Brie Larson and Jacob Tremblay star in “Room.” (Ruth Hurl/Element Pictures)
The tension watching the movie “Room” is incredibly palpable. You can’t help but cheer for Jack and his Mom to escape the tiny shed their captor has trapped them in for years.
The performances – and the movie itself – are haunting, gripping, and deserving of all the award-season praise they received.
You feel the claustrophobia and the dread sinking in as the movie confines you to the same space they’ve been confined in. There are no flashbacks. No glances outside the room. Nothing but the grim misery of life inside “Room” as Jack and Ma try to come up with their escape plan.
As one such plan is set in motion my wife and I were literally yelling at the TV in nervous agony.
Warning – Spoilers for the movie follow after the jump:
It doesn’t matter. It doesn’t matter what people think. You know what you did.
Tom Hanks’ character James Donovan utters these words to a young POW towards the end of the excellent movie “Bridge Of Spies”. The soldier had been trying to explain to Donovan that he did not waver from his loyalty to America during his captivity.
What Donovan tells the young man is that the opinions of others don’t amount too much in the long run. People will think what they want to think. What truly matters is what your conscience tells you. That’s all you can really control.
This is exactly how we’ve seen Donovan go about his business over the course of the film. The opinions of his bosses and his enemies don’t matter much to him. He simply wants to do what he believes is right for the good of his clients. Continue reading →
Imagine a Hollywood director obtaining the raw footage of your childhood. Pretend everything you did between age 6 and 18 was caught on film and someone wanted to piece together a 3 hour movie of your story.
What do you think the director would find? What do you think would be the story of your youth?
That’s the question director Richard Linklater tries to answer in his fascinating film experiment “Boyhood”, the front-runner in this year’s Academy Awards race.
You’ve probably heard by now the way Linklater gathered the same cast together for a week every year for 12 years to shoot the story about an ordinary boy growing up. It’s a well-deserving Best Picture candidate, and not just for the incredibly creative gimmick.
What’s truly beautiful about “Boyhood” is the way it captures just how important the ordinary moments in our life are.Continue reading →
With such loud and showy movies as “Gravity”, “The Wolf of Wall Street”, and “American Hustle” battling it out for Best Picture at The Academy Awards this year, it’s amazing to look back at the big award winner of 2012.
2 years ago “The Artist”, a black and white (and mostly silent) film took home Best Picture at The Oscars.
“The Artist” was a true throwback to the golden days of Hollywood. It was the first black and white film to win Best Picture in 50 years.
Black and white films resonate with people in ways color ones never will. Black and white speaks to something in the soul. It sparks memories of the olden days when life seemed simpler.
Black and white is simple. It is story and beauty at its most basic. There is something true in it.
Yet black and white movies are intimidating to some people. Some people won’t watch a movie if it’s in black and white. They think it’s outdated. As if a movie needs to have color and sound and CGI to be worth watching. Continue reading →
The Oscars will be missing something this year – the greatest actor of our generation.
Despite two highly-regarded performances – as the title character in the harrowing “Captain Phillips” and as the legendary Walt Disney in “Saving Mr. Banks” – somehow Tom Hanks missed out on an Oscar nomination this year.
What’s the deal here? I must admit I have not seen many of the Oscar nominated films this year, including “Saving Mr. Banks”. And I know there’s only so many spots that can go out there for nominations.
But have you seen “Captain Phillips”? Tom Hanks is incredible as a reserved ship captain trying to maintain order as Somali pirates hijack his boat. The last scene where Hanks finally releases all the pent-up emotion he’s been carrying through the movie is an acting masterclass.
Even as someone who expects Tom Hanks to deliver an excellent performance in every movie, I was still blown away by his work in “Captain Phillips”.
I think maybe that’s why Tom Hanks didn’t get nominated for an Oscar this year. I think everyone who’s seen “Forrest Gump” and “Saving Private Ryan” and even “You’ve Got Mail” recognizes how awesome Tom Hanks is.
So when Tom Hanks does his usual excellent work, the audience is not surprised. There’s no overwhelming movement to honor what this amazing actor is doing because the world has been recognizing his outstanding work for decades.
I think we take Tom Hanks for granted. I know I take God for granted too. Continue reading →
I had known the movie critic and film scholar was nearing death for years, as we all had. When news broke that Roger was stepping back from his reviews for the time being due to his cancer recurring, I was afraid the end might come within days.
I was right. Just a day after he announced he was cutting back on his duties, Roger Ebert passed away.
Here’s a test to answer that looming question we all ask ourselves at one time or another – Am I crazy?:
Look in the mirror.
Do you see a reflection?
If yes, then you are crazy.
We’re all crazy in our own little ways. It’s just a matter of figuring out which type of crazy we are.
Silver Linings Playbook (the best movie I’ve seen from 2012) is a movie about mental illness, the different ways people cope with their craziness, and how they find the silver linings amidst all the negative turns life takes.
Everyone in the movie is unbalanced in their own special way. There’s Bradley Cooper’s bipolar divorcee, and Robert DeNiro’s obsessive-compulsive football fan, and Jennifer Lawrence’s unhinged widow. Even the psychiatrist waves his crazy flag as a face-painting Philadelphia Eagles fan.
I liked the movie so much because I think it’s pretty true to life. God didn’t make any person perfect. He created us all a little quirky. Continue reading →