An intriguing story with engaging performances about a compelling real-life character, but oddly inert, and can’t quite make all its many aspects gel into a wholly satisfying or wholly coherent story.
This otherwise gorgeous nature documentary is marred by the banal self-therapy of its human protagonist… and he is nowhere near as interesting as the manic pixie dream octopus who changes his life.
I correctly guessed 11 out of the
24 23 categories, which is slightly better than last year.
The brilliantly unsettling “Two Distant Strangers” is not only the most important of the nominees but one of the movies of the year, of any length. Its surprises are more brutal than mere plot twists.
“Hunger Ward,” an unvarnished vérité look at starving Yemeni children and the medics trying to save them, best encapsulates the human experience of pain and resilience that all the nominees embody.
I don’t see how the astonishing “Opera,” by Erick Oh, doesn’t win the Oscar for Best Animated Short. This is a stupendous achievement, a cartoon clockwork depicting life, the universe, and everything.
A deeply compassionate, deeply unnerving portrait of a man suffering from dementia and losing his grip on reality. The empathy machine of cinema has rarely been put to such uncomfortably intimate use.
And the winners are…
Rosamund Pike is perfection in this intellectual romance, an unsentimental portrait of a woman striving to be appreciated for her mind at a time even more anti-woman than today. Feminist and flinty.
A sneak peek at my FULL ongoing ranking of 2020’s new movies. (This post is free for all. Join my Patreon to keep up with the list as it grows over the rest of the year.)