It’s only one more week until Deadpool guys! Here’s what’s going to tide you over in the meantime.
SPOTLIGHT tells the riveting true story of the Pulitzer Prize-winning Boston Globe investigation that would rock the city and cause a crisis in one of the world’s oldest and most trusted institutions. When the newspaper’s tenacious “Spotlight” team of reporters delves into allegations of abuse in the Catholic Church, their year-long investigation uncovers a decades-long cover-up at the highest levels of Boston’s religious, legal, and government establishment, touching off a wave of revelations around the world. Directed by Academy Award-nominee Tom McCarthy, SPOTLIGHT is a tense investigative dramatic-thriller, tracing the steps to one of the biggest cover-ups in modern times.
Understated, yet powerful and deeply moving, Spotlight is well deserving of its Best Picture nomination at this year’s Academy Awards. There are no flashy moments, no scenery-chewing from the cast, just a relentlessly absorbing story brought to you by the commanding performances of every cast member that will stay with you, long after the movie is over. With 4/5 stars from Kervyn, Spotlight is definitely one of 2016’s best so far.
The Finest Hours
On February 18, 1952, a massive nor’easter struck New England, pummeling towns along the Eastern seaboard and wreaking havoc on the ships caught in its deadly path, including the SS Pendleton, a T-2 oil tanker bound for Boston, which was literally ripped in half, trapping more than 30 sailors inside its rapidly-sinking stern. As the senior officer on board, first assistant engineer Ray Sybert (Casey Affleck) soon realizes it is up to him to take charge of the frightened crew and inspire the men to set aside their differences and work together to ride out one of the worst storms to ever hit the East Coast. Meanwhile, as word of the disaster reaches the U.S. Coast Guard station in Chatham, Massachusetts, Warrant Officer Daniel Cluff (Eric Bana) orders a daring operation to rescue the stranded men. Despite overwhelming odds, four men, led by Coast Guard Captain Bernie Webber (Chris Pine), set out in a wooden lifeboat with an ill-equipped engine and little, if any, means of navigation, facing frigid temperatures, 60-foot high waves and hurricane-force winds.
With its impressive CGI and solid performances by leads Chris Pine and Casey Affleck, where The Finest Hours flounders is, oddly enough, on land. The story takes a long while to get going and while Disney where pulling out all the stops on the dramatic storm sequences, which makes for the best parts of the movie, they were also shoe-horning in a lot of fluff and an unnecessary love story that brings the plot down. So The Finest Hours might not be Disney’s finest hour (I had to), it still earns 59% on Rotten Tomatoes, with an audience rating of 72%.
The Dressmaker tells the story of the beautiful and talented Tilly Dunnage (Academy Award winner Kate Winslet). After years working as a dressmaker in exclusive Parisian fashion houses, Tilly returns home to a town in the Australian outback to reconcile with her eccentric mother Molly (Academy Award nominee Judy Davis). She also falls in love with the pure-hearted Teddy (Liam Hemsworth), and armed with her sewing machine and haute couture style, Tilly transforms the women of the town, exacting sweet revenge on those who did her wrong.
On the one hand described as quirky and poignant, but on the other hand described as antiquated, over-the-top tosh, there’s no critics consensus on The Dressmaker. Apparently it has a very specific brand of humour, so you’ll either absolutely love it or find it puzzlingly boring. Still, it got 65% on Rotten Tomatoes, which isn’t all that bad.
When feisty medical student Gabby Holland moves in next door to perennial ladies’ man Travis Shaw, it sends them both on a romantic journey neither ever dreamed possible. Travis has always believed a serious relationship with a woman would cramp his easygoing lifestyle, while Gabby is all set to settle down her long-term boyfriend-until an irresistible attraction between the unlikely couple upends both of their well-planned lives. After a whirlwind courtship, Gabby and Travis wed and build a family together, making every decision hand-in-hand until one of them is forced to make the most important choice of their life alone. A poignant and life-affirming celebration of love, marriage and family that explores the most heart-wrenching question of all: how far would you go to keep the hope of love alive?
Unfortunately I can’t tell you what anything thinks about The Choice, as at the time of writing this, there are no reviews out yet. Either Lionsgate are keeping a tight lid on it, or none of the press have bothered. But let’s be honest, do I even need to do a write up here? It’s a Nicholas Sparks movie, you know exactly how it’s going to go. Watch any one of the movies based on his books and you’ve seen this movie too. Heck, watch the trailer and you’ve seen this movie, it’s that obvious. But, what would Valentine’s Day be without a squishy, mushy, feel-good tear-jerker of a movie. Blegh.
Last Updated: February 5, 2016