3 movies in a week! ‘Under The Skin’, ‘The Grand Budapest Hotel’ and lastly, ‘Birdman’

It’s now less than 2 weeks before the Oscars and it’s the perfect time for me to watch some remaining Oscars-nominated films this year before the awards presentation which is scheduled to take place on 22nd February 2015. ‘Under The Skin’ is the first one I watched this week. Eventhough it is not nominated in the Academy Awards, but it gained largely positive reviews and was named one of the best films in 2014 by over 100 publications. So, I will give it a go.


In the end, I am very annoyed. The movie had just wasted my time. The movie starred Scarlett Johansson as an alien seductress who preys on men in Scotland and with subsequent event that lead her to begin a process of self-discovery. Looking from this kind of plot, it should be exciting or intense at some points. But not at all. It is more of an artistic film that never suits me. It is very plain and boring. I’m not into this type of movie. The plot betrayed me. I am expecting that this may be a good or exciting science fiction thriller film, but it’s not. Things are creepily dull and silently ‘dead’ in this film. I can’t really appreciate the ‘values’ or the ‘meanings’ from this film. Out of 10 points, I can only rate it 6.0.


Next, is ‘The Grand Budapest Hotel’. This film won Best Motion Picture – Comedy or Musical in Golden Globe Awards and received five awards from the British Academy Film Awards. It also secured 9 nominations in the upcoming Academy Awards, being the film with most nominations together with ‘Birdman’. Those achievements above encouraged me to try this one. And fortunately, I did. The film is strangely beautiful! It starred Ralph Fiennes as a concierge who teams up with one of his employees to prove his innocence after he is framed for murder. The storytelling is interesting and engaging. Ralph Fiennes’ performance in the film is also notably excellent. When I hear his voice, this would always come into my mind automatically; ‘Voldemort’ is back. Haha…The best thing of the film is from its wonderful and creative production designs. Extremely distinctive, fresh and the arts here worked for me. Out of 10 points, I rate ‘The Grand Budapest Hotel’ a total of 7.8.


Lastly, it’s time for ‘Birdman’ or ‘The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance’. The story tells on Riggan (Keaton), a faded Hollywood actor famous for his superhero role struggling to mount a Broadway adaptation of a Raymond Carver story. I watched this for the main purpose of checking out Michael Keaton’s performance here that won rave reviews and he is then considered a hot favourite to take home Best Actor in the coming Oscars. For me, I don’t think so. I still prefer Eddie Redmayne in ‘The Theory of Everything’ after seeing both of their performances. Michael Keaton is great in ‘Birdman’. This movie is there to propel Keaton into stardom again. This is his great comeback! But his role here is nothing that challenging compared to that Redmayne’s take on Stephen Hawking role.

Besides than Keaton, Edward Norton and Emma Stone also delivered brilliantly in ‘Birdman’ as supporting casts. Now, everyone is saying that if JK Simmons and Patricia Arquette aren’t in the awards season this year, then it shall be Norton and Stone’s victories in best supporting actor and actress categories. And I agreed on that. Naomi Watts is also great in this movie. Another compliment to the film is on its technique of shooting that appears as a continuous long take throughout most of the whole movie. That is interesting as the director said ‘we live our lives with no editing’. Out of 10 points, I rate ‘Birdman’ a total of 7.9. ‘Birdman’ isn’t only a film; there lies a lot of mystery or uncertain meanings behind the story that makes the movie exceptional.

(Images in this post are from various sources throughout the world wide web)


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