Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Bullets Over Broadway (1994) (2nd time)

In 1920s New York, a struggling playwright is forced to cast a mobster's talentless girlfriend in his latest drama in order to get it produced. [imdb]

Nominated for 7 Oscars:

Best Director: Woody Allen
Best Supporting Actor: Chazz Palminteri
Best Supporting Actress: Jennifer Tilly
Best Supporting Actress: Dianne Wiest (WINNER)
Best Original Screenplay
Best Art Direction
Best Costume Design

Bang! Bang! I just wish some films could get (even) better when you see them the 2nd time around. Bullets... is one of those very smart Woody Allen comedies. It's deliciously written and the acting is excellent all around. I wanted to like it more the 2nd time because it seems to have the perfect recipe for a knock out film. I still found it good, but not great.

The strength of the film lies in its actors. Dianne Wiest is BRILLIANT as the vain actress Helen Sinclair and her win is one of the most deserved ones that this category's ever had. Her dialogue is so difficult and such a challenge, but because she's always in control the result is a classic performance. Also excellent is her fellow nominee Jennifer Tilly playing the annoying Olive, the mobster's girl. She gets the most comedy of the film and delivers a fun, memorable performance. I guess this is why Woody received the Best Director nomination: for being able to direct an ensemble cast towards greatness.

Palminteri's nomination is quite an unusual one, but I accept it. I know many loved his performance, I thought it was just ok. John Cusack, Tracey Ullman and Jim Broadbent are also very good. All the nominations seem worthy: I actually think it should've won Best Costume Design, because the characters look so glamorous and Dianne Wiest's dresses are all fabulous. I'm not sure if it should've won Original Screenplay, because it was a very very tough category with Pulp Fiction and Four Weddings and a Funeral being nominated.

My rating for the film: 8.5/10. It's a great achievement, very intellectual and fun to watch. Dianne Wiest rules!

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