Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Million Dollar Movies

I spent my President's weekend doing absolutely nothing really but shopping, exercising, and agonizing over whether or not to take this job that I've been offered. Oh, and I went to the movies on Sunday to try and catch up on the movies that have been nominated for the Academy Awards before the ceremony on Sunday. I've seen most of the movies, apart from Kinsey (Laura Linney), Vera Drake and Hotel Rwanda. I plan on renting Maria, full of Grace and Ray tonight if possible to see Jamie Foxx's performance since he's almost a lock to win Best Actor.

I did go to see Million Dollar Baby on Sunday. This film directed by Clint Eastwood, stars Hilary Swank as an over the hill female boxer who wants her shot. When I mean over the hill, I'm speaking in boxing terms since she's only 31 and looks 21 in the film. Although I enjoyed Hilary Swank's performance, I sort of wish that Maggie had been played by an actress that was a little tougher, more like Michelle Rodriguez in Girl Fight, a little more worn down by her life waiting tables. However, the character is written as an optimist, and the girl next door, which when you see the bruiser that she's up against in her final fight, the contrast is that much greater. I have to admit that I watched the movie pretty much with my eyes covered during the boxing scenes. I hate violence, and I hate boxing which to me is gratuitous violence.

The performances particularly by Morgan Freeman and Clint Eastwood were wonderful. I think that Morgan Freeman truly deserves this award. His performance was what the award is all about, supporting the other actors. He has no flashy scenes, he's primarly the narrator, but there is so much going on behind his eyes, and his relationship with Clint Eastwood, and with Hilary Swank is wonderful. I sincerely hope that he wins the award, although I did admire Clive Owen's performance in Closer and Thomas Haden Church in Sideways.

However, I'm hoping that Annette Bening wins for Being Julia. I adored this movie, because as a former actress, I could relate to Bening's character, probably more than I could to Hilary Swank's character in Million Dollar Baby. Annette Bening knew exactly when to pull back her character and when to let her be over the top. I'm reading a biography of Tallulah Bankhead, and I imagine that Tallulah was the epitome of the type of character that Annette Bening played.

I can't wait for the Academy Awards on Sunday. I always like to prepare a special meal if I'm not watching the show with friends, and have a split of champagne ready to drink as I watch the show.

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