365 Movies By Day Reviews of Movies I Watch that I Feel Like Writing About


All the Money in the World (2017)

You know it's a great year for actresses in a leading role when Michelle Williams (Blue Valentine, Manchester by the Sea), arguably the greatest actress of her generation gives one of the greatest performances of her career and won't even get a sniff when it comes to an Oscar nomination. But that is what we have in 2017. We have a year that, as a whole, hasn't produced a lot of great movies nor has it given us many great performances for actors in a leading role, but has given us so many amazing lead actress performances that the likes of traditional heavyweights Williams, Jessica Chastain (Molly's Game), Emma Stone (Battle of the Sexes), Jennifer Lawrence (mother!). Williams gives one of the top five performances of her career in Ridley Scott's (Gladiator, The Martian) All the Money in the World. But it likely will be forgotten for two reasons. The first is that it is not one of the five best performances of the year and thus won't be recognized during awards season. The other is that a good portion of this movie was reshot following the claims of sexual assault against Kevin Spacey, one of the key figures in the movie. The movie might be more known for what went on behind the scenes than for its final product. Scott replaced Spacey with Christopher Plummer (Beginners, The Last Station), brought in all the key players to reshoot the scenes involving this character (often 18 hour days), spent an additional $10 million to do so, and only delayed the release of this movie by three days. It was the right thing to do. I applaud Scott and all of the people who sacrificed time and money to do what was the right decision. If you've heard about this, I'll mention that I did too. But I felt it was downplayed some because Plummer was only in a few scenes. That is not the case at all. In my opinion, Plummer made this film. He stole every scene he was in and it's impossible to picture anybody doing a better job. This decision could earn All the Money in the World its only two Oscar nominations (Best Supporting Actor, Best Editing). All in all, it's a very good movie with top-notch performances. But it isn't quite as memorable nor does it hold the weight of the movies that will be recognized this Oscar season.


Manchester by the Sea (2016)

Almost perfect. While it may not even end up in my top five movies of the year, Kenneth Lonergan's (You Can Count on Me, Margaret) Manchester by the Sea was almost perfect. I said the same thing when I started my review I began my review for Nocturnal Animals just a week ago. Both movies had such potential to be a serious movie of the year candidate (both with the Academy and with me), but both movies had some serious holes. While Nocturnal Animals will likely not receive any nominations com, Manchester by the Sea will likely earn multiple ones (and rightfully so). Manchester by the Sea will likely finish as one of my five favorites of the year, but boy did it have the possibility to absolutely be number one.


Shutter Island (2010)

Without a doubt, Martin Scorsese's (The Wolf of Wall Street, The Departed) was one of the greatest in theater movie experiences of my life. I had been super excited for the movie ever since seeing its first preview some six months or more before he came out. There was so much hype associated with the movie that I was certain it couldn't live up to the expectations. It not only met expectations, it surpassed them. This movie is a complete masterpiece and has only been dampened by the fact that the second viewing (a very important viewing for all fans of the film) wasn't as awesome as I thought it would be. I thought that I would gain some insight knowing things about the movie that I didn't know during my first viewing. Rather than capitalizing on this new knowledge though, I instead found the second viewing to be rather dull. The excitement of seeing this film for the first time was what made it so great. This also is a movie that I think is a much better view in the theater than it is at home, regardless of how big your home television might be. It's a movie that absolutely needed to be seen in a dark theater that is full of other people viewing the movie for the first time.


Take This Waltz (2012)

I'm officially calling Michelle Williams the best actress of my generation. There will be people who agree with this statement, but many more who would probably disagree. I think most people would say she is a very good actress, but will be more hesitant to say great. To call her the best is a bold statement. But, in my opinion, that's what she is. To those who would quickly dismiss this statement, I would encourage them to explore her full filmography. She has some gems out there that are relatively unknown. Williams is very deserving of the three Academy Award nominations she has received (Best Actress in a Leading Role - Blue Valentine 2010, My Week with Marilyn 2011; Best Actress in a Supporting Role - Brokeback Mountain 2004). It is merely a matter of time before she wins her first, of many, Oscars.


My Week With Marilyn (2011)

Michelle Williams (Blue Valentine, Brokeback Mountain) proves once again that she is one of the finest actresses in her generation in Simon Curtis's endearing drama My Week With Marilyn. Williams shines as Marilyn Monroe. Williams is so good at portraying the perplexing and often misunderstood biggest sex symbol of the 1950's. With her blond hair, red lipstick, her recognizable little giggle, and her famous wiggle, it is easy to see how boys and men of all ages could fall in love with this woman who they knew they would never meet. I can't think of a better actress out there who could have played Monroe as well as the talented Williams.