. It may have helped me to understand why she fell in love and why she was still in love with him.
Maybe (I don't remember what those songs are) but I don't think they're nearly as important as the mood. It's not so much important why she fell in love or why she still was, just that she did and still is.

 

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