Category: Oscar Contenders

Selma, The Imitation Game: Strong leads pace Oscar-nominated biopics

There’s no reason not to like “Selma,” the Ava DuVernay-helmed drama which chronicles the civil rights march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama, during the 1960s led by captivating activist Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. British actor David Oyelowo makes the most of a poorly outlined script by first time screen-writer Paul Webb, largely succeeding in the attempt to provide a larger picture of King … Read More Selma, The Imitation Game: Strong leads pace Oscar-nominated biopics

American Sniper: Compelling Cooper performance stuns audiences

By now, if you haven’t seen or heard about Clint Eastwood’s epic war drama “American Sniper,” odds are good that the cell phone reception on that deserted island you’ve been living on is spotty at best. The drama kicked off its national release with six Academy Award nominations — including Best Picture and Best Actor for Bradley Cooper — and completely dominated the cinematic … Read More American Sniper: Compelling Cooper performance stuns audiences

Revisiting Boyhood: ‘I just thought there’d be more’

Coming-of-age films are nothing new. Boy starts out young and naïve, things happen, boy matures, end of film. Filmmakers have always circumnavigated lengthy time jumps in these sort of movies by casting multiple actors to play the same part at different ages. In the case of the Golden Globe-winning drama “Boyhood,” director Richard Linklater took the slow approach, filming segments of his movie over … Read More Revisiting Boyhood: ‘I just thought there’d be more’

Into The Woods: Misunderstood film an above-average movie musical

Many audiences have left the Disney-produced fairy tale film, “Into the Woods,” disappointed and with little right to be. Certainly, the studio is to fault for not clearing up the confusion surrounding the film. Too many people have left screenings surprised they just watched a musical and many others probably were in shock when the film doesn’t end with Cinderella’s marriage to the prince. … Read More Into The Woods: Misunderstood film an above-average movie musical

Wild: Witherspoon delivers Oscar worthy performance

Some films are designed for escapism, a chance to remove the viewer from the everyday grind and stresses of real life and pull them into somewhere new and exciting. Other films are meant to draw the viewer into a cinematic experience, offering us something to learn from along the way. Cheryl Strayed’s true-life story of a newly single woman hiking the 1,100 mile Pacific … Read More Wild: Witherspoon delivers Oscar worthy performance

The Theory of Everything: Hawking biopic astounds

Eddie Redmayne better be nominated for an Academy Award. He might not win, but with a pitch-perfect performance requiring such specific nuance in physicality, Redmayne certainly deserves acclaim for his turn as famed physicist Stephen Hawking in the British drama “The Theory of Everything.” An hour into the film, it’s all too easy to forget that Redmayne is an actor portraying a character on … Read More The Theory of Everything: Hawking biopic astounds

Birdman (or the Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance): Keaton shines in superhero actor rebound

It isn’t quite fair to say Michael Keaton is back thanks to his often brilliant performance in “Birdman (or The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) because, despite his long absence, Keaton has never performed at this high a level. Fact melds well with fiction as Keaton’s struggles to overcome the shadow of his role as Batman parallel his character Riggan’s difficulty separating himself mentally from … Read More Birdman (or the Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance): Keaton shines in superhero actor rebound

Whiplash: Strike up the band for visual jazz experience

How can you see jazz? It’s easy to hear and a delight to listen to, but how can one visualize jazz in pictures rather than sounds? Is it in a contrast of colors? Harsh browns and tans counterbalancing bright hues of blue? The dueling colors of black and white intermixing like yin and yang. The best independent film of our time — winner of … Read More Whiplash: Strike up the band for visual jazz experience

Interstellar: Christopher Nolan hits space odyssey out of the park

Epic. Everything about the space odyssey “Interstellar” crafted from the mind of director Christopher Nolan oozes with the grandiose brushstrokes of a supreme master of cinema. One of 2014’s best offerings, the film is a breath of fresh air in an otherwise lifeless year of filmmaking. Where most new movies lack creativity and originality, “Interstellar” bathes in it. There is no other movie like … Read More Interstellar: Christopher Nolan hits space odyssey out of the park

Nightcrawler: Gyllenhaal dominates screen in mesmerizing performance

You’ll probably need more than one viewing to fully appreciate the incredibly cerebral “Nightcrawler,” starring Jake Gyllenhaal as a neurotic loner who stumbles into a career as a “nightcrawler” — a freelance television cameraman tasked with filming crime scenes and car accidents. Though its trailer focuses more on the action, “Nightcrawler” is a fairly “talky” film, with Gyllenhaal’s Lou getting most of the movie’s … Read More Nightcrawler: Gyllenhaal dominates screen in mesmerizing performance

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Gone Girl: Chilling tale makes great use of Affleck, Pike

That subversive grin smeared across Ben Affleck’s face has been plastered all over television and social media for weeks now as “Gone Girl,” the David Fincher adaptation of the best-selling Gillian Flynn novel, hit theaters at the beginning of the month. It’s a smart marketing ploy and an ingenious casting choice by Fincher to center his film around Affleck, whose natural charm mixed with … Read More Gone Girl: Chilling tale makes great use of Affleck, Pike