Posts Tagged ‘The Revenant’

I have now seen all the Best picture nominations, probably more than most of the voting academy members can truthfully say! Being a part time amateur film blogger doesn’t earn academy membership so rather than voting I get to sit on the outside looking in and bitching about poor choices.  If I did have a vote for the Best Picture Oscar I would struggle to chose between five films, my favourite five films eligible for this years Oscars.  Unfortunately three of my choices haven’t been nominated, making it a straight choice between two films.  Interestingly my two favourite nominated films are polar opposites; one is the most low key and down to earth, the other is the boldest, brightest, brashest and most outlandish.  In a few words, here are my thoughts on the nominated movies and their chances of picking up a little gold man on February 28th.

Spotlight: The comparisons with All the President’s Men (1976) are obvious, however where the Watergate movie was edgy and cinematic, this is a more staid and old fashioned film.  That said it is fantastic, if the was an Oscar for best ensemble cast it would be a shoe in! It would be a worthy winner and had a lot of positive buzz a few weeks ago but that seems to have passed. Like  All the President’s Men, I think it will have to settle for a nomination.Spotlight

The Revenant: Where Spotlight is very introspective and contained, The Revenant is all about the wide open spaces.  When I first saw it I thought it would win but no one seems to agree with me.  This makes me think it won’t win, it should however get cinematographer and best actor.The Revenant

Room: Not a bad film but beyond a fantastic lead performance I am not sure why it is getting so much love.  I think it is making up the numbers.'Room' is a journey out of darkness, director says

Brooklyn: The period setting makes it a very Oscar friendly film.  However I don’t hear it being mentioned in Oscar conversations, like Room I think it is making up the numbers.Brooklyn

Bridge of Spies: I am really glad to see this get a nomination as it is so much better than many people are giving it credit for.  Unfortunately it isn’t being talked out about so its probably another one making up the numbers.Bridge Of Spies

The Martian: A sci-fi film with a lot of comedy in it, how did the academy let this upstart slip in?  The simple reason, it is fun and hugely entertaining, it may not be the best motion picture of the year but it is probably the most fun.  I don’t think it will win, but if it does, it will probably be because it is lots of people second or third choice on the ballet. the martian

Mad Max: Simply my favourite film on the list but it is so un-Oscar I don’t see it having a chance, but it would be so great if it did.mad max tom hardy

The Big Short: The film seems to have divided opinion, a comedy about people who profited from the housing market crash.  The word we hear a lot of at this time of year is momentum, and this film has lots of momentum.  I really liked the film but don’t think it is the best film on the list, but I think it is favourite to win.The Big Short


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I have been a little busy with work and watching movies so haven’t been posting much in the last few weeks, but I never miss movie of the month.  Here goes: January is a great month for movies in the UK filled with Oscar contenders.  Three of my top ten movies last year came out in January, how many of this January’s eleven will make my 2016 list?  More immediate than that which is my movie of the month?

Joy: Another David O. Russell / Jennifer Lawrence collaboration.  Lawrence is brilliant as you would expect.  The film is enjoyable but a little thin.  The story never seems to set out of second gear.JOY

The Danish Girl: Like Joy, The Danish Girl is an okay film with great performances.  Last years best actor Oscar winner Eddie Redmayne got all the initial plaudits, Alicia Vikander provides the films best performance.  Clearly the leading role, I an not sure why she is nominated in the supporting category.The Danish Girl

The Hateful Eight: Quentin Tarantino’s second western.  Sumptuous visuals are coupled with Tarantino’s fantastic dialogue.  The film is too long and self indulgent, but this is easily forgiven.  Great to see Walton Goggins getting a decent part.The Hateful Eight

The Revenant: Alejandro González Iñárritu’s visceral story of survival and revenge.  Stunning photography from Emmanuel Lubezki (third Oscar in a row?) and a brilliant performance from Leonardo DiCaprio.The Revenant

Creed: Revival of the Rocky franchise that at times feels more like a reboot of the original film.  Predictable but hugely enjoyable.  Michael B. Jordan and  Sylvester Stallone are both excellent.Creed

Room: Another film that is more notable for its acting than the film itself.  Brie Larson is sensational.  A good film but not one that lives up to the hype that surrounds it.'Room' is a journey out of darkness, director says

The 5th Wave: It was only a matter of time before Chloë Grace Moretz (now 18) made a YA adaptation.  Unfortunately it wasn’t a good choice.  An unmemorable movie that offers nothing we haven’t seen done better in other similar adaptations.  Maika Monroe (almost unrecognisable with black hair) impresses again and has fun with the films most showy part.The 5th Wave

The Big Short: Based on the true story of the people who predicted the financial crisis and profited from it.  The serious subject matter makes an intriguing story told in such a way that it is often devastatingly funny.  All the ensemble cast are brilliant particularly Steve Carell.  My one criticism, Marisa Tomei is too good to be given a one dimensional character and nothing to do with her.The Big Short

Our Brand is Crisis: Loosely based on the documentary of the same name about the 2002 Bolivian presidential election. Sandra Bullock is excellent as she usually is when give a decent role.  The political message is far more cutting than the surface comedy would lead you to expect.  Unfortunately it appears to have sunk without trace at the boxoffice.Our Brand is Crisis

Spotlight: The true story of the reporters from The Boston Globe who investigated allegations of child abuse in the catholic church in Boston.  The delicate subject matter is perfectly handled.  The film is understated and old fashioned in the best possible way.  The entire ensambe cast are brillient not just the two who received nominations.Spotlight

Youth: Paolo Sorrentino’s Felliniesque meditation on aging starring Michael Caine and Harvey Keitel as old friends on holiday in the Swiss Alps.  Caine and Keitel are great but I would have liked to have seen more of Rachel Weisz and Paul Dano.1280x720-XpB

So what is my movie of the month?  There are three real contenders: The Revenant,  The Big Short and Spotlight.  I could give it to The Revenant as the most cinematic of the trio, or The Big Short for being the most pleasantly surprising, or Spotlight for having the courage to be understated and un-showy.  It’s so close, if I were an Oscar voter I choosing my best picture, I would want to re-watch them all before deciding.  Not having the luxury of time to see them again, I am going for the one most want to see again: Spotlight.Spotlight movie poster

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