Posts Tagged ‘Damien Chazelle’

Those of you who have been reading from when I started this blog back in 2009 will know I always start the month with a recap of the movies I watched at the cinema the previous month and by picking my favourite.  Through various lockdowns when cinemas closed for prolonged periods I stopped this thread, and largely stopped blogging.  As things opened up again I never got back into the habit, maybe now is the time to restart the movie of the month, here goes:

M3GAN: A recently orphaned child goes to live with her toy developer aunt who gives her the prototype of a new robot doll.  All goes well until things get staby.  A slight but well-made and entertaining horror with just enough humour and gore. Pretty much what we have come to expect from a Blumhouse Production.  The inevitable sequel has already been greenlit. 

Tár: Cate Blanchett gives what is possibly her best ever performance (no mean feat as she is one of the best actors working today) as Lydia Tár; a superstar conductor at the pinnacle of her career, but on the brink of personal and professional freefall thanks to her self-destructive personality.  Blanchett and director Todd Field makes us root for Tár at the same time understanding she is a terrible person. 

Babylon: Damien Chazelle explores Hollywood’s favourite subject, Hollywood. Set in the early part of the Golden Age of Hollywood as the industry movies out of the silent era.  Told from multiple points of view, but manly a young man looking to break into the industry.  The spectacle and opulence on display puts Baz Luhrmann’s Gatsby in the shade.  Although the debauchery depicted was probably more representative of the early 20s than when the film was set, but the transition to sound is integral to the plot.  Critical and audience reception seems hugely polarised, I loved it. 

The Fabelmans: Semi-autobiographical story of Steven Spielberg’s early years and how he became a filmmaker.  While the film does explore his parents’ separation, a theme in the background of many of his movies, it avoids the usual bio-pic trap of explaining all the everything and filling a story with Easter eggs.  Michelle Williams is the standout in an excellent cast.  The casting of a cameo at the end is pure genius. 

Plane:  A plane is forced to make an emergency landing on a hostile island.  The captain and a prisoner they are transporting must team up to save the passengers from local bandits.  There is no doubt this is a dumb action movie, but it’s a dumb action movie done well.  It doesn’t overextend the plot, the characters act within their established character without making too many stupid decisions.  Forgettable but fun!

An interesting month.  I enjoyed all the movies I saw, but don’t think I will rush to see any of them again. Tár has the best performance, The Fabelmans is an absolute joy to watch, but my movie of the month is Babylon.  It isn’t perfect and I can see why some people hate it, but I loved its boldness and audacity.


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The British Academy Film Awards will be awarded on Sunday.  Here are my predictions along with what I would like to see win in the major categories:

Best Film

  • My Choice: Boyhood
  • Prediction: Boyhood
  • Other nominations: The Grand Budapest Hotel, The Theory of Everything, Birdman, The Imitation Gameboyhood-poster


David Lean Award for Direction

  • My Choice: Richard Linklater for Boyhood
  • Prediction: Richard Linklater for Boyhood
  • Other nominations: Alejandro González Iñárritu for Birdman, Wes Anderson for The Grand Budapest Hotel, Damien Chazelle for Whiplash, James Marsh for The Theory of Everything:richard linklater boyhood


Best Leading Actor

  • My choice:  Ralph Fiennes for The Grand Budapest Hotel
  • Prediction:  Michael Keaton for Birdman
  • Other nominations: Benedict Cumberbatch for The Imitation Game, Eddie Redmayne for The Theory of Everything, Jake Gyllenhaal for Nightcrawler.ralph fiennes the grand budapest hotel


Best Leading Actress

  • My Choice: Reese Witherspoon for Wild (I haven’t seen still Alice)
  • Prediction: Julianne Moore for Still Alice
  • Other nominations: Rosamund Pike for Gone Girl, Felicity Jones for The Theory of Everything, Amy Adams for Big Eyes.Wild


Best Supporting Actor

  • My Choice: J.K. Simmons for Whiplash
  • Prediction: J.K. Simmons for Whiplash
  • Other nominations: Mark Ruffalo for Foxcatcher, Ethan Hawke for Boyhood, Edward Norton for Birdman, Steve Carell for Foxcatcher.j k simmons whiplash


Best Supporting Actress

  • My Choice: Patricia Arquette for Boyhood
  • Prediction: Patricia Arquette for Boyhood
  • Other nominations: Keira Knightley for The Imitation Game, Emma Stone for Birdman, Imelda Staunton for Pride, Rene Russo for Nightcrawler.patricia arquette boyhood


Outstanding Debut by a British Writer, Director or Producer

  • My choice: Stephen Beresford & David Livingstone for Pride (I haven’t seen Kajaki but have heard great things about it)
  • Prediction: Stephen Beresford & David Livingstone for Pride
  • Other nominations: Elaine Constantine for Northern Soul, Yann Demange &Gregory Burke for ’71, Hong Khaou for Lilting, Paul Katis & Andrew de Lotbiniere for Kajaki.Pride


Best Original Screenplay

  • My Choice: Richard Linklater for Boyhood
  • Prediction: Richard Linklater for Boyhood
  • Other nominations: Wes Anderson for The Grand Budapest Hotel, Damien Chazelle for Whiplash, Dan Gilroy for Nightcrawler, Alejandro González Iñárritu, Nicolás Giacobone, Alexander Dinelaris, Armando Bo for Birdman.richard linklater boyhood


Best Screenplay (Adapted)

  • My Choice: Gillian Flynn for Gone Girl
  • Prediction:  Graham Moore for The Imitation Game
  • Other nominations: Jason Hall for American Sniper, Graham Moore for The Imitation Game, Anthony McCarten for The Theory of Everything, Paul King for PaddingtonGillian Flynn


Best Cinematography

  • My Choice: Emmanuel Lubezki for Birdman
  • Prediction: Dick Pope for Mr. Turner
  • Other nominations: Hoyte Van Hoytema for Interstellar, Robert D. Yeoman for The Grand Budapest Hotel, Ryszard Lenczewski for Ida: Lukasz Zal,emmanuel lubezki birdman


Alexander Korda Award for Best British Film

  • My Choice: Pride or Under the Skin
  • Prediction: Paddington
  • Other nominations: ’71, The Imitation Game, The Theory of EverythingUnder The Skin


EE Rising Star Award

  • My Choice: Jack O’Connell
  • Prediction: Shailene Woodley
  • Other nominations: Miles Teller, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Margot RobbieJack OConnell


Best Film Not in the English Language

  • Unfortunately, being the only one shown at my local cinema Trash is the only film I have seen so have no opinion on this category.  The nominations are: Ida, The Lunchbox, Two Days, One Night, Leviathan, Trash.Trash


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