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Everybody Wants to be Us

Graduate Student at Loyola University Chicago. Check out the blog for what I'm currently obsessed with in film and culture. Michael Fassbender, Leonardo DiCaprio, Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence, Kate Winslet, Christian Bale, Jesse Eisenberg, David Lynch, David Fincher, Christopher Nolan, Martin Scorsese, and Daniel Radcliffe are regulars here.

#Russell Crowe

'Les Miserables' promises to blow our minds and tear ducts.

An early screening on Tom Hooper’s Les Miserables was well tweeted by critics.  Reviews are prohibited until closer to release date, but these brief snippets give me hope for this Christmas release. Indiewire collected some of the reactions.

Nathaniel Rogers ‏@nathanielr
Jackman and Hathaway both absolutely sensational in Les Miz #omg #audiencewentwild4it (also read Rogers’ piece on the film’s screening here)

Anne Thompson ‏@akstanwyck
Les Miserables is a tour de force dramatic musical, no holds barred, a tearjerker. Jackman drew cheers from SAG actors at Chinese tonight.

Kristopher Tapley ‏@kristapley
Hathaway wins. GOD. I wept. Film’s a triumph. They’re on their feet here. NYC crowd ate…it…up. #lesmiserables

Dave Karger ‏@davekarger
First #LesMiserables screening went over extremely well. I’d call it a sure thing Picture nominee for Oscar and the probable Globe winner.

Scott Feinberg ‏@ScottFeinberg
ANALYSIS: LES MIS wows at first screening (applause after each number), clearly headed for Oscars

Sasha Stone ‏@AwardsDaily
Oh I think Anne Hathaway definitely wins

gregoryellwood ‏@HitFixGregory
Eddie Redmayne could def snag a best supporting actor nod. Hugh Jackman likely a lock for a best actor nod now. #LesMiserables

Quote from BODY OF LIES (2008)

BODY OF LIES (2008) Dir. Ridley Scott

Starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Russell Crowe

Ed: What else you gonna a do, stay here?

Ferris: Maybe for a little while. Why wouldn’t I?

Ed: Why would you?

Ferris: What if I like the Middle East?

Ed: Nobody likes the Middle East, there’s nothing here to like.

Ferris: Maybe that’s the problem right there, isn’t it Ed. 

Good luck on winning this war Ed, I hope everyone thinks you did it all by yourself.

Hush, Hush: L.A. CONFIDENTIAL (1997) *Day 70*

Three LA cops investigate a mass shooting and uncover a world of corruption, greed, and lust in the 1950’s.  L.A. CONFIDENTIAL is my touchstone for film noir with the character of the hard-boiled detective split between Russell Crowe, Kevin Spacey, and Guy Pierce.  Kim Basinger won the Academy Award for her femme fatale Lynn Bracken.  The film also took best adapted screenplay.

Plot Summary: What draws me back to the film are the compelling and complex characters that I want to cheer for.  Each character teams up or against each other in a series of tight scenes with brilliant dialogue.  I also applaud the film for creating clear sense of place.  From the opening narration from the salacious gossip columnist Sid Hudgens (Danny DeVito) we are drawn into the world of cheap glamour, shattered dreams, and fake justice that is Los Angeles. 

From there we meet our three headed “hard boiled detective”: the morally bent Jack Vincennes (Kevin Spacey) who makes arrests to fuel the gossip rags; the laconic, hot blooded Bud White (Russell Crowe), and the isolated do-gooder Ed Exley (Guy Pierce).  Each man’s style clashes initially, yet they start complimenting each other investigating the converging cases of a diner massacre, high class prostitution ring, and a political blackmailing scheme. 

Bud and Ed are taken in by the duplicitous sex pot Lynn Bracken who falls in love with Bud, but is made to turn the cops against each other by her pimp Pierce Patchett (David Strathairn).  Over our cops is hard-nosed Captain Dudley Smith (James Cromwell) who plays the strict public custodian of justice and the secret gang wrangler beating criminals straight.

I love the clever twists, changing motives, fast-faced dialogue, and suspenseful action scenes. Hanson’s camera compliments the different moods on the page so perfectly. I’ve probably seen L.A. CONFIDENTIAL two dozen times, yet each time I watch the film, I find myself re-discovering the ins and outs of the plot.  I come back to it for the distinct and complex characters.  Each actor preforms with a rigor that enlivens the genre and tropes mixed in the piece.  

Until next time dear reader keep it "Off the record, on the QT and very HUSH, HUSH."

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