And just like that, we’re off to the Oscar races, much to the dismay of many critics, apparently. This movie got a massive reaction from the crowds at Toronto, according to all reports, which is why I’m not that surprised that it took this prize, the first big bellwether of Oscar season (not since 2011 has the winner not been nominated for Best Picture). But it’s currently got a 49 on Metacritic, which means a lot of major critics not only took issue with it, but flat out despised it. The movie, directed by Thor: Ragnarok’s Taika Waititi, appears to be extremely divisive, with people either loving or hating it, but this could be a critics versus audience thing (remember, Bohemian Rhapsody had a 49 on Metacritic too). I was instantly suspicious when I saw several comparisons to 1997’s Life is Beautiful, a movie that was also hated by a lot of critics (and for similar reasons- for supposedly trivializing Nazis and the Holocaust), but audiences didn’t care and it turned into the most popular foreign-language film of all time in the U.S. (still surpassed today only by Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon) and was a major Oscar contender that year. So Jojo Rabbit is in the Oscar race with this win, whether they like it or not. Runners-up were the well reviewed Marriage Story and Parasite, but in no year has all three of the TIFF winners made it into Best Picture, so history says at least one of those will miss.
I know it’s the whole point that this movie looks crazy, but I still wonder how bearable that madness will be to sit through for two hours. Is it just a movie for critics or is it at all accessible to an audience?
Since the last trailer I posted for this was surreptitiously removed, I had to get rid of my post. But now I finally get to post this new official trailer from Neon, since the movie’s coming out in December. This French film got raves at Cannes and again at Toronto yesterday, so be on the lookout, because I’m sure it’s going to be France’s Oscar submission. And it looks soooo good.
This film is a small indie from A24, but it made a big splash at Telluride a few days ago, with critics raving about the emotional impact it creates. About a family in Florida who deals with the aftermath of a tragedy, this could be a player in the awards season if the studio can get enough attention for it. It’s got a prime release date of November 1st, which means A24 is confident in its chances and its quality.
This drama directed by Destin Daniel Crettin (Short Term 12) is based on a true story, a memoir by the lawyer Jordan plays in the movie, and is coming out at Christmas. It was intended for next year but pushed up to make it in for awards consideration, so WB thinks it’s good at least. It will also premiere at TIFF this week. Keep an eye out.
I wasn’t sure about the original teaser for this film, but this new trailer makes it look kinda good. Thomas Mackenzie plays the girl hiding in their house and she was really great in last year’s Leave No Trace. It will premiere in Toronto in five days, so we’ll see then.
Looks like this is the year to attempt some new Christmas movies, with this one and Last Christmas, but these don’t usually work out. When was the last Christmas movie to become an actual perennial? I can’t think of anything past Elf and Love, Actually (both from 2003!). And this one doesn’t look great either (it could be the next Fred Claus- ick), but I do love me some Bill Hader in just about anything, so I may check it out when it comes on Disney+ in November. Yes, this is another straight to streaming movie, with Disney going all in on the service with original films like this and Lady and the Tramp. By the way, I have to assume this ends with Anna Kendrick taking up the reigns as a female Santa, right? There’s no hint of that in the trailer, but it seems obvious that’s the logical conclusion here. Or does she actually reform her brother to save the day in the end? Would it be too controversial for Disney to make Santa Claus a woman?
Edward Norton directs this film based on a novel that he’s been trying to make for almost twenty years now, and it’s only his second directorial feature, after 2000’s Keeping the Faith, with Ben Stiller and Jenna Elfman (remember that one?). He’s got a good cast at least, and the movie is premiering at Telluride this weekend, so we’ll find out about it pretty soon.
I don’t know if I should bother to hope that a Terminator sequel will ever be good again, but this doesn’t look bad, exactly. Maybe the return of producer James Cameron really was all it took to bring the franchise to life again? We’ll see.
The former Theory of Everything costars reunite for this movie about aeronautic flight, but there’s something about this that bothers me right off the bat. This is supposedly based on true events, and the Eddie Redmayne character was a real guy who did this stuff, but with a man named Henry Tracey Coxwell as his co-pilot and the scientist who saved his life in the sky. That real life figure has been erased and the Felicity Jones character completely made up out of thin air, presumably so Redmayne can have a woman guiding him at the controls instead. But that never happened! Look, there’s embellishing history and then there’s making shit up and claiming it’s real. There are plenty of impressive and accomplished women in history to do biopics about- I don’t like changing someone else’s historical achievements to put a fictional person in that place instead, especially if you’re going to claim this was based on a true story.
I still can’t believe WB thinks this movie is so good they’re premiering it at all the fall film festivals, but they are, so we’re going to find out just how good it is in a couple of days when it screens at Venice. Guessing it’s all about Phoenix’s performance of course, but can he really be the second actor to win an Oscar for playing the role of the Joker? That seems like a long shot, especially for a movie directed by Todd Philips (Old School, The Hangover).
This movie is about the investigation into The Panama Papers and it looks like it’s trying to be something like The Big Short or Vice (I guess the Adam McKay approach to political stories has been pretty influential). Looks kind of light actually, but Meryl gets nominated for pretty much everything she does, so look out for that. This is a Netflix movie but it’s premiering at Venice in a couple of days, coming to a few theaters on Sept 27th and then streaming on October 18th (the theater dates are about Oscar consideration).