In Bruges, written and directed by Martin McDonagh, is by and far the best movie of 2008, certainly better than several of the Best Picture Oscar contenders, and while worthy of a Best Orignal Screenplay nomination, it’s certaily worth more than that. It’s funny, contemplative, sad, hopeful, tragic, meaningful, poetic, bristling with intensity, violence, romance…any positive adjective you can throw at it will probably stick, and it lingers on all of these without diminishing the tone and overall spirit of the film itself. It’s a work of breathtaking genius that has stuck with me since the very beginning of the year. This is a film that’s just as perfect as last years No Country for Old Men, but somehow it’s been almost completely overlooked at the Oscars. Who’s fault is it that a gem like this isn’t as appreciated as it needs to be?
Archive for the ‘Awards Season’ Category
While “There Will Be Blood” hasn’t been a box office stud it’s being called a movie that will never be forgotten, which it may become, whether anyone has seen it or not.
The people that do never see it will think that it has something to do with milkshakes and bowling pins. Of course those that never saw The Shining will always remember that movie being something about an axe and Johnny Carson. It’s no surprise to me that Blood has entered into the public consciousness as The Shining did, as through my eyes I can confidently say that the former has influenced the latter exponentially.
Aside from quotable lines some of the other similarities include a larger than life performance by a highly regarded actor; performances that while the films were still fresh people complained they were perhaps too exaggerated. Then there’s the unsettling wide shots and long takes with drawn out silences and the post modern music that heightens the tension; some incidental moments are even by the same composer. When P.T. Anderson claimed his movie was more like a horror film in last week’s issue of Entertainment Weekly it’s obvious he wasn’t lying.
It’s one of the things I love about Blood. Its willingness to really let loose and unhinge itself from anything human. These character’s represent the worst of their kinds.
Over at Jim Emerson’s Scanners (“Biggest Acting, Best and Worst; Over the Top, Ma!”) there’s talk about over acting and when it’s applicable and when it isn’t. (He also makes comparisons to The Shining.) I responded to the article with this: “If there’s a level of truth in the performance, and when I say truth, I mean emotional truth, then as far as I’m concerned the actor can be as over the top as he wants.” In some instances it’s left up to the viewer to find that truth. It doesn’t help if the creator of the films cheats…will come back to this. Being truthful and unlikable are two different things. Truth can sometimes be even more poignant when the character isn’t likable in the least.
There’s a conundrum this year within the awards ceremony realm and that is There Will Be Blood. It’s a big, bold film detailing the outer rise of an oil man Daniel Plainview and his inner fall as a man. It’s a film that’s been nominated for numerous Golden Globe Awards, and has now been nominated for SAG Awards, and will surely be nominated for an Oscar or two. And it certainly deserves to be. I go into extensive detail in my review.
The bewildering thing isn’t that the movie doesn’t deserve these nominations, it’s that no one has seen it. Even before it’s limited release it was nominated for the Globes. Now in limited release it’s up for SAG awards. It’s definitely helped its financial take generating curious spectators to see the film. In 2 theatres over the New Years Holiday weekend it made $302,845 (as reported by boxofficemojo.com). I was lucky enough to find a seat in one of those theatres and it was playing on two screens!