While I’m not a huge fan of TV, I can be something of a movie buff. And seeing as I’m on self-imposed home imprisonment, I have plenty of time to watch the Oscar nominees as they show up on streaming sites like Xfinity or Amazon.
Like good books, I like good movies. I especially like good movies based on good books. Those are usually far and few between because somebody decides to do something utterly stupid by oh, I dunno, changing major details or rewriting big chunks of the story. Like in oh, I dunno, Memoirs of a Geisha. Totally ruined it.
Anyway… I try to watch at least the films that were nominated for Best Picture, and then I’ll also try to see Best Actor and Best Actress if they’re not already nominated for Best Picture. Yeah, I know there are a ton of other awards, but these are the three I care about most.
Competition is usually pretty good in these categories. Here’s what I’ve seen so far.
1. Dunkirk: This is the pretty close to true story of how the Brits evacuated the brunt of their army which got itself backed up to the beach by the German Army at Dunkirk in France toward the beginning of WWII. There were 4000 soldiers stranded there before the evacuation.
I liked how this film was done. I could have probably lived without Kenneth Branagh in this one. The role didn’t quite fit him. I am a fan of Hans Zimmer scores, so that helps. It gets 93% on Rotten Tomatoes.
2. Darkest Hour: Another very close to how the actual history went down as the film chronicles the installation of Winston Churchill to Prime Minister of Britain in 1940. One of his major successes was calling for civilian boats to rescue the British Army off the beaches of Dunkirk in France.
Gary Oldman delivers a stellar performance as Winston Churchill. Definitely worthy of the Oscar he won for Best Actor. Lily James of Downton Abbey fame also stars and delivers a great performance for her role as his secretary. It gets 86% on Rotten Tomatoes.
3. Lady Bird: This is a coming of age film that highlights the timeless turbulent relationship between many mothers and their teenage daughters.
I think this is maybe a more honest look at that relationship than some other relationships we’ve seen on TV and in movies before. It gets 99% on Rotten Tomatoes.
4. The Big Sick: Kumail Nunjiani gives us a peak at his real life courtship with his now wife, Emily Gordon.
I had a hard time with this movie. For the most part, it moved to slow and even though there’s a happy ending, I found it horribly depressing. How this manages 98% on Rotten Tomatoes is beyond me.
5. Roman J. Israel, Esq.: Denzel Washington plays a lawyer who lives behind the scenes at the office where he works. When his partner dies, he’s got to get out of his comfort zone and ends up doing something that goes completely against his grain.
Denzel does a great job with this character. While they didn’t come out and say it, this character seems to be on the Autism/Asperger’s spectrum. I kind of wish they’d have added that dimension to this story. The audience rating for this film is higher at 55% than the critics at Rotten Tomatoes.
6. Coco: I’m generally a Pixar fan regardless of what they’re putting out. I thought the Nov 22nd release date for this film was really stupid. It’s about Day of the Dead, so the fact that they didn’t get it out for Halloween kind of bugs me.
I really loved Coco. It’s a great story and really well done by Pixar. This movie made me think about how important my extended family is to me, and just how much I miss my grandparents and my great-grandma. It gets 97% on Rotten Tomatoes. Now that I’ve seen it, I was hoping the rating would be higher.
7. Get Out: A young African-American visits his white girlfriend’s parents for the weekend, where his simmering uneasiness about their reception of him eventually reaches a boiling point.
I’m not a horror movie fan, but this one was recommended by someone, so I watched it. I’m not sure horror is the right genre. The audience rating is about 10 points lower than the critics on Rotten Tomatoes at 87%. I think I’m with the audience. It was okay, but not 99% great.
It’s going to be a while before I get to the rest of the movies I want to see. When I get there, I’ll put another post together. In the meantime, I’ve got taxes to finish and a few other things before I get to my surgery date in a month.