5 Favorites Redux #47: Winger, Trejo, Coon, Jenkins, Messina

Welcome to 5 Favorites. Each week, I will put together a list of my 5 favorites (films, performances, whatever strikes my fancy) along with commentary on a given topic each week, usually in relation to a specific film releasing that week.

This week has an embarrassment of riches in terms of the actors with new films out. Debra Winger, Richard Jenkins, Jude Law, Carrie Coon, Danny Trejo, and Chris Messina have new movies coming out along with a handful of actors best known for their TV work. Jude Law works a lot and I suspect I will have an opportunity to tackle him in the future, but these others may not have as many frontline options in the future, so I thought I would pick out one film from each filmography to highlight.

Winger and Jenkins co-star as parents of the main character in this week’s Kajillionaire, director Miranda July’s latest film about a criminal family who begins to splinter when a newcomer is brought into the ranks. Coon stars alongside Law in The Nest as a couple in Sean Durkin’s film about an entrepreneur (Law) and his American family as they move into an isolated English manor. Trejo is an incredibly busy man who appears in numerous films each year, but this weekend’s release is THE PREY about a team of soldiers hunting Taliban in Afghanistan who are trapped in a cave where they are slowly picked off by a monster. Finally, Messina plays a beleaguered husband to Noomi Rapace as she kidnaps and tortures her German neighbor believing that he was responsible for heinous crimes against her during World War II.

Highlighting either the best work for the actor (Winger & Coon) or my favorite films featuring the actor (Jenkins, Trejo & Messina), these actors have appeared in some impressive efforts, but also a lot of terrible ones. After the break, a look at my favorite films for each actor.

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Oscar Profile #514: Oscars and Nuns

To quote Wikipedia:

“A nun is a member of a religious community of women, typically living under vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience in the enclosure of a monastery. Communities of nuns exist in numerous religious traditions, including Buddhism, Christianity, Jainism, and Taoism.

Within Christianity, women religious, known as nuns or religious sisters, are found in Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, Anglican, and Lutheran traditions among others. Though the terms are often used interchangeably, nuns historically take solemn vows and live a life of prayer and contemplation in a monastery or convent, while sisters take simple vows and live an active vocation of prayer and charitable works in areas such as education and healthcare.”

Nuns and sisters, usually Roman Catholic nuns, have been prominent screen regulars at least as far back as Lillian Gish in 1923’s silent classic, The White Sister, and Helen Hayes in the 1933 talkie remake. It wasn’t until 1943’s The Song of Bernadette, though, that actresses playing nuns were nominated for Oscars. That film earned postulant Jennifer Jones an Oscar for her portrayal of the nineteenth century saint, and Gladys Cooper a nomination as the doubting nun who is her adversary for much of the film.

Ingrid Bergman followed her New York Film Critics award for The Bells of St. Mary’s with her third successive nomination for playing Sister Benedict, a charismatic school principal, opposite Bing Crosby’s easygoing priest in Leo McCarey’s superior sequel to his 1944 Oscar-winner, Going My Way, in which there were no nuns.

Deborah Kerr won a much-deserved New York Film Critics award for her Sister Clodagh, the leader of a group of Anglican nuns on assignment in the Himalayas, in 1947’s Black Narcissus, but failed to receive an Oscar nomination for her portrayal. Flora Robson and Kathleen Byron, the most prominent members of her group, also failed to receive nominations.

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This Day in Oscar History: September 17 (2020)

Here’s what happened today in Oscar History.

Born

Died

Released

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Poll: What Are You Watching? (Sep. 18-20, 2020)

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Polls

What Are You Watching? (Sep. 18-20, 2020)

Cinema Sight Asks: What are you watching? (Sep. 18-20, 2020)

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Trailer Watch: No Time to Die (2020) Updated

No Time to Die posterNew Trailer (#2) / New Posters (#8-#18) / New Release Date (changed from 4/8/20)

No Time to Die

Preview Link: CLICK HERE for all of the new content as well as the original.

Looking at the Weekend: Sep. 18-20, 2020

The only new wide release is a film starring Jim Caviezel that has no trailer available from legitimate, longtime sources. That lack of advertising suggests a film targeted at a very narrow audience and with few chances at major success. Tenet, The New Mutants, The Broken Hearts Gallery, and Unhinged are likely to continue persistent theatrical play.

Our Highest Rated Films: The Secrets We Keep
Our Best Awards Ratings: None

OTHER LIMITED RELEASES

Infidel (Wide)
A Chef’s Voyage (Virtual)
The Dark Divide (Virtual)
God of the Piano (Limited)
The Library That Dolly Built (Limited)
My Name is Pedro (Virtual)
THE PREY: Legend of Karnoctus (Limited)
The Way I See it (Limited)

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Review: Steve Jobs (2015)

Steve Jobs

Rating

Director

Danny Boyle

Screenplay

Aaron Sorkin (Book by Walter Isaacson)

Length

122 min.

Starring

Michael Fassbender, Kate Winslet, Seth Rogen, Jeff Daniels, Michael Stuhlbarg, Katherine Waterston

MPAA Rating

R for language.

Original Preview

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This Day in Oscar History: September 16 (2020)

Here’s what happened today in Oscar History.

Born

Died

Released

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Film Preview: The Glorias (2020)

Film Poster

Page Revisions:

(September 13, 2020) Original
(September 20, 2020) New Release Date (changed from 9/30/20)

Release Date:

September 25, 2020

Synopsis:

From IMDb: “The story of feminist icon Gloria Steinem’s itinerant childhood’s influence on her life as a writer, activist and organizer for women’s rights worldwide.”

Poster Rating: B-

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Review: The cobbled-together aesthetic doesn’t quite work as the coloration and shadows make it displeasing to look at.

Trailer Rating: B

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Review: The trailer itself is a hodge podge of images, but what’s presented suggests a potent commentary on the women’s rights movements of recent vintage. That alone might make it worth the watch even if it otherwise seems rather predictable.

Oscar Prospects:

Could be a strong Oscar contender depending on overall quality, but a number of the stars could be nominees even if the film isn’t nominated for Best Picture.

Trailer #1

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The DVD Report #690

Brute Force and The Naked City have received long overdue U.S. Blu-ray releases from Criterion. The films were the two biggest hits of American writer-director Jules Dassin’s Hollywood career which lasted from1940 through his blacklisting during the filming of 1950’s Thieves’ Highway.

After his move to France in 1952, Dassin became an international sensation with 1955’s Rififi and an even bigger one with his 1960 Greek film Never on Sunday, for which he received Oscar nominations for both his direction and original screenplay.

Dassin didn’t become a screenwriter until Rififi, but both Brute Force and The Naked City had the kind of taut, diverse screenplays that Dassin himself would later be known for. The screenplay for 1947’s Brute Force was written by writer-director Richard Brooks (Elmer Gantry), the same year Brooks’ novel Crossfire, directed by Edward Dmytryk, was nominated for five Oscars including one for John Paxton’s adapted screenplay.

Brute Force was that old Hollywood staple, the prison film, that dominated gangster films of the 1930s and early 1940s, but one that shocked postwar audiences with its extreme level of violence. In only his second film, Burt Lancaster, who had made his film debut in 1946’s The Killers, became a superstar. His, however, was not the most talked about performance in the film. That was the performance of Hume Cronyn as the sadistic guard dispatched by Lancaster in the film’s most shocking scene. Also outstanding in the film’s exemplary cast are Charles Bickford, Sam Levene, Jeff Corey, John Hoyt, Whit Bissell, Howard Duff, and, in flashbacks, Yvonne De Carlo, Ann Blyth, Ella Raines, and Anita Colby.

The film’s new 4Kdigital restoration is stunning. The numerous extras are imported from previous DVD releases.

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This Day in Oscar History: September 15 (2020)

Here’s what happened today in Oscar History.

Born

Died

Released

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Poll: Now That You’ve Seen “The Broken Hearts Gallery”

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Polls

Now That You’ve Seen The Broken Hearts Gallery…?

Cinema Sight Asks: Now that you've seen "The Broken Hearts Gallery," what is your favorite wide release so far this year?

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Film Preview: Dune (2020)

Film Poster

Page Revisions:

(September 13, 2020) Original

Release Date:

December 18, 2020

Synopsis:

From IMDb: “Feature adaptation of Frank Herbert’s science fiction novel, about the son of a noble family entrusted with the protection of the most valuable asset and most vital element in the galaxy.”

Poster Rating: –

SEE ALL POSTERS BELOW
Review: There was no poster immediately available for my review. Should one become available in the future, this section will be updated.

Trailer Rating: B+

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Review: A lot of dully-colored images make things look less than inspirational, but the underlying plot holds promise and the wonderful cover of “Eclipse” from Pink Floyd’s legendary album Dark Side of the Moon adds a certain inspired touch to the overall design.

Oscar Prospects:

This should be one of the year’s major Oscar contenders much in the same way that Blade Runner 2049 was.

Trailer #1

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Oscar Preview: Weekend of Sep. 11-13, 2020

We had no films release this past weekend with the potential for Oscar nominations.

This Day in Oscar History: September 14 (2020)

Here’s what happened today in Oscar History.

Born

Died

Released

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