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Posts Tagged ‘dustin hoffman

The Graduate (1967)

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And here’s to you, Mrs. Robinson.

Dustin Hoffman stars as Benjamin Braddock, who recently completed his undergrad and is deciding what to do with his life.  The film begins at the Braddock’s home in California where his parents are throwing him a graduation party.  Embarrassed, frustrated, uncomfortable, he escapes and stares at his fish.  Mrs. Robinson (Anne Bancroft) – wife of Ben’s father’s law partner and family friend, she also doesn’t have a first name apparently – finds Ben hiding.  Asks him for a ride home… asks him in the house… offers him a drink… turns on music… starts taking off her clothes…. “Mrs. Robinson, you’re trying to seduce me.”  Ben’s a little taken aback by these advances of a 40 somethin’ year old woman and panics his way out of the house.  But with no direction, he doesn’t stay horrified for long.  He soon arranges their first rendez-vous at a hotel and their affair awkwardly begins.

He’s basically living the life.  Sun bathing and piña coladas in the pool by day… meeting the woman at night.  In one of their rare discussions, Mrs. Robinson forbids Ben to ever date her college-aged daughter, Elaine.  Ben’s reluctant to promise anything but doesn’t care much for the Robinson daughter so he agrees.  Too bad his parents do care.  They coerce him  into taking her out when she returns from Berkley.  With his affair between Mrs. R completely over, and despite his initial efforts to ruin their date, he starts to fall for the cute, full of life Elaine.  I’ll let you imagine where that might lead.

The great thing about The Graduate is that it takes its time.  One of the best scenes in the movie is a simple conversation between Mrs. Robinson and Ben.  The scene is quite long with many pauses, but it is one of the greatest crafted scenes I have ever seen.  Ben is flustered with their exclusively physical relationship, and starts asking questions to Mrs. Robinson.  We glimpse his eyes grow with wonder, we watch her eyes fill with pain.  There’s so much sadness and so much growth.  Needless to say the script is impeccable.  Witty, satirical, but deep.

The rest of the movie is developed in a similar fashion.  The pacing is greatly due to the music of good ol’ Paul and Art.  “The Sounds of Silence” is so perfect for the movie (as, of course, is “Mrs. Robinson”) and there are many scenes with nothing but.  It miraculously never drags.  Ben drives to see Elaine…. Ben slowly sinks in his pool, full of apprehension (great moment)… Ben lying in his pool… very little action.  I grew up listening to Simon and Garfunkel, but I never knew they were this cool.  The sounds of silence can speak so much louder than dialogue.

The Graduate is primarily a comedy – the script is evidence of that.

Ben: “Where’d you do it?”
Mrs. Robinson: “In his car.”
Ben: “What kind of car was it?”
Mrs. Robinson: “Come on now.”
Ben: “No, I really want to know.”
Mrs. Robinson: “A Ford.”
Ben: [laughs] “That’s great.  So Elaine Robinson got started in a Ford…”

It’s a funny movie, but it’s not just funny.  It’s a character study.  It makes you laugh, but I’d mostly say that it makes you smile at the realism.  The second half of the movie is greatly different from the first, its dynamic changes as Benjamin changes.  His and our attentions shift to Elaine, and his pursuit to win her over.  (Some great scenes there too… man I could rave about this whole movie scene by scene if I really wanted to).

Good acting? Check.  For me, it’s weird to think that Dustin Hoffman hasn’t always been the top dawg in his business.  I mean, this is the guy that did Rain Man, Kramer vs. Kramer, Tootsie, All the President’s Men… He’s been “the man” my whole life.  But nobody knew Dustin then.  Everyone knew Dustin after Benjamin Braddock.  Even without D. Hoffman, though, Anne Bancroft is sensational.  You hate her, you feel sorry for her.  The rest of the acting is solid as well, mainly Katherine Ross.

This film was one of the few to win the Best Director Oscar and not Best Picture.  Mike Nichols is the man.  It was nominated for basically everything else, though, including Cinematography (excellent – a constant visual treat) and Screenplay (also excellent).

And how ’bout that end?  The wedding crash to top all wedding crashes.  “It’s too late.” “Not for me!” (Granted, that IS a relationship I’d love to see in the future… how could YOU handle being with someone that had slept with your mother?)

I can’t rave enough.  With these acclaimed classics that I’d never seen, it’s difficult sometimes to figure out if you love it because you know you should love it, or if you actually love it.  I didn’t want to hand out a 10/10 just to conform.  But the more I thought about it, the fewer things I disliked.  This movie is excellent on all fronts, and truly should be considered a classic.  10/10


please, don’t shoot me

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Should you happen to read this post and the thought crosses your mind that someone who has not seen these movies is obviously under-qualified to write a movie blog… keep in mind that I’m only 18-years-old.  I’ve still got time.  This whole list thing is all very embarrassing, so give me kudos for admitting my shortcomings to the world.  It goes something like this:

Movies I haven’t seen (but should have)

30. Alien (1979)

This would be higher on the list, but I have seen a LOT of this movie.  The problem being, I can’t remember if it was Alien or Aliens… all I remember is Sigourney Weaver, violence, and aliens.  Which is basically common knowledge.  So I just need to sit down and watch the whole thing.

29. Bonnie & Clyde (1967)

A bank robbing couple?  I’m there!  Why haven’t I seen this movie again?

 

 

28. The Usual Suspects (1995)

Despite my interest in Kevin Spacey, no dice.  I haven’t seen this one either.  Though, I must add, my interest in this film grew after I moved to Tahiti, so I haven’t really had a chance to see it.  See, now I’m making you feel pity, rather than disgust.

27. Harvey (1950)

I’ve seen….. roughly 80% of James Stewart’s movies.  Just not this one.  Ironically enough, I became more interested in seeing this after watching Donnie Darko.  You know, giant rabbits?

 

26. His Girl Friday (1940)

Basically the same thing as above.  I’m a hard core Cary Grant fan since birth, but I’ve never seen this one.

25. L.A. Confidential (1997)

Kevin Spacey.  Russell Crowe.  Guy Pearce.   David Straithairn.  Why haven’t I seen this yet?

 

 

24. The Big Lebowski (1998)

I really haven’t seen that many Jeff Bridges movies, to be honest (and embarrass myself further) so I’m not sure why I’m choosing this one as the “one to see” but I’ve always had this off-hand interest in “The Dude.”

23. Shadowlands (1993)

Despite my love for C.S. Lewis and Anthony Hopkins…

 

 

22. Waiting for Guffman (1996)

Oh have I heard so much about this movie.  It’s Christopher Guest, after all, that can mean nothing but good.  It’s my kind of movie, and seems like my kind of humor.  I can’t wait to see it one of these days.

21. Capote (2005)

I’ve been dying to see this movie ever since it was released.  We even rented it, but for some reason I wasn’t able to watch, so my mom saw it by herself.  She raves about it, and I’m still dying to see it.

 

20. Twelve O’Clock High (1949)

Gregory Peck, how I love you.  I can’t believe I haven’t seen this movie of yours.

19. Spirited Away (2001)

I remember watching  the Oscars when Spirited Away won Best Animated feature.  I thought, (being  eleven) what the heck IS that?   Since then, I’ve heard nothing but critical acclaim and  I am now very anxious to cross this off my list.

 

 

18. The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957)

Obi-Wan Kenobi’s Best Actor win (classic film fans will hate me for saying that, ha) plus Director, Picture, and Screenplay wins… I should probably see this movie one of these days.  It’s a favorite of my parents.

17. The Hustler (1961)

Ever since I saw Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid for the first time I’ve been in love with Paul Newman.  I’m pretty far behind on his filmography and this is the first on my list to see.  Plus I dig the poster.

 

 

16. The Great Dictator (1940)

I grew up with Charlie Chaplin, and Modern Times is one of my all-time favs.  I’ve yet to see this classic, though.

15. The Deer Hunter (1948)

These are getting kind of repetetive aren’t they?  Christopher Walken’s Oscar winning performance, Meryl Streep’s first nomination and Best Picture winner deserves (more likely than not) SEVERAL viewings, and I haven’t even seen it once? WTF?

 

 

14. The African Queen (1951)

My mom has raved about this movie, and I love me some Bogart.  Since its recent DVD release, hopefully I can check it off soon.

13. Schindler’s List (1993)

Yeah… like I said.  Don’t shoot me.  I know this is an excellent movie, I’ve seen several scenes in fact.  I know I should see this movie pronto.

 

 

12. Dr. Strangelove (1964)

Honestly, I may have heard of this movie ages ago but I didn’t REALLY know about it until just a few years ago.  My interest piqued when I went through my Stanley Kubrick obsession phase and read absolutely anything I could get my hands on about him.

11. Out of Africa (1985)

Meryl Streep.  Robert Redford.  In the same movie.  I promise, I’ve seen SOME movies.

 

10. Annie Hall (1977)

The ultimate Woody Allen.  Ranked #4 in AFI’s 100 Laughs series.  Won the Oscar for Best Picture, Director, Actress, and Screenplay. This is a bad caption.

9. Sophie’s Choice (1982)

In case I haven’t made this clear, Meryl Streep is my favorite modern actress.  Someday I’ll do a post especially for her because I just love her so (and I’m still pulling for another Oscar!)  Sophie’s Choice won Meryl her Best Actress Academy Award and is, perhaps, her best film to date.  Or so I’m told.

 

 

8. Die Hard (1988)

Seriously?  I haven’t seen DIE HARD? Yeah, I know.  I suck.  I lurve Alan Rickman too, so it’s really a shame I haven’t seen it.

7. The Graduate (1967)

“Mrs. Robinson you’re trying to seduce me… aren’t you?”  Basically I already love this movie.  And I knoow I love Dustin Hoffman.  But, all I really know of it is Anne  Bancroft’s sexy legs.

 

6. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (1975)

Jack Nicholson in a mental institution?  1 of 3 movies to take home the big five Oscars?  Man, I gotta get me some of this action.

5. Edward Scissorhands (1990)

One of Johnny Depp’s billions with Tim Burton.  Yeah, I can’t believe I haven’t seen this one either.  It’s totally my kind of movie.

 

4. The French Connection (1971)

The most famous chase scene of all-time.  One of my favorite actors, Gene Hackman.  Best Picture, Director, Screenplay, and Actor winner.  I cannot describe the anticipation I have to one day see this movie.

3. The Silence of the Lambs (1991)

Another Hopkins.  And (like Cuckoo) 1 of 3 to win the big five Oscars.  (In case you’re wondering, the other is It Happened One Night. I’ve seen that one!)

 

2. Citizen Kane (1941)

Wow, this is really getting embarrassing now.  I’m pretty sure I’ve previously lied to people about this one.  See, my family and I were going through the AFI 100 movies list and we just… didn’t make it that high!   I’ve sort of had this two year hiatus of serious movie-watching through this whole Tahiti excursion, and seeing as I don’t have as much access to what I want, this one has had to wait.

1. The Godfather (1971)

It’s a sin, I know, not to have seen this movie.  Forgive me.  I want nothing more than to repent, and quickly.

Yeah.  I know I suck.  There are many more great movies I haven’t seen (I won’t name them, however, or NO ONE will read this blog!)  but these are just the ones that I, personally, can’t believe I haven’t seen.  Now go ahead.  You may mock me all you want.

lazy movie weekend

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Last week we had a few hectic things happen and by the end of the week we had EARNED a vacation. My dad was on another island (like usual) and my mom and I decided to play it lazy and watch some movies. The best part was we weren’t even completely lazy. We even got some cleaning/organizing done at home too! Go us.

I was automatically drawn to this by stars Dustin Hoffman and Emma Thompson – but I didn’t realize just how endearing and magical this movie would be. The plot is nothing to go wild about (reforming man meets lonely woman blah blah) but there’s a real-life quality to the nonsense. The beauty of story telling is that it isn’t always about who’s the most innovative or the most risky. Sometimes it is the same plot over and over again, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t worth the watch. (Yes. Avatar is Pocahontas. But Avatar demonstrates something that Pocahontas, obviously, doesn’t).

I’d recommend this movie. See it for the leading couple. See it for London scenery. There are a few painful moments, it’s a little sad, but it ends well. And it’s Dustin Hoffman. Seriously.

My mom as always talked of this as her favorite James Dean movie. (you know… one of his THREE..) I watched it for the first time this weekend and loved it. It’s really sad to think of what James Dean could done with his career had he not died. He’s so spontaneous and believable. New favorite movie? probably.

Okay. This is pretty much all I have to talk about right now. Peace.

Written by laurenthejukebox17

March 16, 2010 at 11:28 am

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