THE BEST EXOTIC MARIGOLD HOTEL
Several 2012 pics understood the appeal of stories about people over 50, none more delightful (or commercially successful) than John Madden’s ensemble tale of Brit retirees settling down in modern India. As scripted by Ol Parker, the characters discover themselves while discovering a new world in dusty, crowded and vibrant Rajasthan, India. By the end of 2012 box office stood at $134.4 million.
Tom Hooper’s gamble of having the cast sing the Boubil-Schonberg score live, and shooting the numbers in extreme close-up, paid off for the HFPA members. Auds can hear the thesps sing (and understand the lyrics better than on any occasion in a legit theater), but the plot and emotional through-line are conveyed with pellucid clarity. Of course the tuner is a distillation of Hugo’s vast epic, but articulates its fundamental moral message — that a society is sustained only when each of its members, however lowly, is respected.
The land of Wes Anderson is a magical, otherworldly place where children gravely bear wisdom beyond their years; adults comport themselves like giddy adolescents; and everyone maintains a droll deadpan through many harrowing situations. Of all Anderson’s kingdoms, “Moonrise” may be the most visually stunning, and certainly makes the most irony-free statement about love’s immutable power. Its legs have kept it in theaters from Cannes through awards season.
SALMON FISHING IN THE YEMEN
A river runs through it, and that river is seeded with 10,000 salmon and a pocketful of whimsy. Echoing the pixilated 1950s comedies of Ealing Studios, helmer Lasse Hallstrom and scribe Simon Beaufoy suggest a possible rapprochement between Western and Eastern cultures may lie in an appeal to such elemental values as fishing, serenity, and silence.
SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK
David O. Russell’s dark, delicious rom-com about second chances boasts something for everybody: Jennifer Lawrence and football for the men; Bradley Cooper and competitive ballroom dancing for the women; and Robert De Niro, Jacki Weaver and Chris Tucker for anyone who appreciates supporting characters brimming with irrepressible life.
GOLDEN GLOBES 2012
Stepping stone to awards glory | Globes honor returning TV series but makes room for the new
And the nominees are…
Best Picture – Comedy/Musical | Best Picture – Drama | Actor | Actress | Animated
Cecile B. Demille Award: Jodie Foster