Les Miserables is the kind of musical that drives non-fans batty, but if you're watching this movie wondering why people are singing everything, you're genuinely missing the point. Musicals express feelings in a way spoken word simply can't, and this version of Les Miserables understands how to drill to the very root of those feelings, in ways nothing onstage really can.
When an adaptation of the musical Les Miserables was announced, and recent Best Director winner Tom Hooper signed on to direct it, all eyes zoomed in on Les Mis to be a contender. In fact, before anyone even saw it, most people put it on their Best Picture hopefuls lists
Beasts defies classification. It transcends easy genres. It is bold, original filmmaking done on a shoestring budget that is not reflected in its jaw-droppingly authentic production values. The movieís four Oscar nominations should be its consolation prize. Itís worthy of so much more.
Quentin Tarantino doesnít make the kind of movies you typically think of being honored by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Award season is crowded with war-set period dramas about people with disabilities, and Tarantino is all about brash, hyper, bloody tales of revenge and gangsters.
Somewhere inside Django Unchained is the best movie of the year.†Part meticulously researched homage and part aggressive, pulsating thump of originality, this re-cut would bleed with furious and vengeful momentum, swagger with the confidence of a gaudy suit and pause just long enough to offer whimsical and brilliant asides
Amour looks nothing like any of its fellow Best Picture nominees. In fact, it looks nothing like any of the Best Picture nominees of the last 20 years. It's a foreign film, of course, which puts it in the company of just four other foreign language films nominated for Best Picture since 1993
The Tree of Life asks a lot of moviegoers, no doubt, asking them not just to engage in a loopy and highfalutin' narrative, but to dig into their own personal emotions as well. This doesn't work for a lot of people, and it's not wrong not to like it, or to admit you don't get it. But if you let go just a little, and wait for The Tree of Life to get to the moment that moves you, I promise it will
it's the rougher edges of The Descendants-- the Alexander Payne-ness of it, the now-ness of it-- that make it stand out. The way it engages with Matt's strange conflict in being both white and native Hawaiian, the way it depicts marriage as something that can break while nobody is watching, the way it allows Lillard's Brian Speer his own dignity even as a philanderer-- The Descendants goes down easy, but it carries tough things with it
I donít think that Moneyball is a political film. I donít think that director Bennett Miller saw Beane as a proxy for Obama and I donít think the movie sways to either side of the political scale. How could it? Michael Lewis wrote ďMoneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair GameĒ in 2003 and the movie chronicles the Oakland Athleticsí 2002 season. But no movie released in 2011 better represents the era in which we are living
Allenís writing is every bit as charming and funny as the other light-hearted Best Picture contender, The Artist, but most importantly, MiP is a smart comedy that actually has something significant to say about tour collective problem with viewing the past through rose colored glasses
While The Artist is set in Hollywood's Golden Age and certainly revels in allusions to some of the era's masterworks, it hardly paints a glossy picture of its setting. Instead, Hollywood is portrayed as a fickle community that will celebrate its stars one moment and leave them in the gutter the next
Maybe there really is nothing to get. Maybe all the critics who have so vehemently backed The Tree Of Life are simply assigning value to weirdness and deeper meaning to idiotic, pretentious ramblings. Maybe the careful and well-constructed core of this Best Picture nominee is not actually buoyed by its elongated natural backdrops but instead coated in layer after layer of supernova-scented shit
While James Cameron may be the most prominent name when it comes to 3D filmmaking today, with Hugo it was Martin Scorsese who truly explored the potential of the new technology, but more importantly used it to make a statement about the art. By filming The Artist in the classic non-widescreen ratio and without color, Hazanavicius made homage to what things used to be like and itís a nice gimmick, but, conversely, Scorsese actually used 3D...
The emotions earned by EL&IC are so honest, so genuine, that nitpicking them seems inconsequential. It was never about the key that Oskar found in his fatherís closet. It was about closure, and Bullockís mother found it in her troubled son
"It's heritage, not hate." That argument doesn't really apply to The Help, which few can argue as actual hate speech, but I come back to it again in the movie's defense, trying to explain how you can be nostalgic for a period of history that's ugly and unflattering, how the intersection of white and black lives can be both fraught and sometimes terrible, but also more complicated than is easy to remember