Capernaum, co-written and directed by Nadine Labaki, is something truly special! It’s more than just a film, it’s an experience unlike anything I can remember having. It’s one of the most emotionally overwhelming films I’ve had the pleasure to sit through. I don’t know if I can properly put into words how this film made me feel and how even at this very moment when writing the review, it’s causing me to well up. Join me, as I try to make it through this review without becoming a complete blubbering mess and hopefully explore in a semi-compotent way the magically turbulent journey of Capernaum. Read more
Boy Erased, written for the screen and directed by Joel Edgerton, is a challenging and emotionally turbulent story that had me totally attentive from the beginning and throughout. There are some structural issues and some pacing issues that make Boy Erased not seem as effective as it could have been, but those were issues for me because I was so invested in the film and simply wanted more of it. So, let’s see if the issues that effect the film do an amount of harm that causes it to be a film you should pass on, or if there’s still something potent enough to warrant you making the trip to the cinema to see it. Read more
So this without a doubt has to be one of the most embarrassing selection of best picture nominations I’ve seen in quite some time. When I look back at the piece I did last year on the 2018 nominations for the Oscars (click this link to check that out), I wish for a list as strong and full of such incredible films as that. I vividly remember struggling to rank those films, as almost all of them were full of something that was genuinely special; I struggled too not give them all the top spot for one reason or another.
However, this year, I find myself struggling to decide which one of these films is worse. Don’t get me wrong, a number of these films are good – and one in particular holds within it the same special magic that many of last year’s nominations had – but that’s the problem, most of them are only good films, while some actually outstanding films seems to have been ignored completely (‘First Man’ or ‘You Were Never Really Here’, for example). Minus a few of them, there’s nothing on this list that stands out to me as a film I remember having a significant impact on me. For most of these films, when I was writing the review for them, I remember how underwhelmed or how forgettably fine I was with them. To look at this list and see some of the films that are now being given a significant spotlight to shine makes me… sad.
Anyway, enough with my frustrated ramblings. Let’s get on with the ranking and find out where each film falls on the list. Read more
Velvet Buzzsaw, written and directed by Dan Gilroy, felt more like a schlocky TV drama, rather than a delectably vicious dissection of some of the unbearable people who inhabit the art world. Filled to the brim with unlikable characters and a plot that feels pulled out of a ‘Goosebumps’ book, this film almost immediately had me switching off and wishing I hadn’t once again given a Netflix original another shot. It seems like Gilroy’s unavoidably exciting and unnerving feature debut, ‘Nightcrawler’, might have just been a successful flook, because if Velvet Buzzsaw is anything to go off of, then there’s very little excitement left in me for his future work. So, let’s make our way into the review and see what it is that makes this another Netflix exclusive film that isn’t worth clicking on. Read more
If Beale Street Cold Talk, adapted for the screen and directed by Barry Jenkins, is a film that at times was overwhelmingly beautiful and captured my every ounce of care and attention. But it was also a film that felt bogged down by a plot that I hoped would pay off, but ultimately felt weak and pointless. There’s much to be said about Jenkins and his new film, so let’s not waste any more time with this intro, and instead get into all there is to write and talk about. Read more
The Mule, directed by Clint Eastwood, is an awkward, confusing experience that somewhere beyond the uncomfortable scenes and odd directorial decisions in a somewhat charming little film that I think I enjoyed. Genuinely, I am going to struggle with this review, because even at this very moment, having had a decent amount of time to try to evaluate what exactly I sat through, I’m still conflicted and confused as to what The Mule was supposed to be and some of the decisions that made it into the film. So, join me on this journey, as I try to figure out what it was, I watched and if it was any good. Read more
Roma, written and directed by Alfonso Cuarón, is a delicately personal, astounding beautiful piece of cinema that I now think stands as the directors most wonderful work to grace the screen. I’ll admit, I’m a little intimidated by this review. Roma is a beautiful film that I just don’t think I have the ability to properly explore and talk about. I’m certainly excited to have the chance to think more about this film and get lost in all that Cuarón achieves… I just hope I can do it justice. Here we go. Read more
Green Book, directed by Peter Farrelly, is exactly what I thought it would be; a safe, comfortable, crowd pleasing film that fails to meaningfully explore the lofty themes at its disposal. It relies on jokes and plot points that go nowhere and ultimately tries to wrap everything in a neat, comfortable bow that has you leaving the cinema without a worry or a care. Green Book is in no way a bad film; I found it quite enjoyable and I was fully endeared to the relationship between the film’s two lead characters… but I was just hoping for so much more. This will be an interesting and challenging review to work through, but I’m looking forward to doing it. So, let’s make our way into the review and see just how Green Book shapes up. Read more