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.
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).
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.
Bo Burnham’s Inside — the comedy special he shot during quarantine, over about a year — is a difficult film to review, as it’s not so much a “film” as it is a reflection of the artist and a deeply personal piece. I’m reluctant to even classify it as a “comedy,” although it does have it share of laugh-out-loud moments.
It’s fair to say that Black Widow has been one of the most anticipated movies of 2021, and not just because of the pandemic, which delayed its release for over a year (going two years without a Marvel film is very difficult for a MCU nerd like myself, but thankfully there are several being released this year alone). This is the first [and only] time Scarlett Johansson’s Natasha Romanoff gets a solo film, despite having been around since 2010’s Iron Man 2.
Is In the Heights perfect? Probably not, but it’s the perfect summer movie. It’s a crowd-pleaser that’s actually very well-made and well-acted, featuring a diverse cast and characters. Sure, it’s probably a little long, but what else do you need for a summer movie?
A Quiet Place Part II is among the many theatrical releases that got postponed due to the pandemic, and is one that almost requires this kind of viewing, as opposed to the option of viewing through any number of streaming services — not that there’s anything really wrong with streaming, but this film is one with such excellent sound design and thrilling scenes that would make it difficult to appreciate its technical qualities on a smaller screen.
It’s the kind of entertaining action/adventure flick that’s not quite good enough to stand out from others in the genre, aside from outstanding work from the cast, including Angelina Jolie in her return to acting (after a several-year hiatus).
Now that the winners of the [much-delayed] 93rd Academy Awards have been announced, I decided to take a look at the winners — in all categories — from the past 10 years (the 2011-2020 seasons) and rank them. I will at some point also post a full Oscar history ranking, although there are many films I have yet to see (mainly older ones).
Happy 93rd Academy Awards, everyone! In just over 12 hours (hopefully), we will know all of the winners for the 2021 Oscars. And, what a long, seemingly never-ending, fascinating awards season it has been. The 2020 ceremony aired before the COVID-19 pandemic became widespread, lockdowns began, and Hollywood momentarily shut down.
Fact: As of this past Sunday, I watched every single film (including the shorts) nominated for an Oscar this year. It’s not usually that easy, as some films — especially international ones — may be hard to find, either in a theater or on streaming.
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.
Remember when Parasite won Best Ensemble at last year’s SAG Awards? That was pretty dope, as the young people say. This year’s winners are both difficult and easy to predict, if that makes any sense. But, I’ll do my best.