Monday, October 24, 2016

10 thoughts on Nocturnal Animals


1. Tom Ford is more than A Single Man
It was shocking that A Single Man was his first feature and with the more expansive, complicated narrative and themes of Nocturnal Animals, it's clear that Ford will always deliver his top game. And that is a pretty impressive skill set. Yes, this is flawed but all is forgiven with such a brave and fascinating movie.

2. Amy Adams continues to avoid typecasting
This is something completely new for her and a joy for a fan to watch. She doesn't necessarily have much to do, but she gives a glamorous, quietly moving performance that adds to her impressive string of versatile roles.

3. The opening credits are astonishing 
They may not obviously fit within the film as a whole but wow.

4. Violence against women
It is never pleasant to sit through scenes where women are victim to senseless violence. And I usually think it is too easy a target to use in a narrative when it's not depicting a true story. I am torn but I feel that it is almost to its credit that the film includes this sequence, it happens in the book within the film and is the writer's attack of Adams' character. It is meant to be a manipulative and pure vile moment. Yet it'll never be an easy one to watch for any audience.

5. What a cast
Alongside Adams is a string of terrific performances from Andrea Riseborough, Jake Gyllenhaal, Michael Shannon and Aaron Taylor Johnson. Ford has a knack with actors.

6. Abel Korzeniowski's music
Although worryingly close to the terrific score he wrote for A Single Man, his music again is hypnotic. Next time I hope Ford pushes him a bit further from his comfort zone though. As Tate Taylor somehow did with Danny Elfman on Girl on the Train.

7. The ending is sublime
In a lesser film I think the ending would have felt underwhelming or petty. Instead you feel the overwhelming sense of a character's crushing disappointment. Perfect.

8. How will this play to general audiences? And Oscar?
This is such an unpleasant film that I imagine it will struggle to find an audience. And if it doesn't I hope it remains considered a success. Oscar could step in and help its status, but I think that's unlikely as it's rather cold for their tastes. Sadly.

9. The opposite to La La Land?
I'm obsessed. But I couldn't help but compare the two films - both set in LA, one celebrating the world and its inhabitants whilst the other condemns them. It's almost a love and hate portrayal of the world. Even their reflections on past love is opposite to each other. I recommend viewing both of course.

10. I hope people go see it
Just to reiterate this - go see it!

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

10 thoughts on La La Land


1. That opening sequence!
I'm not sure that there is an opening sequence to rival that of La La Land's. My boyfriend (adorably) cried as he was overwhelmed by the sequence, and it's easy to see why - the combination of music, choreography and cinematography whilst juxtaposing the heightened musical world with a LA traffic jam...how could an audience not fall for it?

2. Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling are stars
As is clear from this blog, I am a huge fan of Emma Stome and watching her excell on screen in a role perfect for her strengths was of course a joy. I hope this propels Emma Stone to Jennifer Lawrence heights of stardom/moviemaking power. And perhaps more musicals?

3. Original music in an original film musical
How refreshing to hear brand new music. Of course I'm not dissing Moulin Rouge! but it is exciting to hear characters sing their own songs in a new story. The form is not dead. Infact....

4. ...there's enough homages to make you cry
Just as my boyfriend did at the start of the film, I could not stop myself from crying during the last sequence of the film. Not just because of the characters' journey but also the overload of film references, particularly to the style of cinema associated with Gene Kelly.

5. Whiplash is forgiven / I'm a harsh critic
I know I'm alone in my reaction to Whiplash and I admit that I would likely see more strengths to the film following this but I still would balk at the film's attitude towards women. This was the reason I was nervous about La La Land, but Damien Chazelle has shown he is much more than that film and the film of that world. Or maybe this is a lesson for me not to judge so quickly.

6. Ryan Gosling has perfected the tormented leading man
He is the 21st century man without purpose but in struggle. Even in The Nice Guys he's a lost (and ineffective) man at the start. And he's always watchable. 

7. Being bold is good
Damien Chazelle has proven again what some of my favourite directors have, being bold in filmmaking can result in great work. Although this film may seem like a sure-thing now, it most definitely would have sounded unlikely on paper. Kudos to him for creating and delivering this film.

8. I can't wait to watch it again.
And again. And again.

9. Moviemaking is magical
I've felt indifferent to recent movies set in the world of moviemaking but this is a reminder of how wonderful the creation of stories in different worlds, all being told within walking distance of each other, is. Cinema is an infectious world, and even more so with films like this.

10. What a privilege
It is a rare sensation to sit in a cinema screen and feel privileged to have just watched a film. This is an incredibly achievement and one that will joyfully live in audiences' hearts alongside other film (not just film musical) greats. Bravo.