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
The Favourite, directed by Yorgos Lanthimos, was a delightfully self-indulgent film that I gleefully grinned throughout its bitingly clever dialogue and its incredibly nuanced characters. Watching as the film’s three main characters battled one another in the most deceptively sinister ways was something that… to put it bluntly: I gorged myself on every dark, comedically brilliant moment of. And now, I’m very excited to dive deep into all it has to offer. So, let’s stop with all the adjectives (in this intro, there’s about to be a whole lot of adjectives thrown your way throughout this review) and get on with things. Read more
Battle of the Sexes, directed by Valerie Faris and Jonathan Dayton, is uplifting, full of heart, and will certainly gain a few well-earned laughs from you. The greatest achievement of this film is that it takes the time to really explore its varied characters, and because of that, it ended up feeling like a more complete experience. Coming from the perspective of the characters first and then letting the story build up around them, both benefited my connection to the people who mattered and led into me being invested in their story. And so, it’s thanks to patience and some noticeable attention to detail (of many elements) that the film has you feeling like a part of the journey, throughout. Let’s bring this introduction to a close and start exploring all that, Battle of the Sexes has to offer, shall we? Read more
In my opinion, this is the best selection of films nominated for ‘Best Picture’ in quite a few years. That’s not to say that the previous years have been lacking, as there have been some outstanding films nominated. It’s just that this year is near enough a clean sweep in terms of the overall deservingness and quality, when all the films are considered.
But let’s stop waffling on about the quality of the overall list, and actually talk about each film individually – giving them the time and the praise they deserve. I’ll be ranking these films from my least favourite one to the one that I thought was the best. But if I’m being honest, only 1 of the films on this list is out-of-place when compared to the rest – anyway, on with the list. Read more
La La Land, written and directed by Damien Chazelle, is vibrant, fun and uplifting; a clear love letter to a time in cinema that’s long past. Chazelle really does construct something that’s so full of wonder and romance. Films like this don’t really exist anymore, and to see something be so unabashedly what it is, certainly makes for an enchanting film watching experience. But… the film is lacking in something, and while it isn’t a mood killer, it was something that was forever on my mind. La La Land is a film with heaps upon heaps of praise (and rightly so) but I still have one main issue with the film; an issue that I have to talk about. So let’s make our way into the review and see what it is that makes the film so loved. Read more