Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Sunday, November 27, 2016

And the nominees are...Oscar nominations 2017

Before the precursors start with full force over the next week or so, I wanted to do my best at predicting the eventual nominees for Oscar 2017.

Best Picture
20th Century Women
Hidden Figures
La La Land
Manchester by Sea

Damien Chazzelle for La La Land
Garth Davis for Lion
Barry Jenkins for Moonlight
Pablo Larrain for Jackie
Martin Scorsese for Silence

Amy Adams for Arrival
Annette Bening for 20th Century Women
Ruth Negga for Loving
Natalie Portman for Jackie
Emma Stone for La La Land

Casey Affleck for Manchester by Sea
Andrew Garfield for Silence
Ryan Gosling for La La Land
Tom Hanks for Sully
Denzel Washington for Fences

Supporting Actress
Viola Davis for Fences
Naomi Harris for Moonlight
Nicole Kidman for Lion
Octavia Spencer for Hidden Figures
Michelle Williams for Manchester by Sea

Supporting Actor
Mahershala Ali for Moonlight
Lucas Hedges for Manchester by Sea
Liam Neeson for Silence 
Dev Patel for Lion
Peter Sarsgaard for Jackie

Adapted Screenplay
20th Century Women
La La Land
Manchester by Sea

Love and Friendship

Sunday, November 27, 2016



Thursday, November 24, 2016

10 thoughts on Arrival.

1. Amy Adams
Once again Adams avoids typecasting, delivers a completely new character and surprises the audience. She is one of Hollywood's most impressive actors, a leading character-actor. Thrilling.

2. America would not be so welcoming of aliens today
By alien I mean anyone that the majority would see as foreign to them, let alone the squid like beings that are not of this planet. How sad...

3. ...but this is a film for today
The film clearly articulates its message that the world needs to be better at being a whole and communicate. That's something we're very quickly moving away from with Brexit and champions of the far right. 

4. Better than its contemporaries 
Gravity and Interstellar may have been widely celebrated and popular, but neither of them reached the emotional or storytelling heights of this. The reason? The characterisation. Where plot or action moved these two films along, Arrival follows the emotional journey of its protagonist. And this results, I'd argue, in a more accessible and successful film. It doesn't have the visual bravado, but that almost feels like the point - it's almost more a drama than a sci-fi film.

5. It's female protagonist
I don't know if I'm giving the film too much credit but it feels like it's being clever with its female protagonist. Yes the gender is important but, without spoilers, her relationship with her daughter is more nuanced and complicated than usual in mainstream Hollywood. Plus she doesn't need a man to help her, in fact the men tend to be the weaker characters.

6. Denis Villeneuve
I need to see more of his films.

7. Language
Language is something we should treasure. I wish I was better with them rather it being the downfall of my academic years. 

8. The overall message 
The film tells its audience that we should embrace life with all of its heartbreak and it's joy, and I think that's a positive message to put out in the world where the majority seem to think that they're entitled to joy as the norm or can make their lives easier by avoiding heartbreak. 

9. The music 
Another great score by Johann Johannsson.

10. Oscar love?
I hope this finds itself with nominations in the main categories, particularly Picture and Acrtress. But Oscar doesn't like genre often and it's less showy than other competitors. But I'll keep my fingers crossed.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

One reaction (after yesterday's reaction). A Raisin in the Sun.

Almost to answer my hope that art can change society, I went to a screening of A Raisin in the Sun this evening. And what hope it does give. Lorraine Hansbury's terrific play was seen by the Broadway audience that was mostly white, and it no doubt changed the majority of beliefs in the process. And the film performing similarly back in 1961. It still feels painfully relevant, maybe more now than it would have done a year or two ago. But that doesn't mean this piece hasn't made a difference. I belief it has and that I, Daniel Blake will do too.

Monday, November 21, 2016

One reaction. I, Daniel Blake.

As is evident by the existence of this blog, I spend a lot of time in the cinema but rarely do I think the following is worthily used: important. An important film should, I believe, have the ability to influence major swifts within society outside of the parameters of the industry. I, Daniel Blake is potentially one of those films. By shedding a light on the humanity within an ugly aspect of British society, Ken Loach has created a powerful film that should not fail to move its audience into altering their behaviour and attitude. Or at least that's what my optimism wants to believe.

Monday, November 07, 2016

Sunday, November 06, 2016

Saturday, November 05, 2016

Wednesday, November 02, 2016