It’s time for the fall/winter movie tally. Since October, I have seen:
Three movies set at least partly in Massachusetts: Black Mass, Spotlight, and In the Heart of the Sea.
Two movies about communism: Bridge of Spies and Trumbo.
One movie set in a historical setting but not really based on a pre-existing story: Suffragette.
Two science fiction or horror movies: The Martian and Victor Frankenstein.
Breaking things down further:
I have seen four good but not pretty movies: Black Mass, Bridge of Spies, Spotlight, and Trumbo.
I have seen one very pretty relatively boring movie (In the Heart of the Sea), and one very pretty stupid movie (Victor Frankenstein). I could possibly be talked into going to see either of them once more for the eye candy.
I have seen one gorgeous and exciting movie (The Martian) which I would go see again except I’ve already seen it three times.
And, matching my general tastes in books (nonfiction over fiction, definitely), I have seen five movies based on actual historical events: Black Mass, Bridge of Spies, Spotlight, Trumbo, and In the Heart of the Sea.
In the all important Oscar races, I would not be surprised if Bridge of Spies, Spotlight, Trumbo, and The Martian were all nominated for Best Picture. Spotlight would be my odds-on favorite. While there are a lot of movies out there yet to hit the local multiplex (I am really looking forward to Legend, but not enough to drive to San Francisco), Spotlight is an extraordinarily riveting movie.
There are two potential Best Actors: Tom Hanks, and Bryan Cranston. I understand Tom Hardy is very good in Legend and Leonardo Di Caprio is excellent in The Revenant. Of the ones I’ve seen, I think it would be Cranston’s to lose, but that’s just my amateur opinion.
I would love to see Louis C.K. get a supporting nod for Trumbo. Mark Rylance has a good shot for Bridge of Spies, and I hope he wins, because he doesn’t give acceptance speeches, he gives spoken word performance art.
And, most importantly, The Martian, Trumbo, Spotlight, and of course Suffragette all pass the Bechdel Test.
Now on my list, other than Star Wars whatever the name is, which I have to go see because, Star Wars*:
- Legend. Sort of a bookend to Black Mass.
- Concussion. I watched the Frontline documentary about concussions in the NFL, and to my mind, the subject of this story is a hero. I’m interested to see what Will Smith does in the role.
- The Hateful Eight. I am decidedly not a Tarantino fan, but the cast and the premise sound too good to miss.
- Anomalisa because, hey, Charlie Kaufmann. I missed Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, but I liked Adaptation and I loved Being John Malkovich.
- The Big Short. Who doesn’t love to see movies about greed and corruption? Besides, Steve Carell and Christian Bale. And Brad Pitt in a very scruffy beard.
Looking at that list, three are nonfiction. Two are about crime or criminals, and two are about coverups. One is a stop-motion animated film about a narcissistic middle-aged man (and animated sex!). I sometimes wonder about my view of the world.
It’s been a good movie season, and we’ve still got three weeks to go.
*I live in Silicon Valley. Seeing Star Wars, any Star Wars movie, is required, as is complaining how none of them match the magic of A New Hope. And reminiscing about exactly how many times you saw the original trilogy, and how long you waited in line to see Empire, and how you figured out the twist in Return of the Jedi before the movie was released, and …