The Couch Potato Report

Its cold outside, so let these great movies keep you warm!

The Couch Potato Report – March 1st, 2014

The 86th Annual Academy Awards will be given out on Sunday night, and if you are looking to see all of the nominated movies before emcee Ellen DeGeneres walks onstage to start the show, then I have good news! Two more of them are now available for you to watch at home.

The more nominated of the two is GRAVITY, which received 10 nods – including Best Picture, Best Original Screenplay, Best Director for Alfonso Cuaron and Best Actress for Sandra Bullock.

GRAVITY stars Bullock as a medical engineer and George Clooney as an astronaut who have to find a way to survive in space and get back to earth after the destruction of their shuttle leaves them adrift.

GRAVITY has spectacular visuals, two tremendous performances and in any other year Sandra Bullock would easily win another Oscar for Best Actress. Unfortunately she is up against Cate Blanchett this year, and Cate is a shoo-in to win, so Sandra won’t get a second trophy just yet, but her film is a complete winner.

I highly, very highly recommend GRAVITY. This is filmmaking at its absolute finest and that’s why Alfonso Cuaron will win the Oscar for Best Director.

We’re off to Nebraska now as that is the destination of the lead character in the Academy Award nominated film named after that state.

NEBRASKA has six Academy Awards nominations, including Best Picture, Best Original Screenplay, Best Director for Alexander Payne , Best Supporting Actress for June Squibb, and Best Actor for Bruce Dern.

Longtime character actor Bruce Dern – father of Laura and co-star of COMING HOME in 1978 and DJANGO UNCHAINED in 2012 – plays an aging, alcoholic father who can no longer drive but decides to make the almost 1400 kilometre trip from Montana to Nebraska, no matter what, because he thinks he has won a million dollars.

His youngest son, played by Will Forte of SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE, knows his father hasn’t won anything, but since he’s so determined to go anyway, he decides to drive him. But he never humours him or anyone, he doesn’t ever pretend that his father has won anything.

NEBRASKA follows the classic cinematic storyline where two estranged people get to know each other again through a road trip and form a new bond, putting old issues aside.

The difference with this one is the humour in the film – it is very funny at times – and the performance from Bruce Dern. If it wasn’t for Matthew McConaughey work in DALLAS BUYERS CLUB and Leonardo DiCaprio’s in THE WOLF OF WALL STREET, Dern would be a lock to win the Oscar. He won’t win, but NEBRASKA is still a great little movie that I really enjoyed and can easily recommend.

The French film BLUE IS THE WARMEST COLOUR didn’t receive any Academy Award nominations, but at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival, it unanimously won the highest prize, the Palme d’Or, and was the first film to have the award given to both the director and the lead actresses, Léa Seydoux and Adèle Exarchopoulos.

This wonderful film is a love story about a young woman named Adele whose life is changed when she meets Emma, a slightly older, much more confident woman with blue hair. Emma helps Adele discover love, desire and herself as she grows from a young woman to an adult.

Adele grows, seeks herself, loses herself and ultimately finds herself through love and loss.

Based on the 2010 French graphic novel of the same name BLUE IS THE WARMEST COLOUR features interesting characters and two tremendous performances. Due to the very graphic love scenes it’s not for everyone, but I really enjoyed it. Even at three hours long, it goes by very fast, and I highly recommend it.

Finally this week…a movie with no major Award nominations…but it is the only release that features one of THE AVENGERS.

THOR – THE DARK WORLD picks up after the events in New York in THE AVENGERS as the superhero must return to earth when Jane Foster is possessed by a great power.

Thor must protect her from a new threat of old times: the Dark Elves, and he needs help to do that, so he turns to Loki, who has been imprisoned for what he’s done, both on earth in New York and elsewhere.

THOR – THE DARK WORLD is a great film!! The action scenes are just right – never going on too long, the special effects superb, and the cast – including Chris Hemsworth, Natalie Portman and Tom Hiddleston – are all note perfect. I really enjoyed it – even if the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences did not – and can easily recommend it.

The very enjoyable action flick THOR – THE DARK WORLD: the very entertaining, very passionate, Cannes Film Festival Award winning BLUE IS THE WARMEST COLOUR; the great, six time Academy Award nominated film NEBRASKA; and the exceptional soon to be Academy Award winning film GRAVITY starring Sandra Bullock and George Clooney are all available now, either on disc or on demand.

And that’s this week’s COUCH POTATO REPORT.

Enjoy the movies – and the Academy Awards – and I’ll see you back here again next time on The Couch!