Joy vs. The Revenant vs. The Hateful Eight
As all of the main festivals – NYFF, TIFF, Telluride – conclude, there is no clear front-runner. By this time last year it was known that “Boyhood” and “Birdman” were prominent. Two years ago it was “12 Years a Slave” and “Gravity.”
Great films out of those festivals this year include “Steve Jobs,” “Spotlight,” and “Room” all of which receive accolades similar to: “Fantastic movie… won’t win Oscar, but will be nominated.”
Three major players are left now: “Joy,” “The Revenant,” and “The Hateful Eight.” All pitted with rumors, but only “Joy” has concrete evidence.
The last two Oscar “Best Picture” winning films, “12 Years a Slave” and “Birdman,” I saw at the Enzian Theater in Winter Park, Florida. It’s a movie theater that hosts a lot of neat “special” showings, and usually only shows one current film at a time. It’s usually a film that doesn’t have much popular demand like “Boyhood,” “Moonrise Kingdom,” etc.
It’s nice because most regular theaters don’t show those films until they blow up with award recognition.
Anyways, the Enzian is one of those theaters set up like a restaurant with a strong, classy menu. You sit at these tables and dine, ordering your food just before the film starts. Their food is excellent, but on this particular occasion we weren’t looking for anything too extravagant. We ordered the “Chips and Salsa” appetizer.
The food isn’t brought to you until about 1/4th of the way through the film. And if you remember “12 Years a Slave,” shit was getting pretty real around that time in the movie. It was around the time that Solomon Northup was being kidnapped and turned into a slave that we received our food.
Essay: The Potential of “The Revenant”
In 2011 Alejandro González Iñárritu signed on to direct “The Revenant” with Leonardo DiCaprio in the lead role. Development process for the film began as far back as 2001 when Akiva Goldsman purchased Michael Punke’s manuscript with the intent of producing the film.
Punke’s novel, of the same name, came out in 2003 and was based on the life of frontiersman Hugh Glass.
The story follows Hugh Glass, a fur trapper who is mauled by a bear while hunting. His companions (played by Tom Hardy, Will Poulter, Lukas Haas, and Domhnall Gleeson) rob him and leave him to die, but he survives and sets out for revenge.
There were many flashy films at this years Sundance Film Festival, but in the end the Grand Jury Prize, as well as the Audience Award, went to an independent adaptation called “Me & Earl & the Dying Girl.”
“Me & Earl & the Dying Girl” is an adaptation of a 2013 book of the same name by Jesse Andrews. It tells the story of a teenage filmmaker and how he befriends a classmate with cancer. It has been called funny, heart-breaking, poignant, and melancholic by critics. It currently holds a 92 on Metacritic with 7 reviews logged.
The interpretation is yours, but some of these side by sides of the first and final frames of popular movies are pretty surreal.
The Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB) slapped the upcoming game “Batman: Arkham Knight” with a M (Mature, 17+) rating for Blood, Language, Suggestive Themes, and Violence.
In a full interview with IGN, Sefton Hill (founder of Rocksteady) said “..From our point of view, we never wrote it or made it with a rating in mind. We never did that in the previous two games… We just felt that this is the story we really wanted to tell… I’m not blind to the fact that [the M rating] does mean some fans will miss out… I don’t want to be oblivious to that fact. It would have been wrong to water down the game and deliver a story we didn’t believe in to keep the game ‘mass market’ or enable it for more people. We feel that’s the wrong way to go about it. We said we love the story and we don’t want to jeopardize that.”
Last night the Academy proclaimed “Birdman” the best film of 2014. Our readers, however, were unanimous in voting “Boyhood” the title.
Out of 143 Voters, spanning from the beginning of January to now, 29 people voted for “Boyhood,” distancing itself from the second place film “Whiplash” which received 16 votes. The Oscar-winning film “Birdman” tied “Nightcrawler” for fourth place each with 11 votes.
1 – Boyhood (29 Votes)
2 – Whiplash (16 Votes)
3 – Interstellar (13 Votes)
T4 – Birdman (11 Votes)
T4 – Nightcrawler (11 Votes)
6 – Gone Girl (8 Votes)
7 – The Grand Budapest Hotel (7 Votes)
8 – Guardians of the Galaxy (6 Votes)
T9 – American Sniper (5 Votes)
T9 – Inherent Vice (5 Votes)
T9 – Unbroken (5 Votes)
Check out our new SideBar Poll to the right to vote for Your Favorite “Best Picture” Oscar winner of the decade so far.