Monday, February 22, 2016

OSCAR WATCH 2016: Four Films

This is a sweet but powerful film. Set in the 50s Eilis (Saoirse Ronan) leaves Ireland for Brooklyn at the wishes of her older sister. She is young and innocent and nervous but soon finds herself settling in with a job in a department store, study at night, friends, and a lovely Italian beau. Her new world is charming and perfect. When her sister unexpectedly dies she knows she must go home and see her mother. Once home, she is manipulated into staying longer and strikes up a friendship with another man. But which world does she belong to, she has some heart wrenching choices to make.
Brooklyn, based on Colm Tobin’s novel, but adapted by the brilliant Nick Hornby is a beautiful sweeping story of one lovely girl and her growth into a woman, which sound so very cliched but it is anything but.
The film feels warm and looks sublime, the soundtrack haunting. The acting is superb, it is just simply a lovely film. You almost feel as if you are there with her in the 50s, the costumes are just divine. I loved this film and it’s old fashioned sensibilities so very much.
Brooklyn is nominated for 3 Oscars for Best Film, Actress, and Screenplay.
I do not think it will fair well, but that is nothing to be ashamed of, this is a great film.
45 Years
This is another old fashioned film. The film focuses on the week leading up to a couple’s 45th Wedding Anniversary party. The couple, Geoff and Kate Mercer, are played by the gorgeous Tom Courtenay and the divine Charlotte Rampling. The couple live in the country and have a loving idyllic lifestyle. Kate is younger than Geoff, and he has had heart problems with their 40th party being interrupted.
45 years is slow moving, concentrating on the lovely nuances of a couple deeply at peace and still in love with each. It is lovely to see such a relationship on the screen. Courtenay looks handsome and rugged, and Rampling as sexy as ever. But something from Geoff’s past, his past before Kate, turns up during that week and may ruin everything they have. It is a significant thing, but not sinister, it causes little ripples that you see so plainly before the characters even realise what is happening. This is due to the gentle and beautiful direction of the film.
Courtenay is great in this role, but the film is all Rampling! She is magnificent! This is not her best role, I have seen her in much better roles, but she is very good and this is really worth seeing.
45 Years is nominated for 1 Oscar for Charlotte Rampling, she won’t win, which is a shame, but it is nice to nominated
Mad Max: Fury Road
I missed this at the cinemas, to be honest not really my thing. I caught it up on DVD and I really wish I had seen it on the big screen. It was great, I could take or leave the story and the action as such, but it was beautifully shot and the girls were magnificent. This was a kick arse feminist movie and I was down with that. Charlize Theron and her group were great, hard nosed, and action oriented, so nice to see women taking on these roles!
The cinematography was outstanding, the colours, the hues the blue and black imagery, the sky and the sand. It looked astonishingly good. The choreography of all those machines on the desert, it was great.
Tom Hardy was also great, but really this was Charlize’s film and what a shame she was not nominated, sacrilege!

Fury Road is nominated for 10 Oscars, Best Picture, Direction, Cinematography, Film Editing, Costume Design, Make Up and Hair, Sound Mixing, Sound Editing, Visual Effects, Production design.
My thoughts are it will clean up the technical awards but not Picture or Director.
The Martian
I also caught The Martian on DVD and loved it. This is a great film and Damon is astonishingly good. I have always loved Damon, but he is really superb in this. It’s his film!

So the story is Damon is part of a crew on Mars, a storm hits and they decide to leave after a colleague is killed (Damon). The thing is he is not dead, so he has been left behind on this inhospitable planet with rescue possibly 4 years away at best. The story is mostly how Damon deals with this tragedy; with rage, humour and everything in between and how those back on earth try to resolve this debacle.
It is a great cast, with Jeff Daniels, Jessica Chastain, Kristen Wiig, Michael Pena, Sean Bean, Kate Mara, and Chiwetel Ejiofor. The scenes on Mars are totally believable, and whilst some of the other space bits seem a little far fetched you go with it, it works.
This film made me laugh and cry and be right on the edge of my seat in terms of thriller, none of it felt manipulative and it was tremendously entertaining! It also has a great soundtrack, mostly 70s tune, including Bowie and Disco tunes.
The Martian is nominated for 7 Oscars, Best Picture, Best actor, Screenplay, Sound Mixing, Sound Editing, Visual Effects, Production.

My thoughts are it is nice to be nominated. On any other year Damon might stand a chance, but not this year.

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