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Posts Tagged ‘glenn close’

Roy Hobbs is a baseball player who comes almost out of nowhere in the 1930s, to join the New York Knights, who are going through a losing streak.  Nobody has ever heard of Hobbs, who has never played professionally, but his talent for the game is undeniable, despite him being nearer retirement age for the sport, than a youthful rookie.  As the film shows, his career was halted for a while by an unforeseen tragedy, but that doesn’t stop his determination to be the best baseball player in history.

This is a beautifully shot, wonderfully acted film, with an air of magic about it.  Robert Redford, at nearly 50 years of age, may have been slightly too old to play Hobbs, but it doesn’t matter at all – partly because he looks so youthful, and partly because he embodies the role so completely.  Glenn Close is Iris, the sweet woman from his past, and Kim Basinger is Memo, the avaricious girl who dates him after he becomes famous.

This is certainly a baseball movie, but you do not have to be a fan of the sport to appreciate and enjoy the film (although personally speaking, Baseball is about the only sport which I can enjoy watching).  In fact, the sport scenes are very enjoyable, and I could feel the excitement and tension of the players and the crowd.

I loved Redford as the gruff but brutally honest Hobbs, and Close as the young lady he almost left behind.  Basinger was great in an extremely unsympathetic role, and Wilford Brimley and Richard Farnsworth gave excellent support as Pop Fisher and Red Blow, the manager and co-owner of the NY Knights, and his assistant.  The always superb Robert Duvall also makes the most of his role as Max Mercy, an unscrupulous sports journalist.

Not just a sports movie, but an allegory for life, this film was unexpectedly delightful and moving.  As a Redford fan, I was bound to enjoy it, but it exceeded my expectations, and I would certainly recommend it.

Year of release: 1984

Director: Barry Levinson

Producers: Philip M. Breen, Roger Towne, Mark Johnson, Robert F. Colesberry

Writers: Bernard Malamud (novel), Roger Towne, Phil Dusenberry

Main cast: Robert Redford, Robert Duvall, Glenn Close, Kim Basinger, Wilford Brimley, Richard Farnsworth

 

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Glenn Close, John Malkovich and Michelle Pfeiffer head up the cast of this story of scheming and sex, set in pre-revolutionary France. Close plays Marquise Isabelle de Merteuil, an outwardly respectable lady, who sets out to avenge a former lover by asking Vicomte Sebastian de Valmont (Malkovich) to seduce her former lover’s new fiancee, the young Cecile (Uma Thurman). Valmont in turn, decides to seduce Madame de Tourvel (Pfeiffer), for nothing more than the fun of it….but neither Isabelle nor Valmont has reckoned on their personal feelings getting in the way…

Well! I wasn’t sure what I expected from this film, but what I got was a steamy, seedy, decadent story of two rather unpleasant individuals who seem intent on humiliating and debasing their peers, simply for the fun of it. But that is not to say that the film is not enjoyable; I actually found it very gripping, and at times amusing. Malkovich seems to relish playing the villain – he’s just so good at it, and far sexier than such a dastardly character deserves to be. Close really shows off her acting chops here – she is brilliant, managing to convey such feeling with just a subtle change of expression. Pfeiffer too is great – this is possibly the best acting I have ever seen her do.

Swoosie Kurtz heads up the supporting cast admirably, and Uma Thurman plays the innocent (but soon to be corrupted) Cecile very well. Keanu Reeves plays the unsuspecting and innocent young music teacher who falls for Cecile, but who is used as a pawn by Isabelle and is drawn into her world of deceit.

I’m not sure that this is a film I would watch again, but it is certainly a film that I would recommend people to watch at least once. Enjoyable, if not exactly uplifting.

Year of release: 1988

Director: Stephen Frears

Producers: Norma Heyman, Hank Moonjean, Christopher Hampton

Writers: Choderlos de Laclos (book), Christopher Hampton

Main cast: Glenn Close, John Malkovich, Michelle Pfeiffer, Uma Thurman, Keanu Reeves, Swoosie Kurtz

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