November Movie Reviews

I’m ashamed to admit my progress this month has been abysmal at best. BUT now that the New York Film Critics Circle and the Gotham Awards have handed out their prizes, it is really definitely officially awards season. No more excuses. The most wonderful time of year has begun.

November has been pretty crazy so I only managed to watch three films. Luckily that gives me a solid reason to go to the movies at least twice a week for all of December to catch up. Merry Christmas to me!

ANYWAYS. Without further ado, here is a short little recap of what I saw this month:

St. Vincent
I love Billy Murray. I love Melissa McCarthy (the world has taken way too long to catch on to her brilliance). I found Jaeden Lieberher, who played Oliver, funny and downright adorable. But… I just didn’t like this movie as much as I wanted to. I watched it a few weeks ago and I still can’t really put my finger on why. Acting was great, screenplay is charming, and it even managed to rise above quite a few cliches it could have easily been trapped into. It may not win any awards but I have to admit, it was a blast to watch Murray sink his teeth in such a juicy role.

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1
It’s really hard for me to give objective thoughts about anything Hunger Games related because the series is one of the best and even though the final book is my least favorite, I still think it’s brilliant YA fiction that manages to surpass its own YA label and raise legitimate commentary about our world (and we can all thank good ol’ JK Rowling for breaking the boundaries of literature and clearing the way for these types of stories). All that being said, I really enjoyed the movie and the dedication at the end to Phillip Seymour Hoffman basically broke my heart. I still maintain that there was absolutely NO reason to split the final film into two parts but c’est l’industrie. Also Jennifer Lawrence continues to kick ass. To no one’s surprise.

Theory of Everything
I loved it. Loved it. Absolutely loved it. Loved. It. Eddie Redmayne and Felicity Jones are actual perfection in and of themselves but both totally kill it in this movie. Redmayne’s performance in particular is beyond unbelievable, and his breakthrough has been LONG overdue. This role basically sealed his success for the rest of his life. Granted it’s still early, but my money is tentatively on him for the Oscar. I actually feel as strongly about this as I did last year with Tom Hanks in Captain Phillips. And we all know how well that turned out. Oh God. Did I just jinx this? I TAKE IT BACK.

SO. Moving on. A few preliminary predictions. I haven’t seen Foxcatcher yet but right now I’d put it down to Michael Keaton (Birdman) versus Eddie Redmayne (Theory of Everything) for Best Actor. And while I really really really want to see Michael Keaton win a comeback Oscar for a comeback role in which he plays a comeback actor, I just can’t stop thinking about Redmayne’s performance. But alas, the season is young and only time will tell.

As for Best Picture, it seems a pretty safe bet to assume Interstellar, Birdman, The Imitation Game, Theory of Everything, and Foxcatcher will all be nominated. Other contenders I have yet to see (but could easily knock one of these out) are Rosewater, Unbroken, and Selma.

Speaking of Unbroken and Selma, this could very well be the first year we see not one but TWO female nominees for Best Director (Angelina Jolie and Ava DuVernay, respectively). We can talk about just how big a travesty this is later (there have only ever been four female Best Director nominees and only one winner, ever) but suffice it to say I am very pleased with this year’s possibilities.

My December Watch List:

  • Foxcatcher
  • Into the Woods
  • Rosewater
  • Unbroken
  • Wild

So. To wrap up, December is going to be a fantastic and highly anticipated month. Happy watching!

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