Category Archives: 2019 Movies

OscarPass Day Six

Last few movies—I rewatched BlacKkKlansman and saw Green Book.

BlacKkKlansman is my favorite of this year’s Oscar batch. It’s so fun and clever and does an amazing job of tying racist behavior through the decades. Things are better but not great. I hope Spike Lee wins Best Director but am not optimistic.

Watching that and Green Book in the same day was probably not my best idea because Green Book looked even worse in comparison. It’s not a particularly horrible movie (it’s got great acting, especially from Mahershala Ali) but it’s very predictable. You’ll call everything well before it happens. And it’s not only not deserving of winning Best Picture (which it did) but by far the worst of the nominated movies.

For me personally, I am not interested in seeing a movie about racism that centers white people. I also don’t like the “friendship solves racism!” trope.

Ranking with quality:

1) The Favourite

2) BlacKkKlansman

3) Black Panther

4) A Star is Born

5) Roma

6) Bohemian Rhapsody

7) Vice

8) Green Book

Ranking with preference:

1) BlacKkKlansman

2) The Favourite

3) Black Panther

4) Bohemian Rhapsody

5) A Star is Born

6) Vice

7) Roma

8) Green Book

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OscarPass Day Five

We saw A Star is Born. I hate that everyone talks about Lady Gaga’s performance because I feel like Bradley Cooper really makes this movie. He can do so much with a look or line of dialogue. He made everything look effortless.

I want to see it again because I think I’ll appreciate it more the second time.

Ranking with quality:

1) The Favourite

2) Black Panther

3) A Star is Born

4) Roma

5) Bohemian Rhapsody

6) Vice

Ranking with preference:

1) The Favourite

2) Black Panther

3) Bohemian Rhapsody

4) A Star is Born

5) Vice

6) Roma

OscarPass Day Four

My mom and I saw Bohemian Rhapsody. (Nominated for Best Picture and Best Actor; Rami Malek is almost definitely winning Best Actor for his portrayal of Freddie Mercury.)

I enjoyed this one so much more than I was expecting to. The music was really good and the acting was phenomenal (especially from Rami Malek). I don’t think it’ll win Best Picture (and I don’t think it should) but I’m fine with it getting Best Actor.

Ranking with quality:

1) The Favourite

2) Black Panther

3) Roma

4) Bohemian Rhapsody

5) Vice

Ranking with preference:

1) The Favourite

2) Black Panther

3) Bohemian Rhapsody

4) Vice

5) Roma

Oscars: Best Actress

I watched The Wife and Can You Ever Forgive Me?, neither of which were nominated for Best Picture.

The Wife will probably be what gets Glenn Close her Oscar. I’m fine with that, although I think that if we’re being honest, Olivia Colman (in The Favourite) and Melissa McCarthy (in Can You Ever Forgive Me?) did better jobs.

The Wife was almost an inverse of Vice. Both women are largely responsible for their husbands’ successes; the difference, of course, is that Joan in The Wife is a much more pleasant person and a much less mercenary one.

Can You Ever Forgive Me? has one of the least likable main characters in recent memory, but I loved her anyway. It’s darkly funny and very, very compelling. (The Wife, on the other hand, is well done and I enjoyed it, but it also went exactly how I expected it to go. The Favourite and Can You Ever Forgive Me? were much more surprising.)

I still need to see A Star is Born, but I can’t imagine thinking Lady Gaga will deserve the Oscar and you already know how I feel about Roma.

OscarPass Day Three

My mom and I saw Vice. It’s nominated for Best Picture, Christian Bale is nominated for Best Actor and Amy Adams and Sam Rockwell got best supporting nods.

It’s weird. We all know that Dick Cheney isn’t a great person, right? But it turns out he’s worse than we thought. I’m sure the movie was thoroughly vetted by lawyers, but they didn’t provide sources. I’m guessing a lot of conservatives will say it’s all made up but I’m pretty sure they also won’t see the movie at all.

I didn’t love this movie but the acting is amazing. I agree with the acting nods but don’t agree with the Best Picture nomination. Christian Bale is obviously amazing but Amy Adams is fantastic and plays against type.

Ranking with quality:

1) The Favourite

2) Black Panther

3) Roma

4) Vice

Ranking with preference:

1) The Favourite

2) Black Panther

3) Vice

4) Roma

OscarPass Day Two

Black Panther:

How to watch: It’s on Netflix.

My thoughts: This is the second time I’ve seen this movie (the first was when I was doing OscarPass last year!) and it has really held up. It’s my favorite Marvel movie and I liked it even better this time. I’m sure everyone’s seen it by now, so there’s not much to say. I don’t think it’ll win Best Picture…but if there’s a shocking winner, I hope that it’s this one.

Ranking in terms of quality:

1) The Favourite

2) Black Panther

3)  Roma

Ranking in terms of my preference:

1) Black Panther

2) The Favourite

3) Roma

 

OscarPass Day One

Monday, I watched The Favourite and Roma.

The Favourite:

How to watch: Some theaters may have re-released it ahead of the Oscars; otherwise, you’ll have to buy it on streaming.

My thoughts: This is the Heathers/Dangerous Liaisons mashup I didn’t know I needed. I love absolutely everything about this movie, and it is an actual delight. I hope that Glenn Close and Regina King win the acting Oscars this year, but if they go to someone else, I hope that it’s to the women from The Favourite. (I think Emma Stone should win over Rachel Weisz, but both women did amazing jobs.) I expected to enjoy it but it was much better than I was even expecting.

Roma:

How to watch: It’s on Netflix.

My thoughts: I tried very hard to like this movie and I couldn’t do it. There are plenty of movies I love that are foreign films or in black and white or are deliberately paced or have a cast that is either entirely or mostly horrible people. It’s not any of that, I don’t think. It just didn’t work for me at all. And honestly, I can’t think of another movie that I absolutely hated the way I hate Roma.

Ranking in terms of quality:

1) The Favourite

2) Roma

Ranking in terms of my preference:

1) The Favourite

2) Roma

 

Oscars 2019: Best Documentary

As usual, five movies were nominated for Best Documentary: Free Solo, Hale County This Morning, This Evening, Minding the Gap, Of Fathers and Sons and RBG. I haven’t seen any of them before.

Free Solo:

How to watch: This is the only one you’ll have to pay to see; you can buy it on Amazon, Vudu, iTunes or wherever you stream your movies.

My thoughts: I am really not good with heights which means that the end of this movie gave me an actual panic attack. (I would’ve had to leave if I saw it in the theater; as it was, I had to keep pausing for a few minutes.) This is a fascinating story and an intense one. I think it will win the Oscar and I am fine with that.

Hale County This Morning, This Evening:

How to watch: It’s available on PBS; I added the channel to my Roku and watched. You don’t need to have any sort of cable subscription.

My thoughts:  This isn’t like any other documentary I’ve seen. It’s more of a slice of life and series of vignettes, though we do follow the same people. It’s about a black community in Hale County (Alabama) and it is interesting and also hard to watch. Also (and this is a spoiler but I wish I had been warned) a baby dies of SIDS and we have no reason to suspect it’s coming whatsoever. I don’t think this one will win, and that makes me sad. I don’t know that I think that it’s the best of the five, but it’s definitely the one that took the most risks.

Minding the Gap:

How to watch: It’s on Hulu.

My thoughts: If you had told me this morning that I would love a documentary about guys who skateboard, I would have laughed in your face. Of course there’s a lot more going on than that (generational trauma, domestic violence, racism, poverty) and it’s impossible not to care about these guys (and Nina and Elliott, the girlfriend and son of Zack, one of the featured men). This caught me off guard and, while I don’t think it’ll win the Oscar, I think it definitely should.

Of Fathers and Sons:

How to watch: You can stream for free on Kanopy; you only need a library card to access.

My thoughts: I knew going in that a documentary about a man who is raising his children to want sharia law was going to be hard to watch. That’s a complete understatement, as it turns out. This is very well done and is as disconcerting as it should be, but this was too much for me. I’m very glad I saw it, though.

RBG:

How to watch: It’s on Hulu.

My thoughts: I fully expected to love this movie, and I did. She’s one of only a handful of people who has actually changed history and I don’t think any of us can overstate her importance. At the same time, this documentary shows a more personal side to her and everything about it is amazing.

Ranking them in terms of quality:

1) Free Solo

2) Minding the Gap

3) RBG

4) Of Fathers and Sons

5) Hale County This Morning, This Evening

Ranking them in terms of my preference:

1) Minding the Gap

2) RBG

3) Free Solo

4) Hale County This Morning, This Evening

5) Of Fathers and Sons

OscarPass (year two)

I’ve decided that I’m going to do OscarPass again, and I’m trying to figure out the best way to do it.

Roma isn’t going to play near me, which sucks. But I have Netflix, so I’ll watch that during that week, too. (It’s Feb. 18-24.)

The shorts will have the documentary ones, too. I wasn’t a huge fan last year, but I’m trying again because a lot of them look really interesting. BUT I’m pretty sure I’ll also be in the theater for basically four or five hours just for those.

The unfortunate thing is that most movies are only showing twice, so it makes it a lot harder to see everything. (But not for me, because I took most of that week off work.)

I’m not sure if I will do a summary the morning after or if I’ll do a big recap (which is what I did last year). Either way, I’m starting to get really excited to see all of the best picture nominees. So far, I’ve only seen Black Panther and BlacKkKlansman but I loved both. I’m also hoping to see The Wife (I hope this is Glenn Close’s year!).

 

2019 Oscar Nominations

Happy Oscar Nominations Day!

This is my third favorite day of the year (behind Halloween and actual Oscars day). I haven’t seen a lot of these, so I’ve bolded what I think will win and italicized what I want to win.

BEST PICTURE:

Black Panther

BlacKkKlansman

Bohemian Rhapsody

The Favourite

Green Book

Roma

A Star is Born

Vice

BEST DIRECTOR:

Spike Lee, BlacKkKlansman

Paweł Pawlikowski, Cold War

Yorgos Lanthimos, The Favourite

Alfonso Cuaron, Roma

Adam McKay, Vice

BEST ACTOR:

Christian Bale, Vice

Bradley Cooper, A Star is Born

Willem Dafoe, At Eternity’s Gate

Rami Malek, Bohemian Rhapsody

Viggo Mortensen, Green Book

BEST ACTRESS:

Yalitza Aparicio, Roma

Glenn Close, Wife (it will be Glenn or Olivia Colman, I think)

Olivia Colman, The Favourite

Lady Gaga, A Star is Born

Melissa McCarthy, Can You Ever Forgive Me

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR:

Mahershali Ali, Green Book

Adam Driver, BlacKkKlansman

Sam Elliott, A Star is Born

Richard E. Grant, Can You Ever Forgive Me

Sam Rockwell, Vice

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS:

Amy Adams, Vice

Marina de Tavira, Roma

Regina King, If Beale Street Could Talk

Emma Stone, The Favourite

Rachel Weisz, The Favorite

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY:

The Favourite

First Reformed

Green Book

Roma

Vice

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY:

The Ballad of Buster Scruggs

BlacKkKlansman

Can You Ever Forgive Me?

If Beale Street Could Talk

A Star is Born