Sunday, November 20, 2011

"And if the perfect spring is waiting somewhere, just take me there, just take me there, just take me there..." ~bright eyes

Today I'm sharing some thoughts on a movie and a Broadway play.

The Descendants
This is such a lovely film. I love Alexander Payne, and this movie is a perfect example of what a talented director he is. One second your gut will be wrenched with laughter and the next with pain. You're not slammed in the face with sentiment, though; it's beautifully understated. George Clooney will surely receive an Oscar nomination for his nuanced performance of a clueless husband and father. The whole ensemble is strong, actually. I was really impressed with Shailene Woodley, who plays Clooney's oldest daughter with a nice mix of bitterness and vulnerability. Judy Greer is also wonderful (as usual). Go see this movie. I'm sure it'll be a big Oscar contender, and it really is lovely.

I saw the Broadway production of Seminar yesterday, and I'm very glad I did. It's a good play (not fabulous, but good) featuring a very strong ensemble cast. I love Alan Rickman. Seriously. I could listen to him read the phone book for hours. That voice just kills me. His portrayal of Professor Snape in the Harry Potter movies is perfection. He's giving a great performance in this show; he has such good inflection and timing. Lily Rabe further demonstrates how wonderful she is (I loved her in last year's Merchant of Venice opposite Al Pacino, for which she received a Tony nomination). Jerry O'Connell is an old favorite of mine, and it was fun to see him onstage. I'm used to seeing Hamish Linklater do Shakespeare (I've seen him in Twelfth Night, The Merchant of Venice, and The Winter's Tale), so it was weird to see him in a contemporary play, but he shone. Hettienne Park rounded out the ensemble with a solid performance. The play was an interesting look at the life of a writer, and the cast made it worthwhile.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Oh my goodness, I'm obsessed. I cannot wait. This gives me chills. Is it March yet?

By the way, on a completely unrelated note, how freakin' AWESOME is Homeland? It's the best show on television. Seriously. It just keeps getting better. Sunday's episode? Brilliant. It took the season in a completely unexpected direction, and I can't wait to see what happens next.

Maybe later this week I'll be able to gather a collection of coherent thoughts. Maybe not, though, because it's a busy week for me. I was able to enjoy the weekend and spend a lot of time with two good friends, so that was nice. Now it's full steam ahead.

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

"In the rain, the pavement shines like silver. All the lights are misty in the river. In the darkness, the trees are full of starlight, and all I see is him and me forever and forever." ~les miserables (claude-michel Schönberg & alain boublil)

Fun video time: I'm a huge Sarah Silverman fan, so when I discovered that she loves musical theatre, I got really excited. She's not the best technical singer, but she's so enthusiastic and charismatic that it doesn't seem to matter here. She starts off by singing "On My Own" from Les Miz, the most overdone musical theatre song ever, the song that every girl who knows anything about musicals has memorized (yes, of course I am one of the many who can sing the whole song by heart), but she makes it sound...fresh. It's lovely. I wish she did more of "The Ladies Who Lunch" from Company (I love that song), because it seems perfect for her (both personality-wise and vocally). Anyway, I like this video.

In more Broadway related talk, Venus in Fur opened tonight, and I was glad to see that Isherwood gave it a rave in his New York Times review. Check out this great pull quote from his review about Nina Arianda, whom I also raved about:
"The flickering of those stage lights barely registers beside the incandescent Nina Arianda, the sensational young actress recreating the role that made her a name to watch when she first starred in the play Off Broadway. Portraying an actress giving the audition of a lifetime, Ms. Arianda is giving the first must-see performance of the Broadway season, a bravura turn that burns so brightly you can almost feel the heat on your face...."
I completely agree that she's giving the must-see performance of the Broadway season. It's one of the best performances I've ever seen. All the reviews are raving about her, and it makes me so happy. I don't want to get my hopes up so far away from the Tonys, but I'm feeling good right now about Ms. Arianda's chances.