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Posts Tagged ‘Sicario’

Unless they have moved the goalposts again, Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences reserve the right to nominate between five and ten films for the “Best Motion Picture of the Year” Oscar.   This year they have nominated eight films: The Big Short, Brooklyn, Bridge of Spies, Mad Max: Fury Road, The Martian, The Revenant, Room, Spotlight.  From memory there have been nine films nominated in each of the last few year, the have explained this, thus: “A Best Picture nomination should be an indication of extraordinary merit. If there are only eight pictures that truly earn that honour in a given year, we shouldn’t feel an obligation to round out the number.” Far be it from be to suggest any nominations are making up the numbers!  I am relatively happy with the nominations, I have seen five (possibly six by the time I publish this) and will see the other two when they get a UK release.   But there are two potential spaces for other films to be nominated, what are the omissions and why?  Here are my suggestions:

Carol: A stunning film that has Oscar nomination written all over it, how did it miss out?  I have no idea, I think or at least hope we have come far enough in 2015/16 for the lesbian subject matter to not be an issue.  There is no conceivable reason for the film not to be nominated, unless I am just blinded by how much I loved it.Carol

Ex Machina: One of my favourite films of the year, and one of the most assured directorial debuts in a long time.  The reason it missed out?  The academy don’t like sci-fi.  Movies like The Martian and Gravity are close enough to reality to slip under the radar, but real sci-fi scares them.  A few exceptions are District 9, Avatar and E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial way back in 1982.Ex Machina

Inside Out: Nearly twenty years after Beauty and the Beast, Toy Story 3 received a best picture nomination, the first animated film to do so since the Best Animated Feature category was introduced in 2001.  Pixars cleverest and deepest film, but also its most accessible.  Why wasn’t it nominated?  No reason, other than as mentioned Animated films don’t often don’t get a nod.

The Salvation: The reason it wasn’t nominated: It’s probably not on enough peoples radar to get a nod, plus it has The Revenant to deal with.  If you exclude The Sundowners (a sort of western set in Australian, nominated in 1960 alongside The Alamo), I am not aware of two westerns getting best picture nominations in the same year,the salvation

Sicario: A tense crime thriller that is nothing short of perfect.  As I have mentioned before the film isn’t originality or showy enough to win best picture but it certainly good enough for the nomination.sicario

What two movies would you pick to fill the unused places?

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The busiest month of the year so far with a huge variety of films ranging from the disposable to a  couple of instant classics.

We Are Your Friends: A story about friendship and loyalty.  Zac Efron and Wes Bentley impress as an up and coming DJ and a jaded superstar respectively.  At its best when they are making music.We Are Your Friends

Straight Outta Compton: Story of pioneers of Gangsta Rap NWA.  The story is by the numbers and very sympathetic towards its characters but is hugely entertaining and enjoyable.Straight Outta Compton

The Transporter Refuelled: Pointless remake of a franchise that has already been stretched too thin.the transporter Ed Skreintake

Me and Earl and the Dying Girl: A high-school student and armature filmmakers is forced by his mother to befriend a girl diagnosed with leukaemia. The pair become friends for real and result in a film that manages to funny at the same time as being heartfelt and touching.  The film reference will amuse movie fans and go over the heads of others.Me and Earl and the Dying Girl

American Ultra: A stoner comedy crossed with a spy/hitman thriller.  Some great scenes but not always as funny as it should be.  Jesse Eisenberg and Kristen Stewart are great together as they were in Adventureland.American Ultra

Ricki And The Flash: A ageing singer who abandoned her family years before chasing dreams of becoming a rock star returns home at a time of crisis. You know you are in safe hands with a film directed by Jonathan Demme with a script by Diablo Cody.  Meryl Streep is fantastic, the characters are good but the film feels a little episodic.Ricki And The Flash

Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials:  Follow up to the Maze Runner.  It doesn’t work as a standalone film as it lacks a begging and an end.  The action scenes are good, as are the young cast but the film lacks the intrigue and the great concept of the first film.  There are clearly twists and turns to come in the plot in the final film The Death Cure due out in 2017.Maze Runner The Scorch Trials

Legend: Tom Hardy is brilliant in a duel role as both the Kray twins.  Emily Browning tries hard in an underdeveloped part, the rest of the characters are thinly written and forgettable.  The film captures the look and the vibe of 60’s London but is glossy and lacks any real depth.  It is however well worth watching for Hardy.legend

Everest: Based on the true story of an ill-fated attempt to climb the worlds tallest mountain in 1996.  The large cast are all good but the star of the film is the photography that is breathtaking on Imax.  If you don’t already know the story go in with as little knowledge as possible.Everest

The Visit: A pair of young siblings spend the week with their grandparents who they have not previously met.  The reveal won’t come as any surprise but the film is fun along the way.  Of the ones I have seen it is M. Night Shyamalan’s best movie for a decade.The Visit

A Walk in the Woods: Adaptation of Bill Bryson’s book of the same name about his attempt to walk the 2,200 mile Appalachian Trail.  Robert Redford and Nick Nolte have great chemistry.  The film has some funny moments but in a year that gave us Wild it feels a little flimsy in comparison.

A WALK IN THE WOODS

Sicario: Emily Blunt plays an idealistic and naïve FBI agent who gets drawn into a shady joint task force in the war on drugs.  Blunt and her co stars Josh Brolin and Benicio Del Toro are all fantastic.  Roger Deakins photography is a spectacular as you would expect and Denis Villeneuve’s direction is sublime.  It doesn’t have anything new to say, but equally it doesn’t tell the audience what to think.sicario

The Martian: Matt Damon plays an astronaut who has to find a way to survive when is left for dead on Mars.  Held together by a great turn from Damon but kept tripping along by director Ridley Scott who has crafted a surprisingly funny and easy going movie.  Scott’s best film since the underrated Kingdom of Heaven a decade ago.The Martian

Ultimately there was no competition, the movie of the month is: sicariSicario character Posters

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