Mostrando las entradas con la etiqueta movies. Mostrar todas las entradas
Mostrando las entradas con la etiqueta movies. Mostrar todas las entradas

miércoles, 16 de agosto de 2017

That's who she is

   Ms. Maurier had always lived in the same neighborhood. She had been born almost seventy years ago in the local hospital and now she lived in one of the many high rises that had been built after the war. The idea was that people should live closer to the core of the cities, thus limiting how much a city could actually grow. Many of the sight that were around when she was a young girl, were nowhere to be seen anymore. The building in which she had lived with her husband had been recently demolished.

 With the money she had received from the city, Ms. Maurier was able to pay for her new home and some other things that she had always wanted to have but had not being able to buy because of her husband. She had loved him dearly but he could be a bit of a bore at times. He didn’t like loud music or a lot of noise in the movies. He just liked peace and quiet. She had no idea if it was because he had worked as a security inspector in a local warehouse, but now she was able to enjoy life a bit more.

 Of course, she felt guilty for the first few months. Then, she realized her husband would have loved her to be happy after he died, so she went to one of the largest stores in the area and bought all the latest appliances in video and sound. A group of very nice men and women came one morning to set it all up for her. She talked with them and made some fresh scones with tea for them, when they were done. Once they left, she started reading the instructions and enjoying her new space.

 In seconds, she had every single movie, TV series and documentary ever produced at hand. She started watching that same day and she laughed profusely once she realized the time for lunch had been quite a while ago. She decided to change things further by asking for something on her new devices. A pizza was her choice and it arrived just in time to watch the last episode of a soap opera she had followed years ago but had not seen the ending too because of their TV breaking down.

 She enjoyed her meal, even though she had never really liked pizza, and she went to bed rather late with a smile on her face. She thought of her Richard, her husband, when entering the bed. She never really understood why he was so uptight and dry in so many ways. He was a proper gentleman and had always been the best husband she could have ever wanted. He was good provider and a kind soul. But he was boring, every single day of his life. Always doing the exact same thing, at the exact same time. He was like a clock, always hitting the same marks.

 When she woke up the next day, Ms. Maurier decided it was time to broaden her world a little bit longer. Although her new experiences with appliances had gone great, she wanted to explore the world outside of her neighborhood.  She walked to the train station and waited for one going towards the beach, which was located far into the city’s suburbs. She smiled every second, waiting for the machine to arrive.

 It pulled over smoothly and Ms. Maurier stepped in carefully. She had always seen the trains filled up to the roof in TV and on the news, so she wanted to be prepared for the chaos. But what she found was a beautiful place, all clean and sparkly of how white it was. It had big windows that curved and gave a great view of what was outside. Even the voice announcing the stations sounded kind and much like a long forgotten friend. She sat down and enjoyed the ride, looking around, like a little girl.

 Most people were working. That was the reason she found for the train and the stations being so empty. She stepped outside on the last stop of the line and when she crossed into the boardwalk, a potent beam of light received her. It was the sun that was just poking his potent mass from behind a large cloud. It had been a strange moment but she had liked the fact that the weather seemed to be welcoming her into that new world she was visiting. It was scary so the light made it less so.

 The boardwalk was also very clean and from there the ocean could be see in its entire splendor. The waves were soft and small, no real wind blowing over the sand. Not many people were enjoying the weather, except from a woman and her children a few couples that seemed to be more interested in kissing their partners than in watching the majestic thing that was the sea. It’s color had never been seen by that older woman who was about to cry for it was much more than she had imagined.

 She immediately ran towards the sea and didn’t really care if she looked insane or not. She couldn’t care less about that. Ms. Maurier had never seen the ocean and it was an experience that had just changed her perception of life. It was too much to process but, even so, she wanted to enjoy every single second of her encounter with nature. She hadn’t put on a swimsuit or anything. She hadn’t even grabbed anything besides her purse and an umbrella. But she realized she didn’t need anything. She removed her coat and scarf and started enjoying the place she was in. It was perfect and she realized she would have loved someone to share that moment with.

 Richard had never wanted to go to the beach or anywhere else for the matter. They didn’t have a honeymoon because they knew a baby was coming home soon and they just wanted to provide the best for the little one. She had loved the baby so much, since her doctor had told her about him, that she didn’t even cared about not being able to travel or move a lot for months. She wanted to be a mother, to be the one to take care of that new life and just have a happy family with her husband.

Things went on as such for several months until Ms. Maurier fainted in the kitchen one morning, while making her husband his favorite dish for breakfast. He took her to the hospital right away, the same she had been born in. She was in a room for hours and hours, no one talking to him or telling him even two words. Finally, a doctor approached her and explained that his wife experienced a miscarriage. That morning, their baby had died right in their home.

 She thought of them while looking at the ocean and she thought that maybe, just maybe, Richard had always been rather cold because of the abortion. It’s not like he had been the life of the party before that but he did have traits of someone else in him, a rebellious and interesting soul that had things to say, even if they weren’t many. That person, who she had fallen in love with, disappeared right after she went back home from the hospital and he was never seen again.

 Cleaning a tear from her cheek, she thought that it was possible that her husband had lost his feelings for her after that event. She knew she had changed and it was fair to say she had changed too. She felt empty and a failure. Ms. Maurier never told anyone, doctors or family, about a couple of suicide attempts she had committed the year after she had lost her child. She had to endure it all by herself and now she was looking at the sea, trying to stop the tears from coming down her face.

 A young vendor appeared nearby and she bought a freshly squeezed lemonade from him. It had the right amount of sweetness and it was just enough to pull her spirits up. It brought a smile to her face again. She only stayed there for a bit longer.


 Back home, she went to bed early, with no dinner on her stomach. She just wanted to rest and not think for a few more hours. But her life decided to haunt her that evening. She couldn’t handle it. So she stepped out of bed, turned on the TV and put on a comedy movie. That was Ms. Maurier.

lunes, 16 de enero de 2017

Success

   After all the hustle of the day, the sidewalk was finally left alone, although not untouched. Lots of glass fragments were scattered all over the place, as well as paper and some pens. Journalists weren’t really careful with their stuff. Like their cameramen, they just dropped things wherever it was convenient for them. And the sidewalk in front of the Oak Tree Hospital was not a place they would respect in any way. They didn’t care if the patients needed silence to sleep, they’d rather had their story.

 And they did that day. After coming day after day, waiting for him to finally kick the bucket, the seventy-four year old man had finally passed away due to complications with the procedure he had gone through. It had been a very challenging adventure to fight where he knew he was already a loser. His mother and then sister before him had died exactly the same way, around the same age. So it wasn’t very surprising at all. That night, his body was sent to the cremator.

 The next day, he was incinerated and his ashes kept on a small jar to be given to the only person that had been with him through the last few hours, his partner Eddy. They had been together in the industry for years and had formed a bond no one could match, especially not in the modern times when friendships and all sorts of relationships seem to be built on something very fragile, that could break at any moment. It wasn’t their case at all, because even then they felt the same towards each other.

 They had never dared to be more than friends. They did agree on having to work together to fight the competition that plagued acting and all other forms of performance. Sydney, the one you had been cremated, had only been sixteen years old the day he arrived in the big city, looking for a chance to shine. Back then, the industry was only beginning. No major studios existed and the craft of cinema was thought to be a thing that would have only a couple of years in this Earth.

 Sydney, however, had always seen the magic in the movies and was sure it was going to become the largest groups of performers and other artists to be known in the world. He began cleaning around and helping people getting coffee or whatever they needed at the moment. The directors took pity of him and let him attend some rehearsals and even some casting sessions. By the time he was an adult in the eyes of the law, he was a very knowledgeable man, with a great deal of respect for acting. That was what got him inside an acting school soon enough.

 He met Eddy in one of his first productions. Eddy was an assistant of the director and Sydney had land a role as the son of the protagonists. It was a big deal to him because he had never acted before. He was so determined to be good, that he did his best with the little lines he had. It worked in its favor, as many others started hiring him for their pictures. It was mostly for the young brother or son parts, but he knew that was a way to climb to where he really wanted to be.

 With Eddy, they shared their love for industry and their yearning for a time where they could be next to the biggest stars in the business. When there wasn’t any work, they would go out together and watch a movie and then walk around or have something to eat while they discussed said movie. They had fun like that and it was during those long and elaborate conversations when they probably noticed, for the first time, what was happening between them. They didn’t acknowledge it, though.

 Sydney’s first big picture came in when he was twenty-five years old. He was offered the role of a young sailor who falls in love with a mermaid. It was one of those beautiful fantasy setting, with the grand costumes and the elaborate production design. The day filming started was the happiest day ever for him, as he had finally reached he point that he wanted in his career. And although the film was not the serious kind of thing he would like to dedicate himself to, it was a great way to begin.

 It was so well received in the theaters by the general audience that he was signed on to reprise the role for two more movies. The studio proposed to him to raise his salary as well as given him many more accommodations and luxuries in exchange for him staying with them for the saga of movies they had planned. He accepted but with fear of never going back to the more serious movies that he had always longed of doing. Maybe, he thought, he could work something out.

 There was the sequel of the mermaid movie, and then the other movie and then the next one. Suddenly, he had already signed on for five more, for a whole series with the character, and nothing had changed, not even the costumes and monsters he fought. It was Eddy who gave him the push he needed to demand more of the studio and of anyone working near or around him. He needed much more creativity if they wanted them to stay. That was how he put his foot down, in the hopes that could actually grow as an actor, instead of getting stuck forever in the same place.

 After all the money he had won for them, the studio was not that reluctant to let him get closer to the creative process. It was a revolution: he was responsible for the firing of the screenwriting and the hiring of a new team of younger, more vivacious men like him. He worked for long weeks with them in order to create a new great story for his audience to love. Meanwhile, he was also eyeing some roles in other movies, more dramatic ones with potent stories and strong characters.

 He signed on to a couple of those but then he realized he didn’t do as well with the dramatic stuff than with fantasy. Critics said that he was a bit too dry during his performances in the big movies he got to make. They didn’t say he was bad or anything, but what they always said only meant that his skills as an actor didn’t really show much during those grand romantic scenes he had tried so hard to do. It was something difficult to hear but he had to accept it, as it was a fact.

 Sydney kept trying, though. With the help of his best friend Eddy, he would often get the kind of role he had dreamt of doing. But he did, he came short of having the reception that Captain Granger had in the theater. The Granger series were a huge hit among young people and their parents love the movies too because of its depiction of a true hero. The new team of writers had done a marvelous job making the character more realistic and daring. He was who kids wanted to be.

 So he kept on doing those movies. He never stopped. During his career, he filmed maybe more than thirty movies as the character of Captain Granger. He made money and fame; people loved him and appreciated him. But they also questioned his life, as Sydney never married. He argued that the lack of time and the commitment to his craft were the ones to blame for him not having a big family. He did make some relations public, to appease the audiences and their thirst for gossip. But they were all lies.


 All along the road, Eddy was there, helping and cheering him on. He was Sydney biggest fan and his best friend in the world. In their older days, they would still sit down and discuss the movies. When Sydney retired, they did it always, almost as a rite they had to go through everyday. And that was their relationship, one were one depended in the other and vice versa, to push him along the long line of life and resist the blows life launched against either of them. They never discussed their relationship further, and it wasn’t necessary because it had obviously been a great success.

sábado, 27 de febrero de 2016

OSCARS 2016: Winners Predictions


Well, here we are again. Let's break it down:

Best Picture



Will win: The Revenant
Could win: Spotlight
Should win: Mad Max: Fury Road
Nominee prediction results: 7/8

I rarely agree with the Academy and this year is no exception. It is clear that The Revenant is the current favorite, with former frontrunner Spotlight very close behind. There could be a surprise but I doubt it. The sad thing is that the real masterpiece of the year has very little chance of winning.

Best Director


Will win: Alejandro G. Iñárritu (The Revenant)
Could win / Should win: George Miller (Mad Max: Fury Road)
Nominee prediction results: 4/5

Iñárritu did a fine job but not better than last year's Birdman. I'm not a fan of that movie but he did a great work there and awarding him twice would be just too much. Besides, Miller is the one to reward for the best action movie in a very long time.

Best Actor in a Leading Role


Will win / Should win: Leonardo DiCaprio (The Revenant)
Could win: Michael Fassbender (Steve Jobs)
Nominee prediction results: 4/5

It's time. That simple. He's performance is very good and he just deserves it after so long. Yet, many people still thing he shouldn't win. We will see if they have strong voices.

Best Actress in a Leading Role


Will win / Should win: Brie Larson (Room)
Could win: No one else really...
Nominee prediction results: 5/5

I was surprised to be right about Lawrence being nominated again. But whatever, no one has any chance of winning except Larson. Ronan was a frontrunner early on but the awards started flying towards Larson. She certainly deserves it.

Best Actor in a Supporting Role


Will win: Sylvester Stallone (Creed)
Could win: Tom Hardy (The Revenant)
Should win: Mark Rylance (Bridge of Spies)
Nominee prediction results: 3/5

Now this is hard to predict. This category is frequently predictable but not this year. I'm predicting Stallone winning because he's very well liked and the performance is really touching, he gives the movie a father figure that just works. Rylance performance though is very subtle but just right, not flashy, very paced. And Tom Hardy could win if The Revenant just sweeps.

Best Actress in a Supporting Role


Will win / Should win:: Alicia Vikander (The Danish Girl)
Could win: Kate Winslet (Steve Jobs)
Nominee prediction results: 4/5

Vikander is the heart of the movie and we all know she should be on the leading category and not in this one. However, category fraud will give her her first Academy Awards. Only Winslet could spoil but she has only won awards when Vikander wasn't there. Besides, Vikander has Ex Machina and Testament of Youth in her favor.

Best Adapted Screenplay


Will win / Should win: The Big Short
Could win: Room
Nominee prediction results: 4/5

The movie is just too good to leave empty handed. However, there are many fans of Room that may want to give another accolade to the movie.

Best Original Screenplay


Will win: Spotlight
Could win: Straight Outta Compton
Should win: Ex Machina or Inside Out
Nominee prediction results: 4/5

Sorry, I just couldn't decide for only one option as I loved Ex Machina and Inside Out. They were true beautiful stories, very well told and with fantastic scenes, all thanks to the screenplays. However this prize is probably Spotlight's. If it loses the top prize, this is the consolation prize. Yet, Straight Outta Compton could spoil in a year of controversy in the industry.

Best Animated Feature Film


Will win / Should win: Inside Out
Could win: ø
Nominee prediction results: 3/5

Inside Out is this year animation masterpiece although the list of nominees was just perfect this year.

Best Foreign Language Film


Will win: Son of Saul (Hungary)
Could win: Mustang (France)
Should win: You know...
Nominee prediction results: 4/5

I was happy to see my country nominated for the first time. That's always great. However, the Hungarian entry has won almost every prize this season (they do love WWII) and if someone spoils their party it will be the Turkish movie that represents France.

Best Documentary Feature Film


Will win / Should win: Amy
Could win: The Look of Silence
Nominee prediction results: 2/5

I loved Amy. So contemporary and, sadly, timeless. Yet, the choices are so varied a surprise could happen.

Best Documentary Short Subject


Will win: Body Team 12
Could win: Claude Lanzmann: Spectres of the Shoah
Should win: A Girl in the River: The Price of Forgiveness
Nominee prediction results: 3/5

Random guess. Didn't watch any of these. Sorry.

Best Live Action Short Film


Will win: Shok
Could win: Stutterer
Should win: No idea...
Nominee prediction results: 3/5

Didn't see them...

Best Animated Short Film


Will win: Prologue
Could win: Sanjay's Super Team
Should win: Bear Story
Nominee prediction results: 3/5

Another random guess based on images from all the short films.

Best Original Score


Will win / Should win: The Hateful Eight
Could win: Carol
Nominee prediction results: 4/5

Ennio Morricone is a legend and he deserves a prize for his work, even if he already has an honorary one.

Best Original Song


Will win: "Til it Happens to You" from The Hunting Ground
Could win: "Earned it" from Fifty Shades of Grey
Should win: "Manta Ray" from Racing Extinction
Nominee prediction results: 2/5

This is the crazy category, when anything can happen and it did. Three music stars nominated. I think it's Warren's time to finally win and Gaga fans can go insane.

Best Sound Editing


Will win / Should win: Mad Max: Fury Road
Could win: Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Nominee prediction results: 4/5

That damn race! Just perfect.

Best Sound Mixing



Will win / Should win: Mad Max: Fury Road
Could win: The Revenant
Nominee prediction results: 4/5

So much action cannot go unnoticed.

Best Production Design


Will win / Should win: Mad Max: Fury Road
Could win: The Danish Girl
Nominee prediction results: 3/5

Those cars are insane. So much work and it was all worth it.

Best Cinematography


Will win / Should win: The Revenant
Could win: Mad Max: Fury Road
Nominee prediction results: 4/5

Lubezki has won twice so maybe one would think it is too much. But it isn't. The guy is just brilliant. Although I wouldn't mind Seale or that poor Deakins winning.

Best Makeup and Hairstyling


Will win / Should win: Mad Max: Fury Road
Could win: The Revenant
Nominee prediction results: 2/3

Every character is an example of why Mad Max deserves this award.

Best Costume Design


Will win: Mad Max: Fury Road
Could win: The Revenant
Should win: Mad Max: Fury Road or The Danish Girl
Nominee prediction results: 4/5

My runner up is The Revenant because many would vote for them for any category. Not me. I like all nominees but that dystopian future is just too good, on men and women.

Best Film Editing


Will win / Should win: Mad Max: Fury Road
Could win: Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Nominee prediction results: 3/5

The fact that Spolight is here is he only reason why the movie could still win Best Picture. Yet, it's a year of action movies so it would be shameful not to award this prize to any of the two action packed picture in the roster.

Best Visual Effects


Will win: Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Could win: Mad Max: Fury Road
Should win: Ex Machina
Nominee prediction results: 4/5

The Revenant here means the Academy REALLY loved that movie because I have seen better FX in films not nominated. It's just nonsense. I take a leap of fate here, even if it may not be a very likely choice.

TOTALS

Mad Max: Fury Road > 6
The Revenant > 4
Amy, Body Team 12, Creed, The Big Short, The Danish Girl, The Hateful Eight, The Hunting Ground, Inside Out, Prologue, Room, Son of Saul, Spotlight, Star Wars: The Force Awakens > 1 each

This is it people. Let's hear it tomorrow night!