These films were my five favorites of the 2019 Oscar Season. Click below to read the reviews of each.
“A Star Is Born,” click to read the review.
I try my hardest to not give films five-star reviews. No matter the art form, very little approaches the reality of perfection. “A Star Is Born” isn’t a perfect movie, yet it moved me in unexpected ways. It left me emotionally involved in its characters long after I had departed the theater. Its story shook me in ways I was unprepared to face. Its aftermath for me and everyone else who has seen it is Oscar worthy. This is why I am giving it 5-stars. This feeling of near perfection is all thanks to two people crossing paths.
“1985,” click to read the review.
As an out and proud gay man, I know the story of “1985” well. I don’t understand the urgency of needing to come home and confess something before it is too late, but I understand the feeling of coming home for the holidays and with the intention of sharing who you truly are and failing to do so. In more ways than I can count, I related to this black and white tale. On an emotional level, it shook me at my core. By the time it was all over, I was left distraught to ponder over one of the very best movies of the year.
“First Man,” click to read the review.
After an end to the Apollo missions, the American love affair with space began to lie dormant. Sure, we’d tune in for another satellite being launched into the furthest reaches of space, parts added to the International Space Station, or an astronaut breaking “time in space” records. Recently, thanks to the likes of Elon Musk and American cinema, we’ve begun looking at the stars and collectively dreaming once again. “Interstellar,” “The Martian,” and “Gravity” have helped fuel this idea that something like a manned mission to Mars is possible. Before we go further than any man has ever gone before, it is necessary to pause and realize where we’ve been. “First Man” is about those men and women who dare and have dared to do the impossible.
“Green Book,” click to read the review.
The plot of “Green Book” is predictable. Most of the time such a sentence is a nail in the coffin for a film. At the very least, it is strike one. That isn’t the case for this movie. Instead, this film is saved by the on-screen chemistry between Viggo Mortensen’s character, Tony Lip, and Mahershala Ali’s character, Dr. Don Shirley. Tony Lip is an opportunity man trying to make ends meet. Dr. Shirley is a classically trained pianist. As they drift into each other’s atmosphere, the real fun and drama of this film starts.
“Isle of Dogs,” click to read the review.
I have never given an animated film a five-star review. That changes today. It changes with Wes Anderson. I am an unabashed fan of Anderson. Sure, his writing and directorial style are quirky, strange, and tend to buck the norm. Still, inside of every single film is an extreme attention to detail; detail trending toward some sort of obsessive-compulsive disorder. In Wes Anderson films, every shot, every line, every scene, and the placement of every character is gone through with a fine-tooth comb. Every detail matters, because every film should matter. We, as audience members, deserve to be treated to something with this much love and devotion. Anything else is disrespectful to our intellect and our hard-earned money.
Be good to each other,
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