One of my resolutions for this year is to write more. My first idea was to write something about every movie and book I watch/read throughout to year. I thought maybe at least a tweet, but then I thought they’d just get lost in my rants and cries for help. So, to keep things more organized, I decided to have an ongoing blog post (at least for the film part), and here we are. I’m assuming it isn’t too much effort to edit this post over and over again. This is my first Medium post, so yay. Also, I’m in no way, shape, or form affiliated with any reputable film criticism — I’m just a guy with thoughts.
Warning: I WILL PROBABLY SPOIL A MOVIE FOR YOU.
You Were Never Really Here (2018) — Dir. Lynne Ramsay
I knew I liked this by the time the title appeared on screen, with the cab driver mouthing the words. I was reminded of Drive at first glance, but this film is so much more. Joaquin Phoenix is motivated, and haunted, by elements that aren’t exactly spelled out — which seems to be one of the common criticisms against this movie, but people are dumb. I think it’s interesting to see the juxtaposition of having suicidal fantasies while actively trying to save others. This is the first thing I’ve seen from Lynne Ramsay, but I definitely want to see more. Also, every time I bring this up somebody thinks I’m talking about I’m Still Here which is very different, but also stars Phoenix.
If Beale Street Could Talk (2018) — Dir. Barry Jenkins
Oh boy, this film looks and sounds fantastic. Another first film for me from a director, but I can tell he knows what he’s doing. The whole thing is well-acted, but a few standout scenes are pretty powerful. One with Atlanta’s Brian Tyree Henry, who I appreciate more every time I see on screen. Another with Regina King, shining a pragmatic light right in the face of dogmatic belief. (Regina King is also great in The Leftovers).
The Favourite (2018)—Dir. Yorgos Lanthimos
I love how this was shot. The wide angles, panning shots, and use of natural light (hi Barry Lyndon). All of the performances were excellent, Emma Stone being a great addition to the returning Olivia Colman and Rachel Weisz. Having seen The Lobster and The Killing of a Sacred Deer, I can say this is one of my favorite (ha) currently working directors. I still need to watch Dogtooth.
Zodiac (2007)—Dir. David Fincher
This is one of my favorite movies, conveniently left off my Top 5 List, because it was already on my friend’s list. Near the top from Fincher, it’s just great. Something about the fact that it’s (mostly) a true story, and they never caught the actual killer. A modern day Jack the Ripper. The acting (and great cast lineup) is excellent, it’s shot well, and the proper use of CGI works perfectly. You can hear more of my thoughts, as well as those of my good friends Adam and Brent on the Director Showdown podcast.
To be continued… Have any suggestions? Let me know on Twitter and I’ll add them to the list.