And the winner is…

Movie poster

Well I was going to write about this film.  We saw it last week but now everyone knows about it because of its Oscar Best Actor award for Jean Dujardin

By now you all know the story of George Valentin a silentmovie great who refuses to acknowledge the advent of the talkies and is sure that it will never take off.

When he is at his height he befriends a new comer and yes you have guessed it, she becomes a hit of the talkies and an even greater star.  He falls from grace and is reduced to selling his artifacts and belongings and yes, again you have guessed it, she has somebody at the auction to buy everything.

The plot could have been written by any one of us .  The acting, minus a sound track, is no doubt what won the best actor award for Jean Dujardin but for me the actress who played Peppy – Bérénice Bejo – stole the show.

And again for me, the highlight of the movie was the tap dancing which the pair perform together at the end of the movie – click here to watch if you haven’t already seen the film.  Or even if you have, it’s worth a second or third, or fourth watch.  This is worthy of comparison with Fred Astaire and Eleanor Powell – click here to see their dance routine.

No doubt the move away from the norm was much of the appeal of the movie to the powers that be, but frankly if left me thinking that I had seen so many much better movies during the year.

Film poster

poster via Wikipedia

Last week we also saw The Descendants.  Of course any movie starring George Clooney has my vote.  In this he really shows his acting skill, demonstrating that he is so very much more than just a pretty face.

Once again, you no doubt know the story.

Matt King is a Honolulu-based lawyer and the sole trustee of a family trust that controls 25,000 acres of pristine land on the island of Kaua’i. The  rule against perpetuities means the trust will expire in seven years so the family decides to sell the land for development.   Just before the family formally endorses the deal Matt’s wife Elizabeth is involved in a boating accident and rendered comatose.

There are two daughters, 10-year-old Scottie and 17-year-old Alex.  Matt is not very close to his daughters but with his wife in a coma he is forced to confront Scottie’s inappropriate behavior with other children and Alex’s destructive behaviors.

Of course, as in all good stories the family pulls together when it is clear that the decision has to be made to pull the plug on Elizabeth.  Meantime, Matt discovers through his elder daughter that Elizabeth has been having an affair with the developer ti whom the trust proposes to sell the land on Kaua’i.

In a scene which for me, shows Clooney’s talents well, he confronts the developer and invites him to his wife’s bedside so that he can say his goodbye.  Of course, the developer does not attend, but instead his wife does.

It is a convoluted story but to my mind, much more interesting than the ‘hackneyed’ story told in The Artist.