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Three films that should have been nominated

On February 6, 2018

BY DEEJ OSTER / VN EDITOR

2017 was a spectacular year for movies.

With the Academy recognizing many, I’d like to highlight a few honorable mentions that received zero nominations.

“GOOD TIME”

My personal top film of the year is “Good Time,” written and directed by The Safdie Brothers and starring Twilight’s Robert Pattinson.

It is a race-against-the-clock crime thriller that had me on edge from start to finish.

A modern New York crime masterpiece, this ambitious movie is rough, layered and quick on its feet with a blood pumping soundtrack by Oneohtrix Point Never.

The film touches upon such topics as mental health, white privilege and a lack of awareness thereof, giving the violent neon noir a deep subtext.

“Good Time” takes place over one night, and centers around Connie (Pattinson) attempting to find the means (and money) to get his brother Nick (played by co-director Benny Safdie) out of prison.

The character work behind each and every role is massive.

The Safdies have explained in multiple interviews that the actors worked with the directors and writers to devise an entire life story leading up to the moment each enters the film.

With actors fully realized within their characters, they work off each other seamlessly.

The camera work and editing being both Scorsesean and not, “Good Time” is rawly original, going against old tropes and what the audience might predict. 

With a breakout film like this one, the Safdies will receive recognition from the Academy sooner rather than later.

“Good Time” is available on DVD and iTunes.

“THE LOVERS”

 “The Lovers,” starring Debra Winger and Tracy Letts (the father in  “Lady Bird”) and directed by Azazel Jacobs, is a romantic comedy-drama released early this past summer.

This was a film perhaps perfectly timed in its release date.

Early summer, the air was warm and the theatre cool.

A rom-com, it centers around a long-married couple who are both in the midst of serious affairs.

Their romance sparks again and the movie unravels when their son comes home from college with his girlfriend.

The soundtrack sways softly, as if the whimsical love-struck adults are dancing throughout the sun-soaked open streets and bright supermarkets of California.

The director captures love, regret and relationships in a unique way that I have seen few films do in my short existence.

Winger and Letts are joined by Aidan Gillen and Melora Walters, playing the previous love interests.

All four actors give vulnerable, funny and deeply intriguing performances.

You can see and understand their relationships through the looks on their faces and the simple inflections in their phrases.

The scene where Tracy Letts  covers “It Must Be Love” by Madness on the piano is worth the price of admission alone.

“The Lovers” is on DVD, iTunes and Amazon.

“THE KILLING OF A SACRED DEER”

“The Killing of a Sacred Deer,” from Greek director Yorgos Lanthimos, is the final film on this short list. 

Following his film “The Lobster,” actor Colin Farrell returns to star this time as a precise, efficient surgeon dedicated to his work. 

Farrell’s character Steven is a father figure/mentor to a teenage boy, played stunningly by Barry Keoghan, who slowly lets his sinister side show.

This part-horror, part-mystery, part-fever dream spills out on the screen across long landscapes laid by an all-seeing camera, as Steven’s life and family fall apart.

The less I say about this film, the better.

Lanthimos captivates viewerz, daring them to take their eyes off the screen as spectacularly vivid violence is projected.

“The Killing of a Sacred Deer” is available on DVD, at Redbox and on Amazon.

 

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DEEJ'S TOP 10 of 2017

“Good Time”

“Call Me By Your Name”

“Lady Bird”

“Three Billboards Outside Ebbing Missouri”

“A Ghost Story”

“The Florida Project”

“Dunkirk”

“IT”

“The Shape of Water”

“I, Tonya”

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