January 2016 Movie Roundup

Only one month into 2016 and I’m officially overwhelmed by all the incredible films in play this awards season.

With Oscar nominations out and campaigning in full swing, we have no time to waste so without further ado here is the final roundup of this season’s movies.

The Golden Goal
The Revenant
Yeah, yeah I know I’m biased because Leo but out of the four movies I watched in January there is no doubt this was my favorite. It’s difficult to recommend, particularly for the average moviegoer, and I wouldn’t necessarily classify it as a MUST-SEE. But regardless of whether you liked it or not, it’s hard to deny the incredible achievement in filmmaking that Alejandro Gonzalez Iñarritu has pulled off. From the stunning visuals (credit both to cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki and the entire production design team) to Leo’s acting (at the very least among his top performances), it is little wonder this film is leading the pack this season with 12 nominations.

Hat Trick
Carol
This was the year’s most critically acclaimed film, according to Metacritic, and man is it well deserved. Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara shine in some of their best work yet, and it’s honestly devastating that Todd Haynes’s carefully paced direction didn’t get recognized. However, with six other nominations to brag about (including a well-deserved nod for Phyllis Nagy’s screenplay), it’s absolutely worth the praise. I can understand some taking issue with the slow pace, but to me it didn’t detract from the beauty of the overall story.

The Bicycle Kick
Concussion
I know there was so much backlash about #OscarsSoWhite (which I wrote about in my last post) and even more so after it seemed like Will and Jada Smith announced their boycott due to Will’s lack of a nomination. I get that, but personally I didn’t find Will Smith’s omission as much as a snub as others. To be honest, I found Michael B. Jordan’s performance in Creed to be much more compelling. However, that’s not to say I didn’t genuinely enjoy the movie or discount Will Smith’s performance. Overall I thought it was a solid film — while nothing extraordinary, still a timely and well-told story.

The Yellow Card
Joy
After so many hits, David O. Russell was bound to have a miss right? In the interest of full disclosure, I had to actively go into this movie with an open mind since I’m kinda suffering from Jennifer Lawrence overload. After watching, I can definitively say that while she’s an extremely talented actress this is now the second time she has been terribly miscast in a DOR film (the first being American Hustle). This was a role for Jennifer Lawrence in 25 years not for Jennifer Lawrence at 25 years old. So I’m a bit bitter at her nomination but can’t deny she did the best with what she had. And what she had was an okay story, honestly not terribly compelling or told very coherently. Bottom line: great (yet miscast) performance, okay film.

And there you have it! Unfortunately, I’m still missing The Hateful Eight, which I’m hoping to squeeze in at some point this month but I think that pretty much checks off almost everything on my list.

Now to obsess over predictions and press interviews and campaign trails and everything in between. Twenty days until showtime — let’s do this.

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