Imitation Of Life (1959, Rating: PG, Director: Douglas Sirk) (My Rating: 5/5) My grandma had been telling me how great this movie was for a long time, so I finally watched it on Tuesday last week. Imitation Of Life is about a struggling white actress named Lora (Lana Turner) who has a young daughter named Susie. One day, she meets a black woman named Annie (Juanita Moore) who has a daughter named Sarah-Jane, who is about Susie's age, and they become friends. The movie is about Lora trying to succeed as an actress through the years, and her relationship with Susie. It is also about Annie and Sarah-Jane's relationship, which is tested when Sarah-Jane, who is light-skinned, starts trying to "pass" as a white woman. This movie has a good story and great acting, especially by Juanita Moore and by Susan Kohner, who plays Sarah-Jane as a teenager and an adult. Both Juanita Moore and Susan Kohner were deservedly nominated for Oscars for their performances.
Elizabeth (1998, Rating: R, Director: Shekhar Kapur) (My Rating: 4/5) Elizabeth is about Queen Elizabeth I when she first became Queen of England. This movie had a very interesting story, and an impressive performance by Cate Blanchett, who played Queen Elizabeth. Cate Blanchett was nominated for the Best Actress Oscar, and I'm surprised that she didn't win. There were other good performances in the movie by Geoffrey Rush, who played Sir Frances Walsingham, one of Elizabeth's advisors, and by Christopher Eccleston, who played the Duke Of Norfolk, who tried to have Elizabeth dethroned.
Shakespeare In Love (2nd time watching) (1998, Rating: R, Director: John Madden) (My Rating: 3.5/5) I watched this again the same day I saw Elizabeth. I still really enjoyed Shakespeare In Love, but I thought Elizabeth was much better, and deserved the Oscar for Best Picture more. I also thought Cate Blanchett's performance in Elizabeth was much more deserving of Best Actress than Gwyneth Paltrow's in Shakespeare In Love, although I did enjoy her performance. Shakespeare In Love is a fictional story about how William Shakespeare was inspired to write the play "Romeo & Juliet" after falling in love with a woman named Viola. The movie was very entertaining, with some clever Shakespeare references, and good performances by Joseph Fiennes as Shakespeare and Gwyneth Paltrow as Viola. Ben Affleck was also enjoyable in a small part as Ned, an egotistical actor performing in Shakespeare's new play.
The Conspirator (2nd time watching) (2011, Rating: PG-13, Director: Robert Redford) (My Rating: 3/5) The Conspirator is based on a true story about a lawyer named Frederick Aiken (James McAvoy) who defends a woman named Mary Surratt (Robin Wright) who was charged in connection with a conspiracy to kill Abraham Lincoln. As the trial goes on, Frederick discovers the corruption involved in the trial, and realizes that Mary may be innocent. This movie has very good acting by James McAvoy, and especially by Robin Wright, who gave one of her best performances, in my opinion.
Match Point (2005, Rating: R, Director: Woody Allen) (My Rating: 3.5/5) I had been wanting to see this movie for a long time, so I was really excited when it was on TV Friday night. Match Point is about a retired professional tennis player named Chris (Jonathan Rhys Meyers), who is working as a tennis instructer when he meets Tom (Matthew Goode), a rich man he becomes friends with. Tom introduces Chris to his sister, Chloe (Emily Mortimer), and his fiancee, a struggling American actress named Nola (Scarlett Johannson). Chris becomes a close friend of Tom's family and starts dating Chloe, although he becomes attracted to Nola. Chris and Nola eventually have an affair, which leads to serious unexpected problems. This was a very interesting movie. It starts out as a good drama, and then becomes a compelling thriller. Match Point has a great script by Woody Allen, and very good performances by Jonathan Rhys Meyers and Scarlett Johansson.
Our Idiot Brother (2011, Rating: R, Director: Jesse Peretz) (My Rating: 3/5) Our Idiot Brother is about a man named Ned (Paul Rudd) who is a nice person, but can be too trusting, and seems unable to lie. After being released from jail after mistakenly selling marijuana to a police officer, Ned has nowhere to go after his girlfriend breaks up with him. He ends up staying with each of his three sisters (Emily Mortimer, Elizabeth Banks, Zooey Deschanel) for a few weeks, and unintentionally causes problems in their lives. This movie was an enjoyable comedy/drama. It had a good story, and some very funny scenes. I was especially impressed with Paul Rudd's performance, whose role was very different than the "straight-man in raunchy comedies" type of roles he's been playing recently.