A few things I’ve watched recently….(I know I mention central performances a LOT but…there was loads of good acting in there)
12 Years a Slave: an intense, harrowing, powerful and beautiful film that deserves every award it wins but which I found slightly emotionally unengaging at points.
Dallas Buyers Club: Mcconaughey’s weight-loss probably deserves to be mentioned because it is shocking to see, the performances from him and Jared Leto carry the entire film, I really enjoyed it but the historical and political questions which have been raised by some critics are probably valid too.
Inside Llewyn Davis: almost perfectly paced and a great central performance from Oscar Isaac, far fewer obvious ‘ticks’ than the Coen’s sometimes employ, although I found the ending a little frustrating (in a bad/unsatisfying way).
The Wolf of Wall Street: big, brash, way too long, Di Caprio’s performance is great but you could easily lose 90 minutes and the film would work far better, I was also left pretty cold by the story, almost every character in this is a demonstrably awful human being.
The Selfish Giant: a beautiful little British film, the two boys (Conner Chapman and Shaun Thomas) in the main roles put in incredible performances, the direction from Clio Barnard is outstanding and Mike Eley needs to take credit for how the film looks, the emotional punch doesn’t quite land with as much force as I think it should/could have but that may be more down to me than any failing on the part of the film.