So much film, so not-enough time, American and foreign films and documentaries. Eighteen in all. Oh yeah plus a couple of films with black stars or directors that should have been nominated. Twenty then. Five down, fifteen to go. Only evenings after gym when I’m too tired to do anything else are eligible as show times. And Saturday night after writing all day.
See what I do. Make everything too much. So I almost fail. Or fail.
But what a treat it all is anyway. Friday night it was Room. The book drew great praise but I did not read it. And honestly, went reluctantly to the show…which turned out to be excellent. It gave reality to the horror stories of real-life kidnapped women, held prisoner and bearing their captors children. I know there are books out there and probably documentaries from actual incidents but I’ve missed them so this was my Oscar-film reality check.
A review tells us very succinctly the gist of the story: Held captive for years in an enclosed space, a woman (Brie Larson) and her 5-year-old son (Jacob Tremblay) finally gain their freedom, allowing the boy to experience the outside world for the first time. The action, or lack thereof, takes place in the smallest of spaces, the garden-shed prison and, although the pace is deliberate, Larson and the boy, Jacob Tremblay, keep us with them. The kid, in fact, should have been nominated for an Oscar. Truthfully he is as good as Quvenzhané Wallis, the girl in Beasts of the Southern Wild and that is about as good as it gets.
In any case this intimate, almost claustrophobic, small film manages to feel authentic and kind of important.
The next posts will feature more very fine, very young male actors in Beasts of No Nation and Theeb, the two strongest, most memorable movies so far. Both are so visually striking it’s almost painful, at least in the case of ‘Beasts.’ Just so you know, Beasts of No Nation is a Netflix production so obviously you can stream it at your leisure…but be prepared. More later…