Tag Archive: Kate Winslet


The ❝October Birthdayz❞ Blogathon 2018, finally comes to an End!

So the month of Halloween comes to an end, as does this Blogathon. As promised on 1st October, Year 2018; even though the Blogathon was allocated from 20th to 22nd October 2018; due to time constrains and various other reasons, as some bloggers might not be able to contribute a post, within those dates; I am doing a special post today (Halloween night) for the Latecomers.

So here are the contributions from the Fashionably Late 🙂 :-

Battling my own stress and depression, withdrawal symptoms (of getting off and re-getting on stress medication), going through a heavy headed flu (practically this whole month), adverse effects of diabetic meds making things worse (don’t get me started on people here, testing my patience to the limit, the root cause of my psychological distress, in turn resulting in additional physical ailments); this month of October hasn’t been very nice to me (nor has this year really, but this month feels extra worse), anyway this country has never been good to me; so am extra grateful to my fellow Bloggers, for helping me make this Blogathon a success.

A Very Big THANK YOU, to all of you, my dear Blog-pals. Despite going through a lot of pitfalls, being able to get this Blogathon done, thanks to your help, brings me some sort of contentment. Without your lovely contributions, this wouldn’t have worked. If possible, I’d like to make The ❝October Birthdayz❞ Blogathon an annual event (hopefully in a better environment in the future), on No Nonsense with Nuwan Sen.

As I couldn’t contribute a Blog-post for my own Blogathon, I thought I’d share some links, of my past posts, related to October Births :-

Once again, Thank You guys n’ gals !!

Nuwan Sen

P.S. Also see other participants with their contributions, for Day 1, Day 2 & Day 3, from The ❝October Birthdayz❞ Blogathon (DAY 1), The ❝October Birthdayz❞ Blogathon (DAY 2) and The ❝October Birthdayz❞ Blogathon (Day 3), respectively.

 

TWEETS ( 2018)

Nuwan Sen’s Film Sense
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Welcome to a New Month, and to The October Birthdayz Blogathon 🍁 2018! 🎃🎃🎃🎃🎃🎃🎃🎃

October, is the tenth month of the Year, signifying the Orangey month of autumn in the Northern hemisphere, the orangish shades of maple leaves, associated with fall, and of course, the month of Halloween (with it’s Jack-o’-lanterns, carved out of orange pumpkins). Though Halloween’s roots originate in Christianity, All Hallows’ Eve, today (pretty much like Christmas), it’s more of a fun filled (non-religious) holiday, especially in the Northern American continent.

The month of October, also happens to be the birth month, of my sister, who actually lives in ‘Modern Day’ Halloween country – The United States of America (a.k.a. TrumpLand) itself. She’s been living there, residing in Princeton, New Jersey, USA, since May 2015. So, dedicating this Blogathon to my baby sister; who’ll complete the 38th year of her life, this month; I decided to host, The, very first, ❝October Birthdayz Blogathon! So in a sense, this Blogathon, is my gift to Sachinta’s upcoming 38th Birthday. Happy Birthday Sis!

So, my fellow bloggers/blog-pals/movie maniacs/film fanatics/cinema enthusiasts/bookish bums, you are all welcome. The Blogathon shall start on the 20th of October (my sister’s birthday) and end on 22nd of October. BUT, there are no hard and fast rules, as to when you can post. You can post, any day within the month, of October, effective immediately. So, even if you end up being fashionably late, do not fret, I shall do a special post for latecomers, on 31st October (Halloween night).

Though there are no hard and fast rules, on what or when you can post (it does have to be within this month), this Blogathon is to do with Movies, Movies and Movies. So below are some terms and conditions, on how to post, on any birthday associated with the Month of October. You are welcome to post, one or more, write-ups; as many as you like.

Some Simple Rules:

  • You are allowed to write about any famous or notorious personality, born in the month of October. But the write-up has to do with films (either Big Screen cinematic marvels or Small Screen movies made for television). So if you want to write about a non-film personality, the blog-post should be about a bio-pic based on his/her life, or a movie based on a true incident, where this particular ‘October born’ person played a pivotal part in (in which case, it has to be a charter-sketch of this famed person).
    [E.g. Mahatma Gandhi, Eleanor Roosevelt & Bonnie Parker, were born in the Month of October]
  • If you want to work on an author/playwright/poet, again it should either be a film based on their lives, or (in this case) a film adaptation of one of their works. BUT, it has to be a good movie (doesn’t matter how faithful the movie is to it’s source material). No judgemental and unoriginal clichés of “Books are better than Movies”, please. A good movie has to stand on it’s own merit, whether it’s based on a book or not. You are welcome to do an interesting compare and contrast (in which case both the book and movie ought to be critically acclaimed, or at least you should love both, the book as a book, and the movie as a movie)
    [E.g. Virgil, John Keats, Oscar Wilde & Joan Harrison, were born in the Month of October]
  • If you are writing on a movie starring an actor/actress, then it ought to be more of a character analysis, played by the ‘October born’ star. If there are more than one person born in October, appearing in the same movie, the review can be about the movie, but please focus more on the characters played by the ‘October born’ stars.
  • If it’s a film of an ‘October born’ director, then a movie review is more than enough, yet attributing to his unique directing techniques, as to how well the director crafted it.
  • If you want to speak about a cinematographer/music composer/playback singer/costume designer/set designer (in other words, a non-actor/actress or director, attached to the movie), please highlight this ‘October born’ person’s contribution, besides the film critique.
    [E.g. Costume Designer, Edith Head, and Music Composer, S.D. Burman, were born in the Month of October]
  • You are welcome to write about the personal life of an ‘October born’ film personality, instead of a movie they worked on, if you wish. Again, it ought to be a non-judgemental, non-sarcastic, sympathetic look at a person’s life and career. Exceptions are allowed, if the particular person was highly notorious (like a Nazi spy or a serial killer or something, who was/is a famous film personality).
  • If your, or your own Blog’s, birthday falls in the Month of October, you are welcome to include a bit about yourself/your Blog, within a film context.
  • Duplicates are allowed, but I would prefer, there were none, as there is a vast array of people born within the 31 days of October.
  • You are welcome to write about recently released movies and film personalities of the 21st century, as well; BUT I’d prefer if you were write about a movie/celebrity from the past centuries. There are so many forgotten gems of the past; from Roundhay Garden Scene (1888) (the oldest surviving moving picture – private family footage) to the Lumière Brothers 10 short films released in 1895 (the very first ‘Big Screen’ cinematic releases) to more contemporary greats from post war 40’s to the 1990’s; that need more exposure, and should to be spoken of.
  • Once you have decided, please mention what you shall work on, as a comment below; and once you’ve blogged about a film related subject matter, for this Blogathon, kindly post the link, as a comment below.

Kindly share my post, and invite other bloggers, to join in. And, last but not least, please help yourself to one or more, out of the 10, banners below, I specially made for the Blogathon.

Thank you and Enjoy

Nuwan Sen of No Nonsense with Nuwan Sen

Blogathon Banners

This is the second time I am hosting a Blogathon. The very first Blogathon (and the only one till now) I hosted, was back in September 2014 (See my Blog posts – The Essential 60’s Blogathon, The Essential 60’s Blogathon : Dr Strangelove, or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964) and The Essential 60’s Blogathon finalé from September/October 2014). But it wasn’t much of a success, as only four Bloggers (including me) took part in it. This year I hope it shall be more of a success, as I have a bigger blogging community now. Of course, even though am happily hosting this Blogathon, I shan’t take part it myself.

One of the main reasons, I shan’t work on a post for this Blogathon, is, ’cause am very sick (physically, mentally and otherwise). Since, I’ve been working on these banners, and a few more pictures/collages, within the last six days, to host this Blogathon, this month, I am forcing myself to somehow get this post done today, with a heavy sinus filled head, as the forces of Lankan nature are acting against me getting anything done. Am feeling quite exhausted, parched, dehydrated, with tired eyes, a cold and heaty throat and chest, as we speak; and writing this in a sort of a daze. I was down with the flu, when this year started, and am just as sick, as this beautiful month starts. I wonder whether am having an allergic reaction to the new diabetic meds I’ve been on for the last two weeks. I need to speak to my endocrinologist.

Anyway, I hope you shall all take part in this, my fellow Blog-pals and lovers of everything cinematic. I shall do three special posts (including your links of the posts you do) between 20th & 22nd October 2018, and a fourth n’ final one, for latecomers, on the 31st of October, 2018.

Also check out my twitter handle (https://twitter.com/Nuwansenfilmsen) I plan to post an  ❝October Birthdayz❞ special, on twitter, each day of of this month, as well.

Thank you in advance for your participation

Nuwan Sen’s Film Sense 🧡

Happy Chinese New Year 2018!!! The Year of the DOG 🙂    

Dog (狗) Earthly Symbol of the Dog (戌)

Today is the Chinese New Year, and the Year of the Dog starts; and it shall end on 4th of February 2019!!!!!

Click on the Image

According to legend, the Chinese New Year started with villagers wearing the colour RED, and decorating their homes with red scrolls with red lanterns being hung around the village, and lighting crackers, to keep off a mythical beast called Nian. Apparently Nian use to appear on the night of the first New Moon of the year, destruct villages and devour children. But it was afraid of the colour RED. Thus, RED is significant with warding off evil. Today, it is the biggest Asian festival celebrated around the globe!!!!

Chinese Actresses, Gong Li (L) and Ziyi Zhang (R), with their Dogs

British/Nigerian Actor, David Oyelowo, with his three rescue Dogs

French Actor, Alain Delon, playing with his dogs (in various decades from the 1950’s to the 1980’s)

Gingerella (R) & Nudin (L) @ Play (January 30th, YEAR 2018)

The Obama’s with Bo & Sunny
Former American President, Barack Obama, includes his beloved pets, in their official Family Photograph; at the White House, in the Spring of Year 2015

Amazingly YEAR 1994, was the Year of the Dog, too!!! I had no idea back then. Year happens to be the best year of my teen life (from my teenage years). ’twas a crucial turning point in my life, when we went back to live in New Delhi, India, after six years. The next really crucial turning point in my life came 13 years later; whilst residing Down Under.

Born in June 1975, I’m a Rabbit. An interesting coincidence is, that according the Chinese zodiac, the most compatible sign with a person born in the Year of the Dog, happens to be, people born in the Year of the Rabbit. So an amazingly Perfect coincidence, would be if I get someone born in 1994 (so basically someone 18½/19 years younger than me 😀 ). Another interesting coincidence is the fact that, at the moment, I’m attracted to a 23 year old, I met late last year (thus, most probably was born in 1994; unless this person’s birthday was within these two months). We happen to accidentally meet day before yesterday, and I saw a picture of this pretty creature’s latest boyfriend, who’s in Germany, at the moment. Yeah! I ought to be used to unrequited love by now  😦 . Not that I believe in astrology (yet admire it, as a form of Art), but you know; wishful thinking !!!

With a pet Rabbit, in a suburb of Paris, France (17th August 2008)

With Gingerella & Nudin, in our Front Yard, at home (6th July 2016)

Wishing every one a Very Happy Chinese New Year/Dog year 2018 ❤

 

Greetings from
Nu Wan (Sen)
(i.e. Nuwan Sen)

Pure British Sophistication!!! Chic & Classy, the Poshest of the Posh, Kate Winslet joins me, by turning 40 today. So, Happy Birthday, to one of my favourite Brits, of the 21st century!!!!!

English Rose: Kate Winslet turn 40!

English Rose: Kate Winslet turn 40!

With her charming smile, her naturalistic simple appearance, and eloquently well spoken British English, that would have pleased Professor Higgins; Kate Winslet today, is one of the most talented British actresses to have graced the Big Screen, both, in her own homeland, as well as Hollywood. Her elegantly well spoken, vocal diction, is the most articulate, since Julie Andrews, ran singing up the Austrian hills in a habit, 50 years ago. Winslet’s acting skills are second to none other than that of, the marvellous 66 year old, Meryl Streep. With her great cinematic choices; grace, elegance, poise, and such a kindly face; she is my favourite actress of this century.

Back in the mid-90’s, I read a small snippet on the movie, Jude (1996), most probably before it’s release, on some magazine, which accompanied a picture of Kate Winslet and Christopher Eccleston. To my memory, this was the very first I heard, and/or saw a picture, of Kate Winslet. I don’t recall coming across anything about her, prior to that. I was really keen of watching Jude at the time, as it was based on the novel, Jude The Obscure, by Thomas Hardy. Soon I forgot the cast, but remembered that there was a movie called Jude, that I wish to see. Then in early 1998, in my second year, at Delhi University, Titanic (1997) was being shown at a relatively newer Cineplex in the city. Multiplexes were quite new back in the 90’s, in New Delhi, thus a craze among young Delhiites, and we had heard about the curved wide screens at this particular cinema, with multiple halls, called Satyam Cineplex. So one wintry night, close to spring, along with some fellow students (friends & acquaintances), we went all the way to Satyam, which was quite a distance, from the north campus, to watch the late night show of Titanic. Getting the tickets wasn’t easy, even at that late hour, and we ended up in the front row seats. Generally not a fan of sitting right in front, but Titanic was totally worth it. As the lead  character played by Michael Pitt, in my favourite film on film buffs, The Dreamers (2003), states, about sitting right up front in the cinema, “it was because we wanted to receive the images first. When they were still new, still fresh. Before they cleared the hurdles of the rows behind us. Before they’d been relayed back from row to row, spectator to spectator; until worn out, second-hand, the size of a postage stamp, it returned to the projectionist’s cabin.” Over five years later, when I watched Michael Pitt’s character, Matthew, narrate those words, I could relate to it, especially since I watched at least two movies in that manner, in my DU years, and one of them was Titanic. I loved the movie; even though somewhat censored, when it came to the innocent, non-sexual, nudity showcased in the film; and everything about it, including Kate Winslet. Post that, I’ve seen Titanic quite a few times.

Kate Winslet in Jude (1996)

Kate Winslet in Jude (1996)

Being a great fan of Sandra Bullock, back in the 90’s, Winslet didn’t become my favourite actress, over-night. Literally!!! Titanic ended past midnight, thus next morning, and it was freezing cold by then. Later that year, I saw Jude, and fell in love with it, and thought Kate Winslet was brilliant. A couple of years later, I got to re-watch it. Consequently, over the next few years, I watched quite a lot of films of hers, some good, some not so, including, Heavenly Creatures (1994), Sense and Sensibility (1995), Hamlet (1996), Hideous Kinky (1998), Holy Smoke (1999), Quills (2000), Enigma (2001) and Iris (2001). Jude happens to be my favourite of Kate Winslet movie from the 1990’s.

Then in 2004, whilst living in Portsmouth, UK, I watched two interesting movies of hers. One was the really good thriller, with a very clever twist, The Life of David Gale (2003). The other, was the brilliant, surreal, masterpiece, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004); for which Winslet was nominated for a fourth time, and which was her second ‘Best Actress’ nomination, the following year. So, Year 2004, was the year, Kate Winslet, became my favourite actress. And since then, she is till date, my favourite female star of the 21st century. Back in 2000, I fell in love with Jude Law, practically replacing Matt Damon, as my favourite actor, when I watched The Talented Mr. Ripley (1999), my favourite film from the 90’s decade, for which Law received his very first Oscar nomination. But it was four years later, after watching some more of his movies, that Law really became my favourite male star of the 21st century. So Year 2004, was a crucial year, for both Jude Law (who had quite a few releases that year) and Kate Winslet (mainly in regard to me). Year 2004, was when Law & Winslet, became my two favourite films stars, of the new century; and 11 years later, they still are (though unfortunately, Law hasn’t appeared in anything that impressive lately). It’s an interesting coincidence, to note, that both, Law & Winslet, happen to be Brits. Back then, they hadn’t actually worked together. But post 2004, Law & Winslet, have worked in a trio of films, out of which, I’ve unfortunately watched only, The Holiday (2006). A beautiful Christmassy romance flick, and if I remember correctly, I watched it on Boxing Day 2006, the day after Christmas; in Sydney, Australia. Later, I re-watched The Holiday, with my flatmates on DVD, the following year.

Law & Winslet: Movies in which both, Jude Law and Kate Winslet, appeared in.

Law & Winslet: Movies in which both, Jude Law and Kate Winslet, appeared in.

Then in early 2007, one Summer evening, at the height of the dry Australian heat, I saw Little Children (2006), on the Big Screen. Another excellent, Art House, film, and another superb Kate Winslet performance, for which she received her third ‘Best Actress’ Oscar nomination. By 2005, she was already, the youngest celebrity to be nominated four times, by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (Oscars). She was still 29, when she was nominated for a fourth time, for Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.

Then came her magnum opus, The Reader (2008), for which she finally won the ‘Best Actress Oscar’. ’twas about time. I watched The Reader, twice within 2009 itself, the latter was on the Big Screen, in Paris, France. Today The Reader is my favourite of Kate Winslet movies. She’s definitely come a long way since her Titanic days. By now, I’ve seen quite a load of Winslet films of this century, including, Finding Neverland (2004), Romance & Cigarettes (2005), Revolutionary Road (2008), Carnage (2011) and Labor Day (2013). Added to which, I’ve also seen the excellent TV-miniseries, Mildred Pierce (2011), for which Kate Winslet won a Golden Globe award, an Emmy, among other wins, as well, for her performance as the titular character of the show. From her movies, that I haven’t seen yet, am really keen on watching, War Game (2002) & Pride (2004); for which she had lent her voice; All the King’s Men (2006), Contagion (2011), A Little Chaos (2014), Steve Jobs (2015) and The Dressmaker (2015), to name some.

It’s interesting to note, that Kate Winslet has appeared in some of my favourite pieces of literature, including adaptations of, Shakespeare’s Hamlet (an excellent modern adaptation), Bernhard Schlink’s The Reader, and Richard Yates’ Revolutionary Road. Love those Books, Love their movie adaptations just as much.

Wishing Kate Winslet, all the best, on her 40th Birthday (Actors, Parminder Nagra and Scott Weinger, also turn 40 today. Best Wishes to them as well).

Nuwan Sen’s Film Sense

Kate Winslet in Titanic (1997)

Kate Winslet in Titanic (1997)

Related posts/lists

Six Degrees of Separation: Kate Winslet
Mildred Pierce: TV miniseries
K Winslet
Oscar Winners … and then some 2012.
Labor Day: An Enjoyable Piece of Labour

(NSFS

On the 26th of November, 2014, watched all five episodes of the TV-miniseries, Mildred Pierce (2011). One of the DVD’s I brought from Australia.
Mildred Pierce - The PosterBack in 2012, whilst visiting Delhi, I got to watch the classic noir flick, Mildred Pierce (1945), based on a 1941 novel by James M. Cain, on TCM. I instantly fell in love with this excellent adaptation, and felt it was one of the best movies ever made. Directed by Michael Curtiz, and starring Joan Crawford, as the titular character, the 1945 adaptation had deviated from the original plot, and the turned the story into a crime drama, yet keeping intact the mother/daughter relationship explored in the book. I haven’t read the novel yet, but since watching the 2011 mini-series, assumingly being more of an accurate adaptation, that’s what I gathered. Last month I located the 2011 mini-series DVD in Sydney, among the many I ended up buying there (see my post related to my  ). And this modern adaptation directed by Todd Haynes, and starring, my favourite actress of the 21st century, so far, Kate Winslet, in the lead role, was totally worth it. Another excellent adaptation, and one of the rare great re-makes of a classic. Love both the classic, and the modern. Both Crawford and Winslet, are perfect in their roles of the ever suffering mother, trying her best to please her ungrateful daughter.

Left: Kate Winslet (2011) Right: Joan Crawford (1945)

Left: Kate Winslet (2011)                       Right: Joan Crawford (1945)

The 1945 Classic Cinematic Venture
In the classic noir flick, the movie starts off with a crime, with the death of Monte Beragon (Zachary Scott), second husband of Mildred Pierce (Joan Crawford). The police then question Mildred Pierce, assuming her first husband, Bert Pierce (Bruce Bennett), shot Beragon out of jealousy. Mildred Pierce then takes the blame, and recounts her life story in flashback.

The 2011 Television Adaptation
In the newer adaptation, no noirish crime takes place. Nobody gets killed. No flashbacks. Straight forward drama set in the depression era of 1930’s America.

Analysis
Besides the major plot shift, in the classic and the modern, one of the common factors, in both the Mildred Pierce’s, is the psychological character study of Mildred Pierce and her daughter Veda.

The mother, though a woman with her flaws (which is what makes her human), is the perfect mother. Kind, caring, sacrificing her own happiness for the sake of her children, and putting them first. The elder daughter, Veda, is an ungrateful, nasty character, though the degree of their cruelty towards the mother varies between Veda (Ann Blyth) of the 1945 version, and Veda (Morgan Turner & Evan Rachel Wood) of the 2011 version. In the classic version, we don’t see issues such as incest and infidelity, through the daughter and her playboy step-father, Monte/Monty Beragon (Zachary Scott in 1945 and Guy Pearce in 2011), mainly due to the censorship laws that existed in the hey days of Hollywood. While Veda from the classic noir piece kills off her step-father, and lets her mother take the blame; in the newer version, Veda, not only sleeps with her step-father, making that an alliance of incest, as well as infidelity, she antagonises her mother, flaunting her sexual relationship with Beragon. As Veda (Evan Rachel Wood) slithers naked, like a venomous snake, from the lust stained bed, towards the mirror, taunting her horrified mother (Winslet), one feels nothing but disgust towards this animalistic character (not the actress). So the amount of hatred you feel for the ‘Veda’ character in the two versions vary. The new ‘Veda’ makes the 1945 ‘Veda’, look like a saint. But yet that doesn’t mean you can like the ‘Veda’ of the classic film. You’d still dislike her, but feel more disgusted towards the ‘Veda’ of 2011.

Left: Morgan Turner as the younger Veda in the 2011 mini-series.  Top-Right: Evan Rachel Wood as the older Veda in the 2011 mini-series. Bottom-Right: Ann Blyth as Veda in the 1945 film-noir.

Left: Morgan Turner as the younger Veda in the 2011 mini-series.
Top-Right: Evan Rachel Wood as the older Veda in the 2011 mini-series.
Bottom-Right: Ann Blyth as Veda in the 1945 film-noir.

The two ‘Mildred Pierce’ characters too differ, though not in their niceties. They are both kind hearted mothers of near perfection. Both are single mothers bringing up their children on their own, after getting rid of their cheating husbands, Bert Pierce’s (Bruce Bennett in 1945 and Brían F. O’Byrne in 2011). Both are independent strong willed women. Yet both fall for the wrong man, Beragon, adding towards the, already problematic, mother/daughter relationship. But Crawford’s ‘Mildred Pierce’ is a business tycoon and owns a chain of glamorous restaurants, while Winslet’s ‘Mildred Pierce’ is, though a business woman, not a tycoon, with only a few restaurants, most probably as stated in James M. Cain’s novel. And Crawford’s character never harms her daughter, physically or otherwise, while Winslet’s (due to the sequence prior to it), grasps her inconsiderate daughter by the neck, through provocation. As the singer Veda (Evan Rachel Wood) tries to sing, with her damaged vocal chords, besides how much disgust we feel towards her, one can’t help but feel sorry for her character. Only for a moment though. She’s a character that could never change, and finally Winslet’s ‘Mildred Pierce’ gives up on Veda. While Crawford’s still tries to protect her till the end. Mildred Pierce is a really complex feminist character, who stands on her own two feet, in a man’s world, yet finds herself trapped, by falling for the wrong man, and by being psychologically distressed by her own spoilt daughter.

Kate Winslet & Guy Pearce in scene from MILDRED PIERCE (2011)

Kate Winslet & Guy Pearce in scene from MILDRED PIERCE (2011) NSFS

Both Zachary Scott and Guy Pearce, are superb, as the playboy Monte/Monty Beragon, who seduces Mildred Pierce and further ruins her relationship with her daughter, in the film and mini-series, respectively. The way it happens differs in the two versions. Yet, along with the playboy characteristics of Beragon, the fact he uses Mildred Pierce, mainly for her money, and encourages Veda’s hatred for her mother, doesn’t.

Bert Pierce, Mildred Pierce’s first husband, though flawed, is a sympathetic character, that always stands by his ex-wife. Especially against the injustices of their narcissistic, hard hearted, daughter, towards the mother. His character truly shines bright in the final sequence.

The movie was an excellent work of cinematic art. But amazingly, so was the television remake. Love both the movie and the TV miniseries. Both Joan Crawford and Kate Winslet, garnered various accolades, at various award ceremonies, for their portrayal of ‘Mildred Pierce’, including Oscars, Globes and Emmy’s.
Mildred Pierce (1945). Excellent !!!!! 10/10!!!!!
Mildred Pierce (2011). Excellent !!!!! 10/10!!!!!

Nuwan Sen’s Film Sense
Nuwan Sen’s Television (DVD) Sense

Yesterday I watched Labor Day (2013), an excellent DVD I got brought down from the United States, thanks to my sister’s husband, along with a few other films.

Labour Day Poster

Let me start off with, Loved it!!!! Even though, not a critically acclaimed movie, I really enjoyed it to the extent of calling it an excellent venture. I’d agree, it’s not the best among Jason Reitman’s works. I have loved all of Reitman’s directorial ventures I have watched so far, i.e. Thank you for Smoking (2005), Juno (2007) and Up in the Air (2009). All superb pieces of satire. Thus Labor Day, is a very different genre from the director of sophisticated comedies.

A very dull paced piece of melodrama, most probably the core reason for the lack of it’s box office success, the movie deals with a depressed mother and son, leading a lonely life, until one day a convict forces his way to their home and ironically brings hope and contentment into their lives.

The best thing about the movie, besides the great director trying out his hand on something out of his comfort zone, is the superb acting talent he’s managed to rope in. The name Kate Winslet itself, on the credits, says it all. The movie should obviously be worth checking out, for her sake at least, if not for anything else. But the rest of the cast is just as excellent as well. Josh Brolin as the convict,  Gattlin Griffith as Winslet’s son, and other supporting cast in minor roles, including Clark Gregg, Alexie Gilmore, Tom Lipinski, Lucas Hedges, Brooke Smith, Micah Fowler, Brighid Fleming, Maika Monroe, James Van Der Beek and Tobey Maguire (who narrates the story and plays the adult version of Winslet’s son, in a minuscule appearance).

Kate Winslet  and Gattlin Griffith in a scene from the movie.

Kate Winslet and Gattlin Griffith in a scene from the movie.

Kate Winslet plays Adele, a woman who after giving birth to Henry (Gattlin Griffith), goes through many a miscarriages and ultimately when she does manage to give birth again, it’s to a stillborn baby girl. Soon her husband, Gerald (Clark Gregg) leaves her for another woman, which she doesn’t blame him for. Yet she falls into a deep depression, and is taken care of by her kind son, Henry. At the same time Adele tries her best to take care of her son too, while fighting depression and her physical decline along with it. Josh Brolin plays the convict, Frank, who finds a place in their home and heart, and falls in love with Adele. We see his past in flashbacks, where we learn, that he killed his immoral wife, and drowned his innocent baby, by accident. What’s really interesting in the movie, is to see the close knit relationships between the mother and son, and between Frank and Adele. Henry is Adele’s reason to be alive, while Frank gives her a reason to live. Being alive, and actually living, are two very different things.

Labor Day is a beautiful love story, which starts off as an intense thriller and then falls into a deeply melodramatic romance between two lonely adult souls, with a coming of age sub plot on young Henry.

Gattlin Griffith, Josh Brolin and Kate Winslet making 'Peach Pie' in LABOR DAY

Gattlin Griffith, Josh Brolin and Kate Winslet making ‘Peach Pie’ in LABOR DAY

A movie really worth checking out.

My verdict 10/10, might be the least best, but among the best none the less.

Nuwan Sen’s Film Sense

One of the most popular female cinematographers of this century, Ellen Kuras, was born in New Jersey, USA, on 10th July, 1959.

Cinematographer Ellen Kuras

Cinematographer Ellen Kuras

Famous for her aesthetic skills with a moving camera, Kuras has done some remarkable work through the nineties and noughties. Some of my personal favourites include, Swoon (1992), Blow (2001) and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004).

Swoon is an excellent movie, based on the true story of the ‘Leopold and Loeb’ criminal case of 1924. The story is about two wealthy homosexual lovers, law students from the University of California, who kill a 14 year old boy, to prove that their superior minds could rise above the laws and rules that bound the average man. The movie is entirely shot in Black & White, and a masterwork of film making, both by director, Tom Kalin, and cinematographer, Ellen Kuras.
Cinematographer SwoonAlfred Hitchcock too made a loose adaptation of the ‘Leopold and Loeb’ case, in colour, back in 1948, Rope. But Hitchcock had to tone down the homosexuality due to the dreaded ‘Hayes Code’ (Motion Picture Production Code) of the times. And he changed the story, so that the two murderers strangle a former classmate, an adult male. Rope (1948), is set in one day, where the two men host a dinner party around the wooden chest, that contains the dead body, used as a buffet table.

Blow (2001) is yet another, near excellent, movie, based on a real account. This time about a notorious American cocaine smuggler in the 1970’s. Yet another beautifully done movie, this time to come out in beginning of this century, with Johnny Depp and Penélope Cruz carrying the show on their shoulders. Depp plays George Jung, the notorious drug dealer, and Penélope Cruz, his wife, Mirtha.
Cinematographer Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless MindFrench Director, Michel Gondry’s, American surreal film, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004), happens to be my favourite of the lot. One of the best surreal, sci-fi, psychological thrillers’ to come out of this century so far. This fantasy film is about a secretive futuristic method (though not set in the future) of lobotomy, minus the actual cutting of the brain, to remove memories people don’t want to remember. Majority of the film takes place in the brain of Joel Barish (played by Jim Carrey) who is slowly getting the memory of his girlfriend, Clementine Kruczynski (played by Kate Winslet) erased. Clementine Kruczynski has already erased her memory of Joel Barish.
A beautifully directed movie, by Michel Gondry, and the cinematography by Ellen Kuras is breathtakingly brilliant. Headed by a talented cast, including Jim Carrey, Kate Winslet, Mark Ruffalo, Kirsten Dunst, Tom Wilkinson and Elijah Wood, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, won an Oscar for ‘Best Original Screenplay’ and Winslet was nominated in the ‘Best Actress’ category. It also won two BAFTA’s for ‘Best Editing’ and ‘Best Original Screenplay’. A pity Ellen Kuras was not even nominated, let alone win an award.

I watched all these movies ages ago, within the first six years of this century, thus about a decade and more ago. Am yet to watch some of Ellen Kuras’ famed works, in films like, I Shot Andy Warhol (1996), Summer of Sam (1999), Bamboozled (2000), Coffee and Cigarettes (2003), The Ballad of Jack and Rose (2005) and Away We Go (2009), to name a few.

TOP LEFT : Cinematographer Ellen Kuras with Film Director Michel Gondry. TOP MIDDLE & RIGHT : Blow (2001) & Away We Go (2009) BOTTOM ROW : Kate Winslet on the sets of 'A Little Chaos' (2014)

TOP LEFT : Cinematographer Ellen Kuras with Film Director Michel Gondry.
TOP MIDDLE & RIGHT : Blow (2001) & Away We Go (2009)
BOTTOM ROW : Kate Winslet on the sets of ‘A Little Chaos’ (2014)

Am also really keen on checking out Kuras’ latest venture, starring Kate Winslet, which is yet to be released, A Little Chaos (2014).

Wishing Ellen Kuras all the best, and hoping she’ll make another great surreal venture, like the dreamily magnificent, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.

Nuwan Sen’s Film Sense
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I’ve been nominated for the Liebster Award. I was nominated end of last month (30th April 2014), but just found out 11 days ago, on the 11th of May, 2014.
LiebsterAwardLike in my previous Blog Awards (s), the rules are similar.

Rule.1 Thank the person who nominated me, and add the picture of the award on top.

I know, last time I mentioned not to be nominated for any more awards after I completed a post for…

The Sunshine Award

…(last year) and …

A Multitude of Awards

… (January 2014), but this is the first time Jim Turnbull of ‘The Good, the Bad and the Average’ (http://goodbadaverage.com/) has nominated me, so I thought I might as well do this post. So Thank you Jim, for this great honour you have bestowed upon me.

Rule .2 Answer 11 questions given by the person who nominated me.

Q1. What got you into blogging originally?
A1. My love and desire to write about cinema. I use to make lists/write-up critiques on IMDB (nuwansdel_02 and/or See all lists by nuwansdel_02), soon I wished to have my own page, my own blog.

Q2. What was the first movie you saw at the cinema?
A2. Oh Boy, I don’t remember, I was most probably a toddler when I first visited the cinema.

Q3. What was the last movie you saw at the cinema?
A3. Ramchand Pakistani (2008), a Pakistani Art film, based on a true story set in a prison in India, near the India/Pakistan border. I watched this around October last year, when it came for a Film Festival here. Prior to that, the last movie I watched at a cinema, that wasn’t in a festival, was Deepa Mehta’s Midnight’s Children (2012), exactly one year ago, in May 2013. Rarely are there good movies shown in the cinema’s here, thus these two movies are the only ones I watched on the big screen here, last year. I haven’t been to the cinema this year at all, so far.

Q4. If you could write and direct any film, what would it be about?
A4. Conversations with my Shrink Ha!!!

Q5.What do you think the most underrated film of all time is?
A5. There might be so many, but nothing specific comes to mind.

Q6. Who is your favourite director and why?
A6. Alfred Hitchcock, ‘cause it’s Hitchcock man, of course !!!! The greatest film director that ever existed. He had a unique style to convey psychological horror and tension, without any modern day visual antics. He manages to conjure up the atmosphere of a movie, and make you feel the presence of something that doesn’t exist on the screen. For example, in Rebecca (1940), he manages to make you feel the existence of a ghost without ever showing you one on screen, not even flicker or a hint of a sprit. The titular character ‘Rebecca’ doesn’t exist in the movie, but you feel her presence throughout while watching it. How many film directors today can do that without showing visually horrific images.

Q7. Where do you stand on blu-ray?
A7. Never, seen a film on ‘blu-ray’, so can’t comment. Prefer to check out the fishy ‘sting-ray’ whip it’s tail in warm water instead 🙂 .

Q8. What is your favourite movie line?
A8. “Frankly my dear, I don’t give a damn”, from Gone with the Wind (1939)

Q9. If you could recast any role with any actor/actress, who would it be?
A9. Why, Audrey Hepburn of course!!! Or do you mean someone alive, then I’d go for – actor Jude Law/actress Kate Winslet.

Q10.What is the longest film you have seen?
A10. Man, I’ve seen sooooo many long films; from Metropolis (1927) to Gone with the Wind (1939) to Taj Mahal (1963) to Cleopatra (1963) to Mera Naam Joker (1970) to Gandhi (1982) to Schindler’s List (1993) to more recently Les Misérables (2012); thus, am not sure which is the longest film I’ve seen till date. The shortest film, however,  that I’ve seen till date, happens to be the very first movie ever made, Lumière Brothers L’arrivée d’un train à La Ciotat (1895), which lasted only one minute.

Q11. Popcorn. Sweet or salted?
A11. Salted, Definitely!!! Ironic, considering the fact I have a sweet tooth.

Rule.3 Nominate 11 people, let them know and prepare 11 questions for them to answer. And, I cannot nominate the person who nominated me.

Through my experience of previous posts on s, am aware that many of you don’t like to continue this chain. So I shall be kind enough to bend the rules for you here. All my fellow Bloggers, who wish to continue this chain, and any other newer blogger, who might come across this post, within this month, are nominated. Other than you of course, dear Jim, for you nominated me. Sorry!! And so far as answering the 11 questions are concerned, you may either answer the 11 questions prepared by Jim Turnbull, that I’ve answered myself, or check out my older s (press on the link) and answer the questions I prepared in my previous Blog awards. Luckily this time I didn’t have to write something ‘About myself ’, unlike earlier.

So wish you all the best, and thank you Jim once again.

Cheers mate
Nuwan Sen

(Oscar 2014 Special)

My OscarLeonardo DiCaprio has gone through a phase of ,‘‘always being the Bridesmaid, but never the Bride,’’ scenario at the Oscars. That’s because he’s just been plain unlucky. He’s a superb actor, who deserved the nominations, but that doesn’t mean, just cause he’s been nominated so many times, he has to win. Look at the actors he lost out to. If he lost out, he lost out to the best. He’s always been good, but there’s always been someone better.
In his own movies too, most of the time, there is always someone better than him, overpowering his performance. For example; Kate Winslet in Titanic (1997) and Revolutionary Road (2008), and Winslet was nominated for an Oscar for Titanic; Daniel Day-Lewis, too nominated for an Oscar, in Gangs of New York (2002); Tom Hanks in Catch Me If You Can (2002); Cate Blanchett in The Aviator (2004), for which Blanchett bagged the ‘Best Supporting Actress’ trophy at the Oscars (Blanchett won the ‘Best Actress’ Oscar this year); the list could go on.

Leonardo DiCaprio has been nominated for five Academy Awards. Let’s have a look at his nominations :-

Leo -Whats Eating Gilbert Grape

Added to the above mentioned reasons, Leonardo DiCaprio does tend to play it safe. With the exception of his character of Arnie Grape, in What’s Eating Gilbert Grape (1993), DiCaprio, has never done anything that exceptionally unique till date for him to actually bag the Oscar trophy. DiCaprio earned his very first Oscar nomination as a 19 year old, for What’s Eating Gilbert Grape, for ‘Best Supporting Actor’, in 1994. In fact DiCaprio was the only one to be nominated in that movie, and deservedly so. He lost out to Tommy Lee Jones, who won for The Fugitive (1993). I haven’t watched The Fugitive, so I can’t judge whether Lee Jones deserved it more; but Leonardo DiCaprio was exceptional as the mentally-challenged ‘Arnie’ in What’s Eating Gilbert Grape. The best he has done so far.

The Aviator & Ray

In 2005, Leonardo DiCaprio was nominated for the ‘Best Actor’ Oscar for The Aviator (2004). He was excellent in this bio-pic on the late American business magnate, aviator, aerospace engineer and film maker, Howard Hughes. This was DiCaprio’s first ‘Best Actor’ nomination, and his second nomination at the Academy Awards. He lost out to Jamie Foxx, who was outstandingly better as the legendary rhythm and blues musician Ray Charles, in the bio-pic, Ray (2004), and Foxx definitely deserved the win that year.

Blood Diamond & Last KingIn 2007, DiCaprio was nominated for, Blood Diamond (2006), in which he was very good, but Forest Whitaker, as the tyrannical President of Uganda, Idi Amin, in The Last King of Scotland (2006), was incomparably brilliant. A sure win, how could poor DiCaprio compete with that.

Wolf Dallas

This year, 2014, DiCaprio was nominated for both, ‘Best Actor’, and as one of the producers, ‘Best Film’, for The Wolf of Wall Street (2013). He lost out the ‘Best Actor’ trophy to Matthew McConaughey for Dallas Buyers Club (2013), and ‘Best Film’ to producers Brad Pitt, Steve McQueen and a few other, for 12 Years a Slave (2013). Now I haven’t seen any of these films, but from the hype, and what ever I’ve seen (trailers, scenes etc), McConaughey and 12 Years a Slave, deserved there respective wins more.

Leonardo DiCaprio, has definitely proved himself as an actor. He is not just a pretty face. I personally have great respect for him as a performer.
So Mr. DiCaprio, next time do an extraordinarily unique role, a sure win, so that no one can beat you at the Oscar game.

Wishing you all the best
Nuwan Sen’s Film Sense

Everybody wants to see GONE WITH THE WIND
Valentine's Day GWTW
I was going through IMDB’s Reader Lists: Essential Valentine’s Day Viewing, hundreds of lists made by many a IMDB readers, but not me. And I was delighted to see how many of my favourite classics had made the cut, in various lists. Some made by readers pretty young, for they’ve mentioned these films came out during their great grandparents era. Gone with the Wind (1939), Casablanca (1942) and Breakfast at Tiffany’s (1961), were a common trend in most of the lists I went through.
Altogether, City Lights (1931), Gone with the Wind (1939), Wuthering Heights (1939), Casablanca (1942), Brief Encounter (1945), Notorious (1946), Vertigo (1958), Breakfast at Tiffany’s (1961), West Side Story (1961), Jules et Jim (1962), Two for the Road (1967), Annie Hall (1977), When Harry met Sally … (1989), Titanic (1997) and Notting Hill (1999), were  somewhat common when it came to movies from the last century.
From this century, there were films like Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004), Brokeback Mountain (2005), Wall-E (2008), Up (2009) and Silver Linings Playbook (2012), to name a few, all of which too I happen to love.

In memory of St. Valentine, after all if he didn’t exist, neither would this day. Not that I’ve ever had a valentine in my life.
(Also see my Post St. Valentine’s Death Anniversary from February 2013 as well)

Nuwan Sen’s Film Sense
Valentines Day 2014