Thursday, March 22, 2007

Movie Nights!

So, since I HAVE been watching quite a few films of late, I thought I might as well scribble down my thoughts about two other Oscar-nominated movies I managed to catch over the last week – ‘The Queen’ (Best Actress for Helen Mirren) and ‘Little Miss Sunshine’ (Best Supporting Actor for Alan Arkin and Best Original Screenplay for Michael Arndt).

‘The Queen’, I felt, is not your typical movie, being as it is a biopic of Queen Elizabeth in the days following the death of Diana, Princess of Wales in 1997. It has a lot of shots of actual events that occurred when Diana was alive – such as Princess Diana’s interviews on TV, flowers offered by the public at the gates of Buckingham Palace and paparazzi shots of Diana with Dodi Al-Fayed. Helen Mirren is certainly brilliant – her mannerisms, gait and restrained acting all contributing to the Oscar that she was awarded, but so are Michael Sheen as Tony Blair and Helen McCrory as Cherie Blair. Very few people probably even spared a thought for the Queen in the uproar and media attention that followed Diana’s untimely fatal accident, but here you see her as someone very human, who had to take on a huge responsibility at a very young age (‘duty first, self second’, as she says, is what she's been taught) and understandably finds it difficult to move with the changing times, coming as she is from an entirely different generation altogether.

As for ‘Little Miss Sunshine’, I’d say this – it is totally a movie worth watching, because it is so WEIRDLY entertaining, something I certainly haven’t seen in a while. Following the not-so-trodden path of movies like ‘American Beauty’, it is the story of a completely dysfunctional American family, as we track their lives over the span of a couple of days. Well-written and edited (the movie won Best Original Screenplay, don’t forget), it follows the lives of young Olive (Abigail Breslin) who has won a chance to participate in the Little Miss Sunshine beauty pageant in California, her perfectionist father Richard (Greg Kinnear), her harried mother Sheryl (Toni Collette), Nietzsche-reading brother Dwayne (Paul Dano) who has taken an oath of silence till he achieves his goal of becoming an airforce pilot, heroin-snorting, invective-spouting grandfather (Alan Arkin), and gay suicidal uncle Frank (Steve Carell). I mean, 'how much more dysfunctional can you get!!!!', was my thought when all the characters came into their first scenes! Still, as the family rushes to get Olive to the pageant on time in their rundown van (which they call a bus), a number of quite crazy events happen, all adding to the madness. All in all, if you manage to lay your hands on a copy of this movie, I’d say go for it!


Ranji said...

Let me reccommend pan's labyrinth.

Vikram Vasu said...
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wanderstruck said...

Hey thanks for the reco! Will try to watch it, have heard it's good too.