Tag Archives: Oscars

‘Mystic River’: A Subdued Classic

Tim Robbins plays one of the key characters in the film ‘Mystic River. On the Charlie Rose show, he mentions about the economical yet so effective direction of Clint Eastwood. There were no 20 or 30 takes to get the best output, instead, Clint Eastwood would okay in the second or the third take, maximum. In addition to this, his crew were around him for more than 20 years, who were so disciplined yet the set was relaxed. It was like a Zen experience for him to be a part of the movie. With Clint Eastwood understanding the actors point of view and his limited takes approach, according to Tim Robbins, made sure that the entire cast stayed in the skin of their characters and brought in the very best right from the word go.

Clint Eastwood in another episode of Charlie Rose refers to how he allows actors to deal with their characters. As an example he points out the scene where Dave (Tim Robbins) meets Jimmy (Sean Penn) after a long time on the porch, where he opens the scene with Tim Robbins and slowly includes Sean Penn to allow enough time for Sean to get into the mood of his character.

‘Mystic River’ touches upon a sensitive subject of child abuse and how individuals have to deal with it their entire life and their efforts in doing so are often misunderstood, even by the closest family members. Set against Boston, the plot revolves around the life of three kids who grew up in the city, and meet after many years after a horrific incident. The mystery and the drama that ensues form the crux of the movie.

Sean Penn, Kevin Bacon and Tim Robbins as the three estranged childhood friends give in their best performances along with Lawrence Fishburne, Laura Linney, Marcia Gay Harden, dash…under the ever watchful eyes of the master director Clint Eastwood.

Tim Robbins and Sean Penn, won Oscars for Best Supporting Actor and Best Actor for their superlative display of histrionics. The movie is a must watch for anyone who loves good cinema, great acting and superb direction.

Mystic River is Streaming on Netflix.

Netflix, Amazon and Oscars

The Polish period romance “Cold War,” for instance, has played in 217 theaters in the United States since arriving on Dec. 21, generating $2.1 million in ticket sales. The film will expand to roughly 275 locations on Friday. (“Cold War,” nominated for three Oscars, comes from Amazon Studios, which adheres to traditional Hollywood release patterns; it will not be available for streaming on Amazon Prime Video until March 22.)

Netflix cobbled together a theatrical run for “Roma” despite opposition from the biggest theater owners, including AMC Theaters and Regal Cinemas. Most movies still arrive in the same way they have for decades: first in theaters, for an exclusive run of about 90 days, and then in homes. AMC, Regal and other theater companies worry that shortening that period will hurt their already-fragile business.

More at NY Times

Oscar Awards 2015

I got introduced to Neil Patrick Harris in the early 90s, through his first TV show ‘Doogie Howser, M.D.”, which was one of my favorite shows. Later I did not track his career seriously , but read about his recent shows like ‘How I met your mother’ and spotted him in a small cameo in the recent blockbuster hit ‘Gone Girl’.

neil at oscars1

So, it was good to see him host the 2015 Oscars show. Overall, an ok performance.

Here are a few things that caught my attention.

  • The opening songs were pretty decent and the shadows play was neat.
  • Video projection/laser base door entry along with ushers, for the presenters was cool.
  • Transition effect used to show oscar nominiess in makeup category worked well
  • John Travolta with a wig…hmm!!!!
  • The set and the background projection used for the song ‘Glory’ performance was very good.

Tailpiece: I first saw Oscar Awards live telecast in 1988. As it was my first ever viewing (not sure if it were the first on Indian TV), I even recorded it on a VCR. Since then, barring a few misses here and there, I ended up watching the awards ceremony very year. Doordarshan, Star Movies, ABC etc, TV channels changed, but the ritual remained.

cher 1988 Oscars
Cher, at the 1988 Oscars, with her ‘Best Actress’ Oscar for ‘Moonstruck’.

So, what did I remember the most about my first i.e.60th Academy awards function…Cher, of course 🙂

Related links: NYTimes on Oscars 2015; The Guardian on Oscars 2015