Showing posts from January, 2016

Oscars Season: Room

Adapted from Emma Donoghue's novel of the same title, Room revolves around Joy (Brie Larson) and her son Jack (Jacob Tremblay), imprisoned in a cramped, grimy room by "Old Nick" (a character most comparable to the real life psychopath Josef Fritzl). Shut off from the outside world for years, Jack has no idea of the outside world and knows solely of "room," while Joy is all too aware of their sick-minded torturer and the abhorrent life that he has subjected them to.

Larson and Tremblay deliver two of the greatest performances in recent memory and are so completely believable and so completely enveloped in their characters that they elevate Room from a brilliant film to the heady heights of Oscar winning sublimity. The chemistry between the two is perfect to such a degree that the barrier of performance appears to disappear and they are their characters. While Larson is flawless and impressively subtle as Joy's existence seemingly collapses around her and her …

Oscars Season: The Revenant


The Revenant is a feat of the human spirit and pushes the boundaries of possibility, both in its subject matter and its production. A year on from his Oscar victory for Birdman, director Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu has somehow outdone himself, gathering a stellar cast of actors and subjecting them to some of the harshest of conditions and climates to create a sensory thrill ride that plumbs the very depths of humanity and the overwhelming power of nature. I have never felt as physically exhausted and emotionally drained from a film.
We follow a group of fur traders fleeing from an encroaching army of Native Americans when Hugh Glass (Leonardo DiCaprio) is attacked by a bear and abandoned by the others, leaving him on the brink of death and seeking revenge. The majority of the running time is spent with Glass, as he attempts to survive the harsh American winter and escape from both the French and Native American armies. It is also interesting to note that the film is loo…

Oscars Season: Creed

In 1976, a little known film named Rocky sweeped the 49th Academy Awards, winning best picture and best director to the surprise of the whole world. "How did this low budget project about a rags to riches boxer, fronted by little known actor Sylvester Stallone, steal the limelight from such high profile films as Network and Taxi Driver?" was the question on everyone's lips. Life mirrored art as Rocky the underdog defied the odds and rose to fame...

...40 years later and the story is very different. Four sequels followed in an attempt to capture the original's success but they failed to find success and the box office diminished upon every installment. Up stepped young director Ryan Coogler, promising to offer the series a fresh spin and a new lease of life. Stallone was initially reluctant to return to his much loved character but was convinced by the direction the new film would take...

...Creed follows the illegitimate son of Rocky's infamous rival Apollo Creed, …

You're Next

2011's You're Next is a much welcomed joy, a surprising twist on the by-the-numbers horror formula that delivers shocks and screams with excellent efficiency. The film revolves around the estranged Davison family, who are gathering together in a rural mansion getaway in an attempt to heal the fractures between them. Of course, this is to little success, with arguments soon following and as the tension reaches boiling point, chaos is truly unleashed with deadlier ramifications. 

Much of the film could perhaps best be described as Saw meets The Purge, though that would be doing something of a disservice to director Adam Wingard's creation considering the unoriginality of the latter. The subtle opening heightens the ensuing chaos and brutal gore brilliantly, with the deadly invasion dwarfing the family arguments of before. Strong performances from all mean that every fresh bloodshed holds impact and emphasises the visible destruction of the family. 

However, just as it looks li…