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Oscars Retrospective 2017: Allied

Allied is a World War II romance with an old Hollywood flair. This newest Zemeckis' movie is definitely trying to be the next Casablanca or the next Notorious. And, while that is a good goal for a movie to have, it's not as good when if fails to actually get there. The sad truth is that Allied lacks the passion, driving force and creativity to be either of those movies.
Still, despite its most glaring flaws, Allied certainly has not a lack of ambition. Quite the contrary; it attempts to be a triumphal fanfare that both pays homage and injects new life into the great war movies of the 30's and 40's.
Unfortunately, despite their efforts, it hardly amounts to a shallow imitation that it's lucky enough to be entertaining enough at certain points of its story.

But, this movie's greatest fault is not its lack of spark or originality. Its worst crime is to contain two radically different movies in tone within its two hour run-time. What do we mean by that? The spy-thr…

Oscars Retrospective 2017: Florence Foster Jenkins

The inspirational biopic is, at this point, a subgenre riddled with cliches, tropes and tired redundancies even when compared to other formulaic cinematic genres. Why? Because it always does the same: it takes a real story, follows it loosely and cajoles it into fitting the standards and usual structure of these types of movies. And, unfortunately, Florence Foster Jenkins falls exactly into that category.
This is a paint by numbers movie. It goes exactly where you think it's going to go after watching the trailer, it brings no surprises, nor any sort of interesting thought and it sits back and relies on the performances of admittedly great actors to keep the boat afloat.
And yes, we can't deny that this is a somewhat competent movie made by a competent director, but it's otherwise completely unremarkable. It's mathematically designed to be a crowd-pleaser and this creates more problems than anything, particularly in regards to the story, as it just doesn't seem to…

Oscars Retrospective 2017: Jackie

The biopic as a cinematic genre goes a long way back. Long enough that certain tropes have started to stick around it.  Because of that, it's perceived by many people as formulaic and simply not-very-interesting cinema. And they are usually right. There are many biopics that are superficial stories that try to pass as inspirational. So, when the highly anticipated biopic of Jacqueline Kennedy released its first trailer, we feared for the worst. Thankfully, Jackie is not your average biopic.
The movie, directed by Chilean director Pablo Larraín, is an insightful look at Jackie's life in the three days immediately following JFK's assassination framed by her famous Life magazine interview. It's a deep and profound analysis of Jackie both as an icon and a woman. An exciting and subtly emotional portrait of a woman in extraordinary circumstances.
Above all, Jackie is a study of loss and legacy. A deep essay on myth making and the strength that images have when moulding nat…