It’s that time of year again where the quality of movies increases exponentially as the contenders for Academy Awards hit the theaters (if only for a limited engagement). Normally, I’d try to see as many of these movies as I could, but these movies tend to be incredibly long. You should get extra credit if you can make an Oscar-worthy film under two hours.
I’ve been slacking on this one and hope I can still catch it in theaters. I’m glad Ben Affleck has turned his career around from Daredevil killer to great director (Gone Baby Gone, The Town). This movie appears to star every character actor in Hollywood except for William H. Macy and Philip Seymour Hoffman.
Is this the best movie I’ve ever seen about dreaming? No. That’s still Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. Is this the best heist movie I’ve ever seen? No. That’s still Heat. Is this even the best movie I’ve seen this year? Nope. Toy Story 3 is still number one in my book. But this is easily the most ambitious movie I’ve seen in the last few years and for that, I loved it.
Actually, as I sat down to write this, I found myself in two places: how I felt as the credits rolled and how I feel now that I’ve slept on it and have thought about it.
Based on the trailer, I thought it was just going to be an extended screaming match between the lovers in Titanic and to some extent it was. It was still enjoyable. I don’t know if this would have affected me if I was married but it would spark some interesting conversations.
Kate Winslet who has perfected the tortured housewife during Little Children was great. Leonardo DiCaprio was good. My friends and I were discussing how, like Tom Cruise, it’s hard to get past who the actor is. You always can feel the person acting. It’s no fault of theirs. If I had never seen DiCaprio in a movie, I would have thought he was amazing.
Despite the prowess of DiCaprio and Winslet, Michael Shannon as John Givings stole the movie in his two scenes. I hope he gets nominated (only to lose to Heath Ledger).