Just to reiterate, I am focusing on recent movies nominated for Academy Awards. Another one of those films is Once Upon A Time in ... Hollywood.
This is a Tarantino film, so you know it's bound to be a little weird, and probably violent, yet who can resist those two guys staring in it. The setting is Hollywood in 1969, the Hippie era. Leo DiCaprio plays a TV Western star whose show, and therefore his fame, has run it's course. He is trying, mostly unsuccessfully, to regain his standing as a star. Brad Pitt plays DiCaprio's stunt double, whose career has been hitched to the same star. Pitt gets mixed up with hippies, who turn out to be the Manson Family. DiCaprio's neighbor is Sharon Tate. So yeah, the ending gets messy, but not in the way you might think. Tarantino naturally rewrites history to suit his own purposes.
The acting is very good, DiCaprio is nominated for Best Actor, and Brad Pitt for Best Supporting Actor. The sets and costumes depict the era very well and it is fun for those of us who remember those times to relive them just a bit. This is a comedy/drama after all. It's meant to be pure entertainment, with no lasting social commentary, but what seems like gratuitous violence at the end just left us cold. Maybe you will like it better. Those guys are pretty to look at.
Ford and Ferrari is a car movie.
Our son Jake recommended this Oscar nominated movie. He and I shared an interest in auto racing during his growing up years. He is still into it, while I now only pay attention to the Indy 500 if there is an Andretti in it. But he was right, I liked this movie.
Matt Damon plays the lead character who has retired from racing due to health issues, but he still loves race cars and convinces Ford Motor company to get involved in racing to try to best the always victorious Italian Ferrari team. Christian Bale becomes the driver he fights for. The big wigs at Ford aren't very cooperative except for a middle manager named Iaccoca, who just happened to develop the Ford Mustang.
Good acting, good human interest, great racing scenes, and cool automotive history make this a very entertaining movie.
The movie 1917 just might win Best Picture.
We know that war is hell. WWI was especially hellish. This movie shows you just a brief glimpse of that, but it's enough.
British troops are battling the Germans. The Germans seem to be on the run and 1600 men have been sent forward to finish them off. But recon photos show that it is a trap the those 1600 British troops are headed for slaughter. Word must be gotten to them to fall back.
Two little known actors, Dean-Charles Chapman and George MacKay, play the two corporals, Blake and Schofield, who are assigned to cross the nine miles of no mans land and scorched earth to carry the message. Cpl Blake is especially motivated because his older brother is in the advancing 1600.
It is a grueling and dangerous mission that keeps the viewer tense and glued to the screen. I marveled at the sets, the reconstruction of a burned out village, the seeming miles of trenches, the cast of thousands. This is a big movie.
It you prefer to study war no more, skip it, but it is exceptionally well done, and with redeeming value.