Saturday, May 24, 2008

Quality 80s? Part XI

I really enjoyed many of the 80s movies in this group of three. Two of these films won their respective actress best Oscar trophies and deservedly so, their work is amazing. (Also, each of these 3 films received 7 Oscar nods a piece).

The "Quality 80s?" series was sparked by my own lack of respect and luck with finding 80s films that I could truly enjoy...yet I knew they had to be out there...maybe?

And I still can't believe that I'm doing this project...but I'm starting to enjoy 80s cinema as I watch more of these films.

Previous 80s film viewing thoughts can be found here: Part I, Part II, art III, Part IV, Part V, Part VI, & Part VII, & Part VIII, Part IX, and Part X.

Coal Miner's Daughter (1980)
Directed by Michael Apted
Recommended by Oscar (7 noms, including a win for Sissy Spacek)

At first I would say if you haven't seen this movie but liked Ray or Walk the Line you have to go immediately and rent this bio-pic of country singer Loretta Lynn. But it doesn't even matter what you thought of those movies, or if you even know anything about Country singer Loretta Lynn, because this movie is wonderful and completely worthy of your viewing hours. It's an incredible role for Sissy Spacek and Tommy Lee Jones. The relationship as portrayed in this film between a young girl married too young to a war veteran who must move away from her family, is simply just an amazingly enjoyable film and story. I just found that film
very (surprisingly) enjoyable.

Places in the Heart (1984)
Directed by Robert Benton
Recommended by Oscar (7 noms, including a win for Sally Field & best original screenplay)

A movie with a lame title like "Places of the Heart" with its Waxahatchie, Texas depression era setting seems like a disaster of a movie. And yet it's so wonderful, and almost magical. It plays on the emotions, but in unique ways that made me wish that more movies were like this one. It has all the devices of a fuzzy Hallmark movie, except the story is crafted with quality care, and it has some great/touching performances not just by Sally Fields, but also by Danny Glover, John Malkovich, Ed Harris, Amy Madigan, and Gennie James. I would totally recommend this film, and I am very glad that I saw it. It's a charming heartfelt film, that simply needs a better title.

Chariots of Fire (1981)
Directed by Hugh Hudson
Recommended by Oscar (7 noms, including 4 wins one of which being Best Picture), AK, & Will

I've actually started this film before and didn't finish it. But I do respect and love this very unique story that combines the sports movie with the spiritual dilemma from two different angles. I think at times when I watch this I get distracted by the disconnected story of Harold Abrahams and Eric Liddell. Vangelis' famous Oscar winning score has it's annoying tendencies in a feature length film. This film is very different than anything that I've seen in more modern cinema, and I wish more films attempting to explore spiritual ideas could receive such widespread interest.


Michael Parsons said...

It was Sally's "You like me, You really like" Oscar acceptance speech that has forever put me off seeing either of her award winning films.

Joanna Arcieri said...

"Coal Miner's Daughter" is the reason I listen to and (mostly) enjoy country music.

RC said...

@ michael...don't let that speech keep you away. watch the film, if you hate it you can blame me for eternity.

E Dot said...

Exactly. Just so long it's not overdone...

general125 said...

How great is the Chariot's of Fire Casio piano symphony?

Also, Coal Miner's Daughter is so great. I love Loretta Lynn and her song "Fist City."

kat said...

Chariots of Fire---otherwise known as world's longest movie about world's shortest race. I may need to watch it again, but I recall not liking it as much as I was supposed to.

Magnus said...

I keep thinking that Coal Miner's Daughter was from 1979, but a good call.
I hate the 80's Love-In that has been going on since the end of the 90's with a passion. Didn't like the decade and want to forget it. However, you have pointed out that the decade wasn't a complete write off.