Welcome to the first Thursday Movie Picks of 2016!!! If you're unfamiliar it's a weekly meme hosted by Wanderer @ Wandering Through the Shelves where she provides us a topic and us bloggers suggest a trio of movies to fit. If you're interested in joining in on all our fun, click the link and follow directions. This week's topic is Downstairs People.
What the hell are Downstairs People?You mean, The People Under the Stairs? Damn good movie.
That's not what that means. Oh.
Google: downstairs people
Oh. Okay, now I've got it. We're talking about live in servants. Sorry, I'm hopelessly American. I've never seen a single minute of Upstairs Downstairs and the only bit of Downton Abbey I ever saw was the tiny bit they showed while Happy was in the hospital in Iron Man 3. That said, there are lots of great movies that have included live in servants. As usual, I'm going to try and pick three you didn't think of. Here goes it...
The Hand That Rocks the Cradle
Downstairs Person: "Peyton Flanders"The Bartel family needs a nanny for their infant boy. After interviewing a number of potential candidates, they settle on the charming Peyton Flanders. She's of a similar age to Mrs. Bartel (Annabella Sciorra) which violates every rule I have for hiring nannies. I'm very ageist when it comes to that sort of thing. Sorry, but I'm not bringing in someone who isn't at least 30 years older than me. Call me silly, but I'm trying to minimize temptation anywhere possible. Then again, I've never had enough money to worry about such things. Anyhoo, we soon find out that Peyton is not who she says is, and what's more, she's a raging lunatic hell-bent on revenge. Nope, I'm not telling why. In the wake of the monster success of Fatal Attraction and Basic Instinct, many clones and hybrids of the two found their way into theaters (and still are). This is one of the better ones.
The Dark Knight Rises
Downstairs Person: Alfred PennyworthFor me, this is easily the weakest of Christopher Nolan's The Dark Knight Trilogy. It earns a spot by being the one that most emphasizes the relationship between Bruce Wayne (Christian Bale) and his lifelong butler Alfred Pennyworth, played so eloquently by the incomparable Michael Caine. Alfred's sense of obligation overwhelms him and informs every word that leaves his mouth. And that obligation is not necessarily to young Master Bruce.With all the things swirling about in this film, it's the relationship between these two guys that gives it its heart. (Full Review)
Downstairs Person: StephenBeing that this is a movie dealing primarily with the institution of slavery, there are lots of "downstairs people." That sounds so much better than some of the really ugly terms we use in this country. Just sayin'. Anyhoo, the person I'm particularly interested in is not the titular hero (Jamie Foxx) trying to save his beloved Broomhilda (Kerry Washington). I'm talking about Stephen played by the seemingly omnipresent Samuel L. Jackson. Since I'm lacking better words, right now, I'll just quote my own review. "His character is funny, conniving, deliciously evil, and perhaps the smartest person in the movie. More than that, every word he says, every movement of his body and shift of his eyes feels true. It’s nothing less than masterful." In other words, it's the best performance in a movie filled with great ones. I know, I know. Christoph Waltz won the Blah blah blah. (Full Review)
Click below for more Thursday Movie Picks