Category: Oscar Contenders

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

Still Alice: Oscar contender not up to muster

What might have been a touching look at how a close-knit family deals with tragedy in the wake of the mother’s early onset Alzheimer’s diagnosis becomes a trite farce that twists the emotional knife in the backs of its viewers during the independent drama “Still Alice.” The film is most notable for Julianne Moore’s Oscar-winning performance as a 50-year-old linguistics professor who slowly loses … Read More Still Alice: Oscar contender not up to muster

What we talk about when we talk about Birdman

It shouldn’t come as a total shock that “Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)” — a very inside acting film — would continue the trend of movies like “The Artist” and “Argo,” winning the Best Picture prize at Sunday’s Academy Awards. Now three of the last five films to win the most prestigious award in Hollywood are about Hollywood, actors or some combination … Read More What we talk about when we talk about Birdman

A Most Violent Year: Quiet drama honors gangster genre

Hollywood is putting serious pocket change into remaking vintage films using modern technology for new audiences. It seems as though no film is beyond the grasp of remake-hungry directors, though there are still some movies that need to be left untouched. You just can’t remake “The Godfather.” “A Most Violent Year,” a little-seen film that the National Board of Review chose as the best … Read More A Most Violent Year: Quiet drama honors gangster genre

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