Monday, February 20, 2012

The Presidential Selections: 6 Films to Celebrate Presidents' Day

By Mike Mazzanti, BMFI Intern

Do you wish you could party in the White House this Presidents' Day but don’t, in fact, live in the White House? Well, fortunately, I’ve elected a few films to bring you into a president’s world from the comfort of your own home.

Three of the Founding Fathers in 1776.
If you’re interested in celebrating Washington and Jefferson, 1776 is the candidate for you. Adapted from the hit Broadway musical and starring William Daniels and Howard Da Silva as two of America’s founding fathers, 1776 has been hailed as “a star-spangled, all-singing delight” (The Las Vegas Review-Journal), and a film “every American should watch ... once a year” (Common Sense Media).

Young Mr. Lincoln
John Ford’s classic Young Mr. Lincoln is the highly fictionalized account of the early life of Abraham Lincoln. Driven by Ford’s fine direction and a spellbinding performance from Henry Fonda, Young Mr. Lincoln received an Oscar nomination for Best Original Screenplay and has been called both “a masterpiece” (Chicago Reader) and “one of the decade’s most significant works” (Variety).

Henry Fonda as a young Honest Abe.

The Conspirator
Robert Redford’s atmospheric and compelling courtroom drama The Conspirator follows Mary Surratt (Robin Wright), who is charged as a co-conspirator in the assassination of Abraham Lincoln. Swearing innocence, Mary must rely on her reluctant lawyer, Frederick Aiken (James McAvoy), to uncover the truth. The star-studded drama also includes Evan Rachel Wood, Tom Wilkinson, Kevin Kline, Alexis Bledel, and Justin Long.

Wright and McAvoy in The Conspirator.

Hoffman and Redford in
All the President's Men.

All the President’s Men
All the President’s Men is the smart and gripping drama/thriller about reporters Carl Bernstein (Dustin Hoffman) and Bob Woodward (Robert Redford) who uncovered the details about the Watergate scandal which led to President Nixon’s resignation. Nominated for Best Director at the Academy Awards, Alan J. Pakula’s classic was also nominated for Best Picture, and won four Oscars including Best Adapted Screenplay.

Chronicling the life and presidency of George W. Bush, Oliver Stone’s W. is led by an astounding performance from Josh Brolin (No Country for Old Men, True Grit) in the title role. Called both “harsh” and “surprisingly sympathetic,” W. nevertheless fascinates thanks to Brolin’s engrossing and humanizing performance.

Brolin Portraying George Bush in W.

Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter
Finally, Presidents' Day would not be complete without watching the trailer for Timur Bekmambetov’s (Wanted) adaptation of the New York Times bestseller Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter. That’s right. It’s Honest Abe hacking up vampires with his trusty axe. Be warned: this trailer might shock those who were unaware that our 16th president was moonlighting as a slayer of nocturnal bloodsuckers.

So change into something formal this Presidents' Day and embark on a presidential journey through the power of cinema.

1 comment:

  1. 1776 is awesome, as is All the President's Men!