Category: Oscar Contenders

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Brooklyn: Beauty in duality

Describing “Brooklyn” to someone who has never heard of the Oscar-nominated film based on the novel of the same name by Colm Toibin isn’t as easy of a task as one might think. It would be a gross over-simplification to call the film a romance period piece where a young Irish immigrant named Eilis – played by Academy Award nominee Saoirse Ronan – falls … Read More Brooklyn: Beauty in duality

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The Revenant: DiCaprio’s lead performance Oscar-worthy

As you’re sitting in the theater watching Leonardo DiCaprio eating raw bison liver, it’s hard not to wonder to what lengths perhaps the greatest actor never to win an Academy Award will go in pursuit of his art. Once you’ve seen “The Revenant” – the closest thing to an absolute lock for a Best Picture Oscar Hollywood produced in 2015 – go online and … Read More The Revenant: DiCaprio’s lead performance Oscar-worthy

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The Hateful Eight: Frontier western offers best, worst of cinema

Quentin Tarantino just isn’t for everyone. His most ardent fans – ones who’ve seen “Reservoir Dogs” and “Pulp Fiction” countless times and can quote “True Romance” by heart even though Tarantino just wrote the script – would argue that the director is a cinematic icon and leading provocateur for this generation of filmmakers. Others would argue that Tarantino’s movies overtly glamorize violence to the … Read More The Hateful Eight: Frontier western offers best, worst of cinema

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Joy: Jennifer Lawrence makes Oscar contender work

You’re sitting at home on a Tuesday evening relaxing in front of the television and the trailer for “Joy” – one of seven new releases to come out over the Christmas holidays – came on. You probably had little to no idea what the hell you just saw. It’s a film with Jennifer Lawrence and she’s shooting a shotgun and for some reason there’s … Read More Joy: Jennifer Lawrence makes Oscar contender work

Spotlight: Journalism docudrama an instant classic

Every once in a while, a movie comes along that shows its viewers the power of no-frills, no-nonsense drama in a way that just smacks you in the face, shakes you awake and says “This is what good cinema is truly about.” “Spotlight” is one of those films. Tom McCarthy’s film, based on a script he co-wrote with Josh Singer, follows the four person … Read More Spotlight: Journalism docudrama an instant classic

Beasts of No Nation: Netflix bursts into Oscar race with thrilling drama

Netflix is changing the entertainment business. Again. After revolutionizing how we consume home video with their DVD mailing and online streaming services, the Internet mega-power broke barriers with their original television content, winning Emmys for “House of Cards” and “Orange is the New Black.” This massive change allowed viewers to binge watch an entire season within days of watching the season premiere while never … Read More Beasts of No Nation: Netflix bursts into Oscar race with thrilling drama

Steve Jobs: Perception isn’t reality with Apple founder biopic

Steve Jobs was an innovator. The man behind the iPod, iMac and one of the enduring beacons of the tech industry hasn’t been gone five years and Hollywood’s already on their second biopic about the enigmatic and fractured genius. Two years ago, an independent feature with actor/model/Jobs-lookalike Ashton Kutcher as the Apple co-founder was released to little fanfare and critical derision despite a solid … Read More Steve Jobs: Perception isn’t reality with Apple founder biopic

Black Mass: Depp, Edgerton shine in ensemble gangster flick

Johnny Depp is different things to different people. He’s borderline flamboyant, swashbuckling pirate Johnny Depp to many filmgoers; undercover teen cop Johnny Depp to an older generation and an enigmatic Mad Hatter Johnny Depp to a much younger subsect of audiences. There’s no mistaking that the charming when he wants to be, brooding when he needs to be and enigmatic always Johnny Depp feels … Read More Black Mass: Depp, Edgerton shine in ensemble gangster flick

Straight Outta Compton: Rap supergroup featured in new biopic

Hollywood has struggled in recent years with developing a broad appeal for its critically popular staple of biographical films, dubbed “biopics,” despite large portions of accolades being heaped upon the genre which brought us Eddie Redmayne’s Oscar-winning portrayal of Stephen Hawking in the little seen “Theory of Everything.” For every Bradley Cooper and Clint Eastwood helmed “American Sniper,” there’s at least a half dozen … Read More Straight Outta Compton: Rap supergroup featured in new biopic

Inside Out: Pixar returns to animated genre with maturity

If Christopher Nolan made a children’s movie, it might end up something very similar to “Inside Out,” the latest Disney/Pixar blockbuster to hit theaters. The ultimate thinking man’s kids’ film (both figuratively and literally), director Pete Docter’s third feature film is incredibly layered and cerebral in much more complex ways than his other features, 2001’s “Monsters, Inc.” and 2009’s “Up.” On the surface, “Inside … Read More Inside Out: Pixar returns to animated genre with maturity

Mad Max Fury Road: Brutally carving roadmap to quality sequels

Two films espousing feminist ideas broke through in a big way commercially last week, but it’s the movie franchise you’d least suspect that does the best job of celebrating women in cinema. In fact, it’s just a better movie all the way around. Don’t look now, but George Miller, the director behind the Mel Gibson-led “Road Warrior” trilogy, is back with a new installment … Read More Mad Max Fury Road: Brutally carving roadmap to quality sequels

Woman In Gold: The allure of a golden woman

It’s still the time of year where movies just seem to run together in a way that makes them devoid of anything special or unique. Though Hollywood isn’t quite out of this annual funk, the cinematic landscape is starting to escape from the winter wasteland where films go to die and emerging in a spring season that gives moviegoers hope for a quality 2015. … Read More Woman In Gold: The allure of a golden woman