Running to the Oscars: Short reviews

I have already posted my review of The Wolf of Wall Streetbut in my haste to see as many Oscar noms before the night, I haven’t been writing reviews of them. I still haven’t seen them all, but I’ll still give my predictions. Onwards to the Oscars!

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The Big Awesome Wolf

MV5BMjIxMjgxNTk0MF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwNjIyOTg2MDE@._V1_SX640_SY720_The Wolf of Wall Street has so far gathered one Golden Globe and a tidy little pile of nominations and awards. It is in the running for four Oscar statues. My hopes could not be higher for Martin Scorsese’s new epic. Thankfully, my hopes were met with copious amounts of alcohol.

Jordan Belfort’s real life already inspired the movie Boiler Room (2000) according to Wikipedia. Leonardo DiCaprio plays Scorsese’s version of course. We begin the story when he’s hired as a stockbroker at Rothschild in 1987. When the firm goes broke on Black Monday, Jordan has to go sell penny stocks for chump change – only he’s really, really good at it. Soon, he and his buddy Donnie (Jonah Hill) are making more money than they can spend – except they do spend it, on drugs, alcohol and women. Their enterprise soon attracts the FBI.

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 diana_ver2_xlgFor many, the night Princess Diana was killed is one of those “where were you?” moments. Even if you didn’t follow the worlds of celebrities or royalty, or the causes Diana highlighted, or even if you were just a little kid from Norway, you knew who she was and what she stood for, and that her life – to quote the film – was dramatic.

The film that bears her name has a lot it can explore. Diana and Charles supplied the gossip rags for years with their affairs and divorce. Her death is forever linked to the paparazzi culture, and her role as the People’s Princess is a fascinating phenomenon. With so many areas to explore, where will the film even begin?

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Radio Review: Rush

Foto/Copyright: Norsk Filmdistribusjon / Star Media Entertainment
Copyright: Star Media Entertainment

Ron Howard always delivers when he is exploring real people who step up when challenged. In his next outing he lets Chris Hemsworth and Daniel Brühl run around a Formula 1 track as racers James Hunt and Nikki Lauda. This year’s most perfect casting? It just might be. Especially when combined with the eerily similar Olivia Wilde/Suzy Miller and Alexandra Maria Lara/Marlene Lauda, and the timewarped twins Pierfrancesco Favino/Clay Regazzoni. Although it doesn’t have quite as many racing scenes as the title would suggest (Ron Howard didn’t learn anything from Drive there) it still gets the adrenalin pumping while keeping the focus on the characters.

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Radio Review: Hannah Arendt

5In a remarkably personal and grounded film, the story of Hannah Arendt’s rapport on the trial of Adolf Eichmann gives us a slanted view into the nature of evil.

The story follows Hannah Arendt, coiner of the phrase “the banality of evil”. We follow her coverage of the trial in Jerusalem in 1962, and the subsequent reactions to her publications on the subject. It covers roughly four years, apart from a few flashbacks to her time in school and her affair with the philosopher Martin Heidegger.

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Radio Review: Behind the Candelabra.

3I am back on the radio! (well, technically that was last week, with Kick Ass 2 but I’m only just announcing it now, ops) Summer is officially over, studies have commenced, and we students are back to talking about what we love and hate about the movies we watch.

This week I got to see Behind the Candelabra, or the much less interesting Norwegian title My life with Liberace (Mitt Liv med Liberace). Michael Douglas and Matt Damon star as Liberace and his young lover Scott Thorson. Through the ups and downs in their relationship, we get a glimpse into the life of the blindingly bright entertainer.

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My Two Lincolns

Since most of the crew were busy catching up on work related stuff after Easter, the radio show was still on hiatus last Thursday, which meant no review from me. Instead, I decided to spend the weekend catching up on some Oscar nominations. First on my list was Spielberg’s Lincoln. I was very keen to see this since American history films is my area of study. Little did I know about what the universe had in store for me.

On Saturday, I was set to finally see Life of Pi, but my friends invited me over for a movie night and out of all the random movies our host could have picked, she decided on Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter. Don’t worry, I have no intention of attempting any sort of comparison here. The protagonists aside, they are movies on opposite sides of the Hollywood spectrum. Instead, I’ll review them in order of viewing.

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Double Review: The Decoy Bride + Christopher and his Kind

First things first: I have over the course of about a month become a massive Doctor Who fan. This has been on my to-do list for as long as I’ve been a geek, which is close to two decades now. About three seasons in, I was already massively “in obsession” with David Tennant, which was no surprise considering how much I enjoyed him in Casanova. I didn’t think anyone could top him, but Matt Smith managed to not only fascinate me, but make me love Eleven just as much as Ten.

So, as per my tradition whenever I find “new” actors to obsess over, I immediately started going through both of their CVs. As a way to find new films to watch, I love this technique. Although it means I have to watch a lot of movies that might not be really good, they are always films I never would have come across otherwise, and even if I don’t enjoy the films themselves that much, I can still enjoy the acting.

I picked one from each Doctor’s past, fairly randomly. The Decoy Bride (2011) from David Tennant’s filmography, and Christopher and his Kind (2011), starring Matt Smith. Both coincidentally from the same year – the first one with a 5.7 rating and the latter with a slightly higher 6.8 on imdb. No big hopes for either then, but with middle numbers like that you never know. Let’s see how they did!

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Double Radio Review!

This week I saw a double feature, with two very good movies with very different tones.

The Lady: Aung San Suu Kyi’s story is told with clear passion. Michelle Yeoh’s performance is worth it all on its own.

Et si on vivait tous ensemble? A very charming french movie with Jane Fonda giving a heartfelt performance that proves that pensioners are far from dead.

Both walk away with a dice roll 5. I guess I was lifted up by the french, and then brought back down to earth (with some hope at the end) by biopic.