I see a lot of movies. In fact, I believe I saw every best picture nominee.
So, as I sat watching last night, I was hoping a couple of pictures would find their way into the spotlight once again. One was “Animal Kingdom”, and the performance of Jacki Weaver, one of the most diabolical characters seen on the silver screen in some time. Weaver played the matriarch of her band of small time thugs, with an odd, and sometimes difficult to watch, quasi romantic relationship, with her sons. You knew when she delivered a full, on the mouth kiss to one of her sons, this was no ordinary mommy.
But, I applaud the performance of Melissa Leo, the equally diabolical mother in “The Fighter”, whose self-centered, less than sympathetic, always in the center,self appointed victim, inserts herself in every situation to capitalize on her son’s work. She makes you want to throw a punch at her in this movie of redemption and heart.
The other was “Winter’s Bone” and the performance of Jennifer Lawrence, a movie about a high school aged girl, trying to raise a brother and sister on her own, while trying to find her meth dealing father, knowing he’s dead, with unspeakable grit and composure.
For me, both the movie and performance are unforgettable, on par with any I’ve seen in recent years.
I did see Natalie Portman’s performance in “Black Swan”, the disturbing ballerina who fought off her demons and mental illness. The performance was very good, but the movie felt so contrived, I couldn’t get past all of the scenes that seemed to be inserted in an unnatural way. For me, both the movie and the performance didn’t match up to “Winter’s Bone” and Lawrence.
But, it was the King’s year, and well deserved.
As for the hosts, Anne Hathaway was stunning, bright and beautiful. I could watch her do her laundry and it would be riveting. James Franco, on the other hand, mailed it in. Bring her back. Leave him at home.