Living In Theatres A-
Best Lead Actor/Best Adapted Screenplay
Bill Nighy is rightly nominated for this really lovely character driven film about a man, who late in life, is motivated to learn what it is to truly live. Nighy is lovely, understated and frankly divine in this well directed piece that only suffers slightly under its slow pace. There are several, breath-taking moments where the director allows the audience the time to truly savor a moment, where a minor character is allowed to blossom and thinking, being and feeling is revealed, not shown. Honestly, some of the best direction I can recall…ever. Nod to Oliver Hermanus! Definitely worth seeing.
Fire of Love Disney + B Best Documentary Feature Film
Oscar nominated Documentary about Vulcanologists Katia and Maurice Kraft. What is great about this film is the footage taken by Katia and Maurice. They risked their lives and ultimately died getting the most amazing footage of lava, volcanoes and each other getting way too close to lava and volcanoes. What is not good is almost everything else about this doc. The narrator is HORRIBLE, the method of storytelling is HORRIBLE and everything that isn’t Katia and Maurice is truly, noticeably not on par with the work these scientists devoted their lives to. Do you know how hard you have to work to make a love story about 2 people running toward volcanoes actually be dull?? Watch this and you will. I am sorry Katia and Maurice didn’t get a better retelling of their story. That being said, their footage is CERTAINLY award worthy. I wish I had watched it with the sound and captions off.
My Year of Dicks Available on the Internet A Best Animated Short
Oscar Nominated Animated Short. First you have to admit the title is great, right? I had no idea it was an autobiographical retelling of a 16-year-old girl who has decided to lose her virginity. It was lovely, funny, shocking, heart wrenching, beautiful and refreshing…in all the ways there are. The storytelling was fresh, the animation was divine. I can only say that if that is how her father actually explained sex to her, we need to start a go fund me for writer Pamela Ribon, for the therapy she must surely need. OYE! The animation of this scene and her reaction is BEYOND BRILLIANT, it certainly deserves Oscar attention. You owe it to yourself to watch and cringe.
The Martha Mitchell Effect Netflix A- Best Documentary Short Film
I think my biggest complaint about this doc, is that I would have liked more. It is the bare bones retelling of Martha Mitchell’s role in the Watergate Scandal. Mitchell’s husband was a key player and Martha was notorious for being loose lipped in the press. The film ends up being an amuse-bouche of clips of Mitchell talking to media before, during and after the Watergate scandal. More please.
The Elephant Whisperers Netflix A- Best Documentary Short Film
This short doc takes us to India to experience the day-to day care of 2 orphaned elephants and their downtrodden but resilient caregivers. The cinematography is gorgeous, and the elephants are willing stars. I found myself wanting to chuck it all and go sleep on a dirt floor with a baby elephant. Heartbreakingly beautiful, short, a great watch.
Armageddon Time Apple TV+ C+
Oh dear, yet another memoir of another white male director. Can someone make it stop? Please? This one has a great cast that is mired in a story that can go nowhere because it is apparently tied to a truth that is…underwhelming. Anthony Hopkins plays grandpa, Anne Hathaway is mom, and Jeremy Strong is dad. The script has moments of promise that never develop, ultimately it lays there bleeding until the credits role. This is one to miss.