Oscar Winners ... and then some 2012

by Nuwan_Sen | created - 19 Mar 2012 | updated - 30 Mar 2012 | Public

Oscar season was almost here, and I wasn’t sure whether I will get a chance to catch any of great nominated flicks before the Oscars. But luck had me travelling to India at the time. Other than my short trip to Pelling; in the state of Sikkim (a peaceful scenic freezing location with beautiful snow-caps and wonderful people, including the monks and village folk, with a beautiful monastery), where I was cut off from the rest of the world, with no news of what’s going on et al; my stay in Delhi helped me catch up with some of these great movies on the big screen.

And like a true film buff, I woke up early on Monday (27th February) morning (Sunday 26th night in the States was Monday 27th morning in New Delhi) to catch the Oscars live. I missed the red carpet, but watched the show, and later in the night I caught the repeat of the Red Carpet. Meryl Streep was no doubt the best dressed, and, deservedly, bagged the best Actress trophy that night.

So here is a list of eight movies that I caught up with on the big screen during my stay in Delhi (February-March 2012), during the Oscar season.

Nuwan Sen’s Film sense

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1. The Artist (I) (2011)

PG-13 | 100 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

89 Metascore

An egomaniacal film star develops a relationship with a young dancer against the backdrop of Hollywood's silent era.

Director: Michel Hazanavicius | Stars: Jean Dujardin, Bérénice Bejo, John Goodman, James Cromwell

Votes: 232,378 | Gross: $44.67M

Went on Saturday the 24th of February, 2012, for the late Morning show. Just a few people around, thus less disturbance, I prefer that.

‘The Artist’ (2011) won all the awards I expected and hoped it should win except one. It won for Best Picture, Best Director (Michel Hazanavicius), Best Actor (Jean Dujardin), Best Costume Design and Best (Original) Musical Score. This was the first French Film, and only the second silent film, to win the Best Picture Oscar till date. The only disappointment was when Bérénice Bejo lost out on the Best Supporting Actress trophy to Octavia Spencer for ‘The Help’ (2011). But I haven’t seen ‘The Help’ so I can’t judge, she might have deserved it more.

‘The Artist’ is definitely one of the best silent movies I’ve seen, on par with great flicks of Sir Charles Chaplin and Buster Keaton. But this is not in actual a silent film per se, as it actually has a recorded soundtrack, similar to ‘Modern Times’ (1936), a silent movie with a voice, just not in the human context.

My favourite scene in this Black and White cinematic wonder, happens to be the dream sequence. With it’s almost surreal avant-garde feel; filmed beautifully with every object around the main character making noise, and sound coming from outside his dressing room along with the laughter of showgirls afar, yet the protagonist finding himself neither able to speak nor make a single sound vocally; the beautiful nightmare sequence forms the modernist stylisations of a bygone era. Not exactly Dalí-isque, but aesthetically and paradoxically effective enough.

Added to this the story-line itself, set in the late 1920’s, with the advent of Talking pictures in 1927, silent stars weren’t that greatly in demand anymore. Jean Dujardin plays George Valentin, a silent film star, a hey day romantic hero (the likes of Rudolph Valentino), whose ego won’t let him conform towards modern technological advances, such as talking pictures, movies with a voice. Thus the above mentioned dream sequence, symbolic of what is to come if he declines modernist perceptions outside his comfort zone. And of course his downfall along with the notorious great depression of 1929. Reminds me of great classics that dealt with these issues, such as the trouble actors had to adapt to movies where their voice was as much a necessity as their body movements, the likes of ‘Singin' in the Rain’ (1952), for example, and the downfall of a celebrity, which were explored in movies like ‘Sunset Boulevard’ (1950) and ‘Kaagaz Ke Phool’ (1959), to name a few. ‘The Artist’ is just as good as the above mentioned masterpieces.

This movie is a future classic, and deserved all the awards it won, from the Cannes film festival last year up to the Academy Awards this year. Especially Jean Dujardin, for he carried ‘The Artist’ entirely on his shoulders. I need to make a special mention for Uggie, the dog, who too was great silent star in this contemporary take on a hundred year old style of Cinematic magic.

The best movie to come out in the start of the second decade of the 21st Century happens to be a black and white silent film.

A perfect ode to the origins of film.

  • Nuwan Sen’s Film Sense


(Check out my new blog site www.nononsensewithnuwansen.wordpress.com) ‘No Nonsense with Nuwan Sen’

2. Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close (2011)

PG-13 | 129 min | Adventure, Drama, Mystery

46 Metascore

A nine-year-old amateur inventor, Francophile, and pacifist searches New York City for the lock that matches a mysterious key left behind by his father, who died in the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001.

Director: Stephen Daldry | Stars: Thomas Horn, Tom Hanks, Sandra Bullock, Max von Sydow

Votes: 98,396 | Gross: $31.85M

Went on Friday, the 02nd of March, 2012. Post-Oscars, the very day it was released in New Delhi. First day : First Show, in the morning. Besides me, there was only one other person, sitting a few rows below to the left, in the entire hall. I loved it. This was the first time, I practically had an entire hall to myself, and what a great movie. Worth watching a zillion times, on the Big Screen itself. If ‘The Artist’ (2011) didn’t exist, this should have won the Best Picture award.

With two Oscar nominations, for Best Picture and Best Supporting Actor (Max von Sydow), and no wins; I’m surprised the kid in the picture wasn’t nominated for Best Actor at the Oscars, for playing the main character, aptly named ‘Oskar’, in ‘Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close’ (2011). Thomas Horn (the child playing Oskar Schell), does a brilliant job keeping us hooked to screen for over two hours, with an eloquent narration and superb character acting, in his very first movie.

Both Tom Hanks and Sandra Bullock are superb, as always, in their bit roles playing Oskar’s parents. The story deals with Oskar trying to come to terms with the death of his Father, through a key he finds (in an envelop with word ‘Black’ marked on it) among his fathers belongings, trying to locate the lock this key fits in. On his quest he comes across numerous varied personalities named ‘Black’.

An excellent touching story, to mark the ten year anniversary of the Twin Towers tragedy. Some of the saddest sequences in ‘Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close’ happen to be the flash back sequences that take us back to that ill-fated day, of the dreaded September 11th attacks, in 2001. One where Hanks character, Thomas Schell, calls his wife Linda (Bullock) to tell her that he was at the World Trade Center, had to come there for something, and that there was nothing to worry and they were just waiting for the Fire fighters; the shocking part is the wife watching the flaming towers from the top floor of an opposite building while he’s on the phone with her. Bullock makes you cry as she tells her husband to find a staircase. Another is, when he calls home, and on the answering machine he tells his son to pick up the phone (after having left many messages), and the son frozen on the spot is unable to move. Thus not being able to speak to his father before the towers collapse.

A heart-rending cinematic tribute to a tragic event.

  • Nuwan Sen’s Film Sense


(Check out my new blog site www.nononsensewithnuwansen.wordpress.com) ‘No Nonsense with Nuwan Sen’

3. Carnage (2011)

R | 80 min | Comedy, Drama

61 Metascore

Two pairs of parents hold a cordial meeting after their sons are involved in a fight, though as their time together progresses, increasingly childish behavior throws the discussion into chaos.

Director: Roman Polanski | Stars: Jodie Foster, Kate Winslet, Christoph Waltz, John C. Reilly

Votes: 120,770 | Gross: $2.55M

Kate Winslet & ‘Carnage’ (2011)

Watched on Sunday, the 26th of March 2012, morning show - less than 24 hours away from the ‘84th Academy Awards’ (Oscars 2012) to begin. Very few people, as per most day time shows.

The title of the movie could be misleading, as the name suggest some kind human blood bath, a massacre or even a genocide. But in reality, the carnage here, is more of a psychological nature, a slaughter of adult minds. With a great award winning star cast comprising of Kate Winslet, Jodi Foster, Christoph Waltz & John C. Reilly, directed by the famed Roman Polanski, this movie wasn’t nominated for any category at the Oscars. Pity, for it had some great performances and was a really good modernist manifestation of 21st Century high lifestyles and modern disregards for human values. What a selfish world we live in today. Ethics and morality have become a superficial norm, with the lack any real sincere human warmth.

‘Carnage’ (2011), is an excellent piece of drama set in a confine space of a luxury apartment. As emotions sore, within the time lapse of one long day, where two sets of parents meet to discuss an exchange of blows between their sons, which has landed one in a hospital, we see adults who end up behaving far worse than children.

This is a newer take on ‘French New Wave’ style of Art house cinema that swept the globe in the 60’s and 70’s. A style that dealt with social issues, with more regard to facial expressions, human drama and dialogues; and less to do with the glamour and grandeur of Cinema. My favourite French New wave film happens to be François Truffaut’s ‘Jules et Jim’ (1962).

This great piece of work is reminiscent to greats such as Mike Nichols’ ‘Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf’ (1966) & ‘Closer’ (2004), Ingmar Bergman’s ‘Scener ur ett äktenskap’ - 'Scenes from a Marriage' (1973) and another recent Kate Winslet starrer ‘Little Children’ (2006).

Jodi Foster is excellent as ever, having seen her great roles in movies such as ‘Taxi Driver’ (1976) playing a 11 year old prostitute, for which she bagged her first Oscar nomination; to a rape victim in ‘The Accused’ (1988), for which she won her first Best Actress Oscar; to her 2nd win as the bold young lawyer in ‘Silence of the Lambs’ (1991); along with movies like ‘Sommersby’ (1993), ‘Nell’ (1994) and ‘Anna and the King’ (1999) under her belt.

Christoph Waltz, who won ‘The Best Supporting Actor’ Oscar in 2010, for his role of the villainous Col. Hans Landa in the purposely misspelled ‘Inglourious Basterds’ (2009), is superb as Nancy Cowan’s (Winslet’s) cold husband, Alan.

But definitely the icing on the cake is Kate Winslet’s impeccable performance as this classy dame, whose son happens to be the culprit, which landed the other kid in hospital. The vomiting scene in this movie was the only thing that felt a bit distasteful, but the scene wasn’t glamorised and was neither intended as cheap humour, thus it was meant for us to feel just as disgusted as Winslet’s character felt. Winslet is one heck of an actress. She almost felt like a more mature Julie Andrews from her latter roles, in movies like ‘Star!’ (1968), ‘The Tamarind Seed’ (1974), ‘10’ (1979) and ‘Victor/Victoria’ (1982) to name a few.

I’ve already written a list of 10 critiques on 10 great character roles played by Kate Winslet. Check it out :-

http://www.imdb.com/list/gqN-u6PpVY0/

The link should still be visible on the side panel under ‘Other list by nuwansdel_02’ § ‘K Winslet’

Though Roman Polanski’s ‘Carnage’ wasn’t nominated for any Oscars, both the actresses were nominated in ‘The Best Actress’ category at the ‘Golden Globes’ and the film won for ‘Best Adapted Screenplay’ at France’s ‘César Awards’ (The movie was filmed in Paris, though set in New York), along with many other awards and nominations in various ceremonies.

  • Nuwan Sen’s Film Sense


(Check out my new blog site www.nononsensewithnuwansen.wordpress.com) ‘No Nonsense with Nuwan Sen’

4. The Iron Lady (2011)

PG-13 | 105 min | Biography, Drama

54 Metascore

An elderly Margaret Thatcher talks to the imagined presence of her recently deceased husband as she struggles to come to terms with his death while scenes from her past life, from girlhood to British prime minister, intervene.

Director: Phyllida Lloyd | Stars: Meryl Streep, Jim Broadbent, Richard E. Grant, Susan Brown

Votes: 104,246 | Gross: $30.02M

American Meryl Streep playing the very British Margaret Thatcher. A great believable portrayal of the very first female British Prime Minter by one of the greatest contemporary middle-aged Hollywood actresses of today. Superb Streep has been nominated for a record 17 times in her life and this was the third Oscar she took home.

Watched on Saturday, 03rd March, 2012, in the evening. The hall was jam-packed, after all it was just five days before that Streep won the Best Actress award for ‘The Iron Lady’ (2011), along with a win in the ‘Best Make-up’ category for the movie. After all, though Streep captures the essence of the Iron-Lady, and does an incredible imitation of Thatcher, it’s thanks to the Make-up artist that she ends up looking like Thatcher to the tee.

Streep is no doubt one of greatest actresses of her generation who’s still in demand for major character roles. She’s done some amazing movies in her career spanning 36 years so far.

Some of my favourites Streep ventures happen to be :- ‘Julia’ (1977) ‘The Deer Hunter’ (1978) - Her 1st Oscar nomination ‘Manhattan’ (1979) - Her 1st BAFTA nomination ‘Kramer vs. Kramer’ (1979) - Her 1st Oscar win ‘Still of the Night’ (1982) ‘Sophie's Choice’ (1982) - Her 2nd Oscar win ‘Silkwood’ (1983) - One of her Best role ever, so far as I’m concerned. (nominated for Oscar) ‘She-Devil’ (1989) ‘Death Becomes Her’ (1992) - Meryl Streep at her comical best. ‘The House of the Spirits’ (1993) - Have to watch it properly sometime. ‘The River Wild’ (1994) - Sporty Streep ‘Music of the Heart’ (1999) ‘The Hours’ (2002) The television mini-series ‘Angels in America’ (2003) ‘Prime’ (2005) ‘The Devil Wears Prada’ (2006) - Yet another ‘She-Devil’ performance. ‘Evening’ (2007) ‘Mamma Mia!’ (2008) ‘Doubt’ (2008) ‘Julie & Julia’ (2009)- Need to watch it properly yet.

Am yet to watch - ‘The French Lieutenant's Woman’ (1981), ‘Out of Africa’ (1985), ‘Ironweed’ (1987) and ‘The Bridges of Madison County’ (1995) - from her famed performances.

‘The Iron Lady’ is no doubt her best performance till date. The Outstanding Streep only keeps getting better with each movie. Jim Broadbent too does a brilliant job as the ghost of Thatcher’s dead husband, Denis, whom she will have to let go of eventually.

‘The Iron Lady’ was the last film I watched before leaving Delhi. That night, on the telly, they showed ‘Still of the Night’ (1982), on the MGM channel. It was nice to see the younger Streep in her early 30’s, after having watched her play Thatcher a few hours ago. This 80’s thriller is about a death of a man who deals with ancient artefacts. Young Meryl Streep plays his mistress and co-worker, along with the much older Roy Scheider playing his shrink. Jessica Tandy plays Scheider’s mother, a psychiatrist herself. A really good Hitchcockian style thriller with the best thing about the movie being, Streep’s performance of course. Besides her, it’s interesting how the two psychiatrist’s, the mother and son, evaluate the case.

‘The Iron Lady’, a great acknowledgment for the only female Prime Minister the United Kingdom has seen till date.

  • Nuwan Sen’s Film Sense


(Check out my new blog site www.nononsensewithnuwansen.wordpress.com) ‘No Nonsense with Nuwan Sen’

5. The Descendants (2011)

R | 115 min | Comedy, Drama

84 Metascore

A land baron tries to reconnect with his two daughters after his wife is seriously injured in a boating accident.

Director: Alexander Payne | Stars: George Clooney, Shailene Woodley, Amara Miller, Nick Krause

Votes: 234,003 | Gross: $82.58M

Hawaiian ancestors

Another great performance, a great story & script, a great directorial venture and an excellent movie.

Went on Wednesday, the 08th Of February, 2012, late evening/night show, hall was packed. The very 1st movie I watched when I went to Delhi. This was before Sikkim, which was a busy week, thus this being the only movie I watched pre-Sikkim. This was the day that I got my permit to visit that beautifully frozen mountainous state.

Alexander Payne, the film’s director, co-wrote the screenplay for this beautiful tragic little story along with Nat Faxon and Jim Rash. For which the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences honoured them with ‘The Best (adapted) Screenplay’ award. Payne has previously won an Oscar for his writing abilities as well, for the screenplay of ‘Sideways’ (2004) in 2005.

Now George Clooney, is one of the greatest mature actors of today. His performance is impeccable. Am glad he was nominated, and if not for Jean Dujardin’s super silent showcase, my bets would have been on Clooney. One of my favourite sequences happens to be the scene where Clooney’s character, Matt King, painfully tells his unfaithful cheating dying wife, who’s in a coma, how much he loves her. With tears in his eyes, the beautiful soliloquy, with words like ‘….my love, my friend, my pain, my joy. ….’ as he tries to bid her goodbye. Breaks ones heart. Another sad scene I love is, when Julie Speer (Judy Greer), the wife of the man Mrs. King was having an affair with, comes to the hospital, once she finds out about the fling, to visit the woman responsible for the tension in the Speer marriage. Another touching scene, where a weeping Judy tells the woman in a coma, that she forgives her even though she should hate her. Her humanity won’t let her hate a dying woman. These scenes are unbearable to watch, yet beautifully touching.

The Character sketches in ‘The Descendants’ (2011), are superb; every emotion, every word; excellently executed. For example the scene of King (Clooney) crying alone, and the scene where King tells his daughter, Alex (Shailene Woodley), that they have to pull the plug on her mother; Alex, who is in the swimming pool at the time, plunges to the depths and is seen inaudibly scream under water. Excellent sequence.

Added to that, as it’s been filmed entirely in Hawaii (mainly Honolulu), the breathtaking scenery adds beautifully to contrasting tragedy at hand. The Cinematography is just splendid.

Besides being a great actor, Clooney is an equally great film director. I love both his directorial ventures, ‘Confessions of a Dangerous Mind’ (2002) and ‘Good Night, and Good Luck’ (2005), for which he handled the two screenplays himself as well. Clooney was nominated at the Oscars, BAFTA’s and Golden Globes for ‘Good Night, and Good Luck’ in both categories. Am yet to watch his most recent directorial effort, ‘The Ides of March’ (2011).

George Clooney bagged ‘The Best Actor’ trophy, for ‘The Descendants’ (2011), at the Golden Globes.

  • Nuwan Sen’s Film Sense


(Check out my new blog site www.nononsensewithnuwansen.wordpress.com) ‘No Nonsense with Nuwan Sen’

6. My Week with Marilyn (2011)

R | 99 min | Biography, Drama

65 Metascore

Colin Clark, an employee of Sir Laurence Olivier, documents the tense interaction between Olivier and Marilyn Monroe during the production of The Prince and the Showgirl (1957).

Director: Simon Curtis | Stars: Michelle Williams, Eddie Redmayne, Kenneth Branagh, Julia Ormond

Votes: 83,906 | Gross: $14.60M

Went on Sunday, 26th February, 2012. Afternoon. Getting closer to the Oscar ceremony.

This was some cinema experience. After having watched ‘Carnage’ (2011), that morning, after a late lunch, I went to another cinema, i.e. the ‘PVR Director's Cut’, where they tend to show great classics like ‘Citizen Kane’ (1941), ‘Roman Holiday’ (1953), and at that time ‘The Godfather’ (1972). When I asked for a ticket for ‘My week with Marilyn’ (2011), and they mentioned the price (which was almost 1000 bucks in Indian Rupees), I was shocked, that was more than three times what other cinemas charged. They told me that it was a special cinema experience. And it truly was.

Inside this massive hall were only four rows with ample space, the space in ordinary halls in New Delhi is pretty good anyway, considering the fact that I’m 6ft 2½” tall. Well in this cinema, the chairs reclined all the way like in the First Class section of a passenger aircraft (although have never travelled by first class till date), with your feet up, side tables with small lamps like in the ‘Moulin Rouge’ in Paris, and about four or five seats in a row. With free water, juice and a blanket, along with a luxury menu card with a very expensive price tag next to each meal, and a phone to order any food. No wonder it’s called the ‘Director's Cut’, it’s like having your private viewing hall. It was totally worth it, and since it was an excellent movie, that helped. Otherwise I could have slept in that comfortable reclining chair.

An excellent movie, and Michelle Williams does an excellent portrayal of the legendary Marilyn Monroe. Only thing here was, when you watch the movie, you are aware that this is not Marilyn Monroe, thus Meryl Streep (who made you forget what the real Thatcher looked like) was the rightful heir to ‘The Best Actress’ trophy. Although it was a win win situation for the studio bosses of ‘The Weinstein Company’ as they were responsible for both ‘The Iron Lady’ (2011) as well as ‘My Week with Marilyn’. Both their leading ladies were nominated, and the more mature actress with a brilliant cinematic workload of 36 years behind her, grabbed the Oscar.

The rest of the star cast from ‘My Week with Marilyn’ are just as outstanding as Michelle Williams. Kenneth Branagh does quite a good job playing a constantly irritated Laurence Olivier, although being a great fan of Sir Laurence Olivier myself, I didn’t really feel the presence of the great Olivier as much as expected, but Branagh is no doubt a greatly respectable actor himself. Eddie Redmayne is excellent as Colin Clark, on whose experience of meeting Marilyn Monroe this movie is based on. Judi Dench, Dougray Scott and Dominic Cooper are exceptional in their respective roles. A really wonderful account of a nervous Monroe’s week in England during the shoot of ‘The Prince and the Showgirl’ (1957).

A beautiful biographical film on a legendary controversial exploited tragic superstar.

  • Nuwan Sen’s Film Sense


(Check out my new blog site www.nononsensewithnuwansen.wordpress.com) ‘No Nonsense with Nuwan Sen’

7. War Horse (2011)

PG-13 | 146 min | Action, Adventure, Drama

72 Metascore

Young Albert enlists to serve in World War I after his beloved horse is sold to the cavalry. Albert's hopeful journey takes him out of England and to the front lines as the war rages on.

Director: Steven Spielberg | Stars: Jeremy Irvine, Emily Watson, David Thewlis, Benedict Cumberbatch

Votes: 148,601 | Gross: $79.88M

Spielberg & his (Trojan) horse

Went and watched on Monday, the 20th of February, 2012. Late evening/night show. House full. This was 1st movie I watched post-Sikkim, the very next day, after re-reaching Delhi.

‘War Horse’ (2011), is an excellent feature by the great Steven Spielberg. The cinematography is exceptional, with it’s golden twilight hues, it reminded me of the brightly colourful sequences from ‘Gone with the Wind’ (1939). It was hard not think of the grand old civil war epic made at the beginning of the second World War, while watching this latest epic set during the first World War from almost a hundred years ago. Especially the last scene with it’s yellowing, orangey glow, backdrop. As the backdrops of ‘War Horse’ were done quite obviously through computer graphics, thus a tad artificial; the lack of technological advances at the time of ‘Gone with the wind’, ironically make the backdrops of the classic more realistic.

Pity though, that ‘War Horse’ didn’t garner a single award, and lost out on the ‘Best Cinematography’ to Martin Scorsese’s ‘Hugo’ (2011). But at least ‘War Horse’ was nominated in six categories, including ‘Best Picture’.

Steven Spielberg is an exceptional director, but he is also a very shrewd businessman. If you look at his past filmography, you’ll notice he’s made a lot of these silly, waste of time, B-movies (today of course the status of the ‘B’ has changed from ‘B-grade’ to ‘Blockbuster’) much loved today. But along with these pathetic blockbusters meant for the masses (which helps him financially - especially when thrown into the third world, who’ll catch any crap Hollywood throws here), he brings out an exceptional flick for the intellectual elite that he’ll be remembered for. For example, when he made movies like ‘Jaws’ (1975), ‘Close Encounters of the Third Kind’ (1977), ‘E.T.’ (1982); ‘E.T.’ being the only exception here, for I think it’s an excellent children’s movie and a children’s cult-classic; and the idiotic ‘Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom’ (1984); the worst Indiana Jones flick back then - starring his wife; he came out with the unexpected masterpiece, ‘The Color Purple’ (1985), the best movie Whoopi Goldberg has starred in till date. Another example is when he came out with the blockbuster ‘Jurassic Park’ (1993); another rare exception here, as this dinosaur flick was pretty good - for it actually took it’s time to explain the research of how the DNA of an ancient mammal (which was found in a preserved blood clot of an ancient mosquito) was used to clone this extinct creatures that first walked the earth, and bringing these dinosaurs believably to life on the big screen (without making it look artificial, unlike CGI today), back then was phenomenal; along with a rare good movie made for the masses he brought out the best movie he has ever made till date, ‘Schindler's List’ (1993). One of the finest movie experiences I’ve had, a heaven sent picture for any critic and true lover of cinema. Other examples - with a useless sequel to the above mentioned dinosaur flick, a la ‘The Lost World’ (1997), he brought out gems like ‘Amistad’ (1997) and ‘Saving Private Ryan’ (1998). With - sci-fi flicks, heavily dependant on special effects and less on the plot, the likes of - ‘Artificial Intelligence: AI’ (2001) & ‘Minority Report’ (2002), - he brought out a chic intelligent thriller like ‘Catch Me If You Can’ (2002), very cleverly executed and based on true story. With - the waste of time picture, again where the special effects overpower the storyline - ‘War of the Worlds’ (2005), he brought out another smart flick based on real events, titled ‘Munich’ (2005). And today, along with his production of CGI controlled ‘Super 8’ (2011), which I’ven’t bothered watching, and lending his directorial abilities to the animated ‘The Adventures of Tintin’ (2011), which I wouldn’t mind checking out; he brought us the epic scale production that was ‘War Horse’ (2011).

So as I said, Spielberg is a very clever director. What would he want himself to be remembered for, money making crap like ‘War of the Worlds’, which are here today and gone tomorrow, or movies that will age well like ‘The Color Purple’ and ‘Schindler's List’, future classics. Obviously the latter.

Like the Trojan Horse, Spielberg is full of surprises. With silly movies, he always makes sure he brings out an exceptional epic. Thus unlike the belly of the wooden horse, Spielberg’s gut brings out the greatest of pleasant surprises, and ‘War Horse’ is one such pleasant surprise. Only scene I didn’t fancy in ‘War Horse’, was the mushy sequence where a temporally blinded Albert Narracott (played newcomer Jeremy Irvine) recognises his horse and tells the soldiers about the white star on it’s forehead and four white socks, and they start washing the mud off the horses forehead and feet; but it didn’t dither my judgement on what an excellent piece of work this film was.

An epic journey of a horse through a war ravaged Europe, changing it’s owners from British to German to French, by fluke.

The ‘War Horse’ was handled by an international star cast comprising of veteran Brits such as Peter Mullan, Emily Watson and David Thewlis along with British Tom Hiddleston, French Celine Buckens and German David Kross to name a few.

  • Nuwan Sen’s Film Sense


(Check out my new blog site www.nononsensewithnuwansen.wordpress.com) ‘No Nonsense with Nuwan Sen’

8. The Woman in Black (2012)

PG-13 | 95 min | Drama, Fantasy, Horror

62 Metascore

A young solicitor travels to a remote village where he discovers that the vengeful ghost of a scorned woman is terrorizing the locals.

Director: James Watkins | Stars: Daniel Radcliffe, Janet McTeer, Ciarán Hinds, Emma Shorey

Votes: 175,260 | Gross: $54.33M

Went on Wed 29th of Feb, 2012, afternoon show. Crowded like hell.

One of the worst movies I've seen. What was I thinking? What was Radcliff thinking? Straight out of the Potter potty and this is where he ends up!!! What a waste of my time. Not worth checking out, definitely not on the big screen.

One of silliest horror flicks I’ve come across. Only scene that was a bit of jump, was when Radcliff’s character touches the handprint on the window and sees a face of a screaming woman, that too ‘cause a young female seated to my right gave a eardrum shattering vociferous sound. As she ended her head-splitting vocal fear, I did vaguely hear an end of a masculine shriek as well, but took no notice of that. There forth I turned towards her and stated that ‘she frightened me more than the movie did’, she answered laughing pointing to her neighbour, that ‘he frightened her more than the movie did’. That made sense of the vague screech post her voluminous yell. Well that’s the only point in the whole flick that almost made me jump, and that too not ‘cause of the movie.

And that ending, what was that??? Was it meant to be a happy ending??? If so, it’s a very twisted sort of happiness. I don’t think that the book, on which ‘The Woman in Black’ (2012) is based on, is worth reading either, especially if the spooky sordid ending is accurately portrait. Of course as we’ve all heard a zillion times that the books are always better than the movie; although I think it’s absurd trying to compare the two, as they are completely two different mediums; as far this movie goes, I didn’t fancy the storyline either. It’s a very weak plot.

The best thing about this flick of course is Daniel Radcliff. He is no doubt a good actor, and he is quite believable in this more mature role, than he is in years in real life, as a father of a toddler.

  • Nuwan Sen’s Film Sense


(Check out my new blog site www.nononsensewithnuwansen.wordpress.com) ‘No Nonsense with Nuwan Sen’



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