Movie award season has arrived.
If you’d enjoy hearing and seeing the history behind the recordings of Percy Sledge’s “When a Man Loves A Woman,” the Rolling Stone’s classic, “Wild Horses,” Aretha Franklin’s “Chain of Fools,” the Staple Singers’ “I’ll Take You There,” to name only a few and an opportunity to meet the folks Lynyrd Skynyrd was talking about when they sang, “now Muscle Shoals, they got the Swampers,” in their song “Sweet Home Alabama,” then you must see Muscle Shoals. I hope it is still out in theaters because it is a must-see for anyone who likes music and is at all interested in its history.
I was so clueless that before I saw this movie, I thought Muscle Shoals was the name of some music-related business. In fact, it is a town, located along the Tennessee River in Alabama that housed two itty bitty little recording studios that wound up recording a vast amount of some of the most iconic rock and blues music of the ages.
The documentary movie tells said stories of ruin, of crushing poverty, race relations and of the ecstatic story of artists discovering who they truly are and creating the best work of their careers. I loved every single minute of it and could’ve sat there for an additional two hours. See it if you can. This movie was not nominated for a Golden Globe, but I hope it will be nominated for an Oscar.
As you probably know by now, this movie was based on a true story of a Merchant Marine vessel that was sailing along the coast of Somalia and was captured by pirates. It’s terrific as witnessed by its nomination in the Best Drama category for Sunday’s Golden Globes.
I enjoyed this movie a great deal. I appreciated that it gave a nuanced perspective of the horrific pressures that drove the pirates to such dangerous, risky and desperate measures. They are gaunt and appear days or hours from starvation, in their shanty of a village they are terrified and bullied by a warlord and his soldiers, they have no hopes other than to fight all odds and try for the huge riches they believe will come their way by taking what must appear to them a massive floating mirage to all the food, comforts, and riches America offers. The movie transports you to the moments of horror that every character fears through this tense and ultimately devastating global quagmire.
Given the rave reviews this movie is getting from reviewers I really, really admire, I am disappointed to report that I didn’t like this movie – at all. It too is nominated for a Golden Globe, this time in the Best Musical/Comedy category, but I thought it was excruciatingly boring. I like seeing all the nominated movies, and I do read reviews, so I had high hopes, but this was a total snoozer for me.
This movie is a blast. Go for the fun, wild ride of a plot, loosely based on the Abscam Sting operation of the late 70’s and early 80s when a low level con artist helped the FBI catch members of Congress for taking bribes and stay for the outrageous hair dos. This movie is packed with fantastic characters, each of whom is facing their own demons and look like they are about one cocktail away from a total implosion. It’s nominated for a Golden Globe, Best Musical/Comedy, and so far, it’s my favorite in that category.
We saw this film during last spring’s Sonoma Film Festival and it completely blew my socks off. I guess the actor Mads Mikkelson is a giant star in his native Holland and now I understand why. He plays a well-loved pre-school teacher in a small time who is just starting to get his head above a tough divorce when a female student of his gets her feelings hurt and utters a lie about him that shatters his life.
The story is so extreme, but is done so truthfully, there wasn’t a moment I didn’t believe such a thing could really happen. This movie is nominated for a Golden Globe in the foreign film category. The only other movie I saw in this category was Blue is the Warmest Color, which I enjoyed (and meant to blog about), but I’m rooting for The Hunt. See it on Netflix or anywhere you can. It will stay with you for months.
That’s all for now. We’re off for a date night to see “Inside Llewyn Davis,” by the Cohen Brothers, another Golden Globe nominee for Best Musical/Comedy and we might try to squeeze in another nominee early Sunday afternoon.
What have you seen that you love? Hated?
A few tasty links I hope you enjoy:
Best ever Chocolate sauce
Spectacular homemade Vanilla ice cream.
I adore cinnamon ice cream on apple pie.
A complete list of Golden Globe nominees.