Tags

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

There’s less than a week left till the Oscars, and most of you is trying to watch all the nominated films in time for the big show. That was me over a month ago. Every year I watch all films nominated before the Golden Globes. This year,  it was a bigger challenge as the ceremony was so early in the year. I made it on time, even though the last film I watched was on the day of the ceremony. Here are my thoughts on this years Academy Awards nominees.

Room

Definitely my favorite this year. It’s not based on an actual story. The book’s author was inspired by the Fritzl case, for all of you not familiar with it, It’s a story of a Austrian woman that was held prisoner for 24 years by her father who abused and raped her, and as result she gave birth to 7 children. What is it with Austria illegal child imprisonment? Three worldwide known cases in 3 years? The author used elements of this tragic story, most noticeably, a steel door that weighed about 300 kg with a code lock door system, and sickness of one of the children followed by begging the kidnapper to get them to a hospital. You may have heard of this case in 2008 when the woman finally escaped her abuser. The film also reminds me of the Jacee Dugard kidnapping, mainly because of the soundproof shed. This film is a must see, and please look out for the carpet/truck scene, that will leave you in awe. The scene includes Jacob Tremblay’s wonderful reaction as his character sees the world for the first time.

9/10

Spotlight

Great story, an outstanding thought-provoking film. My second favorite this year. The Spotlight journalism team from The Boston Globe reveals there are 90 priests/pedophiles in Boston only.

If it takes a village to raise a child, it takes a village to abuse them.

It’s time, Robby! It’s time! They knew and they let it happen! To KIDS! Okay? It could have been you, it could have been me, it could have been any of us. We gotta nail these scumbags! We gotta show people that nobody can get away with this; Not a priest, or a cardinal or a freaking pope!

They say it’s just physical abuse but it’s more than that, this was spiritual abuse. You know why I went along with everything? Because priests, are supposed to be the good guys.

Sometimes it’s easy to forget that we spend most of our time stumbling around the dark. Suddenly, a light gets turned on and there’s a fair share of blame to go around. I can’t speak to what happened before I arrived, but all of you have done some very good reporting here. Reporting that I believe is going to have an immediate and considerable impact on our readers. For me, this kind of story is why we do this.

9/10

Brooklyn

Relatable for anyone who wants to move to the US. Like most of the films nominated this year, it’s based on the book of the same title. I am not sure why she spent so much time talking to the rich Irish guy. Why did she even stay in Ireland so long? We all know how nosy and rude people in small communities, towns or neighborhoods can be. I knew they would show her sharing all the clues she heard from that Irish girl on her first day on the ferry with another girl at the end. For someone who has lived 3 continents away from home, I gained a bunch of knowledge myself. The kind I would not get from research. This knowledge and experiences are one of the best things in life. Once I’m at it, living somewhere and going on a 2 week long or even 1 month long trip are not the same things. I can’t stand people who brag on Facebook how lovely some country is, when they know nothing about living there. Brooklyn beautifully shows how Saoirse’s character settles in the new country. She could have faced more obstacles, but I get that was not the reason for the film. I love that she is homesick to the point were she cries and can’t even work. I remember how all of my friends asked me how come I’m not scared of moving from Europe to Australia, but I never felt homesick. After university, I went back to the UK and homesickness kicked in. Reminiscing to Australia is another thing, but missing the street you grew up on is homesickness, and I never felt it in Australia, probably because I had too much fun or that living there was one of my biggest goals. I don’t see myself working in my home city, living in my childhood home when I’m old, of course, but definitely not studying or working there. I love that she couldn’t attend her sibling’s funeral, because you need to take this into account as well, if you move to another country, you’ll be living on a budget. I love how in the end she realizes, that the place she called home is not her home anymore, that her life is in America now. My third favorite film this year.

I wish that I could stop feeling that I want to be an Irish girl in Ireland.
Homesickness is like most sicknesses. It will pass.

I’d forgotten what this town is like. What were you planning to do? Perhaps you didn’t even know. Perhaps it was enough for you to know that you could ruin me.

You have to think like an American. You’ll feel so homesick that you’ll want to die, and there’s nothing you can do about it apart from endure it. But you will, and it won’t kill you. And one day, the sun will come out you might not even notice straight away-it’ll be that faint. And then you’ll catch yourself thinking about something or someone who has no connection with the past. Someone who’s only yours. And you’ll realize that this is where your life is.

9/10

Carol

I still liked Chloe better, couldn’t Todd Haynes get Julie Moore to play Carol? For those of you who don’t remember he directed her in Safe. Also, I still don’t think Rooney was the right fit for Theresa. I thought the same about Cate Blanchet, but changed my mind while watching. The film is based on the novel called The Price of Salt, written by Patricia Highsmith, author of the famous Strangers on a Train and the Tom Ripley series, that was later adapted by Alfred Hitchcock into a film. I have a feeling the film would be better if it was made in the 50s, (the book was published in 1952) and it would most likely be more similar to ‘The Children’s Hour’, one of my most favorite films of Audrey Hepburn (also starring Shirley McClaine). I haven’t read the book yet, but I want to. The author said it was inspired by a woman in fur she met one day as she helped her pick out a doll (in the film it was a train set). The author has never seen the woman again, as opposed to here, having an affair with her. The rest of the storyline was based on her previous experiences, as one of her ex-lovers lost her children in a custody battle after she was recorded in a hotel. I haven’t read the book, but I’ve heard that Carol was supposed to be in her early 30s and Cate Blanchett is in her mid 40s. I like that Todd chose a bigger age difference, by making the relationship even more ‘forbidden’. To finish, here is what the book’s author said about why the book was so well received: ‘The appeal of The Price of Salt was that it had a happy ending for its two main characters, or at least they were going to try to have a future together. Prior to this book, homosexuals male and female in American novels had had to pay for their deviation by cutting their wrists, drowning themselves in a swimming pool, or by switching to heterosexuality, or by collapsing—alone and miserable and shunned—into a depression equal to hell.’ This is my fourth favorite film this award season.

9/10

The Danish Girl

A beautiful real life story and a true inspiration for transgender community. The film us based on the book of the same title. They should have shown us the notebook, or read quotes from it at least. It’s surprising and admirable that the wife went along with his new true self, as it wasn’t a long marriage. This is my 5th favorite film this season.

9/10

The Revenant

The Revenant is a story of a guy who wants to avenge his Native American son’s death after being separated from his group. There’s Indians and snow and a giant bear, trying to rip him to pieces. It’s based on a book that portrays the intriguing life of Hugh Glass. The only thing that was an actual event is the bear attack, and these two guys were asked to stay with him till he died, they dug a grave and stole his belongings. In the book and film, one of them kills his Native American son, which I assume he never even had. The bear scene was definitely impressive and probably the only intriguing part of the film. By now you’ve probably seen the para-poster saying the film is ‘A story of actors who got cold and ate some meat, and Leo being messed about by a bear.’ The titled revenant is his dead wife, who doesn’t bring anything to the story. The film should be re-titled Revenge or something. After googling the book, it turns out the original title of the book is ‘The Revenant: A story of Revenge’ Now that’s much better. Despite it’s partial brutality, it wouldn’t pass as a horror film, and someone could have taken it for one after hearing that title. I feel like award shows are desperately trying to award Leo, just because he has been missed out on so many times. Don’t get me wrong I enjoyed The Revenant a lot, it just wasn’t my favorite. The film may be too brutal for some, especially the opening scene. You would think it’s Tarantino’s film, not Inarritu’s, Hateful Eight 2 or something. Subtitles are distracting, their accents were all over the place too. The scenery is breathtaking with all the glaciers and waterfall and lots of snow. I know everyone is in awe of how great this film is, but I think there were 5 films that were just a little more magnificent.

8/10

Steve Jobs

Kate Winslet is getting all the awards for speaking with an accent that could never pass as Polish. Also, Poland is not and Eastern European country. It’s Middle European. It’s a huge difference, they haven’t been taught Russian in schools since the late 80s. Another film where they just don’t bother to check the facts. I haven’t seen the other two Steve Jobs films, that are supposed to be really bad, but this one was interesting and quite informative for someone who’s never owned a Mac or an Iphone. My 7th favorite this year.

7.5/10

The Martian

Worse than Contact with Jodie  Foster and  Gravity with Sandra Bullock, but slightly better than Interstellar, even though a little more boring. Matt Damon gets left on Mars, is announced dead and Jessica Chastain and her crew decide to go back for him. It’s not very thrilling, but interesting for sure, and you’re gonna get teary by the end. Interstellar was more heartbreaking with 80 years passing and him staying young.

7.5/10

The Bridge for Spies

Based on life of James Donovan, it follows the events around the first prisoner exchange on the Bridge of Spies. Cold war, Soviet spies, hostages, Glienicke Bridge, Berlin Wall. If you like any of these topics, it’s a film for you. Otherwise, you won’t find it astonishing. How would we even watch it if Tom Hanks wasn’t in it? Steven Spielberg finds this story particularly personal, because of his father, who was putting the remains of the U-2 plane for display for the Soviets. The film was co-written by the Coen brothers. I wish it wasn’t a spy film and they focused on the Berlin Wall instead. The Berlin Wall scenes were my favorite, though not shown well enough. Tom’ character’s jacket being stolen, not relevant. People turning their backs on him for representing a Soviet spy, sure. It’s a court film meets war film meets action film meets thriller. If you’re not a huge history freak, or a huge Tom Hanks freak, you’ll be bored. Gladly my dad is both, so I’ll recommend it to him and maybe he’ll explain to me what the hype is about.

7/10

Joy

My 10th favorite this year. Jennifer Lawrence plays a girl who came up with a washable mop. She tries to sell the product, but is taken advantage of by one of the companies she orders the product from. Bradley Cooper’s character, annoying. Robert DeNiro is only maybe in two scenes. I didn’t find it significant enough, compared with other films, and I see the Academy thought the same, as it wasn’t nominated for best film, just best actress.

7/10

The Big Short

When my friend said she’s giving up on Hollywood after seeing this one, I thought she was being over dramatic. As it turns out, this is the most boring film I have seen in the last couple of years. Not many will care for some guy who foresaw the 2008 financial crisis. Lots of small banks and private companies give loans to people who lie about their employment. It wins lots of best written script awards, but I don’t think it’s a must see.

6/10

The Hateful Eight

I am a fan of Reservoir Dogs, and  I liked Inglorious Bastard, but I could never appreciate Kill Bill, Death Proof or even Pulp Fiction for that matter. Most of The Hateful Eight is shot in one cabin, some is shot in the woods outside. The language and content is vulgar at times, but that’s with all Tarantino films. I was telling all my friends that The Hateful Eight will be one of Tarantino’s best films and It just wasn’t. Please watch it for Jennifer Jason Leigh’s performance, she’s the only reason I’m glad I watched it.

5/10

Trumbo

Trumbo follows the life of a famous screenwriter Dalton Trumbo, who had to write his masterpieces under a fake name, because he got blacklisted for having Communist beliefs. Trumbo is know for Hollywood classics like Roman Holiday or Gladiator. For some reason I really liked it, it was heartbreaking at times, and heartwarming at others. The film is definitely not as good as Trumbo’s scripts, and it feels a little simple, and same as Joy, it was nominated only for best actor. I recommend it anyway.

7/10

Mad Max

I haven’t seen the Mel Gibson one, or any others from the series, so I can’t comment on the weird future land and it’s creatures. The only things I liked about it was that it was based in Australia and it’s dry and simplistic scenery, or the lack of it. I couldn’t imagine where were all the places they mentioned located, but remember the old Roman Empire or pharaoh films where they were saying something was somewhere and you just couldn’t image it? That’s what happens here. I guess it’s the desert effect. The whole film is  just a very long car chase, I wouldn’t nominate for anything.

5/10

Advertisements