It’s been a month since I saw these two, so it feels a bit silly to write about them now but as I will go through their Oscars chances at the same time, let’s do it anyway.
Directed by Tom McCarthy
Written by Josh Singer & Tom McCarthy
Starring Michael Keaton, Mark Ruffalo, Rachel McAdams, Liev Schreiber, Stanley Tucci, John Slattery & Brian d’Arcy James
Synopsis (by IMDb): “The true story of how the Boston Globe uncovered the massive scandal of child molestation and cover-up within the local Catholic Archdiocese, shaking the entire Catholic Church to its core.”
I wish Spotlight would win the Best Picture on Sunday. To me it is the best picture of the season. I came out of the cinema trembling. From time to time I get physical reaction to movies and this one was one of them and the physical reaction (if not puking) is the mark of remarkable film. Spotlight is remarkable and should be awarded because of that.
When you read the synopsis of Spotlight or hear what it is about, it sounds boring, doesn’t it? And it is actually made that way. It tells a story what happened and I don’t believed it’s hugely dramatized either, it doesn’t look like it and it doesn’t feel like it, but at least to me it affected much more deeply than any other film this year. It engaged me into the story so fully and in a way that I didn’t even realise it did it before I was feeling so much it was a bit hard to bear. Masterful filmmaking.
Like I said, I hope it gets the best picture Oscar on Sunday’s Oscars. Spotlight is not parts, it’s a whole. Mark Ruffalo and Rachel McAdams got supporting nods but they are just part of the great cast and I don’t believe any of them is better than the other. Ruffalo’s part is a bit more flashier than others and draws the attention while McAdams is basically the only woman on the screen; they’re both great but I so is the whole cast. I believe McCarthy is also worth of an Oscar but I have to admit (as you can read in the following review) that he will most probably not win it except maybe for the best screenplay where Spotlight has the best chance of winning. The editing Oscar is still wide open, I think, it could go to Spotlight or The Big Short or Mad Max.
All in all, Spotlight to me was a perfection. It’s not Star Wars, it doesn’t change your life but there’s nothing wrong with it, quite the opposite, everything works so well that it’s a bit hard to realise it. To me the best thing was that it affected to my feelings so deeply it felt bad and it should feel bad. Like said, masterful.
Rating: ***** (out of 5)
The Revenant (2015)
Directed by Alejandro González Iñárritu
Written by Mark L. Smith & Alejandro González Iñárritu
Starring Leonardo DiCaprio (and Tom Hardy & Domhnall Gleeson)
Synopsis: “A frontiersman on a fur trading expedition in the 1820’s fights for survival after being mauled by a bear and left for dead by members of his own hunting team.”
There were approximately 10 minutes for me between seeing Spotlight and The Revenant. I still wonder if it affected my liking of The Revenant. I guess I only find out if I ever watch it again. And I’m not sure if I ever want to watch it again.
Well, first of all: Leonardo DiCaprio will win his Oscar this year. For sure and very much deservingly so. I still think he was better in The Wolf of Wall Street as it was comedy, something I didn’t think Leo is capable of doing, but yes, of course, his role in The Revenant is… um… Excellent? First-rate? Like he always is. Anyway, I’m glad he finally gets the statue, he’s one of the best ones in the industry. Tom Hardy is nominated in the supporting category and I’m glad he is, he’s really good in this one (but then again, isn’t he always?) but I doubt he’ll win this time.
It seems to me that it’s a bit hard for me to write this review, so I’ll just go straight ahead to the Oscar nominations and review The Revenant via them. 12 nominations including best picture, director, actor, supporting actor, cinematography, editing, makeup, costumes, 2 x sound, production design & visual effects. That’s a lot. The Revenant already won in the Golden Globes for the best picture, director and Leo as well as in BAFTAs for all of those plus cinematography and sound. Lubezki got the statue from American Society of Cinematographers too and I believe that he will get it again (third time in a row!) from the Academy and yes, he again deserves it, shooting in natural light is a pain in the ass and The Revenant looks amazing (although, I wasn’t a big fan of those “nature stills” like melting snow etc., they kind of felt like “this looks pretty, let’s put it in”…). All in all, all those technical achievements in The Revenant are top notch. I can’t deny that. And it will probably win a bunch of those awards, for sound I guess at least and I liked the makeup and hair styling, both looked authentic. The bear didn’t but I think it must have influenced my viewing that I knew it was made with CGI.
I’ve been Iñárritu’s fan since Amores Perros and I really, really wanted The Revenant to be his best work to date but unfortunately, to me, it isn’t (Amores Perros still is). It feels like he has lost “the loving feeling” when trying to achieve something that has never been done before. He is one of the best directors working today and his films are technical marvels but like Birdman last year, The Revenant also left me cold. In the end I just didn’t care who lived or who died, I just wished it would be over. But yay for Leo!