Ain't Them Bodies Saints
Directed by David Lowery
Produced by Toby Halbrooks, James M. Johnston, Jay Van Hoy, Lars Knudsen, Amy Kaufman and Cassian Elwes
Written by David Lowery
Starring Casey Affleck, Rooney Mara, Ben Foster, Nate Parker, Rami Malek and Keith Carradine
An outlaw (Affleck) makes his way back to his wife (Mara) and young daughter in Texas.
David Lowery's feature echoes the work of Terrence Malick, while creating a beautiful film that has its own merits. Apart from the lush cinematography, the performances are strong across the board. Casey Affleck and Rooney Mara make a terrific pair as the fugitive couple, and Ben Foster and Keith Carradine offer subtle but memorable supporting performances. The film is a resonating drama, which hopefully indicates a bright future for its young director.
Oscar Potential: Best Cinematography
Directed by Nicole Holofcener
Produced by Stefanie Azpiazu and Anthony Bregman
Written by Nicole Holofcener
Starring Julia Louis-Dreyfus, James Gandolfini, Catherine Keener, Toni Collette and Ben Falcone
A masseuse (Louis-Dreyfus) learns that her new boyfriend (Gandolfini) is her patient's (Collette) ex-husband.
I'm not that familiar with Holofcener's work, but I really enjoyed her latest film. It's full of charm, which comes from her quirky screenplay and the great work from the cast. Julia Louis-Dreyfus and James Gandolfini deliver fine performances, particularly Gandolfini as a lovable teddy bear. Though the other actors do a good job, the belated Gandolfini is the heart of the film, and his performance is a true gem.
Oscar Potential: Best Supporting Actor, Best Original Screenplay
The Fifth Estate
Directed by Bill Condon
Produced by Steve Golin and Michael Sugar
Written by Josh Singer (screenplay); Daniel Domscheit-Berg, David Leigh and Luke Harding (books)
Starring Benedict Cumberbatch, Daniel Brühl, Anthony Mackie, David Thewlis, Alicia Vikander, Stanley Tucci and Laura Linney
Julian Assange (Cumberbatch) and his colleague Daniel Berg (Brühl) expose corruption through WikiLeaks, drawing international fame and controversy.
Bill Condon's slick drama is a disappointment, despite a grounded performance from Daniel Brühl and the phenomenal work from Benedict Cumberbatch. Honestly, Cumberbatch's permanence is tainted by the underwhelming film. It feels too by-the-numbers, and it doesn't allow much insight into Assange the man. Still, Cumberbatch is flawless, and he's more than enough of a reason to see this film.
Oscar Potential: Best Actor, Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Film Editing (All unlikely though.)