On my quest to own every Best Picture nominee, I've binged a few films recently:Lady Bird (2017)
is a really easy to watch coming-of-age film about a teenage lass and her typical emotional conflicts. It's about family, relationships and that period before you "leave the nest", but as far as a plot, it doesn't really have one. As it's only 90 minutes, it's definitely worth watching though, just for the lead actress Saoirse Ronan who is incredible. I don't know what it is, but there's something about her that reminds me of old Hollywood cinema - you can't stop watching her. Julie & Julia (2009)
is a true story about a 30-year old lady in New York fed up of her job, who decides to complete 500+ recipes from a famous cookbook on French cuisine. In one year. Again, this is all about how this affects Julie's life (she blogs about it and becomes semi-famous) but also how it parallels with Julia's life (the author) in the 1960s. It's decent, but it took me a while to adjust to Meryl Streep's goofy character. The Big Short (2015)
is quality. A film about a bunch of New York stockbrokers who take a gamble by predicting the housing market crash of 2008, and make billions of dollars off of it. It's also a true story, and although it is a bit confusing (they do break the fourth wall to explain terminology to the audience) it's got some great actors that carry what could have been a dry plot. The Post (2017)
is definitely my favourite of all of these - this is Tom Hanks and Meryl Streep playing Washington Post editors/owners during the Watergate scandal of the 1970s. It addresses America's battle with the media and free speech, and how they rode out the politics to publish secret government documents surrounding the reasons for the Vietnam War and why they continued to send troops to a lost "war". Definitely recommended.Midnight Express (1978)
- a little dated this one, but another true story that I enjoyed. This is about an American lad who got caught smuggling hash and was given 4 years in a Turkish prison. It goes into how different Turkey is to the US, but some of the mistreatment of prisoners is a tad ridiculous (and apparently something the producers regret) as it paints Turkey as a hellhole. When the American lad (Billy) finds out he's being made an example of, and has his sentence extended to a life sentence, it turns all Shawshank and is about his battle to escape. It's definitely worth a watch, but I think Shawshank improved on it in every way.