This Sunday is one of the most anticipated days of the year for me as always, it’s Oscar time. It is on my bucket list to one year attend the Oscars. We actually have a friend who is married to a Hollywood agent and have found a possible in roads to attend the Oscars one academy awards one year. You have to be put in a lottery though so it’s a shot in the dark, so maybe one year we will go.
Anyhow, I have given a lot of thoughts about the movie year recently. Some critics suggest that it was a weak year for movies last year. I disagree, I probably went to about 90 movies last year and thought the overall quality of movies was quite satisfying. I do think however that there were very few great movies, but a lot of good and almost great movies and very few absolute stinkers.
I have created a few categories of my own for your enjoyment. We will begin with Sleeper hits. Here is my off the top of my head list of some under the radar gems or underappreciated movies from last year. In no particular order they are
It comes at Night-Critically acclaimed yes, but it generated little buzz amongst movie goers. Starring the under appreciated Joel Edgerton of Warrior fame.
Life- another sci fi movie which in my opinion like It comes at night was just shy of great. Starring Ryan Reynolds and Jake Gyllenhall.
Patty Cakes$- A bunch of rag tag underdogs strive for success in the hip hop game. Had my absolute favorite scene of the year. Starring Danielle Macdonald in a star making role as the titular character.
and the award goes to Patty Cakes- Not the best movie of the year but certainly some great moments and a cast of characters you absolutely root for and love because of they are so far from mainstream and very diverse. a stereotypical cast this is not. Both wacky and heartfelt touching and humorous. A great underdog story.
Movies that lived up to the Hype
Guardians of the Galaxy 2-Never saw the first one and didn’t need to to enjoy this movie. A give it a B plus. Not quite great but almost.
Planet of the Apes- Great closure to an intriguing trilogy around Caesar. If it wasn’t for the annoying comic relief “Bad ape” character this would have been an Oscar contender in my book. I give it an A-.
3 Billboard outside of Ebbings,Mo- Billed as an Oscar contender and it lived up to the hype. In my opinion the best movie of the year.
The shape of Water- To be honest Sally Hawkins is what drew me in because of her performance in Maudie alongside Ethan Hawke earlier in the year. Fantasy is not my forte which is why for me it was the 2nd best movie of the year.
And the Winner is-Planet of the Apes. A near Oscar caliber movie and a very satisfying conclusion to this series. It wins because it is very rare that a blockbuster reaches this level of excellence. It was hyped for a huge audience not an indie loving audience like Shape of water or 3 billboards so this gets the win.
Over rated Movie of the year. This will have a loser and not a winner.
The nominees are
Lady Bird- Starring Soarise Ronan and Laurie Metcalfe- Movie critics loved this movie but I thought it was strictly mediocre. Not the Oscar caliber movie it is purported to be.
Wonder Woman- To be honest you are better of watching Professor Marsten and the Wonder women. People loved the idea of this movie. Next time don’t worry about getting a literal beauty queen worry about a strong actress in the lead.
Dunkirk- This is actually a good movie. And it had great elements- Like the score and the cinematography. However the director missed with the story telling. There should have been less focus on the beach and more focus on the citizens who come to the rescue. Not Oscar caliber more like a 7 on a scale of a 1-10. An Oscar caliber movie should be a 10.
Call me by your name. Yet again a good movie. Very slowing movie however. Probably a 7 on a scale of 1-10. It ended great however. The last 15 minutes were oscar worthy but this movie was way to slow and was way too long.
And the Loser is Wonder woman- watched by way too many for a movie that was mediocre at best. The lead actress is not strong. Fight scenes dragged on way too long. It was not enjoyable. Way too long and I don’t find the actual portrayal of the character interesting. Wonder woman can be an interesting character. I thought she came across as sweet and altruistic in Justice league and she was a great addition to that movie but a full length movie devoted to her was not necessary, it was just a money grab playing off the novelty of having a woman in the lead. Women clamored to be represented so they flocked to the theater and men are just pervy weirdos who want to see a woman fight in a skirt.
Comedy of the year
Girls night out- Breakout movie for Tiffany Haddish. Well acted and very fun movie to watch.
Jumanji- The concept of having the adult actors paly characters that are exactly opposite of what they look like was very clever and perfectly executed by Jack Black especially.
The Big Sick- First great movie I saw last year and it should be nominated for movie of the year. Much deeper than your typical rom com. Hilarious and meaningful with a veteran cast of comic actors including Holly Hunter and Ray Romano in supporting roles.
Thor- It is an action hero movie but it is also very comedic. I never expected this to play as a comedy and it really worked. Honestly it may have been rather formulaic if played as a straight action superhero movie.
And the Winner is…
The Big Sick. While the rest of the movies ranged from good to very good this is the only movie in this category that I wo0uld give an actual A letter grade to. Much deeper and moving than the other movies. And I loved watching the actual stand up routines throughout the movie. This was based on an actual story which is why it is believable and moving. Very charming, very funny and who doesn’t relate to the angst of love and meeting your loves parents.
Actor of the Year-
Chris Pratt- Loved him in Passengers which was a hard movie to carry and scored well with Guardians of the Galaxy as well.
Woody Harrelson-Who chose two better movies to star in this year than Woody Harrelson. Touching in 3 billboards and a great baddy in Planet of the apes.
Sally Hawkins-Actually gave two Oscar worthy performances. One is Maudie and the other for Shape of Water. Also starred in Paddington 2.
Idris Elba- Call him Tapatio because he was in everything. Starred in the mountain between us and gave a nice performance there. Made the Dark tower a watchable movie. Was in Molly game and also Thor. Don’t forget 100 streets as well. Just a very talented versatile actor. Always a pleasure to watch.
And the Winner is…
Sally Hawkins- Absolutely adorable in Maudie and I immediately thought Oscar worthy when I watched it and then she does shape of water and makes this weird romance with a sci fi sea creature moving and watchable and actually seem forgivable although it is beastiality. A well deserved nomination for her and I wish she would have got two nomionations because her performance in Maudie needs to be watched. She just clicked well with eevrybody this year from Ethan hawkes to Octavia spencer to some weird fishy bastard and Richard Jenkins.