Snapshots - #35: Marshall, American Made, The Glass Castle

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The movies…
Marshall (♦♦♦♦): Black lawyer Thurgood Marshall (Chadwick Boseman) is entrusted by the NCAAP to defend a black chauffeur (Sterling K. Brown) in Greenwich, CT, who has been accused of rape by his white employer. As Marshall is not allowed by the judge as legal counsel because he doesn't hold a CT license, he engages, reluctantly on both sides, the service of Jewish insurance lawyer Sam Friedman (Josh Gad), whom, with Marshall's help, will have to acquire criminal defense experience in a matter of months. But as the case is tried in court, it becomes evident that it is anything but cut and dry. Powerfully acted by Chadwick Boseman, Josh Gad, and Sterling K. Brown in the leading roles, Marshall treads a fine line between inspiring legal thriller and drama. On both counts it delivers in spades. Based on a true story, with race and bigotry fueling public opinion, before the apogee of the Civil Rights Movement, this accused black man is doomed from the start. A full century…

Her (♦♦♦♦)

In a future Los Angeles, Theodore Twombly makes his living working for an online company writing personal letters for other people. A new computer OS comes out and he gives it a try. The OS personalizes the experience according to people needs and gives it a human voice. Samantha, Theodore's OS, is thoughtful, loving, and funny. As the relationship between the two evolves, they fall in love but soon they begin to question if what they feel for each other is the real thing.

Written, directed, and co-produced by Spike Jonze, Her is one of those movies that are extremely odd to categorize, and may not be appreciated by the majority of moviegoers, but it makes you feel good, and it is food for thought. What does it mean to be in love? Is the love any less real if one of the subjects in the relationship isn't material? Her takes a sentimental look at loneliness and human needs and turns the answers inside out.

Her is a jewel of a film, and to that contribute its solid yet odd screenplay, which won an Academy Award for originality, its superb photography with aerial views of L.A., and its soulful musical score. Another outstanding contribution to the appeal of the movie is the cast.

Joaquin Phoenix is amazing in the role of Theodore, the main character. Phoenix is usually spot on in his roles, and he has a series of outstanding performances in films such as Gladiator, Walk the Line, and now Her. That he hasn't won an Oscar yet amazes me. Amy Adams is a beautiful actress, who also happens to be a gifted one. I think that to really shine she needs a strong ensemble around her; then she gives her all. In Her, as Amy, she is a subdued wife who has suddenly and hardly won back her freedom. Adams imparts her character with vulnerability, and even in her limited role she excels. As much as Joaquin Phoenix, Scarlett Johansson gives one of her most vibrant performances ever, all the better because we get to know her character Samantha through her voice; in other words, she doesn't physically appear in the film. Johansson conveys her feelings and emotions through her conversations with Theodore, and we get to like her too. Rooney Mara (as Catherine, Theodore’s ex-wife), Olivia Wilde and Chris Pratt (as Paul, Theodore’s admirer at work) complete the ensemble.

Comments

  1. I so wanted to see this movie when it was in the theaters, but, somehow, the chance never came. I have to get it through one of our services. One of these days...

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    Replies
    1. It is a little odd but so good. I highly recommend it.

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  2. Thank you for reminding me how much I loved this movie!

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  3. Yes. I loved this movie too. It is a jewell! Creative and moving too.

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