Today I saw the new Lee Daniels movie, The Butler.
The Butler is story of Cecil Gaines (Forest Whitaker), a man who was born and raised in the cotton field of Georgia and worked for three decades as a White House Butler. His wife, Gloria (Oprah Winfrey) tries to support her often working husband while raising their sons Louis (David Oyelowo) and Charlie.
Against the backdrop of the Civil rights movements and Cecil’s disagreement with his oldest son, Cecil works for eight Presidents starting with Dwight Eisenhower (Robin Williams) and ending with Ronald Reagan (Alan Rickman).
This movie clocks in at 2 hours and 12 minutes. In most cases, I dislike movies that go over 2 hours, but in this case, it was well worth it.
I foresee that this movie will gain both nominations and awards come award season, especially Whitaker, Winfrey and Oyelowo.
Today I ventured back into the world of musical theater to see Once, The Musical.
It is based on the 2006 movie of the same name.
In one eventful week, a musician who believes that his dream is dead meets a woman who by the end of the week, sees the beauty and the potential of his music. Their love is mutual, but life may tear them apart.
I did not have the opportunity to see the original cast, but the more recent cast with Arthur Darvill and Joanna Christie.
It’s not the typical musical, which makes it stand out among the cornicopia of musicals currently on Broadway. It is also un-typical is the audience is allowed to walk up to the stage and order from the bar. Most shows have a fourth wall, which is only broken after the show. Before the show starts, while the actors are warming up on stage, the audience is allowed to walk on stage and order from the bar, as well as going up during the intermission.
What I enjoyed was unorthodox and informal staging of the show and un-Hollywood ending.
I would definitly see it again.
Woody’s Allen latest film venture is Blue Jasmine, a film about a woman trying to rebuilt her life while living with her sister in San Fransisco.
Jasmine’s (Cate Blanchett) husband Hal (Alec Baldwin) appeared to be wealthy and spoiled his wife endlessly. That is until his less than legitimate business practices are revealed and Hal is arrested and put into jail, ending the life to which Jasmine was accustomed to living.
Jasmine’s only assistance comes in the form of her sister, Ginger (Sally Hawkins), presently living in San Fransisco with her two sons. Sally is divorced from Augie (Andrew Dice Clay) and dating Chili (Bobby Cannavale), neither man has met Jasmine’s approval.
Jasmine’s potential re-emergence into her former life comes by way of Dwight (Peter Sarsgaard), but she knows that her past may come back to haunt her.
While this is not my favorite Woody Allen film, its certainly an interesting one. Jasmine is a very complicated character living a very complicated life, Blanchett is the perfect actress for this part. This movie is almost feels like Streetcar Named Desire, with a main character who has a complicated past while conflicting with her present and the only family members that will take her in. Hawkins, as Ginger, with her ex husband and boyfriend makes for an interesting dichotomy between the two sisters. Sarsgaard as Dwight, comes in late into the film, but gives the audience a glimmer of hope that Jasmine will be able to return to her previous life.
It’s a little long, but its an enjoyable movie, which I think will generate nominations come award season.