NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA
Oscar nominations have been
made, and with the announce
ments all of the best movie nominees have been re-released for you enjoyment, for a short while. So get busy and see some fabulous movies.
Continuing with my Oscar series is a look at two of the best picture nominees, Secrets and Lies and Swing Blade.
Secrets and Lies is the English drama written and directed by Mike Leigh. It is a compelling look at a common middle class English family, with a twist.
A young black optometrist buries her adoptive mother and starts the search for her birth mother, the twist is she is black and her birth mother is white. It is a story of quiet desperation with unexpected compassion and humor.
With films done by Leigh, you really have to pay attention because of the heavy English accents.
Secrets and Lies won the best film and best actress awards and the 1996 Cannes Film Festival. The Academy has nominated it for Best Picture, and has nominated both Brenda Blethyn for best actress and Mary Anne Jean Baptiste for best supporting actress. Best of luck to both of these ladies who gave us excellent gut-wrenching performances.
Swing Blade is the best movie that I have seen this year.
I was very apprehensive going into this movie because I didn't know what to expect. What I got was a compelling look into the true life of true America and was shown how people can become victims and products of their own environments.
Swing Blade is written by, directed and stars Billy Bob Thornton. Sheer genius. The man is incredible, a well-written movie, with a knock-out performance by Billy Bob. This is just what the movie industry needed.
The supporting performances by Dwight Yokum, John Ritter and Robert Duvall are excellent. The movie as a whole is a gem.
The subject matter is a whole different story. Thornton plays a mental patient who is released from a mental hospital after serving time for killing his mother and her boyfriend when he was a young child.
The hospital releases him and says that he is cured and that he has served all his time.
He is released and has no place to go or no family to speak of, so he goes back to his small home town. This is where he tries to fit back into society.
He befriends a young boy and his mother and tries to get on with his life the best way he can, until someone tries to hurt the people he loves.
I will leave the rest for you to see. If you only see one movie this year make it Swing Blade. EXCELLENT.