I had originally seen Snowpiercer, Korean filmmaker Bong Joon Ho’s first English-language film, a few years ago. But, perhaps I wasn’t paying that much attention before, as I forgot much of what had transpired the second time I watched it (with nearly 100% attention). I’d forgotten how violent and bizarre it was; but, also, I think I appreciated the impressive scope of the filmmaking more this time, especially after having seen Ho’s Oscar-winning masterpiece Parasite.
Sophie’s Choice is primarily known for Meryl Streep’s Oscar-winning performance, deemed by many to be one of the best performances by any actor (male or female) of all time. I believed critics and viewers, but I was skeptical that it could top who I’d currently ranked as my #1 Best Actress Oscar winner of all time (that I’d seen): Charlize Theron in Monster. I was wrong, and after finishing Sophie’s Choice, I immediately knew that I’d just witnessed one of the best acting performances of all time.
The Trial of the Chicago 7 is a mouthful of a film title, but you’d expect something like that from Aaron Sorkin, the creator of The West Wing who is known for his verbosity. In his sophomore directorial effort (after Molly’s Game), Sorkin has opted to depict a moment in American history which with many of us may have been unfamiliar (I certainly was): the trial relating to protests at the Democratic National Convention in the 1960s.
A Fantastic Woman is not the perfect film that people have made it out to be, but considering that it is the first Oscar-winning foreign/international film featuring a transgender character — whose star, Daniela Vega, became the first transgender presenter in Oscars history — its impact is impressive.
The English Patient is the kind of romantic, sweeping epic that, were it made by or starring anyone less talented than those involved in the film, would’ve come across as overly cliche and laughable, even when it’s not supposed to be funny. Fortunately, this multiple Oscar winner is excellently done, and can be considered to be deserving of its numerous awards.
Julia is a movie about which I knew very little, aside from the fact that it had won Oscars — and, being that I’m a movie snob who wants/needs to see as many Oscar-winning (and nominated) films as possible, this was on my seemingly never-ending queue. Also, I’d seen very little of Jane Fonda’s earlier, more dramatic work, and had only seen her in things like Grace and Frankie (a few episodes here and there) and the disappointing Book Club.
One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest is, in many ways, a unique film — and not just because it’s only one of three films (the others being It Happened One Night and The Silence of the Lambs) to receive the top 5 Oscar wins: Picture, Director, Actor, Actress, and Adapted Screenplay. Not an easy feat, to be sure.
Just Mercy should be required viewing, no matter how you view incarcerations and death row. And, if you watch this film without feeling any empathy towards the wrongly-convicted individuals featured, then there’s no hope for you. (Also, #BlackLivesMatter).
Project Power is the sort of movie that needs to be seen in theaters, but seeing as nearly all theaters were closed when it was released, it made sense to do so through Netflix. Although, to be fair, despite the film’s expensive special effects and high-watt stars like Jamie Foxx and Joseph Gordon-Levitt, the quality might not have been high enough to warrant a theatrical release.
Da 5 Bloods was a surprise [to me] Spike Lee release. In fact, I hadn’t heard anything about it until it was released on Netflix over the summer, and knew very little until Chadwick Boseman passed away and everyone was talking about his role in the film. Unfortunately, Lee’s latest — released solely on the streaming service and now featuring Boseman’s image on the poster — is mainly a disappointment.