“Forgotten Hollywood”- 21st Century 50 Fav Films (#18, #17)…

Posted on August 24, 2021 by raideoman1 | No Comments

Manny P. here…

“`Fifty crème de la crème productions created over the last two decades,  the countdown continues. This entry will feature the first of three motion pictures produced just last year. The other is the second of four movies made in black-and-white (Cold War checked in at #35). Both are edgy and intelligent.


~ #18 – NEBRASKA (2013)

“`Road pictures are vastly popular as they usually bring together two or more individuals who have little in common; Midnight Run comes to mind.  Nebraska follows an elderly Montana resident and his son as they travel through  Middle America on their way to claim a supposed million-dollar sweepstakes prize. Directed at a leisurely pace by Alexander Payne, the journey also takes us through South Dakota and Wyoming. The choice was to use the power of black-and-white in combination with midwestern landscapes and it plays a dynamic role in the tale. The film’s lighting was designed to accommodate a conversion from color to black-and-white, later in post-production.

“`Paramount Pictures wanted a strong lead and considered Gene Hackman, Robert De Niro, Robert Duvall, Jack Nicholson, and Robert Forster.  Payne chose Bruce Dern, a character actor who has played ornery for years. Paul Rudd, Casey Affleck, and Matthew Modine were among the candidates to play the son. Payne eventually decided upon Will Forte. Bob Odenkirk, June Squibb, and Stacy Keach provided indelible support. Six Oscar nominations followed; for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Original Screenplay, Best Cinematographyand acting accolades for Dern and Squibb.

“`Elegant in its simplicity and poetic in its message, Nebraska is a great companion piece to last year’s Nomadland. The lineage of filmmaking, down to its black-and-white presentation, is undeniable.



“`Watching movies last year through the streaming process was an absolute shame, and I am wanting to see a few of these entries on the big screen in the near future. Promising Young Woman is sneaky good, anchored by a phenomenal performance by Carey Mulligan (the star of An Education).  Emerald Fennell channeled her inner MeToo as she wrote, produced, and directed this gem. For her part, Fennell had an amazing 2020 as she garnered a plum role on The Crown, playing the wily Camilla Parker Bowles, the love interest of Prince Charles.

“`The movie earned the Best Original Screenplay at last year’s Oscars, with additional nods for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Editing, and consideration for Mulligan as Best Actress. Plenty of interest in the production inadvertently occurred when a critic implied that Mulligan was not pretty enough for the role. Her response was informed and appropriate:

“I think in criticizing or bemoaning a lack of attractiveness on my part in a character, it wasn’t a personal slight. It didn’t wound my ego, but it made me concerned that in such a big publication, an actress’s appearance could be criticized and it could be accepted as completely reasonable criticism… I think it’s important that we are looking at the right things when it comes to work, and we’re looking at the art and we’re looking at the performance.”

“`The production crew deliberately chose male actors who previously played characters known as good-guys or wholesome to reinforce the idea that sexual predators can be anyone. Several references to The Night of the Hunter and Reverend Harry Powell (the role made famous by Robert Mitchum) seals the deal with regards to the predatory underpinnings spelled out within the plot. And not since Casablanca have I marveled at such a perfect ending to a movie. That is saying a lot!

Until next time>                               “never forget”

This entry was posted on Tuesday, August 24th, 2021 at 9:33 pm and is filed under Blog by Manny Pacheco. You can follow any comments to this post through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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