It's Oscar DVD Tuesday! That's right, all of the featured new releases today are films that were nominated for at least one Academy Award. So you can feel very cultured as you're popping your popcorn and settling in to your sofa with one of these flicks.
Jeff Bridges won the best actor Oscar for his role as Bad Blake, a grizzled, alcoholic country singer whose poor life choices have led to a life of playing bowling allies. Things change for him a bit when a journalist (played by Maggie Gyllenhaal, who was also nominated) comes to interview him, and winds up falling for him.
Alice Sebold's heartbreaking novel gets an adaptation at the hands of director Peter Jackson, who succeeds at getting good performances from his actors. Saoirse Ronan stars as Susie, a murdered 14-year-old girl who watches her family grieve from the afterlife. Where he fails is in the depiction of her "in-between," which is both cartoonish and disturbing. Mark Wahlberg and Rachel Weisz are her impassioned parents, and Stanley Tucci plays the creep who kills her in the part that nabbed him a supporting actor nomination.
There are no DVD extras, though the Blu-ray disc has a production diary from Jackson.
To see one more release, just
In this beautiful, lush period piece, Emily Blunt stars as the pre-coronation Queen Victoria. It's a historical drama depicting the events in her early life, but the real draw is in the romance between her and Prince Albert, played skillfully by Rupert Friend (whose gorgeous looks certainly don't hurt anything). I loved the movie, and was surprised when Emily Blunt wasn't nominated for an Oscar, but the costumes did manage to finagle an award.
In the DVD extras, you'll find a commentary, a making-of featurette and a highlight of the real Queen.