Thursday, January 22, 2015

Week of January 23 to January 30 (Rhoades)

Tropic Overview

Tropic Cinema A Leader In Oscar Race

Reviewed by Shirrel Rhoades
Film Critic, Cooke Communications

Between them, the four films playing at the Tropic Cinema this week have been nominated for 18 Oscars in the 2015 Academy Awards competition. Impressive, to say the least.

New to the screens is “Foxcatcher,” up for 5 golden statuettes, including Best Director, Best Actor, Best Supporting Actor, Best Writing - Original Screenplay, even Best Makeup and Hairstyling. This is a story of madness and murder, with no-longer-funnyman Steve Carell as John du Pont, the millionaire sports enthusiast who killed an Olympic wrestler. Sharing Steve Carell’s acting accolades is Mark Ruffalo as the wrester. The Times says, “A movie that appears to be about wrestling but in fact is a disturbing, testosterone-rich tour of the inadequacies of an American billionaire and his athletic protégé.” And Playboy Online adds, “Foxcatcher gets under your skin and stays there. It's easily one of the best things we've seen this year.”

Garnering 8 Academy Award nominations, “The Imitation Game” leads off with a Best Picture nod. Benedict Cumberbatch is up for Best Actor, starring as British mathematician Alan Turning, the man who helped break the Nazi’s Enigma code. Keira Knightley got a nod as Best Supporting Actress, along with nominations for Best Director, Best Writing - Adapted Screenplay, Best Production Design, Best Film Editing, and Best Music. The Standard calls it “impressive, particularly due to Cumberbatch and Knightley and the highs and lows of Turing's truly remarkable life.” And Consequence of Sound says, “Benedict Cumberbatch gives a superbly nuanced performance, imbuing Turing with just the right amount of strangeness to make him endearing but not treacly.”

“Into the Woods” claims 3 Oscar nods, from the predictable Best Supporting Actress nomination for Meryl Streep to Best Production Design and Best Costume Design. This Steven Sondheim musical is a fairy tale brought to life, intermingling Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood, Rapunzel, and Jack and the Beanstalk. Movie Talk opines, “Sondheim’s contrapuntal harmonies and intricate wordplay may not leave you humming but they are full of beauty and rueful wisdom.” And Daily Film Fix notes that it’s “a superior example of adapting the stage to the screen.”

“Selma” claims 2 Oscar nominations, Best Picture and Best Song (John Legend and Common). This is the docudrama about the Selma march organized by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Orlando Weekly says, “"Selma presents a multidimensional portrayal of Dr. King, flaws and all, and it makes us wonder how far we've actually come today.” And US Weekly concludes, “Needless to say, Dr. King's message has never been more relevant.”

Yes, by the numbers, Tropic Cinema is doing very well in the Oscars race!

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