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The Contender

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mrsl
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The Contender

Postby mrsl » February 4th, 2013, 5:02 pm

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Back in 2000 when The Contender was nominated for a couple of Oscars, I wondered about it because I had never heard about it before. Even though I don't see movies until they come to HBO or something similar, I usually learn a lot about new movies through appearances on talk shows, reviews, and trailers. But somehow I missed it when it came to TV paid stations. So, anyway I finally saw it Sunday afternoon. No Super Bowl for me this year. The Bears were not even in the playoffs so I didn't know the teams, and I wasn't in any pools, so my interest was zilch.

So, this movie is one I'm going to try to get a copy of for myself. In the first place it boasts a great cast in Jeff Bridges as the President, Joan Allen (who very few people know but is a fine actress), Gary Oldman (a treat in any movie), and finally Christian Slater, Sam Elliott, William Peterson, and Saul Rubinek. Personally I think it should be running 24/7 on the walls of both the House of Reps, and the Senate right now and should have been for the past three years. The story is about Joan Allen being chosen by the Pres. to become Vice-Pres. after the original leaves (I didn't catch whether he died, or resigned) and the struggle that follows when something from her college days is reported by the opposing side causing a debate regarding her confirmation. The woman is in her late 40's with grown children, and the garbage they pick up is truly that . . . garbage. College stunts should have no place in these hearings since 99% of us is a different person at 48 than we were at 18-20. Please don't take this as a political statement, and if you respond, please respond to the plot of the movie, the actors ability, or the directors, the lighting or any other mechanical business involved. I love politics so naturally that aided in my admiration. However, my opinions are my own and I don't expect you to pay any attention except when it comes to my recommendation.

I was thrilled by The Contender because of the fine acting, and the Mr. Smith Goes to Washington tone of the story. I love the ending and got a kick out of Jeff Bridges constantly ordering weird meals trying to catch the chef without the ability to make it, even at 2:00 a.m. Christian Slater plays quite a crafty character who becomes reformed in his thinking. Christian often plays whack-o characters but this shows his real acting ability. Sam Elliott is a great right hand man to Potus also but again, everything Sam does is uniquely fine.

Rod Lurie wrote and directed this in 2000, and did a fine job of keeping it from becoming a maudlin, poor me affair. I guess it's playing this month on one of the HBO channels, and I recommend it for a good evening's entertainment.
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Anne


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Professional Tourist
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Re: The Contender

Postby Professional Tourist » February 4th, 2013, 7:30 pm

I saw this film at the cinema back when it was first released, and enjoyed it.

Gary Oldman is a real baddy, who is made to seem almost animalistic during a luncheon with Joan Allen where he tears through a rare steak.

As I recall, Jeff Bridges did eventually stump the White House kitchen -- by ordering hazelnut pudding. Is there such a thing? It sounds good. :P

I'll have to watch this one again soon. I've been thinking about that hazelnut pudding scene lately, but couldn't remember the name of the movie. Thanks for the reminder! :)

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Vienna
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Re: The Contender

Postby Vienna » February 5th, 2013, 3:58 am

Good political thriller. Great parts for all three leads. I wish Joan Allen would get some more good roles.

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hbenthow
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Re: The Contender

Postby hbenthow » February 5th, 2013, 6:31 pm

I'm only familiar with The Contender because of Gary Oldman's complaints about it. From what I gather, his character was meant to be more nuanced and sympathetic, and a bunch of cuts were made to make him more one-dimensional. He also took issue with the movie itself, calling it propaganda, and accused the producers of forcing changes so that the movie was radically different from what was in the script. I've heard rumors that the big stink that Oldman and his manager raised about the movie may have been a factor in his not getting an Oscar nomination for the role.

(I'm not trying to get political here, not taking any sides, just saying what I've heard. I've never seen the movie, so I don't know much about it. I'm only familiar with the controversy involving Gary Oldman).

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Professional Tourist
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Re: The Contender

Postby Professional Tourist » February 5th, 2013, 8:34 pm

Professional Tourist wrote:As I recall, Jeff Bridges did eventually stump the White House kitchen -- by ordering hazelnut pudding. Is there such a thing? It sounds good. :P

I'll have to watch this one again soon. . . .

My bad -- they had the hazelnut pudding. It was muenster cheese they didn't have. :P

I watched this again tonight -- it was diverting and enjoyable. It's as much about people as it is about politics, which is what draws me in. And there is absolutely a theme of food throughout -- people have their own ideas of what it means. :)


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