Tag Archives: Robert Redford

For the boys

Today’s blog is dedicated to guys — actors all — who deserve a little extra love today.

Tom HanksOscar Isaacrobert redford2
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Tom Hanks. Oscar Isaac. Robert Redford — all denied Best Actor Oscar nods by the Academy.

Now, I could be talked down on Isaac if the Academy didn’t pretty much ignore Inside Llewyn Davis, save a couple of technical awards.  I mean, it didn’t even get nominated for its musical score.

And while Captain Phillips did get six other nods, how can you justify not nominating Hanks?

Did they watch the final scene??

And Redford?  He was the entire movie All Is Lost. Period. What more do you want?

Apparently anything by Martin Scorsese…and I do mean, anything.

On a more somber note, I want to pay tribute to Russell Johnson — the original and best nerd crush of my generation, who left the world today…

The Professor
We’ll miss you, Professor.

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Shipshape

I saw All is Lost starring Robert Redford yesterday.

I’m still thinking about it.

all-is-lost-poster1

Our Man (as Redford’s character is credited) is forced to face his mortality when his yacht is damaged by a random shipping crate adrift in the ocean.

I couldn’t help thinking how I would handle the same situation.

I wouldn’t tackle the problem with such silent determination. Although alone, I would curse and shout and cry out in frustration.

I also probably wouldn’t be as patient and thoughtful…or nearly as inventive.

I hope I would show one-tenth of his courage.

Critics call this Redford’s best performance; I agree. And I applaud the writer and director on the ending…

…which you are not getting out of me here. No sirree.

No ordinary film

Robert Redford’s new film All is Lost opened today in select markets.

It’s getting major awards show buzz, and I want to see it. But since I’m not in one of those markets tonight, I found myself re-watching the movie that earned Redford a Best Director Oscar way back in 1980.

Ordinary People

ordinarypeople
I love everything about this film.

I love the way “Pachelbel’s Canon” is interwoven throughout the film…and the quiet when words are not spoken.

I love that Mary Tyler Moore took on such an emotionally closed-off character…and that Donald Sutherland provides just the right balance of heart and wisdom.

I love Timothy Hutton’s inspired performance…and the fact he won an Oscar for his very first feature film role.

And I love that, viewing after viewing, the movie still makes me cry. And think.  And want to watch it again.

Heavy

I rushed to the theatre to see the movie Gravity for two reasons:

  1. the terrifying space collision that we get a tantalizing glimpse of in the movie trailer; and
  2. Sandra Bullock’s performance, which has received rave reviews and early Oscar buzz.

The views of space are breathtaking, and the accident that drives the plot drains whatever air remains in your lungs.  I saw the movie in 3D, and its use is at once seamless and highly effective.

gravity posterGeorge Clooney is his usual playful self in his scenes with Bullock, but I don’t think it’s a spoiler to say she appears alone onscreen for a majority of the movie.

Tom Hanks goes solo on an island in Castaway, and Robert Redford on a crippled yacht in the upcoming All is Lost, so it’s about time an actress — especially one of Bullock’s caliber — gives it a try.

But while Bullock’s Dr. Stone is well-acted — and I was on the edge of my seat time and time again — I left the movie feeling very little emotional connection to her character.  I just expected…more.

Let me know what you think.

We look but cannot see

Earlier this week, my friend Caroline re-watched The Way We Were after many years away from the film, and was blown away by two things:

  • Robert Redford the actor; and
  • Robert Redford the amazingly good-looking human being.

robert redford TWWWThe latter is an area of universal agreement.  No man has ever looked better than Redford did in this film.

See how Barbra Streisand is gazing up at him in the still from the movie?  Insert any woman — or man of that ilk — and they will have the same look of stunned appreciation on their face.

Perfection does that to a person.

Redford’s acting, on the other hand, has not always received the same level of appreciation.  But his upcoming movie, All is Lost, has generated Best Actor Oscar buzz at film festivals.

Take a look at the early trailer below.

Perhaps now that Redford is craggy instead of captivating, audiences are better able to focus on his performance.

I’ll be there!

The noise, noise, noise

They began in movie theatres months ago, and now they’ve hit TV  —

Trailers for Baz Luhrmann’s The Great Gatsby.

robert redford gatsbyI’ll admit — I didn’t think this movie needed to be remade.  It’s a classic in my mind, as is the book.

And Leonardo DiCaprio playing Gatsby in place of Robert Redford?

Uh, no.

gatsby newBut now that I’ve seen the trailers — many, many times — the casting isn’t even the issue. 

This Gatsby is unrecognizable.  Luhrmann has — well — Luhrmann-ized it; the glitz and glitter is a visual assault.  The soundtrack, too, is so brash and overwhelming, I have actually checked for blood in my ears in the theatre.   Imagine the damage after two hours.

I’m sure Luhrmann has included that, too — in gold…with a dance number.

Movies matter

Do movies change lives?

Mark Cousins of The Telegraph spent six years traveling the world compiling a history of film.  That process convinced him that movies do indeed make a difference.  (They did in his life.  Six years — geez.)

Here’s his list of the Top 10 movies that changed the world.

Me?  I don’t need to travel the globe to know movies make an impact.  I can’t imagine life without them, so my list is a bit more personal.  (Okay, it’s completely personal.)

Top 10 Movies that Changed My World

The Godfather (1972): Due to my youth, I didn’t see the movie when it was released.  But thanks to an overly enthusiastic film professor in college, I spent six weeks of my life watching it. And analyzing it.  As a result, I hate it and all things mafia.

The Way We Were (1973): This was my introduction to Robert Redford and movie romance.  I have been faithful to both ever since.  I’ve watched that film literally hundreds of times.  The opening strains of its Oscar-winning song start the waterworks every time.

Foul Play (1978): This Chevy Chase-Goldie Hawn comedy was Chevy’s first movie post-SNL and introduced Dudley Moore to American audiences.  It was also the first time I remember laughing with my mother in a movie theatre.  Cherished memory.

Airplane! (1980): I was sick when I left the theatre — facial muscles and ribs sore from laughing so incredibly hard.  I think I knew even then that I was witnessing the birth of a whole new genre of comedy.  “Ain’t that a pisser.”

Ordinary People (1980): I went to see this film because Robert Redford directed it — I told you I was faithful — and was stunned by the subject matter, the performances, the mood, the music.  Who knew Mary Tyler Moore could be so cold?  I have watched it again and again.

Amadeus (1984): My love affair with costume drama began with this amazing film.  I knew very little about Mozart before I saw it; it inspired me to learn more.  If it’s on television, my day is decided (and it takes about a day to watch — it’s that long).  Mesmerizing.

Broadcast News (1987): I was working at a television station and dating a news reporter when this movie was released, so it hit very close to home. Loved hearing a Southern accent on a leading lady, too. (Holly Hunter should have won the Oscar, btw.)

When Harry Met Sally (1989): I think this movie appears on most women’s Top 10 lists.  We all have those friendships with men that either have or could or should spark something ‘more.’  This was the fantasy with the perfect actors cast to make it come true.

The Shawshank Redemption (1994): A movie ‘bromance’ with Morgan Freeman in the mix to make it heartfelt and meaningful.  Everything about this movie is perfect — the setting, the script, the casting.  Another marathon, it takes up a whole day when it comes on TV, but it’s worth it.

The American President (1995): It was Aaron Sorkin’s warmup to The West Wing, and what a wonderful one it was.  Michael Douglas and Annette Bening make every word ring true, and Martin Sheen learned a few tricks — as Chief of Staff — that came in handy for his future role as President Jed Bartlet (also a Sorkin production).

In the more than 15 years since, lots of other great movies have had an impact on my life.  But these 10 laid the foundation for the films, filmmakers and stars to come.

I’ll be thinking of them today as I head to — where else? — the theatre.