Sunday, March 2, 2014

Favorite Pic of the Day for March 2nd

8 time Academy Award nominee and 2 time winner Marlon Brando

Check out today's Birthday Boys HERE: & HERE:

Favorite Films From Meryl Streep

I have been a little hard on Ms. Streep the past year on FH. I didn't give August:Osage County (which marks Streep's 18th Oscar nomination) the best review (HERE:) nor was I enthusiastic about her taking on the role of the Witch in Into the Woods. (HERE:) Truth is however, Streep one of the worlds best actors, and like so many, my favorite actress to watch onscreen. Streep never fails to interest me, even when the films around her don't. I have been watching, and learning from her since I can remember. Compiling a list of her best work would have been impossible, choose 5 of my favorites was just a little bit easier. These may not be her 'best' but they are films that effected me in some way. I have not seen everything Streep has done, so some (like The Bridges Of Madison County) could not be counted. I am Sophie's Choice might have made the list, but it has been years since I have seen it and couldn't find a copy this week to re watch. Comments on your favorite Meryl moments are welcomed!

Silkwood (1983)
Best Actress: Nominated

Silkwood was the first Streep movie I ever saw. It was on VHS and I certainly didn't initially appreciate her work, and the film at the time. Years later I saw the film again and this time I loved every second of it. I didn't like Karen Silkwood, but I loved Meryl Streep,and Kurt Russell's chest.) Watching Silkwood again last week reaffirmed it is my favorite of Meryl's films.

Kramer Vs Kramer 1979
Best Supporting Actress: Won

I didn't like Joanna Kramer either, but Meryl pulled off a character some felt evil, others felt heartbreaking. I think I was on the evil side when I first saw Kramer Vs Kramer so long ago, again on VHS. Upon second, and third viewing I felt for Joanna, so flawed and unlikable, so human.

The Hours 2002

Kidman got the Oscar, (I would have given it to Julianne) but Meryl's section of the film became my favorite. Not sure why, but I think it came down to the small moments. Clarissa with her daughter, with Richard (above) or Carissa just cooking. Meryl did not have the dramatic moments the other two stories had, but yet I found her story the most compelling.

The Devil Wears Prada 2006
Best Actor: Nominated

I have to admit, I did not like The Devil Wears Prada when first seeing in the theatre. But... every time it plays, and replays on television, I usually stop to watch. It is a movie that is so much fun to watch, (at least til the story moved to Paris) and a movie in which Streep allows me to temporarily relinquish my bias again Anne Hathaway and just enjoy the ride.

Death Becomes Her 1992

When Meryl began her foray into comedies I was not along for the ride. Most, seemed below her and I longed for her to return to drama. Maybe she needed the break for us to again appreciate her dramatic skills, or maybe these films were better than I first remembered. Death Becomes Her, and hell even She-Devil (which I profiled HERE:) look better watching now in my thirties then I remember when I watched them in my teens. I still am not sure they are great, but unlike Streep's character Madeline Ashton, this film gets better with age.

Honorable Mentions:
Some of my other favorites from Meryl:

For my own Reasons: Angels In America (above), One True Thing, The Deer Hunter, Out Of Africa, Adaptation, Julia & Julia and the closing credits, and only those credits, from Mamma Mia.

And The Oscar Goes To:

Best Actor in a Leading Role

Christian Bale  (American Hustle)

Bruce Dern (Nebraska)

Leonardo DiCaprio (The Wolf of Wall Street)

Chiwetel Ejiofor (12 Years a Slave)

Matthew McConaughey (Dallas Buyers Club)

Best Actor in a Supporting Role

Barkhad Abdi (Captain Phillips)

Bradley Cooper (American Hustle) (Below with David Gail)

Michael Fassbender (12 Years a Slave)

Jonah Hill (The Wolf of Wall Street)
No skin from Jonah, but Channing Tatum sleep mooning him will do.

Jared Leto (Dallas Buyer's Club)

The Trip

Back when I was about 19 or 20, I accompanied my parents what was our last trip together. The purpose of the trip was my cousins wedding, but my parents decided to extend the vacation and rented a cottage for a few days after the wedding. On the shelf in the cottages livingroom was a shelf of books left presumably by past guests. Harlequin romances, Sidney Sheldon novels and biographies filled the shelves. One of the books was The Fonda's: A Hollywood Dynasty. I didn't actually finish the whole book, but skimmed enough to figure out Peter was actually the most interesting in the family.

For some reason this memory came back to for the first time last week. While searching for images of actor Bruce Dern for my Oscar post above I came across images of Brude assisting and holding a naked Fonda. Of course, I was curious about the scene and it's context within the movie. The scene is from 1967's The Trip and the trip is not a beach or resort, but instead the trip refers to LSD induced hallucinations.

The movie was written by actor Jack Nicholson and according to reports, Nicholson wrote John, the character Bruce Dern ended playing, for himself. Dern says director Roger Corman would not agree to Nicholson playing the role and chose him instead. As part of their preparation for the film, Fonda, Dennis Hopper and Nicholson all supposedly engaged in a group LSD trip as research.

I did manage to get my hands on a copy of The Trip and although tried, did not make my way all the way through. The editing is so clunky, obviously an attempt to recreate a high, but it left me more nauseous. Fonda does have a great body and a sex appeal which carried me through, at least until the end of the scene I have capped here. It certainly didn't win any awards, but it was Dern's 2014 nomination that led me back to check out this 1967 film.