Posts Tagged Colin Firth

FILM: Stand-Out Performances of 2014

these films didn’t make my 12 BEST FILMS of 2014 list but included stand-out performances:

railway man

Colin Firth in The Railway Man
director: Jonathan Teplitzky

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Minnie Driver and Gugu Mbathal-Raw in Beyond the Lights
director: Gina Prince-Blythewood

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Julianne Moore in Still Alice
director: Richard Glatzer

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Mia Wasikowska in Tracks
director: John Curran

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Marion Cotillard in Deux Jours, Une Nuit
director: Jean-Pierre Dardenne, Luc Dardenne

fort bliss

Michelle Monaghan in Fort Bliss
director: Claudia Myers

foxcatcher

Channing Tatum, Mark Ruffalo and Steve Carrell in Foxcatcher
director: Bennett Miller

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Ben Schnetzer in Pride
director: Matthew Warchus

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Dakota Fanning in Night Moves
director: Kelly Reichardt

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Emma Roberts in Palo Alto
directed by: Gia Coppola

patricia

Patricia Arquette in Boyhood
directed by: Richard Linklater

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Eva Green in White Bird in a Blizzard
directed by: Greg Araki

Kelly-and-Cal-Review

Juliette Lewis in Kelly & Cal
directed by: Jen McGowan

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Kristen Wiig in Hateship Loveship
directed by: Liza Johnson

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The King’s Speech: new on DVD

Prince Albert [Colin Firth], the Duke of York, has had a stammer as long as he can remember. It’s this stutter that frustrates and embarrasses him. He’s part of the British Royal family and that’s the face of England. It might not hold as much power as in the past but there are certainly charitable and stately responsibilities. Albert’s father King George has attempted to scare him into speaking correctly but nothing works. Colin Firth makes a member of the British Royal family both vulnerable and resilient. Honest and forthright. Insecure and proud. He’s devoted to his family and the crown. His independent-minded wife [Helena Bonham Carter], the Duchess of York, finds an unconventional speech therapist [Geoffrey Rush]. Despite his initial reluctance and haughty airs, he works to truly find his own place amidst Royal history. He understands that he needs to speak to his people during times of war and strife. As their king, his goal is to comfort them.

As The King’s Speech opens, the heir apparent is Albert’s older brother, Edward VIII [Guy Pearce]. After King George V’s death and Edward becomes king he soon abdicates the throne when he insists on marrying his American mistress Wallis Simpson. Prince Albert will become King George VI. The pressure is palpable.

Director Tom Hooper takes what could be a stuffy, buttoned-up story and infuses it with charm and excitement. Finely tuned performances by Firth, Bonham Carter and Rush catapult The King’s Speech into a delightful, exceptional film about persistence and the capacity of the human spirit to overcome diversity.

[this review ran on my site during the film’s theatrical release last year]

Starring: Colin Firth, Helena Bonham Carter, Geoffrey Rush, Jennifer Ehle
Director: Tom Hooper
Screenplay: David Seidler
Studio: The Weinstein Company and Anchor Bay Entertainment
Rating: R
Running time: 119 minutes
Release Date: April 19, 2011

purchase at Amazon: The King’s Speech

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bits and bobs from Academy Awards

David Seidler with Colin Firth

My father always said to me I’m a late bloomer. I think I’m the oldest person to win this award.
–David Seidler, Best Original Screenplay, The King’s Speech

I have a feeling my career’s just peaked.
— Colin Firth, Best Actor, The King’s Speech

Colin Firth is not laughing. He’s British.
–presenter Kirk Douglas

the BOB is IN again:

Scarlett Johansson:

Marisa Tomei:

Who I thought looked fantastic:

Mila Kunis [Black Swan]– she looks pretty in this frilly lavender Elie Saab dress with train

Jennifer Hudson— wearing orange Atelier Versace

Hailee Steinfeld [True Grit]– in a blush-colored Marchesa gown

Reese Witherspoon— classic black and white old Hollywood glamour in Armani Prive

Gwyneth Paltrow in a metallic Calvin Klein

Jennifer Lawrence [Winter’s Bone] in red Calvin Klein

Robert Downey Jr. [with wife Susan]

Mark Wahlberg [The Fighter] [with wife Rhea Durham]

Cate Blanchett in a lovely, one-of-a-kind design by Givenchy

Helen Mirren in steely Vivienne Westwood

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Academy Awards 2011: my picks

Best Motion Picture of the Year

the nominees:
• Black Swan
• The Fighter
• Inception
• The Kids Are All Right
• The King’s Speech
• 127 Hours
• The Social Network
• Toy Story 3
• True Grit
• Winter’s Bone

my pick:
The Social Network
I appreciate every film in this category and that’s unusual for me. I thought it a weak year in film. The Social Network really represents the time we live in NOW. The lack of privacy. The incestuous relationships between Google and Facebook and Twitter and others. Everything’s connected. Nothing remains private. The Social Network is an effectual, creepy telling of the infiltration of social media onto our lives. I left the theater wanting to delete my Facebook profile but unfortunately for me, and to Facebook’s benefit, it’s my only way to stay connected to my high school class and some other people and organizations.

Achievement in Directing

the nominees:
• Darren Aronofsky, Black Swan
• David O. Russell, The Fighter
• Tom Hooper, The King’s Speech
• David Fincher, The Social Network
• Joel Coen and Ethan Coen, True Grit

my pick:
Tom Hooper, The King’s Speech
Such an exquisite film and a perfectly imperfect performance by Colin Firth as King George. Magnificent cast and genuine story. A little film with massive heart.

Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role

the nominees:

• Javier Bardem, Biutiful
• Jeff Bridges, True Grit
• Jesse Eisenberg, The Social Network
• Colin Firth, The King’s Speech
• James Franco, 127 Hours

my pick:
Colin Firth, The King’s Speech
So credible. So regal. Loved him last year in A Single Man. And if you saw that film and the Bridget Jones movies, you know the range this actor possesses.

Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role

the nominees:

• Christian Bale, The Fighter
• John Hawkes, Winter’s Bone
• Jeremy Renner, The Town
• Mark Ruffalo, The Kids Are All Right
• Geoffrey Rush, The King’s Speech

my pick:
Christian Bale, The Fighter
He morphed into a drug-addled townie.

Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role

the nominees:

• Annette Bening, The Kids Are All Right
• Nicole Kidman, Rabbit Hole
• Jennifer Lawrence, Winter’s Bone
• Natalie Portman, Black Swan
• Michelle Williams, Blue Valentine

my pick:
Annette Bening, The Kids Are All Right
This might be one of the toughest categories. Kidman excels at grief in The Rabbit Hole, Michelle Williams spans decades through a challenging marriage in Blue Valentine, Natalie Portman goes from perfect to paranoid in The Black Swan, Jennifer Lawrence captivates in Winter’s Bone but Annette Bening really shines in The Kids are All Right.

Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role

the nominees:

• Amy Adams, The Fighter
• Helena Bonham Carter, The King’s Speech
• Melissa Leo, The Fighter
• Hailee Steinfeld, True Grit
• Jacki Weaver, Animal Kingdom

my pick:
Hailee Steinfeld, True Grit
I’m going out on a limb for Hailee Steinfeld, the youngest nominee. Without her and her gutsy, bold performance for the Coen Brothers, there’d be no True Grit. But in the end, it’ll go to Melissa Leo.

Original Screenplay

the nominees:

• Another Year, Written by Mike Leigh
• The Fighter, Screenplay by Scott Silver, Paul Tamasy and Eric Johnson. Story by Keith Dorrington, Paul Tamasy and Eric Johnson
• Inception, Written by Christopher Nolan
• The Kids Are All Right, Written by Lisa Cholodenko and Stuart Blumberg
• The King’s Speech, Screenplay by David Seidler

my pick:
David Seidler, The King’s Speech

Adapted Screenplay

the nominees:

• 127 Hours, Screenplay by Danny Boyle & Simon Beaufoy
• The Social Network, Screenplay by Aaron Sorkin
• Toy Story 3, Screenplay by Michael Arndt. Story by John Lasseter, Andrew Stanton and Lee Unkrich
• True Grit, Written for the screen by Joel Coen and Ethan Coen
• Winter’s Bone, Adapted for the screen by Debra Granik and Anne Rosellini

my pick:
I know EVERYONE adores Aaron Sorkin but I’d like to see Debra Granik and Anne Rosellini for the harrowing Winter’s Bone.

Best Foreign Language Film of the Year
• Biutiful (Mexico)
• Dogtooth (Greece)
• In a Better World (Denmark)
• Incendies (Canada)
• Outside the Law (Hors-la-loi, Algeria)

my pick:
Dogtooth.
unbelievably creepy and disturbing.

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The King’s Speech: film review

Starring: Colin Firth, Helena Bonham Carter, Geoffrey Rush
Director: Tom Hooper
Screenplay: David Seidler

Prince Albert [Colin Firth], the Duke of York, has had a stammer as long as he can remember. It’s this stutter that frustrates and embarrasses him. He’s part of the British Royal family and that’s the face of England. It might not hold as much power as in the past but there are certainly charitable and stately responsibilities. Albert’s father King George has attempted to scare him into speaking correctly but nothing works. Colin Firth makes a member of the British Royal family both vulnerable and resilient. Honest and forthright. Insecure and proud. He’s devoted to his family and the crown. His independent-minded wife [Helena Bonham Carter], the Duchess of York, finds an unconventional speech therapist [Geoffrey Rush]. Despite his initial reluctance and haughty airs, he works to truly find his own place amidst Royal history. He understands that he needs to speak to his people during times of war and strife. As their king, his goal is to comfort them.

As The King’s Speech opens, the heir apparent is Albert’s older brother, Edward VIII [Guy Pearce]. After King George V’s death and Edward becomes king he soon abdicates the throne when he insists on marrying his American mistress Wallis Simpson. Prince Albert will become King George VI. The pressure is palpable.

Director Tom Hooper takes what could be a stuffy, buttoned-up story and infuses it with charm and excitement. Finely tuned performances by Firth, Bonham Carter and Rush catapult The King’s Speech into a delightful, exceptional film about persistence and the capacity of the human spirit to overcome diversity.

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