Oscars

Reviews

Loveless

There are some things that Andrey Zvyagintsev is very good at, such as political commentary.  There are some things that Zvyagintsev is awful at, such as portrayals (or occasionally even the inclusion) of women in his films.  So, what happens when Zvyagintsev makes a political film with a female lead?  You end up with a disappointing monstrosity;  one that could have been a masterpiece if a good forty percent was discarded.  You end up with…

Addio Commentary

Addio Commentary: An Award Season Rollercoaster

I don’t know what type of Oscar nominations I prefer: a list of predictable winners, or names and films that are constantly in a status shift.  Judging by all of the different winners in recent award ceremonies, it’s clear the 90th annual Oscars fall in the latter category.  But, again, I’m stumped over if I actually enjoy this much variety.

Addio Commentary

Addio Commentary: Award Season Ambition

Award season is a long road.  It all starts out with hubbub about a film that sparked acclaim on the festival circuit, followed by increased word-of-mouth when the movie begins an “exclusive engagement” in a modest independent theatre.  The season is in full-effect when those indies start receiving showtimes in larger chains.

Reviews

Nebraska

By: Addison Wylie I’ve been selling Nebraska to people as “a charming version of Fargo without the violence”.  That gets attention fairly quickly. Alexander Payne’s drama, however, is more quaint than quirky.  Nebraska’s prominent road trip involving a distracted father Woody (played by Bruce Dern) and his patiently courteous son David (played by Will Forte) coasts along flat landscapes.  The two converse about the past and the exciting current possibilities of million dollar winnings Woody…

Reviews

Her

By: Addison Wylie “Bittersweet” is the best word to describe Her.  Spike Jonze has taken our bad habits with technology and projected them to frame an original love story with messages of poignancy.  It’s a personal film about an impersonal society. The characters on-screen are closed off to everyone around them.  Among them is writer Theodore Twombly (played by Joaquin Phoenix who is a spitting image of Napoleon Dynamite’s “womanizing” brother Kip).  People are enjoyably…

Reviews

American Hustle

By: Addison Wylie American Hustle is like watching a group of distinguished hard boiled card players play poker when you’re only learning the ropes.  None of them will break their deadpan expression or expose their hand.  Suddenly, someone will make a game changing move and raise the stakes.  Someone to your left leans over and – with pure exuberance – tells you how important the move was.  Meanwhile, you nod with acknowledgment and when they’re…

Reviews

Dallas Buyers Club

By: Addison Wylie It’s undoubtable that Matthew McConaughey is going to win acting accolades with his incredible portrayal of Ron Woodroof, a homophobic Texan who tests positive for the HIV virus. It’s a performance that’s unstoppable with McConaughey’s conviction and brute honesty, as well as an unwillingness to show Woodroof as flawless. The man held firm beliefs against those who were different than him and his buddies down at the factory. But, when Woodroof is given…

Reviews

Les Misérables

By: Addison Wylie Tom Hooper wowed audiences with The King’s Speech. Well, most audiences – I thought it was inspirational but ordinary, with stylistic cinematography that overshadowed many elements of the story. Nonetheless, his film won multiple Oscars; including Best Picture. He may follow suit with his adaptation of Les Misérables; in both the award garnering sense and the cinematography sense. Hooper has brought his shooting style to his latest feature following Jean Valjean (played…