I’m going to be honest from the very beginning – in my opinion, the movie that will win the Oscar this year will be extracted from a pond of “meh“. I haven’t seen yet all nine movies nominated for the big Oscar, but none of those I did see were very impressive. They were okay, but definitely not masterpieces. Then again, who says Oscar-nominated/winning films must be masterpieces?! The expectations are high, though.
In this post I will briefly discuss three movies nominated for best film this year, that have a lot in common. They’re more or less based on real stories and people, members of the (world-class) cast of each movie have already been awarded for their performances, they’re nominated for Oscars as well, none feels complete, they don’t strike deep chords in the viewer… except for one of them, but… there’s a “but” here. I hated none of these three movies, but neither did I love them.
Let’s take them each at a time, from the one I liked the least to the one that touched me.
This con-art pretext for glorifying the 1970s is not a terrible movie, but here are the most memorable things about it, and we’ll draw a conclusion afterwards:
- Plunging necklines – so far from the neck that their name becomes almost nonsensical. Huge plus, though. The Leo ladies, Amy Adams and Jennifer Lawrence, look gorgeous.
- The fat that rented Christian Bale’s body. Not worth it, at least not as much as losing weigh for a role helped him in the past. But, hey, it is memorable, and more of a conversation topic than a fat suit, so it contributed in its special way to the popularity of the film.
- Bradley Cooper in rollers… perm rollers. Anyone in perm rollers is funny, therefore, no comment, just laughter
- The hidden game “spot De Niro”. Bonus entertainment you get for not deserting the movie (theater).
A fine cast of actors, in a story in which they don’t belong. I did not believe the guys, I didn’t laugh as much as I could, and I felt nothing for any of the characters. I wanted a bit of polarization, more suspense, not just a bit of curiosity for what will happen next. In the end, the story is not that great, and there’s nothing you can draw out for yourself, apart from some (rather lukewarm) entertainment.
The Wolf of Wall Street
Martin Scorsese and Leonardo DiCaprio have been on my list of favorite movie-people for quite a long time, and “The Aviator” (another collaboration of theirs, and biopic) is one of my favorite movies of all times. So, I wanted to like this movie more than I actually did. In all sincerity, I caught myself wondering during this movie: “Am I watching a three-hour-long commercial for motivational speaker Jordan Belfort?” You know, how he’s become who he is now, what he has overcome, etc, etc. I can understand why the subject of the movie may be interesting to people – money and all money can buy, hot girls, and a “license” to do whatever.
I don’t care about drugs, partying, or spending like a poor guy quickly turned rich – it shoots glamor in the foot. To me, Wall Street and brokers are not very interesting. I’d rather learn the story of someone who has overcome less avoidable problems and complications, someone creative, someone with a remarkable artistic or humanitarian talent. Not that Mr. Belfort didn’t seem like a very talented man at what he did, but I prefer more inspiring stories. This one is not very relatable. At least not to me. Other than that, it’s a Scorsese film with a great cast – quality guaranteed
Dallas Buyers Club
This bleak story has a little bit more depth, and, of the three movies, I liked it best. In contrast with the other two, there’s not a bit of shiny glamorous stuff in it. It’s the story of an HIV-positive man and his fight to survive in spite of a health system that treats those like him almost as if they were disposable lab rats. Matthew McConaughey plays the leading role, that of an obnoxious bigot who undergoes a series of experiences that crack his mind open and change him at a deep level. He even evolves to genuinely develop a friendship with the transgender Rayon, portrayed by Jared Leto, who deserves all the awards he has already received and will probably still receive for this role. I’m not a fan of his, but I thought he was believable, expressive and even pretty in this role.
My favorite thing about this movie is the flow of the very deep transformation in the main character. It unfolds naturally, with no visible “cuts” or “stitches”, no explanations needed.
Viva la vida!