Beasts of No Nation
Directed by Cary Joji Fukunaga
Produced by Cary Joji Fukunaga, Amy Kaufman, Riva Marker, Daniela Taplin Lundberg and Idris ElbaWritten by Cary Joji Fukunaga (from Uzodinma Iweala’s novel)
Starring Idris Elba, Abraham Attah, Emmanuel Affadzi, Ama K. Abebrese and Kobina Amissah-Sam
After the death of his family, the traumatized Agu (Attah) ends up as a child soldier in wartorn Africa.
Netflix’s bold move to simultaneously release this film in theaters and online was a risky move, but the film remains one of the year’s most brutal, emotional journeys in cinema. Cary Fukunaga confidently writes, directs, produces, and shoots with several references to films like The Thin Red Line and Apocalypse Now, which are masterpieces in their own right. Abraham Attah delivers a heartbreaking performance, which largely overshadows the brilliant work from Idris Elba as the Commandant. It’s a haunting film that begs to be seen, even if it’s at home on your computer.
Oscar Potential: Best Supporting Actor (Elba), Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Cinematography
Bridge of Spies
Directed by Steven Spielberg
Produced by Steven Spielberg, Marc Platt and Kristie Macosko Krieger
Written by Matt Charman, Ethan Coen and Joel Coen
Starring Tom Hanks, Mark Rylance, Amy Ryan and Alan Alda
During the Cold War, an insurance lawyer (Hanks) must defend a foreign spy (Rylance) and eventually facilitate his trade for two Americans.
Steven Spielberg continues his Oscar-friendly period, but the director still manages to make an engaging film, even though it feels like he’s on autopilot these days. Tom Hanks is aptly cast, and his likability lends itself to a fine performance. Though, Mark Rylance steals the film as the calm, mannered Russian spy. While the film is heavily tailored to tug at your heartstrings, it still thrills, entertains, and, yes, moves with a sentimentality that Spielberg has pretty much perfected. This could be the next Best Picture winner at the Oscars, and it wouldn’t be a bad choice.
Oscar Potential: Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor, Best Supporting Actor (Rylance), Best Original Screenplay, Best Production Design, Best Cinematography, Best Film Editing, Best Original Score, Best Sound Mixing
Directed by Guillermo del Toro
Produced by Thomas Tull, Jon Jashni, Guillermo del Toro and Callum GreeneWritten by Guillermo del Toro and Matthew Robbins
Starring Mia Wasikowska, Jessica Chastain, Tom Hiddleston, Charlie Hunnam and Jim Beaver
A brother (Hiddleston) and sister (Chastain) lure a young woman (Wasikowska) to their creepy, depreciated estate, which is haunted by ghosts.
Guillermo del Toro’s gothic romance is problematic, but it thrives in its throwback to classic horror films. Ghosts, young love, betrayal, blood, dark hallways, gorgeous costumes, and a sweeping score are all in the mix, and the film doesn’t shy away from the ridiculousness of the whole affair. Though it’s not particularly original, it does have a chilly, antiquated atmosphere that’s rather refreshing. The performances are fine, but it’s del Toro’s show, with style being all over the screen.
Oscar Potential: Best Production Design, Best Costume Design
It will be a crime if Crimson Peak isn't in there for production design or costumes. All those potentials for Bridge of Spies make me a bit sad because the film looks so generic. I'm glad you liked it though. Maybe I'm being too harsh.ReplyDelete
I wonder if Crimson Peak will register with those branches of the Academy. It should, but it could get lost in the shuffle. Bridge of Spies is one of those films that Oscar voters will probably eat up. It gets better the more I think about it, though it's nowhere near Spielberg's best work.Delete
I was severely disappointed by Crimson Peak, but I haven't seen Beasts Of No Nation or Bridge of Spies yet. Beasts, I fear, might be "too much" for me in terms of its content and I've heard Bridge of Spies is very talky which isn't really my thing.ReplyDelete
I was marginally disappointed with Crimson Peak, but I didn't have any expectations going in. Overall, I liked it, despite its messiness. Beasts might be too much, even if it is a great film. (And Abraham Attah deserves an Oscar campaign!) Bridge of Spies is very talky, and quite minimal for Spielberg. I liked it, but it's not for everyone.Delete
Finally saw Beasts Of No Nation! Surprisingly, it wasn't as difficult a watch as I thought it would be. It is a tough one, but it doesn't go too, too far. Idris Elba, though. Wow, he was a powerhouse along with Attah!Delete
Glad you finally saw it! Attah and Elba are amazing, especially the former.Delete
Not seen any of those yet. I'm a bit hesitant about Crimson Peak because of the lukewarm reviews.ReplyDelete
Beasts of No Nation is the one I most want to see of the three, it sounds quite powerful!
I'd say Crimson Peak is worth a look, but not required viewing by any means.Delete
Beasts of No Nation is terrific. I wonder about its Oscar chances, though.
I definitely want to see Beasts of No Nation and Bridge of Spies. I'm glad you gave Crimson Peak a decent score; I actually liked it and found it entertaining.ReplyDelete
Beasts and Bridge are definitely worth a look, and I also enjoyed Crimson Peak, even if it's a little messy.Delete
I thought Bridge of Spies was decent but I wouldn't nominate it for anything. I hope to see CP soon I herd Chastain is actually good in thisReplyDelete
I wouldn't nominate Bridge of Spies either, but I really, really liked it. Mark Rylance almost makes my Supporting Actor lineup. Chastain is fine in CP, though it's not her best work.Delete
I love that Bridge of Spies is being so well received by bloggers I trust. Need to check that one out soon.ReplyDelete
Hope you like it, man. I wouldn't nominate it for anything, but it's a very solid film.Delete