“I believe God made me for a purpose, but he also made me fast. And when I run I feel His pleasure,” said Eric Liddell to his pious sister.
Of God and men, of faith and patriotism, for serving God and breaking stereotypes, Hugh Hudson’s Chariots of Fire wraps them all in a biopic about British athletic team’s triumphant victory in the 1924 Olympics. It’s a rare picture which concatenates the urgency of nationalism, ambition, and the evangelism on running tracks, making it one of the strongest Best Picture winners. Continue reading Blindspot: Chariots of Fire (1981)
Review: In terms of visualizing a grandeur story about ambition, passion and destiny, James Gray’s The Lost City of Z might make handful of resemblance with Paul Thomas Anderson’s There Will Be Blood and a smaller scale of it. While the latter is a chronicle of a man’s ambition over oil field for greater goods of one’s self, the former is a spiritual adventure of a man’s ambition dividing the South American jungle to unravel humanity’s biggest secret, an older civilization hidden in the green desert.
Adapted from David Grann’s book, the quest to find Z retold the story of a British man, Percy Fawcett (Charlie Hunnam), who was tasked to map Brazil-Bolivian boundary deep in the Amazon rainforest in order to prevent wars between the two countries. Fawcett teamed up with Henry Costin (Robert Pattinson), an avid explorer of the jungle. During the tenure, Fawcett was consumed by the idea of a lost city he proposed as ‘Z’ after confirming a native’s story upon his findings of pottery. The more he believes and studies the lost city, the more he’s obsessed and the more his ambition to prove its existence emerges, engulfing his own existence. Continue reading The Lost City of Z (2017) – Review
Review: Ryan Murphy, an anthology specialist (yes, we’re talking about American Horror Story and American Crime Story), further expands his repertoire to another real life shenanigan, peeling legendary feud – a clash of titan – in his new series, Feud. Digging up classic feud between two classic Hollywood stars, Bette Davis and Joan Crawford during the production of psycho-biddy What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?, Murphy has reserved two award seats for his stars, Susan Sarandon and Jessica Lange.
Sarandon and Lange respectively portray Davis and Crawford remarkably, in the sense that the feud pervades to the present-time stars. The heat of the conflicts has ingrained so profoundly that we might see Sarandon as a manifestation of Bette Davis and Lange as Joan Crawford. Continue reading A Season with: Feud: Bette and Joan (2017)
Review: Oscar winner, Matthew McConaughey gone method portrays an inspired-by-true-figure prospector, Kenny Wells, in Stephen Gaghan’s Gold. Born with silver spoon, inherited father’s wealth, and ended up as a loser, that’s how Kenny’s life ventures. McConaughey looks hideous and vexing at the same time as ambitious Kenny – bald, black-lunged and pot-bellied; he almost looks like Christian Bale in American Hustle. However hideous he looks, but this man is the epicenter of this greed-ridden adventure – The Wolf of the Wall Street from the jungle.
Inspired by a real event about world’s biggest gold hunt scandal in Indonesia, which cost investors millions of dollars, Gold is never a sympathetic story. You wouldn’t be surprised if this Kenny man brings apocalypse to stock market. He’s innocently ambitious and greedy at the same time. He often claims that what he sees isn’t money, but gold; but, in fact, the prospects of money plus some daddy issues got him blinded. I almost admire his persistence; but getting admiration isn’t really his best aptitude. While the million dollar (or 24 carat) fraud is a big serious deal to tell; Gold practically is McConaughey’s one-man show. Continue reading Gold (2017) – Review
Review: Inarguably, the true event that inspires Garth Davis’ Lion is a blessing-in-disguise story. A five-year old Indian boy, Saroo (Sunny Pawar) gets lost while going away from home with his older brother. He’s stranded in Calcutta – 1,600KM away from home; survived hardships in street life, before being adopted by an Australian couple (Nicole Kidman and David Wenham), who lives in Tasmania.
Separated from his birth family and his compassionate brother, Saroo, now a Brierley (portrayed by Dev Patel), grows into a full-fledged Australian – who even forgets to speak Hindi. When hearing about Google Earth, Saroo becomes obsessed with it to trace down his memory lane in attempt to locate his home in India. Will he find his birth house after all? At this point, knowing how this story ends is moderately forgiven, because Lion isn’t about the destination, it’s about the journey. Continue reading Lion (2016) – Review
Review: There were three African-American women working at NASA in circa 1960s and helping the institution sending man into space, winning the space competitions against the Soviets. Not everyone knows about that fact (me neither, in fact), until Hidden Figures comes and opens people’s eyes in the era where this substantial revelation is relevant. However, it’s never been a preachy, egghead’s story; instead, Theodore Melfi’s adaptation of Margot Lee Shetterly’s non-fiction is a high-energized feel-good film about equality and empowerment.
Those three titular figures are Katherine Johnson (Taraji P. Henson), Dorothy Vaughan (Octavia Spencer) and Mary Jackson (Janelle Monáe). Those women are all brilliant in their own field even beyond; but their only problem is more complex than their minds; because they are women and people of colors. Continue reading Hidden Figures (2017) – Review