My favourite season? Probably…
I watched 16 features in February (plus 15 shorts) which is the most I’ve ever seen in a month. This was almost entirely Oscars-related, and this year was a personal record for me – I saw 28/37 nominated features and 15/15 shorts.
I am.. a little burnt out, but I still wanted to recap and rapid-fire-review the month.
These are only in the order that I watched them, not ranked.
I like to describe this as “such a MOVIE”. Like.. it has a little bit of everything, and all of those things are on point. It’s fantastic, and it’s my second favourite Best Picture nominee after The Favourite. Also, shout out to my local library for showing it for freeee. Having fun isn’t hard, y’all.
The Incredibles 2
Honestly, I didn’t have very many expectations for this, even though I really like the first one. I just thought it would be a handy one to knock off my list because it’s on Netflix. AND I LIKED IT A LOT. It also made me realize that The Incredibles exist in like, the 60s.. which I never knew before.
I did not love Vice. I really liked The Big Short, so I was expecting some similar ‘quirks’ but it almost felt like a parody of itself. The performances were good. Amy Adams is the best but what else is new. I dig the message it’s giving us in terms of relevance today, but I think it could have been better. Once I started thinking about Batman, I couldn’t stop (it’s the same voice, tell me I’m wrong).
A beautiful film, there’s no question. I’m so glad I waited for it to come back to the big screen. Yalitza is captivating and I am eager to see what else she will do. So much happens, which is all very moving, but I left feeling like there was no culmination. One article that I read suggested that there is a voice missing, and I agree.
Solo: A Star Wars Story
Again, I thought.. meh, this is handy to watch because it’s on Netflix. I’m a Star Wars fan, but never got around to seeing it when it came out. Alden Ehrenreich really impressed me. Donald Glover always impresses me. I would say nothing extraordinary, but I enjoyed it. Rogue One was better.
Abducted in Plain Sight
My first non-nominee of the month, but I had no choice because this shit is fucking crazy. If you like true crime and also being utterly befuddled, 10/10 this is the ride for you.
You know when you’re having one of those days and you just have to come home and watch a documentary about gender and systemic sexism? Big mood. Keeping in mind that it’s from 2011, it’s quite good.
Can You Ever Forgive Me?
Richard E. Grant said it best when he said that Melissa McCarthy treads the tightrope of heartbreak and hilarity, which is also true of the film as a whole. It was so feisty and smart as well. I really, really recommend watching it if you haven’t yet.
Mirai was a delightful little surprise to me. I don’t have a lot of experience with Japanese animation but I was really taken with it. Very mesmerizing storytelling.
Minding the Gap
I can’t tell you how much I love this. For some reason I had a completely different idea in my head of what it was actually about, and then when I started it and they were skateboarding I was just completely swept away. You can find it on POV Docs on PBS here. It isn’t really about skateboarding so don’t let that turn you off! I’ve been watching a lot of interviews with the filmmaker Bing Liu, and the work he did and his vision is just incredible.
At Eternity’s Gate
I’m kicking myself for not seeing this in theatres. Beautiful cinematography. I liked Willem Dafoe, but his voice will forever remind me of Spider-Man, EVEN when he’s saying lovely things like this:
Space stuff gives me anxiety but it was well worth it for this. Better than La La Land in my opinion. Ryan Gosling and Claire Foy were amazing. THE SCORE!! Houston, we have a theremin. This is another one that I wish I had seen on the big screen.
Fun fact: I never knew that “the eagle has landed” was from the moon landing.
From the very first scene, I knew I would love Glenn Close’s performance. Her facial expressions alone were so evocative. Something about stories being set in Stockholm is so appealing; it’s like it heightens every emotion and the vibe is so cold, in a great way. I bet the novel is amazing.
The chemistry between Tomasz Kot and Joanna Kulig was everything. I didn’t find it very ‘romantic’ per se, but it was definitely a passionate story and I liked the dark humour as well. Beautifully shot, and I didn’t expect the ending at all.
I might have been slightly underwhelmed, but I did like it. I found some of the dialogue and delivery a bit unnatural, particularly between Toller and Mary. I’m not sure if that could have been intentional or not? I do love the amount of symbolism, and that the story lends itself so well to analysis. My personal interpretation of the ending is that he really did drop it, but she wasn’t actually there. I’d be curious to rewatch it.
Isle of Dogs
Wes Anderson you SCOUNDREL. The world building – literally and figuratively – in this movie is bananas. I thought to myself multiple times: oh wait, is this animated, or stop motion? No yeah it’s anima- wait.. it’s stop motion?! The score, the humour, the heart, the wit. The puppies! When Atari calls Chief a good boy!!
Coming out the other side of the Oscars feels like waking up from a nap and not knowing who you are or what year it is.
Am I glad that this year in particular is over? You bet. Am I ready to do it all again starting right now? YOU BET.