Crossing off the last feature film.

This whole voting for your favourite in an arbitrary category is kind of odd. We all have different values and experiences that is going to colour our vote, but we still vote and decide on a “best”. Yes, some may be better than others from a technical and talent stand point, but agreeing on that is also sort of difficult, because again we’re all different.

What I’m trying to say is that as much as I enjoy movies and watch as many of the Oscar contenders before deciding on a favourite and the one I think people will vote for, my guess is as good as yours, but for me it is about the journey of enjoying these movies. But that won’t stop me from giving people my reasons for why Boyhood should have won last year.

But yesterday we crossed the last feature length fim off the to see list for this year and these are my thoughts on the good, the bad and the wonderful.

 – Disappointments –

I always have trouble with this because if the movie is nominated in a category I’m always open for seeing why it was nominated and I can suspend my disbelief a lot given certain circumstances.

Steve Jobs 

steve-jobs-movie-michael-fassbender

Diana already wrote of her dislike of this movie and she didn’t even finish it in one setting. The only reason I saw this in the cinema was because I had free tickets for it.

It was way too long and setup was clunky and not even close to being believable. Sure Michael Fassbender and Kate Winslet do great with what they have been give, but can you ever really be great with a script from Aaron Sorkin? I hate that man so much. Even while watching it my cousin and I would look at each other and say: “Why? Why did anyone ever think this was a good idea?”

The Hateful Eight

the hateful eightDon’t get me wrong here. I didn’t hate this movie, I just think it could have been better. A lot better. It is soooo long and for no reason what so ever. Plenty of scenes could have been cut and others could have been edited down – for those who haven’t seen it, the movie is 3 hours and 7 minuttes long.

I adore most of the actors and think they deleviered, but I also think Tarantino is buying into his hype way too much. The man is talented, but he needs to learn to kill his darlings and working under restraints have done wonders for many movie makers in the past.

Like Diana I wasn’t particularly into Shaun the Sheep Movie, but I didn’t really expect to be anything other than it was.

 – Wonderful surprises –

This year, I either haven’t studied up on the movies before hand nor formed any expectations, so this category will be full. Therefore I will try to limit my verbosity.

Room

Jacob Tremblay and Brie Larson in "Room" from EPK.tv

Like Diana I was blown away by room. It handels the subject matter so well and isn’t afraid to show the aftermath of the events which while though to watch was so necessary to the story being told. The acting was just spectacular across the board. Brie Larson and Jacob Tremblay just knocked out of the park. I strongly urge anyone to watch this, because it is just so powerful and moving.

Anomalisa

anomalisaWow! I did not expect this at all, but boy was that a great movie. I should have know that I would like it since I generally like Charlie Kaufman movies, but I didn’t actually know that this was one of his movies. This animated movie is just so very human and real. Like Diana I can’t recommend this movie enough. Seriously go watch it and enjoy the wonderful craft of stop motion as you have never seen it before. It is the first ever R-rated animation movie to ever be nominated and I think that is wonderful.

Trumbo

trumboI knew very little going in, but I’m very pleased that we watched, because while it is a movie about the red scare in Hollywood in the 50’s, it is also a movie about what happens when we persecute people for their believes just because they don’t align with ours. It is a movie about letting our fears drive how we act. It is well acted, written and beautifully shot and mostly of all it is a topic that is still relevant today.

Also, Bryan Cranston in old man makeup looks like a cross between Christopher Plummer and Dick van Dyke, but sadly I can’t find a proper picture, you just have to take my word for it.

45 Years

45 yearsI didn’t really expect much from this and had no idea what it was about before we pressed play. Charlotte Rampling is fantastic is a woman who is forced to re-evaluate her marriage when news of her husbands former girlfriend’s body being found in Switzerland. It is an intense drama that shows how fragile relationships are and that a well written story doesn’t require more than a few actors who know their work.

Theeb

theebIt is no secret that of Diana and me, I’m the one with a love of foreign movies. I really liked Mustang, but it was difficult for follow because we didn’t have the best of subtitles. So we relied on a couple of message boards and reviews for certain facts, which is why I can’t justify putting it on the list.

Theeb on the other hand I got from the beginning and really enjoyed despite knowing very little about it or the Ottoman empire during World War I. The story of a young boy forced to grow up when he encounters a few tragedies while travelling across the desert.

I want to give a shout out to all the child actors and actresses of this award season, because I’m in awe of their performances. Normally children are the most annoying part of a movie, but not these children. Theeb and Room featured young boys in the lead roles who had to carry much of the story and Mustang was filled with young girls just being fantastic. I applaud them.

 – Loved ’em – 

It is always just so wonderful to go into the cinema knowing that what you are about to see will be great and then walking out in the end with the feeling that it was even better than you imagined.

The Revenant 

THE REVENANT

I might just be iterating Diana’s post, but oh my is this movie gorgeous. The cinematography is stunning, the sound editing and mixing is crisp as is the editing. The story is compelling and the acting is phenomenal around the board. It really is one of my favourites movies of the year. It embodies artistry fully while engaging the viewer. Just a beautiful movie inside out.

Son of Saul

son of saul

Man is this a hard movie to watch. It is an uncomfortable subject matter – a man working at an extermination camp during World War II seeking a way to bury one of the victims – and it is filmed so close to the action, yet with a distance that makes the horrific acts seem like everyday routine. It is shot with a 40 mm lens making everything fit with in Saul’s field of vision and we never leave Saul during this hell. The director and cinematographer pledge that the movie could not look beautiful or appealing nor could it be a horror movie and I firmly believe that they succeeded.

This movie is depressing and uncomfortable and not for sensitive souls, but I highly recommend watching it. There is a reason that it has won so many awards as it has.

Spotlight

spotlightLastly we have Spotlight which I expected to be great based purely on the ensemble and it is. As Diana said as we left the cinema, “this is how you ensemble, American Hustle”. The acting carried this movie and I think it handled the subject matter of uncovering the child molestation in the catholic church with grace. Mark Ruffalo and Rachel McAdams  – who are both nominated in supporting roles – are great, but the stand outs for me was Stanley Tucci and Levi Schreiber.

The subject matter while bleak is slightly more uplifting than Son of Saul – these were the last two non shorts movies which we watched Thursday and Friday really setting an odd mood for the weekend.

You’ve made it to the end! I’m not sure if I’ll way in on the shorts with my own post, or I’ll just add commentary to Diana’s. We’ll see.

 

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