legoWell, it’s that time of the year again, when lists must be made to give meaning to all the time spent going to movies the year before rather than doing things like joining Doctors Without Borders or trying to find a cure for cancer or sharing memes of kittens on facebook.
No matter what anyone tells you, this is the endgame of film watching, to create order out of chaos, to reach conclusions from randomness, to give deeper meaning to something that in many ways has little meaning except the attending in the first place.
But we’re human and it’s what we do.
However, before getting to the nitty-gritty, I would like to first make a few observations about the state of cinema these days based on the films I saw last year. Continue reading

JACK OF ALL TRADES: Jack O’Connell, ’71 and Unbroken

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starred upI think I’m glad I wasn’t at Jack O’Connell’s home for the holidays this season.
What an amazing year he’s had. He first became well known in the U.S. for his stirring and starring role as the juvenile who is sent to an adult correctional facility in the prison drama Starred Up.
He followed this with the thriller ’71, about a British soldier who gets left behind by his troupe after a riot in Belfast during the Troubles and has to make his way back to safety.
And now he stars in Unbroken, the based on the true story of Louis Zamperini biopic, an Olympic medalist who was imprisoned in a Japanese POW camp during WWII and was treated particularly cruelly by the commanding officer.
It’s an astonishing series of performances to have so close together. Continue reading