Monday, January 18, 2016

Reviews for some Oscar Nominated films, including "Brooklyn," "The Revenant," and "Amy."

Reviews for some Oscar nominated films:

Mike and I saw the movie "Brooklyn" today, and simply loved it. This very sweet love story, and coming of age movie, was nominated for three Oscars, including Best Picture, and Best Adapted Screenplay (Nick Hornby), and it probably deserved more.

 Critics and fans have been raving at how beautiful this movie is, giving it four star reviews. Based on the novel by Colm Toibin, it tells the story of a young twenty something girl who dares to leave the small town of Ireland to ...try to make a new life for herself in Brooklyn, New York. She faces crushing homesickness for her mother and sister (portrayed tenderly by Saoirse Ronan, in her Oscar nominated performance), and eventually meets a handsome, cute and sweet Italian plumber, played boyishly by Emory Cohen, and begins to fall in love. 

 Tragedy brings her back to Ireland and she is torn between two worlds, two countries, and two men. This movie, set in the early fifties, makes you think: What ever happened to old fashioned love? It's a wonderful and sweet film, and now I'm interested in the 2009 novel, by openly gay writer Colm Toibin. See this picture if you can. You won't regret it. It's a film about immigration that speaks to our times, and, yet, they don't make movies like this anymore. Peace, Love, and Best Wishes, Ruben and Mike.

Mike and I went to see an early showing of "The Revenant," and though we think it is a great film, had mixed feelings for the character. I'm so glad that I just read Jack London's classic tale of survival called "Call of the Wild," because it prepared me for the savagery of "The Revenant."
"The Revenant" is a blood-bath, that is brutal, as much as it is beautiful because it takes place in the most gorgeous natural settings, with misty pines, wild rivers, the views from breathtaking bluffs. 

Mike had difficult warming up to any of the characters, because they seemed so uncivilized. Although I did not cry for Hugh Glass, I felt a deep sympathy for his half Indian son, and his murdered Indian wife.

The Native American spirituality in this film that comes in ghostly chants from the other-world, makes this movie bearable to watch. I read that Glass was a real person, who really survived a bear attack, and wandered 200 miles through wilderness to make it back to the camp of fellow fur-trappers. In my mind, I kept thinking the animal rights slogan of "fur kills," and I kept thinking that being mauled by a bear is partly the bad karma of hunting animals for fur coming back to bite you on the ass.

I'm glad I sat through the entire two and half hours of "The Revenant," because it taught me something important how helping others survive can sometimes come back to help you survive. This movie is based on a Historical Fiction Novel by Michael Punke, who created the Glass' Native American son, to make you feel sympathy for him, but I'm not to sure I should be feeling sympathy for someone like Glass. The real Glass was eventually killed by Native Americans in 1833.
Leonardo Decaprio definitely deserves his long awaited Oscar for this, for at least making us feel for his characters pain and suffering. I probably won't be watching this movie again, but the cinematography left me in awe, and should win an Oscar.

This movie makes me want to visit Calgary Canada where it was filmed. It deserves the 12 Oscars that it was nominated for, more than any other movie this year, and I saw it, despite being a little scared of it, because Leonardo gave such a moving speech honoring Native Americans when he won the Golden Globe for it. I only feel slightly punished for seeing it. Peace, Love, and Best Wishes, Ruben and Mike.

Reponse to my friend Claudia on facebook:

All coats were made of fur and animal pelts, even the Native Americans wore them. But in today's world I'm against hunting defenseless animals to make fur coats. I'm by no means a vegetarian, and I do eat steak, and wear leather, but at least the animals we wear are turned into food. Some of those animals foxes, and minks, rabbits, and such, didn't deserve to be hunted. Killing lions, and tigers and bears for sports should be illegal, yet many people, mostly selfish white people, still do it. The film locations are beautiful in "The Revenant," and the performances were great, including Tom Hardy's nasty, racist redneck character was well performed, earning him an Oscar nomination in role that I could only understand half of what he was saying with his twang. I thought the story of brute survival, motivated by the deep desire for revenge kept the movie going to the bitter end. Mike was disgusted by him eating raw meat to survive. I just laughed at it, uncomfortably.

Mike and I are watching the documentary about Amy Winehouse called "Amy," that was just nominated for an Oscar. It's really good. It's a tender, and intimate portrait of a deeply talented singer and songwriter, troubled by alcoholism. I love her album "Back to Black." What a loss! We rented it from redbox.

I never knew how messed up she was. When I saw her live at the Vic, she seemed to have it together. She needed to give herself time to clean up and get therapy. Some great singers have comeback from addictions to do great things. She chose her suffering to keep drinking so heavily. Poor thing couldn't save herself.

She had such a deep, and soulful voice, that if she just covered all the jazz standards and classics, I would have loved it.
Peace, Love, and Best Wishes, Ruben and Mike.

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