Sunday, February 8, 2015

OSCAR WATCH 2015: Boyhood and Grand Budapest Hotel

I saw both these movies early last year and announced both of them masterpieces and 5 out of 5 films at the time, and thought to myself it's a shame it's so early, these are Oscar contenders. And brilliance of brilliance they were not forgotten and have both gotten up for Best Film amongst other nominations.
I am certain I have thought about this film almost everyday since seeing it over 6 months ago last June as part of the Travelling Sydney Film Festival.

I originally wrote:

There are not enough superlatives to describe this magnificent film. Masterpiece does seem to be the best description. A coming of age film, shot in such a unique and original way, it defies categorisation. Linklater cast a young boy of 5 and filmed Boyhood over 12 years, waiting for him to age and indeed come of age. This was such a leap of faith on his behalf, it could have been a disaster, but it wasn't.
With Patricia Arquette and Ethan Hawke as his parents, and Linklater's own daughter, you watch these people evolve over 12 hears. And it is pure magic. The film clocks in at almost 3 hours and I could have sat there for double the time. This is simple a film a to be seen, it has been garnering rave reviews and it should. Arquette and Hawke are brilliant and believable and simply stunning in this. But it is Ellar Coltrane, who is the star. His portrayal of a version of himself from 5 to 17 in nothing short of a miracle, from a cute kid to an awkward tween to an almost Ethan Hawke lookalike teen, he simply shines. Without Coltrane this movie simply would not be, and what an extraordinary performance it is. I cannot recommend this film highly enough, it is one of the best films I have seen in a long time.

I still hold by that review and more. Never have I felt as emotionally attached to a film as I have this one. I cannot explain it. Since I saw the movie I have read a lot of praise and hype about it, all true of course, and each time I found myself swelling with emotion as if I had made the film myself, lol! I thought more about the Patricia Arquette character and how she really held the film together, something that came to me over time, as I thought of it more. She is winning every award out there now for the role, deservedly so, and a shoe in for Best Supporting Actress. Hawke had the showier performance and is also nominated, but given his competition, not likely to win. Linklater and the film could just go Best Director and Best Film, and if they do, you might need to hand me some tissues.
Other things that have stayed with me are the little references to periods in time as they were filming it, this could have dated the film incredibly, but it did not. Linklater was so clever in piecing this together, fashion, music, politics, pop culture are all there, but subtle. Enough to make you nod or smile, but not enough to take away from the drama at hand. In fact some of the pop culture dialogue predicts things yet to happen...correctly, I have no words for that!
By far my favourite moment of the film is The Black Album. I remember having to hold myself back in the film from whooping out loud. Ethan Hawke makes a mixed tape of songs The Beatles made as solo artists after the demise of the band. Their best stuff, he talks about it with such passion. It's about music, breaking up, relationships, things getting better and of course The Beatles. It was the best new idea I have ever heard. It came from something Ethan himself did for his kids after he split from Uma. A kinda 'yeah things split, but greatness can still come from that', I could not love Ethan Hawke more than I already do!

Again, if you have not seen this film, you simply must. You will be blown away, at it's simplicity and it's magnificence. 
Grand Budapest Hotel
I wrote about this fabulous film back in April when I saw it, you can read the review here.

Unsure at this stage what it may win, possibly aesthetic awards.


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