Love and scandal are the best sweeteners of tea. —Henry Fielding

21 February 2017

Oscar Noms 2017: 13 of 13

Part 1 - La La Land, Moonlight, Arrival
Part 2 - Manchester by the Sea, Hacksaw Ridge, Lion
Part 3 - Fences, Hell or High Water, Hidden Figures, Jackie
Part 4 - Florence Foster Jenkins, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, Passengers, Rogue One
Part 5 - Deepwater Horizon, Kubo and the Two Strings, Moana, A Man Called Ove
Part 6 - Captain Fantastic, Elle, Loving, Nocturnal Animals
Part 7 - The Lobster, 20th Century Women, Silence, Hail, Caesar!
Part 8 - Live-action Short Films
Part 9 - Animated Short Films
Part 10 - Toni Erdmann, The Salesman, Land of Mine, Tanna
Part 11 - Allied, The Jungle Book, Doctor Strange, 13 Hours
Part 12 - Sully, Zootopia, The Red Turtle, My Life as a Zucchini

1 Nomination
  • Original Song: "Can't Stop the Feeling!"
Director: Mike Mitchell
Cast: Anna Kendrick, Justin Timberlake, Zooey Deschanel, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Christine Baranski, Russell Brand, Gwen Stefani, John Cleese, James Corden, Jeffrey Tambor, Ron Funches, Aino Jawo, Kunal Nayyar, Quvenzhané Wallis, Caroline Hjelt

I have already written about this very stupid movie. But let's just say that although this movie was very dumb, in fact, we might consider it to be the year's most insistently asinine film, it was not without its pleasures, and I actually rather enjoyed myself. By the way, the reason why Justin Timberlake's troll in the picture above is fifty shades of gray instead of brightly colored like the pink thing to his right and the glitter bomb directly behind him and that llama-muppet at the far right is because Justin's troll is a sad troll who doesn't like to sing or snuggle. He will be, by the end of the film, cured of this unfortunate malady, as you might have been able to predict. The real question of Trolls is: what color will Justin's troll turn when he becomes colorful? If you never watch this film you will never know.
Will Win: N/A
Could Win: N/A
My Rating: #62 out of 96

Jim: the James Foley Story
1 Nomination
  • Original Song: "The Empty Chair"
Director: Brian Oakes

This is an interesting story about a guy named Jim who was a freelance journalist in Benghazi and then later in Aleppo. I really didn't know anything about James Foley before, but he apparently gained national attention as a hostage of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant. This is a film about a filmmaker, and it is made with great attention to detail, but it is mostly a film that is designed as a way to mourn a man who did a lot of good during his life. Much of the film consists of interviews with family members – these are touching but sort of confuse the film itself. Foley's family members don't really understand why Jim did what he did, and they mostly use their interviews to sort of collectively puzzle out who this man that they loved was. The most interesting portions of the film to me were the interviews with men who were imprisoned with Foley in Syria. Foley was imprisoned and tortured by ISIL for nearly two years before they executed him publicly. So what happened to Foley while he was in prison had the potential to be the most exciting part of the film. This act of the film is told so strangely, though, that while it should have been the most intriguing section of the movie, it was the least filmic. Most of these sequences are very dark, and the movie includes hazy re-enactments that make this most violent section of the movie seem less real than the other stuff. If you know my work, you know I study torture and violence, and so this movie's refusal really to deal with this frustrated me a lot. As for the song... I checked it as one of the most interesting of the 91 eligible tunes, but there were a lot of better songs up for this award. If you want to listen without seeing the movie, go here.
Will Win: N/A
Could Win: N/A
My Rating: Unranked (Documentary)

Star Trek Beyond
1 Nomination
  • Makeup & Hairstyling
Director: Justin Lin
Cast: Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Karl Urban, Zoe Saldana, Simon Pegg, John Cho, Anton Yelchin, Sofia Boutella, Idris Elba

I had a great time at this movie. I wouldn't really say that I love Star Trek as such, but I freaking love James Tiberius Kirk. So as long as Captain Kirk is running things, I am here for it. This movie is so much better than all of the other superhero/fantasy movies I saw this year (except Rogue One – I really liked Rogue One). It does crib a couple of things from Guardians of the Galaxy, to be fair, but I was on board even for that. And, finally, Star Trek Beyond turns its focus toward the crew of the Enterprise as a team. The movie is really about how a group of seven people who are devoted to one another can work together to solve a problem. I was buying whatever this movie was selling. I even really liked the Rihanna song that played over the credits. Will it win? I hope so, becaause the other option is Suicide Squad, more on which below.
Will Win: Makeup & Hairstyling
Could Win: N/A
My Rating: #28 out of 96

Suicide Squad
1 Nomination
  • Makeup & Hairstyling
Director: David Ayer
Cast: Margot Robbie, Will Smith, Viola Davis, Joel Kinneman, Jay Hernandez, Jai Courtney, Jared Leto, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, Cara Delevingne, Ben Affleck, Ike Barinholtz

This is beneath contempt. It has no script whatsoever. In fact, I kind of can't believe this was made. The makeup is kind of great, I will have to admit, and the Joker and Harley looks really have become iconic. But this thing is terrible and completely fucking incoherent. And I can't believe David Ayer, who made my beloved Fury made this piece of trash. Honestly what is Warner Brothers doing?
Will Win: N/A
Could Win: Makeup & Hairstyling