The Oscars reviews: Bridge of Spies & The Big Short

bridgeofspiesReviews, as promised.

BRIDGE OF SPIES (2015)

Directed by Steven Spielberg

Written by Ethan & Joel Cohen & Matt Charman

Starring Tom Hanks & Mark Rylance

Synopsis (via IMDb): “During the Cold War, an American lawyer is recruited to defend an arrested Soviet spy in court, and then help the CIA facilitate an exchange of the spy for the Soviet captured American U2 spy plane pilot, Francis Gary Powers.”

Bridge of Spies is nominated for six Oscars: best picture, supporting actor, original screenplay, production design, original music and sound mixing and to me this film is worthy of all of those nominations. I predicted it will get five out of those six and I only left music out as there just wasn’t enough slots for Thomas Newman who scored the film. But the soundtrack of Bridge of Spies is beautiful and deserves to be nominated. And even possibly might win as Newman has been nominated for 13 times but has never won. Though, unfortunately for him, I doubt he will win this year either. Morricone’s music for The Hateful Eight is just way too good.

Bridge of Spies is guaranteed Spielberg. By far it’s not his best work but solid still. Spielberg doesn’t really do bad films, does he? I don’t think so… Oh, well, the last Indy. Ugh. OK, so he does but not often. Bridge of Spies is quite close to Spielberg’s last effort, Lincoln. It’s more entertaining and light and doesn’t have that many long monologues but it also doesn’t have Daniel Day Lewis. Tom Hanks is Tom Hanks, the everyman, in the role of James B. Donovan. And he nails it but it’s nothing spectacular. Then again, Mark Rylance as Rudolph Abel is a perfection, I loved his work and despite the fact that all the guys in supporting category are probably deserving, I hope Rylance will win, he’s so good. Other actors are irrelevant to the story and I don’t really even remember their faces anymore. But all solid, obviously, it’s Spielberg’s film after all and I doubt his casting has ever really gone wrong.

ST. JAMES PLACE

The writing is interesting enough and actually well-done as I was so frustrated to Americans while watching this. The flow of the film works. But it will not win the Oscar. But I hope it will win for the Production Design, it deserves it. Nice job! And even though I’m not the girl to truly understand sound design, in this film I did pay attention because it felt real. All the noises around that you hear were there and they felt real, like a traffic outside of your apartment. All in all, Bridge of Spies is good but not spectacular. I was moved by it and felt a bunch of other emotions, so that’ll do. Plus it looks very good.

Rating: **** (out of 5)

thebigshort_poster

THE BIG SHORT (2015)

Directed by Adam McKay

Written by Charles Randolph & Adam McKay, book by Michael Lewis

Starring Christian Bale, Steve Carell, Ryan Gosling, Brad Pitt, John Magaro & Finn Wittrock

Synopsis: “Four denizens of the world of high-finance predict the credit and housing bubble collapse of the mid-2000s, and decide to take on the big banks for their greed and lack of foresight.”

The Big Short kind of came out of nowhere. Surely as soon as they announced that the film will be out this year, it got some hype already because of the actors but then nothing and then suddenly it was getting nominated all around. And finally for the Oscars where it is nominated for five Oscars including the best picture, supporting actor, directing, adapted screenplay and editing. Big ones! And again, deservedly so.

Since Whiplash this has been the biggest surprise to me and in a positive way for sure! I had my doubts, it’s a film about housing market collapsing after all, how exciting that can be? Apparently, very. I wasn’t at all fond of Adam McKay, the director, before seeing The Big Short and I really didn’t believe that this film can be any better than his previous films. I’m glad to say, I was wrong. The Big Short is a very, very good film. It’s entertaining, thrilling, fun, sad, frustrating and glitzy at the same time. And very smart. The writing is top-notch and I wish it’ll win for the best adapted screenplay, it earns it. I still can’t believe how they managed to explain those complicated financial matters involved in housing markets to us less aware of stock exchange or insurance markets. And doing it by very entertaining way. Thumbs up! Besides writing, I think it will take home the Editing award, it should. It’s THE thing in this film that drives it forward and makes it as fast-paced as it is. Super important and extremely well-done.

christianbale

I tend to always forget how good of an actor Christian Bale is when I don’t see his films for a while. He just is, really good, a chameleon. Great supporting role here again. Others are good too, but he’s better.

I don’t know what else to say. I loved The Big Short, I think I want to see it again. It’s that entertaining. And surprisingly relevant, read the last texts.

Rating: ****½ 

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