NWR What films have you been watching?

Been on a Hollywood binge the past few weeks and have seen several of the Oscars contenders. Listed in order of personal preference:

Brooklyn: just brilliant. Hope this wins best picture and Saoirse Ronan picks up best actress.

Carol: less than the sum of its parts: two fantastic performances but overall not quite at the same level as Brooklyn.

The Hateful Eight: a return to form (although I haven't seen Django Unchained) with the additional bonus of an original Ennio Morricone score.

Bridge of Spies: thought this would have been a better film had it finished 10 minutes earlier and left out the sledgehammer symbolism of the final few scenes. Mark Rylance's performance is extraordinary though: impossible to take your eyes off him despite him saying and doing very little in most of his scenes.

Joy: all about Jennifer Lawrence, who picks up where she left off in American Hustle and acts everyone else off the screen.

The Revenant: watched this last night. Reminded me a little of Apocalypto. Both are impressive in terms of filmmaking; but both are films that you experience and then promptly forget about. I can't imagine wanting to watch either of them again.

And a couple of older films:

Winter's Bone: another standout Jennifer Lawrence film but pretty grim subject-wise and the, at times, incomprehensible dialogue makes the narrative difficult to follow.

Frank: bizarre but very funny; felt like it could have been written by Charlie Kaufman.
 
Phoenix - a noir about a woman who regains her identity after surviving the Nazi camps. Great performance by Hess though I found it all a little too mannered and uninvolving.

London Road - a musical about the Ipswich murders... I guess this is a Marmite kind of film. I thought it was brave and touching.

Also been catching up on the first series of Better Call Saul, which I genuinely think is every bit as good as Breaking Bad, just a shift in tone and character types, and less thriller-like.
 
I enjoyed Bridge of Spies very much but agree with the heavy-handed finale. Watched Youth last night with Caine and Keitel. Enjoyed it, without really knowing what is was about! Also thoroughly enjoyed The Jinx, a series rather than a film: documentary about murders in NY, LA & Louisiana - a "did he, didn't he" thing. Quite addictive. I hear that the best actor Oscar has already been decided in favour of he who never wins, but not sure that I believe it, and not having seen The Revenant I can't really comment on whether di Caprio deserves it.
 
The colourised version of SHE is now available on youtube, a film of unbounded fascination, combining some some of the most cackhanded plotting in the history of entertainment with tremendous technical innovation and an absolutely amazing profligacy of resources. The strong ritualistic elements are a fascinating reflection of currents in the art and politics, of the time, not least the stupendous score by Max Steiner.
 
Oddly enough, Bridge of Spies also. Re the heavy-handedness, it's Hollywood, and Hollywood knows what its market will tolerate.

And as a polar opposite, "Under the Skin", where all is up for your interpretation. If being haunted by a film is a measure of greatness (in the way I regards great wines) then perhaps this is a great film.
 
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Saw The Revenant last night. Worth seeing, classic revenge western. What makes it interesting is that it is set much earlier in American history than most in that genre and also it starts to touch on the issue of race (and in a subtle way the environment) in ways few commercial films about the history of America have done.
 
I thought Bridge of Spies was good but not Spielberg's best.
I agree with much of Kevin's comments about The Revenant.
And with Dave's comment on Carol.

The best film I've seen in a while is Room.
 
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Am I allowed to say Star Wars or does that make me a philistine? Took the kids and loved it. Simple pleasures I guess.

Going to try and catch Tarantino this week. Rather enjoyed Django Unchained. Worth catching up on I'd say Dave.
 
Yes the BBC dramatization of War and Peace is a bit amateurish.

We watched "The Physician" the other night. It's got the feel of a Ken Follett story but we actually really enjoyed it. Some interesting history of medicine and the Islamic world in the middle ages wrapped into a good storyline.

Also "Beasts of no Nation" is pretty good. Makes you realise the chaos of war-torn African countries and its effect on boys and young men. Good acting too.

Both on Netflix.
 
Managed to sleep for most of the near-14 hour flight to Argentina but squeezed in the Brian Wilson biopic, Love & Mercy, in the final couple of hours. Really enjoyed it but need to watch again with proper sound to appreciate it fully.

Noted re Django, Jon.
 

Tom Cannavan

Administrator
And as a polar opposite, "Under the Skin", where all is up for your interpretation. If being haunted by a film is a measure of greatness (in the way I regards great wines) then perhaps this is a great film.

What percentage of the dialogue not spoken by Ms Johansson did you understand Ian?
 
Oh, dear.

No films for a longtime that I feel enthused enough to go to a cinema. Mostly I see recent films on long haul flights, and on my last flights in Oct/Nov there was nothing I wanted to see. But I took opportunity to see The Detectorists first series which I had missed.

War & Peace - too little war. Gosh it's tedious off the battlefield. Telegraph today says 3rd episode was the best. Opposite of my opinion.
 
Debbi and I have taken to going to the pictures again after a long gap.
We have a small picture house opened as a part of the Royal&Derngate concert venue, and it serves good gin and tonic along with popcorn and you can take them including a proper glass into the cinema to your reclining leather seat, a bit like a Lazyboy.
Saw Carol before christmas which was OK but exactly as described by Dave above.
Was pretty impressed with the Johnny Depp in Black Mass, it was about 15 minutes in before Debbi sussed who was Johnny Depp.
Watched Martian yesterday on home cinema that was OK in a feel-good sort of vibe.
Have booked to see The Big Short and Bridge of Spies in the next few weeks.
 
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What percentage of the dialogue not spoken by Ms Johansson did you understand Ian?
I don't remember having much trouble with it Tom, less than No Country for Old Men say, though it's not exactly a dialogue-rich film. Divisive though.

I see Martian is headline film on the next flight to the UK, so maybe I'll take a look at it then. Or maybe not, depending on what else is on offer.
 
Watched Paolo Sorrentino's latest, Youth, last night.

As with all his films, it's stunning visually. But I was a little underwhelmed. It's a little baggy - could have been 15-20 mins shorter - and the dialogue is clunky in places (it's his first film in English). Good cast and there are some decent performances (Michael Caine especially) but I empathised less with the characters than in his previous films.
 
Off to see The Revenant tomorrow with son and g/f (not a film K would go to see). Naturally looking forward to it.

War & Peace - hmmmm! Agree, it's dull and it's just following a fairly mundane part of a multi-faceted, multi-strand, story in the context of one of the greatest thousand pages of literature ever written. But I'm hanging in because it kind of interests me enough to see how they play it out. There is almost no "war", as you say, Peter, and war, and Napoleon, are both integral to the novel, not just a backdrop. Interestingly, both K and I read the book twice, as teenagers and in our twenties. She is now reading it for a third time.
 
Watched Paolo Sorrentino's latest, Youth, last night.

As with all his films, it's stunning visually. But I was a little underwhelmed. It's a little baggy - could have been 15-20 mins shorter - and the dialogue is clunky in places (it's his first film in English). Good cast and there are some decent performances (Michael Caine especially) but I empathised less with the characters than in his previous films.
My other half is in this,playing in the/an orchestra. We are looking forward to seeing what made the final cut.
 
Watched Paolo Sorrentino's latest, Youth, last night.

As with all his films, it's stunning visually. But I was a little underwhelmed. It's a little baggy - could have been 15-20 mins shorter - and the dialogue is clunky in places (it's his first film in English). Good cast and there are some decent performances (Michael Caine especially) but I empathised less with the characters than in his previous films.

Also enjoyed this last week. Actually enjoyed it more than The Great Beauty, though my wife preferred the latter. Saw an interview with Michael Caine in which he recounted that Sorrentino told Caine and Keitel that while they were in the pool, a girl would get in. But didn't say she'd be naked. Hence the expressions on their faces in the scene used as the poster for the film [and cover of the DVD]
 
Will be watching youth next week. Sorry to be geeky but it's actually sorrentino's second english film after the underrated this must be the place.
Just finished true detective 2 - overly complicated even for a noir, but enough shades of chandler, lynch and ellroy kept me happy without it seeming too derivative. Apart from the miscast Vince Vaughn (he still does a decent job) strong lead performances and superbly bleak cinematography.
 
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Having recently moved to San Diego from Ohio (via Gloucestershire), my wife and I have just started to catch up on our films...
The Revenant: The entire audience was in silence at the end. Powerful and visually stunning. Not a film we can say we enjoyed, but definitely appreciated.
The Danish Girl: Interesting to see how the Academy bods will compare Leonardo Dicaprio's grunting, frothing-at-the-mouth performance against Eddie Redmayne's sensitive and quite touching rendition of a tortured artist. I thought The Danish Girl was packed full of atmosphere and brilliantly understated. Kept our attention from start to finish.
Carol: An okay film marred by the somewhat cold and clinical performances of its lead actors (or actresses, should PC allow). We're huge fans of Kate Blanchett, but it was difficult to warm up to the characters and feel any empathy for either of them.
The Martian (on DVD): I completely missed the boat on this one as I thought this was a horrible film. It wasn't the paper-thin storyline that bothered me; it was the fact that the film appeared content to get by purely on NASA-style jargon. It was like watching a particularly bad episode of Star Trek having a bad hair day. While the film was on, I went into the kitchen, made some tea, fed the dog and came back to the film feeling that I hadn't missed a thing.
Love & Mercy (on DVD): As mentioned above in this thread, this was a first-class biopic on Brian Wilson and well worth checking out. I was never a fan of the Beach Boys, but this was a captivating film with stellar performances from John Cusack (older Brian) and Paul Dano (younger Brian).
The Bourne Supremacy (on TV): Watched this late last night in the vain attempt to stay up for Andy Murray v
 
...Novak Djokovic (don't ask me what just happened on this thread). What can I say - I love the Bourne films!
Next up is The Lady in the Van at our local art cinema.
 
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