Category: Oscar Contenders

The Favourite: Three queens and one crown

British political and societal dramas are often ripe with stoic, regal performances perfect for awards season acclaim. Films like the Best Picture winning “The King’s Speech” or Gary Oldman’s Oscar-winning turn in last year’s “Darkest Hour” are prime examples of major contenders coming from across the pond. This year provides moviegoers with yet another intricate examination of the British monarchy, but certainly unlike anything … Read More The Favourite: Three queens and one crown

Mary Poppins Returns: The possible impossible

Julie Andrews declined to participate in “Mary Poppins Returns,” a brand new sequel to the 1964 original film she won an Academy Award for, not because she disapproved of the project but rather to avoid being a distraction. Disney’s latest film isn’t a “Mary Poppins” redux, nor is it meant to be. While clearly influenced by the original in both tone and plot, Rob … Read More Mary Poppins Returns: The possible impossible

Roma: Memories of a childhood

Mexican filmmaker Alfonso Cuarón returns with a stunning, yet melancholic film sure to dazzle audiences who catch his latest work, “Roma,” on the big screen. Dripping in contrast thanks to its harsh black-and-white cinematography, “Roma” is a rich and searing look into Cuarón’s mind through a portrait of his childhood, and yet, chances are you’re never going to get the full “Roma” experience. Purchased … Read More Roma: Memories of a childhood

Green Book: A beginner’s guide to overcoming racism

It’s sometimes easy to forget that #OscarsSoWhite was nearly three years ago, a time when no minority actors or actresses were nominated in back-to-back Academy Award ceremonies. Movies like the Best Picture winning  “Moonlight,” “Black Panther” and “BlacKkKlansman” are proof that studios have begun empowering a wider array of filmmakers to examine new and old stories from fresh perspectives. The rise of Netflix as … Read More Green Book: A beginner’s guide to overcoming racism

Widows: A most complex crime

Don’t put “Widows” in a box. The latest film from Academy Award winner Steve McQueen isn’t just one type of movie, no matter how much it may seem to be a simple heist thriller at first glance. Chicago serves as the backdrop for the entire cinematic experience, and more than just a place for action to happen, “Widows” is a Chicago movie embedded with … Read More Widows: A most complex crime

Mid90s: Skate life imitating art

A movie about teens drinking, smoking pot and skateboarding is probably the unlikeliest of candidates to be the subject of a high-concept art film. But actor Jonah Hill’s first foray into writing and directing is nothing short of Grade-A, top shelf cinema regardless of how rebellious or controversial the subject matter might be. One of the best independent films this year, “Mid90s” is a … Read More Mid90s: Skate life imitating art

Bohemian Rhapsody: Lacking the opera of Galileos

Stomp your feet and clap your hands. It’s hard not to enjoy “Bohemian Rhapsody,” a new biopic about the engaging rock band Queen, at least on some basic level. With a soundtrack of catchy, interactive songs that have become karaoke staples and a magnetic lead performance, “Bohemian Rhapsody” is a fun crowd-pleaser to say the least. But it’s so shallow that director Bryan Singer’s … Read More Bohemian Rhapsody: Lacking the opera of Galileos

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First Man: The man behind the legend

Neil Armstrong’s achievements are universally known. Notoriously humble and private, Armstrong the man is not known nearly as well. Oscar winner Damian Chazelle’s first foray into filmmaking after the massive success of 2016’s “La La Land” the teams the filmmaker with star Ryan Gosling, who peers into the soul of Armstrong. “First Man” begins several years before Armstrong’s famous walk on the Moon and … Read More First Man: The man behind the legend

A Star Is Born: Musical romance an instant classic

Audiences will be blown away by “A Star Is Born,” the remake of a remake of a remake from first time director Bradley Cooper. This isn’t to say that the 2018 version is flawless (though it arguably comes close). But “A Star Is Born” is a whirlwind of a film that will have audiences bracing for impact, blazing out of the gate with searing … Read More A Star Is Born: Musical romance an instant classic

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The Wife: Close delivers career-best work layer by layer

“Behind every great man…” It’s a phrase used all too often to describe an underappreciated woman, yet the first word also expressly implies her place. A critical examination of this concept — both in its positive and negative suggestions — forms the basis of the latest Glenn Close film, a slow burning relationship drama that packs in the tension below layers of context and … Read More The Wife: Close delivers career-best work layer by layer

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The Children Act: Impact of a choice

Religion, morality and the law play a large role in “The Children Act,” a very exacting, almost clinical British courtroom drama. But it’s in the interpersonal relationships of the main characters where the film shines in spite of the otherwise stuffy, cold narrative. A collaboration between a group of producers including BBC Films and indie-heavyweight A24, “The Children Act” takes audiences on the other … Read More The Children Act: Impact of a choice

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BlacKkKlansman: The present in the past

Black man infiltrates Ku Klux Klan. That’s the hook for the latest Spike Lee joint, a film incredibly of the moment in spite of its 1970s era setting. With “BlacKkKlansman,” Lee is back on the scene with his most powerful and important film since “Malcolm X,” delivering two hours of gripping, masterful drama, humor and social commentary in a way only the two-time Academy … Read More BlacKkKlansman: The present in the past