Weekend Roundup: Golden Globes 2012, Henry’s Crime, Water for Elephants

Hope y’all had a fine weekend. I skipped the Golden Globes telecast this Sunday, I only tuned in every once in a while when the winner I was rooting for did get the trophy. So I updated this Golden Globes nominees list with the winners.

Incidentally I only got two of my predictions right:

  • Best Supporting Actor in Comedy/Musical: Jean Dujardin for The Artist Love that last part of his acceptance speech when he gave a silent nod to Douglas Fairbanks. Classy!
  • Best Supporting Actress in Comedy/Musical: Michelle Williams for My Week with Marilyn

But Michel Hazanavicius is definitely snubbed that he didn’t win Best Director! I like Hugo but really, but let’s face it, The Artist is a far better film out of the two. I was also rooting for Viola Davis to win for The Help, but as I said, it’s really a tough call when you’re in the same category as Meryl Streep!!  Her win for The Iron Lady marks for her EIGHTH Golden Globe wins, WOW! A few of my friends have posted their predictions as well, Anomalous Material, The Focused Filmographer, or Impassioned Cinema … you can check out their posts and see how they fared.

Ok so that’s my two cents about the Golden Globes… now we can begin to speculate on the Oscar picks 🙂 The Academy Award nominations will be announced on Tuesday, January 24, 2012 at 5:30 a.m. Pacific Time.

Anyway, here are my mini reviews from this weekend:

Henry’s Crime

Since I’ve done the time, I might as well do the time. That’s pretty much the plot of this film. Henry (Keanu Reeves, in his usual stoic performance) is a lethargic toll booth attendant who somehow got sent to prison for a crime he didn’t commit. Interestingly enough, during and after his prison time is when his new life begins, prompted by meeting his cellmate Max (the inimitable James Caan) and being ran over (literally!) by Julie (Vera Farmiga).

I only rented this ’cause I like the cast and the trailer looked pretty funny. Plus, it got pretty good review from TIFF. Well you know what, it’s actually pretty enjoyable. The tie in between the bank heist and Anton Chekhov’s The Cherry Orchard play is quite amusing, not to mention the presence of awesome character actor Peter Stormare as the stage director. The scene where he’s teaching Henry (or Keanu?) how to act is hilarious. Caan’s effortlessly adds comic relief and he’s got quite a nice rapport with Keanu. Judy Greer is kind of wasted here as Keanu’s straying wife though, which is a pity as I know she’s capable of more.

As for the romance, Reeves and Farmiga actually works well together. Even playing a supposedly cold character, Farmiga still radiates warmth, she’s always a joy to watch and playing a stage actress, I could almost picture her on stage performing in such a play! Now Keanu is as stoic as ever, there’s little insight into what’s really going on inside Henry’s head as Keanu didn’t really display any kind of emotion (save for the finale when he’s dressed as Lopakhin, one of the play’s protagonists). But it’s sort of what one would expect from this seemingly ageless actor (could you believe he’s 47 years old?!), and somehow his brand of acting works out just fine here.

Definitely not a bad movie to rent on a Friday night, especially if you’re a fan of one of the cast.

Three and a half stars out of Five
3.5 out of 5 reels

Water for Elephants

I posted the trailer ages ago but haven’t got around to watching it. The thing that appealed to me most is the setting, there’s something beguiling about the world of the Circus. Told from the point of view of a 90-something year-old Jacob Jankowski (Hal Holbrook), similar to how Rose in the movie Titanic reminisces on his life aboard the doomed ship, Jacob is nostalgic about the time he spent as a circus veterinarian during the Great Depression.

Following a tragic accident that killed his parents, the young Jacob (Robert Pattinson) ended up working for the brilliant but brutal head animal trainer August and his wife Marlena (Reese Witherspoon), the star performer. It won’t be long before Jacob falls for Marlena as they bond over their love for the adorable elephant Rosie.

Pattinson is pretty compelling here as a romantic leading man, though there are times his melancholic look reminds me a bit of Twilight‘s Edward at times. Fortunately there’s the fabulous Christoph Watlz to remind me here that it isn’t a dreadful teen vampire flick (thank goodness!) and he naturally steals the show with his performance, teetering between charming and terrorizing, both with the animals and the people around him. In a way not too different from his role as Col. Landa in Inglourious Basterds.

Reese looks the part as a circus star, which is no mean feat, but overall her performance is serviceable. She’s not bad, but not great either. Even her chemistry with Pattinson isn’t all too convincing. I could see how Jacob and Marlena would fall for each other given the circumstances, but the actors didn’t really sell the romance as well as they could. In fact, Holbrook did a better job conveying his love for Marlena in his brief scenes of telling the story about her in the present day.

Water for Elephants is a rather conventional drama, it could’ve been a great film but the way it is now, it’s enjoyable but in the end pretty forgettable. It looks beautiful but somehow the circus world created here lacks the magic and that certain charm that made me go ‘wow!’ the way Moulin Rouge! did the first time I saw it. It’s a pity as the novel by Sara Gruen is so celebrated. Given the intriguing subject matter, this movie could’ve been a classic.

Three and a half stars out of Five
3.5 out of 5 reels

I also saw another one of Gregory Peck’s films called Mirage (1965) which is an excellent noir thriller. But instead of doing a mini review here, I’d save that for one of my classic flix reviews.

So what did you watch this weekend folks? Feel free to share your favorite part of the Globes if you’d be so inclined.

35 thoughts on “Weekend Roundup: Golden Globes 2012, Henry’s Crime, Water for Elephants

  1. Agree with you, water for elephants stars like titanic. It’s great progress for Pattinson for me, but not good for Witherspoon. It’s weird seeing her being a calm girl, she’s best when she’s vocal 🙂

    1. Hi Andina, the whole romance thing seems rather awkward to me. It’s like Pattinson’s character was more fascinated by Marlena rather than being in love, y’know. Ahah, so you prefer Witherspoon in like, Legally Blonde? 🙂

  2. Ted S.

    I didn’t watch anything except football games over the weekend and you know how I feel about award shows, unless it’s the Razzies, I’m not watching. Ha ha.

    Henry’s Crime looks very interesting, I’m surprised it didn’t get a wider release in theater. I guess Keanu Reeves doesn’t have the same star power like he used to anymore. I’m a big fan of James Cann so I might give it a rent.

    1. Ahah, I think that’s wise of you Ted. Henry’s Crime feels like an indie, so I think it only played at the Landmark theaters here. I think Keanu still have star power in blockbusters, I have a feeling 47 Ronin might be a hit for him, I sure want to see that one.

  3. I didn’t see The Globes. To see that kind of award always depend on whether a tv station shows it or not….this year, no tv is eager enough to buy the lisence.

    whuaaaaa you have seen Henry’s Crime? I want to see it too, Keanu is my 1st celebrity crush…miss seeing him it the tube so much.

    I have seen nothing but Sherlock these pas 2weeks. I have watched it more than once…I love the dialogue so much. I will watch The Reinchenbach Fall tonight…too bad it ends with that episode.

    1. For your love of Keanu, you definitely should check out Henry’s Crime. It’s amazing how youthful he still looks despite being almost 50!! It’s like he could be James Caan’s grandson and he’s only 23 yrs younger than him!

      I know you’re so into Sherlock right now and I can’t say I blame you. As you already know, I could easily be hooked on that show!

  4. GLobes were a total crapfest as usually, I mean Madonna got a Globe – enough said.
    But you have a GOLDEN GLOBE fashion report from the red carpet over at my place 🙂

    1. Yeah I saw that and I went, what?? So I guess that’s kind of like The Tourist got a nom last year, sheesh! Love your fashion coverage Dez, Dame Mirren was positively stunning!

  5. Overall I thought the Globes were a little pedestrian this year. The only shocker was Scorsese’s win for Hugo, but that’s the danger of the split picture format, I guess. I was glad that Dujardin won, and I love his Gene Kelly smile. Thrilled for Christopher Plummer, too! My favorite part, though, was Felicity Huffman & William H. Macy’s presentation of the Best Supporting Actress nominees. I highly recommend you look that up. 🙂

    We had quite a full weekend of movie-viewing because we had MLK day off! We watched Moneyball, Midnight in Paris, and (FINALLY) The Artist. Thought all three were very great. Will have reviews up sometime this week. 🙂

    1. Yep, pedestrian all right, glad I skipped it. I really think Hazanavicius deserved the win over Scorsese, but Dujardin had it in the can I think and it’s fun to watch him do the speech. So charming!

      Oh I’ll check out the Huffman + Macy presentation, they’re a couple right? I need to see my boy Gerry presenting too, someone said he looked good.

      Wow, you say Midnight in Paris and The Artist in one weekend?? Lucky you!

  6. I might’ve been interested in ‘Water for Elephants’ at one time, but not anymore for some reason. I wanted to see Waltz in another film since I’ve only seen him in Basterds. Oh well. Thanks for the review though Ruth.

    1. “I wanted to see Waltz in another film since I’ve only seen him in Basterds.” That was one of the main reasons for me too, and he did not disappoint!

  7. I only managed to watch “500 Days of Summer” this weekend. A very enjoyable movie with the very talented J. Gordon-Levitt. A review for it will be coming any day now. I think I will be having more time starting next week to watch some films since work will not be as crazy as it has for the past couple of months.

    I did get to watch the Globes on my DVR (so I could cut through all the annoying filler). I think Gervais was, once again, pretty funny, although a bit less successful than last year. His jokes about Jodie Foster’s “The Beaver” and Justin Bieber’s paternity claims were both hilarious, though pretty raunchy for an award show.
    The highlights of the night were the several heartfelt speeches, especially that by Michelle Williams and Matt Le Blanc, otherwise known as Joey Tribbiani from “Friends”.
    Of course, the classiest moment of the night was during the presentation of the Cecil B. DeMille award to Morgan Freeman, aptly introduced by the legendary Sidney Poitier and the always spirited Helen Mirren. A well deserved award, a bit overdue in my opinion.

    I think “The Artist” is heading to the Oscars as the front-runner, with “The Descendants” not far behind.


    1. Hi Niels, oh that’s a cute movie. I still enjoy it despite Zooey, she kind of annoys me, but JGL is indeed very talented and so much fun to watch him here.

      I’m afraid I don’t find Gervais to be all that funny, I guess I don’t see people being mean-spirited as being fun. I wish they get a different host next year.

      Yes, the Cecil B. DeMille award is the best part and Morgan deserved it! I’m thrilled that he mentioned my beloved Gregory Peck in his speech, I know he’s a big fan of Mr. Peck.

  8. Matt Stewart

    I still need to see Henry’s Crime. Agree on Water for Elephants, though the major lack of chemistry between Witherspoon and Pattinson nearly killed the film haha!

    Good reviews Ruth!

  9. I had forgotten about Henry’s Crime. Your review pretty much summed up my thoughts on the film. It tends to lend itself to “Scott’s Law”!

    and Water for Elephants…yeah, thanks for watching that one, because I won’t be anytime soon. Although I probably should to get a different light on Pattinson’s work.

    Thanks for the link on the Golden Globes. Hopefully Viola Davis can get recognition at the Oscars!

    1. What’s ‘Scott’s Law?’ That the trailer is better than the movie?? I actually think it’s pretty good, not a bad way to spend a Friday night surely.

      Ahah, R-Patz is actually not that bad outside of Twilight (can’t say the same about his werewolf buddy though). Plus it’s got Christoph and he’s always very watchable.

      Yep, I hope Viola wins and Gary Oldman is at least nominated!

  10. Keanu is 47?! Crikey! I remember when Henry’s Crime was being promoted, and I liked the sound of it then. I’ve always liked Reeves and Farmiga has quickly becomes one of my favourites actresses. I will look it up!

    Rodney over at Fernby Films recently post a Water for Elephants review. I don’t mind RPattz so I’m willing to give this a go. The trailer did make it look magical.

    Over the weekend I watched the brilliant Transamerica. I’d wanted to see it for a while, and I wasn’t disappointed. Felicity Huffman was fantastic 😀

    1. I know, right? I kept looking at his face and went, how is he almost 50??! There are hardly no lines on his face, he could still pass for a college student even. If you love Vera then you must see Henry’s Crime, she is just delightful to watch.

      Yeah I think I read Rodney’s review. The trailer is definitely more magical than the film, but overall it’s not horrible.

      I haven’t see Transamerica yet, glad you enjoyed that Claire.

  11. Haven’t seen either of these movies. Ahah I can’t believe you only had two predictions right! It was so predictable it was boring. I had only 4 wrong (Director, animation, song, actress drama).

    This past weekend, I watch a couple movies:
    – Point Blank: Awesome French thriller
    – Samurai Rebellion: Very good Samurai movie despite a slow start.

    1. Ahah well I didn’t bother predicting the entire noms, Cas, I think I only predicted like 5-6 winners but I really thought Hazanavicius was gonna take Best Director! ah well.

      A French thriller eh? So you don’t need subtitles then? 🙂 Are you gonna review ’em?

  12. That really is quite the cast for Henry’s Crime. I seem to remember seeing a trailer for it, and then I completely forgot about it until you mentioned it. Good find!

    1. I posted the trailer a while ago, maybe you saw it here? 🙂 I was surprised to see Peter Stormare as I don’t think he was in the trailer or was in it too briefly but he’s really fun to watch as always. James Caan is cool, too so yeah, it’s worth seeing just for the cast, John.

  13. Awards season doesn’t interest me so I haven’t been following the Globes but I’m glad to see The Artist has been winning them. NEED to see that movie, the second it comes out here!

  14. I was glad to see The Descendants do well.

    I was otherwise disappointed with the show – Gervais was very, very poor – hopefully that’ll be the end of his time as presenter of the Globes. The whole propping up of his own ego and making fun of celebrity has become old hat, he doesn’t do it in a fun way anymore…it’s just bad…a bit like his latest TV show Life’s Too Short.

  15. …as you may have gathered from my tweets, I watch Henry’s Crime last night. I pretty much hated every minute of it but Vera Farmiga definitely stood out.

    1. Ahah, sorry to hear that Dan, it’s not the greatest movie but I thought it was all right. Yeah, miss Farmiga is definitely a highlight here.

  16. Am actually feeling a little frustrated that Martin Scorcese seems to be getting a free ride when it comes to award season. I really hope the Academy doesn’t choke and give best picture to Hugo, Scorcese won in 2007 with an everage film and if it he does it again this year I will lose faith in the Academy’s voting system. It should be based on merit, and nothing else. By all accounts, The Artist is the film of the year, so it should win! I can’t stand it when cinematic injustices occur (check Castor’s post on this topic here: http://www.anomalousmaterial.com/movies/2012/01/10-most-heinous-oscar-snubs/ ) I haven’t seen The Artist yet so I really hope it lives up to the hype. I saw Moon last night and was slightly under-whelmed. It was good, don’t get me wrong, but just good. Not Great. Thanks Ruth!

    1. Yeah I really don’t think Scorsese deserved it for Hugo, it should’ve gone to The Artist. I hope you get to see it soon, Ronan. I have yet to see Moon, but I’m still curious about it. Thanks for stopping by Ronan.

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