Romantic Chemistry in a Comedy Award

If the Oscars had a sense of humor and offered comedy awards, and if they were as specific as
BEST ROMANTIC CHEMISTRY, the nominees this year might be:

Amy Schumer/Bill Hader in Trainwreck
Melissa McCarthy/Jude Law in Spy
Amy Poehler/Ike Barinholtz in Sisters
(and sorry The Martian and Joy, neither of you are bleeping comedies no matter what Golden Globes say).
and so, as I don my faux evening gown/Sunday leggings, I would announce,
The TWICE Baked winner goes to:
Amy Poehler and Ike (could you change your name please?)

I saw Sisters last night at a discount theater (sold out by the way) and liked it much more than I thought. Sisters had the anti-Anomalisa bump meaning, panned by most critics, my bar was set pretty low. What a nice surprise to not only find sweet romantic chemistry between Amy and Ike, but possibly more funny lines per pixel than any other comedy this year. Now do a thousand one liners make a great film? Nah, but it certainly means a lot to someone in need of pure belly laughs.

And please, someone, preferably an apt Hispanic screenwriter, give John Leguizamo an Oscar caliber script?! In Sisters, I would watch his work in a loop for 24 hours before I stopped my awe. This guy is hysterically funny and can be great in serious roles (Moulin Rouge, Romeo and Juliet), but he needs and deserves his own leading role. Come on Gary Soto or Sandra Cisneros; you’re both capable!.

See Sisters, but not with any children around. This is a very adult (and fun!John Leguizamo) film.

45 Years, What Lies Beneath

45 Years

Guilty admission: I only went to see this film because of a traumatic relationship experience in which the ‘man of my dreams’ played a song on his acoustic guitar and claimed that it was our song (My One and Only Love by Coltrane). Months (not years, thank heavens) into our relationship and many requests by me to hear the song both in our house and at a jazz club, he received a card from a woman named Kate, signed My One and Only Love.

Being the masochist I can be on occasion, I went to watch something much more haunting on the big screen The therapeutic payoff was worth it. To see Charolotte Rampling struggle against wanting to snoop into the attic boxes, to see her ruminations in the pained expression of her face, helped me re-live and simultaneously diminish the power of my hurt feelings.

Marriage, I fully realize, has many benefits. On the other hand, when a major deception, a hidden hurtful truth or unmet yearning is revealed, the state of devastation is much more overwhelming. I have witnessed a dedicated 40 year marriage devolve into abandonment and cruelty and wonder if being single isn’t much more palatable.

Does Charlotte Rampling deserve the Oscar? Nah, but it is a tremendous psychological performance. I thought Tom Courtenay did just as fine a job portraying the bumbling, babbling brook of a man upended by a letter from Germany. Due to his shiftiness (and as an audience member we debate: ‘or is he merely elderly’?), we suspect his words and share in Charlotte’s despair.

Worth a rental on a rainy day, but possibly toxic to a marriage on the brink of any destructive confessions.

The Danish Girl: All Sugar, No Jam

Eddie Redmayne

Gotta hand it to Eddie Redmayne He equals Sean Penn for men who can look beautiful in make up. No lie. It’s as if he was meant for this role.

If only the pacing of the movie wasn’t slower than an 10 course French brunch. Hooper has been stuck since “Les Mis”, which also didn’t have the crisp clip of his best, “The King’s Speech”.

The costumes, nominated for an Oscar, are gorgeous. It’ll be a tough choice between the fashions in “Carol” and this film.

No offense to Alicia Vikander, who seems pretty bland. What does she care though, she’s dating the number one hot actor (in my humble opinion-Fassbender).

Not much to give away, anyone could write this. What brings the movie to life is soley the grand acting of Redmayne. He’s the MVP.

Not an Earthquake, Just Julius Rollin’ Over: Hail, Caesar

Rotten Tomatoes, are you kidding me? The collection of critics who averaged higher than a 75% should have their opine licenses revoked.

Hail, Caesar was an utter bore. The trailer may look cute, but the film as a whole has no solid story nor characterization. Remember the halcyon Coen Brohters Days? In Big Lebowski, all character meant something, from Philip Seymor Hoffman to Steve Buschemi.

The most lively section of Hail Caesar was the dancing scene with Channing Tatum. Two hours of just outtakes from that piece would have been more entertaining. Ralph Fiennes and Tilda Swinton deserve honorable mentions, at least their characters were genuinely comical on a teensy minute scale.