Scattered Frames: Philomena was frozen for 12 years in Nebraska


Hello everybody! Welcome to the latest edition of Scattered Frames, and the last one before Hollywood’s biggest night, the Academy Awards!  I’m still watching as many films as my schedule allows me, and I’ve finally finished seeing all the movies nominated in the major Oscar categories!

Still, there are a few other notable 2013 releases that I hope I can get to before I turn in my yearly Top 10 (yes, in March). So, without further ado, here are my thoughts on four of the biggest award contenders of 2013.

12 Years A Slave

12 Years a Slave: Culturally and socially relevant filmmaking at its best, 12 Years a Slave is a poignant history lesson and a harrowing account of a race’s suffering told through the excruciating (and true) experience of a man whose will to live never wavered. Told via superb writing, cinematography, editing and, most of all, acting, Solomon Northup’s story of survival tugs at the heartstrings and should make us feel ashamed for ever treating fellow human beings as objects. Chiwetel Ejiofor, Lupita Nyong’o, Michael Fassbender and Sarah Paulson are excellent. 4.5/5


Frozen: I’m very picky about animated films, and this one didn’t manage to thaw my cold heart towards them. Frozen is not a terrible film, but it’s definitely not at the level of the Disney classics and, while it does introduce a few tweaks to the formula, it’s nothing groundbreaking. Instantly forgettable. 2.5/5


Philomena: This little drama could’ve benefited from some trimming, but the slightly long running time doesn’t lessen the film’s impact. Great acting and two very solid performances –by Judi Dench and Steve Coogan- anchor this Best Picture nominee, which shows us the scary lengths some people will go to, motivated by greed or close-minded, hateful views. Also, it’s refreshing to see an atheist character portrayed as a normal human being (he’s an asshole, but that’s another story) and not as an evil hatemonger. 4/5


Nebraska: Leisurely paced though far from boring, Alexander Payne’s black-and-white Nebraska is a funny and engrossing road trip in the company of possibly the most callous, unfriendly, stubborn old coot (Bruce Dern) and the estranged son (Will Forte) who just wants to humor his old man before losing him forever. Beautiful cinematography, sharp writing and solid work from Forte, June Squibb and especially Dern are a huge part of this film’s appeal. 4/5