Movie actors have a lot to do with the success or failure of the films they star in.
This week I want to talk about three actresses whose performances make up for flaws in their new films.
Meryl Streep raises the level of every movie she's in. For her most recent performance in AUGUST: OSAGE COUNTY she has earned her record setting 18th Oscar nomination.
Emma Thompson is another strong actress; she's the best reason to see SAVING MR. BANKS.
And finally, the excellent performance of relative newcomer Felicity Jones makes THE INVISIBLE WOMAN worth seeing.
Nellie: She is the mother of your children. How could you be so cruel to her?
Charles Dickens: And for that I shall always be grateful, but I do not love her.
Felicity Jones plays Nelly Ternan, the 18 year old that author Charles Dickens fell in love with when he was 45. At the time Dickens (played by Ralph Fiennes) was married and the father of ten children.
Nellie: When your wife asked if I was fond of you, I could not honestly reply. I wanted to say "No."
Ralph Fiennes also directed this slow paced, beautifully shot story of the troubled secret relationship, but if it weren't for Felicity Jones, I couldn't recommend THE INVISIBLE WOMAN.
Disney script writer: "Introducing the creator of our beloved Mary."
P. L. Travers: "Poppins, never ever just Mary."
Emma Thompson plays P. L. Travers, the curmudgeonly author of the Mary Poppins books.
After twenty years of trying, in 1964, Walt Disney (played by Tom Hanks) finally convinced Travers to sell him the movie rights but not before she put up a mighty resistance to almost every idea Disney's script writers came up with.
Travers: "Reponstible" is not a word.
Lyric writer: We made it up.
Travers: Well, unmake it up.
SAVING MR. BANKS is a crowd pleasing, feel-good movie, but it's another film I would not recommend were it not for the great performance of its lead actress.
Daughter (Juilianne Nicholson): Are you supposed to be smoking?
Mother (Meryl Streep): Is anybody supposed to smoke?
Meryl Streep is amazing as the pill popping cruel matriarch of a very dysfunctional family in AUGUST: OSAGE COUNTY, a film based on a Pulitzer prize winning stage play.
Watching the Oscar nominated Streep go toe to toe with her eldest daughter played by Julia Roberts is a treat for anyone who appreciates fine acting.
Roberts: Why can't you just call people what they want to be called?
Streep: Let's just call the dinosaurs, Native Americans while we're at it. (She laughs.)
The movie itself, which has the same kind of intensity as WHO'S AFRAID OF VIRGINIA WOOLF contains enough drama to fill three movies, but Streep and the other actors are so good, I highly recommend it.
Terry Hunter, Hawaii News Now firstname.lastname@example.org