On my birthday Monday, I played hooky and went to see Win Win, Paul Giamatti’s latest movie.
It’s a wrestling film.
Now, what I know about wrestling — well, I don’t know anything about wrestling. We didn’t have the sport at my tiny high school, and I never attended a match during college.
(I’m not even sure my college had a wrestling team.)
I went to see Win Win based solely on the cast. Paul Giamatti. Bobby Carnavale. Amy Ryan.
And like many of the men who no doubt were coerced into seeing Black Swan even though they had no interest in ballet, I just hoped there wasn’t too much wrestling in Win Win.
Well, there was. Lots of it. And while at first I was distracted by the whack uniforms and unusual moves, the wrestling matches were kinda fascinating…and reinforced the movie’s message about what winning and losing are all about.
The performances are really special, too. I didn’t feel like I was watching a movie as much as being a bit of a voyeur in a family’s life and personal problems.
And they do have a few problems, this family. But seeing how they resolve them?
That’s the win-win.
Posted in Celebrities, Comedy, Commentary, Entertainment, Family, Home, Humor, Life, Movies, Sports
Tagged Amy Ryan, ballet, Black Swan movie, Bobby Carnavale, celebrities, college, comedy, commentary, entertainment, family, high school, Humor, life, Movies, Paul Giamatti, played hooky, Relationships, Sports, Win Win movie, win-win, wrestling, wrestling matches, wrestling team
When we were kids, my sister Lou and I spent a lot of time playing with Legos….not that we ever really built anything. No mega skyscrapers or castles. No construction sites or villages with train depots.
We made dogs.
Yep — simple little dogs who lived in small, one-level Lego houses. No roofs. No windows even. Just your basic foundation with low walls, so the dogs could move from kitchen to living room to bedroom as they went about their daily lives.
Hey, it worked for us.
I was reminded of our little doggie dramas when I happened upon the amazingly detailed movie scenes that artist Alex Eylar created with Legos to celebrate the 2011 Academy Award Best Picture nominees.
These things are brilliant! Using only Legos, Alex was able to communicate each movie’s storyline and emotional essence. It’s difficult to select a favorite — they are all amazing in their own way — but I have included three below.
Enjoy the full gallery here. Then, grab some Legos and build your own drama (or dog house).
The King’s Speech
Posted in Art, Commentary, Design, Entertainment, Games, Humor, Life, Movies, Toys
Tagged 127 Hours movie, Academy Award Best Picture nominees, Academy Awards, Alex Eylar, art, Black Swan movie, building blocks, commentary, design, entertainment, games, Humor, Kings Speech movie, Legos, Legos artist, life, movie scenes, Movies, Oscar Best Picture nominees, Oscars, toys
I have never attended a live ballet performance.
Living steps from Lincoln Center, I am particularly ashamed to admit that.
But the truth is, what goes on behind the scenes in professional ballet has always been far more interesting to me than watching the actual dance.
That’s why I was one of the first to attend the movie Black Swan at Lincoln Plaza Cinemas yesterday. The psychological thriller starring Natalie Portman goes back stage at a New York City ballet company as it launches its new season with a performance of “Swan Lake.”
Natalie plays a young soloist tapped to play the lead after the prima ballerina retires. The movie follows her struggles to play the duel roles — the innocent White Swan and the sensual Black Swan – that the part requires.
Now, obviously I enjoy movies about dance. I’m pretty sure I’ve seen them all, good and bad. But if you typically don’t do dance films and hadn’t considered seeing Black Swan, I encourage you to change your mind.
This movie is a thriller, first and foremost, and a fascinating glimpse into the world of professional ballet. Natalie Portman’s performance — both on and off the dance floor — is not to be missed. You’ve probably read about her weight loss and her year of ballet training. She backs up both with a powerful emotional performance.
Any Oscar talk is completely justified.
I left the theater a little creeped out, but the lights of Lincoln Center provided the perfect beacon for my walk home.
Posted in Celebrities, dancing, Entertainment, Humor, Movies
Tagged ballet, ballet company, Black Swan movie, celebrities, dance movies, dancing, entertainment, Humor, Lincoln Center, Lincoln Plaza Cinemas, Movies, Natalie Portman, prima ballerina, professional ballet, psychological thriller, soloist, Swan Lake, thriller, White Swan