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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
The long-anticipated Judas and the Black Messiah only opened last month, at the [mostly virtual] Sundance Film Festival. I was busy working and, besides, high-profile movies such as this became sold out very quickly.
For a movie that features three Oscar-winning actors — Denzel Washington, Rami Malek, and Jared Leto — you’d expect a movie to have some substance, or to at least be far less boring and more interesting than the exceedingly dull and unoriginal The Little Things, recently released simultaneously in limited theatres and on HBO Max. Writer-director John Lee Hancock’s story not only takes place in the 1990s (which has no real effect on the story), but was supposedly written then, and doesn’t appeared to have been updated. I
Mads Mikkelsen has become a sort of international treasure, having starred in both Danish-centered films and others, including as villains in Doctor Strange and the NBC series Hannibal. He was excellent in The Hunt, released several years ago and nominated for the International Feature Film Oscar — formerly known as the Foreign Language Oscar — so it was great to see him once again in a juicy role that allows him to flex his acting muscles in a film that takes place in his native Denmark.
Malcolm & Marie is the first film to be filmed, produced, and released during the pandemic. It was filmed with a very limited crew and only two actors — new Emmy winner Zendaya and Tenet star John David washington — and everyone followed proper COVID-19 regulations.