Posts Tagged Hilary Swank
The Perks of Being a Wallflower (2012)
–two seniors (Emma Watson and Ezra Miller) welcome an introverted freshman (Logan Lerman) into their group in this touching, brilliant film
October Sky (1999)
–true story of a coal miner’s son Homer Hickman (Jake Gyllenhaal )–a coal miner’s son inspired by the first Sputnik launch and his high school science teacher (Laura Dern) to take up rocketry. His strict father (Chris Cooper) disapproves. He later works for NASA.
Freedom Writers (2007)
–in her first teaching job, an English teacher (Hilary Swank) inspires her at-risk students to express themselves by keeping journals
–in Harlem in the late 80s, an overweight, abused, illiterate teen (Gabourey Sidibe), pregnant with her second child, is invited to enroll in an alternative school in hopes that her life can head in a new direction.
Dangerous Minds (1995)
–an ex-Marine (Michelle Pfeiffer) takes a teaching job and struggles to connect with her students at an inner-city school
–after telling a white lie to her best friend about having sex with a college freshman, high school student Olive Penderghast (sparkling Emma Stone) decides its best to use her school’s rumor mill to her advantage in this smart comedy.
Dead Poet’s Society (1989)
–prep school. Poetry. Robert Sean Leonard. Ethan Hawke. Robin Williams. Seize the day.
The Breakfast Club (1985)
–”To the outside world they were simply a Brain, an Athlete, a Basket Case, a Princess, and a Criminal, but to each other, they would always be the Breakfast Club.”
The School of Rock (2003)
–substitute teacher (Jack Black) attempts to turn his prep school class into a rock band
Retired black-ops agents get back together for one last hit when Frank Moses [Bruce Willis, clearly in his element] gets a threat from a former foe. There’s a lot of shooting but it’s a fun film with Willis, Helen Mirren, Mary Louise Parker, Morgan Freeman and John Malkovich. I can’t say I really understood the minutiae of the hit on Moses but the camaraderie and his connection with Parker is fun. Plus anytime Mirren is in a film, it’s a few notches classier.
Intense film that starts out by showing Valerie Plame [Naomi Watts] in action throughout the Middle East as a covert operative for the CIA. She’s meticulous in developing her contacts and following up. Her mostly-male coworkers clearly admire her skills. Not long after the invasion of Iraq, Plame’s husband, former U.S. Ambassador Joe Wilson [Sean Penn], writes an op-ed about the lack of data on weapons of mass destruction. The Bush administration publicly reveals Plame’s CIA position to punish the couple. Overnight, Plame and her husband are fighting to maintain credibility and dignity. Watts turns in an impeccably smart and dignified performance. It’s obvious that Plame adores her work and her family in equal measures. As Wilson, Penn is stoic and tenacious. It’s still a shocking scandal and Fair Game makes an engrossing film.
Based on the real-life inspirational story of Betty Ann Waters [Hilary Swank] and her brother Kenny [Sam Rockwell], Conviction is both compelling and emotional. The siblings are extremely close due to their tumultuous childhoods. When Kenny becomes wrongfully convicted of murder, Betty Ann dedicates nearly twenty years to getting him exonerated. The working class bartender mom gets her GED, goes to college and then to law school in order to assist her brother who she believes in when everyone else has nearly forgotten him. It’s not as impressive as Swank’s previous real-life depictions but she morphs herself into the character and makes the audience root for her.
Directed by: Mira Nair
Starring: Hilary Swank, Richard Gere, Ewan McGregor
Running time: 111 minutes
Release date: February 2, 2010
Studio: 20th Century Fox
Amelia had little promotion and has had mixed reviews but it’s a film about a pioneering woman that stars two-time Academy Award winner Hilary Swank [Million Dollar Baby, Freedom Writers] and is directed by Mira Nair [The Namesake, Vanity Fair]. How bad can it be?
The script is weak at times but the scenes of Amelia Earhart flying are expansive, lovely and sometimes frightening. During her last flight, though you know the outcome, you cannot help but be at the edge of your seat with your heart racing. Nair has done an excellent job directing the landscape views but she’s not as strong in the more intimate moments.
Hilary Swank is phenomenal per usual as the daring, unconventional and trailblazing pilot. She delves into this role as Amelia Earhart and through her eyes we see her attraction to aviation: the adrenaline rush, the freedom, the independence and the power. Amelia tells George Putnam [a terribly miscast Richard Gere] that she’s not the marrying type. That she wants freedom. He’s jealous of her and wants her for himself and she ends up marrying him and they have an unusual love and marriage. It works for them. Amelia does have a long-term love affair with the charming West Point graduate Gene Vidal [a swoon worthy Ewan McGregor] who with Amelia’s help became Commerce Department’s Bureau of Air Commerce. Putnam is the ultimate PR rep for Amelia and at times quite smarmy. There’s too much focus on their relationship and not enough of Amelia’s professional life in Amelia and that is a massive detriment to the film and to Swank’s talents.
DVD Special Features include: deleted scenes, making of the film Amelia, more information about Amelia Earhart
Audrey Tautou in Coco Avant Chanel
Abbie Cornish in Bright Star
Eli Roth in Inglourious Basterds
Hilary Swank in Amelia
Ellen Page and Kristen Wiig in Whip It!
Melanie Laurent in Inglourious Basterds
Taraji P. Henson in I Can Do Bad All by Myself
Meryl Streep in Julie and Julia
Sharlto Copley in District 9
Jeremy Renner in The Hurt Locker
Hugh Dancy in Adam
Sasha Gray in The Girlfriend Experience
Alison Lohman in Drag Me to Hell
Jessica Biel and Colin Firth in Easy Virtue
Zooey Deschanel and Joseph Gordon-Levitt in 500 Days of Summer
Mark Ruffalo, Rachel Weisz and Adrien Brody in The Brothers Bloom
Russell Crowe in State of Play
Mo’Nique in Precious
Emily Blunt in The Young Victoria
George Clooney in Up in the Air
Vera Farmiga in Up in the Air