Yes, I know, how many parts is this Oscar catch up? I’m thinking its possible it might get to 8, 9, or 10, so just bare with me. Here is another two quick reviews on movies I needed to watch to cross a couple of more nominees off my list:
COLD WAR (Nominated for Best Director, Best Cinematography, and Best Foreign Language Film)
COLD WAR was wayyyyyyy too short. I know right? You thought I was going to say long there for a second, but no, at 90 minutes, this movie is too short and not fleshed out enough. That’s not to say it was bad at all. Far from it. The direction is great, the cinematography (of which it is nominated and I wouldn’t mind it winning) is stunningly gorgeous and beautiful to look at, the acting is good. It’s a very well made film. But with a tacked on WTF really? ending and not enough screen time for the destructive romance to blossom and blow up between the two leads, it’s just short of becoming great or even a masterpiece.
The movie mainly takes place in the 1950s (it goes a little before and a little after), and it is about a music director that casts poverty people that have talent and does a musical roadshow in and around Poland. He casts a younger singer, falls in love with her, and tries to persuade her to run away with him to France, but the love between them is not so simple. With the acting between Joanna Kulig and Tomasz Knot, their romance is actually a little believable and they have good chemistry. But oh man, add 30 to 45 minutes onto this film, show us some of the grittier things that happened to them in between all their get-togethers and delete and re write that ending, wouldn’t been something truly something.
But all you people that love cinematography out there, this one is a must see for that reason alone. Every fucking shot of this movie is gorgeously detailed and beautiful. The film is in black and white, and thankfully so, I don’t think it wouldn’t worked as well in color. The three nominations for this film are well deserved, director Pawel Pawlikowski did a fine job. But it if were longer, it could’ve beaten Roma for me, and I am a little disappointed that it didn’t.
OF FATHERS AND SONS (Nominated for Best Documentary Feature)
Damn, if you ever want to see how truly hatful, awful, and shitty it is in the radical parts of Syria, watch OF FATHERS AND SONS. It is a documentary feature made by Talal Derki, and he goes back to his homeland of when he was a small child, and realized it has changed into a nightmare. The filmmaker gains the trust of this Islamic family and stays with them for two years it’s about radical jihadism and has terrorist training in the documentary. How this guy escaped from there alive and not once being suspected of not being someone like them, I have no clue how he pulled off.
It really is terrible over there, a very harrowing documentary that capture my attention for the entire short 98 minute run time. The radical Islamists are just awful human beings. They beat and yell at their wives, for which they have multiple. They let their kids to mean things to the other little girls around their area, make dangerous bombs that could seriously hurt them. And one of them even goes off to terrorist training for several years. Some of it is really hard to watch. The father of the family gets his foot blown off mine tracking (it doesn’t show this), and sacrificing a ram because their religious dictates it (it doesn’t show the actual neck slicing, but it shows blood going everywhere and the father chopping off its feet).
There is little narration but at the beginning and the end from the director, which was very appropriate. All the images and shots spoke for themselves, I didn’t need to be explained what was going on (its subtitled BTW). If people ever tell me their live is absolute shit, I am going to tell them to watch this documentary, to see how much of an actual living nightmare over there. I get the shivers just thinking about this documentary. Definitely deserves its nomination.