I've been seeing the movies nominated for SAG awards. By the way if SAG members want to see free films here's what I do:
I show them my SAG card, if they question it I mention that I vote in the SAG awards. One theatre mentioned they had not yet received nomination info so I showed them my nomination sheet and they said, "fine". Not all theatres accept the card, it's totally up to their discretion. Don't make a fuss, and plan to pay if the card is not accepted. This year I have been fortunate between various screenings and using the card.
SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE - I loved this film. I was hesitant to see it at first because people kept talking about the horrible child torture. I wondered what they meant by "child torture" rather than "child abuse", but understood when I saw the film. It is necessary for the plot. It's one of those indy films that comes along and is an absolute gem. Reminds me of Cinema Paradiso (not in plot, but in quality). I will definitely see this film again when it comes to TV and DVD. I highly recommend it.
REVOLUTIONARY ROAD - This was like a prequel to WHO'S AFRAIID OF VIRGINIA WOOLF? Some of the acting was a tad over the top at times and some of the film was predictable. I enjoyed the film, though. It was odd to me that Leonardo Dicaprio looked so much younger than Kate Winslet. It's not a film I would see twice. I knew I was involved in the film when I stopped searching for friends in the background a third of the way into the film.
THE CURIOUS CASE OF BENJAMIN BUTTON - I loved this film. I know some folks found it to be slow and dreary. I think it's my background as a former social worker that loved the interplay between the mind of a toddler and the mind of mentally failing elderly people. I was wondering how it could work that a child would be in the body of an old man without people noticing and it becoming a freak show. It was believable the way they did it because he lives in a home for aging seniors with varying degrees of senility and disabilities. By the time he is the young and gorgeous Brad Pitt you are pleasantly surprised to remember his good looks. I liked the arc of this film and found it to be thought provoking. I will probably see it again. What an ensemble cast!
SEVEN POUNDS - Now this one was slow and dull. It's a shame because they could have made it into quite an interesting film if they'd just changed around a few plot points and character choices and.... well they didn't and that's that. I'll still rush out to see the next Will Smith project, and Rosario Dawson is always excellent. It truly was well acted all around.
FROST/NIXON - I stopped seeing Frank Langella and began to see a whole new person. I didn't see "Nixon" because the real Nixon is still in my memory. I did see a man struggling with his image and need for control and power. I didn't know all of the story of the interviews and how they happened so that was a lesson for me. Yes, I know it wasn't all true, but if you are getting your history from feature films then you are already in trouble. Films merely give you a taste of history at best.
MILK - I saw this with a person who is not part of any oppressed group. Anyone who is one of the "chosen" groups and had to fight for basic rights knows this story well. By this I mean the story of struggle against oppression, and to be seen as a human being. Sean Penn is a phenomenal actor. The ensemble cast in this is incredible. It plays almost like a documentary. It shows the good, the bad and the ugly of how change happens and how people become leaders. Let's hope this moves people to action for Human Rights for everyone. I highly recommend this film.