Thoughts On ‘A Most Violent Year’

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I can’t help but perceive a certain distance implied in the title A Most Violent Year. It’s as if the speaker is regarding the year in question with an intimate knowledge of the violence referenced without having actually been a part of it, per se. It’s reminiscent of when one hears of the untimely death of someone one doesn’t know personally and remarks something along the lines of “how tragic;” acknowledging the loss without feeling it. That sort of detachment lays at the heart of the journey of Abel Morales (Oscar Isaac) in J.C. Chandor’s film. Continue reading

Examining The Content of the ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ Teaser

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There’s a lot to talk about in the Star Wars: The Force Awakens teaser besides what some hoopleheads said on twitter about a black man having the audacity to appear in a moving image and frankly there’s a lot to chew on besides some manufactured controversies. That lightsaber, however, is worth discussing, which I’ll get to in good time.  Continue reading

Top 10 Performances of 2013: #9

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9. Oscar Isaac: Inside Llewyn Davis

First of all, I had no idea Oscar Isaac was such a fantastic singer. This isn’t meant as a mere side compliment, because the character of his voice is crucial to an understanding of the film. Isaac’s voice is rich and true, resonating throughout the story, giving us a beautiful contrast to his extended series of fuck ups, mishaps, and bad breaks we’ll call his life. The film is a character study, a portrait of an artist, and his face tells us as much as his voice does. He wears everything on it. It’s appropriate he got this role not just because he’s tremendously talented and well suited for it, but just as a Coen’s fanatic I have to say that he really reminded me of a young John Turtturro in this. It’s an excellent performance from a really underrated actor in an absolutely beautiful piece of cinema.

Top 10 Performances of 2013

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1. Adele Exarchopoulos: Blue Is the Warmest Color

Some actors have “that face,” other actors have “those eyes.” Exarchopolous has both. Her’s was not the most polished performance this year, or the most mature, but it is the one that effected me the most emotionally. It’s the one that stuck in my head and refused to leave. I don’t think it sentimental for one to give marks for that: cinema, by it’s very nature is an art of manipulation of the emotions of the viewer, and actors are the vessels through which the viewers emphasize with the characters.  Continue reading