The Whirlwind Career Of Robert Downey Jr.

The life and career of Robert Downey Jr. are more of a roller coaster than any movie he’s ever made. His well documented legal and addiction troubles nearly derailed an acting career that was skyrocketing complete with an Oscar nomination, a season on SNL and being the lead alongside superstars like Mel Gibson all by the time he was 27.

His descent into a life of addiction and prison time almost became more well known than any movie he had ever made. Four films are the most pivotal movies in his life and career all for very different reasons. I’m going to break them down in chronological order and why they are so important in the life and career of Robert Downey Jr.

The Career Of Robert Downey Jr.

Before I lay out the list, there are a few films I should mention first that were also essential films for Downey but not as game-changing. The film Air America was one of the first where he was indeed a marquee star. It was a buddy comedy with Mel Gibson who was hitting his peak of fame.

The second film was Wonder Boys with Michael Douglas. This movie was one of the first where everyone thought he was starting to turn the corner. His performance was highly praised, but he was still a few years away from sobriety and the fact that he wasn’t sober overshadowed his performance.

Third and fourth came back to back with Tropic Thunder which earned him his second academy award nomination and he was the all the talk of the awards that night even though he didn’t come home with a statue. He was now famously five years sober and clearly at the top of his acting talents and showing how great he was.

The fourth was Sherlock Holmes which earned him the golden globe and provided the opportunity for his peers to celebrate him and his new life and serious commitment to his career. It was an emotional yet very deserved moment.

1. Less Than Zero (1987)

Less Than Zero was the first time he was billed with Jr. attached to his name and the beginning of some of the legendary party stories for RDJ. this is where the career of Robert Downey Jr. REALLY began He has been quoted as saying this was the first time his drug and alcohol use spilled over into the production and not just during his downtime. Director Marek Kanievska told him and his co-star Andrew McCarthy (who battled his own addiction problems) to go out and party to get into character. This direction probably wasn’t the reason his abuses took such a foothold but more than likely they sped things up. The film was panned by critics and even the author of the source material book of the same name. It has since gained more appreciation in the 30 years since its release, but its foreshadowing can’t be ignored.

2. Chaplin (1992)

RDJ blew the doors off his portrayal of the legendary screen icon and gave Downey his first Oscar nomination, and it was well earned. Despite all his faults, he was able to transform himself completely. It would also turn out to be one of the last films for a long time that wouldn’t be plagued by his demons. Most critics and fans looked at Chaplin as the movie that showed what RDJ could have been.

3. Kiss Kiss Bang Bang (2005)

2003 is the year Downey got sober and finally stayed sober for which he credits his current wife and her support for him. Downey came to realize he couldn’t go anywhere other than prison or the grave and he has famously said that he is allergic to drugs and alcohol, he always breaks out into handcuffs. It would still be two years before he would make an impact and headline a major motion picture and prove to people he was more committed to his career than to ruin it. The buddy picture that was written and directed by the writer of the massive hit Lethal Weapon had RDJ star alongside Val Kilmer and proved to be a highly underrated movie and showed Downey’s comedic brilliance.

4. Iron Man (2008)

The superhero resurgence and current domination can be traced to one film, Iron Man. The juggernaut of Marvel Comics becoming kings of the box office is where it is because RDJ WAS Tony Stark. Every embodiment of that character is deep inside him, and he OWNED it. He had been sober for five years and was still busting his butt to prove to be people his commitment to acting. He became the biggest star in the world with this movie and solidified himself as 100 percent back in the game.

It is wonderful to know that there is a whole generation of movie fans that will only know him at this point in his career. It is forever in his contracts that he has to provide insurance for the films in the case he was, and his salary is held until the film is complete. He will always have to fight his demons and in a sense will always be paying for his past but thankfully all movie fans he convinced us all that he is back. I am just glad the the life and career of Robert Downey Jr. is as of yet unfinished with much more to come.

Lady Bird Review

For some time now Greta Gerwig has been slowly taking the title of “queen of independent films” away from its longtime holder, Parker Posey. Well, now she has once again gone behind the camera and released her second film, Lady Bird, which she also has written. Lady Bird also stars one of the industries best young actresses, two-time Academy Award nominee, Saoirse Ronan. Ronan blew everyone away when she stole the show in 2007’s Atonement as well as her beautiful performance in one of 2015’s best films, Brooklyn. 

Lady Bird is the story of Christine “Lady Bird” McPherson, a seventeen-year-old girl who is doing her best to exist in a city, school, and home that feels out of place in. These feelings are compounded by a contentious relationship with her overly critical mother, Marion played by Laurie Metcalf in the role of her career.

As Lady Bird navigates her way through her senior year of high school she discovers heartbreak, superficial friendships and how these experiences can mold you into everything that makes you who you are. Hell-bent on attending an east coast college she consistently butts heads with her mother on her future while discovering the depths of her parents struggle with their own lives. Lady Bird at times goes to great lengths to hide her family’s meager means while attending a private school with much better to do children. 

The relationship Lady Bird and her mother have is one that can easily be related to by most. Sympathy can easily be felt for both of them as it is well portrayed what each one’s deeper feelings and motivations truly are. Marion wants the best for her daughter but her blunt honesty and critical views of her daughter’s life and choices feel overbearing to Lady Bird. While on the other hand, Lady Bird also wants what she feels is best for herself while still not knowing what that is.

She desperately wants the encouragement and support from her mother in her choices and wants but can’t seem to get that from her. It is in this aspect that the movie really settles your heart because we come to want what they BOTH want. We see Lady Bird grow significantly throughout her final year of school and she gets all the support and understanding from her loving father played by Tracy Letts. Her father is struggling in his life both outwardly and within himself all while doing all he can to give his daughter everything she needs to be a successful woman. 

This is Saoirse Ronan’s first major role since her Oscar-nominated performance in Brooklyn and she seamlessly transitions from a 1950’s Irish immigrant trying to make it in a new world, to an eccentric teenager battling her way through some of the most tumultuous times in her life.

Her performance is so genuine and real that we feel every emotion and difficulty she has and her struggle to navigate her way through it. This is a character that could not have been played by any other actress out there because of how we feel about her. As much as this is due to Ronan’s unbelievable abilities it is equally attributed to the magnificent script that Gerwig has masterfully crafted. 

Lady Bird is one of the most heartwarming yet raw coming of age stories that have been put out in years. Without question, Gerwig has established herself as a preeminent filmmaker working right now. In a time and industry that is in recent times been plagued with mistreatment of women and abuses of power that make everyone sick, Lady Bird is the glittering jewel that makes people want to make films and makes the viewer continue to enjoy them.

All is not lost in the industry that seems to have had its legs knocked out from underneath it. Films can be built back into what it once was and it will be done with the strength of filmmakers like Gerwig. She will soon become a signal of hope for all the women fighting for equality in the industry. 

Lady Bird is now available for viewing on Amazon Prime for free.

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing Missouri Review

This was Published on December 29, 2017. Frances McDormand has quietly become one of the most reliable actresses working today. I would dare say her consistency is above even Meryl Streep. She doesn’t churn out movie after movie. She isn’t exactly a marquee draw, but every time she makes a movie she MAKES the film. She has four Oscar nominations to her name and one win for her brilliant turn in Fargo. She is on her way to her fifth nomination and very possibly her second win for her roll in Three Billboards Outside Ebbing Missouri. Despite being married to one of the brilliant Coen brothers and often being in their films, she has no reason to think that is the reason for the respect she receives.

McDormand’s latest film is no exception to her long list of exceptional performance. Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri is an emotional yet tender and look at personal tragedy and loss. McDormand plays Mildred Hayes, a mother who lost her daughter to rape and murder just seven months before the start of the film. Fed up with the lack of progress in her daughter’s case by the local police, she rents three billboards on the edge of town and leaves a message for everyone to read and especially Chief of police played by Woody Harrelson.

When the city is somewhat divided into her methods, she is unwavering in pushing things to the limit to get the results she needs for closure. Mildred is still dealing with an abusive ex-husband played by the highly underrated John Hawkes. With a hotheaded police officer played by the ALSO underrated Sam Rockwell, with a tarnished record harassing her at every turn she seems to be fighting everyone to get closure on the death of her daughter. Mildred goes through a series of events that increase the resistance she is facing even from her own son, only to find help from the least likely of people.

Despite its unconventional title, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing Missouri is a masterfully crafted story lead by its incredible cast and script. The pacing of the movie is only one of its many significant aspects. The humor that accompanies it is not out of place by any means and does not at all diminish the seriousness of the central theme of the story. Writer/Director Martin McDonagh has a history of mixing these qualities well with past films such as In Bruges and Seven Psychopaths ( also with the great Sam Rockwell).

One of the great things about Three Billboards Outside Ebbing Missouri is seeing a director come into his own and get such top performances out of his cast. Highly overlooked in the cast is Game Of Thrones star Peter Dinklage’s performance. Although a relatively minor role he plays the part of a somewhat outcast just trying to fit in and express to Mildred that he has feelings for her and even understands her anger and bitterness at the world, something she never indeed recognizes in him.

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing Missouri is a movie that demands more than one viewing, not because of missed details but because of the different emotions, one feels during viewing that it takes more than one watch to be able to ingest all of it. The films have already garnered six Golden Globe nominations and be prepared for it to grab just as many Academy Award nominations and don’t at all be surprised to see McDormand and Sam Rockwell accept gold that night.

McDormand will have serious competition from Saoirse Ronan and Margot Robbie but make no mistake she is as deserving as any one of them to take the prize. At this point the only competition Sam Rockwell faces, in my opinion, is Christopher Plummer for All The Money In The World and Plummer’s ability to pull off what he did in the amount of time that he did is what gives him the advantage. I would love to see Sam Rockwell win and I’d be very curious to see the reception he would get, being as liked and respected as he is. It would make for a beautiful moment for him.

Titus Welliver Is More Than Just His Show Bosch Shows

If you’re a fan of the Amazon original show Bosch, then you know who the actor Titus Welliver is. If you don’t watch the show, you may be surprised to learn that you most likely know who he is too. Fans of the show Lost will recognize him as The Man In Black, a short-lived character but a hugely impactful one.

The reason people will be surprised when they discover that they have seen Welliver and didn’t know it is because he is one of the greatest chameleon actors working right now. His uncanny ability to take on an entirely new persona of a character is what makes it so hard to recognize him from role to role.

I first noticed Welliver’s talent on the HBO series Deadwood where he played Silas Adams, a close associate of a saloon owner, Al Swearengen. Deadwood was filled with a cast of actors with the same abilities as Welliver, such as Brad Dourif, Jim Beaver, and Dayton Callie. The cast of Deadwood has said that he is an expert mimic and can make several different impressions.

These are excellent skills and without a doubt significant reasons why he is so good at what he does. Welliver has also become quite the favorite of the director, Ben Affleck. He has appeared in all three feature films that Affleck has directed and is also cast in his latest effort, Live By Night, which is currently available for rent or purchase.

As an actor, Titus Welliver is as genuine as it comes. He never appears to take on roles for any other reason than he is interested in exploring a particular character. He has gone from one episode guest spots to having significant parts such as Gone Baby Gone and his current show, Bosch. He flies under the radar by not clamoring for every lead role. He’s not a face you see on talk shows and late night TV.

He has let his work speak for itself, and it has a unique and infectious voice. He has worked his way up purely on his skill and natural ability. To appreciate his range, one only needs to look at his work on Deadwood to Sons Of Anarchy and now to Bosch not to mention his numerous works in movies. You will not see his name in the credits as a producer or writer or director. He is an actor, and he is undoubtedly one of the best ones working. So keep an eye out for Titus Welliver, because he may sneak up on you and you may not even know it, but you will like it.

Top 5 Robert De Niro Films Of The 1970’s

There is no doubt that Robert De Niro is one of the most talented, fearless and ferocious actors of the last forty plus years. It is with this in mind that has lead me to my most recent top 5 list, or should I say lists. I have decided to break down Robert De Niro’s career, decade by decade with a top 5 list for every decade he has been relevant in the business.

This top 5 list will begin with the decade in which De Niro blazed on the scene and quickly became one of the most respected actors, the 1970’s. De Niro’s work was fairly limited in the 70’s but not at all to be forgotten as some of his most moving and unforgettable films would be made in the 70’s. Without any more build up, here are Robert De Niro’s best films of the 1970’s.

5. Bang The Drum Slowly

De Niro plays a baseball player with a fatal illness who forms a strong bond with one pitcher on the team. This was the first film in which people really took notice of De Niro and his acting ability. Based on a New York baseball team, it would be a fellow New Yorker that would cement him and begin his legacy.

4. Mean Streets

This would prove to be one of the most pivotal films in Robert De Niro’s career. It aligned him with a young visionary director named Martin Scorsese. The marriage of Scorsese and De Niro would prove to be one of the most prolific in Hollywood history. This pairing will appear many more times as these lists are written. Mean Streets is a raw, real look at life and crime in early 70’s New York City.

3. Taxi Driver

The second film made with Scorsese is the second film on the list. Playing Travis Bickle was a total master performance. Robert De Niro is absolutely terrifying and intense as the outcast cab driver who has crazy intentions and lives an odd life. Set in New York City it again portrays a scene in New York at the time it was filmed that people were not used to seeing and becoming afraid of.

2. The Godfather II

Playing one of the most iconic characters in film history, Vito Corleone, Robert De Niro would take home his first Academy Award. As a young Vito, his role would be spoken almost exclusively in Italian, which De Niro learned just for the role. This is the first and only time, two actors won Oscars for playing the same role. The Godfather II would go on to make De Niro a household name and star.

1. The Deer Hunter

The character of Michael and the film The Deer Hunter are quite possibly the most emotional in film history. Robert DeNiro is nothing shy of brilliant and fortunate to be surrounded by maybe the best performance by an ensemble cast ever. With memorable scenes like the Russian roulette scene and when Michael visits Steven in the hospital, he quite possibly became the greatest actor of his time. De Niro was never so emotional talking about a film as he was when he received his AFI life achievement award and spoke about his scene with John Savage when he visited him in the hospital, De Niro broke down in tears. That was enough to place this film at the top of all the movies he made in the 1970’s.

Wonder Wheel Review

Nobody makes a film that oozes nostalgia better than Woody Allen. Despite what opinions people hold about Allen, especially in this very polarizing time within the industry and the world in general, he is truly one of the greatest American filmmakers ever. Woody has always had a way of making 20th century period pieces that make the viewer long for a time that they may not have even lived in. Allen once again does that with Wonder Wheel.

Allen’s latest effort is set against the backdrop of post-war New York on the famous Coney Island. Known for its famous rides (such as the cyclone and the famous Ferris wheel, Wonder Wheel) and famous Nathan’s hot dogs, it was a magical place for anyone growing up in such a time and place. 

Kate Winslet leads an all-star cast as she plays Ginny, a middle-aged woman, and mother on her second marriage to a carousel operator who has a difficult time laying off the bottle. Ginny is stuck in a rut as her young son has become a pyromaniac and can’t stop setting fires all over. She is a waitress who feels like life is keeping her down as it passes her by when she meets Mickey, a young, good-looking, educated lifeguard. 

Ginny and Mickey soon strike up an affair when Ginny’s stepdaughter Carolina drops in out of nowhere on the run from her mobster husband who is looking to have her bumped off. After eventually making up with her father Humpty, she slowly begins to make a life for herself while working as a waitress with Ginny and going to night school. Carolina soon meets Mickey and somewhat of a love triangle begins. While Ginny is falling hard for Mickey, his eyes begin to draw towards Carolina. It isn’t long before mobsters find their way to Coney Island looking for Carolina.

Starring alongside Winslet is Jim Belushi as her somewhat buffoonish husband Humpty, Juno Temple as the young and troubled Carolina and Justin Timberlake as the dashing and smart lifeguard Mickey. The cast is very solid with excellent actors all around, but this is one of the only times I can think of where Woody may have gotten some casting wrong. 

Justin Timberlake has turned into quite a good actor but his casting here felt a bit off. He still feels too contemporary to play a young veteran in the 1950’s despite having the right look, his performance didn’t quite seem to match the theme. Despite Timberlake (who still does a fine job acting) the rest of the cast is spot on as usual for a Woody Allen movie. 

Belushi is absolutely perfect as the somewhat slobbish yet hardworking, blue-collar husband who just wants to fish and have his wife around with him. Juno Temple is so great as the seemingly innocent young girl on the run yet still hoping to find love despite her current predicament. 

That leaves Kate Winslet. When I first heard she was going to finally be in a Woody Allen film I could not wait for the release, and she doesn’t disappoint. She conveys the neurotic and frazzled mind that Allen has so often written for his protagonist in so many of his films. You can feel the stress mount on top of her as she falls deeper into her affair along with struggling to be a parent and wife along with having to look over her shoulder for the mafia.

While Wonder Wheel has a great storyline along with a picturesque setting, it is not one of Woody’s best. While to say the film is bad or not good is not at all accurate either, it just felt like something was off. Winslet is without a doubt the films saving grace and really exudes the emotion of the character so well. 

This is in no way a negative review of the movie. Allen writes AND directs a movie a year all at the age of 82 so its fair to say not every film is going to be Annie Hall or Midnight In Paris. Wonder Wheel is a beautiful look at a time in life when things didn’t seem so complicated and a time which people seem to long for. One of the things we see though is that, things were complicated even then, despite what we think or remember. Wonder Wheel is now on Amazon Prime for your viewing pleasure

The Shape Of Water Review

I am very excited to review The Shape Of Water for one reason. Two and half years ago I wrote a post about how the creativity in the movie industry seems to be all but dead. I still wholeheartedly believe that but, like I said before there are some exceptions to this. Guillermo del Toro is maybe the leader of the original filmmakers in Hollywood.

His 2006 film, Pan’s Labyrinth was one of the most creative films to hit cinemas in quite some time. He then brought the futuristic sci-fi action movie, Pacific Rim to theaters. This year he gave us yet another truly original story to life with The Shape Of Water. With an all-star cast including a slew of Oscar nominees, Sally Hawkins, Michael Shannon, Richard Jenkins and Oscar winner Octavia Spencer he brings his monsters back to life in beautiful style.

Set in the 1950s cold war in a highly secret government facility a mute cleaning woman who lives a small life who’s only friends are a fellow cleaning woman who looks out for her played by Octavia Spencer and her artist neighbor played by Richard Jenkins. When a secret project is brought into the facility by the nearly sadistic leader played by Michael Shannon. When Elisa (Hawkins) looks into the project too closely and discovers an amphibious creature which appears to be half man she finds herself unusually drawn to him and forms a friendship in secret.

When the Russians begin trying to capture the creature she forms a plan with her friends to take him out of the facility and bring him home to keep him from being experimented on. They soon pull off an unlikely heist which brings the creature to her home and has the government on a search to bring him back to the facility and keep him out of Russian hands. Elisa soon forms an even deeper bond with the creature that leads them to attempt to flee from everyone they know.

The mind of del Toro is something of people like Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, George Lucas (early Lucas) and Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry, in our own time. It has been recognized by critics and award committees and fans worldwide. He has used the film medium to bring his creatures, or as he refers to them, monsters, to life.

What makes The Shape Of Water wonderful to experience is not just his creativity but the beauty in which he makes his worlds come to life. del Toro is not just creative but he is a great filmmaker and has a very unique vision. He has a great sense of character and emotion that all great filmmakers have, which is what makes them great. His mind and worlds can captivate every cinephile and bring them into a new place which is what movies are all about.

The Shape Of Water is rightfully being recognized all over this year as one of the years best movies and rightfully so. While his style and worlds may not be for everyone, those with a desire for originality will find The Shape Of Water a refreshing new find. We can only wait for his next creation to be taken away to another fascinating world and time.

1990’s Coupe De Ville Is A Hidden Gem Of A Movie

Original Cinema Quad Poster – Movie Film Posters

We all have movies tucked away that few other people remember or saw. These hidden gems tend to be some of our favorites despite whatever critical negativity they received or how poorly they did at the box office. Often these are the movies that are rarely run on cable or network channels and if they are it’s at 3 am when only on the night you can’t sleep do you end up re-familiarizing yourself with it. Now just because I mention a movie as a hidden gem doesn’t mean no one knew about it or it didn’t have any popularity, it merely means it’s been forgotten. For me, this is 1990’s Coupe De Ville.

Coupe De Ville stars a young Patrick Dempsey and Daniel Stern with Alan Arkin playing their father. The story is of 3 brothers who famously don’t get along assigned with the task of driving their mothers birthday present, a 1954 Cadillac from Detroit to Florida. The brothers encounter various problems along the way and go so far as to nearly wreck the car. They are then forced to repair the damage themselves before delivering it to their mother. While it may sound like a basic plot and movie, it is. What makes it stand out is the chemistry between the characters and the razor-sharp dialogue. You genuinely take this trip with them and feel as though, for a time, you are a member of the family. With comedy that will leave tears in your eyes to the love, each brother shows for the other that will fill your heart.

Coupe De Ville was written by then unknown Mike Binder who would go on to create the HBO series, The Mind Of A Married Man and write such films as The Upside Of Anger and Reign Over Me starring Adam Sandler and Don Cheadle. His natural dialogue and superb character development are evident in all his movies, and Coupe De Ville was the beginning of great things to come.

COUPE DE VILLE, front from left: Arye Gross, Daniel Stern, Patrick Dempsey 

Until recently this movies was unavailable to purchase or rent on DVD. But it has since been released on DVD, so if you are looking to feel good and remember what its like to have a family member get under your skin than may we highly recommend Coupe De Ville.

Top 5 Kate Winslet Performances

Without a doubt, one of my favorite actresses is Kate Winslet. She is the quintessential British actress, she is fearless, natural and does everything 100% and makes it great. I am excited every time I see a trailer for one of her new movies, and my anticipation is its highest. She frequently uses the term “ballsy” to describe her characters. The term “ballsy” could easily describe Winslet herself and her choice of films. She has never been stereotyped other than having a reputation for being great at what she does. When I decided I was going to choose my top 5 favorite Kate Winslet movies, I realized I had taken up a challenging topic.

Professionally acting since she was very young, her credits begin in 1991 when she was 16, and it would be just three years her breakthrough role come to her. A small independent film with a young director, Oscar winner Peter Jackson. The film, Heavenly Creatures would be a smash hit in the independent film world, and Winslet never looked back. Two years later she received her first Oscar nomination for Sense And Sensibility. The year after that she was the lead character in the juggernaut film, Titanic.

Since all of this, Winslet’s resume reads like the stats of a baseball Hall of Famer. Since her first Oscar nomination, she has received seven total nominations and one win for her performance in The Reader. She has 11 Golden Globe nominations with four wins. 8 SAG award nominations and three wins and finally 8 BAFTA nominations and three wins… All of these accolades in the last 20 years. These are accolades equal to some of the best actors and actresses in the history of the industry. With all that said, on to the list of my top 5 favorite Kate Winslet roles.

5. Mildred Pierce

The only role on the list that wasn’t theatrically released, the 5 part HBO miniseries was carried entirely and focused on Winslet. Kate was in every scene of the epic series, and her performance made everything right about the series, even better. Her ability to give the character a fierce personality and watch her become humble and almost broken shows the talent that we have come to expect every time out.

4. Steve Jobs

This role in last years biopic gave her, her seventh Oscar nomination and won her a fourth Golden Globe and her third BAFTA award. The part of Joanna Hoffman was a particularly challenging one for her due to a few reasons. First, this was the first time that Winslet had to tackle the difficult task of mastering Aaron Sorkin’s fast-paced, back and forth dialogue. She passed that test with flying colors. The second difficulty was one that Winslet had learned to master the slight Polish accent beautifully. There would have been no debate if she had taken home the Oscar instead of Alicia Vikander.

3. Revolutionary Road

Revolutionary Road marked the second time she teamed up with extremely close friend Leonardo Di Caprio and first time working with her husband at the time, Oscar winner Sam Mendes. Movie fans everywhere had been eagerly awaiting Winslet and Leo to reunite on screen, and they did not disappoint. It proved to be the perfect choice for a reunion. They played anything but the perfect couple everyone remembered from Titanic, as well as showing how much they had both grown as actors and people. She won the Golden Globe for her performance in the leading dramatic actress category. It would prove to be a historic night for Winslet.

2. Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind

Her fourth Oscar nomination would come in 2004 for her masterful performance as Clementine Kruczynski in Michel Gondry’s opus, Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind. Playing opposite Jim Carrey, who was terrific himself, she pulled in what has been called one of the 100 greatest performances ever. The only reason she didn’t walk away with the Oscar was due to the buzz saw that year in the form of Hilary Swank. With an all-star cast, Winslet stood out, way out. Full Film Review Here

1. The Reader

There is no question this was her best role in my opinion. She finally took home Oscar gold for playing Hanna Schmitz. The incredibly moving and stirring story was made palpable by Winslet. The story of an eventually convicted Nazi war criminal and her intimate relationship with a young student who opens her up to all kinds of literature and stories are so compelling it leaves an indelible mark. Winslet’s performance is a massive reason for this. It is the fear her in her cap. One thing is for sure she’s not done churning out award-winning performances by a long shot.

Saturday Night Fever Captured The Disco Era With Perfect Accuracy

Every decade seems to have a movie that captures perfectly the feeling and times of that era. The music, the clothes, the voice. A movie like Saturday Night Fever captured a time and place unlike many other movies do.

The 70’s was a time of party and excess. The Vietnam war came to a close, and a new genre of music rose to dizzying heights for the first time since Rock ‘N’ Roll busted through in the 50’s. So if one movie truly captured this and those who consider this time, “their generation,” what would it be? A more dramatic way to answer would be with a specific beat, but this is not an interactive blog yet, and there is no podcast, however.
Saturday Night Fever captured post-high school life without college in working-class America. The film would make a household name out of John Travolta and at the same time make him a more prominent film star than anything else could have done.

Saturday Night Fever was based on a short story out of the New Yorker magazine about a Brooklyn youth who works at a blue collar job whose life revolves around blowing off steam every Saturday night at the local discotheque where he and his friends are the real kings and most popular.

Travolta brought Tony Manero to life with what may still be his best performance on screen, with all due respect to Pulp Fiction. Manero was the leader of a group of friends who, when they enter the 2001disco are known as “the faces.” Tony is hands down the ruler of the dance floor and the taste of every woman in the club. Events unfold that lead Tony to ponder his choices in associates and lifestyle. He begins to look to the future for a life that gives him any sense of fulfillment like he feels when he’s dancing.

With a soundtrack that still may be considered at the top of the heap after all these years, Saturday Night Fever created and revived a small culture of disco lovers and made disco the most significant and hottest trend in the world. Disco lifestyle became everything that represented cool. Studio 54 would not have existed without Saturday Night Fever. It was the exact definition of a phenomenon. The polyester clothes, the perfect hair, the dance moves, everything was just so and couldn’t be replicated without it feeling cliche.

The 1970’s is a time I have only experienced through movies and television and stories of those that lived it. From all I’ve gathered and learned, Saturday Night Fever was what everyone remembers and thinks of when the 70’s are referenced. There were other cultures and fads like the rock music with bands like Skynyrd and Zeppelin and so on. But no other film captured such a period and lifestyle like Saturday Night Fever. It was a real time capsule if a movie ever made one. It was post-Vietnam life and showed how the youth was much rougher around the edges and let middle America experience how the youth was living. There was nothing sugar coated in Fever, and no subject was taboo, from drugs to suicide to rape. It was a glimpse into the youth that not everyone wanted to see.

No doubt when you hear a disco song on the radio be it K.C. and the Sunshine Band or whether it is Barry Gibb’s signature falsetto voice, images flash in your head from large afro hairstyles to bell bottoms to Tony Manero’s iconic white suit. Regardless there is no question Saturday Night Fever screams 70’s and will always be associated with the decade