Sunday, January 28, 2018
Tuesday, January 16, 2018
|Expect "The Shape of Water" to claim the most Oscar nominations.|
Nomination will be announced on Jan. 23; These are just guesses.
Call Me By Your Name
The Shape of Water
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
Guillermo del Toro, "The Shape of Water"
Luca Guadagnino, "Call Me By Your Name"
Martin McDonagh, "Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri"
Christopher Nolan, "Dunkirk"
Jordan Peele, "Get Out"
Timothee Chalamet "Call Me By Your Name"
Daniel Day-Lewis, "Phantom Thread"
James Franco, "The Disaster Artist"
Daniel Kaluuya, "Get Out"
Gary Oldman, "Darkest Hour"
Jessica Chastain, "Molly's Game"
Sally Hawkins, "The Shape of Water"
Frances McDormand, "Three Billboards Ouside Ebbing, Missouri"
Margot Robbie, "I, Tonya"
Saoirse Ronan, "Lady Bird"
Sunday, January 14, 2018
|Sony Pictures Classics|
True to Haneke form, the film revolves around the Laurent family with an all-star cast who play the characters of construction firm owner Anne (Isabelle Huppert), her brother Thomas (Mathieu Kassovtiz) and their father Georges (Jean-Louis Trintignant) as the fractured leads of an emotionally broke family. The film is a quilt of slightly loose pieces, both structurally and emotionally, that form together a coherent story about their troubles to realize lethal realities and the changing social climate around them. Anne is dealing with a construction site accident, and her equally unstable son, while her father tries to fight off dementia with several failed suicide attempts. Meanwhile, Thomas deals with multiple lovers and his emotionally distant teenage daughter who knows everything about his salacious encounters.
Haneke has (had) a way of forming loose parts into a coherent narrative. That has been seen with his own "71 Fragments" and "Code Unknown"; "Happy End" is no different. Intricately weaved into a lot of static shots and long takes, sometimes both, is a story about really naive characters who don't realize the realities around them. The smartest characters are Georges and his granddaughter, Eve, who are both fascinated by death that they connect on a level of empathy that no one else has yet to realize because of all of the distractions around them. The dichotomy between the oldest and youngest characters who seem to realize the most around them is a revelation. No one else understands life more than these two. There is a scene late in the movie where they express their unhappiness with others. An over 70-year age difference and yet these two people have the most true relationship than anyone else in the film.
"Happy End" focuses on our obsession with the things we can control versus the things we have no control, yet are responsible for. Why? Because it's convenient of course. That's what Haneke has usually focused on, and "Happy End" harbors that energy into a more subtle picture about current political/social norms. Going into a Haneke picture you should expect a very bland, stark level of audience integration. His films are made for audiences to observe the characters' actions and to make interpretations about things we see. "Happy End" lacks a true emotional connection to some in its plot points, even though they're acted at the highest caliber, but it drives home the ideas that people can actually be so oblivious to the real problems that surround them. "Happy End" is a welcome return to the Haneke who could reflect upon us the realest reactions to the social problems around us. He uses the bourgeois setting to show how detached all people can be to the events that truly matter.
Sunday, December 31, 2017
|Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri/Fox Searchlight|
The first movie to hold up a mirror to make us reflect on who we are was February's "Get Out", that awesome horror comedy film from first-time director Jordan Peele who created a crazy original story about racism in America. It opened the floodgates for a lot of films to tackle pertinent issues, and it wasn't confined to documentaries- just look at Steven Spielberg's star-studded "The Post" as a big F-you to the Trump Administration and Fatih Akin's overbearingly trite hate crime film "In The Fade".
Thursday, December 14, 2017
Tuesday, December 12, 2017
Wednesday, December 6, 2017
|20th Century Fox|
Released at the most appropriate time when the press is constantly being discredited and attacked, "The Post" is a throwback to one of the defining journalism cases of the 20th century: The publication of the highly classified Pentagon Papers. Unfortunately, "The Post" uses that watershed moment as nothing more than a platform for the filmmakers' own political message. This story deserved more than what Steven Spielberg rushed to get made.