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The Adjustment Bureau-Movie Review *** 04/27/2014

Posted by Films to consider in Academy of Science Fiction, Action/Thriller, American, Based on a short story, Black Reel Awards, Bram Stoker Awards, Drama, George Nolfi, Movies, People's Choice Awards, Romance, Science Fiction, Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America.
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The Adjustment Bureau (American) 2011 ***
Based on the short story by Philip K. Dick

Directed and screenplay written by George Nolfi
Starring Matt Damon, Emily Blunt, Michael Kelly, Anthony Mackie, and John Slattery

Among a few other nominations:
WINNER, Best Supporting Actress (Blunt); NOMINATED, Best Science Fiction Film, Saturn Awards, Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films, USA
NOMINATED, Outstanding Supporting Actor (Mackie), Black Reel Awards
NOMINATED, Bram Stoker Award-Screenplay (Nolfi),Bram Stoker Awards
NOMINATED, Favorite Drama Movie, People’s Choice Awards
NOMINATED, Bradbury Award, (Nolfi-writer/director), Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America

David Norris (Damon), a politician on the rise, accidentally finds out from the “Adjustment Bureau” that he is not meant to be with Elise (Blunt), a dancer he fell in love with after a few minutes of conversation.

A fast-paced and interesting movie that combines a believable romance with a quirky sci-fi/action story about the forces that shape our lives: human decision-making and chance versus the possibility of other powers-that-be. [Note: said “other powers-that-be” must wear hats of some sort or other!!! I’m just saying . . .]

As a side note, Matt Damon claims this is his first romantic lead role, and he proves himself up to the task; Emily Blunt, who had no formal dance training prior to getting herself prepped for this role, does too.

Highly recommended.

106 min. Rated PG-13.


The Curious Case of Benjamin Button-Movie Review 11/27/2012

Posted by Films to consider in Academy Awards, Based on a short story, Emotional Drama, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Fantasy, Golden Globes, Movies.
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The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (American) 2008
Based on a short story by F. Scott Fitzgerald

Directed by David Fincher
Starring Brad Pitt, Taraji P. Henson, and Cate Blanchett

Among many other awards and nominations:
WINNER, Best Art Direction; Best Makeup; Best Visual Effects; NOMINATED (among others), Best Music; Best Motion Picture; Best Leading Actor (Pitt); Best Supporting Actress (Taraji Henson); Best Adapted Screenplay (Eric Roth and Robin Swicard), Academy Awards
NOMINATED, Best Director (Fincher), Best Motion Picture; Best Original Score (Alexandre Desplay); Best Actor (Pitt); Best Screenplay (Roth and Swicard), Golden Globes
Many of the other awards and nominations recognized the soundtrack and special effects.

Benjamin Button (Pitt) narrates his own life story through diaries that are found after his death and read to his dying friend Daisy (Blanchett) by her daughter. Benjamin, whose mother died in childbirth, was born with the physical characteristics and illnesses of an old man. Rejected by his grieving father because of his appearance, Benjamin was raised by Queenie (Henson), the proprietor of a local rooming house. He recounts the experiences of his life, which was spent growing younger and younger.

I’ve meant to watch this film for some time, mostly because the subject matter seemed so curious, for lack of a more imaginative word. Brad Pitt certainly deserves kudos for not relying on roles that use his good looks only. In this case, he undergoes a transformation that is nothing short of astonishing (hence all the awards and nominations for special effects). Surprisingly, Cate Blanchett didn’t seem emotionally present in her role as Daisy; in my opinion, Taraji Henson as Queenie steals the show in that regard. Definitely worthwhile viewing if you haven’t already seen it.

166 min. Rated PG-13.