I was able to see a number of movies nominated in other categories this year. Some of them I liked quite a bit more than a handful of the Best Picture nominations (Part 1 and Part 2). I'll share a quick review of each I saw in case you are looking for a good recommendation.
Lead and/or Supporting Actor and/or Actress Categories
The Florida Project - I had high hopes for this one, but it didn't quite live up to them. It was an interesting exposition on child welfare in extremely low-income single-parent families that permanently reside in barely livable motels in Florida. If you have an interest in taking a closer look at our broken child welfare system then I highly recommend watching this insightful movie. It is also filmed in a bit of a documentary style.
Mudbound - This one started a little slow, but then really picked up in the last half. In the end, I really enjoyed it. It takes place in the time frame around World War II following both a black and white family in rural Mississippi farming country. The story takes some twists and turns with the two families continually intertwining. This one is available on Netflix and worth checking out.
Roman J. Israel, Esq. - As a true Denzel fan, I saw this one in theaters. I was surprised by how much I liked it overall. Colin Ferrell was great in it. Colin's performance ranked right up there with Denzel's in this film. The movie is a bit slow to get started, but worth a watch if you like Denzel.
All the Money in the World - I didn't have much interest in this one until I heard some rumblings about it being pretty good. It certainly didn't disappoint. I was engaged the entire movie and really found the premise fascinating. I can't even fathom being a little bit rich so to have unlimited resources (and not be willing to use them to save your grandson!!) was really beyond the realm of my brain to comprehend. As I've mentioned in the past, based on a true story movies are my cup of tea. They always speak to me and this one was no different.
The Big Sick - We saw this one in the theater this past summer. I remember being pleasantly surprised by how well it integrated comedy into a generally sad story. Ray Romano played a fantastic character in this movie. His role was perfect and much needed. This one is worth watching even if it isn't quite your typical romantic comedy.
Coco - Since my high school Spanish class, I've been intrigued by the idea of the Dia de la Muerta (Day of the Dead) tradition. Coco fully explores that tradition in a unique story. I'm not certain it would be my first choice for children (particularly those unfamiliar with the tradition or really even the idea of death), but as an adult I enjoyed it. The vibrant colors and lovely music really give the movie an edge.
Ferdinand - I watched this one with my parents and niece and nephew over Christmas. I really liked some of the characters, but the story wasn't anything that completely blew me away. Seemed to be your pretty standard animated flick. It's worth noting that my 4 1/2 year old nephew commented that it was a little long at the conclusion. My 5 1/2 year old niece requested a potty break midway through so I don't think it was entirely holding her full attention either.
Oscar Shorts: Animated, Live Action, Documentary
All of the animated films were good. Each was unique and entertaining in its own way. If you like animation, I would definitely see this set. Lou was my favorite, but it was tough to decide.
I really enjoyed all of the live action shorts. I would highly recommend checking them out if they are showing anywhere near you. My top three were The Silent Child, My nephew, Emmitt, and The Eleven O'Clock. All were really good though.
Chris and I went to see the documentaries together. They were all interesting, but I liked Knife Skills, Edith+Eddie, and Herion(e) the most. All were worth watching and touched on very relevant topics.
Have you seen any great movies in the past year?
What is your favorite genre to watch?