Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

I love getting into the swing of blogging again! I just saw the new spin-off/prequel film in the Harry Potter film series, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. Now I am a big Harry Potter fan. I read all the books and I have seen all of the movies multiple times. Harry Potter has been a huge part of my childhood and for countless other people too. So I can definitely understand any weariness Harry Potter fans may have about this new film series. Let me tell you this though and forgive my pun, Fantastic Beasts is pretty fantastic!

In the year 1926, seventy years before Harry Potter reads his book at Hogwarts, writer Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne) arrives in New York City with a suitcase that contains dozens of magical creatures. Chaos ensues when some of the creatures escape, causing trouble for both the wizarding and No-Maj (muggle or non-magic) worlds.

I enjoyed Fantastic Beasts, I really did. It is a genuinely fun movie to see. Harry Potter fans need not worry as well. Let’s make this clear, Fantastic Beasts is no Harry Potter, but that is the point. It is not trying to. In fact the film needs to be different, which it is. No one is really expecting Fantastic Beasts to be the same, which in my opinion is what makes the film more enjoyable and fun. You see, Fantastic Beasts is based on a book of the same name by J.K. Rowling but that book really did not have much of a story apart from the descriptions of the many magical creatures found in the wizarding world. J.K. Rowling herself wrote the screenplay for the film so I found it really unique to be going into this film blind. The audience really does not have much prior source material to go off on, unlike the Harry Potter films.

Eddie Redmayne was great in Fantastic Beasts as Newt Scamander. He is honestly adorable and I could not think of a better actor to fill the role. I personally was not a huge fan of Katherine Waterson’s character Porpentina Goldstein as I found her character to not be very likeable at all especially when compared to the other supporting characters played by Dan Fogler and Alison Sudol. They both actually stole the show for me, especially Fogler. He provided some great comic relief and his character was my favorite by far.

I have to admit seeing the WB logo with the Harry Potter theme playing at the start of the movie got me. It was so nice actually to be back in this familiar world, to recognize the spells and learn more about characters that were previously left untouched. With great effects and an entertaining story, Fantastic Beasts is a film anyone can enjoy, even those who are not so familiar with the Harry Potter wold. The film was actually a bit darker at times than I would have expected, but it still goes to show the pure thrill of this magical world that has been brought back to the big screen.

ALL IN ALL: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is an enjoyable film for all that will please Harry Potter fans and delight those not so familiar to the wizarding world.

Director: David Yates

Cast: Eddie Redmayne, Katherine Waterston, Colin Farrell, Ezra Miller, Dan Fogler, Alison Sudol

Run time: 133 minutes, PG-13

Year: 2016

image from: http://www.joblo.com/timthumb.php?src=/posters/images/full/fantastic_beasts_and_where_to_find_them_ver4_xxlg.jpg&h=600&q=100

 

Arrival

After a long slump (truly sorry my last review was in June), I have finally seen a film that has motivated me to write again: Arrival. I really enjoyed this film. In fact, I loved it. It exceeded my expectations and left me speechless. I can easily name it as my favorite movie this year (so far). However it may not be for everyone.

After 12 mysterious spacecrafts touch down in different locations across the globe, the military enlists the aid of linguist professor Dr. Louise Banks (Amy Adams) to try to translate the alien communications before a global war breaks out.

Arrival was not the movie I expected. From first glance it may seem like a typical alien invasion type film but do not be fooled. I prefer to describe Arrival as a film that simply has aliens in it. Truth be told, while the alien aspect of the film does play a very large and central role to the plot, the film is revealed to be much larger and introspective. This reason alone is why I do not feel the movie may meet everyone’s expectations. Certainly some sci-fi fans who go in solely expecting an alien invasion movie will be somewhat disappointed. Arrival is not a simple popcorn flick. It is an intelligent film that makes one think, so much that even I cannot stop going over the film in my head.

Arrival is full of emotion. Right from the beginning, it grabs your heart and your mind and does not let go until the very end, where truth be told I found myself in tears. It is simply a beautiful film. With strong performances from Amy Adams and a gorgeous score by Jóhann Jóhannsson (whose previous work includes films such as The Theory of Everything), the film takes the viewer away into a parallel world. The story line of the film is also so smart and intricately constructed. Both beautiful and heartbreaking, the plot of Arrival forgoes conventional storytelling and constantly reels in one’s concentration. Seriously the film made me gasp.

I wholeheartedly recommend this film and I also suggest going in as blind as possible. Arrival may not be what it is pictured as, but nevertheless, it is a powerful and moving film that grows into so much more. The overarching themes and decisions the plot presents resonate with the viewer even after the credits roll. Arrival definitely is a sci-fi film, but it is more so a film about life-about endings and beginnings. Arrival is a well done film and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

ALL IN ALL: While not the typical alien movie, Arrival unveils itself as a beautiful and poignant film with themes of life that resonate deep.

Director: Denis Villeneuve

Cast: Amy Adams, Jeremy Renner, Forest Whitaker

Year: 2016

 

 

The Conjuring 2

I love scary movies. I really do. I will admit that I only started watching them a while ago after trying to seem cool to my friends, but I have grown a deep love for the horror genre. The Conjuring series is no exception. I love the first Conjuring film. It is easily my favorite scary movie. Director James Wan, who has also directed classics like Saw, Insidious, and surprisingly Furious 7, is a master of suspense and thrills. The film does not rely on blood and gore but rather well-timed scares and growing suspense that provides a throwback to classic, old school horror films. Back at it again, The Conjuring 2 is no exception.

Directed by James Wan and based on a true story, The Conjuring 2 (2016) has Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga return as paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren. The Warrens now travel to London, England in order to help a single mother and her four kids who are being plagued by a malicious spirit.

I want to refrain from comparing The Conjuring 2 too much to the first film, but I can say for a fact that I enjoyed the first film more and found the sequel to be less scary. Do not get me wrong, The Conjuring 2 is a scary film. There were moments that genuinely made me jump. The suspense and thrills were strong. However, it lacked that fresh feel the first film possessed, perhaps due to familiarity.

The film felt somewhat messy, in its plot and visuals. There were scares but almost too many. Let me explain this. The first film drew out the suspense and packed in scares that were not as frequent but packed in a very strong punch. However for example in The Conjuring 2, the first few scenes that featured the demonic entity (I do not want to describe it any more so as not to spoil much), were absolutely horrifying. The film then made the mistake of showing the entity way too often to the point where it was no longer scary by the end of the film. The scares felt repeated and unnecessary at times.

The Conjuring 2 also felt a bit long. Clocking in at 2 hours and 14 minutes, the film is a pretty average length but the pacing made it feel otherwise. A majority of the film was The Warrens along with other investigators trying to determine if the happenings were actually supernatural or not. Though this debate was actually a large part of the real life Enfield Case upon which the film is based upon, less of the film could have been devoted to that aspect. That being said, I found the first Conjuring to be a bit more believable than the second one. Also for those who have already seen the film, those Crooked Man visuals really took away from the tone and reality of it all. Shannon Kook who played Drew Thomas, the Warren’s assistant, in the first film had a small role in the second but really should have had more screen time in my opinion.

Nevertheless, The Conjuring 2 is a solid sequel. Again, James Wan is a master of horror so of course there are some great moments. I especially love his use of the settings and dark corners, making the audience really train their eyes and question, “Is there really something there?”. Though I was a bit thrown off by it, the film also focused many times on Ed and Lorraine’s relationship which was a nice breather from the suspense at times. Overall The Conjuring 2 is a well done addition to the Conjuring franchise and the horror movie library.

ALL IN ALL: Though not as strong and terrifying a film as its predecessor, The Conjuring 2 is a solid sequel with some worthy scares and surprisingly warm themes.

poster from: http://diymag.com/media/img/Film/C/The-Conjuring-2/_1500xAUTO_crop_center-center_75/the-conjuring-2-poster.jpg

My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2

Out of all the movies coming out in 2016, My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 was probably one of the ones I was looking forward to the most. I know, surprising right? Thing is, the first My Big Fat is actually one of my all time favorite movies. I  have seen it so many times with my sisters to the point where we own our own copy and can quote lines directly from it. It’s just one of those films that you can relate to so much and it will always be a classic for me. As many of you may know, I am not a huge fan of sequels at all. At all. So of course I was skeptical of a sequel to a movie that came out fourteen years ago. Sure my skepticism had good reason, but it was honestly so much fun to be reunited with the Portokalos family again!

With her daughter about to graduate and head off to college, Toula Portokalos (Nia Vardalos) is struggling to let go while also dealing with marital problems with her husband (John Corbett) and family problems when her parents realize they were never officially married. Thus, the whole Portokalos family comes together again for an even bigger and fatter Greek wedding.

Let me just start off with this: if you are a fan of the first My Big Fat, you will like this film. If you are not or you have not seen the first one: then don’t watch it (I don’t know why you would if you haven’t even seen the first one anyways). It is as simple as that. Fans of the first will enjoy the movie because it definitely makes you feel nostalgic. There are tons of references to the first film and it so awesome to see all those beloved characters back again. When I say all of them, I mean all of them too! Even the most minor characters are back and it really feels like a huge reunion.

When I first saw the trailer, I was not a huge fan of the whole fed-up teenage daughter subplot, but it actually turned out to be fine. The actress who plays the daughter, Elena Kampouris, even favorited my tweet about the movie so shout out to her! Also the characters really do look the same, have they even aged? John Corbett is a stud as always, and of course my favorite character Aunt Voula steals the show every scene.

That’s another thing, the film really tries to give more screen time to many of the supporting characters and develop their story lines more. While for me that’s fine since I love them all, I can see why that might have been a criticism of the film. Sometimes it felt like too much was going on at once. The writing was not as strong for me either when compared to the first film. A few times there were just awkward moments that fell short and made me cringe.

Nevertheless I liked My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2! It was fun to watch and so great to see all the characters back again. The central message is still there too: family is always first and will always be there for you.

ALL IN ALL: Fans of the first film will enjoy My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2, full of sentiments, nostalgia, and of course the fun and beloved Portokalos family.

image from: http://cdn3-www.comingsoon.net/assets/uploads/gallery/my-big-fat-greek-wedding-2/cw192dju4aao657-jpg-large.jpg

OSCARS 2016!!!!

This is little late but whatever, any time is Oscar time! What did everyone think of this past Sunday’s Oscar ceremony? I personally was not a huge fan of Chris Rock’s hosting. He was funny but all of his jokes were about the Oscars So White issue, which is definitely important to highlight upon but it got old after a while (What even was that Stacey Dash bit?). I did like the Girl Scout cookie bit and seeing what types of cookies people got. Also, Louis C.K. should host next year because his little introduction was much funnier than all of Chris Rock’s attempts. Aside from the show, the best part about this year’s Oscars was by far the winners. Let’s go over them!

THE WINNERS (check mark ✓  and x mark ✗for my predictions being right or not)

    • Best picture: Spotlight ✗ I was actually very surprised Spotlight won since it really hasn’t won many awards this season. I was rooting for The Revenant.
    • Director: Alejandro G. Iñárritu – The Revenant ✓  Yes! I love him and his work for this film.  It’s also his second Best Director win in a row!
    • Actor in a leading role: Leonardo DiCaprio – The Revenant. YES YES YES ONE OF THE BEST MOMENTS OF MY LIFE

Just for your own personal pleasure, here was my reaction to Leo winning:

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He is my favorite actor and he deserves this award so much. Being able to see him win that Oscar was amazing. His win also surpassed Ellen’s 2014 seflie as the most tweeted about Oscar moment!

    • Actress in a leading role: Brie Larson- Room 
    • Actor in a supporting role: Mark Rylance- Bridge of Spies  This was probably the biggest upset of the night for me. I was rooting for Stallone so hard and if not Sly then definitely Mark Ruffalo. I actually thought they said Ruffalo at first with the whole Mark R-, but sadly no.
    • Actress in a supporting role: Alicia Vikander- The Danish Girl  I had a strong feeling Alicia would win, but I still hoped for Kate Winslet anyway.
    • Writing (adapted screenplay): The Big Short 
    • Writing (original screenplay) : Spotlight ✓
    • Animated feature filmInside Out ✓
    • Animated Short: Bear Story ✗
    • Foreign language film: Son of Saul 
    • Music (original song): “Writing’s On The Wall” – Spectre ✓  Lady Gaga’s performance of “Till It Happens To You” was one of the best moments of the night and her song is absolutely beautiful, but I still predicted Sam Smith would win. Bond songs have a tendency to do so.
    • Music (original score): Ennio Moriccone- The Hateful Eight  ✗
    • Cinematography: Emmanuel Lubezki- The Revenant✓  So well deserved, the cinematography was one of the best aspects of the film. It’s also Chivo’s third consecutive Oscar!
    • Costume designMad Max: Fury Road ✗ Mad Max dominated the Oscars this year (6 wins overall)!
    • Documentary (feature): Amy ✓ 
    • Film editing: Mad Max: Fury Road ✗
    • Makeup and hairstyling: Mad Max: Fury Road ✓ 
    • Production design: Mad Max: Fury Road ✓ 
    • Visual effects: Ex Machina ✗ Actually happy Mad Max didn’t win this one.
    • Sound mixing: Mad Max: Fury Road ✓ 
    • Sound editing: Mad Max: Fury Road ✗
    • Short film (live action): Stutterer 
    • Best Documentary Short: A Girl in the River: The Price of Forgiveness ✗

In the end, I got a 15/24, 63%…yikes! My predictions were not on point this year. I am happy with most of the winners though!

Now *drumroll please*, onto the other best part of the Oscars: THE RED CARPET!

We also have our special co-red carpet correspondent Amanda A joining us again with her picks!

Amy’s Choices

BEST

Naomi Watts in Armani Prive

Gorgeous colors and I love the sparkle!

Saoirse Ronan in custom Calvin Klein

She killed it this award season with her fabulous looks! The sparkle and cut of this green dress fit her perfectly.

Brie Larson in Gucci

Love the royal blue on her! 

HONORABLE MENTIONS

Alicia Vikander in Louis Vuitton

Okay so I have very mixed feelings about this dress. On one hand, I absolutely love the yellow (my favorite color) and how it channels Belle (my favorite Disney princess), but something about the bottom of the dress throws me off.

Rachel McAdams in August Getty Atelier

It’s simple but I like the cut. 

Jennifer Garner in Atelier Versace

My favorite of the many black dresses on the red carpet this year

WORST

Jennifer Lawrence in Dior

Drab 

Olivia Wilde in Valentino

Not a huge fan of the cut and those pleats

Heidi Klum in Marchesa

No

Amanda’s Choices

BEST

Chrissy Tiegen in Marchessa and John Legend in Paul Smith

One of the prettiest maternity looks I’ve seen. John looks dapper as always.

Brie Larson in Gucci

Besides winning best actress, Brie also wins for being one of the best-dressed of the night. The color looks regal on her, and I love her waist bling.

Naomi Watts in Armani Prive

Saoirse Ronan in custom Calvin Klein

Love the sparkle and colors of these glam dresses! Both ladies pull the look off without looking too flashy. 

HONORABLE MENTIONS

Julianne Moore in Chanel

Jennifer Garner in Atelier Versace

Kate Winslet could learn from them. This is how to do a black dress!

Olivia Munn in Stella McCartney

We don’t see a lot of orange on the red carpet, but the cut of this dress makes the look work!

Matt Damon and Luciana Barroso in Versace

Matt always looks great, and I love the color and cut of Luciana’s dress!

WORST

Kate Winslet in Ralph Lauren

Kate is beautiful, but this was one of the worst dresses of the night. It looks like a garbage bag.

Emily Blunt in Prada

Looks like a cross between a prom dress and a fancy nightgown.

Kerry Washington in Atelier Versace

Is she trying out for the Tomb Raider remake? Smh

Thanks Amanda A! Well that’s it for this year’s Oscars! The 2016 award season has sadly come to an end. Thanks for joining us on our coverage and let’s start looking forward to next year!

Oscar Predictions 2016

Happy Oscar Day everyone! To start off this glorious day right, here are my prediction’s for tonight’s winners

full list of nominees here

Best Picture: The RevenantA lot of people are saying The Big Short or even Spotlight could steal the award, but I’m betting on my favorite film of the year instead.

Director: Alejandro González Iñárritu for The Revenant

Actor in  Leading Role: Leonardo DiCaprio for The Revenant, hands down

Actress in a Leading Role: Brie Larson for Room

Actor in a Supporting Role: Sylvester Stallone for Creed. Mark Ruffalo is also a strong contender here for Spotlight, but I love Sly so let’s hope for him!

Actress in a Supporting Role: Kate Winslet for Steve Jobs. I have a feeling Alicia Vikander could definitely win for The Danish Girl but Kate is my home girl and I would love to see her win again.

Original Screenplay: Spotlight

Adapted Screenplay: The Big Short

Animated Feature Film: Inside Out

Foreign Film: Son of Saul

Best Music (original song): Writing’s On The Wall”, Spectre

Music (original score): The Hateful Eight, Morricone!

Cinematography: The Revenant – Emmanuel Lubezki, (could be his third win in a row!)

Costume Design: Cinderella

Documentary Feature:  Amy

Film Editing: Mad Max: Fury Road. I’m betting on Mad Max for a lot of the more technical categories.

Makeup and Hair styling:  Mad Max: Fury Road

Production Design: Mad Max: Fury Road

Visual Effects: Mad Max: Fury Road. I also could see Ex Machina winning here too.

Sound Mixing: Mad Max: Fury Road (The next two are really down to either Mad Max or The Revenant so it’s pretty much a guessing game at this point.)

Sound Editing:  The Revenant

Short Film, live action: Day One

Short Film, animated:  Sanjay’s Super Team

Documentary Short: Body Team 12

Make sure to tune in to the Oscars tonight 8:30 pm EST on ABC! Chris Rock is our host and I have feeling that it’s going to be a good show with a lot of great winners. I will also be live tweeting so check out our Twitter page as well!

Room

Probably one of the films of 2015 I was most curious about was Room. Based on a novel of the same name by Emma Donaghue (who also wrote the screenplay for the movie), Room has a unique concept that is difficult to imagine on screen. The result though is triumphant, a haunting but surprisingly beautiful portrait of survival, adjustment, and the unbreakable bond between a mother and son.

Room tells the story of Joy “Ma” (Brie Larson) and her five-year-old son Jack (Jacob Tremblay), who after being held captive for seven years in an enclosed space, finally escape and are forced to experience and adjust to the real world they have been hidden from.

The performances in Room are really what kept the film up. Brie Larson was fantastic as she navigated such a fragile yet strong character with great ability. Her acting prowess is powerful in the film and I do believe she deserves the Oscar. What I liked about her character in particular is that while Joy is resilient, she is also not perfect. She has her bad days, deservedly so with the horrid situation she is in, but she also tries to be optimistic for her son. Joy strives to be a good mother and provide Jack with a complete childhood, but one must still remember her young age. Larson is able to personify all of these elements into her performance.

Now let’s talk about Jacob Tremblay though. Why was he not nominated for an Oscar? His performance was so amazing in this film that it easily rivals any of those from the other nominated actors. His is young but in many ways he even outshines Brie Larson due to his incredibly natural and heart-tugging actions. Pretty much all of my favorite scenes simply had Jack being the wonderfully adorable and curious little boy he is. The chemistry between Larson and Tremblay is undeniable and their strong bond as mother and son in the film is ever present.

Probably what I liked about Room the most was not its tale of perseverance and survival, but rather the struggles to adjust to a normal life shown. The pair’s escape does not lead right away to a happy ending. In fact what they must face next, the real world, is what might be the most daunting of all. The screenplay of the film was strong overall, though I feel like the relationship between Joy and her father could have been developed more. Nevertheless, I thought the movie flowed nicely. Led by such strong performances, Room is the kind of film that you can not stop thinking about afterwards, at least it was for me. Room is simply beautiful.

ALL IN ALL: With unforgettable performances from its two leads, Room tells a harrowing but radiant tale of survival and love.

Director: Lenny Abrahamson

Cast: Brie Larson, Jacob Tremblay, Joan Allen, Sean Bridges, William H. Macy

Year: 2015

poster from: http://cdn.traileraddict.com/content/a24/room-2015.jpg

 

 

The Martian

I recently got the opportunity to watch The Martian for free so of course I jumped on that chance not only because it was free (holla!) but also because it is an acclaimed movie up for many awards (7 Oscar noms!). I am happy to report that I ended up really enjoying The Martian! It is an all around fun movie to watch!

In the year 2035, astronaut Mark Whatney (Matt Damon) is presumed to be dead and left behind on Mars after an extreme dust storm forces his crew to leave him behind. Alone on a hostile planet with little supplies, Whatney must use his ingenuity and wit to survive and signal to those on Earth that he is still alive.

Like I said before, I believe The Martian to be a very enjoyable movie to watch. There’s action, adventure, drama, comedy, and space! What’s not to love? Going back to the comedy part, The Martian was actually a really funny movie, in huge part to Matt Damon. He did a great job in the film and his character was so likable and hilarious. The comedic moments helped lighten the film at times and added to the entertainment. However while the film can be funny at times, I would not categorize it as a comedy (*cough cough* Golden Globes *cough cough*).

The ensemble cast was awesome too with stars like Jessica Chastain, Jeff Daniels, Kristen Wiig, Michael Peña, Kate Mara, Donald Glover, Chiwetel Ejiofor; I mean the list goes on! The film really has you thinking about space and if a lot of the elements in the movie would really be possible (anyone know?). There were parts in The Martian that had me laughing out loud and others that had me gripping the edge of my seat. It is a great film for fans of many different genres and I am certain people will have as fun a time watching it as I did!

ALL IN ALL: The Martian boats an ensemble cast lead by an excellent performance by Matt Damon and is an all around enjoyable film to watch.

Director: Ridley Scott

Cast: Matt Damon, Jessica Chastain, Kristen Wiig, Jeff Daniels, Michael Peña,Kate Mara, Sean Bean, Sebastian Stan, Aksel Hennie, and Chiwetel Ejiofor

Year: 2015

poster from: http://cdn.traileraddict.com/content/20th-century-fox/martian2015.jpg

 

SAG Awards 2016

Sorry this is a pretty late post but I can’t miss out on covering the SAG Awards! There were some pretty surprising winners that may or may not carry onto the upcoming Oscars. Also, the great diversity in the winners and nominees was fantastic, just saying!

Full list of winners here

The highlights:

  • Outstanding performance by a cast in a motion picture: Spotlight, called that and I’m leaning towards it for my pick for Best Picture
  • Outstanding performance by a male actor in a leading role: Leonardo DiCaprio, The Revenant; YES! Did anyone else see that epic Leo and Kate hug?? GIF below!
  • Outstanding performance by a female actor in a leading role: Brie Larson, Room; yup
  • Outstanding performance by a male actor in a supporting role: Idris Elba, Beasts of No Nation; Yes I love Idris! Why was he not nominated for an Oscar?
  • Outstanding performance by a female actor in a supporting role: Alicia Vikander, The Danish Girl; Interesting, I did not see that coming. This category is really down to anyone for the Oscar.
  • Outstanding performance by an ensemble in a drama series: Downton Abbey; wow second year in a row!
  • Outstanding performance by an ensemble in a comedy series: Orange is the New Black; another win second year in a row!
  • Outstanding performance by a male actor in a drama series: Kevin Spacey, House of Cards; Again, another win second year in a row!
  • Outstanding performance by a female actor in a drama series: Viola Davis, How to Get Away with Murder; Wait what is this, another win second year in a row?! Many repeated winners!
  • Outstanding performance by a male actor in a comedy series: Jeffrey Tambor, Transparent; okay back to some new winners.
  • Outstanding performance by a female actor in a comedy series: Uzo Aduba, Orange is the New Black; Sike! We have another win two years in a row.

Just for fun and my own personal pleasure, here is Leo and Kate hugging after Leo won his SAG.

LEO + KATE 4EVER

Now onto the RED CARPET!

My favorites:

  • Rachel McAdams in Elie Saab

  • Alicia Vikander in Louis Vuitton

  • Saoirse Ronan in Michael Kors; I’ve been loving her looks all award season!

  • Ellie Kemper in Peter Pilotto; I normally don’t go for prints, but I really liked this dress for some reason!

 

Not So Good

  • Brie Larson in Versace; I love Brie but not this dress.

  • Kate Mara in Valentino

  • January Jones in Schiaparelli; It just looks a little too gauzy and not put together.

Okay, that’s it for now! Our next award show will be the Oscars, but first I will put out my Oscar Predictions soon!

images from: http://www.harpersbazaar.com/celebrity/red-carpet-dresses/g6789/the-best-of-the-2016-screen-actors-guild-awards-arrivals/

 

 

The Revenant

Oh man, how I have been looking forward to this film or what! So glad I finally got to see The Revenant recently because right now it is my top awards season contender. It was fantastic and deserves every single Oscar nomination it received (12 by the way!).

After being mauled by a bear and left for dead by his own hunting team, Hugh Glass (Leonardo DiCaprio), a frontiersman on a fur trading expedition in the 1820’s, is forced to fight for survival and find redemption.

A few words to describe The Revenant: raw, intense, amazing, epic, beautiful…the list goes on! Coming off his work on the Oscar winner Birdman, director Alejandro González Iñárritu deserves praise for his excellent direction in the film. The grueling shoot and the work put into this film shows in every single scene. Probably my favorite aspect of the film was the gorgeous cinematography by the ingenious Emmanuel Lubezki (who also won awards for his work on films such as Gravity and Birdman). Chivo outdoes himself in The Revenant, with stunning camera work and the use of only natural lighting throughout the whole film. The result is breathtaking with shots that are as raw as they are delicate.

Let’s be real though. The Revenant is Leonardo DiCaprio. Leonardo DiCaprio is The Revenant. Never before have I seen a performance like that, one that just requires so much commitment from the actor. Needless to say he was absolutely incredible and deserves every single accolade out there. The things he had to do in this movie! It is insane! His character is mostly silent throughout but the power of his performance is loud. Tom Hardy also did a great job in the film so I am glad he finally got the recognition he deserved through his nomination.

A revenant is defined as one who has returned, as if from the dead. Glass’s return is one that truly expresses the power of the human spirit. The backbone of the film is a gripping fight for survival and revenge with the only guidance of sheer will and a love for family. The Revenant is bleak but it is beautiful. The amazing feats of cinema and acting achieved in the film should be appreciated along with the epic true tale of Hugh Glass.