The Big Chill at the Oscars

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  • TomHardys
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    #190333

    So I recently watched a movie that came out last year called About Alex. I liked it quite a lot… the charismatic cast sure had an helping hand on that. While reading some of the film’s reviews I noticed how the reviewers kept mentioning a movie called The Big Chill as its obvious biggest influence.

    I wasn’t aware of the existence of this movie until now (which is shameful yes – but hey, I’m still young!) and I was blown away by how much I loved it. I’m a big Lawrence Kasdan fan (which makes this situation much more embarassing) so it’s no surprise that I would like this. The big surprise is how much gripping and punchy the screenplay is. As a college student myself and with a similar group of friends, I can’t help but think how will our relationships fare as soon as this time of our lives is over. Will we distance ourselves from one another like these characters? Will our shared experiences together become nothing more than nostalgia driven memories that we can cherish from time to time? I was floored by the film’s smart screenplay and how much I already relate to it, let alone once I reach the late 30’s/early 40’s and I look back to this phase of my life.

    The cast is excellent: Glenn Close, Kevin Kline, Tom Berenger (wonderful here), William Hurt, Jeff Goldblum, Mary Kay Place, JoBeth Williams… You really believe these people spent years together, cementing their friendship to the point they become brothers and sisters to each other. The performances are top notch, the direction is absolutely brilliant and fashionable. The movie was nominated for 3 Oscars: Best Picture, Best Original Screenplay and Best Supporting Actress (Glenn Close) but in my opinion it deserved much more.

    What do you think of it, GoldDerby? Did you love it as much as I did? 

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    KyleBailey
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    #190335

    I liked the idea of the movie but it didn’t do much for me. Besides Glenn Close, I didn’t really enjoy the movie. I might need to give it another chance 

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    Dr.Fabe
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    #190336

    In my eyes The Big Chill is a film that starts strongly and for me it was very intriguing to watch the characters unfold. But the longer the film lasts the weaker it gets. At the end I was really annoyed by some of the characters and their motivations (Glenn Close’s role WTF?!). Overall, from my point of view not a film I need to see a second time.

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    babypook
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    #190337

    Well well well!

    I absolutely adore this film and everyone in it; the screenplay, and the direction.

    It captures a time which is…gone. This includes, the music….

    I’m a fan of Kasdan’s as well: Fandango (making up to Costner for his “wrist” scene in TBC), Grand Canyon, Raiders of The Lost Ark, Star Wars/Empire/Jedi, The Accidental Tourist, Body Heat (one of the best of this genre), Mumford, Silverado…..

    Yes. I am a fan.

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    TomHardys
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    #190338

    Body Heat is probably one of the best neo-noir films of all time. Intoxicating would be a good word to describe it.

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    Anonymous
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    #190339

    I love About Alex. Jane Levy was really great. She should have an emmy nomination for Suburgatory.

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    TomHardys
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    #190340

    I love About Alex. Jane Levy was really great. She should have an emmy nomination for Suburgatory.

    It’s funny that I saw About Alex first and The Big Chill after that. About Alex in my opinion is a rip-off: the character who tries to commit suicide is named Alex (just like in TBC), there’s a Sarah, there’s a failed writer, there’s a pretentious intellectual who can be an asshole sometimes, there’s a pregnancy storyline, there’s dancing before/after dinner, there’s circle-smoking-pot, there’s a discussion about Alex’s motives near the end of the film. It’s basically a remake that is too naive/spiteful to see itself as one. I enjoyed it quite a lot when I saw it but I wonder what would happen if I happened to watch TBC first. I don’t know. Good film either way, Jane Levy was adorable! She and Jason Ritter were the best in show imo.

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    CAROL-CHANNING
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    #190341

    I thought I would like this film when I heard the concept and started to watch it, but by the end, I ended up really disliking it.  It’s a great idea, but I just really don’t understand the characters’ motivations or what many of them were doing.  I honestly don’t remember much about the specifics of the film (I watched it some time ago).  I just remember being really turned off by a lot of it because nothing rang true to me, especially near the end.

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    OnTheAisle
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    #190342

    I will speak in favor of The Big Chill.

    I think what makes this 1983 Best Picture nominee special is that it features a group of intelligent, high achieving yuppies who are struggling with the life path dictated by the decisions they made at an early age. This weekend long conversation is prompted by the suicide of the group’s arguably most remarkable member, Alex.

    The screenplay by Lawrence Kasdan and Barbara Benedek is particularly strong. The team allows an equal footing of the men and women characters to speak on their regrets. The hilarious and thoughtful piece of writing won the WGA and earned nominations from Oscar, LA Film Critics, BAFTA and Golden Globe. One of my favorite moments is at the closure of Alex’s funeral. The organ begins to play, the tune is familiar, and the characters exchange knowing glances. No one identifies the song played. I love moments when the audience is left to find (or not) the information from limited information. The song choice (no spoilers here) is truly ironic and just a little funny.

    Glenn Close received a nod for Best Supporting Actress. As Sarah, Alex’s ex-lover and now Harold’s wife, the physician and mother must walk a fine line in expressing her grief. Close has a private moment seated nude in a running shower where her vulnerability and heartbreak can flow privately. The moment is played without words. Close connects with the viewer, and the sense of loss is palpable.

    So many serious movies are made about urban professionals reflecting on their by-gone youth. This one is warm and laugh out loud entertaining. The warmth expressed by the characters is infectious, and thoughts of those dear friends of one’s early adulthood come flooding back.

    I love this movie. In fact, just writing this post is sending me off to watch it again!

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    babypook
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    #190343

    I will speak in favor of The Big Chill.

    I think what makes this 1983 Best Picture nominee special is that it features a group of intelligent, high achieving yuppies who are struggling with the life path dictated by the decisions they made at an early age. This weekend long conversation is prompted by the suicide of the group’s arguably most remarkable member, Alex.

    The screenplay by Lawrence Kasdan and Barbara Benedek is particularly strong. The team allows an equal footing of the men and women characters to speak on their regrets. The hilarious and thoughtful piece of writing won the WGA and earned nominations from Oscar, LA Film Critics, BAFTA and Golden Globe. One of my favorite moments is at the closure of Alex’s funeral. The organ begins to play, the tune is familiar, and the characters exchange knowing glances. No one identifies the song played. I love moments when the audience is left to find (or not) the information from limited information. The song choice (no spoilers here) is truly ironic and just a little funny.

    Glenn Close received a nod for Best Supporting Actress. As Sarah, Alex’s ex-lover and now Harold’s wife, the physician and mother must walk a fine line in expressing her grief. Close has a private moment seated nude in a running shower where her vulnerability and heartbreak can flow privately. The moment is played without words. Close connects with the viewer, and the sense of loss is palpable.

    So many serious movies are made about urban professionals reflecting on their by-gone youth. This one is warm and laugh out loud entertaining. The warmth expressed by the characters is infectious, and thoughts of those dear friends of one’s early adulthood come flooding back.

    I love this movie. In fact, just writing this post is sending me off the watch it again!

     

    This….is it just you and I thus far? Lol….

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    KyleBailey
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    #190344

    I thought I would like this film when I heard the concept and started to watch it, but by the end, I ended up really disliking it.  It’s a great idea, but I just really don’t understand the characters’ motivations or what many of them were doing.  I honestly don’t remember much about the specifics of the film (I watched it some time ago).  I just remember being really turned off by a lot of it because nothing rang true to me, especially near the end.

    THIS  

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    Pavel Romanov
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    #190345

    I’m sure a black remake is coming down the pike soon. Which might be interesting.

    The film spoke to a certain white yuppie angst that was coming to the fore at this time. This was a generation that went from being 1960s campus radicals to Reaganites when they all became professionals and moved out to the suburbs to start families and in the process they lost something and I thought this film did a beautiful job capturing that. I think this is Glenn’s best work, even managing to sell that ridiculous final act where she lets her husband gift a child to Mary Beth Hurt.

    Little White Lies, a French film with GoldDerby Icon Marion Cotillard, is a sort of loose remake of this film. 

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    OnTheAisle
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    #190346

    I think this is Glenn’s best work, even managing to sell that ridiculous final act where she lets her husband gift a child to Mary Beth Hurt.

    I didn’t find the Sarah’s decision to not only condone but encourage Harold to father Meg (Mary Kay Place, by the way)’s child ridiculous. The decision reflected the time period. These were adults who decidely were sexually active during a time of free love. During the weekend the very married Karen and celebrity Sam consummated long held sexual desire. Less than a week after Alex’s death, his girlfriend Chloe met and took up with Nick. Only Michael was left without a partner.

    Earlier in the film, conversations alluded to Sarah’s affair with Alex and how it hurt Harold. Meg was a high powered successful attorney whose biological click was ticking loudly. In the early 1980s Sarah’s impromptu decision felt right in the moment. She appeared unselfish. She was a successful career woman who aided another successful career woman “to have it all.”

     

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    babypook
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    #190347

    [quote=”GloFish”]

    I think this is Glenn’s best work, even managing to sell that ridiculous final act where she lets her husband gift a child to Mary Beth Hurt.

    I didn’t find the Sarah’s decision to not only condone but encourage Harold to father Meg (Mary Kay Place, by the way)’s child ridiculous. The decision reflected the time period. These were adults who decidely were sexually active during a time of free love. During the weekend the very married Karen and celebrity Sam consummated long held sexual desire. Less than a week after Alex’s death, his girlfriend Chloe met and took up with Nick. Only Michael was left without a partner.

    Earlier in the film, conversations alluded to Sarah’s affair with Alex and how it hurt Harold. Meg was a high powered successful attorney whose biological click was ticking loudly. In the early 1980s Sarah’s impromptu decision felt right in the moment. She appeared unselfish. She was a successful career woman who aided another successful career woman “to have it all.”

     

    [/quote]

    I see nothing at all “ridiculous” about her decision.

    Personally, I really liked William Hurt in this. A lot.

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    keithw
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    #190348

    I thought it was a great movie (and just rewatched it recently), but Terms of Endearment was the deserved winner…..ditto with Linda Hunt over Glenn Close.   I would have chosed The Big Chill’s screenplay over Tender Mercies though.

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