Scattered Frames: The Contenders – Part II
Hi! It’s me again, this time with the second serving of short and sweet reviews about some of this year’s main award contenders. Enjoy!
Begin Again: A pleasant film that’s so restrained that it borders on bland and a musical that strangely features very little music. Failed to excite me but at least it’s entertaining and Mark Ruffalo and Keira Knightley do share a wonderful chemistry. 3/5
Deux Jours, Une Nuit: Marion Cotillard gives the best female performance of the year in this simple but harrowing story by the Dardennes. A depressed woman must convince her coworkers to give up their bonuses so she can get back to work. Sure, it’s repetitive but it’s in that repetition where we really get to know Sandra and damn it, we really want her to get that freakin’ job back! Gripping stuff. 4/5
Annie: Much has been said about the fact that Annie is now black, instantly making her “cooler” or something but, regardless of color, this is a shitty film. A musical filled with people who can’t sing, but not in the endearing way of Everyone Says I Love You. The writing is horrid and an air of incredible stupidity pervades throughout. Cameron Diaz hams it up to the nth degree and is the only source of fun. 1.5/5
Relatos Salvajes: The Argentinian entry for the ‘Foreign Film’ Oscar (and possible victor) is not excellent throughout but when it flies, it soars. This dark comedy about giving in to our animal urges and losing control features great writing and some winning performances. Incredibly fun. 4/5