Which Film Has the Most Cajones? — "Hacksaw," "Hell or High Water" or "Jackie"?

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  • helmetz
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    #1201978608

    Of the many 2016 films that were not only terrific but also showed a whole lot of nerve, three stood out for me.

    “Hacksaw Ridge” — The idea of a film celebrating the achievements of a real-life conscientious objector that is arguably the most violent of the year takes guts, but then to have it be directed by Hollywood pariah Mel Gibson, who turned it into a triumph, takes cajones to a new level.

    “Hell or High Water” — However expertly done, making an old-fashioned bank robbery movie in this climate of summer tentpoles is a real risk, but then to layer sharply-written social commentary on top of that is both brave and genius.

    “Jackie” — It may seem odd to include a portrait of a beloved First Lady to a list like this, but “Jackie” showed that, when it came to risk-taking, “Jackie” displayed a big brass pair.  Director Pablo Larraín was able to penetrate Jackie’s prim and proper image to reveal a woman desperate to do anything to remain in control, a nervy approach indeed.

    Which of these films showed the biggest stones in 2016?  Or do you have a favorite of your own that you’d like to nominate?

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    GusCruz
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    #1201978678

    I’ve only seen one of them, but I love the title of this thread.

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    manakamana
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    Jackie, for sure. Pablo’s not afraid to dive the viewer deep into the damaged psyche of a high profile woman undergoing unspeakable trauma, and it’s not the loveliest headspace to demand an audience stay in for 1hr40mins. But it’s so rewarding.

    Others I would consider include The Witch, which hints at some unspeakable brutality. I think The Neon Demon is pretty awful, but I guess it would also qualify.

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    Cédric Léria
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    #1201978779

    Hell or High water, is the only movie i have seen, i’m not very interested in war movies, and Jackie, is not released yet in France… but i’m interested to see what users would say about this topic

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    Filmatelist
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    HOHW is certainly well-crafted, but I don’t think there’s anything particularly brave about what it did, since noir (which is what the film is, of the western variety) has never been afraid to deal with issues of class, economic disparity, and social malaise.  It does this expertly, but in a very consistent tradition of the genre.

    The bravest think about HACKSAW is something you don’t mention–putting a protagonist’s religious principles front and center, which is something you rarely see studio films do.  The conscientious objection meme is an offshoot of that, but Mel certainly doesn’t mince words about the hero’s spiritual grounding as the source for his value system.  That said, the movie is otherwise a fairly standard war movie which is Mel’s comfort zone, so I wouldn’t call that particularly brave either.

    JACKIE is Larrain’s first English-language movie, and to approach an American icon in such a unique, poetic, psychological way (instead of the typical biopic hagiography) was a gutsy move.  I think it’s the best of the three films, but also could’ve easily been the worst because of the choices he made, so that he pulls it off with such style and fragility (almost like a tone poem) is the most impressive accomplishment among the three, hands down.

    • This reply was modified 7 months, 2 weeks ago by  Filmatelist.
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    pacinofan
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    HOHW is certainly well-crafted, but I don’t think there’s anything particularly brave about what it did, since noir (which is what the film is, of the western variety) has never been afraid to deal with issues of class, economic disparity, and social malaise. It does this expertly, but in a very consistent tradition of the genre.

    The bravest think about HACKSAW is something you don’t mention–putting a protagonist’s religious principles front and center, which is something you rarely see studio films do. The conscientious objection meme is an offshoot of that, but Mel certainly doesn’t mince words about the hero’s spiritual grounding as the source for his value system. That said, the movie is otherwise a fairly standard war movie which is Mel’s comfort zone, so I wouldn’t call that particularly brave either.

    JACKIE is Larrain’s first English-language movie, and to approach an American icon in such a unique, poetic, psychological way (instead of the typical biopic hagiography) was a gutsy move. I think it’s the best of the three films, but also could’ve easily been the worst because of the choices he made, so that he pulls it off with such style and fragility (almost like a tone poem) is the most impressive accomplishment among the three, hands down.

    Love you description of “Jackie”! It captures what impressed me so much about that lovely, strange and unique film and also why other people may not respond to it at all. It is my #3 film of the year behind “La La Land” and “Moonlight”.

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