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Fences: Okay so, Fences is based on a play, which I knew going into it. But I didn't do my homework because I definitely did not fully understand what I was walking into at 10PM at night (already a bit late for me!). Fences is set in the 1950s and is about a man (Denzel) who is so painfully suffering from depression. Only it's not called depression because it's the 1950s and (probably?) wasn't in the DSM yet, and he's a man, and probably a myriad of other reasons. This is a claustrophobic film. As it's based on a play, it's inherently dialogue driven, and much of that dialogue, while good, is in the form of monologues from the aforementioned lead character, who is miserable. The set pieces in a play are traditionally limited... unlike musicals. So you're basically stuck in that house (the front porch, the back porch, the dining room, the kitchen) with him for the entirety of the movie. And it's a long one. The performance is good. And you do feel what he feels. He's stuck. He's been stuck for 18 years. He's had a hard life and he was supposed to turn things around. But instead of feeling liberated and accomplished and like the world is moving in a positive direction, even when it is... he's just stuck, and in he has no more to give, not to his son who yearns for his approval, and not to his wife who he clearly loves. He's sinking. And you feel that. You are right there with him. It's not a bad movie. It's just a hard one. And definitely not one to re-watch. Once is enough.

Stray observation? Viola Davis (a powerhouse!) cries more with her nose than her eyes. It was somewhat distracting on such a big screen, that's all I'm saying!

Hell or High Water: This one I watched at home. I think this would have been better in the theater. I feel like I need to re-watch it actually. I enjoyed this but not as much as I think I would have if I wasn't so sleepy. I think the best thing about this movie is Ben Foster. I'm not sure if that's an unpopular opinion or not. He was great here. But everyone brought it. I still think I need to watch this again.

I still need to watch Moonlight and Manchester by the Sea. (I'll see Manchester tomorrow night at 10PM. Not sure I'll be able to squeeze Moonlight in. I might go see Lion tonight again!)

Here are my personal rankings of the 7 I've seen thus far. A couple of these could probably be interchanged but they're close!:
1. Lion
2. La La Land
3. Hacksaw Ridge
4. Hidden Figures
5. Hell or High Water
6. Arrival
7. Fences

Date: 2017-02-24 04:07 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
LaLaLand is that good? Isn't it a dance movie?

What makes it so good? I don't care if I'm spoiled. I'm just confused. It's like the year when the silent film (The Artist) won. never saw that film.

Date: 2017-02-24 04:19 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
It's a musical. I really loved it. The way it's done, the cast, the style. Everything. It's not really what a movie is about for me, but it's a kind of love story. (Not THE love, but A love.)

I never saw The Artist either. I actually feel like this year's pool of nominees is the best it's been in years. Or maybe it's just the most accessible?

Date: 2017-02-24 12:06 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Good for you. 'Fences' is a tough play to watch, but it does speak the truth about so many things, including depression in men.

You've done better than me. I haven't see any of the Oscar nominated movies. Now if we are talking about animated films, I'm all over that like a bear on honey.

Date: 2017-02-24 04:20 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
God it was tough. But I'm glad I went to it. That being said there are many people I know who are denzel fans who I would not recommend it for. They will not know what they are walking into and I think they'll be disappointed.

Haha, I haven't seen ANY Of the animated films this year. Unless you count The Jungle Book? LOL

Date: 2017-02-24 05:24 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
It's a tough play on many levels, although one person said it was about mind control and kidnapping people. It had me wondering if they'd dramatically altered the plot. :P

We tend to see most of the animated films as a matter of course. Moana is my favorite of those nominated.

Date: 2017-02-26 06:13 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I just finished Lion because of your listing here. Not a film for me, though. And I speak as someone whose Mom was adopted and found her birth family as an adult. And as one trying to find info on my own biological grandmother today.

The film didn't resonate as much for me despite me having the history to relate to it. Something about it seemed kind of depressing. I watched Finding Dory which had similar theme and got teared up. And then watched it all over again.

The little boy in Lion is quite adorable. :-)


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