Here’s a taste of the bite-sized tastes to be had on my Letterboxd:
Regarding Baz Luhrmann’s Romeo + Juliet from 1996:
- A (bad?) stylistic dry-run for the endlessly-superior Moulin Rouge!, which allowed for the story to be massaged around the style, and not the other way around.
Regarding Wonder Woman 1984:
- Not the sole problem, not even the biggest problem … but watching her trying to act is almost avant-garde.
Regarding One Night in Miami…:
- Remember when “TV movie” was a(n unfair?) pejorative categorization? Yeah, so this is a “TV movie” — for better and for worse.
Regarding Pieces of a Woman:
- My girlfriend and I often discuss what constitutes “birth control cinema” — one particular sequence herein qualifies the whole movie on its own.
Regarding American Skin:
- As with The Birth of a Nation (2016; important distinction there): conceit > execution.
Regarding The Croods: A New Age:
- I don’t totally believe this (…yet?), but maybe the Oscars should abolish Best Animated Feature? I always support awarding MORE movies, but since the ceremony duration is finite and getting finiter, is the collection of nominated animated movies every year truly more deserving than, say, Best Ensemble nominees would be? The solution: give out more awards during commercial breaks, and montage the winners during the actual broadcast. Less than ideal, I know, but if that’s what it takes to ram through way more categories to reward AAAAAALL the finest in film every year, then that’s a tradeoff I make every single time.
Regarding The White Tiger:
- Voiceover remains the easiest way/device/crutch to adapt a book.
Regarding Another Round:
- If you’ve heard anything about the movie, then you probably already know about the last scene. It lives up the hype, set to … AN ORIGINAL SONG WRITTEN FOR THE MOVIE THAT WASN’T EVEN SHORTLISTED?!?!?! The most memorable musical scene of the year is an original song (to be specific, Scarlet Pleasure’s “What A Life”), and there’ll be absolutely no record of it in Oscars history. Like, WTF are we doing here? Same goes for “Poverty Porn” from The Forty-Year-Old Version. Seriously, the tyranny of closing-credit tack-ons dominating this category must end (except for Sound of Metal‘s “Green”, which, in my estimation, is inextricably linked to the emotional devastation of the movie’s final notes). As with every other category, evaluating potential nominees without considering their contextual function within the movies themselves is just not the move.
- No SAG nomination for Ensemble feels like actors trying to draw a line between what “professional” actors do and what May/Swankie do here. Kind of ironic, considering how many “professional” actors are continually heralded for playing slight variations on their natural personas. As they should be! Evoking truth amongst fictional trappings is art, no matter who does it.)
Regarding Two of Us:
- Ah yes, my annual “why?!?!” international-feature contender.
- Disclaimer: I’m biopic-phobic. Even so: choosing an obscurer historical figure as the subject can sometimes inflate our interest; when we don’t already know the greatest hits of the story, how they’re hit isn’t as important as what’s being hit (mixed metaphor much?). And yet, if a biopic fails to make the case that we really should’ve been familiar with this figure all along…
Regarding Boys State:
- Unpleasant and unenlightening isn’t a great combo.
- How did Land feel when it saw Nomadland?
Regarding French Exit:
- Mock Woody. Also, a SGIM movie: She Good; It Meh.
Regarding Welcome to Chechnya:
- After The Thin Blue Line, documentaries — especially “true crime” docs — mercilessly mooched Philip Glass’ truly-iconic score. Nowadays, scoring docs like thrillers is all the rage … but how about we settle down here? Trust the audience to feel the stakes without relying on fiction-dominated musical tropes to bolster the tension.
Regarding The Mauritanian:
- Benedict Cumberbatch’s accent is the fine line between Oscar and Razzie.
I did the work for you this time … but from now on, you’re on your own.
And by on your own, I mean all you need to do to read such chunks in the future is to follow my page!