Tuesday, November 5, 2013

5 for the Fifth: My Answers to Ruth's Questions...

So every month, on the 5th, Ruth over at Flixchatter posts a ‘5 for the Fifth’ where she asks five film (or television) related questions in search of our answers.  I try to post my response here on the blog, where I can really elaborate.  Sadly, I’ve missed the past few months.  Today has been a surprisingly slow morning and I’ve actually had a few minutes to dedicate to answering her questions, so here we go!
What’s YOUR fave role of Tilda Swinton, and are you looking forward to this film (Only Lovers Left Alive)?

Swinton in 'Edward II'
I remember being sucked into the world of Tilda Swinton in 2007, after watching her dynamic turn in ‘Michael Clayton’.  Until that year she was an enigma for me.  She had rabid fans and yet I’d maybe seen her in like one or two films and she wasn’t anything special to me.  After seeing ‘Michael Clayton’, I become not merely intrigued but sort of obsessed.  Her next films and performances solidified that for me.  Her scenes in ‘The Curious Case of Benjamin Button’ are astonishingly good and her string of lead performances in ‘Julia’, ‘I Am Love’ and ‘We Need to Talk About Kevin’ are no joke (even though I wasn’t a huge fan of the last one).  But it was digging into her past filmograpy that produced the biggest gem for me.  When finishing up my personal awards for 1992 I got my hands on ‘Edward II’ (for which Swinton won the Volpi Cup) and I was not only blown away but the film itself (highly underrated) but Swinton’s powerful, multi-layered portrayal of a scorned queen exacting her revenge.  She is savage and yet controlled in a way that draws your eye and your emotions and keeps you on her side, regardless of her actions.  For an actress who can really do no wrong, she is at the top of her game in this stunning 1992 production.

And while I am not too keen on the whole vampire craze, I have to admit that I am drawn to all things Swinton, and after seeing his remarkable work in ‘The Deep Blue Sea’, I’m intrigued to see what Hiddleston does next.  This also looks visually arresting, and JOHN HURT IS IN THIS!  So, to answer your question, I’m looking forward to seeing ‘Only Lovers Left Alive’.

What do you think of this one folks (Belle)?

Judging by the trailer, this looks really traditional and so I can’t say that I’ll be first in line to see it.  Still, the story is intriguing, and I’m all for discovering new talent (and Gugu Mabatha-Raw not only looks talented, but she’s beautiful) and I’ve had some weird crush on Tom Wilkinson for years now (true story) so I will see this eventually.

What do you think about this casting rumor folks (Ejiofor in ‘Star Wars Episode VII’)?  Who’s on your wish list to be cast in this movie?

Well, like Ruth, I’m not really all that excited about this movie.  I wasn’t a fan of the last three episodes, and while I do like what Abrams did to the ‘Star Trek’ franchise (at least with the first film), I’m just not interested in seeing this revamped again.  MOVE ON ALREADY!  Still, Ejiofor is an actor I’ve been waiting to get his big break for years (so talented and yet so underused) and so I’m happy that he’s getting the recognition he deserves right now.  If he is indeed cast in the film, I hope it isn’t in some wasted role like they gave to Samuel L. Jackson.  Give him meat, but then again, give him better dialog.

As far as the rest of the cast is concerned, I almost feel like wishing a role to any good actor or actress is a deathwish really.  I mean, this could be a mess.

So what are your thoughts about the two films above (‘The Wolf of Wall Street’ + ‘The Monument’s Men’) and the whole Oscar + film release date strategy?

Well, I’ve been pretty vocal about BOTH of these films here on ‘A Fistful of Films’.  Since the trailer dropped for ‘The Monument’s Men’ I’ve been firmly in the ‘this film smells like a flop’ and the move to next year (Spring of next year, to be exact) confirms my belief.  Seriously, this move had nothing to do with special effects.  The movie ALREADY looked cheesy, but now you fucked yourself out of a complimentary ‘Costume Design’ or ‘Art Direction’ nomination.

As far as ‘The Wolf of Wall Street’ is poised to be an award’s juggernaut, and the trailer’s (yes, both of them) carry that promise.  The decision to release this in 2013 shows faith on the part of the studio, and when you couple this with the obvious adoration of all things Scorsese then you have ample reason to believe that this film will net tons of awards attention.  I’ve been saying for a while now that this felt like DiCaprio’s year, and I still feel that way.  Unless the film winds up getting a ‘Django Unchained’ reception (which basically means that the late release date causes an underwhelming nomination count) I can see it winning in a few key areas, including Lead Actor.  Getting the nominations will be the hurdle.  Getting the wins will be easier.

Name at least two films you think would be in either your BEST or WORST list, or both.

Top Ten...of all time?
I’ve been really liberal with all my A+’s this year (and yes, I’ve renigged on a few) but there are two films that will most certainly be in my top 12 this year; ‘Gravity’ and ‘Laurence Anyways’.  As for ‘Laurence Anyways’, I made a pretty bold statement last week (that I felt that the film would be in my top ten films OF ALL TIME) and I still feel that way.  In fact, the feeling gets stronger and stronger the more I reflect on the film.  It is the type of film that the word ‘masterpiece’ was created for.  I honestly don't see how ANY film released this year will dethrone it.

As far as ‘Worst of the Year’, I’ll probably have ‘Only God Forgives’ there.  OUCH, right?  I haven’t posted my review for it yet, but I finally watched it yesterday and it was a fucking mess.  I watched it right after watching ‘To the Wonder’ and it was like watching a double feature on absolutely nothing.  Yup, that’s right…both films may make my ‘Worst of…’ list.  They can thank their lucky stars that I don’t post those here.

But maybe I should!

So there you have it Ruth!  I hope you liked this.  I hope to participate next month.  Sorry it’s been so long since I have.  Life has a way of…getting overly busy and zapping my time.


  1. Hello Andrew!! Thrilled that you’re back doing this FFTF post again, yay!

    1. Great answer about Tilda. I had no idea she had a rabid fan base but she is an intriguing persona. I still haven’t seen ‘The Curious Case of Benjamin Button’ yet but man I really should as I LOVE Cate Blanchett. I’m not a Brad Pitt fan but with these two ladies it should be worth a watch.

    ‘Only Lovers Left Alive’ doesn’t look like a conventional vampire film, that’s why I’m curious. Plus I LOVE Tilda AND Tom Hiddleston, what a stellar pairing!

    2. I’m VERY curious to see Gugu Mabatha-Raw in her first feature film. I only knew her from a TV show that aired very briefly. I think people just weren’t ready to see two Black leads in prime time. But yeah, this one piques my interest!

    3. Ahah, ‘move on already’ is what I’d say. But there is no way Hollywood is going to let go a goldmine like Star Wars so in that regard, why not cast some good people and let them get the exposure? I think Ejiofor is massively underused too, that’s why I’m happy he’s getting recognition now. I’ve seen about four of his films so far and impressed w/ every single one.

    4. Y’know, you just might be right about ‘The Monument’s Men’ being a flop. I mean, February?? It does have a stellar cast, though I’m especially intrigued by Bill Murray’s casting.

    So you think this is DiCaprio’s year? I’m not a huge fan of his but hopefully if his work merits it, he won’t get overlooked.

    5. Wow Andrew, this is the first time I’ve heard of ‘Laurence Anyways’ but color me interested. Do you have a link to your review, I presume you’ve written it?

    I have ZERO interest in seeing ‘Only God Forgives’ but I have another one of Gosling’s on my WORST list. I can’t stand that guy. As for ‘To The Wonder,’ I’m still intrigued as I quite like Malick’s style even if I don’t always understand it.

    1. I love me some Fincher, but even I think that 'The Curious Case of Benjamin Button' is 'lesser work' from him. Blanchett is amazing in it though!

      Here is my direct link to my review of Laurence Anyways:


      You can always find my reviews of any films I've seen from 2013 by clicking on the icon at the upper right of the blog that said '2013 Movie Reviews'. I have them all archived there :-D

  2. I really need to see Edward II!

    I'm interested in Belle, especially for Mabatha-Raw's performance.

    I'm kind of excited about the new SW film because Lawrence Kasdan (who scripted The Empire Strikes Back) has been hired to co-write it. Here's hoping for better dialogue!

    Ha, at this point, I don't think it's Leo's year. I'm not sure it will ever be his year. Hope I'm wrong.

    Gravity and Laurence Anyways should make my top 10. Can't echo your thoughts on Only God Forgives and To the Wonder, though. ;)

    1. I honestly never expected to join in the hate for Only God Forgives given my general liking for Gosling and my growing LOVE for Drive, but that was a disaster. I should be reviewing it later today.