Each and every year, as the age of cinema increases, so does the skepticism of the art forms relevance and focus. Ever since doing a “Best of” list to showcase the best that cinema has to offer each and every year, there is always someone or a group of people declaring that the end of cinema; its ultimate demise, is upon us. Yet, this year, moreso, than any other year, phrases such as “profoundly moving”, “the reason we go to the movies”, and “historical achievement” are just some of the many phrases thrown around to more than one of the films released in 2016.
So it’s January. That means Awards Season is well under way. As always with the start of the New Year, the Golden Globes are the first high-profile televised awards broadcast, and it’s a night for the stars to kick up their heels, have a drink (or 5), and get a little rowdy in a way that only Hollywood does best. This year was quite the year for film and television, and although the nominations by the Hollywood Foreign Press (HFP) are usually not the most agreed upon or necessarily the most prestigious, they surely have something for everyone to talk about. Whereas the Oscars are a more serious and classier event, the Golden Globes are a night where stars say everything or anything they couldn’t–or shouldn’t–say, come Oscar night. Interestingly enough, unlike past Awards seasons, this year the Globes have chosen to nominate, vote, and broadcast their winners all before the Academy Awards have even released their nominations. Perhaps the Globes are trying to secure their own viewership and set themselves apart from the fast approaching Oscars, or maybe their just as eager as we at Night Film Reviews are for Awards Season to start. Either way, without further ado, here is the list of nominees and winners but with my own personal take on the verdicts. Which awards were well deserved and which were clear snubs? There were some interesting developments to come from this evening so I’m giving you a sneak-peak into my predictions and how the winners of tonight could possibly have a great impact on the Oscar nominations announced this coming Thursday.
Now let’s get this party started!
From the moment the screen fills with light, and we come face-to-face with Theodore Twombly (Joaquin Phoenix), his eyes are desolate while his voice is filled with love as he recites the poetically romantic words of Loretta’s letter to her husband of fifty years, Chris. Theodore works for BeautifullyHandwrittenLetters.com, a company established sometime in the near future where people are either too lazy or just mentally incapable of writing their own letters to their loved ones. The irony of her begins (as do so many other films) with someone else’s love story. The trials and tribulations of Theodore’s love story not only mirrors the love we share with others but also portrays our uncontrollable and inexplicable dependence or ‘love’ for technology. In that sense, her becomes part science fiction love story/part docudrama, with a message that is both a parable of the direction human behaviour is headed and a misunderstood, timeless love story for the ages. Either way, her is the most captivating and responsive film of the year, demanding attention with a grueling look at our ability to love and be loved.
The heist film genre is one of the most exciting film genres in recent memory, thanks to the likes of elaborate minds and stylistically driven directors. From Soderbergh’s Ocean trilogy which began the trend of mainstream, modern-day cops-and-robbers films, to other very meticulously crafted caper films, the heist genre is one which is both exciting and compelling to crack before the climactic final act. American Hustle is a modern day, somewhat self-indulgent, patriotic heist film with outstanding performances, many good times and very few bad times. The beauty of Hustle lies in its amazing ability to fake it; whether it be faking an overly complicated narrative for no apparent reason or a meaningful story that never gets old, Hustle is a solid film that will con your heart, through and through.