Sunday, 31 March 2013

This blog was moved

This blog was moved to:

Because of some technical problems I had with this blog, I had to move it elsewhere. Hope you'll check it... :)

I need help

Hello. I have a big problem with this blog.
Yesterday I've tried to add year 1964 under Best Leading Actor. When I wanted to save it, it didn't work and the blogger showed me an inscription 'correct errors in this form' (the inscription was in Slovak language, I just translated it). I've tried everything, but I couldn't help it.
Do you have some experience with this error? If you do, please help me solve it.
I also accidentally deleted Best Leading Actor column, but it can't re-make it, because it keeps me showing the inscription.
If I won't be able to fix this, I will either have to stop blogging (which I really wouldn't like to do, especially at this time, when I really have spirits for writing and watching), or I'll have to move this blog somewhere else (wordpress, or some Slovak, or Czech equivalent of blogger), but it will take me a hell of a time...

Saturday, 30 March 2013

Next Year: Musical Project: Best Supporting Actor 1972

The Nominees:
Al Pacino - The Godfather
Eddie Albert - The Heartbreak Kid
James Caan - The Godfather
Joel Grey - Cabaret
Robert Duvall - The Godfather

What do you think about this lineup? Who will I pick? What will be me ranking? What is your ranking? Write in comments... 

Musical Project: Best Leading Actor 1964

5. Rex Harrison - My Fair Lady
Harrison is not bad playing professor Henry Higgins. He succeeded well in portraying him as a cold-minded and bullheaded person. Though he doesn't sing throughout songs, he handles them very well. I just missed something more from him. Something that would make it just a bit remarkable. The charm, the jazz that Hugh Jackman mirrored into Jean Valjean, for instance...

4. Richard Burton - Becket
A very similar to Harrison. Richard Burton did everything the role of Becket asked him to do. But he let Peter O'Toole overshadow him. He had some very fine moments, indeed, but he didn't do anything to make his performance a bit remarkable. But the most memorable performance of Becket is O'Toole's, which is a bit ironic, when Becket is the leading character...

3. Anthony Quinn - Zorba the Greek
I had a hard time choosing the one winner this year and then even harder time ranking the two left performances, but this is the way I did it. Quinn is really great as Zorba. His characterization of this simple, but very wise man is almost perfect. I have just one blame. When he was on the screen with Lila Kedrova, she overshadowed him a bit. It's not so much his fault, because Kedrova's performance is outstanding, but yet it's still true...

2. Peter O'Toole - Becket
In O'Toole's hands king Henry II. is one of the most memorable kings ever. He overshadowed everything in the film, I even believe he overshadowed the film itself. He had a very juicy role to play and he used it perfectly. He was overacting sometimes, but he never crossed the line of the tolerableness. You can be sure that this performance you'll remember very very long time...

1. Peter Sellers - Dr. Strangelove or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb
From the top three wonderful performances I've finally decided to go with Peter Sellers. I have two reasons for that. The first reason is that he really was the biggest surprise for me. I didn't expect to like him, at all. Somehow I thought this film and this performance will be nothing for me. And yet I enjoyed both of them. The second reason is that among the nominees he really had the most difficult thing to do. Play the three different characters and really play they them differently and even play them greatly. And he succeeded flawlessly...

Louis, your prediction was right, so you can choose the year you'd like me to do right after I finish the musical project. I don't know, if I'll be able to, but if all of the films will be available to me, then I'll do it (you can choose any category)... 

Musical Project: Best Leading Actor 1964: Rex Harrison - My Fair Lady

I have seen much better musicals in my life, than My Fair Lady is. I can imagine it worked wonderfully in the theatre, but it's too long for a movie. But it's very fine, I enjoyed it enough and the performances in it are all very good, so I have nothing to complain about.
Rex Harrison plays professor Higgins who's decided to make a duchess from a poor young florist. I can't help myself, but I found Harrison's portrayal to be very dull. Sometimes I had a hard time concentrating on his performance, because the other actors very disturbing my attention with their more interesting performances. I always felt like he didn't do anything more, than what he should.
Henry Higgins was supposed to be a self-conscious, cold-minded, bullheaded and selfish man a yet the man we still sympathize with. Harrison succeeded in this quite well. But that's all he did. There's nothing more to this performance. His portrayal misses the charm, or the jazz that makes a performance unforgettable.
To the musical part: Except from one scene he doesn't dance. This scene he handle greatly. I can't even say he sings, because it's not truly singing he does. He declaims the songs instead. The strange thing is that I didn't care about it, at all. It worked perfectly for the film and that's all I need to know.
What should I say to sum it up? Rex Harrison did exactly what the film wanted him to do. He succeeded in creating a good characterization, he handles his songs well enough, but I missed something more than that. Sometimes his performance came as a bit lackluster.
His best scene is from the second act that he is much better in, than in the first. It would be one of his songs 'You did it', or 'A Hymn to Him'. Right now I'm going with the first one...

Friday, 29 March 2013

Musical Project: Best Leading Actor 1964: Peter O'Toole and Richard Burton - Becket

I've decided to do the review of these two gentlemen at the same because: 1) it saves time and 2) it impossible to judge one's performance, without mentioning the other's.
Becket is a very fine, but in some moment a bit boring film about a friendship and a fight between the king Henry III. (O'Toole) and his chancellor Samuel Becket (Burton).
Even though Burton should be leading character of the film (and he is, because he is the center of the film's attention), the real star of it is king Henry. The reason of this fact is called Peter O'Toole. His portrayal of king Henry is something magnificent. He plays every moment with a great passion and though he's overacting sometimes, it absolutely doesn't matter and it fits his character perfectly.
On the other hand we have Richard Burton. The film doesn't allow him to show off his talent. He does everything the film wants him to, but he is getting lost next to O'Toole's performance. I mean, Henry gives O'Toole a great acting opportunity and he uses it excellently, but Burton has got a very subtle and disinteresting character.
Burton, though, has got some great scenes (especially at the end), but because the character paralyzes him, he cannot do anything that would be somehow remarkable. Therefore it's very hard for me to judge this performance. Because Burton did a very good job playing this character, it's just that the script didn't allow him to do something more with it.
The picture I've chosen for this review actually symbolizes how the performances work in the film. O'Toole is acting and Burton just stands in the corner, because he has to.
From O'Toole's performance I have to choose two best scenes. The first one is when the messenger comes and the second one is when Henry has kind of a heart attack. Burton's best is probably the court scene.
The chances of winning an Oscar: If Harrison didn't win, I think Peter O'Toole would get his beloved award. Burton was probably right behind him...

Thursday, 28 March 2013

Musical Project: Best Leading Actor 1964: Peter Sellers - Dr. Strangelove or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb

Dr. Strangelove is a very enjoyable satire with one of the worsts titles ever. It's very funny sometimes, even though the topic of it is very serious. In some moments it's extremely crazy and the proof of it is the fact that Peter Sellers played three characters in it.
First of all I have to say Sellers did a wonderful job by separating these characters, so that they are all different from each other. Each character is very unique and maybe if I didn't know it before watching the film, I wouldn't even notice that these three characters are played by the same actor (which is also thanks to the great makeup).
The first character is Captain Mandrake. At the beginning of the film I didn't like this portrayal of Seller's. He chose a very subtle way of performing, which made it a bit forgettable. But from the scene in Ripper's office he started to go on with a great passion. The best scene of this performance would probably be the scene, in which the shooting starts.
The second character is the President Muffley. This is probably the most subtle, yet still very powerful performance. In the first scene Sellers just rarely uses the mimicry and it works perfectly well. I would really have a hard time choosing the best scene of it, because it is equally good in all of the moments, but his fight with George C. Scott's character is really memorable, so I perhaps have to go with that.
The third performance is finally Dr. Strangelove. This character (though it's in the title) appears after fifty minutes of the film. He can be seen before, actually, but he just sits in the corner and has nothing to do. Though it definitely is the shortest performance (it only appears in about three scenes), I consider it the best. Sellers is perfect using the accent, mimicry, moves, gestures. He is really theatrical, but all of the performances here are. It's even needed for them to be. Dr. Strangelove is funny and extremely enjoyable and I completely understand that it was this character that got into the title.
At the end I must complain about ignoring a magnificent performance of George C. Scott by the Academy. He was really flawless...
The chances of winning an Oscar: I don't think they were big. This is not a type of roles Oscars are given to. They were very probably lower than Quinn's...

Tuesday, 26 March 2013

Musical Project: Best Leading Actor 1964: Anthony Quinn - Zorba the Greek

Zorba the Greek is a very good, yet too long film, about two gentlemen spending some time in Crete. The younger, Basil, is very well played by Alan Bates and the older, Zorba, is greatly portrayed by Anthony Quinn.
I didn't know what should I expect from Quinn's performance. On the first hand I've heard thousands of glories about his performance, on the other hand from the clips I've seen from Zorba the Greek I didn't find him to be something special. But this is a proof of the fact that if you haven't seen the whole film, you can't judge the performance from it.
Zorba is a very likable character. He is a nice old man, that is also very simple. He isn't studied, although he is extremely wise. Some of the lines he says are so true and powerful, that I'll think of them a long long time after watching the film. Quinn had to handle these sentences the way they wouldn't seem too fatally, so they would be overacted and embarrassing. And he completely succeeded. He delivers them very non-violently and softly, just as a real person would.
As I said, Quinn is really great in this role. It's always very enjoyable to watch an actor that knows what he is doing and wonderfully portrays his character. He is the reason of the fact that many people forget how good Alan Bates was in this film. He really gave a very decent performance, but he gets overshadowed by Anthony Quinn. But everybody in this film is overshadowed by him. Except from one person.
Quinn gave a great performance, there's no doubt about it. But yet I still found his performance to be a bit of inconstancy. Though he did everything as he should, I always found it to be so. When I kept thinking about it, I finally understood it. The reason is Lila Kedrova. She was so flawless and overwhelming in her performance, that she overshadows even Quinn. Though their scenes together are wonderfully played by both of the actors, Kedrova is such a scene stealer, that I almost forgot Quinn is there.
If I am to choose the best scene of Anthony Quinn's performance I don't have to think about it too much. The best would certainly be the one he talks about the war he lived in. That's really his most powerful moment.
The chances of winning an Oscar: If the winner wasn't Harrison, I think it would be O'Toole. Quinn had two Oscars at the time and this fact pushed him in the corner, in my opinion...

Saturday, 23 March 2013

The Next Year: Musical Project: Best Leading Actor 1964

The Nominees:
Anthony Quinn - Zorba the Greek
Peter O'Toole - Becket
Peter Sellers - Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb
Rex Harrison - My Fair Lady
Richard Burton - Becket

So what do you think? Who will I pick? What will be my ranking of these performances? What is your ranking? Write in comments. 

Thursday, 21 March 2013

The Musical Project (1)

I hope that now after finally watching National Velvet to the end, I will be much more active on the blog and to prove that, I'm starting the first of many project I have prepared for the future. It is the musical project.
Here are the years I am going to do (I'll review the performances (and years) in the order I'm writting down)
a) best leading actor 1964
1. Anthony Quinn - Zorba the Greek
2. Peter Sellers - Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb
3. Richard Burton - Becket
4. Peter O'Toole - Becket
5. Rex Harrison - My Fair Lady

b) best supporting actor 1972
1. Eddie Albert - The Heartbreak Kid
2. James Caan - The Godfather
3. Robert Duvall - The Godfather
4. Al Pacino - The Godfather
5. Joel Grey - Cabaret

c) best supporting actress 2002, 2006, or 2012?
Here I want you to help me to choose which of these three years should I do as a part of my musical project. So write your suggestions in comments...

d) best leading actress 1968
1. Joanne Woodward - Rachel Rachel (it's going to be very tough to watch that awful film again)
2. Vanessa Redgrave - Isadora
3. Patricia Neal - The Subject Was Roses
4. Katherine Hepburn - The Lion in Winter
5. Barbra Streisand - Funny Girl

Best Supporting Actress 1945

5. Joan Lorring - The Corn Is Green
Lorring's performance in The Corn Is Green is really very annoying. She overacted every moment she had and there is probably not a single convincing thing about her performance. Only a few things save her from getting the lowest rating from me... 

4. Angela Lansbury - The Picture of Dorian Gray
I really like Angela Lansbury, but this performance of her is really nothing special. Her way of portraying is very subtle, but that makes it a bit boring and forgettable. I don't think she brought anything to this character. Except from her first scene she sings in, there is not a single one scene of her performance that would be mention-worthy. But at least she wasn't bad...

3. Ann Blyth - Mildred Pierce
Though she wasn't bad and her presence in the film is very fine, I always found her portrayal to be a bit non-complex. Her delivers the lines quite well, but she doesn't handle them as the characters tells her, but as the script tell her. And that's not very good... 

2. Anne Revere - National Velvet
Revere is very fine in her role of the mother. She does exactly what the film wants her to, though nothing more, her character is grateful enough to make it enough. Her performance makes her character very likable and I am really sorry for not picking her as my winner...

1. Eve Arden - Mildred Pierce
Though it was very difficult to choose, I'm finally going with Arden. In such a short screen-time (shorter than Revere had) she gives us a believable portrayal of a woman, that she makes so interesting, that I would not mind watching the film she would be a leading character in. It's really obvious Arden enjoyed playing this character and she did it with such an ease. Any other actress would make it a completely forgettable character... 

My Nominees:
1. Eve Arden - Mildred Pierce
2. Anne Revere - National Velvet
3. Butterfly McQueen - Mildred Pierce
4. Ann Blyth - Mildred Pierce
5. Angela Lansbury - The Picture of Dorian Gray

Best Supporting Actress 1945: Anne Revere - National Velvet

I already wrote I couldn't ever watch National Velvet to the end. I always started to watch, then it bored me, or I had something important to do, so I stopped it and couldn't force myself to finish it. Therefore you'd expect I won't like the film. But when I got through the critical part of it (which is the first 50 minutes), I really enjoyed it, because at the end it's really very solid.
Anne Revere plays Mrs. Brown, mother of Velvet - the girl who wants to win the national race. Revere's character is very likable. It's somehow the contrast to the character of Velvet's father. Though he isn't unlikable, he always cares only about the money, but Mrs. Brown doesn't care about the material things, on the other hand.
Revere handles this character fairly well, but her presence wasn't enough to make me watch the film till the end. It doesn't mean she failed somewhere. It only means she didn't have many things to do with her character. It's a very fine performance, very subtle one, but it isn't anything breathtaking. It's not so remarkable, that you will think about it a long time after watching the film, but her portrayal of this character was very decent. She did what she was supposed to. And she did it really well. She didn't do anything more than that, but even this is enough.
For some time in the middle of the film her character disappears from the screen. But when we see Mrs. Brown again, we realize we're happy to see her again. And that's the proof of the fact, that she gave a very good performance...