I’m a fan of movies. All kinds of movies, well except for horror movies. Not that I hate horror movies, but I’m just not a fan. But this post has nothing to do with horror movies. I just want to be clear and honest, I’m a fan of movies of any kind except for horror movies.
So with Oscar Movie Season upon us it’s my favorite time of the year. I get all caught up in award season and try my hardest to see all of the major nominations for Academy Awards. I start reading all the news about award nominations and all the prognosticators thoughts on who or what is going to get nominated. And as soon as I can, I get out to see them.
This past month I have seen 6 movies that are hot in the discussion for various nominations and here are my thoughts on them.
Right now this movie is high on my list to win Best Picture and Brie Larson needs to be a lock for a Best Actress Nomination if not a win. If you’re not familiar with the plot of this movie it can seem pretty heavy. It’s the story of a young woman (Larson) who has been held captive by a man and held in a shed in his backyard (room) where she has given birth to a little boy (Jacob Tremblay). The movie starts on the little boy’s fifth birthday and deals with the how the mother has convinced her son that the shed is the entire world, and without giving away the ending his realization that there is so much more out here then “room”. Tremblay is an amazing young actor that impresses as the little boy and Larson is perfect as a tormented young lady who has amazing strength and love for her little boy.
While the movie certainly has a feeling of depression and sadness, it is also a movie of hope and strength. There are moments of total depression and anger at the lack of humanity in this world. But there are also moments of joy as we see the world for the first time through the eyes of a five year old. There is also a sequence of high drama and tension that is so well done and even though I knew the outcome I was on the edge of my seat. That’s a good sign of good directing.
This is a must not miss movie.
STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS
Okay, no this movie is not in consideration for any of the big awards, but it will no doubt get a nomination or two in the technical categories, so I decided I better go see it. I did not see it because I am a gigantic fan of the original series. I did not go see it because I can remember each and every time I saw the first three movies when I was in grade school, junior high and high school. I did not go see this movie because I saw the inferior prequels during their midnight showings when they came out. Nope that had nothing to do with it. I only went to see it because it is an expectation of all movie buffs to see it.
I did not sit in the audience and feel chills as the opening scroll started with the words EPISODE XI began. I am not one of those people that missed the opening fanfare that greeted the first six movies but we didn’t get because the House of Mouse now owns the series. Nope, none of that nostalgia entered into my viewing of the movie. And no I am not one of those people that saw it first in the traditional 1D format and then saw it for a second time in 3D. Nope that is not me at all.
All of that said. This was the best reboot of a series EVER! J.J.. Abrmas did exactly what needed to be done. And to all the critics out there saying that he just repeated the original story….Shut the hell up. First of all, no this was not a retelling of the original story this was new story, with some similarities. Guess what idiots? That is what life is. Life repeats itself. It just does. Your dull boring life repeats itself as does mine. for instance, I can count on a certainly family member always pissing me off at Christmas and making me feel like I don’t care if ever go home for Christmas again. But guess what I do, and every year said asshole relative does it again and reminds me of exactly why I drink. I drink so that my liver is not good enough to ever give to him.
But I digress. Yes there were some similarities in story, and that is what I wanted. I wanted to know that I was in the Star Wars Universe. I wanted good guys trying to save the universe and warp speeding to do it. I wanted bad guys who we knew were bad guys and were going to kill people with their dark dark ways. I wanted major weapons of mass destruction and I wanted to see that weapon destroyed.
This is a great movie and I’m so excited that it’s gonna kick that craptastic Movie Avatar off the map as the top grossing movie of all time.
I love Jennifer Lawrence. I love Robert De Niro. I love David O. Russel films. I love disagreeing with critics. Oh and I want to be Bradley Cooper or at least his best friend. I however did not love this movie, and I hate that the critics have pretty much gotten this one right. Jennifer Lawrence may get a nomination and rightfully so, but I think that might be it.
The movie is a good movie, it’s just not a great movie. Jennifer Lawrence is wonderful as Joy, the creator of the Miracle Mop. Robert De Niro is great as her dad. Bradley Cooper is fantastic as a QVC bigwig. Isabella Rosselini is beautifully cast as De Niro’s lover. I really don’t think there is a bad casting choice in the whole movie. The problem with the movie is that I just don’t know what the movie is. It’s in the comedy category for the Golden Globes, but it’s not funny. But it’s not a drama because,well it’s just not. I’m not for sure that Russell knew what he wanted this movie to be. It’s a story about a woman and her desire to get out of her circumstances but it’s just missing something that I almost wonder if that is what the movie is really about. The movie is missing heart. And I think that is because he never once gave Joy a heart.
To this movie I say….Ehhhhhh
THE HATEFUL EIGHT
This movie is classic Quentin Tarantino. It’s also a classic English Parlor Drama….without the English or the parlor, but instead in the Old West with guns instead of poison and a few blown off heads instead of corpses behind the couch. The performances are spot on. Kurt Russell, Samuel L. Jackson, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Bruce Dern, Demian Bichir and Tim Roth are all amazing. Walton Goggins is probably one of Hollywood’s hidden gems and I am so hopeful that after this movie he quits being that and starts to become a star in his own right.
I don’t want to talk too much about this one because I don’t want to give anything away, but there are a bunch of actors that don’t make an appearance until the last chapter, but they are equally amazing as all those listed above. This is one hell of a wagon ride that you don’t want to miss.
Okay, so what can I say about this movie that doesn’t come across as maybe I just hated it because Will Smith is in it. Well first of all I didn’t hate it, I just didn’t like it. It’s not a bad movie, it’s just not a good movie. Well actually it is a bad movie, but that’s not Will Smith’s fault. It’s because the writer wrote a crap script and then directed it in such a way that didn’t hide that. The direction is bad. And by bad I mean horrible. The cut-aways and fade-ins just made me want to cut away and fade into my car. Every once in while he just cuts away to show us the Pittsburgh Steelers Football stadium, and by every once in while I mean like every five minutes, just so we know that this movie is about football.
Now for some reason, the critics don’t see it that way. Well okay not for some reason, but simply put because this movie is Hollywood’s attempt to take down the NFL, like that could even happen. This movie takes on the NFL and fails. Guess what Hollywood we already knew that the NFL is in the business of making money and not caring about lives. We really didn’t need Will Smith to hide behind some fancy make-up and a really, really bad accent to tell us that. And by really really bad accent I’m being generous and leaving out about five reallys. And yet they are saying he’s going to get a nomination for his performance. But keep in mind that this is the same academy that gave Tom Hanks an Oscar for making fun of mentally challenged people by talking slow for over two hours. They’re kinda dumb asses.
I actually recommend going out and getting a concussion instead of seeing this one.
THE DANISH GIRL
This is the other movie that is on my short list for best picture. And Eddie Redmayne is a lock for a nomination as best Actor and Alicia Vikander should be a lock for best actress, however rumor is they are putting her in the supporting actress category.
The first thing I need to say about this movie is that it is the most beautiful film I have seen in a really long time. I am not joking when I say that every single frame of this film could be a museum quality artwork. It is so beautifully shot with vibrant color that captures emotion and feeling. All of which is appropriate when making a film about two of Denmark’s most famous artists.
The script is wonderfully moving, thought provoking and tackles the issue of the transgender world today as told through the world of yesterday. Every scene serves a purpose to tell that story and helps the audience to feel the confusion, anger, frustration, despair and fear of not only a transgendered woman but her partner as well.
And now for the performances. Eddie Redmayne has earned his second Oscar, not that he’s going to get it because as I said earlier, Hollywood is full of dumb asses that will give it to Will or Leo because it’s their turn and god forbid we acknowledge anyone but the great Tommy Hanks can win on Oscar back to back. But I digress, again. Redmayne helps us all to feel the gamut of emotions that his character goes through as he comes to term with who they really are. And Alicia Vikander captures the heartbreak of a young woman who is so deeply in love with her husband and wants him to be happy that she is willing to lose him to another woman, herself.
This too is a must see.
Okay, there you have it. My quick thoughts on six Oscar contenders. Now get out there and start watching and find out for yourself, that I’m right!