Clowes: Watched – Week 5, 2021

Film

The Revenant (2015). Rewatch. The film that Leonardo DiCaprio finally cried in, thus winning him his first leading-man Oscar. Tom Hardy over-acts, as is tradition. But this is still excellent. Emmanuel Lubezki’s cinematography is beautiful. I think it would’ve been improved with twenty minutes of the more art-house dream-like elements shaved off though. I was very impressed by Domhnall Gleeson and Will Poulter throughout. Their characters felt very real and fleshed out. 83%

Birdman (2014). Rewatch. After the Revenant I watched another film by Alejandro G. Iñárritu: Birdman. I remember being utterly wowed by this when I saw it in the cinema. It felt so lively and original. But with each subsequent rewatch my love for it has diminished. It’s so visually engaging on first viewing that you don’t notice the slightly thin plot. And there’s something pompous and over rehearsed about the film. It’s still great, but not the masterpiece I thought it was first time around. 79%

The Trial of the Chicago 7 (2020). I love an Aaron Sorkin script. They’re usually full of wit and each line says something (if that makes sense). This is his first time directing and he does an admirable job. Courtroom dramas, believe it or not, are apparently extremely hard to shoot. And overall this is very good. There’s a few minor criticisms. Such as a slightly schmalzy score, the strange use of a modern song for one big scene when it was calling out for a 60s/70s banger, some of the characters coming dangerously close to caricatures and a mildly rushed ending that doesn’t fully land. But I’m nitpicking. This is one of the films of the year. It’s on Netflix, watch it. Oh also, Sacha Baron Cohen has been nominated for a ‘Best Supporting Actor’ Golden Globe for his performance in this. I’m surprised. He was okay, but his accent was rough and he was amateurish at times. The film has a huge, fantastic cast and all the performances are stellar. Eddie Redmayne, Jeremy Strong, Mark Rylance (always insanely good), Joseph Gordon-Levitt, and especially Yahya Abdul-Mateen II all put in better performances than Sacha Baron Cohen. I would have preferred one of them getting a nomination nod instead. 77%

Zombieland (2009). Rewatch, background. Another film I was wowed in the cinema by. This is endlessly watchable and fun. 74%

The Spy Who Fell to Earth (2019). I adore these spy documentaries. And this one is edited masterfully, with lots of zip and you it never lose track of what is going on. 74%