Friday, January 18, 2013

Pick O' the Week - January 18

On Sunday, the 70th Golden Globes were held, with the Hollywood Foreign Press Association handing out its annual awards. Best Motion Picture - Drama was awarded to Argo, with its director, Ben Affleck, taking home the Best Director prize. The once-dead Argo may be back in the Best Picture race for the Oscar! The list of winners included Daniel Day-Lewis (Best Actor - Drama for Lincoln), Jessica Chastain (Best Actress - Drama for Zero Dark Thirty) and Anne Hathaway (Best Supporting Actress for Les Misérables). The only surprise was Christoph Waltz' Best Supporting Actor win for Quentin Tarantino's Django Unchained (which was awarded Best Screenplay).

This is the second year in a row that I have not watched the NBC telecast, even though Tina Fey and Amy Poehler were enticing hosts. One of the most blogged about moments was Jennifer Lawrence (in her Best Actress - Musical or Comedy win for Silver Linings Playbook) apparently dissing Meryl Streep! Those in the know were quick to defend Lawrence, as she was simply referencing The First Wives Club (1996). Perhaps the biggest development from the Globes was Jodie Foster's brilliant take on the coming out speech. Beautiful and thought-provoking, the best part of the speech was her tribute to her mother, which brought tears to my eyes!

In Theatres: After premiering at TIFF, Dustin Hoffman's directorial debut Quartet was one of the most talked-about films of the festival. In September, there was even early buzz for Maggie Smith, and a potential Best Actress nomination. Despite a nomination for Smith at the Golden Globes (Best Actress - Musical or Comedy), the film was forgotten amidst all the other Oscar contenders, and is finally opening in theatres this weekend, even with my tempered expectations.

At Home: Ashamed as I am to admit it, A History of Violence was the first David Cronenberg film that I ever saw. The 2005 crime thriller was also a welcome change of pace for Viggo Mortensen, who shines alongside Maria Bello, Ed Harris and William Hurt (who received an Oscar nomination for his performance). Often disturbingly violent, the film tells the story of a man whose small town life is turned upside down when a gangster accuses him of being a gangster himself. Fun Fact: Various scenes were filmed in my hometown!

On TV: Finally returning to our screens after a seemingly endless absence (only seven months) is Girls, the Lena Dunham HBO creation that you either love or hate. The series stars Dunham as Hannah, a hapless college graduate/wannabe writer who floats from one meaningless part-time job to another while trying to figure out her relationship with her friends (Allison Williams, Jemima Kirke and Zosia Mamet) and her relationship with her boyfriend (Adam Driver). Dunham, who iscredited as having at least co-written every episode aired to date and has directed more than half, also won the Golden Globe for Best Performance by An Actress in a Television Series - Comedy or Musical.

Retro Re-watch: In her speech, Jodie Foster mentions her forty-seven year career in acting. She is most associated with her Oscar-winning performance in Jonathan Demme's 1991 thriller The Silence of the Lambs, but her first Oscar-winning performance in the 1988 film The Accused is much too under-appreciated after 25 years. Foster stars as a woman under fire after accusing drunken men at a bar of gang raping her.

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