Oscar winner Moonlight leaves La La Land behind

So the Oscars is all about Brian Cullinan and PwC, as well as Warren Beatty a little bit. La La Land and Moonlight both ended up with the attention they didn’t deserve. So how about the movie itself? Is it really that good or just a bit boring really?

Moonlight is absolutely beautiful and well made movie. Mahershala Ali was probably the best part of the story and I wished he’d have had more screen time. Oscar definitely well deserved. One of the favourite performances I’ve seen in a while.

I think the movie ends up feeling a bit superficial, maybe due to trying to avoid some usual clichés, or simply because of trying to fit in too much. The actors do hold the movie together, but I’m still about to say Moonlight seems unnecessarily long. In other words, it’s a bit boring, really. We get to see some powerful acting and reactions, but a lot of time there’s just the powerful atmosphere and nothing else. It is beautiful, but it is definitely lacking any attempt to show how bad the problems the character(s) are facing in life. It’s obviously not sugar coated, but it’s not far off. Not saying we need to see all the misery in the world all over again – I know it’s all been shown before, over and over. But there’s definitely something missing here. Maybe something you might find in a Mike Leigh film.

Barry Jenkins directs the actors well though, and all of them do a good job, though the first part / act, however you want to call it, while seeming slightly unrealistic, felt more powerful than the following parts.

Again, not really knowing anything about the movie in advance, apart from knowing it’s nominated for Oscars in a few categories, was probably a good thing. We definitely need more movies like this and more of the same in the Oscars and Baftas and all the rest. But just because it’s the only one, doesn’t mean it’s all that good. Maybe it’s alright, but in order to win you have to be amazing and that’s just not true. And before anyone else starts complaining, of course this is not the only movie out there revolving around these issues, but which other movies do you hear people talking about and getting nominated. More good movies dealing with important issues need more exposure, better marketing, more publicity, and at the moment that still seems to be difficult.

Watch Moonlight trailer below

Forrest Gump climbs to Hacksaw Ridge

As I think is usually best, I went to the cinema not knowing a whole lot about Hacksaw ridge. I didn’t know it’s Mel Gibson’s movie. I guess I should have guessed when the blood started spilling out.

Andrew Garfield in Hacksaw Ridge

Before watching the movie, someone I spoke with mentioned that he might not want to see it because it has ‘the guy from the spiderman movie’. So that’s Andrew Garfield. I’d seen the spiderman one, and I said it didn’t bother me, even if Garfield is not in any list of favourite actors of mine.

While I think Andrew was good, and the acting was solid, I had to go back to my friend and tell him Andrew Garfield is by far more annoying in Hacksaw Ridge. But that’s, you know, just my opinion, man. So that’s the link to the oscar nomination, if you were wondering. Even without having seen any of the other ‘Actor in a leading role’ category movies, I’d rather pick Viggo or Denzel.

Of course Hacksaw Ridge itself is also nominated, as is Mel Gibson. I did really enjoy the movie. And Mel Gibson is one of the best, if not the best director in depicting violence in gruesomely detailed fashion. The fighting scenes were the most memorable parts of the movie.

Mel did alright with the script he had to work with, in terms of directing actors, at least Garfield and Teresa Palmer. At least a few times during the movie I actually thought to myself, ‘this isn’t going to work’, and yet the scene somehow pulled it off. Some of the actors did a good job working with a very American, somewhat cheesy script, while some were not able to live up to their full potential. Some of the characters were just not very believable, or the changes in their behaviour were so drastic it was more comical than dramatic.

When it is a ‘based on a true story’ movie, problems with predictability can apparently be thrown out of the window. I noticed the same with Deepwater Horizon and Sully. I’m not sure it bothers the audience, but it really should. Just recreating and acting events as closely as possible to real life should probably be left for documentaries, and movie writers and directors should be brave enough to make the movies their own. Any anecdote told by Desmond T. Doss himself is likely to be much more moving than a piece of film with two actors trying their best to recreate the moment.

Then there’s the Full Metal Jacket part of the movie that just fails like all the others before it. And the Forrest Gump moments, whether intentional or not.

All in all, I did enjoy Hacksaw ridge, with its flaws and all, but after a rethink there’s quite a bit of room for improvement. We’ll soon see if the academy agrees.

Watch Hacksaw Ridge traile below