Brooklyn

Brooklyn

Synopsis: Read on IMDB

Based on the book by the same name, Brooklyn tells the story of Eilis Lacey, a young Irish woman who leaves her small town for America, in search of a better life. Her new life in Brooklyn proves challenging as Eilis tries to overcome homesickness and adapt to her new home. As time goes by she meets and falls in love with a young Italian man, but an unexpected event puts Eilis in a position where must choose between two countries and the lives that exist within. The movie stars Saoirse Ronan, Emory Cohen, Domhall Gleeson, Julie Walters, and Jim Broadbent.

Of all the award-nominated movies of the year, this one’s quite unexpected. Every other movie deals with a pretty rough topic, and although adapting to life in another country is no easy feat (speaking from experience here!), it’s by comparisson a sweet and endearing movie. What sets this movie apart is that although sweet, it’s not “sappy” like other romance stories. This is a film with depth and a lot of soul.

The biggest reason why this movie succeeds is in large part due to Saoirse Ronan’s outstanding performance. He see her character blossom from quiet and shy to bright and confident. The way that she portrays the conflict between her homeland, and this new place where she’s flourished is beautiful. No wonder she’s been nominated for every award under the sun, including the Academy Award for Best Actress.

The movie is also nominated for Best Picture. Although this a beautiful story and a very well made movie, it doesn’t seem to be a film with enough “pizzazz” to stand against its contenders. But don’t let that deter you from watching it. It’s a good, happy movie, a refreshing option in a sea of, well, grimm storylines

Deadpool – Or third time’s the charm for Ryan Reynolds

Deadpool – Or third time’s the charm for Ryan Reynolds

Synopsis: Read on IMDB

Wade Wilson is a former Special Forces turned mercenary who is subjected to a series of gruesome experiments by a sadistic scientist going by the name Ajax. After one of these experiments goes wrong and Wilson is left for dead, he discovers he know posseses accelerated healing. He adopts this persona, Deadpool, an anti-hero of sorts who hunts down for the one responsible for his suffering and nearly destroying his life. The movie, based on the comic book of the same name, stars Ryan Reynolds, Morena Baccarin, T.J. Miller, and Ed Skrein.

That was about time, Ryan Reynolds

Finally Ryan Reynolds gets into the superhero action successfully. You all know how painful it was to watch him in this hot mess of a movie, so it is an absolute delight to see him in this irreverent, snarky, and incredibly awesome comic book adaptation! Comic book lovers already knew the magic of this character and were probably very concerned with the casting of Reynolds for obvious reasons: one we’ve already mentioned, the other how he had already had a shot a this character in this other movie. Thankfully, I don’t think fans they will be disappointed.

From the opening credits, you know you’re in for a treat

This movie is an action film with a lot of comedy that will be entertaining from beginning to end. The opening credits consist Rather funny one-line description rather than actual actors and crew names, such as “God’s perfect idiot” (reference to Reynolds himself), “A hot chick” (Morena Baccarin, Deadpool’s love interest), and “The comic relief” (funnyman T.J. Miller). These credits take place over a slow-motion action scene we get to see in full fast pace a few minutes later. The movie begins in present time with the character in full costume on the hunt for the one who wronged him. We get one big flashback to how our hero got to where he is today, and then back to our anti-hero’s foul-mouthed antics. We also get to experience the character’s typical breaking of the fourth wall. There are plenty of those moments and all hilarious!
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The veredict?

Writing this post makes me want to watch this movie again (and I probably will), and so should you! From the meta-humor and references to the incredible (and ultraviolent) action scenes, this movie will be a successful trip to the movie theater. Enjoy!

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Steve Jobs

Steve Jobs

Synopsis: Read on IMDB

The movie, based on the book by the same name, covers the life of Steve Jobs in a span of 14 years, focusing on 3 key product launches in the digital giant’s career. The movie stars Michael Fassbender, Kate Winslet, Seth Rogen, and Jeff Daniels. Directed by Danny Boyle and written by Aaron Sorkin.

Between this one and the melodrama that was the Ashton Kutcher version, you can understand why the Boyle / Sorkin version has gotten so much praise. It is a well-written, incredibly performed piece about a man who equal parts visionary and asshole. Seriously, even in the silly Ashton Kutcher version Steve Jobs never comes off as your average Mr. Nice Guy. I guess it worked out well for all of us, says the woman typing this on an iPad while her iPhone sits not too far away. But I digress….

Back to the movie: Aaron Sorkin screenplay is pretty smart and complex; yet when in the hands of the main characters it sounds real and interesting. If it weren’t this year being Leonardo Dicaprio’s year, I’d say Fassbender deserves the Oscar for his performance as Jobs. Kate Winslet’s Joanna Hoffman on the other hand, will definitely grab herself an award, most likely. She’s already nabbed the Golden Globe and a BAFTA nomination.

The only donwside of the movie is that it feels a bit rushed, there is somewhat of a piece missing to make this one of those super exciting Sorkin flicks. Steve Jobs is not bad, nor boring, but it does feel at times like they took a chunk off too much in the editing room.

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Spotlight

Spotlight

Synopsis: Read on IMDB

Based on a true story, Spotlight follows the Boston Globes’ investigation of several child molestation cases by Catholic priests in the Boston area and the subsequent cover-up by the Archdiocese. The movie stars Michael Keaton, Mark Ruffalo, Rachel McAdams, Liev Schrieber, John Slattery, and Stanley Tucci. Directed by Tom McCarthy

The movie follows a pretty linear narrative: Spotlight is the investigative unit of the Boston Globe newspaper that stumbles upon a news piece about this priest accused of child molestation. From then on, the reporters dig deeper into the story to uncover a much bigger issue.

This is not going to be a pretty topic, and yet this movie handles it gracefully. The movie skips all the sordid details of the cases the reporters investigate, while sticking to the facts of this outrageous scandal. It is a riveting watch. Scene after scene you’ll be so outraged at how such horrible facts stayed hidden for such a long time. And you’ll have a small sense of justice when it’s all out in the open.

This is one of my favorite movies this award season. It’s a smart movie that skips the melodrama and yet maintains a poignancy such a story deserves.

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Creed

Creed

Synopsis: Read on IMDB

Creed follows the story of Adonis “Donnie” Johnson, an aspiring boxer and son of the late boxing heavyweight champion Apollo Creed. He travels to Philadelphia, reaching out to Rocky Balboa, his father’s old friend (and former rival), in the hopes that he would train him and help his dream of becoming a professional boxer. The film stars Anthony B. Jordan, Sylvester Stallone, Tessa Thompson, and Phylicia Rashad.

As the seventh part of the Rocky franchise, this movie follows a tried and tested formula like its predecessors: underdog with incredible emotional conflict finds his vocation and a wise old sage to help him through the journey to the top. While true to the franchise, the movie manages to inject a fresh perspective, with an exciting story to follow and new characters to love.

Even if you don’t like boxing, you’ll be rooting for our hero in every training session and every fight. You can sympathize with his struggle and celebrate his success. It’s also an enjoyable experience to see Jordan’s character form meaningful relationships throughout the film, especially with Stallone’s Rocky.

The latter got a Golden Globe and Oscar nomination (so far – he might win it) for his role. Why no one else from the cast was nominated is a mystery to me. They were great! In any case, Creed is going to be on of the most entertaining films you’ll see this award season!

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