“The Father”, the Hon and the Holy almost

There’s so much that is moving about The Father. First and foremost, the screenplay adapted by Christopher Hampton (Oscar winner for Dangerous Liaisons, nominated for Atonement) from playwright Florian Zeller’s play, originally billed as a black comedy. In directing this film, Florian Zeller has stripped out comedic elements, simultaneously sharpening the realism of what it must be like to have dementia, reminiscent of what the film “Eternal Beauty” did for schizophrenia.
Brilliant acting accentuates the written word with a pair nonpareil in Olivia Colman and Anthony Hopkins. Olivia Williams and Imogen Poots are also fantastic. I was less thrilled with Mark Gatiss and Rufuss Sewell, but it could be because their characters were cold and abusive.
While plays turned to film can seem stifling (this year’s model for me was Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom), The Father’s flat turned nursing home did not feel suffocating, a credit to the writing, acting and cinematography.
The Father will not make my top 10, for all the reasons the other films do, portraying more well rounded universal problems, themes and varied emotions.

Nomadland, Important Social Cause, Mildly Impactful Flick

Somewhere along the way Frances McDormand got sucked in. Sucked into the anger and melancholia of social causes. Mind you, in a thin photo finish rival with environmental problems, displaced and disregarded, homelessness is a major problem…but I digress. I guess my main question is: if an actress continues to portray characters of real life problems, does the actress also give a large portion of her multi-million dollar worth to help solve said problem? Or is she simply a poser?
At any rate, Nomadland gets a lot right. First, the REAL people (like the ones in Bloody Nose, Empty Pockets) deserve a spotlight to bring about awareness. Poignant stories of widowers and displaced workers should be a focus.
Second, the cinematography of southwestern desert rock formations, California coastline and redwood trees were breathtaking.
But Frances and David Strathairn simply get in the way because I know they will never REALLY experience any hardship with homes or salaries. Not going to make my top 10 and I would debate anyone that the beauty and poignancy of The Last Shift beats the impact of this movie all day long.

Minari, a Sophie’s Choice for my top 10

What do you do when your favorite movie of the year “Driveways” (directed by Andrew Ahn) is upstaged by a grander (action-wise) movie “Minari” (directed by Lee Isaac Chung)? I guess both could be in my top ten, but it’s a difficult choice. Both films by Asian and Korean directors are masterpieces in my book.
Minari’s tralier was a bit suspect…it looked like it could be a corny affair, meaning here comes an Asian family moving to Arkansas to re-start their lives after menial jobs in California were driving them mad. The movie’s conflict seemed quite poignant and real (until the end-no spoilers, but will be in my upcoming quibbles paragraph). Which helps me make up my mind that Driveways stands as my number one, there wasn’t one false move in the entire film and the music was delectable (though don’t get me wrong Emile Mosseri’s soundtrack is very good).
Before I tear the movie down a bit, let me explain what got me…marital strife between two people who loved each other initially is always an emotion grabber for me, as are elderly Grandma’s who try, but are never going to beat the devil of mortality. In addition, cute little kids, however precocious, always make me smile.
Here are my problems with the film: any woman who still bitches after receiving great news is a beeatch. That does not ring true with reality. If you are with a woman who is not grateful, get rid of her asap! Second, if you’re a mother allegedly worried about your son’s heart murmur, you don’t allow him to stay over night at some rando kid’s house or let your elderly mother take charge.
In a head to head match up between little kid actors (mind you I’m still way ticked off that Noah Jupe didn’t get more accolades for Honey Boy) Lucas Jaye from Driveways wins over Alan S. Kim from Minari. And while I was wringing my hands during the first paragraph, trust me when I say that while Driveways doesn’t have the ‘fireworks’ that Minari does, it is a better movie. Email me with disagreements at irun2eatpizza@hotmail.com