February 4th, 2012

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Albert Nobbs

Crossing another one off the Oscar watch list! With one fell swoop I've completed the Best Actress and Best Supporting Actress categories. The only actor I'm missing is Demian Bichir in A Better Life, and I really dont have any intention of seeing that.

Was actually supposta catch this one earlier in the week, but then some last minute logistics didnt pan out (but there was consolation prize beer, which I think equals win). So I planned on pulling a double today with The Woman In Black. First look at the movie listings didnt have them playing at the same theater, but a last minute double check showed 'em both at the Common. While it's not my fave place to go, the rest of the stars aligned such that it really was obvious logistical choice.

My excitement for watching this movie sorta died down with the Oscar buzz. Glenn Close went from being a serious contender to just barely squeaking in the nomination. By the time the movie arrived here, had the nominations not happened I'd have prolly crossed it off my watch list. But Close was not the only nominee the movie featured. Janet McTeer is also up for supporting actress. When I was doing some IMDB and IBDB research on God of Carnage, I realized she was the other woman (along with Lucy Liu) in the cast when I saw it. I met her at the stage door as well and got her tag on my Playbill. I didnt really know who she was outside of the show, but I congratulated her on a fantastic performance and she was quite chatty with me and the rest of the crowd. So now I can say I've met an Academy Award nominee (and apparently it's her second)!

I actually was more impressed with McTeer's performance as Hubert than I was with Close as Albert, and not just because of the connection I have to the former. My big problem with Albert Nobbs (both the character and the movie as a whole) is that I felt the character wasn't fleshed out as much as (s)he could have been. There were hints at a backstory and the beginnings of an arc and motivation, but it never really went anywhere. And while Close completely embodied the character, the character didnt really do much. So from a total immersion standpoint, yes, I see why it's a great performance. From an emotional transformation/strong character arc, not so much. Although I suppose it's tough to go big when the character is such a quiet and withdrawn person.

On the other hand, Janet McTeer's Hubert was a big, larger than life character. Since (s)he wasn't intended as the focus, we didnt need as much of a path for her, but I felt like she had more to work with than our protagonist. She shone thru every scene she had, and was the one I was more drawn to throughout the whole thing.

Also included in the cast was Mia "Alice in Wonderland" Wasikowska and Aaron "Kick Ass" Johnson. I loved Wasikowska's character at the beginning, so funny and full of life and charismatic, but by the time her Helen hooked up with Johnson's Joe, I couldnt stand her anymore. Her character got to be an annoying girly girl, and then when she was dealt some intense situations to work with, she kinda over acted them. While I didnt care much for his character (at least once his true character shone thru) I did like Aaron Johnson's performance. Although that could just be because the boy is rather pretty, and I kept on thinking about Kick Ass whenever he was on screen.

Anyways, good on the acting, not as strong as it should have been on the characters. The overall structure was a bit disjointed as well. Prolly only worth a watch if you're hunting down Oscar.

Albert Nobbs - \m/ \m/
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The Woman In Black

Once the credits rolled for Albert Nobbs, I had exactly 10 min to make a bathroom run and grab a hot dog with an overabundance of condiments from the concession stand and catch The Woman in Black. Basically all I knew about this was Daniel Radcliffe in a horror film. They had me at Daniel Radcliffe.

I wasn't the only one with eyes on the boy wizard in his premier post-Potter picture. It always seems like such a big step, taking on that first big role after being a child star. I think Radcliffe chose wisely. Well for one, he's certainly commanding respect on Broadway between Equus and HTSIBWRT. Major points for that. Then with Woman in Black, he chose something that was age appropriate (although he did seem a lil young in the role to me, that's mostly because this type of thing tends to go older, when it fact his age is prolly more historically accurate), mostly different with just a hint of familiarity, and something that he carried without making a big hoopla about it. Well played, Potter.

One of the (many) reasons I dont really like watching movies at the Common is that it's always so \m/ crowded. Unless I'm catching an "old people" movie at the Kendall, it's rare that an afternoon matinee is near capacity at any other theater. The continually shrinking personal bubble as more patrons filed in, the ones who insisted on moving around, and the dude in front of me who was providing a dumbed down play by play (oh \m/! It's the bitch! [spoiler] is gonna happen!) all ranked pretty high on my annoyance meter. But, on the other hand, I'd forgotten how much better horror movies are with a big crowd. I love hearing the gasps and shrieks and nervous laughter after someone just jumped 3 feet outta their seats. As someone who's not easily scared by movies, it's good to have another way to gauge the jitters and fear factor.

I did like the set up, and the feel of the movie. It was horror in the sense of creepy goings on, not crazy person chasing you with a knife. But because it was set waaaay back when, there was this really eerie gothic vibe that fit so well. I loved that! And while I may not have been scared witless (yes, replace that w with two other letters) the overall feel was fantastic. What wasnt, however, was how slowly things played out. There wasn't a lot happening and it hardly ever felt like the plot was really advancing. And while the ultimate conclusion was satisfying (omitting spoiltacular details), the build up to it wasnt. I feel like it was a good idea, in a great setting, but the execution was lacking.

But I will say that being alone in the apartment right now, the radiator sounds are creeping me out a bit more than usual.

The Woman in Black - \m/ \m/ \m/