All is Lost
I was bored through lots of this movie, in fact I thought near the thirty minute mark that the film
had spliced in repeated takes. But I feel that that was the intention of J.C. Chandor: to feel like Robert Redford in the film, bored, restless, and impatient. He succeeded, no doubt. The Golden Globe-winning score by Alex Ebert is strong, and the performance by Redford is on point.
I thought that this film would be guaranteed a spot on my top ten list, but in retrospect, the film is not nearly as great as some are making it out to be. Performances are confident and assured, like O. Russell's direction, but the film is pretty much just fluff. Highly stylized entertaining fluff, at least.
I love me some '70's Woody Allen, and I can say with great confidence that this is a film by Woody Allen. Not chug-a-film-a-year Woody Allen, but by the auteur Woody Allen. It's his best film since Crimes and Misdemeanors, and I really wish I had room on this year's list for it, but it's just too strong of a year. Cate Blanchett is excellent, and I am so happy that Sally Hawkins got the recognition she deserved from the Academy.
The Great Beauty
It's the leading contender for best foreign language film of the year, and its a worthy one. Direction by Sorrentino is Felliniesque, sumptuous in style and heaving with thoughts of life's regrets.
The Spectacular Now
A great film about young love in the old years of youth. Sure, themes of alcoholism are heavyhanded, but the performances by Miles Teller and Shailene Woodley are superb, spot-on reflections of youth today.
There's no doubt in my mind that this film is trash, but it's dreamy, Florida sun-glazed, neon-light, orange-glow, hookers-and-blow, trash. Korine directs with some off the wall ambition, and James Franco is simply haunting as the rapper/pimp Alien. I've got half of the "Look at all my sheit" monologue engraved in my head, if that's a testament to my appreciation.