308 posts categorized "Classic Cinema"

January 30, 2023

BLONDE

COLE SMITHEY

Groupthink doesn't live here, critical thought does.

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ColeSmithey.comStraight masterpiece.

Screenwriter/director Andrew Dominik's filmic adaptation of Joyce Carol Oates's 2000 fictionalized novel of the same title serves as a trenchant indictment of capitalism, the media, and of an incoherent American patriarchy that knows nothing but abuse.

Ana de Armas is uncanny in her fearless portrayal of Hollywood's most iconic actress.

Stunner.

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It's a coincidence that in the same year that Austin Butler embodied Elvis Presley with an otherworldly performance of rigor and inspiration, Ana de Armas hits a similar if not more profound height of authenticity.

Elvis and Marilyn were each prisoners of their enormous fame/marketability.

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Ana de Armas may just be the finest actor of our time.

Unforgettable.

Spellbinding.

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Through the darkness and pain of a constant stream of traumas, Norma Jeane Baker battled demons near and remembered with a sharp intellect that Andrew Dominik keenly exposes through Ana de Armas's high-wire performance.

Indisputably, Andrew Dominik is a true master artist of Cinema.

The proof is in the pudding.

Gracefully cuts quick to the bone.

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Audiences familiar with Dominik's past films, "Chopper" (2000), "The Assassination of Jesse James by the coward Robert Ford" (2007), and "Killing Them Softly" (2012), might have an inkling for the depth of visually dynamic storytelling on display in "Blonde."

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"Blonde" functions as a feminist narrative that digs in dark corners of 20th century American reality and ideology where beauty is a trashy fad object to be worshiped, reviled, used up and thrown away.

Rigorous feminist think piece. You bet.

Joyce Carol Oates was no slouch.

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So, if you're real serious, read Joyce Carol Oates's novel "Blonde," because you can.

And, besides, Joyce Carol Oates is still alive at the time of this writing, and even gave Ana de Armas

props for her exquisite portrayal of Norma Jeane Baker/Marilyn Monroe.

Right on.

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Norma Jeane Mortenson revolted against the cold indifference of those who imagined they owned her, which was just about everyone.

Rebel.

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It was a herculean effort that could not be sustained for very long.

What we are left with is just a memory of a rare, fragile, talented young woman being bought and sold into modern-day slavery under the guise of Hollywood.

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These days people give their lives away on social media and YouTube for pennies. 

People's lives are reduced to content.

This phenomenal film is not that.

This is Cinema.

Take your content and shove it.

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Rated NC-17. 166 mins.

5 Stars“ColeSmithey.com“

Cozy Cole

Cole Smithey on Patreon

January 15, 2023

TO CATCH A THIEF — CLASSIC FILM PICK

COLE SMITHEY

Groupthink doesn't live here, critical thought does.

Welcome!

This ad-free website is dedicated to Agnès Varda and to Luis Buñuel.

Get cool rewards when you click on the button to pledge your support through Patreon.

Thanks a lot acorns!

Your kind generosity keeps the reviews coming!

Cole Smithey on Patreon



ColeSmithey.comAlfred Hitchcock goes on a full LGBTQ romp in this elegant romantic suspense classic.

Cary Grant is at his most swishy as John "The Cat" Robie, an ex-pat French Resistance fighter turned cat burglar. 

Check out Robie serving Quiche Lorraine to John Williams's  insurance agent high above the French Riviera at Robie's villa.

Gay code baby.

There's a reason Robie has stayed single all these years.

The lacking sexual chemistry between Grant and Kelly is appropriate for their opportunist characters.

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It also serves to make the point that we are watching movie stars acting as if they are falling in love.

We can lean into Hitchcock's artistic flair for artificiality.

The fact that Grace Kelly's Frances character makes the first move when she kisses Robie at her hotel door, speaks volumes.

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Robie may or may not have retired from stealing jewelry. Either way, a lot of fancy loot is going missing from Cannes Hotel rooms.

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Hitchcock's filmic love letter to the Riviera features spectacular views of Cannes.

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Check out the ever-impressive Carlton Hotel on the croisette, or the legendary Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc.

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Lovely, but nothing can compare to Grace Kelly in her role as Frances Stevens, a husband-hunting nouveau riche object of desire.

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Hitchcock gives Douglas Sirk a run for his money.

If you like costumes, this is your picture.

Glamor, light, and color explode from every frame of this delightful movie.

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"To Catch A Thief" may be an atypical film for Hitchcock's sardonic oeuvre due to its lighthearted nature, but "To Catch a Thief" is a movie to sit back and savor whenever the mood strikes.

You'll always get a great cinematic kiss.

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Rated PG. 106 mins.

5 Stars“ColeSmithey.com“

Cozy Cole

Cole Smithey on Patreon

December 21, 2022

ELVIS — CANNES 2022

COLE SMITHEY

Groupthink doesn't live here, critical thought does.

Welcome!

This ad-free website is dedicated to Agnès Varda and to Luis Buñuel.

Get cool rewards when you click on the button to pledge your support through Patreon.

Thanks a lot acorns!

Your kind generosity keeps the reviews coming!

Cole Smithey on Patreon



ColeSmithey.comThis soup-to-nuts musical biopic about Elvis Presley is a stunner.

Wow!

Sit back and enjoy.

Best if you're watching "Elvis" on a big screen; this is 100% a BIG SCREEN movie.

No holding back.

Tom Hanks delivers the most superb performance of his legendary career as con-man/music agent Colonel Tom Parker.

Hanks delivers the goods in spades. This is the work of a dedicated creator of character.

Tom Hanks is truly an actor's actor.

Screen Shot 2022-12-21 at 2.38.53 PM

Likewise, “Elvis” proves to be director/co-screenwriter Baz Luhrmann’s best film by far.

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As for the film’s lead actor, Austin Butler is phenomenal in his deeply executed portrayal of Elvis Presley.

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Butler’s performance is much more than an impersonation. You feel in touch with the real Elvis Presley through Austin Butler’s dynamic use of acting craft.

Fire, baby.

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Talk about range. 

This young man has range to spare.

And yes, that's Butler singing every Elvis song with his own vocal cords and skill.

Insane in the membrane.

Shut the front door, and listen to unadorned perfection.

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Let’s just give Austin Butler his Best Actor Oscar now.

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Credit goes to co-screenwriters: Sam Bromell, Craig Pearce, and Jeremy Doner for authoring a truly masterful script.

Film courses will focus on this movie.

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Mandy Walker's cinematography is strictly superb.

On fleek bitches.

 

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Elvis Presley’s personal and public story is a cautionary tale connected to the turbulent American decades that witnessed political assassinations, rampant racism, puritanical assaults on freedom, and the best voice that you could possibly imagine, namely that of one Elvis Aaron Presley.

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Baz Luhrmann and his truly gifted team of dedicated actors and filmmakers do Elvis Presley’s rich musical legacy proud.  

ColeSmithey.com

If you only see one movie from 2022, "Elvis" is the one to choose.

Rated PG. 159 mins.

5 StarsBMOD COLE2

Cozy Cole

Cole Smithey on Patreon

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