Drama's goal in cinema is to tell a story, a serious story, with little or no frivolity. The subject could be about race, injustice, the end of the world, or a possible abduction. Drama's are most notably winners during the award season. The intensity of the drama depends on the subject matter. The following movies are some of the dramatic films of the year 2013. Look them over and pick one or two for the final list of 2013 films. There have been some wonderful dramas this past year so read through and see which one's you enjoyed.
'The Place Beyond The Pines' - Luke Glanton (Ryan Gosling) is a motorcycle stuntman. He travels from fair to fair to make a living. He is considered to be a traveling man with no roots. One day a year ago he has a one night stand at a fair in New York State. A year later the woman he had an affair with shows up at the fair. Romina (Eva Mendes) flirts but doesn't tell him the truth of why she came. Luke comes by her house and finds out he is a father. Romina lives in the house with infant son Jason (Anthony Pizza) and her mother and a man named Kofi (Mahershala Ali).
Luke decides he wants to be part of the child's life and actually wants to be part of Romina's also. Luke goes out riding one day and runs into Robin (Ben Mendelsohn) and they race in the woods. Robin has an auto repair shop and offers Luke a job and a place to stay.
One day Robin brings up the idea of robbing banks. Robin had gotten away with it a couple times awhile back and since the two men were in dire straights and in need of money, why not.
The first couple of times it works great. Luke has money and it has turned Romina's eye. Luke goes and buys a bunch of items for Romina and Jason. Kofi hates the idea and wants Luke and the gifts out of his house. Luke hits him hard and goes to jail.
Luke goes back to Robin to talk about doing some jobs and Robin says no. Luke goes and does the job anyway and ends up getting shot and killed. The rest of the story runs off in a new direction and you need to watch to see where.
Director Derek CiaFrance does an excellent job. He brings you into a web of corruption and deceit. The story turns in ways that you will not believe. It is a movie worth watching and enjoying.
'The Butler' - This is a true story of Cecil Gaines (Forest Whitaker). A sharecroppers son who watched his mom be raped by one of the sons of the owner and his father shot to death by the same man. He would be taken in by the same owner and taught how to be a "House Nigger". Cecil would later run away and land a job in a nice motel. A man by the name of Maynard (Clarence Williams III) would show him the proper way to be a Butler. Cecil would do such a fine job that he would make his way to Washington. He would be spotted by R .D. Warner (Jim Gleason) and would be asked to come to an interview to be a Butler at the White House.
His interviewer would be Freddie Fallows (Coleman Domingo) and Cecil would be hired on the spot.
By now Cecil was married and had two children. Gloria Gaines (Oprah Winfrey) would stand by her man but it was Cecil who would stand by her more. She would have addictions that needed to be monitored but she was a good woman. His son Louis (David Oyelowo) would be involved with the Civil Rights Movement of the 60's.
Cecil would serve in the White House for 30 years and serve many Presidents, but this movie is much more than just about a job.
This movie is a history of what was considered the norm to what became Law. The black people of this country endured so much bigotry and hatred at the hands of the white man that I'm surprised this country survived. This movie shows the injustice the black man had to live through.
Some might want to call Cecil an Uncle Tom because of the job he held. I disagree, everyone has to work. Cecil just worked in the White House. He was no better or worse than any other man. I feel he is a man to look up to. He held a job for 30 years. He held a job that had him at the highest level of his career. He held a job that with all my education I wouldn't be able to hold.
Director Lee Daniels should be proud of this Academy Award Winner, oops I might have let the cat out of the bag. I have never been an Oprah Winfrey fan but I must say the woman has out done herself on this one I truly hope and pray that Forest Whitaker will take home best actor. I have watched many a movie these past many months but this one makes you laugh, cry, get angry, and feel proud all in the same breath. If you do not do anything this year you must watch the Butler and learn what it is to be an American through the eyes of Cecil Gaines.
'The Great Gatsby' - The story opens with Nick spending some time at a sanitarium. The doctor is trying to get him to open up concerning his summer on Long Island. After a short discussion, the Doctor suggests he write out his problems.
You see when Nick came to Long Island that summer he was an upstart of sorts. He was new to the workings of the market and he had a small cottage to live in. He was not a member of the society on the Island. Nick has a cousin who married into the stinking rich class. Her husbands name is Buchanan, Tom Buchanan. They live in a very substantial house on the other side of the Island, the old money section. Now Nick is coming over for a bite of lunch. Daisy, nicks cousin, is lounging with a friend Jordan as he is brought into the sun room. Daisy's husband Tom is trying to relive his glory days as an athlete. Nick is simply taken aback with the wealth. At times it looks like he is just walking around with his mouth open.
The talk around the table is about the prominence of the white race in the world. In other words the same talk the Nazi's were doing in Germany about that time. A call for Tom disrupts the lunch. It is from Tom's mistress which just makes Daisy upset. Tom says to Nick that they have to go to the club that afternoon. Which is in layman's terms means that he and Nick have to go get his mistress and spend the afternoon in New York having fun.
Now Mr. and Mrs. Wilson run a low income gas station and garage This also happens to be the home of Tom's mistress, Myrtle Wilson. Tom gives her some money to catch the train into the city. She says she will call her sister for Nick to play with. Nick is brought into the hypocrisy of the folks on the Island. You have your wife at home and your mistress in an apartment in the city.
Nick's neighbor is a well to do by the name of Jay Gatsby. An upstart of sorts, as he has money but not old money. At Gatsby's home every weekend is a party. You don't get invited, you just show up. Well one day, Nick gets an invitation to a Gatsby party. He feels very honored as he walks through all the guests letting them know he was invited. The two meet and Nick is enamored with his neighbor. He holds on to every word Gatsby says and takes it in as if he never met anybody like him before. The two have lunch the next day and you get a glimpse into the life that Gatsby is all about. Gatsby talks about Nick's cousin Daisy and inquires to see if Nick can set up tea with Daisy.
You see Daisy and Gatsby had a thing before the War. Unfortunately, Gatsby was only a Lieutenant and didn't come from money. The awkwardness at tea shows just how silly in love the two had been all those years ago.
'Mud' - In the backwaters of Arkansas along the Mississippi River are two river rats out on a small john boat heading toward a mysterious island. The boys Ellis (Tye Sheridan) and Neckbone (Jacob Lofland) are heading to see a boat that is in a tree. The boat must have gotten in the trees when the river had flooded some time ago. When they are searching the boat they realize that someone is living on it. As they are leaving they run into a man called Mud (Matthew McConaughhey) .
Mud had been living on the boat and hiding from the law. Mud in a fit of rage had killed a man. He had a girlfriend by the name of Juniper (Reese Witherspoon) who had gotten pregnant by another man. Juniper had supposedly been pushed down some stairs and lost the baby.
Mud at first had talked to the boys just about bringing him some food, but then Ellis sees Juniper at the Piggly Wiggly. Ellis wants to get the boat back in the water so Mud and Juniper can escape down the river together.
Now here's the problem the man Mud had killed had Kin. His father is King Carver (Joe Don Baker) fairly well to do man for these parts. He hires a bunch of men and has some of the law on his payroll looking for Mud.
Now Mud has some friends and one is Tom Blankenship (Sam Shepard). Now with all these men out searching you'd think it would be no problem finding Mud.
Ellis in the meantime had problems of his own. His parents were splitting up. Problem was his Mom Mary Lee (Sarah Paulson) wanted to give up the house boat and move to town. His father Senior (Ray McKinnon) made his living on the river and didn't want to give it up. Times were a changing.
This is a very interesting tale of lost love and life lost. Ellis and his parents had always lived on the river and moving would be a dramatic change. Law in these parts comes in many forms and sometimes it doesn't always match what we call civil law.
Director Jeff Nichols brings a poignant tale of growing up and also ties to what is real. Family is real and sometimes we may feel they are wrong but they are family. He also brings us to our roots for you see people have been living on the mighty Mississippi River for so long time has forgotten them. This is one of the better movies that has come out in the past couple of years. Enjoy.
'Pain and Gain' - This is a true story. It took place in Miami around 1994-95. Daniel Lugo (Mark Wahlberg) was a body builder with an American Dream complex. He wanted money and he wanted to run with the elite. Paul Doyle (Dwayne Johnson) was also a body builder but a reformed Christian. He had spent some time in prison and had found God. You see Paul loves the nose candy. Adrian Doorbal (Anthony Mackie) just wanted to be a body builder. Problem was he kept doing steroids and he was having problem with his penis which made him overcompensate.
All three men would come to work at the Sun Gym. Now as trainers for the gym they were responsible for bringing people in and hooking them for that personal gym package. Which usually meant the people had money to burn.
In comes Victor Kershaw (Tony Shalhoub), he wanted to be pumped and wanted some excitement in his life. He was middle aged and had a successful sandwich Shoppe. That was about all he had though except he had money and he was obnoxious. Daniel had been working with him and couldn't stand to listen to him anymore. Now Daniel wanted that American Dream but he needed money to get there. So he and the other two muscle heads Paul and Adrian kidnap him and eventually get his money. Problem is, when they tried to kill him, he didn't die. Cops didn't believe his story but he eventually gets Ed DuBois an ex cop to get involved. Now between these three and the owner of Sun Gym John Meese (Rob Corddry) they weren't the brightest of the bunch, if you get my point.
For a short time they honestly thought they had gotten away with it. When they found out that Kershaw hadn't died they tracked him down and would try again. Paul would be the first to go through his money. Yes he went back to the coke and forgot God. He would try and hold up an armored car but failed. Daniel would come up with another scam and go after Frank Griga (Michael Rispoli) and his wife Krisztina (Kelli Lefkovitz). Now Frank had some money as he was involved in the porn trade.
Look I'm really not making any of this stuff up, it's all true. You really need to watch this movie. It's not because these people give stellar performances, it's because the whole story is true and it's the stupidest factual based movie I have ever seen. These guys deserve everything that came their way and you just have to watch it.
Director Michael Bay has brought a good cast together with one of the most bizarre story lines, and has made a very decent movie. So spend the money and go see this movie. Enjoy.
'Prisoners' - It's Thanksgiving and two neighborhood families The Dover's and The Birches are having a very nice time celebrating together. The children come across a camper parked down the street. Anna Dover (Erin Gerasimovich) and Joy Birch (Kyla Drew Simmons) are trying to climb on top of it . They come down and head back to the house. Franklin Birch (Terrence Howard) wants to bring out the trumpet and entertain everybody. His wife Nancy (Viola Davis) just sits there and knows she can't talk him out of it. Keller Dover (Hugh Jackman) and his wife Grace (Maria Bello) also have that look as if they are trapped. Their belly's are full and the last thing everybody wants to do is listen to a trumpet. Franklin starts playing and the girls start to sing but soon become bored and run off.
The grownups talk a little more and then realize it has been some time since they saw the girls. They begin to panic when they have searched both houses and the neighborhood. The cops are called in and Detective Loki (Jake Gyllenhaal) is in charge of the case. They search the woods. They search all the local pedophiles addresses and come up short. They do find the camper that was seen down the block and the driver runs and everyone thinks he is the abductor. Alex Jones (Paul Dano) is not all there. He has the IQ of an invalid. He makes some comments but no one believes he has done it.
When the community comes together for a candle lite vigil a mystery man is seen and eventually runs away. In the mean time what do parents do when they truly want to find out the truth. They take matters into their own hands.
This thriller has to be one of the best. It keeps you interested from the minute it starts. Director Denis Villeneuve does an excellent job keeping our interest up. It is a movie that when you see the end, it will blow your mind. Do not turn off the lights on this one it surly will give you a nightmare or two.
'Lone Survivor' - Anyone who can finish seal training is of a caliber of person that many can only wish to achieve. More people will wash out than the one's who graduate. These are the men and women who will be put in conditions that require a certain finesse. They will be in a situation where they are usually out numbered. They will have to overcome odds that most couldn't even begin to think about. These are the people that the United States Military rely on to do the dirty work, and they love it.
Marcus Luttrell (Mark Wahlberg) is a member of Seal Team 10 stationed in Afghanistan. In June 2005 four members of this team will go on a mission to kill Ahmad Shah (Yousef Azami). The other members of this group will be Michael Murphy (Taylor Kitsch), Danny Dietz (Emile Hirsch), and Matt Axelson (Ben Foster).
They are dropped off in the hills to look for Shah and almost immediately they are in trouble. Murphy allows some shepherds to pass without killing them and soon after they are surrounded by Taliban. The men do everything they can to kill the enemy and get out alive but the only one to survive the attack is Luttrell. He will be shot several times and is able to take out some of the enemy.
He will spend the night in the hills and will be awoken by a a group of Pushton Villagers, led by a man named Gulab (Ali Suliman). Luttrell will be taken back to the village but there is much arguing between members of the village of him staying. You see the Taliban have already come to the village once before to kill a man for helping the Americans. They cut his head off to show others what will happen to anyone helping the enemy.
"Operation Red Wings" was a failure as a mission. The goal was not achieved but what it does show is that we the Americans do have people who are willing to risk their lives for us.
Director Peter Berg has brought us a true heart breaking story that will make you want to yell and scream. You become part of the movie especially if you ever were in the military. These men and women of our Seal Teams are the unsung heroes who most of the time you don't even know their name let alone what they have done. Semper Fi.
'The Spectacular Now' - Sutter Keely ( Mile Teller) is a teenage boy who is having some growing pains. His mother Sara and father Tommy (Jennifer Jason Leigh and Kyle Chandler) are divorced. His older sister Holly (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) is married and not living at home. His Girlfriend Cassidy (Brie Larson) and he are not doing well and eventually break up.
Sutter is also on his way to being an alcoholic at a young age. When he and Cassidy break up he is devastated and gets drunk. He wakes up on a lawn with Aimee Finicky (Shailene Woodley) looking down on him. He doesn't even know where his car is at.
The two go deliver the newspapers in the back of her truck and they start to talk. He asks her to a party and she accepts. He starts to talk to her about school and if she can help tutor him. In other words he becomes attracted to her and she to him. He sees Cassidy and he still has feeling for her and if she would have let him they would have made love. Cassidy is now seeing the all American ball player Marcus (Dayo Okeniyi) and is torn between him and Sutter.
Okay, bottom line, Sutter is the kid that is going to fall. People really don't need to be around him because he will take them down also. You see Aimee is on her way to college and when she meets Sutter she almost gives up on that dream. Aimee and Sutter come from broken homes but it is Aimee who doesn't just live in the now like Sutter does. Aimee is out there for him and he doesn't even realizes it. Sutter is not a bad kid. He is just a kid that is falling through the cracks.
Director James Ponsoldt does an excellent job of bringing the societal woes of growing up in this day and age. It's a little more complicated than when we were growing up. This is a movie that will tug at your heart strings and might not let them go. It is a movie that at first you want to walk away from but then all of a sudden it grabs you.
'12 Years A Slave' - In the year of our Lord 1841, Solomon Northup (Chiwetel Ejiofor) was a free man with a family. He lived a comfortable life as violinist in Saratoga, New York. This is a true story.
Solomon was to be drugged and sold as a slave. He would take the name Platt and would end up in New Orleans and sold to the highest bidder. In the beginning he would work for a kind man by the name of Ford (Benedict Cumberbatch). Running into trouble with an underling of the man named Ford he would be sold to a man named Epps (Michael Fassbender). It would be under Epps that Platt would be treated with cruelty, jealousy, and eventually downright hatred. Epps would read the bible by day to his property and by night he would rape the women.
Mistress Epps (Sarah Paulson) had such a hatred of the Negro she would incite her husband to beat them until they were almost dead. A slave herself in a sense, Mistress Epps had such jealousy of her husband for his taking the black women to bed that she would fill such rage in her husband that he almost whipped his favorite slave to death.
Platt was found out to be able to play the violin and would be lent out to others for dances and such. He could never have told anyone what he was and how he came to be there. He just couldn't trust anyone with that information. For to be a slave let alone a knowledgeable one could mean immediate death.
He would eventually cross paths with a Canadian Abolitionist by the name of Bass (Brad Pitt). Bass had found himself in tough spot and was working off a debt. The two men would work side by side and one day Platt would tell Bass how he got to be a slave. Bass would eventually write a letter to some of Platt's Yankee friends with the hope that he would be allowed to be a free man once again.
As I said this is a true story written by Solomon Northup himself. It tells the story of just how insane slavery was and all that was done to the black man in the United States. Director Steve McQueen brings to us a riveting tale of cruelty, sadism, and what would be called today a crime against humanity. It shows just how this country was built on the backs of others. This is a must see movie to be viewed by all.
'Captain Phillips' - Captain Richard Phillips (Tom Hanks) is talking with his wife Andrea (Catherine Keener) while he is packing to go join the ship Maersk Alabama. Phillips is traveling to an area that is becoming know for pirates. This is a true story.
Phillips arrives to meet his first mate Shane Murphy (Michael Chernus) and is informed of their destination, Mombasa. All the while in a tiny village the leading war lord has sent people to ask very nicely where is his tribute. Abduwali Muse (Barkhad Abdi) is awaken and told to get the money or else. They are told to go rob a boat for you see most of the men in the village are nothing more than pirates. Muse and three men are headed to the water to board a ship that will take them out and given some skiffs they are to simply rob and unsuspecting vessel.
Phillips and his crew are out on the open water now but they are separated from the convoy. This is not good in these waters. Pirates are always looking for the straggler. They are easier to hit rather than a convoy. Phillips notices the skiff's on the radar and orders the crew to the water cannons. Pirates have guns and ships crews have water. makes a lot of sense. At first, Muse and his little band of pirates are catching up on the vessel but then their engine fails. Muse gets into an argument with the Somali messenger and will eventually kill him. Muse and his men will continue their mission and do make it aboard the vessel.
Phillips had already called to the UK Maritime Trade Operations to inform them of the possible hi-jacking. U.S. vessels were in the area but were not close enough to give assistance. Muse and Phillips would walk the ship with Phillips offering anything he could find. Eventually Muse would kidnap Phillips and take him to Somalia where he thought they could ransom the Captain for better money.
Pirating has been on the rise for about the last twenty years. Somalia is one of the worst for this type of action. Over the years many a pirate from Somalia have attacked vessels and ransomed of their crew or ship.
Director Paul Greengrass has brought real life drama to the big screen. He has shown us what is happening a half a world away. Men and women are simply trying to earn a living but in the meantime they risk life and limb. This will not stop until someone finally foes in and takes out the warlords. Somalia as a country has been in disarray since the U.S. pulled out some twenty years ago.