The Artist (2011)
I saw this charming/B&W/nearly silent film the night after the Oscars w/ my friend Anita. We wanted to see what all the fuss was about! It was a cute, fun, and optimistic (RARE for movies these days).
The two French leads (Oscar winner Jean Dujardin & Bernice Bejo) had a LOT of chemistry w/ each other. Dujardin has ALL the qualities of a leading man. Even the little dog hit the right notes! There are also American actors in supporting roles, including John Goodman.
The Social Network (2010)
Though this film’s main character is Facebook founder Mark Zuckerburg (Jesse Eisenberg, who I first saw in Roger Dodger), the actor w/ the meatiest role is young Brit Andrew Garfield, who plays Mark’s best friend Eduardo Saverin. The audience’s sympathies lie w/ Eduardo, who was the first one to believe in (and fund) Mark’s idea. Eventually, the two pals face-off in a lawsuit, when Eduardo’s shares in the company are reduced to almost nothing.
Another lawsuit is brought by the creators of Harvard Connection, the Winklevoss twins (Armie Hammer, who will soon appear in Mirror, Mirror) and their close friend/programmar, Divya Narendra (Max Minghella, son of director Anthony Minghella). [There ARE desis out in Hollywood, so I don’t see why Minghella got this role!]
Sad to say, but there isn’t much for the ladies in this film to do. Nor are they very well-developed, aside from young Rooney Mara, who has a small/pivotal role as Mark’s ex-gf. (I don’t want to discuss Brenda Song, so we’ll skip that.) Rashida Jones played a sympathetic lawyer, but her role was quite small.
The Young Victoria (2009)
My mom liked this movie more than Jane Eyre, perhaps b/c of its positive/uplifting viewpoint of a courtship. We know that England’s Queen Victoria (EmilyBlunt) and her husband, German prince Alfred (Rupert Friend) were a match made by their elders, BUT grew to love each other deeply. In Mrs. Brown, the elderly Victoria (Judy Dench) is coming out of a LONG mourning.
Blunt is a VERY capable actor, BUT in this film, I was drawn more to Friend’s character. After all, he’s the outsider who has to adjust to playing a secondary role in his adopted land. (Alfred did a LOT for the arts and nature preservation in England.)