Thursday, February 25, 2016

Thursday Movie Picks: Valentine's Edition - Love Triangles


I got Oscars on the brain this week, so I decided to go with Best Picture-winning Love Triangles. I even had to stretch it for one (or two) of these, but that's okay. When I get what I think is a clever idea, I just have to run with it. I even picked all of these last year at some point, but I just don't care.

It's Thursday, Oscar Thursday, and I have a trio of films that feature the Love Triangle element the Wanderer of Wandering through the Shelves is looking for this week as part of the ongoing Thursday Movie Picks.


Here are mine, Best Picture-style:

The Apartment
Dir. Billy Wilder, 1960


C.C. "Bud" Baxter (Jack Lemmon) is one of the most relatable characters in all of movies, at least for a guy like me. He is lonely, abused for success, in love with the elevator girl in his Manhattan office building, Miss Kubelik (Shirley MacLaine). Little does he know, his own boss, the man who will take him up the corporate ladder, Mr. Sheldrake (Fred MacMurray) is carrying on an affair with none other than his crush. Guys like me hate guys like Sheldrake, a man in it "for a couple laughs," while we Mr. Nice Guys lie in wait. That is what speaks so loudly in this film. A woman cares for two men, one was there first, but which one is right? It is a true classic

Amadeus
Dir. Milos Forman, 1984


For my non-traditional pick this week, I give you the story of a passionate, jealous feud over the most glorious music ever written and the favor of the masses, led my the Emperor of Austria (Jeffrey Jones). Salieri (F. Murray Abraham) loves music. Mozart (Tom Hulce) loves music. One is a prodigal, cackling child. The other a serious man whose faith is tested to the other's detriment. The triangle this creates is of the purest kind. It is the driving force of one of the best movies ever made.

The Departed
Dir. Martin Scorsese, 2006


At the center of Martin Scorsese's remake of the acclaimed Hong Kong film, Infernal Affairs, is a woman played by Vera Farmiga. She is a therapist for the state, working with troubled Staties in Boston. While forcing therapy on Billy Costigan (Leonardo DiCaprio), an attraction ensues, leading to some much-called-for steaminess, albeit briefly. The problem is that she is engaged to Billy's unknown nemesis, the crooked Statie detective, Colin Sullivan (Matt Damon). This might not work if Farmiga wasn't so perfect. Alas, she is, and it does.

A Bonus Best Picture Nominee

Brooklyn
Dir. John Crowley, 2015


The greatest thing about Brooklyn is how much it makes you love everybody in it. There is no intense jealousy or rivalry. Just an honest look at the life choices confronted by Eilis (Saoirse Ronan), a young Irish girl trying to make good in America while her home keeps calling her back. America is represented by the charming Tony (Emory Cohen), an Italian-American with a heart of gold. Ireland has Jim Farrell (Domhnall Gleeson) in its corner. Both of these men color places that hold our heroine's heart. The choice is of a home. Either would satisfy. One has the edge.


19 comments:

  1. Love that you went this route. All of them are great (and such varied) movies. I love that you went with Amadeus, since it's such an inspired take on the theme...but we have Musical Biopic coming in just a few weeks and I was certain you'd choose that for it...so I didn't! LOL...I already have my post set to drop and I even say something about how you better pick that movie!

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    1. Yeah, Drew, my biggest problem in doing the Thursday thing is that I don't look far enough ahead. I'm usually only two or three weeks ahead (at most) at any given time, so I didn't even know Musical Biopic was coming up. Oh, well. There are others I love, and I'll go ahead and use Amadeus again...for you. Lol.

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  2. I LOVE Brooklyn! It's one of my favorites this year. Departed is a great choice, I never would've thought of that. I haven't seen the other two, though I have The Apartment on my Blind Spot list.

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    1. Can't wait for you to watch The Apartment! I adore it.

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  3. I haven't seen Brooklyn yet, but I can't wait, everyone's saying is a great film. I haven't seen The Apartment, but The Departed and Amadeus are two great choices.

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    1. I highly recommend The Apartment. And Brooklyn is in my top five of last year for me.

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  4. Great call on The Departed and The Apartment. I'm not a huge fan of the latter, but it fits perfectly. Haven't seen Amadeus, yet.

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    1. Oh, Dell. See Amadeus. Brilliant!

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  5. A theme within the theme! I love that!

    The Apartment is an ideal choice for this week. All three leads are so great, such a change of pace for MacMurray who outside of this and Double Indemnity was always the good guy. Actually the amount of backlash he received from doing this made him decide to stick with the hero role from that point on. He wasn't even originally cast, Paul Douglas was (he would have been great as well) but he died suddenly from a heart attack and Fred stepped in.

    That's a wonderful spin with Amadeus. Such a rich viewing experience, fantastic performances across the board and the production design is amazing.

    I haven't seen Brooklyn yet but I'm looking forward to it. Sorry but I DETEST The Departed.

    I wasn't able to be as clever with my choices as you this week unfortunately:

    This Means War (2012)-Two CIA secret agents (Chris Pine & Tom Hardy) best friends and roommates go all out in their competition when they discover they have fallen for the same woman (Reese Witherspoon). The three actors work hard to buoy this with their personality and charisma. One problem: Tom Hardy and Chris Pine’s chemistry with each other is much stronger than either share with Reese. The director's roots in music videos are painfully obvious and he does nothing to smooth out the many kinks in the borderline creepy plot.

    Keeping the Faith (2000)-A triangle with a twist. Two men-a priest and a rabbi (Edward Norton & Ben Stiller), friends since childhood, fall for the same woman (Jenna Elfman). She is likewise a friend from their youth newly returned to town. The various conflicts the situation presents make up the bulk of the film.

    Some Kind of Wonderful (1987)-Working class high schooler Keith (Eric Stoltz) longs to date the most popular girl in school Amanda Jones (Lea Thompson) and his best friend, the tomboyish Watts (Mary Stuart Masterton), tries to help at first. Once he makes the date though she realizes she’s jealous. Add in that Amanda’s ex-boyfriend, jackass rich boy Hardy (Craig Sheffer), resents being replaced by someone he sees as inferior and plots revenge. All the pieces are now in place for a big showdown. If the plot sounds somewhat familiar it’s because this was written by the prolific king of 80’s teen angst John Hughes. Good performances all around.

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    1. Well, This Means War is a title that escaped me. I generally avoid romantic comedies of that nature, yet I usually like them. Didn't realize Tom Hardy was in it.

      Keeping the Faith is fantastic. I would've picked it if I hadn't done the Oscar theme. I love Jenna Elfman. I always though she was so hot when I was a teenager.

      Some Kind of Wonderful is a movie I need to queue up right now. I know I should've seen it, as I want to be an 80s teen movie completist. Great picks!

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  6. You are totally right about The Apartment - Baxter is indeed so relatable and Shelldrake is a bastard (I was kinda shocked by Fred MacMurray in that role because he played such an effective bastard).

    Amadeus is a brilliant twist on this theme. And one of the greatest films ever made.

    I totally forgot about that angle in The Departed, which I like but don't love.

    Agree whole-heartedly on Brooklyn, too, which is perhaps the epitome of a "nice" picture but is SO well-done. I love it so much. It's my vote for Best Picture this year.

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    1. Once again, we are so right on, man. Brooklyn is easily in my top five of last year, and I would've loved for it to win Best Picture.

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  7. love your choices! the Apartment is perfect for this week and it is such a great film. I love your inspired choice of Amadeus which does fit, to me any way. the Departed is another good one because one doesn't think of this when watching this film. I still have to see Brooklyn but I will

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  8. Haven't seen The Apartment or Amadeus. But I love The Departed. Definitely my favorite Scorsese film.

    And I just LOVE Brooklyn. It is such a lovely film. You know how much I love that film. Saoirse Ronan is just so good in that film that I can't put into words about how great her performance was.

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    1. Dude. Gotta start by disagreeing...Goodfellas is Scorsese's best film. Anyway, I urge you to see The Apartment (and as many Billy Wilder films as you can). I can say the same thing about Amadeus and the rest of Milos Forman's films as well.

      Brooklyn really is so lovely. Thanks for stopping by, buddy.

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    2. Yeah, I know. Goodfellas was definitely his best work. But The Departed was the first Scorsese film I watched. It's basically a tie between Goodfellas & The Departed.

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  9. Great picks! Amadeus is an interesting pick indeed, not one I would have thought of straight away. Love Jack Lemmon so good to any of this films picked!

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    1. Thanks! Jack Lemmon is the man for sure.

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