Les Misérables is one of the most popular and longest running musicals of all time. In the DC area alone it has grossed over $53 million dollars in its numerous runs. On Broadway it has earned over $800 million dollars. Based on the Victor Hugo classic (At 1,400 pages it is one of the longest books ever written) it is a universal, moving and emotional story about redemption against all odds.
These are the days that try a critics soul. There are many movies that I watch, especially during Award season, where I can recognize the technical and artistic quality but ultimately feel it is not for me and come away feeling a bit cold by the experience. This is what I’ve said about several movies over the last few weeks. Director Ang Lee’s latest film Life of Pi is another such movie.
I say this every year and every year it’s true – I hate doing lists of any sort, especially the yearly Top 10 re-caps. I can’t even remember the last ten films I saw, that alone rifle through my brain and remember everything from an entire year. Overall this was an interesting year, the beginning of the year was terrible as usual but this year’s crop of summer Tent Pole films were surprisingly great – not just good mind wasters. But intelligent, well crafted and acted pieces of cinema. Then the bottom dropped out in the fall, which is generally the time you see the Oscar Wannabes. Everything was boring, bland – safe. My number one choice of 2008 is a clear for me, but there’s a 3 way tie for the #2 spot. Without further adieu, here is my list (Without a lot of verbiage this year) of the best of 2008.
9) The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
8) Let The Right One In
7) Tropic Thunder
6) Son of Rambow
5) Iron Man
4) Slumdog Millionaire
3) The Dark Knight
2) Prince Caspian
1) Speed Racer
I didn’t see nearly as many films this year as in the past. Generally speaking I don’t like American animated films, so I didn’t see Wall E or Kung Fu Panda. I’ve seen all the award wannabes except Revolution Road, Valkyie, and 7 Pounds. I’m a huge X-Files fan, but I don’t know if I Want To Believe would be classified as a big disappointment because I walked in with no expectations, so the fact that the film was terrible didn’t annoy me.
Atonement led all Golden Globe film nominees with seven nods, including Best Drama and Best Acting honors for stars Keira Knightley and James McAvoy. The ceremony airs Jan. 13 on NBC. Here’s the complete list of nominations for the 65th Annual Golden Globes:
Best Motion Picture-Drama
- American Gangster
- Eastern Promises
- The Great Debaters
- Michael Clayton
- No Country for Old Men
- There Will Be Blood
Best Actor in a Motion Picture, Drama
- George Clooney, Michael Clayton
- Daniel Day-Lewis, There Will Be Blood
- James McAvoy, Atonement
- Viggo Mortensen, Eastern Promises
- Denzel Washington, American Gangster
I’ll admit it, I’ve never been much of a fan of Denzel Washington, he’s a great actor but for some reason he just never did it for me. But in American Gangster Denzel captivates and hold the screen. He’s both charming and disarmingly deadly at the same time. I generally love gangster films but hate the over glorification of the lifestyle. Never once in AG did I feel American Gangster glorified Denzel’s Frank Lucas. Continue reading