Showing posts from February, 2016

In My Opinion: How Spotlight won Best Picture

To the surprise of many, the docu-drama Spotlight swooped in and plucked the Oscar for best picture out of the Revenant's hands at last night's ceremony. Being the first best picture winner since The Greatest Show on Earth in 1953 to win only one other Oscar, how did Spotlight win?
1. It is a David and Goliath story

Spotlight follows the story of a lowly team of Boston Globe journalists attempting to investigate the powerful Catholic Church, pitting the tiny Spotlight team against the might of the deeply Church. In fact, this is a common theme among a number of this year's contenders: The Big Short fights the bankers, Mad Max revolves around the struggle of the "wives" against their oppressors, Bridge of Spies fights for justice against the Russian and American intelligence agencies while The Martian deals with Nasa bureaucracy. It is clear that the struggle against the many is a favourite theme within the academy.

2.It has an impressive ensemble cast

Mark Ruffalo, R…

In My Opinion: The Oscars

Marred by controversy and promising a number of hotly contested awards, all eyes will be on Hollywood once again come Sunday night. Here is a look at this year's Academy Awards and my perspective on the all-important categories.

Best Actress 
I cannot see anyone else having much of a chance in this category after seeing Room. Brie Larson gave an extraordinarily real and heartbreaking performance as Joy Newsome and is one that I feel will stick with all who saw it for a very long time. Both Charlotte Rampling and Saoirse Ronan received high praise from many in 45 Years and Brooklyn respectively, but Larson was on another level for me.

Should Win: Brie Larson
Will Win: Brie Larson

Best Actor
DiCaprio's brutal and extremely physical performance as Hugh Glass gave the Revenant much of its power and raw, unforgiving nature. The actor displayed both the hunger and desire for revenge through a tough, often painful to watch performance. Truly unique.

Should Win: Leonardo DiCaprio
Will Win: Le…

Oscars Season: Spotlight

In 2001, the investigative section of the Boston Globe known as Spotlight were tasked with exploring claims that a number of priests from the Catholic Church had sexually abused children without punishment. Due to the importance of the Church within the city and the seemingly impenetrable nature of the organisation, the group of journalists were initially sceptical and doubtful that their work would come to anything. Tom McCarthy's film reveals how the Spotlight team subsequently uncovered the shocking truth surrounding the Church and their Priesthood, with major consequences.
The film handles the gravitas of its subject matter well, provoking equal measures of horror and anger with every new case. There is little sugar-coating to be found here and, unlike many modern day dramatisations, every event seems believable and no turn is left to blind coincidence. Phone calls and interviews leave us hanging on every word, piecing together the sheer scale of the situation. There is little …

Oscars Season: The Big Short

Straight from minute one, The Big Short fires on all cylinders. A barrage of economic buzzwords, skyrocketing sums and the Wall Street buzz light up the screen, threatening to leave you behind if you miss but a single word. Then, a few minutes in, Jared Vennett (Ryan Gosling) turns to the camera, suddenly realising how lost we all are. Enter Margot Robbie being served champagne in a bubble bath to explain what the heck is going on. Even though it is little more than a brief cameo, this gives a pretty good idea about what kind of film The Big Short is.

But fear not, this is no wannabe Wolf of Wall Street clone. This is an entirely different kettle of economically unstable fish. Taking on the job of translating the financial crash of 2008 into a gripping drama, director Adam McKay strikes a well-measured balance of comedy and tragedy to create an engaging docu-drama that is executed with plenty of panache. 

Gosling, Christian Bale and Steve Carrel all impress as the "antiheroes"…