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

Hurt Locker

Now here’s a film I somehow knew was going to be good. And I watched it without knowing who’s in it, who’s directed it or anything. And then of course at the end it says Kathryn Bigelow. Nice. And the next review will be the ex-husband James Cameron‘s Avatar. So that’s how it is, a small family business over there in Hollywood. Well maybe these two aren’t exactly the Hollywood film maker type. Kathryn is not the kind of person to get stuck to one type of film, there’s Point Break and Strange Days (and about a dozen other films) and then there’s Hurt Locker. Well there’s two film makers with their films both having loads of Oscar nominations as well, but who will get the most Oscars? Oscar here, Oscar there, who cares. A precious little prize it is…

Imdb had some funny information saying the film was to star Colin Farrell, Willem Dafoe and Charlize Theron. While they’re all great, I’m glad it didn’t because the cast is just great. It works perfectly and I don’t remember any of them from any previous films either. Most of the actors appear to have a strong TV background, there’s even Evangeline Lilly from Lost.

Great script, amazing acting and powerful emotions at work here. Not quite as simple as a jack-in-a-box.

Hurt Locker
Jeremy Renner and Anthony Mackie keep the story together and the rest while ok, are just helping to move the story forwards. But Jeremy Renner is the star of this one. Anthony Mackie is one busy actor as well, but if you don’t know him too much, check out The Manchurian Candidate (Jonathan Demme’s and Denzel Washington’s version) and Million Dollar Baby. After Hurt Locker he was also in Eagle Eye and Notorious (playing Tupac Shakur). Jeremy Renner did one episode of House M.D. and The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford and 28 Weeks Later, and he also played Jeffrey Dahmer in Dahmer – I haven’t seen that and it might be unwatchable as most films about real serial killers are.

Enough facts and background, it’s pretty pointless anyway. As usual, not much to say about the story, I’m afraid the picture already says too much. Beautifully shot and directed, though I hear they wasted enough film on this one. Documentary style, they say. Locations look authentic, but then again, it’s actually right next door to Iraq. Best war film of the decade. Now then, go and watch Hurt Locker.

And bear in mind either Hurt Locker or Avatar will get loads of Oscars…