Still Julianne

My father had Alzheimer’s for what seemed like a lifetime.  Maybe because by the time he passed away, a lifetime had been taken from him.  So I was quietly cheering on Julian Moore for her work in Still Alice.  But not for the reasons you might think. 

Julianne had been nominated four other times.  So no, she was not a one hit wonder.  This actress has never done a bad film, or bad acting  And the only drama in Julianne’s life is done onscreen. Her private life is just that.  Private.  No prima donna antics  or flaunting lifestyles.  So I wasn’t rooting for her to lose.

Speaking of losers, she was even in my four sons’ favorite film about everybody’s favorite loser, The Big Lebowski.   Ironically, she was pregnant with her son at the time of filming.

Even when I saw Julianne in a restaurant  on a summer evening a couple years ago in a quaint beach town, she maintained a low profile in spite of her natural grace and beauty.  But still,  I wasn’t cheering her on because she was so down to earth.

On Oscar night, I was cheering her on for all the times she didn’t win.

All those years, Julianne, the person,  did like the rest of us.  She got up, went back to work and kept trying to do her best; even when she could have faded away in IMDB purgatory.

Or as Julianne said it so well:  “I’m looking for the truth.  The audience doesn’t come to see you, they come to see themselves.”

Congratulations to Julianne and all the winners.  And congratulations to the losers as well

 

 

American Snapshot

What a year.  It’s only mid February yet we’ve already had record breaking January box office sales, the American Sniper debate and of course, fumble gate. The stage was set for more recording breaking audiences with Super Bowl ratings. And we delivered.   Over 100 million viewers witnessed a play that will be discussed for decades. Oh heck, possibly centuries. Long after were gone.

Then came the Grammys, Kanye, the Sponge Bob upset and some serious Grey matter.

Up next – the Oscars.  The crème de la creme.  The highest achievement in entertainment.

But the image that will stay with me for the rest of my life took place in a local theater on a cool California evening.

It had nothing to do with big budget films or high priced athletes or entertainers; box office tallies or football rallies.

The mood was somber even as movie goers settled in for the most talked about film of the Oscar season – American Sniper.   There was no sense of urgency to get that mega popcorn and drink; or scan that latest text.  This was a different kind of movie.

When Bradley Cooper locked eyes on his target; we locked eyes on him.

American Sniper

American Sniper  Copyright 2015 Warner Bros.

For over two hours, nobody spoke a word. Nobody even checked their Iphones.  As the final credits rolled, grown men and women got up in silence. No small talk, no armchair critics. No political debates or rants – or raves, for that matter.  Just the sound of silence. A rare commodity in this day and age.

As we spilled out into the lobby, my husband ducked into the adjacent men’s room.

Then it happened.   A scene that played out on the small screen of  real life.

My husband came out of the men’s room with tears in his eyes. Visibly shaken. When I pulled him aside, he whispered…”Grown men are in there weeping.”

It was just too much for them. Even more than any Super Bowl play, or trophy or award.  Imagine that.

 

The Theory of Feeling

Sometimes we’re pleasantly surprised.  Sometimes we’re blown away.  The difference – mind boggling.

I barely made it through my Earth Science class in college, so Quantum Physics was not in the equation.

Like most of us, though, I know about stars.

George Clooney, Brad Pitt.  Steve McQueen, Stephen Hawking.

But now I’m star struck.  How often do you get to walk out of a theater in awe?

The Theory of Everything

Copyright 2014   The Theory of Everything – Working Title Films

The James Marsh film, The Theory of Everything, blindsided me to a different world for 123 minutes.  By theater screening standards these days, that’s a long film. Yet, time flew by.

The closest thing I come to physics is my friend, Vikki – a Make-up Artist on the award winning hit TV show, The Big Bang Theory.  When we get together for lunch, topics range from Malibu surf breaks to cosmetology.  Not the world’s most renowned Cosmologist and Physicist.

Of course, I knew of Stephen Hawking, the genius and the Big Bang Theory.  Stephen Hawking is a household name.

But I didn’t know about Stephen Hawking, the human being.

Screenwriter Anthony McCarten and Jane Wilde Hawking, author and ex-wife, weave their talents into an odyssey that’s both heartbreaking and uplifting.  And oh so complicated.

Director James Marsh crafts a biographical film about a genius. Then makes it a love story about life itself.  Of course, it’s all relative.  But without feeling, it’s merely academic.

Mr. Marsh captures that emotion, sense of humor and vast enthusiasm of Stephen Hawking, the man.  Portrayed luminously by British actor Eddie Redmayne – a  32 year old wise beyond his years.  It’s difficult to comprehend the depth and physicality for the role of Stephen Hawking.  To get inside his head.  And stay there.

I imagine Hawking, Redmayne and Marsh have a lot in common.

Brilliant Physicist.  Brilliant actor.  Brilliant film.

 

© Copyright www.MaggieFranks.com 2014