Sully The story of Chesley Sullenberger, an American pilot who became a hero after landing his damaged plane on the Hudson River in order to save the flight's passengers and crew.: This film was released on September 9th, so if you didn't get to see it in a theater, you'll have to look for it in your streaming services or on DVD/Blu-Ray, when that happens. If it does get nominated for any awards this award season, then it may get RE-released in theaters.
It's based on the true story of the "Miracle on the Hudson", and it's more the story of the investigation into the "crash" than it is the events leading up to the water landing (because, really, the story of just the events leading up to and including the landing would NOT make a good feature-length film). That said, I was pleased to "witness" the "crash" multiple times, as well as each of Sully's nightmare crashes. Not that I'm a fan of plane crashes. I'm as much a fan of a bonfire in person as the next person; I only want to see fiery crashes ON SCREEN, because I know they were made in controlled situations or done digitally. But all of the "crashes" they showed in this film, either "real" or imagined, had me bracing for impact, as if I were ON those planes.
The script was well written; the crashes were realistic; all of the character relationships were believable; there was not a bad performance. That said, I don't really know if there was anything that really "stood out" to qualify this movie as award-winning or Highly Recommended. If you get a chance to see it, you should. You won't be disappointed. Here's my takeaway, from a fortune cookie fortune Sully pulls out of his wallet, after the fact: Delay is better than disaster.
Love & Friendship Lady Susan Vernon takes up temporary residence at her in-laws' estate and, while there, is determined to be a matchmaker for her daughter Frederica -- and herself too, naturally.: This movie was released on my birthday, so the only way you can see it now is on Amazon Prime (I think; "check local listings", as they say). It's based on Jane Austen's book that was posthumously titled "Lady Susan". It's quite a fun period piece, set throughout England, in London and on various country estates.
The dialogue was difficult for me to follow, at first. More difficult than Shakespeare, honestly. So with a lack of captions or subtitles, I just had to focus all the more, in order to follow the story. It is really visually stunning, and once you get what they're talking about, it's quite humourous. Lady Susan is a widow in an era of complete patriarchy, so she's got to do what she's got to do to set herself and her daughter up in the manner-to-which-they'd-been-accustomed. Plenty of intrigue and backstabbery. Really fun.
This film will probably be nominated for its visual aspects, like COSTUME design, so if that's the sort of thing that really juices you, then I would throw that Highly on the Recommended I'm giving it for everyone else. If the eventual Blu-Ray is reasonably priced, we'll own it (because the special features are sure to include commentary about the costumes, locations, dialogue, etc.). And the film itself will be closed-captioned! (Win, for us older kids)
Blue Jay Meeting by chance when they return to their tiny California hometown, two former high-school sweethearts reflect on their shared past.: This one came out on October 11th, so chances are decent you'll still be able to find it in a theater.
If you've heard "our story" and wanted to see it on screen, then Blue Jay is for you. No, they did not base it on my experiences with Stephen, and we're not getting story credit or anything. But there are a lot of similarities in the romantic/nostalgic aspects of reuniting after twenty years and discovering what's changed about each person, and what will never change.
This is almost a short film, in that it only runs 85 minutes. But it is very "private" in its tone, and it was shot in black and white in only 7 days, because we really don't spend much time with anyone other than the two main characters. It will make you laugh; it will make you think; it may make you cry. Look for it. Recommended.
The Founder The story of McDonald's founder Ray Kroc: This one doesn't come out until January 20th, so...
Did you see The Social Network and walk away kinda hating Mark Zuckerberg? Did you see Steve Jobs and kinda walk away hating Steve Jobs? You sort of appreciated what they were able to accomplish, but neither of those movies left you feeling good about the men or their products, right? Well, that's pretty much how The Founder is going to leave you regarding McDonald's.
The performances in this one are really great, totally believable, and you find yourself wishing that the McDonald brothers would have budged just a little when Ray tries to re-negotiate... because had they budged just a little, it may have staved off the much-harsher-for-them consequences. Over the course of time, those boys got screwed, and some of that could have been prevented, in my opinion, by listening to Ray's insights and requests and giving in a bit.
Ray isn't/wasn't an evil person. He was simply a human being with a bigger dream and the chutzpah to realize it, and the McDonald brothers neither had his vision nor his chutzpah, and he just bulldozed right over them.
This screening was followed by a Q&A with Michael Keaton, whom I adore as an actor. The Q&A, in my opinion, would have definitely been better served by also including Nick Offerman and John Carroll Lynch. Keaton was a bit manic, and I'm not sure he completed more than three sentences, even though he spoke for the full half-hour. Not that any of that matters regarding the film. It's good. If you're interested in biopics about men with a dream, then you will definitely enjoy The Founder. Will anyone be nominated for anything? I kinda doubt it, but I'm not on the nominating committee, so what do I know? Recommended.