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Saturday, 6 August 2016

Three films

I am continuing my quest to see the major nominations from the 2016 Oscars, that is Best Film, Best Director, Best Actor, Best Actress and Best Foreign Language Film. I say the major nominations because these are the categories that best reflect my interests in film.

In the last two weeks I have seen three more.

 "The Big Short". An interesting film, rather technical so a little difficult to follow, I think this is the most disappointing of the nominations I have seen so far.

In contrast, "Trumbo" is one of the best I have watched. Dalton Trumbo was one of the screenwriters who refused to testify before the House Unamerican Activities Committee and subsequently blacklisted by Hollywood. He continued to work under a number of pseudonyms and his screenplays won two Oscars ("Roman Holiday" and "The Brave One"). Also he wrote "Spartacus" for Kirk Douglas. A very uplifting, feel good film.

Yesterday I watched "Son of Saul", the winner of the Best Foreign Language Oscar.  Wow, what a film. Briefly, in World War II, the main character Saul is a Hungarian Jew, a slave labourer in one of the Nazi death camps. He finds his son amongst the victims and wants to give him a proper religious burial. This is harrowing stuff, I am finding it difficult to write about it. Great performances, great sets and photography giving a very good feeling of place and time. Definitely not a film for the faint hearted, you have to want to see it, but you will be rewarded with a stunning vision.

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