Norman Mailer said it years ago and said it quite plainly: PC movement will be a disaster. I have to peer through my fingers when I read another article on this year’s Oscars. And I keep asking myself one question: what if Leonardo DiCaprio was black? Would we not be standing in an angry queue, holding pitchforks, raring to lynch the Academy Awards committee for such blatant racism?
The system is rigged, definitely. It always is. It’s a healthy approach to life. It’s sexy. Admit it, were you not just a tiny bit fascinated by the sheer scope of Wall Street fraudulence in The Big Short?
And now Will Smith is boycotting, Mark Ruffalo is indignant and Michael Moore is having a field day. And I’m just thankful for Charlotte Rampling and Michael Caine. The latter may have won his 1999 award for an exceedingly bland and tedious film, but you are in a safe place when Pierce Morgan is not on your side.
It would probably make it all worth it if they gave in, expanded the list of nominees, added Will Smith to the Best Actor category and gave him the Oscar over DiCaprio. What a perfect story that would be.
There are always people who will treat cinema like literature. They will need a message and a subtle allusion. But cinema is a totally different form of art, which may have been the reason why Nabokov despised it so much. Sometimes you’re just a kid staring at the raging sea, and that’s what I was watching The Revenant. This film is the reason why I care for cinema. Engrossing and visceral. 9/10
MAD MAX: FURY ROAD
Oh God. I’d like to look at the face of whoever it was that thought it would be a good idea to nominate this for the Best Picture. I’m honestly admiring the joke. 7/10
Admittedly I didn’t watch this one sober, but I only say this because I was still able to follow every trial and tribulation. Great storytelling. 9/10
I'm afraid I’m not going to watch a film whose screenplay was written by Nick Hornby.
BRIDGE OF SPIES
Sometimes you only have to state the obvious: Bridge Of Spies is a Cold War film directed by Steven Spielberg and scripted by the Coen brothers. It’s all fairly straightforward, but the Coens’ edge is unmistakable. Tom Hanks’s first scene in a restaurant, that whole dialogue, it must have been them. Screenplays or novels – they will teach you to write. 8/10
In the glaring absence of The Forbidden Room, this will have to do. By all accounts, it should be good.
THE BIG SHORT
Smug, cynical and utterly pretentious. I guess that scene with Margot Robbie took balls to conceive. But I’m safely under 40 and so I loved this to bits. The filmmaking is both tough and freewheeling. A word of warning though: if you find it annoying, you find it unbearably annoying. 9/10
In layman terms, Matt Damon is bang average. But this is rather entertaining if you have a couple of hours to burn. 7/10