Movie Review Catch-Up

Django Unchained

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I’ve never been a major Tarantino fan, but I loved Django Unchained. This is the first Tarantino film I’ve seen in a theater, which I think might be the key factor in my enjoyment of his movies. I found this to be an incredibly compelling story, watching recently freed slave Django (Jamie Foxx) and the loveable Dr. King Schultz (Christoph Waltz) search for bad guys in the pursuit of finding Django’s wife, Broomhilda (Kerry Washington). Leonardo DiCaprio also gives a deliciously repulsive performance as plantation owner Calvin Candie. Overall, this is really a love story, and seeing Waltz play a nice guy was a refreshing change. I’m also a bit surprised that DiCaprio didn’t also receive an Oscar nomination, but I think the competition between Waltz and Lincoln‘s Tommy Lee Jones will be one of the most difficult of the 2013 Oscars. In my opinion, Django Unchained is a must-see before Oscar night.

Zero Dark Thirty

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After developing my “Homeland” obsession, I was very excited to see its true story movie equivalent, Zero Dark Thirty. Jessica Chastain gives a great performance as dedicated CIA agent Maya, though I’m surprised that Jason Clarke as interrogator Dan didn’t receive more attention for his performance. The only real problem I had with the film was the pace — I think the movie could have been cut down 20 minutes and still have told the same story. I’m really looking forward to Oscar night for the Lead Actress category, where I think Chastain and Silver Linings Playbook‘s Jennifer Lawrence will be the two top contenders for the award.

The Impossible

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Probably the only thing anyone needs to know before seeing The Impossible is to come prepared with a mountain of tissues. The movie runs for about an hour-and-forty-five minutes, and I think I cried for an hour-and-a-half. Naomi Watts and Ewan McGregor both deliver great performances, but the movie’s real star is Tom Holland, the thirteen-year-old son attempting to reunite his family after the 2004 tsunami in Indonesia. The movie is heart-wrenching and effective, but it’s also easy to see why its only nomination was in Watts’s performance (though Holland should have been nominated as well). The story is inspiring, but predictable, feeling at some moments like it could have been made for TV. However, I would say its worth seeing, if only to feel the immense satisfaction of the happy ending to this true story.

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