And then everything changed

Mittwoch, 7. Juni 2017

Movie Recommendations - Edition: This year's Blockbusters (Part 4): Oscar Nominees Best Picture 2017

My interest in Oscar nominated movies has continuously increased during the last couple of years to the point that this year was the first one where I actually stayed up till 7 am in the morning to watch the Oscars live and have now watched all Best Picture nominees which I am interested in. I don't plan on watching Fences, Hell or High Water, Lion and Manchester by the Sea, so this post won't include them.

Apart from these four here's my ranking and my recomendations of this years Best Picture nominees:

1. La La Land

I feel like, you either love or you hate this movie and I'm loving it! (I've actually written a whole post about it already.) I've watched it twice yet but wouldn't mind watching it over and over again. There's music and dancing and LA and great costumes - what's not to like? But it was on a deeper level that La La Land truly spoke to me. I adored Ryan Gosling's character for being so obsessed with Jazz. I enjoyed both of them following their dreams though I enjoyed it even more when they failed. Because failing is part of the deal. You won't get anywhere without failing multiple times first. La La Land managed to bring this across while still leaving you with an optimistic feeling.

Also, the second time I've watched this movie I realized that the main couple was from the start far from perfect which makes the ending that much more reasonable. I don't want to spoil it but yes, I also love the ending. I think Damien Chazelle is a fantastic screenwriter who manages to create a dream like lovely feeling while still telling a story which feels utterly true.

2. Arrival

I was really looking forward to this movie and I wasn't disappointed. Not only is it Sci Fi with aliens visiting earth but also it's about a linguist. I study literature and I love that someone who studies language for a living is the hero of a movie. The movie was well made, though the camera was a bit too calm at times for my taste.

The story in itself was incredible. I was sceptical in the beginning if they would manage to bring all the sub-plotlines together in the end so that they have an impact on the main plot (because there's nothing worse than redundant telling) but they did it. Plus, in the end we find out that the main plot is not what we expected it to be after all. But you have to watch it, to see what I mean, because the suprise of this development (and believe me, you will be suprised) is really what makes the whole movie. We think it's about understanding the alien language, but in truth it's about so much more.

3. Hacksaw Ridge

This is a World War 2 movie about a very religious soldier who refuses to carry weapons. Of course first he's ridiculed for this decision but later he becomes a hero (a true story by the way). This movie was not as brutal as I've heard from friends. I mean obviously there's a lot of blood because it is a war movie about a medic but it's totally bearable. I liked the story and there was really nothing wrong with it. If you love war movies like I do, it's definitely worth the watch.

4. Hidden Figures

I actually watched this one in the movie theater. And it was fun. It's about four black women working for NASA. This was an unexpectedly light movie with many funny moments. I enjoyed it but it's not nessecarily a movie I would re-watch. It does combine two of my favourite topics: astronomy and women empowerment so there's nothing wrong with it. But somehow it didn't stick with me so much. I'm a sucker of Follow Your Dream movies which this one is but my problem was, that the message was actually: You can reach everything, if you're incredibly smart like these women. Which I'm not.

5. Moonlight

So, the actual Oscar winner is on the last place in this ranking which doesn't mean that it was bad in anyway. It was a very well made movie, especially in terms of cinematography. It's split in three parts and tells the story of a black gay boy, later teenager, then adult. It's the story of his sexuality and first love. I would have loved to see more of the society he lives in and of the drug dealer who becomes like a father to him and who was hands down the best character in this movie. After all Mahershala Ali won Best Actor in a Supporting Role for it, which is why I was disappointed that he only appeared in the first third of the movie.

Also it kind of threw me off that neither the actors of the main character nor of his love interest looked alike though the ages - the adult versions of them looked nothing like the teenager versions. But maybe I was just spoiled by Boyhood (Oscar nominee 2015) which had the same concept but was actually filmed with the same actor over 12 years. Additionally, for my taste there were too few and too long scenes so that thoughout the movie nothing really happened. It wasn't a bad movie but I think they could have made more out of it.

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