So when Oscar nominations came out last Tuesday, because of some surprise foreign film nominations, I have a little catching up to do. So in my Oscar Catch Up Review series, I’m going to do two short summaries on films that I didn’t quite catch while they were in theaters, but got to before the Oscars:
THE WIFE (Glenn Close is nominated for Best Actress)
I had the chance to see THE WIFE in theaters, but I knew it was going to be available to watch about one month before the Oscars telecast went live, so I figured why waste the theater dollars and redeem a free rental? Glenn Close is sweeping up the awards that many feel (not me) should be going to Lady Gaga for A Star Is Born. Well, since I finally watched this little movie I can tell you that, in my opinion, those people that feel that the award should go to Lady Gaga, not to put it mildly, are morons. Glenn Close has been nominated for 6 Academy Awards and never has won. This is Lady Gaga’s first big acting awards recognition role. Glenn Close can acts circles around Lady Gaga and it isn’t even funny.
I guess you can chalk up my opinion to that I don’t think Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper have one lick of chemistry in A Star Is Born. Glenn Close in this plays the wife of a prestigious author that was just told he is going to be receiving the Nobel Prize for Literature that year. The movie is about the two of them, along with their son, attending the ceremony. Through all this, Close’s character begins to question the choices she made in life. If this movie sounds familiar, it is (see: Colette and 45 Years), but its the performances that make it captivating. Both Glenn Close and Jonathan Pryce (plays the husband) are like ticking time bombs of emotion in this movie, and everything relies on their facial expressions to convey to the audience how they are feeling. Glenn Close is a master at this, and I think Jonathan Pryce should be getting a little more recognition for his performance as well.
The film is a short 99 minutes and it just breezes by, it’s a very good watch. My only complaint about it is that I think it would’ve been tighter without the flashbacks to Close and Pryce being played by younger people. I think that the movie could’ve told us through the good dialogue it had and inferred to what happened, rather to show everything with going back in time. I have a feeling it that was the screenwriters intention, and that the flashbacks might’ve been studio interference. Other than that, everything about the movie is a little time bomb, even Christian Slater has a minor juicy role as the match trying to ignite that explosion. If you have the chance to watch it before The Oscars, I highly recommend it, as this is Glenn Close’s Oscar. Plain and Simple.
RBG (nominated for Best Documentary)
RBG, is about none other than Ruth Bader Ginsberg, who is currently 85 years old, still kicking, and still an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States. I am probably more shocked than you that, Won’t You Be My Neighbor? did not get nominated for an Academy Award, and since it isn’t, I sure do hope that this wins.
This is a short 1 hr 38 minute documentary, which fortunately doesn’t shoot itself down itself by trying to be a chronologically, information overload, chronologically bound slow ride of a biography. This feature keeps it short, sweet, to the point, with some great highlights. It doesn’t go birth to death, and it doesn’t try to explain and study every single aspect of her life. We go back and forth with her during present day and how she has become this cultural phenomenon, that even she can’t see why she has become this huge thing, back to her college days with some landmark cases you might not even know about in between.
Like I said in my review of On The Basis of Sex, if you watch this film, and then that film, it makes quite a great double feature. Filmmakers that make documentaries now know that you can’t just bog a viewer down with the facts, you have to make it interesting. And this film sure does win your interest pretty easily. They even show her watching Kate McKinnon doing an impression of her on ‘Saturday Night Live,’ laughing along, and then when the interviewer asks, “do you see yourself in that impression?” she laughs it off and says, “not one bit.” That moment, along with a bunch of other really interesting other tidbits, make this a worthy documentary to watch.