Review: The Father (2020)

The Father is the last of this year's Best Picture nominees that I've seen; unfortunately, it wasn't released until last month, and only became available to rent until a couple weeks ago. You may wonder if it's worth $20 to rent, and it certainly is, especially if you consider how much it would cost for 2+ people to go to the movies, get popcorn, etc. I watched it with my mom, and even though we had to pause multiple times -- and watch over two days -- I still found The Father to be an extremely effective, sympathetic, authentic portrait of living with dementia.

Review: The United States vs. Billie Holiday (2021)

It's disappointing that a movie featuring such important, relevant material -- drug use, lynching, among others -- can be so, well, disappointingly bad. I certainly hope Lee Daniels redeems himself after this atrocity, and that Andra Day is able to find another script and filmmaker worthy of her talent; however, she has said that this role took so much out of her that she may never act again.

Review: The Mauritanian (2021)

I was fortunate to get to watch a screening (through The Hollywood Reporter) of The Mauritanian, one of the last movies to be released during this incredibly long awards season. It's a very powerful story, directed by veteran filmmaker Kevin Macdonald, featuring a couple of solid performances but is inconsistent in its story and execution. 

Review: Hillbilly Elegy (2020)

I could probably write a whole book about everything that's wrong with this movie. What keeps me from assigning it the lowest grade imaginable is Close's performance, but I don't think it's enough to win her the Oscar, nor is it enough to make me recommend that anyone watch this.

Review: Minari (2020)

Who'd have thought that Minari, a film that centers on an Korean immigrant family that tries to start a farm in Arkansas during the 1980s, would end up being the quintessential American film? It represents the American dream in ways both subtle and overt, and it irks me to no end that it has received numerous foreign film nominations, simply because a great deal of the dialogue is in Korean.

Review: Minari (2020)

Who’d have thought that Minari, a film that centers on an Korean immigrant family that tries to start a farm in Arkansas during the 1980s, would end up being the quintessential American film? It represents the American dream in ways both subtle and overt, and it irks me to no end that it has received numerous foreign film nominations, simply because a great deal of the dialogue is in Korean.

Review: Nomadland (2020)

Nomadland is currently the frontrunner for the Best Picture and Director Oscars (among others), and it’s easy to see why: it’s an extremely well-made contemplative film that probably isn’t for everyone due to its slow, introspective nature, but is popular among cinephiles like myself. The film is based on the book of the same name, written by Jessica Bruder (which I haven’t read, but now I want to).

Review: Promising Young Woman (2020)

How do I review a film that I unabashedly adore, and one that receives a rare perfect score from yours truly? It’s my favorite film of 2020 so far — there’s still more to see, but I highly doubt anything will be able to top this. Promising Young Woman marked my first time at a theater in person in several months…I’d heard amazing reviews from critics lucky enough to get to see the film a year ago, at Sundance; some even praised it as the best film of the year, and even though I was excited to see it, I doubted it could possibly be that good.

Review: The Father (2020)

The Father is the last of this year’s Best Picture nominees that I’ve seen; unfortunately, it wasn’t released until last month, and only became available to rent until a couple weeks ago. You may wonder if it’s worth $20 to rent, and it certainly is, especially if you consider how much it would cost for 2+ people to go to the movies, get popcorn, etc. I watched it with my mom, and even though we had to pause multiple times — and watch over two days — I still found The Father to be an extremely effective, sympathetic, authentic portrait of living with dementia.

Reviewing the 2021 Oscar-Nominated Documentaries

When Oscar nominations were announced last week, the Documentary Feature category was among the most surprising; acclaimed docs like Dick Johnson Is Dead, All In, and Boys State were all shut out, in favor of five diverse films, ranging from terrific to a disappointing and ineffective. Here are my reviews of the nominees, in order from best to worst. 

2021 Oscar Predictions

I’ve used some fancy, schmancy math — based on nominees’ previous wins and total nominations thus far — as well as my knowledge of what the Academy tends to like, in order to predict the nominees. Hopefully, the nominees will be more diverse and representative of what America looks like now. 

Review: I Care A Lot (2021)

The dark comedy I Care A Lot from writer-director J Blakeson is based in reality, and points viewers to the sad fact that people are often taking advantage of elderly individuals with no real heirs, by posing as their legal guardians. Blakeson’s film certainly takes things to the extreme, and is a pitch-black comedy with no truly likable characters.