February 4th, 2007

HappyFeet

Dreamgirls

Well done movie musical. However, I forgot until 1/3 of the way through that the musical had been on Broadway first. Hence, why people were singing to each other during moments that did not involve songs. Which was a bit disconcerting at first.
Much has been said about the acting in this movie and rightly so (and by people better than me to do so)... However, i can easily see the fuss about Eddie Murphy, some moments in that movie are so searingly painful and well done it hurts. And Jennifer Hudson....wow. I dont think I can say anything that hasnt already been said, but that girl is phenomenal. (They may have wanted the movie to be a vehicle for Beyonce, but Hudson just steals it right out from under her with no qualms whatsoever.) However, I think the most overlooked performance is the sly, understated performance of Jamie Foxx as the smooth villain of the piece, but it is done so well, you don't start hating him until the very end of the movie when his manipulations have become quite plain to all the characters. Even himself. That is an amazing performance. The music is great, and is a terriffic faux overview of motown to disco. The songs sound authentic, but are just different enough for you to know that they are fiction (and what a pity they are). Great movie. Worth it. :)
ivy

Pursuit of Happyness

Great movie. Will Smith really made you believe in his character and how he bore his travails with quiet stoicism, always requiring himself to soldier on for his son.
The decision to use a director from outside the US was a very smart move. he was able to tell the story of Chris Gardner truthfully without turning it into a major schmaltz-fest that an American director I think would have. It felt honest and truthful without trying to be a tearjerker. Don't get me wrong, You will cry. His honest portrayal of the difficult path is very refreshing in a Hollywood of ever increasing schmaltz and dumbing down.

Definitely worth the ticket price.