Tagged 2018

The 2019 Oscar-Nominated Shorts: Animated (Various, 2017-2018)

Animal Behaviour (Snowden & Fine, 2018) This starts off cute enough, as much as the pairing of disorders with animals is painfully on-the-nose. The leech has separation anxiety! The praying mantis is bad at relationships! Et cetera. There’s not much of an attempt to be clever, which is what I was hoping for. Unfortunately, the…

Mirai (Mamoru, 2018)

This is quite the shocking development for me, since I truly thought Mirai was going to be my deserving underdog for the Oscar this year. It’s hard not to root for Japanese anime whenever it’s nominated. It’s usually of much better quality than what the American studios have to offer. But all those nominees were from Studio…

RBG (West & Cohen, 2018)

I shall play the role of sober judge while writing this review, because Ruth Bader Ginsburg would want me to do nothing less. And so, while I admit RBG is highly entertaining and teeming with warmth for its subject, it’s also one of those documentaries that turns a Wikipedia entry into an audiovisual presentation. When it’s done…

At Eternity’s Gate (Schnabel, 2018)

Another year, another Vincent van Gogh film. Hot on the heels of last year’s Loving Vincent (a film animated in the style of van Gogh’s paintings), At Eternity’s Gate looks at the final years of the artist’s short life, when he moved to the small villages of Arles and Auvers sur-Oise to paint the natural landscapes. It was in…

Predicting the 91st Academy Awards: The Nominations

Best Picture Gwilym Lee & Rami Malek in BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY — courtesy of 20th Century Fox LOCKS: BlacKkKlansman; The Favourite; Green Book; Roma; A Star is Born. LIKELY: Black Panther; Bohemian Rhapsody; Vice. COIN-TOSS: Cold War; First Man; If Beale Street Could Talk; Mary Poppins Returns. DOUBT IT: At Eternity’s Gate; The Ballad of Buster Scruggs; Boy Erased;…

Incredibles 2 (Bird, 2018)

I’m very fond of the first Incredibles film, and by and large, its sequel is a welcome return. The characters are much the same as we’ve left them, as are their voice actors. Their personalities continue to shine through. Bird’s action sets remain dazzling, full of force and verve that keeps you entertained. And, in a bit…

A Simple Favor (Feig, 2018)

I’ve been sitting on this film for almost a day now, trying to figure out what to write about it. My mental list just has the words KENDRICK, LIVELY, COSTUMES and DIABOLIQUE scribbled in earnest, and I must say, I loved so much of it. So much of it, in fact, that I fear this…

Beautiful Boy (van Groeningen, 2018)

I respect the issues Beautiful Boy tackles. Drug addiction is a serious epidemic that everyone should inform themselves about. Every individual struggle matters. Lives are at stake, and they can be saved with the understanding of a strong support system and the resources available for recovery. All that goes without saying. As a film, Beautiful Boy unfortunately falls victim…

Mary Poppins Returns (Marshall, 2018)

Mary Poppins Returns begins with a very traditional opening number, before revealing very traditional opening credits with an overture in the vein of the original. It is a clear jump into the past, and an age when filmmaking was ornate in its charms and looked to largess in order to please. Rob Marshall understandably wants to…

Skate Kitchen (Moselle, 2018)

I felt some kinship with the lead character of Skate Kitchen. For a while, anyway. Making her introverted and socially awkward was a good decision on the creative team’s part, because it colors the story differently. It’s more tentative and fragile, because Camille’s acceptance into the skater collective is not immediate. She is always depicted as…

Mission: Impossible – Fallout (McQuarrie, 2018)

Fallout brings little that is new to the Mission: Impossible franchise. It also brings everything that is new. It’s not a contradiction as you would assume. To the first point, it follows similar currents that the other films established, such as death-defying missions with death-defying stunts, villains wanting to overturn the current world order, the reliable sidekicks (Pegg,…

The ABC Murders (Gabassi, 2018)

Sarah Phelps does not hold Agatha Christie as sacrosanct, that much is for certain. Her fourth BBC adaptation of the Queen of Crime is, like the ones before it, a version stripped of the source material’s cozy charms. It is, in fact, her most anti-nostalgic adaptation to date, drawing distinguishable parallels between the rise of…

Vice (McKay, 2018)

It’s been several hours now since I watched Vice, and my opinion of it has dropped as the time passed. In the moment, it is compulsively watchable. You see McKay hitting highs and lows (frequently from one scene to the next), and the kinesis of his style prevents one from drifting off into space. Even when…

The Favourite (Lanthimos, 2018)

I can’t say I was absolutely loving Yorgos Lanthimos’ latest curio about twenty minutes in. A lot is established very quickly, and Lanthimos seems to jump right into his trademark weirdness rather than let it simmer over. For instance, I thought putting the duck race in the first act, when the tone hasn’t been quite set, was…

Sorry to Bother You (Riley, 2018)

The angry and confrontational nature of Sorry to Bother You is its best feature, there’s no question about it. The anti-capitalist, pro-labour mindset being espoused is not filtered or watered down, and Riley’s absurdist touches help make it stick in memorable ways. I mean, yes, the twisted climax is one of them, but the idea of a…