I’m currently on Oscar watch, actively viewing the movies up for awards at the 2016 Golden Globes, SAG Awards, and potentially, the Academy Awards. Below are my thoughts on the films I’ve finished thus far. For purposes of not repeating myself in each section, please note that I found all of the movies below just okay or worse, except the last 4 films in this post.
WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD.
While this film is also a potential Best Picture nominee, mainly it’s been garnering Best Actress buzz for its star, Saoirse Ronan (Atonement). I was also interested in watching it when I heard the screenwriter is Nick Hornby, who also wrote one of my favorite books, A Long Way Down.
Brooklyn isn’t my favorite, but it’s a sweet film. Centered on an Irish immigrant choosing between her homeland and America, the movie broke box office records in Ireland. If nothing else, it’s already a success in that it has most likely paved the way for more Irish films in Hollywood.
I also have to talk about Ronan’s co-stars. Ronan’s love interest was so charismatic the moment he appeared on screen that I Googled him and was surprised to find out that he was the same actor who played Bradley Cooper’s son in the critically acclaimed The Place Beyond the Pines.
The actor, Emory Cohen, looked so different in both films that not only is he emotionally transformative as an actor, but physically transformative as well, which makes him a casting director’s dream. I wouldn’t be surprised if Cohen was nominated for his own Oscar in the future.
Ronan’s other love interest in the film is played by Domhnall Gleeson (Harry Potter, Ex Machina), who is also on his acting game. With the both of them, Brooklyn continues the trend of having two equally good love interests for its central character. Neither of them is the bad guy, which just makes for more interesting storytelling.
Even though I was looking to watch the movie for the aforementioned reasons, I was most excited when I saw Emily Bett Rickards on screen in a small role; I let out a small shriek of glee as I’m a fan of hers from the television show, Arrow. She’s just another reason for you to watch Brooklyn, if you’re a Rickards fan like me.
With the two great love interests and countries of choice for its lead character, it looked like it would be hard for the story to stick the landing. However, to me, the ending was satisfying.
Joy is a contender this awards season for Best Actress nominations for its star, Jennifer Lawrence (The Hunger Games). In this film, Lawrence didn’t particularly shine for me, but I’m a fan and she’s a talented actress and worthy of an Oscar nomination.
Based on Emma Donoghue’s best-selling novel about a mother and son stuck inside a room, the film adaptation is a potential Best Picture nominee and has a potential Best Supporting Actor nominee via Jacob Tremblay as the son and a practical shoo-in for a Best Actress nod with Brie Larson as the mom.
Again, I wasn’t wowed by the lead performance, but so far, my hope is that the Best Actress win goes to Larson.