Thursday Movie Picks: Movies About Prodigies/Geniuses

This week's theme from Wandering Through The Shelves is about prodigies and or geniuses.  There's so many to choose from. Since we're in the middle of Oscar season, let's go with a few of my favorite Oscar winners about geniuses.

1) The Imitation Game

A film about Alan Turing, the man who cracked enigma, and whose studies went on to make computers what they are today. He doesn't get talked about enough. I'm glad this movie re-started the conversation.

2) The Theory of Everything

A film about the early life of Stephen Hawking. Yes, it's Oscar bait, but damn it it's GOOD Oscar bait. And I'm a whore for this fireworks shot.

3) Good Will Hunting

It was tough to choose between this and A Beautiful Mind. I went with this because how can you not love how excited Ben Affleck and Matt Damon were when they won their Oscar?

27 comments:

  1. Great picks! I should watch The Imitation Game, it's the only one I haven't seen from here

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  2. Good choices. I was surprised how much I liked The Imitation Game since I'm rather indifferent to Cumberbatch on the whole. He was excellent as was Keira Knightly and the story fascinating even though Turing's like was ultimately so tragic.

    Likewise I was pleasantly surprised by Good Will Hunting when I saw it in the theatre not knowing too much about it when I walked in. Damon and Affleck were so fresh and vital and the story involving.

    Unfortunately I REALLY didn't like The Theory of Everything. I thought it was a tedious slog. Hawking deserves better.

    There was a multitude to choose from this week so pickings were easier than last week.

    The Legend of 1900 (1998)-In the year 1900 Danny Boodmann, a stoker (Bill Nunn) on an American ship discovers an abandoned baby left on board. Taking him in to raise as his own he gives him a long unwieldy name eventually shortened to 1900 as the pair live their life at sea. As 1900 grows his musical genius becomes apparent and he becomes the ship’s mascot. After a tragedy befalls Danny 1900 remains on board growing to manhood (where he is played by Tim Roth) never touching dry land but continuing to hone his skill (including a fantastic sequence where he plays a waltz during a storm at sea). In time he befriends Max, a trumpeter in the ship orchestra (Taylor Pruitt Vince) and it is through his reverie we learn 1900’s story.

    Poor Little Rich Girl (1936)-Starring Shirley Temple, one of Hollywood’s premier musical prodigies (in terms of dollars & cents THE musical prodigy) as the rich girl of the title. Barbara (that would be Shirl) on her way to boarding school is left to her own devices when her nanny is killed in an accident. Barbara unaware of this but not wanting to go to the school wanders the city until she becomes acquainted with and is taken in by a pair of down on their luck performers Jimmy & Jerry Dolan (Jack Oakie & Alice Faye). Thinking she’s an orphan and realizing that she’s a musical prodigy they put Barbara in their act as their daughter. Soon they hit the big time with their own radio show overseen by ad exec Margaret Allen (Gloria Stuart of Titanic fame) where they’re heard by Barbara’s widowed father who has been searching for her frantically. One of the better Temple vehicles with a first rate supporting cast, both Oakie and Alice Faye get several chances to strut their stuff, and no matter how you feel about her Shirley was a bundle of talent.

    Amadeus (1984)-Multi Oscar winning story of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (Tom Hulce) and Antonio Salieri (an Oscar winning F. Murray Abraham) and how Salieri’s jealousy of Mozart’s genius lead to great tragedy for both. Amazing music, performances, set design and direction. An essential film.

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    1. Aww I love Poor Little Rich Girl! I'm a sucker for Shirley Temple films.

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  3. I also went with The Imitation Game and The Theory of Everything (I love that shot too). My third was A Beautiful Mind because I've already picked Good Will Hunting before. Love them all. Great picks!

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    1. A Beautiful Mind is popular today, I see I wasn't too far off considering it.

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  4. I also picked The Theory of Everything :) Good Will Hunting was an excellent choice too and I have not heard of The Imitation Game, I want to see it now.

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  5. Love The Imitation Game because it tells the story of someone I never knew existed and he is a big reason we won the war. It's so sad as well but Cumberbatch played him beautifully. I really love Good Will Hunting and need to revisit it. I loved Robin Williams in that film especially when he talks about the memory of his wife. I am not a fan of The Theory of Everything. I just wanted to punch Redmayne and he kept reminding me of the young Austin powers from Goldmember

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    1. I didn't know very much about Turing either. Just broad strokes, which is a shame. I don't remember young Austin Powers lol. I'll have to look that up.

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  6. Yay, I went with Good Will Hunting for one of my picks too! I've seen the other two.. I think, god, I can't remember if I saw the second one, can't be sure.. Probably didn't..maybe I did, not good if I did because I don't think I remember it that well. :D

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    1. Theory made me ugly cry so hard. I won't forget it. lol

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  7. HATED The Imitation Game. What a piece of bullshit. Turing deserved so much better. Keira Knightley is really good in it though, so there's that!

    On the other hand, I LOVE Theory of Everything - such great performances and the story of Jane and Steven Hawking's marriage really got to me. I bawled like a baby at the end.

    Good Will Hunting is an all-time favorite of mine. LOVE that Affleck and Damon won their Oscars for writing and not acting. And Robin Williams. <3

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    1. Oh no! lol I must have forgotten you didn't like that movie. I love that they won writing Oscars too.

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  8. I haven't seen The Imitation Game as I'm not really interested in seeing it. I've seen The Theory of Everything which is good but A Brief History of Time is the better film on Hawking. Good Will Hunting is definitely essential as it gave Robin Williams his Oscar and gave us Ben Affleck and Matt "I do good Matthew McConaughey impressions" Damon.

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    1. I've never seen A History of Time. Hey now, I love Matt Damon lol.

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  9. Have seen all of them and happened to love them all, especially Good Will Hunting! Gus van Sant has a penchant to genius back then. Kinda missing that era, tho.

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    1. Van Sant makes amazing films, but not in the past few years. I think Paranoid Park was his last really good one.

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  10. Good Will Hunting is great. I need to watch it again since it's been a while since I've seen it. Have to admit, I don't care much for either of your other two picks. They just didn't work for me.

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    1. How dare you. lol

      I watched Good Will Hunting on TV not too long ago, it was nice seeing it again. That movie still holds up.

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  11. All solid choices! I haven't seen Good Will Hunting in ages, but I need to for the movie's MVP, Robin Williams <3

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    1. It's on TV quite a bit here all of a sudden. I watched it recently because of it.

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  12. Brittani, I haven't seen any of your TMP but I have them on my list to watch. I'm particularly interested in seeing "The Theory of Everything". Have a good weekend and thanks for sharing your recommendations!

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    1. When you get the chance to watch them, I hope you like them as much as I do. :)

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  13. I agree Turing isn't talked about enough.

    Still not seen GWH, really must add to wtach list.

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  14. Haven't seen The Theory of Everything because it looks Oscar baity. I didn't want to see Imitation Game too because it looked Oscar baity, but I did anyway and yeah I thought it felt Oscar baity. I'm just not into biopics and Cumberbatch has got to stop playing the same type of characters, it's getting old.

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