February 22, 2019 at 9:09 am #1202784925
To Die For, yesterday … the tone and climate reminded me Fargo. I loved Nicole Kidman performance, i don’t understand how could she be snubbed for a nomination at the Oscars.
Joaquin Phoenix showed his chops there, he really was good, however young and relatively unknown at the time, you can clearly see he would be a great actor later.February 22, 2019 at 3:10 pm #1202785356
What I’ve seen so far:
The Wife (Great film. Thought Glenn Close did a wonderful job)
A Star Is Born (5-10 minutes, I turned it off. Didn’t care for it)
BlacKkKlansman (20-30 minutes, I turned it off. Same as A Star Is Born, I didn’t care for it). The same with Vice. 👎👎👎👎
The Favourite (Good movie. Loved Olivia Colman, Rachel Weisz and Emma Stone’s performance. When they say it was DARK COMEDY, they were right. Do I think it’s the best film NO)
Roma (I actually liked this film. Great film but not one of the best. Didn’t think Yalitza’s performance was Oscar worthy. Marina was actually pretty good.)
If Beale Street Could Talk (Excellent film. Like Moonlight, Barry Jenkins did a wonderful job adapting the screenplay of this movie and of course Regina King’s performance ❤️❤️)
Black Panther (I’m really not into the Marvel Action movies so I wasn’t sure if I would like this movie but SHOCKINGLY, I enjoyed it. thought Michael B. Jordan should have been nominated for Supporting Actor. It would make history if Black Panther wins Best Picture)
First Reformed (It’s still puzzling on why Ethan Hawke didn’t get nominated for Best Actor; if he did get nominated Rami Malek would have had a competition. Like Beale Street, this was another excellent film and I really hope Paul Schrader wins Original Screenplay)
Bohemian Rhapsody (The same with First Reformed and Beale Street, another excellent film and Rami Malek really knocked it out of the park as Freddie Mercury)
Green Book (Despite the controversy, I was very VERY impressed with this film. Both Mahershala Ali and Viggo Mortensen did a wonderful job portraying their characters and the film falls with First Reformed, Beale Street and Bohemian Rhapsody as one of the best films.)
Mary, Queen of Scots (I am loving Saoirse Ronan as an actress and of course her Irish roots, it seems she can play anything. Really enjoyed her in Lady Bird and Brooklyn. Thought Margot Robbie did a great job.)
Going to watch Eighth Grade either tonight or tomorrow before the Spirit Awards.February 23, 2019 at 7:16 am #1202786012
“Hale County This Morning, This Evening” (2018): All I knew about this documentary was that it was a surprise Oscar nominee, so I could go into it cold with no preconceived notions about it. This is low on narrative structure and high on impressionistic naturalism. I don’t think I’ve seen a documentary ever filmed like this before? The camera is just immersed into the lives of rural, black Alabamans who live and persevere like everyone else does. Lots of long takes, ambient noises, interlapping background dialogues, etc. You have to have a certain temperament and patience for watching this, but I think it’s well worth it in the end. It’s RaMell Ross’s first film, and I’m excited to see a new and distinctive cinematic voice out there in the world. I hope this added exposure allows him the opportunity for more work. Oscars wise, this making it into the category is a genuine miracle over such popular titles as “Won’t You Be My Neighbor?” and “Three Identical Strangers” being snubbed. This won’t have a prayer over “Free Solo” and “RBG,” but it doesn’t really need to, I guess. Still rooting for “Minding the Gap” to win Documentary Film.February 23, 2019 at 2:01 pm #1202786503
Never Look Away (2018)
Usually when films are over 3 hours long they are epics. This film is over 3 hours long but isn’t an epic. It does take place over a 30 year period. It’s such a strange film. Solid and interesting, yet unsatisfying at the same time. Unfinished. the performances are all very good, but the story meanders. We go from Nazi Germany to East Germany to West Germany over the 30 years. We get to know this young boy who becomes an artist yet we never really know him all that well. He just keeps going. I was looking to see if the cinematography was extra special since it got an Oscar nomination and was one of 3 foreign language films to do so this year, but while it was very good it wasn’t extra good or particularly Oscar-worthy (I have read a theory that it was name recognition as Caleb Deschanel is the cinematographer). I found the politics a bit muddled. I enjoyed most of it without loving it.
Grade: BFebruary 23, 2019 at 2:50 pm #1202786558
Just saw Sergio Leone’s Duck You,Sucker and absolutely loved it like I had loved his every movie..For those who like Zapatta Western it’s a must watch..February 23, 2019 at 6:46 pm #1202786920
“Capernaum” (2018): This film is a true gut punch, and I think in another year, it might have been a strong contender for the Oscar win. We’re going to look back on this foreign language category and marvel over it: “Roma,” “Cold War,” “Shoplifters,” & “Capernaum” are all win-worthy and modern-day classics. “Burning” would have made it one for the record books, but that’s why we can’t always have nice things. Zain Al Rafeea is an absolute revelation here. Anytime a round-up of best child performances surface by critics or whatever, this boy’s name needs to appear somewhere on it. Sometimes it’s easy to solely credit the director (in this case, Nadine Labaki) for eliciting work like this from children, but I like to believe that natural talent can illuminate at any time and any age despite “coaxing.” The world-weariness on Zain’s face is practically indescribable. Difficult story, but an entirely vital one. I’ll also mention strong supporting females Kawsar Al Haddad & Yordanos Shiferaw. Highly recommended viewing.February 23, 2019 at 8:49 pm #1202786984
I trouble reviewing this movie. It’s a tough watch, not in the sense that it’s hard to sit through but in the sense that the opening sequence is truly haunting, and nothing ever really breaks the tension that’s created. The fist half was okay. I especially loved the scene when we hear her sing for the first time. However, I felt like the movie didn’t really know what story it wanted to tell and had a hard time finding the right approach. The second half is a brilliant showcase of Natalie’s talent, but nothing really happens tbh. It’s mostly Celeste having meltdowns at different places and at different people (Natalie is so good that you can’t take your eyes of the screen tho).
Willem Dafoe’s narration, Queen Portman and the final concert sequence are the best parts of this movie.
I don’t even know what grade to give it. I’ll go with C+.
I initially gave it a B, then edited to a B-, and I am now at a C+. Whew.February 23, 2019 at 9:28 pm #1202787004
I just saw Roma. I give it an A. Phenomenal film. I’m not sure if shooting in black-and-white added much, but otherwise it’s truly an achievement. The camera movement is truly innovative. The cinematography is gorgeous. The editing is subtle yet effective. The production design and sets are so evocative and authentic, the characters are real human beings, in large part due to the performances. Yalitza Aparicio and Marina de Tavira in particular are stellar. Yalitza says so much with just her expressions at time. de Tavira is a grounding force as a struggling mother. There are so many heartbreaking moments in the film, like Cleo’s boyfriend’s betrayal and her baby’s death. But every second of this film is worth it. My only real issue is that it can be occasionally slow, but that’s a nitpick. Utterly brilliant.February 23, 2019 at 10:26 pm #1202787061
A Star Is Born. I saw it in November, but I’ll recall it to the best of my ability. I feel like the hate towards it by some people is unwarranted. It’s a legitimately great film that freshens an old story. Bradley Cooper, Lady Gaga, and Sam Elliott are all brilliant and stand out as distinct characters. For me, it’s the smaller moments and generally intimate feeling of the movie that really makes this movie great. Whether it be Ally screaming “Fucking mad” at her work before her music career, or when Jackson and Ally are out in the parking lot. All the songs are great, my favorite being the opening track “Black Eyes”. “Shallow” is awesome. Hell, even Ally’s sellout song “Why Did You Do That?” is catchy and works as a pop song. “I’ll Never Love Again” is very Whitney Houston-esque. Ally’s transition from country to pop reminds me of Taylor Swift’s transition and as such feels very real. I also really enjoyed the music Jackson played. Also great in this movie is Andrew Dice Clay as Ally’s father and Dave Chapelle as a retired musician. My only real issue is that the pacing can feel a bit rushed at times which compromises the romance to some extent. But that’s really it. The cinematography is amazing and the sound is incredible. A-.February 24, 2019 at 5:30 am #1202787432
Oscar day should be a holiday.
I just watched “Can You Ever Forgive Me” twice – I loved, loved this movie. Although I never felt sympathy for Lee Israel, Melissa McCarthy played her to perfection. It was hard to feel sorry for what her character was dealing with because she brought so much of her misery on herself – her one redeeming quality to me was her love for her cat. Jack Hock reminded me of someone that I once knew – I always wondered how he made it through life but somehow he did. Richard E. Grant, for me, gave one of the best performances by anyone this year. I know the Oscar votes are in, and his name won’t be called tonight, but this would be the one upset that would make me so happy that I could accept all the other Oscar bad calls happening tonight (nothing against Ali who was terrific, but doesn’t he already have an Oscar). The last scene between Jack and Lee was misty powerful – I rewatched it at least five times and will probably do so again before the video leaves my Amazon Prime queue this afternoon. The mood captured in the film was brilliant – the bluesy music, a snowy and cold New York City, the barfly vibe of Julius’, the loneliness of the characters and their need for each other, and the perfect performances that made this film work. I know Melissa McCarthy isn’t winning, but I would love if it she did upset – sorry, Ms. Close – do another movie. Just kidding. I know Glenn Close is winning and I’ll be happy for her, but I personally think McCarthy (and Colman) gave a tad better performance. Did I say how much I loved this film?
This and “If Beale Street Could Talk” should have rounded out the best picture nominees.
“Wrong is for other people”.February 24, 2019 at 8:14 am #1202787603
CAN YOU EVER FORGIVE ME?
I’ve never been a fan the Melissa McCarthy but she is fantastic in this film. The screenplay is really good because is simple and maintained the focus in the main plot. I like this film a lot and it is more deserving of a Best Picture nod than half of the actual nominees.
IF BEALE STREET COULD TALK
Beautifully filmed, very good score and cinematography but I find the screenplay manipulative and unconvincing specially regarding the innocence of Fony. Are you telling me that he pledge guilty in a trial without the main witness (the rape victim) and the police that saw him running from the crime scene it is the same that had an altercation with the two lead characters outside of a store (with multiple witness)…Also with lines like “whites must be the devils”. Come on.
For Your Emmy Consideration: Best Comedy Series Sex Education, Comedy Lead Actor Asa Butterfield, Comedy Supporting Actress Guillian Anderson, Drama Supporting Actress Miranda Otto for The Chilling Adventure of Sabrina.February 26, 2019 at 3:13 pm #1202796254
The Front Runner (2018) Directed by Jason Reitman
I am so surprised by how much I enjoyed this movie. It is way better than I had been led to believe it would be – extremely well directed, intelligently directed, and a fantastic ensemble cast. Less about Gary Hart and more about the media circus aspect of modern campaigning and boy did it ever get right the details of what it is like to be on a presidential campaign. A quiet subdued performance from Vera Farmiga as Lee Hart (his wife) was a standout, Hugh Jackman’s Gary Hart simply felt that his private life wasn’t anybody else’s business, but the media disagreed with him – an interesting point of view. It would be great if another filmmaker tackled this material from a different point of view. My favorite scene was a lady newspaper reporter explaining why she doesn’t trust Gary Hart and why men in power have to be held to a different standard than just anybody. The film has crisp clear editing and is definitely worth watching.
Grade: AFebruary 28, 2019 at 2:41 pm #1202799309
Cape Fear -1991
Basic Instinct -1992
Sense and Sensibility-1995
Finding Never land -2004
The Reader-2008March 1, 2019 at 5:04 pm #1202800789
I just watched Brokeback Mountain for the first time. Outstanding film and extremely strong performances from the whole cast (the two leads were stunning of course and I loved Linda Cardellini in her small role). The “I wish I knew how to quit you” scene literally broke my heart. I don’t think it’s quite as good as Call Me By Your Name but it’s definitely a movie I’d recommend, although I’m probably the last person on this website to see it. It’s a shame that the Academy was not ready to award a same-sex love story in 2006 cause that would have been a moment. I’ll watch Crash soon so I can compare.
AMarch 2, 2019 at 12:12 am #1202801081
The Wife (2017/2018):
So, I’ve already watched this before (obviously based on my conversations throughout the season), but I watched it a second time tonight, and I feel like it warrants a review now since I didn’t do it the first time. Directed by Björn Runge, and obviously starring Queen Glenn Close, featuring Sir Jonathan Pryce.
Much like my The Favourite and A Star is Born rewatches, this movie’s charm increases. It definitely feels like a Hallmark television movie with the flashbacks, but Close’s performance (my grandmother is still surprised she lost the Oscar but aren’t we all) and Pook’s score keep it grounded. I just found out recently that Close’s daughter played her younger version so that was a new touch to the film (and before I was wondering how they got an actress that looks just like her). This is probably one of Close’s best performances and is definitely Oscar worthy and she would have my vote if not for Colman (though, I definitely need to watch these two movies side-by-side). That look Close gives when Pryce dies is tragic and beautiful, with the music completing it. Despite the TV movie aspect of the film (all thanks to those flashbacks that really just make me want to get back to Close), it really deserved a BP nomination, especially considering what we got as the winner.
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