During the years of my film obsession, I’ve developed deeper and more appreciation for things besides the actors’ performances. I’ll admit, I used acting performances to determine if I liked a film. That isn’t the case these days anymore. I find I’m more drawn to cinematography shots, a script with underlying humor and a musical score.
Today, I feel most everyone is plugged into some type of music. These notes and tunes and melodies serve as a way to soundtrack our workouts, ride to work, road trip with friends and sing us to sleep on the airplane. And our musical scores change with every season, every mood and every album release. It’s why so many of us just lost it during the musical score of UP. Music is more than just sound.
But this obsession and need for music is the sole reason everyone should rush out to see The Artist. This film, a silent film, shows how music moves us and carries us through emotions and storylines. The story follows a successful silent film actor, George Valentin and his struggle with conforming to the new demand of studios moving to “The Talkies.”
I’ll admit, I’ve never seen a silent film in its entirety; so I was anticipating art cards flashing up on the screen every 4 seconds to tell me what was going on. Not the case. It’s amazing what we can still pick up on through facial expressions as we use music for context clues.
The acting performances of this film are nothing but outstanding. They would have to be, seeing as the actors’ faces and body language are what carries viewers from scene to scene. And another perk of the film I wasn’t anticipating: hearing the audience’s reactions. Sitting in a room with strangers whom you could hear laughing, gasping and hoping aloud is something few films give us the chance to experience.
I sit here watching the Golden Globes. I most definitely stayed in this past Friday night solely so I could watch the Critics Choice Awards. This really is, the most wonderful time of the year.
This past year has been my favorite for movies. I like the fact I’m torn in nearly every award category for “Best…” And for The Parallax Review, we have to put together a top 10 list. And I literally have broken out into hives and having panic attacks when trying to narrow down my selections, so I can’t even begin to imagine sitting on an academy and voting.
There’s still a ton of films I need to see (The Kids Are Alright, Exit Through the Gift Shop and Animal Kingdom), so I feel weird even putting my list together, which is making me cram movies in during these past few weeks.
While I sit here hoping the awards season, I must say, there are some films from this past year that just made me fall in love all over again with the movie industry.
- The Social Network is just as good as everyone says it is. But the thing I really loved in this film, aside from the hilarious one-liners, was the score. Remember how the score of Up makes you sob in the opening scene? The score in The Social Network won’t make you sob, but it will fill you with the paranoia and excitement the characters in the film experience. Music is such an intricate part of today (I can’t remember the last time I was at work without my headphones in) and I love the fact it’s commanding more of a presence in movies.
- Wasn’t a huge fan of Black Swan, but there’s no denying how amazing Natalie Portman is in the film. She’s exquisite. She should win every award she’s nominated for, but the rest of the film is very blah.
- Toy Story 3 was the first film to make me cry while wearing 3-D glasses. Enough said.
- Underrated films of the year: The Town and Easy A. Do yourself a favor and see the silent, but deadly, Jeremy Renner continue his reign of dominance in The Town and the hilarious Emma Stone scores an Easy A with her leading performance.
- The King’s Speech made me finally like seeing all of those terrible Harry Potter characters (the ones trying to kill Harry all the time). Helena Bonham Carter looks perfect in her turn-of-the-century look and Colin Firth still makes you want to marry him in this role
Alright, the Globes are getting good (and I should say, Mom and I watched Temple Grandin a few months back and it was amazing. Claire Danes should win), so I’m off to watch more of Ricky Gervais. He is fantastic.
Fun fact: 2011 will continue to be a year with movie magic. Got voted on to the Junior Board of the Chicago International Film Festival and Cinema/Chicago. Woo! Volunteering pays off