Aaron Sorkin has a tendency for writing great, fast talking scripts based on subjects that I tend to know jack about. ‘Steve Jobs’ and ‘The Social Network’ were two films I really didn’t think I needed in my life and both were highlights of their respective years. Now, with his directorial debut, Sorkin may have delivered his best piece of cinema yet.
Last year, I thought there were four films that were a solid 10/10. Already in 2018, I’ve said the same about ‘Three Billboards…’ and ‘The Shape of Water’ and now, in as many months, we’ve been blessed with a third masterpiece. Quite how a film based on something as simple as a seventeen year old growing up ended up this good is down to the incredibly sharp and inspiring script by Greta Gerwig, who also directs this semi-autobiographical story.
I was lucky enough to catch an early preview of ‘Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri’ this year and went in without seeing a trailer or hearing much about the plot. Still, my hopes were high as, despite only having 2 feature length films under his belt, Martin McDonagh is one of Britain’s finest exports. ‘In Bruges’ is the gold standard of the term ‘black comedy’ and ‘Seven Psychopaths’ let the insanely talented cast all play to their strengths. With ‘Three Billboards…’, McDonagh has made one of the most dramatic film you’ll see this year, yet has somehow thrown in some of the funniest moments you’ll see too.
‘Get Out’ has, surprisingly in some people’s eyes, snagged a Best Picture nomination for tonight’s Academy Awards. Despite earning some of the highest praise in recent memory, it had a lot going against it. Horrors don’t tend to get a look in within the Academy, nor do films that actually get seen by nearly everyone. It also had the disadvantage of being released lastFebruary in the USA (March in the UK respectively), which makes it the first film to get a best picture nomination released in February since ‘Silence of the Lambs’ in 1991, another horror that made the cut. Almost a year later, this film hasn’t been forgotten or brushed over by the Academy and no matter what happens tonight, that’s an achievement in it’s own right.
Joe Wright’s latest sees Churchill’s first twenty odd days Prime Minister during the height of Hitler’s power. It’s refreshing to see biopics spend more time fleshing out a smaller time frame rather than trying to cram someone’s entire life into two hours. Instead of brushing over more intimate scenes between Churchill and his wife or ignoring the role of his typist, we see how a multitude of situations lead to his decision of resisting peace talk with Hitler, despite it seemingly being the will of the entire government. While the film’s plot plays it way too safe and bends the truth in places without any disguise, brilliant cinematography and a world-class performance from Gary Oldman will keep you interested for parts of it.
It’s awards season and every film is vying to win the so-called “big one”: The Academy Award for Best Picture. Winning this can increase a films’ popularity, and therefore legacy, almost overnight. While we can all agree sometimes the awards season can be a bit nonsense, it’s still very exciting to watch and guess all the winners for film buffs. Last year was the first year I stayed up and watched the whole thing and I loved it, not only because of the infamous Moonlight/La La Land mix-up, but because you remembered just how many great films had come out. It even brings up the discussion of how many more great films were nowhere to be seen. So, with the Oscars on the horizon, I wanted to look back at winners of Best Picture from the last 5 years and ask a question, did the right film win?
The BAFTA rising star award is nothing but a popularity contest, the winner will always be the star who was in the most mainstream or popular film from the last year. That’s not to say they don’t deserve it, but that’s really how it always works with public votes. This year, I fully expect Daniel Kaluuya to take home the gong after starring in everybody’s favourite film from last year, ‘Get Out’ and honestly, he’s a worthy winner. But in reality, this year is possibly the strongest line-up of young talent for a long time, probably since 2011 (Tom Hardy, Gemma Arterton, Andrew Garfield, Aaron-Taylor-Johnson AND Emma Stone, wow) and here’s why.
Thirteen Oscar nominations is an incredible achievement, even more so when said nominations are for a film about a woman falling in love with a sea creature. In one of the most downright bonkers award-winning films of recent memory, Guillermo Del Toro has crafted a truly beautiful story with visuals that make even the craziest of scenes seem realisitc and a mesmerising score.