Cinema award season is upon us, which means there are lots of good movies to watch — supposedly. Here are three I recently saw.
Saving Mr. Banks
Colin Farrell is
Emma Thompson and Tom Hanks are both excellent, but that’s par for the course. The film cuts back and forth between the present and P.L. Travers’ childhood, and the transitions are pretty rough in the beginning. They get better as the movie progresses, but the film does not.
Outside of Christian Bale, everyone was overacting in this film. The movie isn’t convoluted, but it feels convoluted. The last fifteen minutes is fun, but it does not excuse what has come before it. Maybe I shouldn’t be surprised at the massive critical love for American Hustle, since it features many fine actors and a director recently feted, but the fact is, it’s just not that good.
12 Years a Slave
This is not a film.
I’ve been a fan of Chiwetel Ejiofor since Dirty Pretty Things, and this is a fantastic showcase of his talents. But this is just a grinder of a movie, with one agonizing scene after another. Of course this is the way it should be, since we’re dealing with the very bleak subject of slavery in its most unfiltered form, but if there was any way to inject humor (just a bit here or there), it would’ve gone a long, long way. Be on the lookout for Amish Brad Pitt.