MINI MOVIE REVIEWS 2024—PART II
In case you missed Part I of my Mini Movie Reviews 2024 early last week, here’s the link to catch you up: itsnotaboutme.tv/news/movie-reviewsmini-reviews-mini-movie-reviews-2024-part-i.
And here are the links to my full reviews of Killers of the Flower Moon (itsnotaboutme.tv/news/movie-review-killers-of-the-flower-moon) and Barbie (itsnotaboutme.tv/news/movie-review-barbie-movie-do-not-take-the-kids-and-stay-away-yourself.)
Now here we go with my second crop of mini reviews. Of the quartet, only Ferrari has no Oscars nods, although Penelope Cruz should have definitely received one. And possibly even won it! But I’m proud to say that my fellow SAG members did nominate her for one of our own awards, so at least there’s that.
To remind you: I try to not know what a film is about before I see it; I want to experience it for myself, with no preconceived notions.
Let’s get to them now, in no particular order:
Oppenheimer–Raise your hand if you’re not a science nerd and really did enjoy this very popular movie. Or is that just me?
I’m sure that some Mensa folk loved it, but I had no idea what was going on for most of the film, even with my 147 IQ!!! I had to fight sleep the whole time. I’m grateful that I saw it at home, as opposed to in a theatre because I could not stop asking Mr. X questions about what was going on. And even he rarely knew, either!
They really needed to show us the dates of each scene, so we knew which era is which. It was all crazily confusing.
The cast is basically a sausage-fest, (because it was mainly males involved with the tru story,) so even though the woman played by Florence Pugh was Oppenheimer’s real-life girlfriend at one point, the director had to throw in the sex scenes of them just to make the otherwise colorless film more appealing to the masses. There was no other reason for them.
And at one point, Oppenheimer told a committee that he had a first wife who they never showed, so what was up with that? After researching him later, I couldn’t find an earlier wife than the one played by Emily Blunt, so why did they even put that confusing sentence in the already over three hours film!?
Star of the film, Cillian Murphy, is, of course, excellent, but that he was nominated for an Oscar and a SAG over Leonardo DiCaprio, who is the best of the best this season, is making me sick.
As to Oppenheimer overall, I didn’t know anything about this man going in, and this movie didn’t enlighten me much.
Nyad—Annette Bening deserves an Oscar just for letting herself look so awful in this film!!! Warren Beatty must really be regretting that I never called him back when he called me all those decades ago to say he loved my show, and ask me out! (Before they were married, of course.)
But, seriously though, from the films I’ve seen so far, she really does deserve the Oscar. And every other award, as well. (But, of course, it will very undeservedly go to Lily Gladstone because she’s Native American and they need to show diversity. If not her, then it will go to media darling, (though I cannot figure out why that is,) Emma Stone, for her basically *porno role! *[Note: Refer to the link at the top of the page if you missed my recent review of her film, Poor Things.]
Of course, for this one, I did know a bit of the subject beforehand because long-distance swimmer Diana Nyad seems to have always been famous in the sports world. But I had no idea that the subject of the film is her many attempts to swim from Havana to Florida…when she was in her sixties!!! Oysh. Despite knowing her name and sport, the only time I ever saw her was during her one-week stint on Dancing With The Stars a decade ago.
It is a bit of a rugged topic, but Annette Bening and Jodie Foster are both wonderful in it, which is reason enough to see it. As a matter of fact, Jodie deserves the Oscars win, as well, but I have one Supporting Actress nominee (Danielle Brooks) yet to see. Compare Jodie’s acting job to that of America Ferrera’s in Barbie, a nomination that is an insult to all actresses everywhere. (And bite my tongue, with the stupid fuss people are making about Margot Robbie and Greta Gerwig not getting nods, America just may win! I have to go throw-up now just writing that sentence!)
And, at just two hours, Nyad is the second shortest film up for consideration this year! That alone should win them something!
The Holdovers—While an interesting enough film, with good performances, neither Paul Giamatti nor Da’Vine Joy Randolph deserve any nominations, let alone for Oscars! And how they won Golden Globes is also head-scratching.
Leonardo DiCaprio is worlds better than Giamatti in the Best Leading Actor category, and the performances of Penelope Cruz and Jodie Foster this year in the Supporting category are both superior to that of Randolph. Penelope isn’t even nominated for the Oscar! How can that many nominators be so blind? (Or, more likely, jealous. They feel better about themselves when less attractive people are in the running. I mean it.)
The real stand-out among the cast of The Holdovers is Dominic Sessa, who plays the sad teen-age boy who has to stay behind on Christmas break with his elderly teacher and lunch lady. While watching his wonderful performance, I could not figure-out how I’ve never seen him before. But it turns-out—this film is his very first anything! He was just a student at one of the New England boarding schools that was used as a location! He never did anything before, (nor since, actually,) not even a commercial or music video! The Holdovers is it. Wow—that’s mind-blowing. And now he’s just a college student. I hope he has a big career coming-up. (Dominic ought to get every role that Ezra Miller should get fired from!!!)
Speaking of the heartbreaking trio, how the Golden Globes put this movie in the Comedy category is another mystery. As I’ve explained in my Mini Movie Reviews—Part I this year, the Golden Globes organization classifies films as either “Dramas” or “Musicals or Comedies” so they can give out double the number of awards, and thus get more famous nominees on their broadcast. What a shonda.
Ferrari—If this film is supposed to show us the life of Italian racing car legend, Enzo Ferrari, it fails miserably. It looks like the action takes place over just a few months, and in portraying only that time span, the powers-that-be made it all slow and confusing.
The beginning is especially murky. When even Mr. X has no inkling as to what is happening, there’s not much hope for the rest of us.
The entire film is lacking focus, and since we have no idea who some of the characters even are, no excitement is built. It doesn’t help that all of the men look alike.
I also am not a fan of some of the casting, which, in some instances, is even odd. That includes Patrick Dempsey in the very small role of an old Italian driver who wins the big race. Why could they not have cast Italians, (or, at the very least, Europeans,) in most, if not all, the roles? The same goes for Shailene Woodley as the mistress. All I could think of whenever she was on the screen was that insane (possibly fake) engagement to Aaron Rodgers a few years ago.
The producers’ first choice to play Ferrari was Christian Bale, (who would have been perfect,) and then it changed to Hugh Jackman, (who, despite my adoration of him, I cannot imagine in this role,) but, when they dropped-out, it should have gone to another foreigner, not Adam Driver.
How they chose Driver I cannot imagine; his performance is on one note all the way through. Perhaps that’s what the real Enzo Ferrari was like, but come on, man, give us a break! Nobody knows if any of this dialogue, or the scenes themselves, are real, so pep-up your performance a taste!!!
On the other hand, in one of the early scenes, Penelope Cruz, without uttering a word, is so powerful that, just as I was thinking the same thing, Mr. X declared, “Winner!”
Right now, I can’t decide between Penelope and Jodie to vote for this month’s upcoming SAG Awards, but this performance points-out just what a travesty it is for America Ferrara to have been nominated for an Oscar, especially while Penelope is left-out! That inanity seems to have been perpetuated by the Academy heads wanting to throw Barbie a bone or two, while knowing that while nothing from that movie, (outside of perhaps set design,) deserves nods of any kind, they would look like heroes to feminists and Latinx if they gave one to America. Mr. X and I, (and fans of fairness the world over,) are disgusted by this whole debacle.
My research on Enzo Ferrari after we saw the film showed me that many of the characters and incidents in Ferrari are fictitious, which, of course, there’s also a tiny disclaimer to that effect at the very end of the credits. I hate that!
By the way, I feel a tad bad saying any of the above because, after working with Michael Mann, the director of this one, on an earlier film, Mr. X received Christmas cards from him for years! So I’m not in love with myself for maligning his work now, but you know that I’m always honest.
The SAGs will be here in just a mere two weeks, and then the Oscars arrive shortly after that, in early March, so I’ll get to my third (and perhaps final) group of Mini Movie Reviews before then, no matter how lacking some of the films may be. As always, you’re welcome for watching them for you, so you don’t have to waste your time, (and money!,) on them.