Screener Season pt. 2: Dallas Buyers Club
Just from reading the synopsis I knew this movie had “award bait” written all over it. The true story of a man with AIDS who gave the finger to the pharmaceutical companies and FDA leading him to become a champion of AIDS victims in the 80s. I read up on the real Ronald Woodroof after I watched the movie, and the man definitely deserves to have his story told because he was a total bad ass who wouldn’t give up. But that doesn’t stop this movie from looking like it was made specifically for awards. The performances by Matthew McConaughey and Jared Leto are top-notch. The only drawback to them would be that I feel like the general movie going public is over the whole handsome/beautiful actor/actress goes ugly and gets a prize for it thing. That stigma may be a little difficult to overcome, which could be a shame because I’ve never seen either actor so immersed in any of their previous roles respectively. For the movie as a whole, it feels like a TV movie in a lot of places. I understand that a low-budget drama is going to play like a TV style movie at times, but this flick certainly felt like it was resisting the made-for-HBO feel that was fairly prevalent. Some parts certainly look like the director was trying to go full arthouse to distance the movie from that, but those scenes just seemed out of place (butterfly scene was why?). Had this movie been made for HBO it would undoubtedly be a juggernaut for all the Golden Globe and Emmy awards for TV achievements. The movie is very good and entertaining overall, I just don’t think it has enough buzz to be a serious contender come award season.
Jared Leto could easily sneak into some Best Supporting Actor nominations. It would be nice to see Matthew McConaughey sneak into some Best Actor nominations but he is the more unlikely one.
Screener Season pt. 1: Out of the Furnace
I’d been eager to see this movie for some time. There were a lot of glowing reviews to read that lauded the performances of Christian Bale and Woody Harrelson so much, that I wasn’t the least bit shocked that it got the screener treatment to drum up some buzz now that awards season is here. The most obvious criticism of the movie that I feel I need to make is the deliberate pacing. I mean really deliberate pacing. It takes it time and I can tell that the filmmakers wanted it that way. The performances are initially intriguing and there are a lot of great actors in here, but for the most part they never get enough screen time to become complete characters and end up just looking one-dimensional. Most of them have a very fun one-dimension, but that isn’t going to help them come nomination time. By the time the movie is over it feels like it was overlong. I think back on the first hour of pure exposition and wonder if all of that was necessary given the end result. I’ve seen many negative reviews claim that the movie is just a generic revenge flick. Considering that very little of the run time actually focuses on the revenge and about 90-95% of the movie is all about brooding about different stuff, I’d say that it is in fact a unique “revenge” flick. However, it falls quite short of amazing. I think it will be shut out come nomination announcement time.
Predicted Nominations: None