Thursday, January 22, 2015

Cumberbatch brilliant as Turing, etc.

In the last post (Jan. 19) I mentioned writing to Cineplex Entertainment asking what the chances would be of Windsor getting some of the lesser viewed best picture Oscar nominations such as Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance), The Grand Budapest Hotel, and Whiplash. That must be a hard call for distributors who stand not to make a lot of revenue in smaller markets where the film going public simply doesn’t have the appetite for these art house type movies. And yet doesn’t it behoove the distributor to make them available simply because they are an Oscar nomination? Here is the response from Cineplex spokesman Mike Langdon: “Scheduling is always a challenge, with a number of new releases opening each week and a finite number of screens available.  That said, after Oscar nominees are announced, we do our best to bring as many as possible to audiences that haven’t had the opportunity to see them.  Typically, this takes place throughout award season – leading up to the end of February. That’s not to say we’ll have the opportunity to show each and every film – but we will make an effort to schedule certain Oscar-nominated films in the weeks ahead.”

Meanwhile last night I took myself to the double bill that I’d missed Saturday night because of the crowds (same post above)......First up was Eastwood’s American Sniper. I’m not saying it wasn’t good. But somehow I expected a more full bodied war flick. The problem is I could imagine the battle scenes being staged and in my books that isn’t good enough. But Bradley Cooper as American hero Chris Kyle (pictured) was very good and Sienna Miller as Kyle's real life wife Taya Renae Kyle put in a good performance..... It’s interesting how the public has gone wild for this film, which is obviously pro-American and patriotic. Yet earlier film dramas that took a decidedly anti-Iraq War stance such as Rendition, In the Valley of Elah and Redacted, bombed (so to speak) at the box office.

The second film I saw was Morten Tyldum’s The Imitation Game, about the cracking of the German Enigma code during World War II. Benedict Cumberbatch as famed Alan Turing, the nerdy brilliant mathematician who led the team at Bletchley Park to crack the code, is brilliant. It’s a tossup between him and Eddie Redmayne as Stephen Hawking (James Marsh’s The Theory of Everything) for Oscar best actor though I think Cumberbatch has the edge. (I haven’t seen Steve Carell in Bennett Miller’s Foxcatcher).

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