Potential Oscar candidates...

Mild spoilers ahead...

The King's Speech
- I'd probably give this movie 8/10.  As everyone knows I am more partial to period pieces set in ancient to renaissance times rather than 'modern history' (that term is such an oxymoron, sorry about that). The cast was just too good to make me pass this one up. It was interesting to watch a movie about the monarchy where everything was so dull and drab. I'm so used to glitz and glam gilded sets and costumes. Not so for this movie. Well suiting its time period, the setting was rather demure and restrained. I'm certain like any historical piece I've ever seen there was a great deal of liberty taken in comparison to what really happened and I'm certain this will annoy the purists. Thankfully, I'm not one of them. So enjoyable (and believable) watching Geoffrey Rush and Colin Firth work together, playing off each others abilities.  It was also great to see Helena Bonham Carter in a decent, down-to-earth role -  as Albert's wife (aka the Queen Mum). After all her crazy Tim Burton roles of late, it is nice to see her back in a period piece where she belongs *cough* A Room with a View *cough*. Yes it was an inspirational movie but not a shove-it-in-your-face, rah-rah for the underdog lecture. I didn't walk away from it it crying of was just right. A simple tale about believing in yourself and facing your obstacles with assistance from the most unlikely of sources.

Black Swan - I'd give this one a 7/10. if you want your daughter to take ballet, don't watch this movie. Just sayin'. I pretty much knew how this thriller would unfold the minute Vincent Cassel (Thomas) outlined the plot of the ballet that Natalie Portman (Nina) would be headlining. That said, it was just a matter of watching it unfold...or should I say...fall apart. The movie was decent enough, but whereas The King's Speech was uplifting with a positive tale of rising to the occasion, believing in yourself and facing challenges in life, Black Swan focused on the pitfalls that can occur. I guess maybe it was a bit of a discretionary least for me it was. You can only get through life with so much apathy before you simply lose it. Natalie Portman was perfect as the shy, inhibited and compliant good girl Nina. I think her character is a lot closer to girls today than most people are willing to admit - she was dealing with self-esteem issues, trying at all cost to be perfect and pleasing to other people, yet secretly there is a tempest within that eventually surfaces through one outlet or another. Natalie really does deserve the praise that is being heaped upon her for this performance. The choreography was great...I love dance movies period so of course I loved watching ballet on screen. There was a good deal of what I suppose some would deem controversial scenes which at times seemed added purely for shock value. Suffice to say the movie is 'restricted' for good reason. A decent movie overall...worth seeing.

Oooh, prior to The King's Speech, they showed a preview for The Rite. I normally don't watch 'horrors' and especially movies about possession but that movie looked so trashy good. I can't believe I'm going to say this but True Grit also looks like it is worth watching. Definitely will watch on DVD if not in the theatre.

BTW, the theatre I went to was full of people who were either coughing or sniffling. If I get a cold for New Years I will be so annoyed. Why do people go out when they are sick??? I can understand if you NEED to go somewhere (i.e. doctor, purchasing groceries, etc.) but to a movie??? Please just stay home, get better and stop spreading your germs around to us innocent victims. 
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