Game Night – a fun film with an interesting evening of board games being taken to another level. Here older brother to Jason Bateman sets up a game night on steroids. What ensues is far fetched but still some good mind candy. Bateman and McAdams have good chemistry as husband and wife. Worth seeing.
The Insult – a TIFF film that explains in an excellent way the Lebanon and Palestine situation well. I learned plenty watching this. From what starts out so simply in builds in layers and complexity to show that it is anything but simple. And what at first appears to be a stubborn man, just being a man isn’t. It didn’t win Best Foreign Film but easily could have. The legal aspect of this case is very interesting and complex as well. In the end you can see how what at first seems a small matter becomes a rallying cry for long held positions.
Fantastic Woman – this picture won Best Foreign Film for 2018. Another really good film that shows the relationship of a transgendered male and his older male partner. I give nothing away saying that the partner dies. It happens early on. But then the story unfolds with this person and the challenges she has. Another film I was glad to see and experience. The subtitles are in no way distracting in this or the other film.
All the Money in the World – the J Paul Getty film that was re-filmed by Ridley Scott after he heard the news about Kevin Spacey. Also notable in that Marky Mark secured a $1M payment to him for his extra shots with Christopher Plummer while Michelle Williams got nothing (someone needs to get a better agent!). Marky Mark in the end “donated” that money to charity or something. This film was interesting but I am glad I didn’t spend money on it. Getty Senior is a self made billionaire (the richest man in the world during this time) because of the oil deals he arranged with Saudi Arabia. He is Getty Oil. His family is dysfunctional, and one son cannot stay away from drugs. He married and had children. The one grandson is kidnapped and taken for ransom. Getty famously says he wouldn’t pay a cent. It’s one thing not to negotiate with terrorists, it’s another when the reality of a teenage grandson gets put into this situation. For Getty, everything was a negotiation, and he would often be penny wise and pound foolish. There were so many good films this past year, not sure how this ended up in the Best Picture nominees. It is not as good as others (Three Billboards, Shape of Water, Dunkirk). Have to say that I am not a big fan of Michelle Williams, as I always feels she plays the same character; the wife who gets beaten down by life and her situation, who tries to cope but feels helpless. Roles in Brokeback Mountain, Misery by the Water etc. all seem to add up to much the same. Here she is a bit more independent and strong, defending her child and herself. Still.