We’re roughly 36 hours away from knowing who the Best Picture winner is and if they’ll screw up the announcement this time. For the first time in 3 years of predicting, MHT didn’t nail all of the Best Picture nominations (only 7 of 9). Could that mean the rest of the predictions will be off? Here’s who should and will win this year’s Oscars:Read More →
It took a little longer to close out 2017 than it did 2016 and while MHT only reached 151 movies in 2017 (compared to 181 in 2016), it was still a solid year of reviews. It took until the final 26 to get 2017’s top movie which controversially happens to be Star Wars: The Last Jedi. Actually, the top 3 films of MHT’s 2017 list all came from the final viewing period and 7 of the top 11. While 2017 started off with a fizzle, it definitely closed with a bang! Here are all of the links to the previous grades for 2017:
- The First 25 Movies of 2017, Graded (March 25, 2017)
- The Next 25 Movies of 2017, Graded (May 17, 2017)
- The Next Next 25 Movies of 2017, Graded (July 22, 2017)
- The Final 25 Movies of the First 100 Movies of 2017, Graded (September 17, 2017)
- The First 25 Movies of the Next 100 Movies of 2017, Graded (November 11, 2017)
Hot Take: It would be an insult to chalk this film up as an 8 Mile clone. Sure, Patti Cake$ is similar to 8 Mile but not the same. It’s better and one of the best of 2017.
Patti Cake$ is many things. It’s a coming-of-age tale, an underdog story and also fits in the nook that’s occupied by many a struggling musician trying to make it narrative that has come before it. Patti Cake$ also shares a lot of similarities to the semi-autobiographical 8 Mile featuring Eminem from 2002 which ripped up the box office at the time. Dubbed the female version of 8 Mile, Patti Cake$ didn’t have the same box office impact. While 8 Mile broke the $100 million mark domestically, Patti Cake$ didn’t even break $1 million during its brief summer run. It’s a shame, too. For me, it ranks 11th of all the films viewed in 2017.Read More →
Hot Take: Under-the-radar December release should have been talked about more thanks to a harrowing tale and an amazing performance by Christian Bale. However, somehow Hostiles got lost in the Oscar shuffle but that doesn’t make it less of a perfect homage to classic Westerns and one of the saddest films you’ll see in 2018.
Release in 3 theaters in December, Hostiles didn’t find a wide release until near the end of January. Having heard nothing about the film before seeing it, I assumed it was another “Dump Month” release despite the cache of Christian Bale in the lead role. Quickly, I realized it wasn’t a January release at all and then began to wonder why this film, especially Bale’s performance and the stunning visuals, were never mentioned during Oscar talks. Hostiles turned out to be a hidden gem of a film featuring a number of strong performances in addition to Bale including Rosamund Pike, Ben Foster, Timothee Chalamet, Wes Studi, Jesse Plemons, Rory Cochrane, Jonathan Majors and Stephen Lang. Read More →
Hot Take: A little weird. A bit pretentious. Oh and kind of boring, too. Daniel Day-Lewis gives his usual great performance but that’s about it.
Phantom Thread, the latest from Paul Thomas Anderson and supposedly last from Daniel Day-Lewis who has stated he is retiring from acting, is one of those films that attempts to be more art than movie. The danger of Phantom Thread is if you don’t find yourself absorbed by its unconventional story the end will land rather flat. Heavy, meticulously crafted, visibly dense and odd, Phantom Thread is demanding of its audience as it takes the road less travelled to a macabre third act that is likely to be make or break for the viewer’s satisfaction of their experience. For this viewer, it never got there and I never felt completely invested in the film to care how it ended despite the ending itself piquing my interest more than the rest of the highfalutin tale of a clothing designer and his romantic interest.Read More →
Hot Take: A worthy Best Picture nominee that’s a showcase for Gary Oldman who gives arguably the best performance of his life as Winston Churchill.
It would be unfair to call The Post “Oscarbait” but not tag Darkest Hour with the same criticism. Both films rely heavily on themes that have a track record of success with the Academy in garnering Award nominations and a worthy cast. That being said, Darkest Hour is more transcendent than The Post and it’s also a showcase for Gary Oldman, one of the greatest actors of our era who is given a chance to domineer the screen with his larger than life performance as Winston Churchill during the ascension of Churchill to the position of Prime Minister at the height of the German expansion during World War II. It’s basically a 2+ hour highlight reel of Oldman’s ability to command a role from beginning to end and one of his most complete and transformational performances. Read More →
In less than 24 hours, we will know the nominees for this year’s Academy Awards. The MHT nominees would be much different than what we’ll hear from the Academy but it’s always fun to talk about who might be nominated. Here are the MHT predictions as well as who I’d nominate if mine were the only voice that mattered:
- Star Wars: The Last Jedi
- Lady Bird
- Darkest Hour
- Wind River
- I, Tonya
- Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
- Baby Driver
- A Ghost Story
- The Disaster Artist
Who Will Earn the Nomination (From Most to Least Likely):Read More →
Hot Take: It’s a coming of age film but there’s an uncomfortable age difference between the two love interests. It’s over long at 132 minutes and verbose in its embrace of young love and experimentation.
I remember watching Luca Guadagnino’s last film A Bigger Splash and thinking how overindulgent it was. His latest, the critically acclaimed coming of age Call Me By Your Name, wears the overindulgent monicker like a badge of honor. There’s also the age difference between Timothee Chalamet’s 17-year-old Elio and Armie Hammer’s Oliver whose age is never identified but even if the 31-year-old Hammer is portraying someone 5 years younger than his actual age, that’s still a 9 year difference between the two romantically linked leads. Sexual ambiguity is abound here also as the young Elio has sexual encounters with man, woman and fruit (yes… peach to be more precise) throughout this 132 minute sexual journey.Read More →
Hot Take: The faux documentary is even funnier because it’s a real faux documentary, if that makes sense. As darkly comic as last year’s The Bronze but thanks to a more worthy (and real) subject matter, it sticks the landing.
Is I, Tonya being condescending to its main character or sympathetic? After watching, it’s very easy to draw the conclusion that it’s being both as the Tonya Harding biopic we never knew we wanted but absolutely needed deftly chooses to not pick a lane and tell the story from all angles. I, Tonya tries to piece together the wildly different tellings of the Tonya Harding story from multiple perspectives culminating with the infamous attack on skating rival Nancy Kerrigan. Director Craig Gillespie does an excellent job of balancing all of the stories as pieced together by “wildly contradictory” interviews done about Tonya’s life and times leading up to the incident. Read More →
Hot Take: Damn you, Pixar! Yet another tug at the heart strings from the makers of Toy Story, Wall-E, Up, Inside Out and unexpected emotional breakdowns during animated films.
Pixar hasn’t just mastered the art of animation. They’ve also mastered the ability to take what’s essentially a kid’s genre and make it all ages fare and consistently provide enough emotional ammunition to bring even the most closed off curmudgeon to tears. (Although that’s not me… I’m a pretty easy mark.) Coco is the latest in Pixar’s arsenal of films that are usually technically perfect, family oriented and ready to bring you to tears before the credits roll. In typical Pixar fashion, Coco is both inspirational and heart-breaking and delivers all the feels you’ve come to expect from the master animators. Read More →