Thursday, 19 February 2015

Thursday Movie Picks


Hello chaps, this is my first time doing this, so be nice. The theme was Oscar Winners from the categories Best Film, Best Foreign film and Best Animated film. So here are my picks. This is the dude/dudette who came up with the idea - http://wanderingthroughtheshelves.blogspot.co.uk/  




Pan's Labyrinth is my personal favourite film of all time, and yet it didn't win the Best Foreign Picture for the year 2006. However, I'm not too miffed as the film that won it that year is just as special. As an ex-history student and someone interested in German History, The Lives of Others was always going to appeal to me. Set in the 1980s East Germany, a time where Germany was split into two - East and West. The West prospered and East fell behind the Iron Curtain and into the darkness of the Soviet Union's shadow. This shadow heightened paranoia and suspicion.  The film is special and Ulrich Mühe's performance is the epitome of the effectiveness of the understated performance.



Three films have won the five major academy awards (Best Film, Best Director, Best Actor, Best Actress and Best Screenplay) and these are It Happened One Night (1934), One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1975) and Silence of the Lambs (1991). Silence of the Lambs is best known for Anthony Hopkins' fifteen minute screen time performance that nabbed a deserved Oscar. However, Jodie Foster matches Hopkins where so many other actors or actresses would have been overwhelmed. And the scene in the basement? Urg....that is utterly unbearable with each viewing.



Hayao Miyazaki's mind is simply one the most astonishingly imaginative that has ever graced the storytelling world. His stories have transcended language barriers to portray emotionally resonant themes such as environmental pressures and this has never been so gloriously showcased than in Princess Mononoke. Blessed with the most beautiful of images, landscapes and beasts of burden, Princess Mononoke is an imaginative, influential and important film that stands high and mighty amongst the giants of amine genre.

Turns out I made a dreadful error in selecting Princess Mononoke as it did not win the Oscar for best Animated film (the category didn't even exist!) so I pick Toy Story 3 in its place. A film that appealed more to my generation and my parents' more than it could possibly appeal to kids.

15 comments:

  1. I'm going to watch The Lives of Others later this year, and I'm looking forward to it. I love Silence of the Lambs and Princess Mononoke looks kind of BA. I think I might need to see that too.

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  2. Love your picks overall, but just a small correction...Princess Mononoke didn't win the Oscar...it wasn't even nominated because it was released two years before Oscar created the category. I think you may have it confused with Spirited Away, which did win in 2002.

    So happy to have you playing this year. It's such a fun weekly post.

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    1. Crap. I fucked up on the first post, I don't know what had me so convinced that Princess Mononoke, perhaps I did get it confused with Spirited Away but I'm not even that keen on it. I guess I gonna have to go for Toy Story 3.

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    2. Don't worry about it, it was an honest mistake, but your second choice is wonderful! And you're so right...Toy Story 3 hit so many places for me, as a grown man, that I don't think my children even understood.

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  3. I've only seen one of these, Silence of the Lambs. It's a fine film though not one I revisit but the performances are great. Hopkins deserved to win an Oscar for his work and would have been my pick...in supporting actor. A fifteen minute performance in a two hour movie is not the lead but since my choice best actor that year, Hugo Weaving in Proof, wasn't even nominated it doesn't bug me as much as it would had he actually lost.

    I'm not a huge foreign film viewer but I've heard good things about The Lives of Others so it will go on my to see list. However I'm not an animation fan and couldn't even make it through the first Toy Story so prospects for Toy Story 3 are dim indeed.

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    1. Wow, you must really dislike animation if you couldn't even get through Toy Story. It isn't my favorite genre either, I'd probably place it behind the likes of, action, adventure, horror, thriller, Science Fiction, Drama. Western not Rom coms...never rom coms.

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  4. I almost picked Princess Mononoke too becuae I though it won the Oscar, haha.
    It's a shame that Hayao Miyazaki only has one oscar.

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    1. Haha. I guess you double checked unlike myself. I don't understand why I was so convinced.

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  5. The Lives of Others and The Silence of the Lambs are excellent picks! Almost went with them myself. You are so right about that last scene. Gets me every time!

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    1. Bill's hand inches away from Agent Starling's is just....*shivers*

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  6. I'm looking forward to watching The Lives of Others, it's been in my watch list too long. Princess Mononoke is in my blind spot this year, looking forward to that as well. Toy Story 3 was my favorite from the Toy Story franchise, it's a great movie from Pixar.

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    1. You are in for a treat for both films.

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  7. I really like the Lives of Others when I saw it, but it's just one of those movies that I've forgotten most of the story. All I remember is it takes place in East Germany, some guy working for the secret police does surveillance of possible dissidents and becomes thoroughly absorbed in their lives.

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    1. That is pretty much the jist of it. I won't say too much more about from suggesting that you pay is another visit.

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  8. I have THE LIVES OF OTHERS in my re-watch list. I don't remember how I felt when I watched it in theatres so many years ago. I liked MONONOKE more than TOY STORY 3. I thought LAMBS was just good.

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