Tag Archives: Oscar buzz

FILM REVIEW: La La Land

La La Land (Damien Chazelle, 2016)

Writer/director Damien Chazelle first came to our attention with Whiplash in 2014. That film, about a jazz student’s sacrifices in the pursuit of success, was my favourite film of the last five, if not ten, years. I’m yet to come across someone who did not like it (and if that person does exist, what the hell is wrong with you?) With similar themes to Whiplash, La La Land follows struggling actress Mia (Emma Stone) and struggling jazz artist Sebastian (Ryan Gosling) as they find love and try to follow their dreams. But with ambition comes sacrifice, and underneath the surface of 1950s-inspired fantasy is 2016’s reality (no, not the disastrous political situation but the average LA artist’s reality). Continue reading FILM REVIEW: La La Land

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FILM REVIEW: Joy

Joy (David O. Russell, 2015)

If anyone can sell a mop, it’s Jennifer Lawrence. At face value, inventing and selling household appliances may not be the most thrilling of subject matter, however Joy is an intriguing look into the risk-taking game of business. A rags to riches story based loosely on the life of Joy Mangano, inventor of the ‘Miracle Mop’, Joy is ultimately an odd film. David O. Russell imbues this film with a frenetic vibe – not dissimilar to that in his previous films Silver Linings Playbook and American Hustle – that takes a little getting used to. But if you’re willing to go with the flow, it’s a relatively fun – if a little too long – ride. Continue reading FILM REVIEW: Joy

FILM REVIEW: Sicario

Sicario (Denis Villeneuve, 2015)

Sicario is likely to appeal to a very niche audience. Concerning the Mexican drug crisis, it doesn’t go the patriotic route of putting America up on a pedestal, but nor will it be entirely accessible for all. The first comment from a guy in my row at the conclusion of this film was “it was a bit pretentious”, and while I wouldn’t describe it as such, I get where he was coming from. Continue reading FILM REVIEW: Sicario

FILM REVIEW: Inside Out

Inside Out (Pete Docter & Ronaldo Del Carmen, 2015)

Ever since Pixar announced the concept for Inside Out I’ve been waiting with bated breath. I get excited for almost every Pixar film regardless because THEY’RE PIXAR, HELLO! (Toy Story! Cars! Finding Nemo!), but given my work as a school counsellor, I was even more pumped than usual. Because it has ALL THE FEELS! Or at least five of the big ones. Continue reading FILM REVIEW: Inside Out

FILM REVIEW: Selma

Selma (Ava DuVernay, 2014)

The world is a screwed up place with inequality every which way you look. But it’s worthwhile remembering how much worse it used to be, and that there is always hope for change. Ava DuVernay’s Selma documents Martin Luther King Jr.’s (David Oyelowo) fight for civil rights in 1965 Selma, Alabama, and the associated carnage care of a morally-depraved government and backwards law enforcement. Continue reading FILM REVIEW: Selma

FILM REVIEW: Still Alice

Still Alice (Richard Glatzer & Wash Westmoreland, 2014)

If you’re one of those people who doesn’t like to watch depressing films, I recommend that you RUN AS FAR AS YOU CAN away from Still Alice. But, if like me, you like to see films that yank at your heartstrings and possibly even leave you crying in the toilets afterwards, it is well worth a look. Continue reading FILM REVIEW: Still Alice

FILM REVIEW: The Theory of Everything

The Theory of Everything (James Marsh, 2014)

Well gosh darn jolly hockey sticks old chap! Here comes a brilliant British Oscar contender that isn’t falling over itself to be as pompous as possible. Many commentators have decried the influx of clichéd white male genius biopics at Oscar season which may not really deserve to be there. But they’re British! And they’re about white male geniuses! So of course they’re going to be there – have you learnt nothing about the demographic of Academy voters? But unlike the overrated The Imitation Game, The Theory of Everything is, well, EVERYTHING. This is the first biopic in yonks that is utterly compelling and heart-wrenching. And Eddie Redmayne deserves every award he gets. Continue reading FILM REVIEW: The Theory of Everything