A HERO'S SPARK: the final book in the Wicked Women series!

Monday, March 23, 2015

(Movie) REview you can use: Lawrence gets Whiplash

Good afternoon!

Being employed is hard, even if it's half days. did I work all day, every day, in an office?

Yes, I am enjoying my new stay at home gig.  Has it meant more writing time?  Not so much, but it has given me time to watch movies I probably would never have set aside time for before.  Case in point:  Lawrence of Arabia.  

The 1963 Best Picture of the year is a magnificent testament to cinematography, and we all know I like a well shot picture.  Also, it's set in the WWI Era, a wildly under-movied era, if you ask me.  But that's pretty much where my understanding of the film ends.

This is a heavily layered film and one I believe left a lot on the cutting room floor that would have made the plot a bit more accessible to today's movie viewing public.  That said, it's a subtle movie.  The dialogue is witty, as opposed to hilarious, something that makes more sense in England than it does in the US.  

And oh, it is a heavily British film.  Peter O'Toole, Omar Sharif, Alec Guiness.  All the greats. At one point, my husband walked through the living room and asked what I was watching.  I said, "Lawrence of Arabia is battling the Turks with the help of Dr. Zhivago and Obi-wan Kenobi.  My husband said, "Well, then he won't lose."

This is really a fantastic, intelligent, beautiful film, but I think before I see it again, I need to read up on my British/Arab politics pre WWI.  I think if you don't know what's going on prior to the movie, you're not going to get what's going on in the movie, at least during the scenes where Peter O'Toole is wearing trousers.  When he's dress like an Arab, you know exactly what's happening.  

One problem and one question I had with this film:  First of all, my problem; the opening of the film shows us Lawrence's death in a motorcycle accident some years after the war.  (Spoiler alert, he doesn't die in Arabia...)  But I wish they would have brought the film full circle at the end.  I mean, hey, you're already at 3 hours and 36 minutes, bring this epic flashback back to the present time.

Then my question: Hos did Peter O'Toole NOT win the Oscar?  Just for the amount of sand he managed to wear through most of the movie, he should have gotten the Oscar.

So yes, if you're in the mood for a classic epic that seems a little highbrow and leaves you wishing you'd taken more history classes in college, this is the film for you!  4 our of 5 for me.

Meanwhile,,,continuing my goal of watching all this year's Best Picture Nominees, I watched "Whiplash" recently.  Hey, remember when I said, "The Imitation Game" was the best pictured I'd seen of the 8  (I've now seen all but "Selma" and "American Sniper") yeah, cross that out.  I doubt any film, yes, not even "American Sniper" which has movie goers wetting themselves all day long, is going to change my mind on this.  "Whiplash" should have won.

A young and talented drummer attending a prestigious music academy finds himself under the wing of the most respected professor at the school, one who does not hold back on abuse towards his students. The two form an odd relationship as the student wants to achieve greatness, and the professor pushes him. (Thank you,

It's all about what you're willing to do to get the best out of someone, and what you're willing to do to be the best.  (I'm sort of proud of that line.)

J.k. Simmons is the teacher, and Miles Teller is the student and this movie is a wild ride that you want to get off, but know that if it stops, you're going to be sad it's over.  Simmons is brutal, physically (he's super fit, not at all the dumpy guy from the Farmers Insurance commercials) and verbally as he drives all of his students to the peak of their talent or the end of their really doesn't seem to matter to him.

Miles Teller performs his part as the drummer student with more depth than I at first expected.  You do not cheer for him through this whole movie.  In fact, at one point, you're pretty sure both characters are the most horrible people who have ever walked the earth.  And yet, the final scene brings the story all around in a brilliant flash of writing, acting, and drumsticks.

This is a 5 out of 5...and if you see no other nominated movie, this is the one you should pick.  (Movie

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