Here is my take on two Oscar-nominated performances in two very different films.
A delightful family dramedy. Art dealer Madeleine (Embeth Davidtz) and her new husband George (Alexander Nivola) travel to North Carolina so Madeleine can sign the next big artist. The pair stop at George’s parents house and Madeleine is immediately the outsider.
Her presence shakes the foundation of the already fragile family. There is the stubborn and unforgiving mother Peg (Celia Watson), befuddled dad Eugene (Scott Wilson) and cranky, often immature, brother Johnny (Ben Mackenzie). Amy Adams delivers a touching performance as Ashley, Johnny’s pregnant and naive wife. She is completely awestruck by everything about her new relative.
This is film about family ties is worth seeing.
A History of Violence (2005)
William Hurt’s performance lasts only 10 minutes and it was one of the few good things in the thriller A History of Violence. Don’t get me wrong. I enjoyed this movie. It is about big city corruption versus the quiet small town life and how your past is never too far behind. It is about relationships: husbands and wives, fathers and sons, enemies (in school and in life). It is about how everyone has the ability to act violent. But it is not this great movie that all the critics are making it out to be.
Ed Harris as the man who comes back to haunt Tom Stall’s (Viggo Mortenson) peaceful family life, gives a more convincing and frightening performance. Maria Bello, who is amazing in every role she chooses, was not recognized for her brilliant work as the shocked, defenseless, and hurt wife.
But, it is what it is. And even I cannot deny that Willaim Hurt gave an excellent performance.