Review – Mary Queen of Scots

Mary Queen of Scots, directed by Josie Rourke is a film that feels as if it’s constantly going around in circles; never achieving anything impactful, never feeling like a film that’s finding a purpose or drive that results in something meaningful. Sadly, there’s not much I was ever able to find compelling about this film… but maybe there’s something in it that makes it worth seeing; maybe there’s something that makes it worth seeing. So, let’s get into the review and see if there’s anything that makes it worthwhile. Read more

The 2018 Oscars – Best Picture Nominations: Watched, Reviewed and Ranked

This year’s best picture category has some incredible films – seriously, this is such a strong year. I’ve been doing this for a long time; seeing every film nominated for best picture, reviewing them and then ranking them, and 2018 is the year in which I have had the most difficulty trying to rank the films (I’ve reordered my list over a dozen times; never feeling fully confident in my ranking of them). I could easily and happily give six of the films on this list the top spot. They all in different ways and for different reasons deserve the number 1 spot. So, it has been really challenging for me to try to figure out an order that saw nearly every film landing in the right spot on the list.

I think I’ve finally done it… I think I’m now comfortable with where each film has landed on the list. But I know that because of how good so many of these films are, that many people will ultimately disagree with my ranking. I want you to know that it pains me to have to give some of these films lower rankings – but what would be the point in listing them if I was just going to give most of them the top spot. So, let’s get past this rambling section where I try to justify my ranking, and get on with the reason you clicked on this piece in the first place. Here is my ranking of the best picture nominations. Read more

Review – Lady Bird

Lady Bird, written and directed by Greta Gerwig, is wonderful and moving in its simplicity. There’s something so real and so magnetic about this film. It’s eclectic and charming selection of characters pull you in; it’s simple, yet engaging little story charms you, and everything has an air of purity to it that makes it utterly enjoyable. It offered a host of emotions to dance between and it left me with a smile on my face by the end. This is a review I’m going to enjoy writing, because there’s nothing better than getting to gush about a film that sidles its way into your heart. So, let’s get to it. Read more

The Oscars 2016: Best Picture Round-Up

The Oscars

So now that I have seen all the films nominated for best picture, and reviewed them all, I wanted to go ahead and create an easy place for anyone to be able to find and read my full and in depth reviews on all of them. I also wanted to rank the films from what I felt where the best to the not so best. Now what I mean by not so best, is that while the films are certainly still good they just don’t compete on the same level as the ones higher on the list. At no point am I saying that these films are bad or shouldn’t be seen, simply that they lack the same level of quality and deserved attention as some of the others.

Before I jump into the films I want to give my thoughts on the selection itself. Personally for me this year the assortment of films was weak compared to previous years – that’s frustrating because there have been some films that have more than deserved the attention and recognition, but for some reason where overlooked or perhaps not even considered (I’m not sure).

Personally for me, four films that have certainly been overlooked and were much more deserving of a place in the best picture category were Sicario – directed by Denis Villeneuve (you can read the full review for that here), Carol – directed by Todd Haynes (full review for that here), Steve Jobs – directed by Danny Boyle (the review for that is here) and finally Creed – directed by Ryan Coogler (of which the review for that is here). In my mind all these film were astounding watches and far more deserving of the nomination. What would I have taken out in place of those films? That’s easy – Bridge of Spies, Brooklyn, The Martian and most definitely The Big Short. Again all great films (except one of course) but let’s be honest nowhere near the same level as the films I’ve just mentioned.

But anyway that’s my two cents on all of that. Now I want to get onto the main purpose of this whole piece – The Best Picture Nominations. So what I’m going to do is rank the films from 1 to 8 (favourite to least favourite) and then give you a quick snippet of what I liked (or didn’t like) about the film. Also if you want to know more, you can click on any of the films and get taken to my full reviews which will let you know more fully what I thought about the film. Sound good? Great, then on with the show then. Read more

Review – Brooklyn

Brooklyn

Brooklyn, directed by John Crowley is a safe and comfortable little film. Lacking any real consequence or drama – Brooklyn is a film that feels like settling into a cosy night at home, pulling on the blanket and watching whatever happens to be on Netflix. Though this comforting feeling is nice, it does come with a slight hint of boredom as you wait for something of any real excitement to perk you up. Read more

Review – Lost River

Lost River

Lost River, directed by Ryan Gosling is a film with a simple story, but it is one that delivers everything (including that story) in such an unconventional, unique way. From characters that you can understand, to characters that are so unusual, Lost River is film that almost seems to reinvent itself every few scenes. Nothing is normal, yet everything is somehow understandable. This is a film that will play with your expectations, but not for the reason your thinking right now. Read more