Several nights at the Oscars with Warner Bros

Hello, it’s hubby here, moonlighting from Daddacool again. Wifey likes watching films, so I had to beg for permission to write up our recent endeavours as I don’t get the chance to myself.

We are a film watching household and always have been. True, more recently the films have to be a U certification and preferably contain either ponies, talking animals or superheroes but occasionally we do still get to watch grown up films so when Warner Bros sent us a box of their Oscar winning greats, we jumped at the opportunity for a few quiet evenings in with some top films.

Our box of delights contained:

  • Midnight in Paris
  • An American in Paris
  • The Blindside
  • Casablanca
  • Gone with the Wind
With the exception of Gone with the Wind, we hadn’t seen any of these films! We’re not living in a cultural wasteland or anything but even Casablanca has managed to slip by the radar for some reason or other.

I think I’d missed Midnight in Paris because I’d decided I wasn’t a huge fan of Woody Allen. I don’t like the whole Jewish family comedy thing to be honest, so thought Allen wasn’t for me so it was somewhat of a revelation when we watched Midnight in Paris and I found Woody Allen very much is for me. It’s a great turn by Owen Wilson as Gil, a writer who draws inspiration from his midnight walks in Paris. The scenery is sumptuous and the flashbacks to the 1920’s steeped in atmosphere.

An American in Paris got 6 Oscars when it came out and is probably my favourite Gene Kelly musical after the first watch. Kelly plays an ex-GI in Paris looking for love. The dancing is classic Kelly but the scenery really steals the show. If you’ve got a love of Paris or a love of dance, you’ve really got to see this film.

The Blindside is about as far from Speed as it’s possible to get and Sandra Bullock accurately answers the question of what roles there are for actresses who are past the age of 30*. It’s also the second film with Kathy Bates in it. She is obviously the mark of Oscar success! Based on a true story, Bullock plays the mum in a family who help out a homeless and destitute lad in a journey that sees him through to the NFL draft. It’s very worthy but also an engaging film. Not my favourite on the list by any stretch but I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed it.

Casablanca is an all time classic, starring some of cinemas greats. Ingrid Bergman shows what it means to be a beautiful actress, something a lot of today’s wooden eye candy could do with studying. Wearing your undies for a GQ photoshoot doesn’t make you a film star and Bergman shows up todays current generation of “stars” with a great performance next to Bogart. I always like to see Peter Lorrie in films too, he’s ace.

Finally, we have Gone with the Wind, a film that everyone should see and should be included on the school curriculum. There was apparently outrage and public protestation when Vivien Leigh was cast in the role of Scarlet- how dare they cast our beloved belle of the south as an English women? they cried but my word, she makes the role her own and almost manages to dominate the film in it. She comes a brave second to some of the most astonishing set pieces you’ll see in cinema though, lavish during a period where lavish was done properly, this is a tale of love and betrayal during the Civil War that you can’t miss.
Warner Bros has a pretty astonishing back catalogue of greats, and these are but a few of them. It makes you realise how many of today’s films rely on effects for
*it often seems that actresses go from playing the foxy young lady to the slightly dowdy mum when they hit 30. It’s odd seeing actresses who were glamming it up last year pretending they’ve got 12 year olds this year.

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