7 DAYS OF OSCAR COUNTDOWN ~ DAY 3 ~ BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS

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We are only on Day Three of the ‘SEVEN DAYS OF OSCARS’ countdown and already we are at ‘Best Supporting Actress’. You know that magical time of year where once again, I give a countdown of my top Oscar categories- who I think will win – and what my pick would be – as those two choices sometimes differ.

ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE
NOMINEES

MARY J. BLIGE
Mudbound
Just flat out no.

ALLISON JANNEY ~ MY PICK/WINNER
I, Tonya
As if we couldn’t love Ms. Janney anymore – she comes out with the crazy, over-the-top role playing an actual real person, who is only mean, but funny. Hands down best performance.

LESLEY MANVILLE
Phantom Thread
okay now honesty gets the best of me here and I can say I haven’t seen this yet – Will be doing so this week so I can’t fairly judge this performance…yet.

LAURIE METCALF
Lady Bird
Laurie Metcalf was the best thing about this movie and I wouldn’t be mad if the Academy granted it to her.

OCTAVIA SPENCER
The Shape of Water
Before I saw I, Tonya or Lady Bird, my pick would have been Octavia. To me, she is always a standout in any movie she is in. I can love that she got nominated once again.

@pegsatthemovies

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COUNTDOWN: 7 DAYS OF OSCAR ~ DAY 1 ~ BEST SCREENPLAYS: ADAPTED & ORIGINAL

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Well here we are! The ‘SEVEN DAYS OF OSCARS’ are back. You know that magical time of year where once again, I give a countdown of my top Oscar categories- who I think will win – and what my pick would be – as those two choices sometimes differ. This year I’m starting off gently with the writing categories or “Best Adapted Screenplay” & “Best Original Screenplay”

WRITING (ADAPTED SCREENPLAY)
NOMINEES

CALL ME BY YOUR NAMEWINNER
Screenplay by James Ivory
I think I would be best served by reading the book on this one, as I didn’t love the film.

THE DISASTER ARTIST
Screenplay by Scott Neustadter & Michael H. Weber
A fun romp this was, but not a winner for me.

LOGAN
Screenplay by Scott Frank & James Mangold and Michael Green; Story by James Mangold
I really enjoyed this movie and it would be very nice to see the last film of this franchise win something like this. But it won’t.

MOLLY’S GAMEMY PICK
Written for the screen by Aaron Sorkin
We all know Aaron Sorkin can write TV – and now I know he can write a film also.

MUDBOUND
Screenplay by Virgil Williams and Dee Rees
Not my favourite film nor can I imagine if it follows suit of the book, would I care for it either. The parts about the U.S = real, the parts about Europe = not so much.

WRITING (ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY)
NOMINEES

THE BIG SICK
Written by Emily V. Gordon & Kumail Nanjiani
Cute script/movie

GET OUT
Written by Jordan Peele
While I commend this first write of a decent film, it just wouldn’t be my pick, but it’s a very possible winner.

LADY BIRD
Written by Greta Gerwig
Another decently done script. But I can only give it a like.

THE SHAPE OF WATER
Screenplay by Guillermo del Toro & Vanessa Taylor; Story by Guillermo del Toro
Completely stunning story. Where these ideas come from is from a truly brilliant mind.

THREE BILLBOARDS OUTSIDE EBBING, MISSOURI ~ MY PICK//WINNER
Written by Martin McDonagh
McDonagh said in his interview that years ago, was driving somewhere in rural US and saw a billboard that while he can’t remember what it said, noted that it stuck in his mind to the point where he wrote a story about it.

Review: “Mudbound” (2017) NetFlix

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Dee Rees upcoming release ‘“MUDBOUND”, which has come with much film festival acclaim behind it – came off as a cliched and deathly slow-paced film about racism in post-WWII Mississippi. And while I’m not going to say it doesn’t make some great hard-to-watch storyline points, it also misses a lot.

We’re on a mud-drenched farm, owned by Henry McAllan (Jason Clarke) a racist and small-minded man and wife Laura (Carey Mulligan), whose marriage was basically an arrangement as she was unmarried in her 20’s, which in this time & place, was almost as unforgiveable as being African-American. They come to live there with their two daughters, and his cruelly racist but caricatured ‘Pappy’ (Jonathan Banks), while the youngest brother Jamie (Garrett Hedlund), is off fighting in Germany. Also living on the farm are the black tenant farmers, The Jacksons, the father Hap (Rob Morgan), wife Florence (Mary J. Blige), along with their children, whom also have a son off fighting in the war, Ronsel (Jason Mitchell). And from what we gather, Ronsel is experiencing far more freedom than he ever found in the USA, which I kinda have to call horsepucky on as truth & history be told, they really didn’t.

The plot of the story, such as it is, sees Jamie and Ronsel return from WWII to completely different receptions from the town and begin to form a friendship through their shared trauma. Clearly nothing good is going to come of this due in a huge part to this being 1945 and in the backwoods of ALL backwoods in Mississippi, which is run entirely by the KKK and in due course we get a searingly violent scene set to a beautiful gospel hymn. In fact, it seems to kinda be an unintentional irony of this film that all the really truly horrifically crappy stuff happens either in church or when set to a hymn. There are some moments of absolute terrifying horror that I am sure really did happen to many who defied the KKK ruling back in those times. These parts of the story are the ones that break you and actually make this film come out of it’s slow draw into actual story-telling drama. I think the ending is meant to be uplifting, nonetheless, but I found it all rather patronising and fantastic – made to be as if Germany post-war was an utopia of racial harmony when nothing could be further from the truth.

Overall, this is a long drawn-out film, whose paper-thin characters can’t stand up to the weight of history thrust upon them. The stand-outs of those characters though are Hedland & Mitchell, both of whom make this film a better by their performances. Mulligan’s character comes off as superficial, annoyingly whimpering at times, but does redeem herself by showing her character to actually have a heart. I was completely looking forward to Mary J. Blige’s performance, but as such, found it to be glaringly at odds with the time frame of the picture as she wears a pair of designer sunglasses throughout most the film. Probably one of the best parts of the film is the cinematography by Rachel Morrison, as it’s crisp, gritty and very believable. Mostly though, the film comes off as an unvarnished understanding of the unglamorous, subservient pragmatism needed to survive as a black man in ’40s Mississippi, but it just isn’t very compelling or convincing as such.

Grade: C+
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Media Review Screening – Thursday, October 8, 2017 ~ Courtesy of Emmanuel Bates Communications & NetFlix
“MUDBOUND” will be out in selected theaters and available on NetFlix starting Friday, November 17, 2017