Showing posts with label 2015. Show all posts
Showing posts with label 2015. Show all posts

Wednesday, December 6, 2023

Review: Phoenix is the Man in Woody Allen's "IRRATIONAL MAN"

TRASH IN MY EYE No. 51 of 2023 (No. 1940) by Leroy Douresseaux

Irrational Man (2015)
Running time:  95 minutes (1 hour, 35 minutes)
MPAA –  R for some language and sexual content
PRODUCERS:  Letty Aronson, Stephen Tenenbaum, and Edward Walson
EDITOR:  Alisa Lepselter


Starring:  Joaquin Phoenix, Emma Stone, Parker Posey, Joe Stapleton, Nancy Carroll, Betsy Aidem, Ethan Phillips, Jamie Blackley, Nancy Giles, and Tom Kemp

Irrational Man is a 2015 comedy-drama, romance, and mystery film written and directed by Woody Allen.  The film focuses on a college professor who finds the will to live after committing the act of murder and the young student who falls deeply in love with him.

Philosophy professor Abe Lucas (Joaquin Phoenix) arrives in Newport, Rhode Island with some acclaim.  He joins the faculty of (fictional) Braylin College where he will teach “ethical strategies.”  Abe is depressed, is experiencing an existential crisis, and sees no meaning in his life.  He drinks excessively and considers suicide.

Despite his tormented state, Abe catches the attention of two women.  The first is chemistry professor, Rita Richards (Parker Posey), and the second is Jill Pollard (Emma Stone), one of his students.  Each is crazy about him in her own way.  Abe's relationship with the two really goes nowhere … at first.

Abe hatches the idea of murdering Judge Thomas Augustus Spangler (Tom Kemp), an unethical family court judge who is plotting to take the custody of her children away from a woman.  Plotting and committing murder has given Abe's life a sense of purpose that he has not felt in ages.  For various reasons, however, both Rita and Jill suspect Abe of Judge Spangler's murder.

Coup de chance, the film Woody Allen says will likely be his final directorial effort, was released in France in September (2023).  Because of the controversies surrounding Allen the last few decades, especially the last five years, the film may not get a U.S. theatrical release.  In anticipation of seeing Coup de chance, I have decided to watch the recent Woody Allen films that I missed, beginning with the most recent that I had not seen, Irrational Man.

Some of Woody Allen's films have previously focused on a lead character who is involved in murder or commits murder.  Examples include Crimes and Misdemeanors (1989) and Match Point (2005).  Having murder as subplot gives Allen's films an edge they don't normally have.  Irrational Man seems to drift with no purpose until Abe Lucas actually commits murder, and suddenly this film seems like a totally different movie from what it was during its first half.  Frankly, Irrational Man seems to be asleep for at least half its runtime.

I find myself entirely sympathetic with Phoenix's Abe Lucas.  Of course, I would feel differently if this were a real murder victim that was friends or family to me.  As it is, I find myself really liking the post-crime Abe Lucas, and I found his later, darker turn to be a bit alluring.

Phoenix gives life to a character that Allen does not develop very well.  As the narrative moves towards its conclusion, Phoenix makes Abe feel richer, and the character might have improved even more with a longer runtime, more because of what Phoenix would do rather than what Allen would not.  Emma Stone is whiny and unlikable as Jill Pollard, but Parker Posey makes the best of horny Rita Richards.  I wish Rita had more screen time.

Irrational Man is strictly for Woody Allen fans, although Phoenix is the one who saves this film and uplifts it.  So Joaquin Phoenix fans may find something in Irrational Man to like, also.

6 of 10
★★★ out of 4 stars

Wednesday, December 6, 2023

The text is copyright © 2023 Leroy Douresseaux. All Rights Reserved. Contact this site or blog for syndication rights and fees.



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Saturday, February 25, 2023

Review: "CREED" Fights Furiously in the Shadow of "Rocky"

TRASH IN MY EYE No. 9 of 2023 (No. 1898) by Leroy Douresseaux

Creed (2015)
Running time:  133 minutes (2 hours, 13 minutes)
MPAA – PG-13 for violence, language and some sensuality
DIRECTOR:  Ryan Coogler
WRITERS: Ryan Coogler and Aaron Covington; from a story by Ryan Coogler (based on characters created by Sylvester Stallone)
PRODUCERS:  Roger Chartoff, William Chartoff, Sylvester Stallone, Kevin King-Templeton, Charles Winkler, David Winkler, and Irwin Winker
CINEMATOGRAPHER:  Maryse Alberti (D.o.P.)
EDITORS:  Claudia Castello and Michael P. Shawver
COMPOSER:  Ludwig Goransson
Academy Award nominee


Starring:  Michael B. Jordan, Sylvester Stallone, Tessa Thompson, Phylicia Rashad, Andre Ward, Tony Bellew, Ritchie Coster, Jacob “Stitch” Duran, Graham McTavish, Gabe Rosado, Brian Anthony Wilson, Max Kellerman, Jim Lampley, Michael Wilbon, Tony Kornheiser, and Hannah Storm

Creed is a 2015 boxing drama and sports movies directed by Ryan Coogler.  It is the seventh film in the Rocky film series, which began with the 1976 film, Rocky.  Creed is also a spin-off of the Rocky series.  The film focuses on a young boxer who struggles with his legacy, but seeks out his late father's friend and former rival to be his trainer.

Creed introduces Adonis “Donnie” Johnson (Michael B. Jordan).  He is the son of former heavyweight boxing champion Apollo Creed via an extramarital affair.  Creed's widow, Mary Anne (Phylicia Rashad), took Donnie into her home in Los Angeles, which opens up many opportunities for him.  However, Donnie also wants to be a boxer, but when he finds that no one will support or train him, he travels to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

There, he convinces Apollo Creed's old friend and former rival, Rocky Balboa (Sylvester Stallone), to train him.  Initially reluctant to return to boxing, Rocky eventually agrees and begins training Donnie at his old stomping grounds, Front Street Gym.  When Donnie gets the offer to fight the “light heavyweight” champion of the world, “Pretty” Ricky Conlan (Tony Bellew), Stallone isn't sure that he should do it.  Donnie's new girlfriend, singer-songwriter, Bianca (Tessa Thompson), also has her doubts.

To do this, Donnie will have to embrace his legacy as well as forge a new one for himself.  But is he willing to accept that the world does not want Adonis Johnson.  It wants “Adonis Creed?”

I have never watched the movie Rocky or any of its sequels in their entirety.  I doubt that I have ever watched enough of them to amount to an entire film.  I don't like boxing movies, although there is one I do like, the 1949 Film-Noir, The Set-Up.  However, I have been a fan of writer-director Ryan Coogler since seeing his powerful film debut, Fruitvale Station (2013).  I am crazy about his two films for Disney's Marvel Studios, Black Panther (2018) and its sequel, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever (2022).  I am intrigued by the upcoming Creed III, so I decided to see the one Coogler film that I'd skipped, the first film in the series, 2015's Creed.

In some ways, Creed seems entirely reliant on the first three film in the Rocky series.  It obviously would not exist with those films, but sometimes Creed acts as if it could not exist without constantly referencing the past.  Creed, as a film, struggles with its own legacy (Rocky) as it tries to become its own thing just as Adonis Johnson struggles with the legacy of Apollo Creed.  Will becoming Adonis Creed overshadow Adonis' own identity and achievements?  Can Creed escape the shadow of Rocky.  Perhaps, they find a happy medium, Adonis more so than the film that tells his story.

Beyond that, Creed is a really good film because Ryan Coogler is an exceptionally good filmmaker.  Here, his work makes him come across as a natural, and I now see why Marvel was willing to consider him for Black Panther all those years ago.  Coogler gives Sylvester Stallone the space he needs to give his best performance as Rocky Balboa in three decades.  The role had become a stereotype, but here, Coogler makes old and ailing Rocky seem like a genuine life lived instead of as a caricature revived.

Coogler also gets Michael B. Jordan and Tessa Thompson to give what still seem to be the best performances of their careers.  Adonis and Bianca have weight and depth, and Jordan makes Adonis feel like an especially developed character.  Jordan carries Adonis' history and emotions as if they were real things.

It is a shame that the Oscars could only recognize Stallone – via the “Best Supporting Actor” category that he did not, but should have won.  It is as if the Academy, especially the directors and screenwriters' branches, fears Ryan Coogler colossal talent.  Still, Creed, in spite of its spin-off imperfections, will be remembered much more than many of 2016's Oscar favorites.

8 of 10
★★★★ out of 4 stars

Saturday, February 25, 2023

2016 Academy Awards, USA:  1 nomination: “Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role” (Sylvester Stallone)

2016 Black Reel Awards:  5 wins: “Outstanding Actor, Motion Picture” (Michael B. Jordan), “Outstanding Supporting Actress, Motion Picture” (Tessa Thompson), “Outstanding Director, Motion Picture” (Ryan Coogler), “Outstanding Original or Adapted Screenplay, Motion Picture” (Aaron Covington and Ryan Coogler), and “Outstanding Motion Picture” (Sylvester Stallone, Irwin Winkler, David Winkler, Robert Chartoff, William Chartoff, Kevin King-Templeton); 4 nominations: “Outstanding Score” (Ludwig Göransson), “Outstanding Ensemble” (Francine Maisler), “Outstanding Original Song” (Tessa Thompson, Ludwig Göransson, and Sam Dew for the song, “Grip”), “Outstanding Original Song” (Donald Glover, Vince Staples, Jhené Aiko, Ryan Coogler, and Ludwig Göransson for the song, “Waiting for My Moment”)

2016 Golden Globes, USA:  1 win: “Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture” (Sylvester Stallone)

2016 Image Awards (NAACP):  4 wins: “Outstanding Actor in a Motion Picture” (Michael B. Jordan), “Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture” (Tessa Thompson), “Outstanding Writing in a Motion Picture-Theatrical” (Ryan Coogler and Aaron Covington), “Outstanding Directing in a Motion Picture-Theatrical” (Ryan Coogler); 2 nominations: “Outstanding Motion Picture” and “Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture” (Phylicia Rashad)

The text is copyright © 2023 Leroy Douresseaux. All Rights Reserved. Contact this blog or site for syndication rights and fees.



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Wednesday, March 31, 2021

Review: "SON OF SAUL" is Powerful and Unforgettable

TRASH IN MY EYE No. 25 of 2021 (No. 1763) by Leroy Douresseaux

[This review was originally posted on Patreon.]

Son of Saul (2015)
Saul fia – original title
Country:  Hungary

Running time:  107 minutes (1 hour, 47 minutes)
MPAA – R for disturbing violent content, and some graphic nudity
DIRECTOR:  Laszlo Nemes
WRITERS:  Laszlo Nemes and Clara Royer
PRODUCERS:  Gábor Rajna and Gábor Sipos
EDITOR:  Matthieu Taponier
COMPOSER:  Melis László
Academy Award winner


Starring:  Geza Rohrig, Levente Molnar, Urs Rechn,Todd Charmont, Jerzy Walczak, Sandor Zsoter, Istvan Pion, Amitai Kedar, Juli Jakab, Gergo Farkas and Balazs Farkas

Son of Saul or Saul fia (original title) is a 2015 Hungarian historical drama from director Laszlo Nemes.  The film is set in a concentration camp and focuses on a prisoner who tries to save his son's body from the crematorium.  The film won the Oscar for “Best Foreign Language Film of 2015.”

Son of Saul opens in the Nazi extermination camp, Auschwitz, in October 1944Jewish-Hungarian prisoner, Saul Ausländer (Geza Rorig), is a member of Sonderkommando.  This unit is made of Jewish prisoners who herd other Jews into the showers where they will be gassed to death.  Afterwards, Saul and the other Sonderkommando remove valuables from the clothes of the dead, drag the dead from the gas chambers to the crematoria so they can be burned, and finally clean the killing floors.

Saul carries out his dreadful task with a stoic and impassive expression upon his face.  One day, however, Saul recognizes a boy removed from the gas chambers.  He believes the boy is his son, so he begins a desperate, furtive campaign to save his son's body from the flames of the crematoria.

I have seen many films and television programs that are partially set in concentration camps and films that directly or indirectly concern the Holocaust.  I think that Son of Saul is only one of a few films that I have seen that are set entirely or almost entirely in a Nazi extermination camps.  The most obvious example is the Oscar-winning Schindler's List, which was directed by Steven Spielberg.  In some ways, Spielberg presented Schindler's List as if it were something out of time, a film from the Golden Age of Hollywood, in terms of acting and staging.

With Son of Saul, director Laszlo Nemes makes no attempt at the artifice of prestige Hollywood cinema.  Stylistic and stylish choices are used to make clear to the audience that the situation in which Saul Auslander lives is entirely bleak and without hope.  This Nazi machine to kill Jews that we call the Holocaust is an industry, and its factory workers are dead men and women walking.  You do whatever you need to get the job done, even if you have to shoot prisoners one by one and dump their bodies in pits because the machinery is temporarily clogged or the backlog of those to be processed is too long.

Saul's desperate plot to save the boy-who-could-be-his-son's body is only that – an act of desperation.  It is something a dead man does so that at least one of his last gasps will taste sweet.  Saul and practically all the other Jewish prisoners are already dead.

Son of Saul is a damning work of art.  This is high art as a cave painting on the consciousness of lovers of cinema and movie buffs.  Son of Saul is a recreation... or is it a reminder of a time so terrible that it haunts the past, present, and future of our species.

9 of 10

Saturday, October 29, 2016

2016 Academy Awards, USA:  1 win: “Best Foreign Language Film of the Year” (Hungary)

2016 Golden Globes, USA:  1 win: “Best Foreign Language Film” (Hungary)

2015 Cannes Film Festival:  4 wins: “FIPRESCI Prize-Competition” (László Nemes), “François Chalais Award” (László Nemes), “Grand Prize of the Jury” (László Nemes), and “Vulcain Prize for the Technical Artist” (Tamás Zányi-sound designer for the outstanding contribution of sound to the narration.)
; 2 nominations:  “Golden Camera” (László Nemes) and “Palme d'Or” (László Nemes)

The text is copyright © 2016 Leroy Douresseaux. All Rights Reserved. Contact this site for reprint and syndication rights and fees.


Monday, February 1, 2021


[Stanley Nelson Jr. is an acclaimed and multiple Emmy Award-winning documentary filmmaker (The Murder of Emmett Till, Freedom Riders).  Instead of only relying on academic and official history for his 2016 film, Black Panther: Vanguard of the Revolution, Nelson fashions history from the many stories of many of the individuals involved with the Black Panthers.  When these people are onscreen, that is when this Emmy-winning documentary is at its best, and that is why I think Nelson's film would be even more illuminating as a television series.]

TRASH IN MY EYE No. 4 of 2021 (No. 1742) by Leroy Douresseaux

[This review was originally posted on Patreon.]

The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution (2015)
Running time:  114 minutes (1 hour, 54 minutes)
Rating: Not rated by the MPAA
WRITER/DIRECTOR:  Stanley Nelson
PRODUCERS:  Laurens Grant and Stanley Nelson
CINEMATOGRAPHERS:  Antonio Rossi, Rick Butler, Allen Moore, and Clift Charles
EDITOR:  Aljernon Tunsil

DOCUMENTARY – Race, Politics

Starring:  Elaine Brown, Kathleen Cleaver, Flores Forbes, Emory Douglas, Mike Gray, Jeff Haas, Erika Huggins, Phyllis Jackson, Jamal Joseph, Akua Njeri, Donna Murch, and Marvin X

The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution is a 2015 documentary film from writer-director Stanley Nelson.  The film uses archival footage and interviews of surviving Panthers and law enforcement officials to chronicle the rise and fall of the Black Panther Party, one of the most controversial and captivating organizations of the 20th century.  The filmed premiered at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival and later received a limited theatrical release in September of that same year.

Originally called the “Black Panther Party for Self-Defense,” the Black Panther Party (also known as the  BPP or “Black Panthers”) was a revolutionary Black organization that was founded in 1966 in Oakland, California.  Considered by some to be a “Black nationalist and socialist organization,” the Black Panthers core practice was to monitor behavior of police officers against Black people and to challenge police brutality in Oakland.  The group also created  a number of community social programs, the best known being the “Free Breakfast for Children Programs” and community health clinics.  The group had chapters in several cities and municipalities in the United States and also an international chapter that operated in the country of Algeria for three years.

The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution provides a broad overview of the BPP, while specifically focusing on key moments and occurrence's in the group's history.  One of those moments concerns J. Edgar Hoover, director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), and his extensive program to destroy the Panthers.  This program (COINTELPRO) included police harassment, infiltration of BPP membership by FBI informants, and surveillance and tactics to discredit and criminalize the Panthers.

I think what best makes The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution successfully work as a documentary film are the interviews.  There is something about hearing the words of former Panther members; law enforcement that had interaction with the BPP; journalists and reporters who covered them; and historians who continue to study them that brings this documentary's story to life.

Some of the best known Panthers:  Huey Newton, Eldridge Cleaver, and Fred Hampton are seen only in archival footage because they are no longer living.  [Chicago police killed Hampton in what is considered an assassination by many former Panthers and people who study the BPP.]  Another famous Panther, Bobby Seale, is still living, but apparently did not participate in this film.  This archival footage is informative, but I did not take to it the way I did the interviews.

The interviews of living subjects turns The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution into a kind of oral history.  When oral storytelling is told by someone who is good at it or really has a sense of the story he or she is telling, it brings history and even myths to life, perhaps, even giving them a new life.  At the beginning of this documentary, someone says that the history of the Panthers is unique to individual members, because that history reflects an individual's experience as a member of the BPP – what he or she saw being inside the BPP.  The oral history and interview aspect of this documentary exemplifies that.

I think The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution is the first step to getting a deeper understanding of the Black Panther Party.  The next thing to do is to make available each history or her-story of BPP members.  That is the flaw in this documentary.  Sometimes, it approaches the sweep of history by sweeping past a lot of it – perhaps, understandably for practical reasons.

Still, The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution reveals that the story of the BPP is not simply one of Black militants posturing with guns or acting like criminals.  It is more intimate and complex, made of many stories, not just one history.  This documentary is smart enough to recognize that.

8 of 10

Thursday, September 29, 2016

2016 Black Reel Awards:  1 nomination: “Outstanding Documentary” (Stanley Nelson-Director)

2016 Image Awards:  1 win: “Outstanding Documentary (Film)”

2016 Primetime Emmy Awards:  1 win: “Exceptional Merit in Documentary Filmmaking” (Stanley Nelson-produced by, Laurens Grant-produced by, Sally Jo Fifer-executive producer, Lois Vossen-executive producer, and Public Broadcasting Service (PBS)

The text is copyright © 2016 Leroy Douresseaux. All Rights Reserved. Contact this site for reprint and syndication rights and fees.


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Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Review: "Chi-raq" Dares to Be Truly Different

TRASH IN MY EYE No. 17 (of 2020) by Leroy Douresseaux

[This review was originally posted on Patreon.]

Chi-Raq (2015)
Running time: 127 minutes (2 hours, 7 minutes)
MPAA – R for strong sexual content including dialogue, nudity, language, some violence and drug use
WRITERS:  Spike Lee and Kevin Willmott (based on the play by Aristophanes)
CINEMATOGRAPHER:  Matthew Libatique
EDITOR:  Ryan Denmark and Hye Mee Na
COMPOSER:  Terence Blanchard


Starring:  Nick Cannon, Teyonah Parris, Wesley Snipes, Angela Bassett, Samuel L. Jackson, John Cusack, Jennifer Hudson, David Patrick Kelly, D.B. Sweeney, Dave Chappelle, Steve Harris, Harry Lennix, Irma P. Hall, Thomas J. Byrd, Roger Guenveur Smith, and La La Anthony

Chi-Raq is satirical political drama and musical from director Spike Lee.  Set in Chicago, Chi-Raq uses the classical Greek comedy play, Lysistrata (written by Aristophanes), as the basis for a story about the gang violence that is plagues real-world Chicago.  In Chi-Raq, a woman leads a group of like-minded females to challenge the on-going violence in Chicago's Southside.

Lysistrata (Teyonah Parris) dates Demetrius “Chi-Raq” Dupree (Nick Cannon), leader of the Spartans gang (who wear purple).  He is in the middle of an on-going war against the rival gang, the Trojans (who wear orange), lead by Cyclops (Wesley Snipes), who orders a hit on Chi-Raq during a Spartan music concert.

After Chi-Raq (presumably) kills a child with a stray bullet during a shootout, Lysistrata finds herself having to examine her part in the ongoing violence in Chicago's Southside.  Lysistrata organizes a group of women who are associated with male gang members and encourages them to withhold sex from their men until they stop the violence.  Lysistrata's movement challenges the nature of race, sex, and violence in the United States of America, and it begins to spread around the world.  However, as more people go without sex, the movement raises tensions in all of Chicago.

Chi-Raq is another bold stroke of idiosyncratic Spike Lee art.  Lee was Kanye West before Kanye West.  Stubborn and independent from the beginning, Lee remains that way.  Chi-Raq is everything it seems:  political satire, social satire, farce, comedy, Negro spiritual, racial drama, soulful musical, and even a cry in the wilderness to Black folks in America.  “Stop killing ourselves!” Lee screams via his art.  If only it were that simple.

Chi-Raq is film art, beautiful, poignant, brash, colorful – all of it embodied by the full-throated, shameless narration of Samuel L. Jackson's refreshing Dolmedes.  In the end, hopefully, Chi-Raq can be more than art.  Can it initiate social change.  Well, the problems that it depicts and tackles are complicated and ingrained in ways that would have us throw up our hands in surrender if we took time to really think about those problems.

I can hope for the best, but in the meantime, I can appreciate a filmmaker who really deserves to be called a “visionary,” Spike Lee.  Chi-Raq is a testament to his imagination.

9 of 10

Friday, September 2, 2016

2016 Black Reel Awards:  1 win: “Outstanding Actress, Motion Picture” (Teyonah Parris); 6 nominations: “Outstanding Motion Picture” (Spike Lee), “Outstanding Supporting Actress, Motion Picture” (Angela Bassett), “Outstanding Director, Motion Picture” (Spike Lee), “Outstanding Ensemble” (Kim Coleman-Casting Director), “Outstanding Score” (Terence Blanchard), and “Outstanding Original or Adapted Screenplay, Motion Picture” (Spike Lee and Kevin Willmott)

2016 Image Awards:  4 nominations: “Outstanding Actress in a Motion Picture” (Teyonah Parris), “Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture” (Angela Bassett), “Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture” (Jennifer Hudson), and “Outstanding Independent Motion Picture”

The text is copyright © 2016 Leroy Douresseaux. All Rights Reserved. Contact this site for reprint and syndication rights and fees.


Friday, July 17, 2020

Review: "The Hateful Eight" is Certainly Great

TRASH IN MY EYE No. 14 (of 2020) by Leroy Douresseaux

[This review was originally posted on Patreon.]

The Hateful Eight (2015)
Running time:  188 minutes (3 hours, 8 minutes)
MPAA – R for strong bloody violence, a scene of violent sexual content, language and some graphic nudity
WRITER/DIRECTOR:  Quentin Tarantino
PRODUCERS:  Richard N. Gladstein, Shannon McIntosh, and Stacey Sher
CINEMATOGRAPHER:  Robert Richardson
EDITOR:  Fred Raskin
COMPOSER:  Ennio Morricone
Academy Award winner


Starring:  Samuel L. Jackson, Kurt Russell, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Walton Goggins, Demian Bichir, Tim Roth, Michael Madsen, Bruce Dern, James Parks, Dana Gourrier, Zoe Bell, Lee Horsley, Gene Jones, Keith Jefferson, Craig Strark, Belinda Owino, and Channing Tatum

The Hateful Eight is the 8th film from writer-director Quentin Tarantino.  A Western and mystery-thriller, The Hateful Eight focuses on two bounty hunters, a prisoner, and a new local sheriff who find themselves stranded in a cabin with a collection of nefarious strangers.  At least one of those strangers may be connected to the prisoner.

The Hateful Eight opens in the dead of a Wyoming winter some years after the Civil War.  O.B. Jackson (James Parks) drives a stagecoach through the snow-covered landscape.  Aboard his stagecoach is bounty hunter, John Ruth the Hangman (Kurt Russell), and his prisoner, Daisy Domergue (Jennifer Jason Leigh).  Ruth is taking Domergue to Red Rock, Wyoming where she is to be tried and hanged for her crimes.

The stagecoach comes across a second bounty hunter, Major Marquis Warren (Samuel L. Jackson), who was transporting three dead bounties to Red Rock when his horse died.  It takes some convincing, but Ruth allows Warren to board the stagecoach.  Shortly afterwards, former Confederate, Chris Mannix (Walton Goggins), who claims to be heading to Red Rock to assume the job of sheriff, hails the stagecoach.  It takes some talking, but Ruth also lets him aboard.

A sudden blizzard forces this quintet to seek shelter at the stagecoach stopover, Minnie's Haberdashery, but Minnie (Dana Gourrier) is nowhere to be found.  Instead, they are met by Bob (Demián Bichir), a Mexican who says that Minnie is visiting her mother and has left him in charge; Oswaldo Mobray (Tim Roth) who claims to be Red Rock's hangman; Joe Gage (Michael Madsen), a quiet cowboy; and General Sanford Smithers (Bruce Dern), a former Confederate officer.  John Ruth and Marquis Warren believe that at least one of the men they have found at Minnie's is in league with Daisy Domergue, but which one and when will he strike?

Although The Hateful Eight displays Quentin Tarantino's signature blend of wisecracking social commentary, action, humor, and over-the-top violence, this film is not like Tarantino's more popular films:  Pulp Fiction (1994), Inglourious Basterds (2009) and Django Unchained (2012).  These three films received best picture Oscar nominations, while The Hateful Eight did not.  The Hateful Eight is a parlor-room drama, but the parlor room is set up like a stage for live theater.

The other three films were wide-ranging epics full of hyper-kinetic violence.  They are flashy examples of Tarantino's bravura film making, while The Hateful Eight is quiet and edgy and brimming with malice, menace, and venom.  More than half the characters in The Hateful Eight really are fucking hateful, and that is a ratio that can be off-putting for the audience.

But not for me.  I would put The Hateful Eight in the top half of Tarantino's filmography.  This isn't Tarantino's best dialogue or screenplay for that matter, but his execution is impeccable, as usual.  The Hateful Eight is a riveting piece of work, three hours of glorious film narrative, and I enjoyed every minute of it.  I wanted more.

Besides Tarantino's stellar work, there are a number of good performances in this film.  Samuel L. Jackson, a Tarantino regular, gives his best performance in a lead role in years.  He gives the sly Marquis Warren layers, from vengeful former slave to death-dealing former P.O.W., but Jackson suggests that there is so much more to this man that it would take at least two movies to discover what is inside him.

Jennifer Jason Leigh also turns Daisy Domergue into so much more than what she seems.  Her performances is built on subtle changes in note; it is a bouquet of scents meant to keep the viewers on their heels when it comes to what her motivations are.  Joined at the hip with Kurt Russell, who also gives a spry, spicy turn, they make a good pair.  Walton Goggins also surprises, especially since his career, thus far, has been filled with oddballs who are odd for the sake of being an oddity in a film.

Ennio Morricone's score and the film's soundtrack offer a nice backdrop, heightening the sinister mood of the story.  The Hateful Eight might not be a Tarantino audience favorite; it is too slow for the kick-ass crowd.  However, I think that it is a masterpiece, a great modern Western that stands with the very few great Westerns of the previous four decades.

9 of 10

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Revised:  Thursday, July 16, 2020

2016 Academy Awards, USA:  1 win: “Best Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures, Original Score” (Ennio Morricone); 2 nominations:  “Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role” (Jennifer Jason Leigh) and “Best Achievement in Cinematography” (Robert Richardson)

2016 Golden Globes, USA:  1 win: “Best Original Score - Motion Picture” (Ennio Morricone); 2 nomination:  “Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture” (Jennifer Jason Leigh) and “Best Screenplay - Motion Picture” (Quentin Tarantino)

2016 BAFTA Awards:  1 win: “Best Original Music” (Ennio Morricone); 2 nominations: “Best Supporting Actress” (Jennifer Jason Leigh) and “Best Original Screenplay” (Quentin Tarantino)

The text is copyright © 2020 Leroy Douresseaux. All Rights Reserved. Contact this blog or site for reprint or syndication rights and fees.


Monday, June 5, 2017

Review: "Spotlight" Deserved All the Praise it Received and More

TRASH IN MY EYE No. 11 (of 2017) by Leroy Douresseaux

[This review was originally posted on Patreon.]

Spotlight (2015)
Running time:  128 minutes (2 hours, 8 minutes)
MPAA – R for some language including sexual references
DIRECTOR:  Tom McCarthy
WRITERS:  Josh Singer and Tom McCarthy
PRODUCERS:  Blye Pagon Faust, Steve Golin, Nicole Rocklin, and Michael Sugar
CINEMATOGRAPHER:  Masanobu Takayanagi
EDITOR:  Tom McArdle
COMPOSER:  Howard Shore
Academy Award winner including “Best Picture”

DRAMA with elements of a biopic

Starring:  Mark Ruffalo, Michael Keaton, Rachel McAdams, Liev Schreiber, John Slattery, Brian d'Arcy James, Stanley Tucci, and Billy Crudup

Spotlight is a 2015 drama from director and co-writer Tom McCarthy (The Visitor).  Part biographical, Spotlight is based on a true story and is a dramatic retelling of The Boston Globe's efforts to uncover child sex accuse in the Boston area that was perpetrated by Roman Catholic priests.  At the 88th Academy Awards (Sunday, February 28, 2016), Spotlight won the Oscar as the “Best Picture of 2015.”

Spotlight focuses on the editors, reporters, and employees at the venerable newspaper, The Boston Globe, which has a small group of journalists known as the “Spotlight” team.  Spotlight is the oldest continuously operating newspaper investigative unit in the United States.  The Spotlight team works on investigative newspaper articles that take months to research and write before they are published.

In 2001, The Boston Globe hires a new editor, Marty Baron (Liev Schreiber).  Baron meets with Walter “Robby” Robinson (Michael Keaton), the editor of the Spotlight team. Baron had read a Globe column about a lawyer, Mitchell Garabedian (Stanley Tucci), who works with adults who were victims of childhood sexual abuse by Roman Catholic priests and also the parents and their children who are currently being abused.  Garabedian says that the Archbishop of Boston, Cardinal Bernard Law (Len Cariou), knew that the priest, Father John Geoghan, sexually abused children and did nothing to stop the abuse.

Robinson gathers his Spotlight team:  Michael Rezendes (Mike Ruffalo), Sacha Pfeiffer (Rachel McAdams), and Matt Carroll (Brian d'Arcy James) and begins the investigation.  However, they discover a scandal of child molestation and  a cover-up within the local Catholic Archdiocese that is massive, widespread, and older than they could ever imagine.  In order to uncover this conspiracy, the Globe and Spotlight will have to shake the cultural, political, social and spiritual foundations of a city and a church that is determined to keep its darkest secrets hidden.

Spotlight is one of the best films that I have seen over the first 16 years of this 21st century.  I do remember early in my “career” as a “serious” movie watcher reading the writings of people who took American films seriously, and they often talked about “important movies.”  Such films focused on topical or historical matters of importance to America; or were based on true stories that once resonated with Americans or still did to some extent; or they were about racism, bigotry, prejudice, and discrimination based on skin color, sexual orientation, gender, religion, ethnicity, etc.; or they were about terrible events in history, such as wars or genocide (in particularly, the Holocaust).

Then, there seemed (to me at least) to be a backlash against “serious movies.”  Audiences supposedly hated movies with messages or movies in which the filmmakers used the characters as mouthpieces for their believes and agendas.  To me, the result was fewer films like Silkwood, The Killing Fields, and Platoon and more escapist fare like Back to the Future, Armageddon, and Pirates of the Caribbean and like films which have dominated movie theaters for the better part of four decades.

Well, the important movie is back and the result is Spotlight, a film that not only concerns something of great importance, but is also greatly entertaining.  By now, dear reader, you have heard that Spotlight is supremely directed, excellently written, superbly acted, and just an all-around great freakin' film, and that is all true.  I could not stop watching Spotlight.  I think director Tom McCarthy's biggest achievement in this film is to give this story a hypnotic power that holds the viewer in vice-like grip until the credits role and the end of the film.

However, I think Spotlight's true power and achievement are in its indictment of us.  How does great evil “get away with it” in the end?  The fault is not only on the institution which commits and covers up crime, in this case the Roman Catholic Church in general and the Archdiocese of Boston specifically.  The fault is also with basically an entire society, in this case Boston, as the social, political, and economic order down even to the personal level either looks the other way or mitigates the fact that horrible crimes are being committed against that society's most vulnerable members, the children.

It seems that much, if not all, of Boston found a way to avoid punishing, to say nothing of stopping, a group of men (priests and bishops) who basically had the faith, respect, and worship of everyone from raping and sexually abusing children.  The Spotlight is not on why it happened, but is (1) on the people who let it happen, let it keep happening, and let it go unpunished and (2) on the people who decide that it is time to stop the abuse, the abusers, and their apologists and sympathizers.

10 of 10

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

The text is copyright © 2016 Leroy Douresseaux. All Rights Reserved. Contact this site for reprint or syndication rights and fees.

2016 Academy Awards, USA:  2 wins:  “Best Motion Picture of the Year” (Michael Sugar, Steve Golin, Nicole Rocklin, and Blye Pagon Faust) and “Best Writing, Original Screenplay” (Josh Singer and Tom McCarthy); 4 nominations: “Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role” (Mark Ruffalo), “Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role” (Rachel McAdams), “Best Achievement in Directing” (Tom McCarthy), and “Best Achievement in Film Editing” (Tom McArdle)

2016 Golden Globes, USA:  3 nominations: “Best Motion Picture – Drama,” “Best Director - Motion Picture” (Tom McCarthy), and “Best Screenplay - Motion Picture” (Tom McCarthy and Josh Singer)

2016 BAFTA Awards:  1 win: “Best Original Screenplay” (Tom McCarthy and Josh Singer); 2 nominations: “Best Supporting Actor” (Mark Ruffalo) and “Best Film” (Steve Golin, Blye Pagon Faust, Nicole Rocklin, and Michael Sugar)


Thursday, March 16, 2017

Review: Disney's Live-Action "Cinderella" is Good, But is not Disney Classic

TRASH IN MY EYE No. 5 (of 2017) by Leroy Douresseaux

[This review was originally posted on Patreon.]

Cinderella (2015)
Running time:  105 minutes (1 hour 45 minutes)
Rating: MPAA – PG for mild thematic elements
DIRECTOR:  Kenneth Branagh
WRITER:  Chris Weitz
PRODUCED:  David Barron, Simon Kinberg, and Allison Shearmur
CINEMATOGRAPHER:  Haris Zambarloukos (D.o.P.)
EDITOR:  Martin Walsh
COMPOSER:  Patrick Doyle
Academy Award nominee


Starring:  Cate Blanchett, Lily James, Richard Madden, Helen Bonham Carter, Nonso Anozie, Stellan Skarsgard, Sophie McShera, Holliday Grainger, Derek Jacobi, Ben Chaplin, and Hayley Atwell

Cinderella is a 2015 fantasy and romance film from director Kenneth Branagh and writer Chris Weitz.  Released by Walt Disney Pictures, the film is based on Walt Disney's 1950 animated feature film, Cinderella, and the folk tale of the same name.  In this new version of the story, a young woman is at the mercy of her cruel stepmother, but her fortunes change after she meets a dashing young man.

In a peaceful kingdom there is a father (Ben Chaplin), a mother (Hayley Atwell), and their beautiful daughter, Ella (Lily James).  Ella's parents teach her courage and kindness, and her mother teaches her to believe in magic.  Some years after her mother dies, Ella's father marries the Lady Tremaine (Cate Blanchett), who has two loud, rude daughters, Anastasia (Holliday Grainger) and Drisella (Sophie McShera).

When Ella's father goes abroad for business, Lady Tremaine reveals her cruel and jealous nature.  After Ella's father dies, Lady Tremaine takes over the household and pushes Ella from her own bedroom and into the attic.  Anastasia and Drisella even give Ella a new name, Cinderella.  After one particularly cruel day, Ella rides off into the woods where she meets a young man who says his name is Kit (Richard Madden).  For both young people, this meeting is a turning point, but there are forces arrayed to keep them apart.

At the end of this movie, the Fairy Godmother (played by Helena Bonham Cater) describes the “forever-after” as being defined by “courage,” “kindess,” and “a little magic” (or something like that).  This live-action version of Cinderella is indeed about “just a little magic.”  Disney's classic, 1950 animated Cinderella is a fairy tale that is practically entirely infused with magic – from talking animals to an atmosphere of enchantment.  Cinderella is more like a fantasy-romance or a romantic fantasy than it is like a fairy tale.  With its lavish costumes and opulent sets, Cinderella plays like a period set piece set in a fictional kingdom in an indeterminate time.

But I can move past that.  2015 live-action Cinderella does not have to be 1950 animated Disney classic Cinderella.  This new Cinderella relies on its title character for the magic that a wand or a fairy godmother might provide.  As Cinderella, Lily James is quite good.  When she smiles or is happy, the movie lights up.  When she is sad, I felt sad, too.  In this film, James does not have the greatest range between happy and sad.  When Cinderella isn't happy or sad, James makes her look as if she is in a solid state of consternation.  Luckily, it is Cinderella's state of happiness or sadness that drives the movie, and that works.

I don't need to say that Cate Blanchett is really good as Lady Tremiane, “the Stepmother.”  Blanchett dominates her scenes, and the filmmakers were wise to limit her screen time; otherwise, Blanchett would have burned this movie down in a larger roll.  Everyone else is good enough to pretty good, although Stellan Skarsgård seems neutered as The Grand Duke.  Of course, there is not enough of Nonso Anozie as Captain of the Guards, but I am glad that this film's decision-makers were willing to cast him.

Cinderella is not for everyone.  It is sweet and cute, a feel-good movie that goes down like warm hot chocolate on a cold winter's night.  Cinderella is a good, but not great film, and director Kenneth Branagh does nothing to distinguish himself here.  But there is enough Disney magic here to entertain some of us.

6 of 10

Sunday, September 18, 2016

2016 Academy Awards, USA:  1 nomination: “Best Achievement in Costume Design” (Sandy Powell)

2016 BAFTA Awards:  1 nomination: “Best Costume Design” (Sandy Powell)

The text is copyright © 2016 Leroy Douresseaux. All Rights Reserved. Contact this site for reprint or syndication rights and fees.


Monday, February 13, 2017

59th Grammy Awards Winners Announced; Beyonce Wins Best "Urban Contemporary Album"

The Grammy Awards (or Grammys) are given out by the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (NARAS) of the United States. The Grammy is an accolade that recognizes outstanding achievement in the music industry. It is the music industry equivalent to the Academy Awards for film, the Emmy Awards for television, and the Tony Award for stage.

The nominees for The 59th Annual GRAMMY Awards were announced Tuesday, December 6, 2016.  The 59th Annual Grammy Awards recognize the best musical (and some spoken word and video) recordings, compositions, and artists for the eligibility year that began on October 1, 2015 and ended on September 30, 2016 in a total of 84 categories.

The 59th Annual GRAMMY Awards were held on Sunday, February 12, 2017, at Staples Center in Los Angeles.  The ceremony was broadcast live in high-definition TV and 5.1 surround sound on CBS from 8 – 11:30 p.m. (ET/PT).

59th / (2015-2016) Annual GRAMMY Award winners:

Record of the Year
“Hello” — Adele

Album of the Year
25 — Adele (read our review)

Song of the Year
“Hello” — Adele Adkins & Greg Kurstin, songwriters (Adele)

New Artist
Chance the Rapper (read our review of “Coloring Book”)

Pop Solo Performance
“Hello” — Adele

Pop Duo/Group Performance:
“Stressed Out” — twenty one pilots

Traditional Pop Vocal Album
“Summertime: Willie Nelson Sings Gershwin” — Willie Nelson

Pop Vocal Album
“25” — Adele

Dance Recording
“Don’t Let Me Down” — The Chainsmokers Featuring Daya

Dance/Electronic Album
Skin — Flume

Contemporary Instrumental Album
“Culcha Vulcha” — Snarky Puppy

Rock Performance
“Blackstar” — David Bowie

Metal Performance
“Dystopia” — Megadeth

Rock Song
“Blackstar” — David Bowie, songwriter (David Bowie)

Rock Album
Tell Me I’m Pretty — Cage the Elephant

Alternative Music Album
Blackstar — David Bowie

R&B Performance
“Cranes in the Sky” — Solange

Traditional R&B Performance
“Angel” — Lalah Hathaway

R&B Song
“Lake By the Ocean” — Hod David & Musze, songwriters (Maxwell) (read our interview)

Urban Contemporary Album
Lemonade — Beyoncé

R&B Album
Lalah Hathaway Live — Lalah Hathaway

Rap Performance
“No Problem” — Chance the Rapper Featuring Lil Wayne & 2 Chainz

Rap/Sung Performance
“Hotline Bling” — Drake

Rap Song
“Hotline Bling” — Aubrey Graham & Paul Jefferies, songwriters (Drake)

Rap Album
Coloring Book — Chance the Rapper

Country Solo Performance
“My Church” — Maren Morris

Country Duo/Group Performance
“Jolene” — Pentatonix featuring Dolly Parton

Country Song
“Humble and Kind” — Lori McKenna, songwriter (Tim McGraw)

Country Album
A Sailor’s Guide to Earth — Sturgill Simpson (read our interview)

New Age Album
White Sun II — White Sun

Improvised Jazz Solo
“I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry” — John Scofield, soloist

Jazz Vocal Album
Take Me to the Alley — Gregory Porter

Jazz Instrumental Album
Country for Old Men — John Scofield

Large Jazz Ensemble Album
“Presidential Suite: Eight Variations on Freedom” — Ted Nash Big Band

Latin Jazz Album
“Tribute to Irakere: Live in Marciac” — Chucho Valdés

Gospel Performance/Song
“God Provides” — Tamela Mann; Kirk Franklin, songwriter

Contemporary Christian Music Performance/Song
“Thy Will” — Hillary Scott & the Scott Family; Bernie Herms, Hillary Scott & Emily Weisband, songwriters

Gospel Album
Losing My Religion — Kirk Franklin (read our interview)

Contemporary Christian Music Album
Love Remains — Hillary Scott & the Scott Family

Roots Gospel Album
Hymns — Joey + Rory

Latin Pop Album
Un Besito Mas — Jesse & Joy

Latin Rock, Urban or Alternative Album
iLevitable — iLe

Regional Mexican Music Album (Including Tejano)
Un Azteca En El Azteca, Vol. 1 (En Vivo) — Vicente Fernández

Tropical Latin Album
Donde Están? — Jose Lugo & Guasábara Combo

American Roots Performance
“House of Mercy” — Sarah Jarosz

American Roots Song
“Kid Sister” — Vince Gill, songwriter (The Time Jumpers)

Americana Album
This Is Where I Live — William Bell

Bluegrass Album
“Coming Home” — O’Connor Band With Mark O’Connor

Traditional Blues Album
“Porcupine Meat” — Bobby Rush

Contemporary Blues Album
The Last Days of Oakland — Fantastic Negrito

Folk Album
Undercurrent — Sarah Jarosz

Regional Roots Music Album
E Walea — Kalani Pe’a

Reggae Album
Ziggy Marley — Ziggy Marley

World Music Album
Sing Me Home — Yo-Yo Ma & The Silk Road Ensemble

Children’s Album
Infinity Plus One — Secret Agent 23 Skidoo

Spoken Word Album
In Such Good Company: Eleven Years of Laughter, Mayhem, and Fun in the Sandbox — Carol Burnett

Comedy Album
Talking for Clapping — Patton Oswalt

Musical Theater Album
The Color Purple

Compilation Soundtrack for Visual Media
Miles Ahead (Miles Davis & Various Artists)

Score Soundtrack for Visual Media
Star Wars: The Force Awakens — John Williams, composer

Song Written for Visual Media
“Can’t Stop The Feeling!” — Max Martin, Shellback & Justin Timberlake, songwriters (Justin Timberlake, Anna Kendrick, Gwen Stefani, James Corden, Zooey Deschanel, Walt Dohrn, Ron Funches, Caroline Hjelt, Aino Jawo, Christopher Mintz-Plasse & Kunal Nayyar), Track from: “Trolls”

Instrumental Composition
“Spoken at Midnight” — Ted Nash, composer

Arrangement, Instrumental or A Cappella
“You And I” — Jacob Collier, arranger (Jacob Collier)

Arrangement, Instruments and Vocals
“Flintstones” — Jacob Collier, arranger (Jacob Collier)

Recording Package
“Blackstar” — Jonathan Barnbrook, art director (David Bowie)

Boxed or Special Limited Edition Package
Edith Piaf 1915-2015 — Gérard Lo Monaco, art director (Edith Piaf)

Album Notes
Sissle and Blake Sing Shuffle Along — Ken Bloom & Richard Carlin, album notes writers (Eubie Blake & Noble Sissle)

Historical Album
The Cutting Edge 1965-1966: The Bootleg Series, Vol.12 (Collector’s Edition), Steve Berkowitz & Jeff Rosen, compilation producers; Mark Wilder, mastering engineer (Bob Dylan)

Engineered Album, Non-Classical
Blackstar — David Bowie, Tom Elmhirst, Kevin Killen & Tony Visconti, engineers; Joe LaPorta, mastering engineer (David Bowie)

Producer of the Year, Non-Classical
Greg Kurstin

Remixed Recording
“Tearing Me Up” (RAC Remix) — André Allen Anjos, remixer (Bob Moses)

Surround Sound Album
“Dutilleux: Sur Le Même Accord; Les Citations; Mystère De L’instant & Timbres, Espace, Mouvement” — Alexander Lipay & Dmitriy Lipay, surround mix engineers; Dmitriy Lipay, surround mastering engineer; Dmitriy Lipay, surround producer (Ludovic Morlot & Seattle Symphony)

Engineered Album, Classical
Corigliano: The Ghosts of Versailles — Mark Donahue & Fred Vogler, engineers (James Conlon, Guanqun Yu, Joshua Guerrero, Patricia Racette, Christopher Maltman, Lucy Schaufer, Lucas Meachem, LA Opera Chorus & Orchestra)

Producer of the Year, Classical
David Frost

Orchestral Performance
“Shostakovich: Under Stalin’s Shadow – Symphonies Nos. 5, 8 & 9” — Andris Nelsons, conductor (Boston Symphony Orchestra)

Opera Recording
“Corigliano: The Ghosts of Versailles” — James Conlon, conductor; Joshua Guerrero, Christopher Maltman, Lucas Meachem, Patricia Racette, Lucy Schaufer & Guanqun Yu; Blanton Alspaugh, producer (LA Opera Orchestra; LA Opera Chorus)

Choral Performance
“Penderecki Conducts Penderecki, Volume 1” — Krzysztof Penderecki, conductor; Henryk Wojnarowski, choir director (Nikolay Didenko, Agnieszka Rehlis & Johanna Rusanen; Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra; Warsaw Philharmonic Choir)

Chamber Music/Small Ensemble Performance
“Steve Reich” — Third Coast Percussion

Classical Instrumental Solo
“Daugherty: Tales of Hemingway” — Zuill Bailey; Giancarlo Guerrero, conductor (Nashville Symphony)

Classical Solo Vocal Album -TIE
– Schumann & Berg — Dorothea Röschmann; Mitsuko Uchida, accompanist
– Shakespeare Songs — Ian Bostridge; Antonio Pappano, accompanist (Michael Collins, Elizabeth Kenny, Lawrence Power & Adam Walker)

Classical Compendium
Daugherty: Tales of Hemingway; American Gothic; Once Upon A Castle — Giancarlo Guerrero, conductor; Tim Handley, producer

Contemporary Classical Composition
Daugherty: Tales of Hemingway — Michael Daugherty, composer (Zuill Bailey, Giancarlo Guerrero & Nashville Symphony)

Music Video
“Formation” — Beyoncé

Music Film
The Beatles: Eight Days a Week the Touring Years — Ron Howard, video director; Brian Grazer, Ron Howard, Scott Pascucci & Nigel Sinclair, video producers


Monday, February 6, 2017

Review: Tom Hanks is Magnificent in "Bridge of Spies"

TRASH IN MY EYE No. 2 (of 2017) by Leroy Douresseaux

Bridge of Spies (2015)
Running time:  141 minutes (2 hours, 21 minutes)
MPAA – PG-13 for some violence and brief strong language
DIRECTOR:  Steven Spielberg
WRITERS:  Matt Charman and Ethan Coen and Joel Coen
PRODUCERS:  Kristie Macosko Krieger, Marc Platt, and Steven Spielberg
EDITOR:  Michael Kahn
COMPOSER:  Thomas Newman
Academy Award winner


Starring:  Tom Hanks, Mark Rylance, Amy Ryan, Alan Alda, Austin Stowell, Will Rogers, Sebastian Koch, Jillian Lebling, Noah Schnapp, Eve Hewson, and Jesse Plemons

Bridge of Spies is a 2015 historical drama from director Steve Spielberg.  This American-German co-production is based on the true story of lawyer James B. Donovan, who negotiated the exchange of a Soviet KGB spy, who was captured and convicted in the United States, for an American U-2 pilot, who was captured and imprisoned in the Soviet Union.  The film's title apparently refers to the place, Glienicke Bridge, where the exchange of prisoners took place.

Bridge of Spies opens in Brooklyn, New York in 1957.  The FBI is watching suspected Soviet spy, Rudolf Abel (Mark Rylance), who lives alone as a painter of portraits.  Believing that he has recently retrieved a secret message, the FBI agents arrest him.  Because he refuses to cooperate, the FBI tries Abel, but the U.S. government wants Abel to get a “fair trial” as counter-propaganda to any Soviet propaganda and also to show the world that America is true to its ideals.  [Yeah, segregation and Jim Crow:  I get the irony.]

The bar association chooses insurance attorney James B. “Jim” Donovan (Tom Hanks) to defend Abel.  Donovan, who had previously worked on the prosecutions of Nazi war crimes in the Nuremberg trials, takes his work as Abel's attorney seriously.  However, his firm, the prosecuting attorneys, and the judge  want Donovan only to go through the motions.  When he refuses and puts all his efforts into saving Abel's life, his professional and social position, as well as his family, suffer for it.

Some time after these events, military pilot Francis Gary Powers (Austin Stowell) flies a U-2 spy plane over the Soviet Union, where he is shot down and captured.  The USSR proposes a prisoner exchange:  Powers for Abel, and Donovan agrees to handle the negotiations.  After he arrives in communist East Germany where the exchange is to take place, Donovan finds numerous complications and competing interests – on all sides.  If he is to complete his mission, Donovan will have to decide what is the best deal, but his life and freedom will be on the line.

Tom Hanks has been one of the world's best English-speaking actors of the last four decades.  If he painted his house, he could make that look like a major moment in another Oscar-worthy performance.  Hanks is a true movie star, not a faker like those young white male actors who are treated like A-list talent only because they have appeared in a hit action or superhero movie.

Hanks can carry a movie, and so, he carries Bridge of Spies, and not because this is a mediocre movie that needs to be propped up.  Bridge of Spies is a superbly written period piece that deftly balances the social and political arguments and points of contention of the late 1950s and early 1960s with riveting spy drama and international intrigue.

Of course, director Steven Spielberg makes Bridge of Spies a historical drama with bite in two ways.  First, he draws out excellent performances from his cast by allowing veteran actors to do what they do best – fashion the characters on the page of a script into characters on the screen that genuinely feel like real people (as is the case with Mark Rylance as “Rudolf Abel”).  Secondly, Spielberg captures the tensions of the time and recreates the Cold War as a moody film that evokes classic Hollywood Film-Noir with the gravitas of a muscular stage drama.

Still, the script, the directing, and the supporting actors are satellites drawn to the gravity and brilliance of Bridge of Spies' sun, Tom Hanks.  The best of America is exemplified in Hanks' Jim Donovan, and Hanks is up to the task of making this character an exemplar, rather than a caricature spouting corny bromides.  When Donovan tells a CIA agent tailing him what the Constitution of the United States means to a country full of people from a multitude of backgrounds, his words ring out from film and become a beacon – the true shining light on a hill.

Bridge of Spies is an excellent movie, but what makes it exceptional is Tom Hanks giving one of the best performances of his career.  That Hanks did not receive an Oscar, BAFTA, or Golden Globe nomination for this performance speaks to the fact that we have come to take a great American film star for granted.

9 of 10

Sunday, May 22, 2016

2016 Academy Awards, USA:  1 win: “Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role” (Mark Rylance); 5 nominations: “Best Motion Picture of the Year” (Steven Spielberg, Marc Platt, and Kristie Macosko Krieger), “Best Writing, Original Screenplay” (Matt Charman, Ethan Coen, and Joel Coen), “Best Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures, Original Score” (Thomas Newman), “Best Achievement in Sound Mixing” (Andy Nelson, Gary Rydstrom, and Drew Kunin), and “Best Achievement in Production Design” (Adam Stockhausen-production design, Rena DeAngelo-set decoration, and Bernhard Henrich-set decoration)

2016 Golden Globes, USA:  1 nomination: “Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture” (Mark Rylance)

2016 BAFTA Awards:  1 win: “Best Supporting Actor” (Mark Rylance); 8 nominations: “Best Film” (Kristie Macosko Krieger, Marc Platt, and Steven Spielberg), “David Lean Award for Direction “ (Steven Spielberg), “Best Original Screenplay” (Matt Charman, Ethan Coen, and Joel Coen), “Best Cinematography” (Janusz Kaminski), “Best Editing” (Michael Kahn), “Best Production Design” (Adam Stockhausen, Rena DeAngelo, and Bernhard Henrich), “Best Original Music” (Thomas Newman), and “Best Sound” (Drew Kunin, Richard Hymns, Andy Nelson, and Gary Rydstrom)

The text is copyright © 2017 Leroy Douresseaux. All Rights Reserved. Contact this site for reprint and syndication rights and fees.

Monday, January 30, 2017


Saturday, January 21, 2017

Review: "Spectre" Tackles the Ghosts of Daniel Craig's James Bond

TRASH IN MY EYE No. 1 (of 2017) by Leroy Douresseaux

Spectre (2015)
Running time:  148 minutes; (2 hours, 28 minutes)
MPAA – PG-13 for intense sequences of action and violence, some disturbing images, sensuality and language
DIRECTOR:  Sam Mendes
WRITERS:  John Logan, Neal Purvis, Robert Wade, and Jez Butterworth; from a story by John Logan, Neal Purvis, and Robert Wade (based on the character created by Ian Fleming)
PRODUCERS:  Barbara Broccoli and Michael G. Wilson
EDITOR:  Lee Smith
COMPOSER:  Thomas Newman
SONG:  “Writing's on the Wall” performed by Sam Smith and written by Sam Smith and James Napier
Academy Award winner


Starring:  Daniel Craig, Christoph Waltz, Lea Seydoux, Ralph Fiennes, Ben Whishaw, Naomie Harris, Rory Kinnear, Dave Bautista, Monica Bellucci, Andrew Scott, Jesper Christensen, Marc Zinga, Tam Williams, and Alessandro Cremona

Spectre is a 2015 spy and adventure film from director Sam Mendes.  It is the 24th entry in EON Productions' James Bond film franchise, and it is also the fourth film in which actor Daniel Craig portrays Bond.  Spectre reintroduces the global criminal syndicate and terrorist organization, Spectre (formerly SPECTRE), which first appeared in the 1961 Bond novel, Thunderball, written by Bond's creator, Sir Ian Fleming.

Spectre opens with M16 agent James Bond-007 (Daniel Craig) on a mission in Mexico City where he confronts and kills terrorist leader, Marco Sciarra (Alessandro Cremona).  It turns out that Bond's mission was unauthorized.  That puts Gareth Mallory (Ralph Fiennes), the new “M” and the head of MI6, in a difficult position with one of his own superiors, Max Denbigh (Andrew Scott).  Denbigh wants to combine MI6 with MI5 and also to shutdown the “00” (or “Double-0”) program, and he sees Bond's activities in Mexico City as proof that the Double-0 program is outdated.

Bond disobeys an order that he not leave the U.K. and flies to Rome where he attends Sciarra's funeral.  He meets Sciarra's widow, Lucia (Monica Bellucci), who tells him that her late husband was part of a mysterious criminal organization known as “Spectre.”  Bond learns the location of a secret Spectre meeting and infiltrates it, where he identifies the leader, Franz Oberhauser (Christoph Waltz).  However, Oberhauser has been expecting Bond, and much to Bond's surprise, this shadowy leader is apparently and shockingly connected to Bond himself.

This is sort of spoiler warning:  Spectre is intimately connected to the previous Daniel Craig Bond films, Casino Royale (2006), Quantum of Solace (2008), and Skyfall (2012).  It completes the origin story of James Bond (at least the Craig iteration) and, at the end of the film, seems to send Bond off into retirement with a new love interest, Dr. Madeleine Swann (Léa Seydoux), who may finally be the real and true love interest for Bond.

Spectre received mixed reviews, but I have to say that I like it a lot and have few complaints.  It is reportedly the most expensive James Bond film ever made, with a production budget of about $245 million.  The Mexico City set piece alone must have cost millions of dollars to produce.  Still, Spectre does not come across as a giant, CGI-laden, blockbuster, event movie.

In different ways and at different moments, Spectre recalls the James Bond movies starring Sean Connery and Roger Moore.  When he needs to be, Craig is like Connery's masculine, gentlemanly killer, who was a chauvinist.  At other times, Craig is Moore's Bond, a suave secret agent who can cross multiple lines of social class in a single day and who always seems to be thinking at least a few steps ahead of his adversaries.  I think that I have always considered Connery and Moore to be the real movie James Bonds, with Moore being my favorite.  For me, Spectre solidified Daniel Craig as a real Bond.

Beside Craig, I cannot think of another performance that really captures my attention, maybe Dave Bautista as Mr. Hinx.  I found the two-time Academy Award winner, Christoph Waltz, somewhat unimpressive as the villain.  I do think that the Bond film series is onto something in giving Fiennes' M, Naomie Harris' Eve Moneypenny, Ben Whishaw's Q, and Rory Kinnear's Bill Tanner something to do other than simply to be at Bond's beck-and-call.

So... being honest with you, dear reader, I have to admit that Spectre hit something primal in me as a fan of James Bond films.  My enjoyment of it is so personal that perhaps you should take my rating of Spectre with a grain of salt – in a glass, shaken, not stirred.

7 of 10

Monday, May 2, 2016

2016 Academy Awards, USA:  1 win: “Best Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures, Original Song” (Sam Smith and James Napier-as Jimmy Napes for the song “Writing's On The Wall”)

2016 Golden Globes, USA:  1 win: “Best Original Song - Motion Picture” (Sam Smith and James Napier as Jimmy Napes for the song: “Writing's on the Wall”)

The text is copyright © 2016 Leroy Douresseaux. All Rights Reserved. Contact this site for reprint and syndication rights and fees.


Saturday, May 21, 2016

Review: "Terminator: Genisys" is the Worst of the Terminator Films

TRASH IN MY EYE No. 11 (of 2016) by Leroy Douresseaux

Terminator: Genisys (2015)
Running time:  126 minutes (2 hours, 6 minutes)
MPAA – PG - 13 for intense sequences of sci-fi violence and gun-play throughout, partial nudity and brief strong language
DIRECTOR:  Alan Taylor
WRITERS:  Laeta Kalogridis and Patrick Lussier (based upon characters created by James Cameron and Gale Anne Hurd)
PRODUCERS:  David Ellison and Dana Goldberg
CINEMATOGRAPHER:  Kramer Morgenthau
EDITOR:  Roger Barton
COMPOSER:  Lorne Balfe


Starring:  Arnold Schwarzenegger, Emilia Clarke, Jai Courtney, Jason Clarke, J.K. Simmons, Dayo Okeniyi, Courtney B. Vance, Byung-hun Lee, and Bryant Prince

Terminator: Genisys is 2015 science fiction-action film from director Alan Taylor.  It is the fifth film in the Terminator franchise.  The film is essentially a remake, reboot, and re-imagining of the first film, The Terminator (1984).  In Genisys, a soldier travels back in time to 1984 to protect the mother of his commander, but finds that things are not the way he believed they were supposed to be.

Terminator: Genisys opens in 2019, where John Connor (Jason Clarke) leads the Human Resistance.  Conner is launching what he has told his soldiers is the final offensive against Skynet, an artificial intelligence system seeking to eliminate the human race.  After infiltrating a Skynet outpost, Connor discovers that Skynet has just activated a time machine that has sent a “Terminator” (a cyborg that hunts and kills humans), back in time to kill his mother before she gives birth to him.

Connor's right-hand man, Sgt. Kyle Reese (Jai Courtney), volunteers to travel back in time to protect Connor's mother.  On his way through time, Reese witnesses events that shock him.  When he arrives in 1984, Reese finds that John Connor's mother, Sarah Connor (Emilia Clarke), is not the woman he expected to find.  And the Terminator that should be trying to kill Sarah is called the “Guardian” (Arnold Schwarzenegger), and he/it is also acting strangely.  Skynet still wants to kill Sarah Connor, but nothing is as Reese expected to find it.

The Terminator, the 1984 film co-written and directed by James Cameron, has aged well.  The film's pre-CGI effects still look good and are quite effective.  Other than Cameron's sequel, Terminator 2: Judgment Day, the other Terminator films are CGI-heavy, and CGI does not serve Terminator: Genisys very well.  It is as if the filmmakers have vomited their imaginations onto the screen, and there is a line of code to bring every chunk and fluid ounce of it to life.

I find that some film critics easily ignore and/or dismiss that at the heart of James Cameron's best and most famous films is a love story, and that was the heart of the first Terminator film.  Kyle Reese falls in love with Sarah Connor via the stories her son, John Connor, told him.  In the end, Reese risks everything to traverse the “oceans of time” to be with Sarah.  Whether you buy that love story or not, The Terminator 1984 was more than just a story about a two soldiers from the future shooting up Los Angeles circa 1984.

Terminator: Genisys, which is (let's be honest) a remake of the original film, tries and fails to recapture all the dynamism of the original Kyle Reese-Sarah Connor dynamic.  First Jai Courtney as Kyle Reese does not work for me because I keep thinking about the actor who first played Reese, Michael Beihn.  Emilia Clarke looks like a high school girl; she lacks the maturity and world-weary aura that Linda Hamilton had as the original Sarah Connor.  Schwarzenegger is tolerable, but Terminator: Genisys features his least charismatic version of the classic T-800 Terminator that first exploded on screen in 1984.

Terminator: Genisys is wall-to-wall action, and except for a few moments (mostly in the first half of the film), I found myself not very interested.  If you, dear readers, have seen the other Terminator films, see Terminator: Genisys for the sake of completion.

3 of 10

Friday, January 15, 2016

The text is copyright © 2016 Leroy Douresseaux. All Rights Reserved. Contact this site for reprint and syndication rights and fees.


Saturday, April 30, 2016

Review: Amy Schumer Shows Her Brilliance in "Trainwreck"

TRASH IN MY EYE No. 10 (of 2016) by Leroy Douresseaux

[This review was originally posted on Patreon.]

Trainwreck (2015)
Running time:  125 minutes (2 hours, 5 minutes)
MPAA – R for strong sexual content, nudity, language and some drug use
DIRECTOR:  Judd Apatow
WRITER:  Amy Schumer
PRODUCERS:  Judd Apatow and Barry Mendel
EDITORS:  William Kerr, Peck Prior, and Paul Zucker
COMPOSER:  Jon Brion


Starring:  Amy Schumer, Bill Hader, Tilda Swinton, Brie Larson, Mike Birbiglia, Evan Brinkman, LeBron James, Amar'e Stoudemire, Colin Quinn, John Cena, Dave Attell, Vanessa Bayer, Randall Park, Jon Glaser, Ezra Miller, Norman Lloyd, Cliff “Method Man” Smith, Matthew Broderick, Leslie Jones, Marisa Tomei, and Daniel Radcliffe

Trainwreck is a 2015 comedy and romance directed by Judd Apatow and written by and starring Amy Schumer.  The film focuses on a woman who prefers sexual encounters instead of committed relations and who then meets the kind of good guy that she cannot simply leave.

Amy Townsend (Amy Schumer) is a party girl who drinks too much, smokes weed, and sleeps around with other guys, even when she has a boyfriend, as her current boyfriend, the muscle-bound gym-addict, Steven (John Cena), is about to discover.  Amy learned her promiscuous ways from her father, Gordon Townsend (Colin Quinn), who once told her that monogamy is not realistic.   Strangely, Amy's sister, Kim (Brie Larson), is doing just fine with her boyfriend, Tom (Mike Birbiglia), and she is even more of a mother than a stepmother to Tom's son, Allister (Evan Brinkman).

Amy writes for a raunchy men's magazine, “Snuff.”  Her boss, Dianna (Tilda Swinton), assigns her to write an article about a sports doctor named Aaron Conner (Bill Hader).  After Aaron helps her with a family matter, Amy feels a bond with him and even has sex with him.  However, Aaron sees that as the beginning of a romance, while Amy sees the sex as a one-night stand.  Amy tries to find a way to avoid monogamy, even when part of her starts to believe that Aaron could be the good guy she needs to keep.

If you like Amy Schumer (and I do), you will like Trainwreck (and I do – for the most part).  As a romantic comedy, however, the film really doesn't work.  Bill Hader is a comedian and a professional impersonator (at which he is quite good), but he has no business trying to be a romantic lead.  There is nothing remotely interesting about him in this film; he delivers what is almost a zombie performance.

I really don't buy Schumer as a romantic lead or as a magazine writer.  Schumer is at her best when she is skewering social, sexual, and gender conventions.  The character Amy Townsend is at her best when she is being a one-night stand or is mocking other people's ambitions of respectability.  When actress Amy tries to make fictional Amy fall in love... well, it's a trainwreck.

Tilda Swinton gives a killer performance as Amy's despicable boss, Dianna.  Swinton can disappear behind even the least amount of movie make-up and hair with the best of them.  John Cena delivers a sparkling two-scene performance as Steven.  Every time Colin Quinn is on screen as Amy's father, Gordon, he is a delight to see.  Director Judd Apatow does not do much here, except get out of Amy Schumer's way, which works when it works, but he does nothing to save the last third of this film which is a... trainwreck.

Still, for most of this movie, Amy Schumer proves why she is currently an it-girl.  She is brilliant when she is at the top of her game, and in Trainwreck, she occasionally shows off her brilliance.

6 of 10

Friday, January 8, 2016

Edited: Tuesday, April 26, 2016

2016 Golden Globes, USA:  2 nominations: “Best Motion Picture - Comedy or Musical” and “Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture - Comedy or Musical” (Amy Schumer)

The text is copyright © 2016 Leroy Douresseaux. All Rights Reserved. Contact this site for reprint and syndication rights and fees.


Friday, April 15, 2016

Review: Retro "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" is Kind of Like a Reboot

TRASH IN MY EYE No. 9 (of 2016) by Leroy Douresseaux

[This review was originally posted on Patreon.]

Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015)
Running time: 135 minutes (2 hours, 15 minutes)
MPAA – PG-13 for sci-fi action violence
DIRECTOR:  J.J. Abrams
WRITERS:  Lawrence Kasdan and J.J. Abrams, and Michael Arndt (based on characters created by George Lucas)
PRODUCERS:  J.J. Abrams, Bryan Burk, and Kathleen Kennedy
EDITORS:  Maryann Brandon and Mary Jo Markey
COMPOSER:  John Williams
Academy Award nominee


Starring:  Harrison Ford, Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Adam Driver, Carrie Fisher, Oscar Isaac, Peter Mayhew, Lupita Nyong'o, Andy Serkis, Domhnall Gleeson, Gwendoline Christie, Anthony Daniels, Max von Sydow, Greg Grunberg, Ken Leung, Warwick Davis, and Mark Hamill

Star Wars: The Force Awakens is a 2015 science fiction-fantasy action film directed by J. J. Abrams.  It is the seventh installment in the Star Wars film series, which began with the 1977 Oscar-winning film, Star Wars, created by George Lucas.  The Force Awakens is set 30 years after the events depicted in Return of the Jedi (1983).  This film follows a desert scavenger, a renegade stormtrooper, and an X-wing fighter pilot as they fight a new enemy, which is personified by a young dark warrior who is strong with the Force.

Star Wars: The Force Awakens opens approximately 30 years after the Rebel Alliance's defeat of the Galactic Empire and the destruction of the second Death Star.  However, the most famous hero of that battle, Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill), the last Jedi, has since disappeared.  The First Order has risen from the remains of the Empire, and is led by the mysterious Supreme Commander Snoke (Andy Serkis), who has two immediate goals.  He wants to destroy the New Republic (which was created by the Rebel Alliance) and its military wing, The Resistance, and will use his super-weapon, Starkiller Base, commanded by General Hux (Domhnall Gleeson), to do so.

To find Skywalker, Snope has tasked Kylo Ren (Adam Driver), a young dark warrior who is strong with the Force.  Ren's search for information about Skywalker's whereabouts has led him to the desert planet, Jakku.  There, Ren has a confrontation with a Resistance pilot, Poe Dameron (Oscar Isaac), which troubles a young First Order stormtrooper, FN-2187 (John Boyega), who is a witness to Dameron's capture.

Meanwhile, an astromech droid, BB-8, escapes into the Jakku night.  BB-8 eventually meets Rey (Daisy Ridley), a young scavenger who will be the key to getting BB-8 and the crucial information he holds to the Resistance.  And legends of the past, Han Solo (Harrison Ford), General Leia Organa (Carrie Fisher), and Chewbacca (Peter Mayhew) will help her.

Truthfully, I am in love with the new Star Wars characters, especially Rey and Finn (known by his First Order masters as FN-2187).  I have also found a place in my heart for Poe, Kylo Ren, General Hux, Maz Kanata (Lupita Nyong'o), and the actors playing them.  I have added BB-8 to my beloved droid duo of R2-D2 and C-3PO.  I think that Daisy Ridley as Rey and John Boyega as Finn are among the best actors ever to appear in a Star Wars film, and the script allows them to give what may very well be two of the best dramatic performances every given in this franchise.

On the other hand, the movie itself is odd.  I love Star Wars: The Force Awakens, but not unconditionally.  I have to admit that I have mixed emotions because this is the first Star Wars film that George Lucas has not directed (and he directed four of them) or at least guided to fruition.  Thus, a part of me wants to see this film as fan-fiction.

Lucas himself has described Star Wars: The Force Awakens as “retro,” and he is not far from the truth.  Star Wars: The Force Awakens is filled with visuals and a narrative that are similar and practically copy the first Star Wars (also known as Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope).  At times, The Force Awakens seems like a remake and semi-re-imagining of the original film, or, if you want to be cruel, you can call it a rehash of the best moments from the beginnings of Star Wars.  I would not be surprised if Walt Disney Studios (the new owners of Star Wars) and the filmmakers intended Star Wars: The Force Awakens to be a reboot of the franchise, a fresh start after the much-maligned “prequel films,” but a reboot that is grounded in the original trilogy.

Whatever one might say about the prequel films (The Phantom Menace, Attack of the Clones, and Revenge of the Sith), they were ambitious.  Star Wars: The Force Awakens merely seeks to entertain and to thrill.  It is escapist entertainment like no other – just as Star Wars was back in 1977.  There was nothing like Star Wars, and its simple story, filled with universal themes, resonated with audiences.  That is true of Star Wars: The Force Awakens.  I found myself exhilarated, and I often could not take my eyes off the screen.  I laughed and some scenes even tried to make me cry.

As I edit this, it has been over two weeks since I saw Star Wars: The Force Awakens.  I have thought about it often, and I put off writing this review.  I have read other reviewers' opinions.  A writer for The Village Voice called it “the third good Star Wars” movie.  I think it is the fourth best Star Wars movie, behind the original three films, and a little ahead of Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace.

I think I need to warm up more to Star Wars: The Force Awakens, which might happen after repeated viewings.  Still, I think the future is bright for the new films.  Right now, I'd follow Rey, Finn, Poe, BB-8, and even Kylo Ren anywhere, and my favorite Star Wars character is back.  Regardless of the story, the characters are the ones I have always loved.  I am glad that some of the classic ones are back and that they have brought cool new ones with them.

8 of 10

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Edited on Thursday, April  14, 2016

2016 Academy Awards, USA:  5 nominations: “Best Achievement in Film Editing” (Maryann Brandon and Mary Jo Markey), “Best Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures, Original Score” (John Williams), “Best Achievement in Sound Mixing” (Andy Nelson, Christopher Scarabosio, and Stuart Wilson), “Best Achievement in Sound Editing” (Matthew Wood and David Acord), and Best Achievement in Visual Effects” (Roger Guyett, Pat Tubach, Neal Scanlan, and Chris Corbould)

2016 BAFTA Awards:  1 win: “Best Achievement in Special Visual Effects” (Chris Corbould, Roger Guyett, Paul Kavanagh, and Neal Scanlan); 3 nominations: “Best Production Design” (Rick Carter, Darren Gilford, and Lee Sandales), “Best Original Music” (John Williams), and “Best Sound” (David Acord, Andy Nelson, Christopher Scarabosio, Matthew Wood, and Stuart Wilson)

The text is copyright © 2016 Leroy Douresseaux. All Rights Reserved. Contact this site for reprint and syndication rights and fees.