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.
When I heard that there was going to be yet another adaptation of Jane Austen’s beloved Emma, I was skeptical and thought this remake was unnecessary (despite the recent success of the Little Women remake). I’d seen the ’90s version starring Gwyneth Paltrow, and believed it to be just fine, while not revelatory.
I was interested in watching The Assistant, because it seemed like the type of post-Weinstein/#metoo era film that would be relevant today. Unfortunately, it’s too slight and not daring enough to make a real impact.
The White Tiger is sort of like the anti-Slumdog Millionaire, as I’ve heard other film critics call it. It’s also similar to the Oscar-winning Parasite, and aspires to reach the mastery of tone of Bong Joon Ho’s film but never quite gets there.
With such talent behind and in front of a camera, you’d expect News of the World to have more of a lasting impact and to cause viewers to be invested in the story. That’s not to say that it’s completely devoid of talent and emotion; rather, with the one and only Tom Hanks as the lead, and acclaimed director Paul Greengrass (United 93) directing and co-writing the adaptation, you’d expect more.
I’m thinking of ending things — and yes, it’s written this way, with no real capitalization — is a very difficult film to review. It’s one of those divisive movies that has devoted, passionate fans; those who detested it, for some reason or another; and those in-between, who feel as though it’s an expertly-made film featuring great performances that is too niche, too esoteric to be be praise-worthy.