Sunday night will be an Oscar ceremony unlike any that we have ever seen before. No host, non-actors as presenters, and negative feelings about the Academy’s attempts to shake up the ceremony will make for an interesting telecast. With that in mind, I have little doubt that my 2019 Oscar predictions could be wildly off.
The Oscar nominations for the 2019 Academy Awards were announced today. There were a few surprises and snubs, but overall most of the nominations went as expected. More posts will follow as I catch up on a few films, but here are my ten initial thoughts on the 2019 Oscars:
Clint Eastwood has a knack for choosing unusual projects. His latest, The Mule, is certainly something unique to the big screen. The true story of a 90-year-old drug trafficker is one of the more original film concepts of 2018. Even though the script falls short in developing worth secondary stories, Eastwood himself makes The Mule stand out with a stellar late-career performance.
I spent a lot of time in movie theaters in 2018. Whether it was Ocean’s 8 or A Star Is Born, there were a lot of movies that tried to tell memorable stories. Not every film succeeded. Many stood as platforms for terrific acting performances, but came up short as art and entertainment. All made for a great collective experience as a moviegoer.
With a historic Thanksgiving weekend in the books, the Fall cinema season is unofficially over. Despite strong showings by Creed 2, Green Book, and A Star Is Born, the Oscar race is still wide open. Here are five movies that will wrap up 2018 and create serious awards chatter.
Few film genres are as fascinating on the big screen as boxing movies, at least in Philadelphia. The personal struggles, big punches, and hard falls induce larger-than-life thrills. Moments that the sport itself has not realized in a long time. No movie captures this dynamic as well as Rocky, whose sequel Creed II develops its enticing premise in unexpected ways.
The Netflix original movie The Outlaw King poses as a watershed moment for the streaming company: could they successfully produce an epic historical drama that is shot for movie theaters, yet relegated for small screen consumption? Despite an A-list star, a golden premise, and a blockbuster budget, the medieval picture is an uninspiring film that slogs through a dynamic moment in Scottish history.
40 years after Halloween unleashed the pure evil of Michael Myers, the silent slasher franchise returns with a “give the people what they want” formula. In its first-ever "direct" sequel, Michael Myers terrorizes Laurie Strode and Haddonfield, Illinois. It has been done before (ten times), but the 2018 Halloween updates the Myers-Strode saga with satisfying storytelling and references to its predecessor.
First Man is a prototype of intense POV filmmaking. Director Damien Chazelle puts the audience in the cockpit, command module, and spacesuit in his portrayal of Neil Armstrong’s career. Despite this adrenalized proximity, First Man has a plodding pace and misuses opportunities for the character exploration necessary for a successful biopic.