The moment when Faye Dunaway pronounced erroneously La La Land as the winner of the 2017 Oscar for Best Picture was one of the most dramatic moment in all of Oscar history. A few winners’ speeches later, the director of La La Land graciously told the stunned audience there has been a mistake! “Moonlight is the real winner,” he announced. Confusion ensued but after a few minutes the true winning director, Barry Jenkins of Moonlight, took the microphone. He thanked everyone who helped him bring about his vision of making a film about the challenges of growing up as black gay kid. My interest was piqued.Continue Reading
This wonderful film deals with an intriguing question: how do you deal with something that one can never truly recover from?
Casey Affleck gives a stunning performance. If I were a voting member of the Academy of Motion Pictures, I would vote to give him the Oscar for best male performer in a leading role. Do not miss the chance to see him enact the role of the movie’s hero, who is trying to cope with something terrible that we only gradually understand. The film manages to mix comedy with tragedy and offers a great night out at the movies.
This prequel of the funny Red Dog disappoints. It has a very weak story. The original Red Dog was based on an amazing true story written up in a book that even the best fiction would have difficulty matching. So the screenplay writer, Daniel Taplitz, had a relatively easy time. But in this prequel had no true story to base the script on and Daniel Taplitz flounders badly. The story and its turns feel contrived. Again the dog is cute and the cinematography of the outback is beautiful. But that is not enough. Go see the original Red Dog and skip the Red Dog - True Blue.Continue Reading
Unlike in the case of Sully, I knew very little about Lala Land except that it is a musical. Lala Land feels very fresh. It resurrects the musical genre but does it in a way that our current sensibilities are not offended. The most interesting part of the film is how it vi- sually told story. I almost need to see the film one more time to put my finger on how what made it visually so appealing. It sometimes moves seamlessly between what is real and what is fiction. I enjoyed the most the the opening and closing scenes. Lala Land is fun. At times you simply want to get up in your seat and start dancing. Enjoy!Continue Reading
Sully has been nominated by many critics as a top film of the year. I knew why many critics loved the film. Sully rejects landing a plane that lost both engines safely on the Hudson River and saving the lives of all 155 passengers makes him a hero. He insists that he was just doing his job. He also insists that he was not doing the alone. There was his co-pilot, the crew, the emergency response team of NYC.Continue Reading
Christmas 2016. This wonderful film from Japan landed in my house during the holidays. It has been circling the airwaves since 2008. I am glad it finally reached me. The film won an Oscar for best foreign film and it is a treat fitting the holiday spirit. At the center of Depatures is Daigo, a thirty something cello player (Masahiro Motoki) in Tokyo whose classical orchestra closes down. Because he just had spent $US 150,000 on a cello he is now in a real fix. The event triggers soul-searching.Continue Reading