I've never quite considered the importance and function of an effective protagonist in a story, like I did while watching the new Netflix film "I Care A Lot." "Likability" is not a necessity, but when a film gives you absolutely nothing to care about, and no one to root for, it's hard to become emotionally invested...and when there is no emotional investment, it's incredibly hard to feel like a movie is worthy of your time.
The pandemic wasn't just rough on the box office and the existing slate of films that had been scheduled for release, but also the few films that did manage to get made in 2020 have left a lot to be desired as well. Enter "Malcolm & Marie" a wordy, tiresome examination of a couple who are as caught up in themselves as writer/director Sam Levinson seemingly is of his own work.
"Penguin Bloom" is adapted from the book of the same name, and tells the true story of Sam Bloom (Naomi Watts), a wife and mother of three who, after a tragic accident, is left without the use of both of her legs. It's not very hard-hitting, but more of an inspirational, family-friendly drama that glides along on the strength of its two leads.
We have all seen the film where a man, starting with nothing, fights and claws his way to the top using nothing but his wits, guts and sheer determination. "The White Tiger" takes this recognizable story and turns it on his head, creating a film that subverts audience expectation and creates an unforgettable movie-going experience.
As stiff and robotic as the cyborg he portrays, Anthony Mackie is not able to save "Outside the Wire" from itself.
Serious warning: The first 30-minutes of "Pieces of a Woman" is incredibly hard to watch, especially for anyone who has ever suffered any sort of loss. You've been warned.
That being said, watching actress Vanessa Kirby pick up the pieces of her life after an unthinkable tragedy destroys it, is an absolutely riveting experience that makes "Pieces of A Woman" a vital watch for anyone looking to fill out their Oscar scorecards.
MILD PLOT SPOILERS TO FOLLOW:
Young talented high schoolers from all walks of life compete in the annual August Wilson Monologue Competition, giving them the opportunity of a lifetime: To not only get a chance to appear on Broadway, but gain exposure to some of the greatest, most poignant and culturally impactful works of the 20th Century.
George Clooney produces, stars in and directs the new Netflix sci-fi drama, "The Midnight Sky."
Shocking the world and making 2020 suck even more than it already did, Chadwick Boseman was announced dead this past August at just 43-years-old. Boseman had been battling colon cancer since 2016, despite continuing to work. What a life, what a career.
A darling of film critics and Hollywood insiders, "Mank" is being talked about as the early front-runner for the Best Picture Oscar, assuming the ceremony still happens as planned in April 2021. But for the average movie-goer who takes the bait and acts on critical recommendation to see "Mank," disappointment will be inevitable. "Mank" is one of the more under-cooked and over-hyped films of the year.
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