Charlie Babbitt (Tom Cruise) is a yuppie who is running some kind of a scam involving importing luxury cars or something (no idea – it was complex and had to be completed within a certain amount of time which caused Charlie much stress throughout) when his estranged father passes away. Expecting to inherit his father’s fortune, Charlie is left with a beautiful old car and little else. In tracing where the remaining money is going, Charlie discovers that he has an older brother who has been living in assisted care for decades. Raymond (Dustin Hoffman) is autistic and requires set routine. Charlie takes Raymond from the facility, thinking he can blackmail the lawyers into giving him money. But the road trip across the country ends up being more than just a physical journey.
This is really a great film. It’s a little obvious at times, but that’s fine. Hoffman is great as Raymond, and while at times, I felt that Charlie was making choices that weren’t really fitting with his personality, it all allowed both of the characters to grow. It is dated, but in a good way. I just really liked it.
Rain Man won Oscars for Best Picture, Best Actor in a Lead Role (Dustin Hoffman), Best Director (Barry Levinson) and Best Writing, Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen. It was nominated for Best Cinematography, Best Art Direction-Set Decoration, Best Film Editing, Best Music, Original Score.
Hell’s Kitchen, 1960s. Four boys, best of friends, hang out, are altar boys together until they play a prank that results in them being sent to juvenile detention. Inside, they are abused horrifically by four of the guards. Fourteen years after they are released, two have become notorious gang leaders and killers, one is a journalist and the other is an assistant DA. A series of events lead to them attempting to get some justice.
At the end of the film, there are statements from several places stating that the several official channels deny the events of the film, but the author of the book it is based on claims that, with changed names and dates, the entire story is factual. Even if this series of events is not true, it is not that much of a stretch of the imagination that such abuse would happen. I think it is an excellent though very tough film; one hell of a cast doing top performances.
Sleepers was nominated for an Oscar for Best Music, Original Score
The ensemble is back; first, it was meet her parents, then meet his. Now, there are kids and they are having a birthday party, but things go astray. And crazy astray.
I was on board for the first two. Yes, there were a few things that I needed to suspend my belief for, but I went with it. But for this? They lost me totally. From the moment Jessica Alba arrived as a drug representative and stepped in for a bottom-related procedure in the hospital, it lost me. Not even a fist fight between Robert De Niro and Ben Stiller across a series of kids equipment was worth it.
Now that peace has been made between Greg Focker (Ben Stiller) and his soon-to-be-wife Pam’s (Teri Polo) parents Jack (Robert De Niro) and Dina (Blythe Danner), they must meet his family. They are far from ‘normal’ – sex therapist Rozalin (Barbra Streisand) and house-husband Bernie (Dustin Hoffman). Of course, it is a whole weekend that they must have to get the maximum ridiculousness of the situation.
It is totally silly, much like the first. And while it is a similar creature to the first, it is different. Not better, really, and not worse as such. Actually, probably a bit worse. But adding Dustin Hoffman and Barbra Streisand was just a nice addition. If it’s on telly and you can bear slapstick, go for it. I wouldn’t race to hire it, but I also wouldn’t switch channels.
Joanna Kramer (Meryl Streep) walked out of her life, away from her husband, Ted (Dustin Hoffman) and son Billy (Justin Henry). Suddenly, Ted and Billy are thrown into a world here they must do everything themselves and it is hard. Eventually, though, they get the hang of it and things are going well. And then Joanna turns up again and wants to take Billy back and they end up in court.
This was such an important film of its time. Divorce was certainly not a new thing, but was on the increase, and then there was women’s liberation, women wanting to do things for themselves (silly women) and how do people deal with this new world? I think that if another Kramer vs Kramer would be absolutely and totally different were it made now. I think the relationship breakdown could be similar, but I like to think that most men are a bit more involved with their children than Ted was before Joanna left and that workplaces are not able to be as blatant about putting work before family. Most importantly, I think the legal system has progressed. Or perhaps I live in my own little world of things being right.
Kramer vs Kramer won Oscars for Best Picture, Best Actor in a Leading Role (Dustin Hoffman), Best Actress in a Supporting Role (Meryl Streep), Best Director (Robert Benton) and Best Writing, Screenplay Based on Material from Another Medium (Robert Benton) and was nominated for Best Actor in a Supporting Role (Justin Henry), Best Actress in a Supporting Role (Jane Alexander), Best Cinematography and Best Film Editing.
Sir James Matthew Barrie (Johnny Depp) is a playwrite who is no longer wowing the crowds with his work. Then he meets Sylvia Llwewlyn Davies (Kate Winslet) and her four lovely boys including young Peter (Freddie Highmore). Sylvia’s husband has passed away and, despite the misgivings of her mother, Mrs Emma du Maurier (Julie Christie) and his wife Mary Ansell Barrie (Radha Mitchell), she and her boys spend increasing amounts of time with James. As he plays make-believe with the kids, he is inspired and creates Peter Pan.
I cannot believe I have taken so long to see this film. It was wonderful – the fantasy sequences are so much fun, the story itself is moving, and I cried and cried and cried. How fabulous.
Finding Neverland won an Oscar for Best Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures, Original Score and was nominated for Best Motion Picture of the Year, Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role (Johnny Depp), Best Writing, Adapted Screenplay (David Magee), Best Achievement in Film Editing, Best Achievement in Art Direction, Best Achievement in Costume Design.
Harold Crick(Will Ferrell) is an ordinary guy. He works for Internal Revenue and has an ordered and repetitive existence until two things happen; he meets the beautiful baker Ana Pascal (Maggie Gyllenhaal) and he starts to hear a female voice narrating his every move. He doesn’t believe he is crazy, but cannot imagine that he is the creation of author Karen Eiffel (Emma Thompson) or what this could possibly mean for his future.
This is such a beautiful film. The concept is so clever and it is executed to make a wonderful and fabulous film that everyone should see over and over again.
Barney is a television producer or writer or something who is reminiscing about his life, his marriages and everything. A lot of things don’t happen in the most straightforward way (for example, the way he meets the love of his life), and the last twenty minutes or so take the audience a whole different direction.
I don’t think I gained anything from watching this film. It was fine. Kind of interesting, but not compelling. I feel that if I’d been interrupted halfway through watching this, I probably wouldn’t go back to it. There wasn’t not a lot there for me.
Barney’s Version was nominated for an Oscar for Best Achievement in Makeup.
Ages ago, I reviewed The Ides of March and felt that it was quite average for a political thriller, especially compared to films such as Wag the Dog and Primary Colors. Since, I’ve discussed the film and read other reviews, and it seems that most people thought it was a much better film that I did. I do want to revisit it, however I wanted to see the others first for some comparison.
Wag the Dog tells the story of a Conrad Brean (Robert De Niro) and Winifred Ames (Anne Heche) who are working in the last fortnight before a presidential election to bury the story of a sexual encounter between the President and a young girl. They bring in Hollywood producer Stanley Motss (Dustin Hoffman) to produce the appearance of a war with Albania, along with victims, heroes, the whole kit-and-kaboodle.
It’s fabulous. It totally plays into the idea of a massive conspiracy. It couldn’t be done now; with the internet and wikileaks, it would be very easy to disprove. In fact, it couldn’t have been done then. There is no way the media would just go along with the stuff that is being fed to it – regardless of how cleverly the leaks appear are done. But what the films shows is how it could almost be possible – and if it could happen, this is how it would go. It’s fabulous, so funny. Wonderful cast, great script. We even got a bit of Woody Harrelson, Kirsten Dunst, William H Macy, Dennis Leary and Willie Nelson. Perfect.
Wag the Dog was nominated for Oscars for Best Actor in a Leading Role (Dustin Hoffman) and Best Writing:Screenplay Based on Material Previously Published (Hilary Henkin and David Mamet)