I can't seem to stop watching movies.
1. Two Days, One Night In 2014, Marion Cotillard pulled off an "out of nowhere" nomination for her performance in this film. She didn't have the corresponding SAG, BAFTA or Globe nominations - the usual precursors for any would be Oscar nominee. Who cares. She is fantastic. This is what inspired me to go back and watch all the Marion Cotillard performances I had missed: Rust and Bone, The Immigrant. More after the jump.
2. The Immigrant Lush production design and cinematography combine with Marion Cotillard's exceptional performance. Criminally underrated and under rewarded, this is the best performance of Cotillard's career to date. Unashamedly melodramatic in its depiction of toxic relationships. The characters are so co-dependent, yet so wrong for each other. Strength comes from how they leave the relationship, or help each other to leave it.
3. Rust and Bone Is Marion Cotillard the greatest actress or her generation? Or just the greatest living actress? Yes.
4. Grandma Despite the makings of a "quirky" hit from Sundance (the film is about an aging lesbian who has to help her teenage granddaughter procure a hasty abortion) it's made palatable and real by a great performance from Lily Tomlin. When the film requires her to take eccentric turns, yelling and screaming, spilling her coffee all over a cafe floor, you believe her. Supporting actors Sam Elliott and Marcia Gay Harden are just as wonderful too.
5. Youth Abysmal. A bad photocopy of a Fellini movie or Sorrentino's own Oscar winning The Great Beauty. Even Jane Fonda in her one great scene cannot save this film from wallowing in old age navel gazing and self pity.
6. Sisters Not all the jokes land, plenty do. This is a fun romp about two polar opposite siblings who finally mature after one helluva party. I couldn't help but draw the parallels between myself and my sister. I'm Amy Poehler, she is Tina Fey. Actress Greta Lee who plays Hae-Won almost steals the movie in a hysterical scene at nail salon. Best seen with a big group of friends, your sister, your sisters or your soul sisters.
7. The Big Short "Nobody is paying attention" is a line often repeated in The Big Short. Nobody is or was paying attention to a fiscally irresponsible financial system which was ultimately bailed out by the American taxpayer. Now that we have a film that makes a complex economic disaster palatable for the masses, we might finally start to pay attention. Despite its status as a "comedy", I left The Big Short angry and crushed by cynicism. It's the feel bad comedy of the year! My money is on it to win Best Picture.
8. Amour A generally arduous experience about the pain of watching a loved one die, slowly.
9. Middle of Nowhere Written and directed by an African American woman, about an African American woman. We simply don't have enough movies about women, about African American women. Period. Superbly crafted and acted, this film is the reason why we need more diverse voices in the film industry and why we need more people of colour nominated for an The Academy award. #OscarsSoWhite
Still to write: 99 Homes, Spotlight, The Lobster, The Danish Girl, The Hateful Eight, Brooklyn, Steve Jobs, Housebound, Room