Way Late to the Party: Bridge of Spies

What can I say? When Bridge of Spies came out I avoided it like the plague thinking it was a war movie, combined with the fact that Tom Hanks has become like chocolate cake. He looks good, tastes good, but gosh darn it, is he healthy to like so much? I felt the same way watching him in Bridge of Spies as I did watching Meryl Streep in August, Osage County, literally almost tearing up at the thought of the day when she (in this case, he) won’t be acting any longer.

But let’s not forget what brought me late to the part to begin with, and that is the majesty of Mark Rylance. If you enjoy dry British humor and have some time to kill, google his Tony Acceptance speeches (2008, 20011). Now I still say he didn’t deserve the Oscar as much as Tom Hardy did the same year for The Revenant, but I will say that I lust after his quiet demure attitude and handsome appearance.

The movie was not violent to my relief and I will always cherish the memory of viewing it with my Grandma and Dad. Not to mention, because Tom Hanks is always so good, I looked like the superstar for picking it out at the library. Thanks Tom!

Just Hand it Over

Revenant is precisely why I love films; leaving the theater, I felt both emboldened by the tenacity of Leonardo Di Caprio’s character ‘Hugh’ and yet also humbled by the sheer endurance of all of my ancestors who battled weather, topography, illness, nature all without a smartphones or gas powered vehicles.

And while the New Yorker columnist who reviewed Revenant said that the film lacked character arc, may I add that this was set in pre-‘university’ days, where one hadn’t the luxury for leisure and books. So Leonardo, you walk right up those stairs Kanye West style if they don’t hand you the Golden Globe and Oscar.

The supporting actors were equally strong:
Tom Hardy-come on, the guy’s amazing, Christian Bales like in his ability to fold into a role without reminding you he’s a famous actor.
Domhnall Gleason continuously impressive not only a naive mentee to Oscar Isaac in Ex Machina, but also as an excellent romantic foil in Brooklyn, ‘AND then’…. (Dude Where’s My Car reference) kicked ass as the wary Captain in Revenant. Yet he’s the Rodney Dangerfield of the Golden Globes (no respect or invitation, ‘Really GG’s?’*).

Bravo to Inirratu for evolving from the ridiculously ended Birdman to Revenant, a story of redemption and parental love. The cinematography was also breathtaking. I abhor winter, but watching this movie made me know I only hate from the outside, viewing from the inside is quite another matter.

*Let’s hope the Golden Globes committee has smartened up by showtime. Otherwise, Leonardo, get up and say.”I did the greatest performance OF ALL TIME, or at least 2015″!

The Drop

The Drop is directed by Michael R. Roskam, who wrote and directed the Academy Award Foreign Film Nominated Bullhead, which I’ll seek out now that I’ve seen the understated beauty of The Drop, viewed at the always-smells-like-a-swampy locker room Pittsford Cinema near Rochester, New York.

The Drop is another in the litter of a new genre I’m naming “films starring dead people” with James Gandolfini and the very much alive Tom Hardy. Gandolfini, despite what I heard Marshall fine say, is simply playing Tony Soprano on the skids. Tom Hardy, a new actor on my radar, does a brilliant job at understatement or portraying the understatement written by Dennis Lehane. Hardy’s Bob is a coat buttoned up surprise, and only at the movie’s end do you realize the performance’s brilliance.

Noomi Rapace’s Nadia, Bob’s would be romance interest, is also very believable as a blue collar city cynic.
And while any animal rescue person will salivate without bells at the cute pitbull Rocco, I found the movie lacking for the average girl, and this from a woman who loved and saw Drive (you know, the movie Albert Brooks got ripped off from an Oscar nom from). In other words, I don’t neemd a rom-com to make me happy, but give the romance a little more heat and the conflict between Bob and a rapacious ex-boyfirend character Eric played sinisterly by Rust and Bones’ Matthias Schoenaerts would have been more palpable.

Instead, the movie simmers too long and I almost left a little depressed, as if Tom Hardy’s Bob was the guy you didn’t appreciate until he was gone.