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« June. It's a Wrap | Main | Young Clint, 1956 »
Saturday
Jun302012

12 Word Reviews: "Brave", "Beasts of Southern Wild", "Moonrise Kingdom"

My 1000+ word review of Magic Mike will be up tomorrow but in the meantime, let's clear the cache with a few words, a dozen in point of fact, on movies I didn't review properly.

Beasts of the Southern Wild (Benh Zeitlin)
A six year old girl learns survival lessons from her father in a drowned world. But synopsis won't due its real poetry any justice. See it!
10WR: Overwhelming sense of loss tempered by vivid originality, guileless acting, flexible allegory.  A-
Oscar? I doubted it at an Oscar contender at first (defiantly weird and filled with first timers) but it has tremendous critical approval, and there's nothing else even remotely like it on the filmscape. It's very difficult to shake once you've experienced it. Could factor in across the board or, more likely, fight for a few key nods. Adapted Screenplay might be the safest bet (so far).

Brave (Mark Andrews, Brenda Chapman, and Steve Purcell)
A Scottish princess seeks to transform her fate but the magic she calls on has dangerous repercussions.
10WR: Refreshing steps outside Pixar comfort zones but oddly disjointed. Still... that hair! B
Oscar? A good bet in the Animated Feature category (Pixar has only missed that nomination once -- just last year with Cars 2) but anything beyond that and the music categories will be a tough sell.

What kind of bird are you?

Moonrise Kingdom (Wes Anderson)
Troubled pen pals run away from home (and scout camp) in this darkly sweet tale of adolescent (and adult) loneliness.
10WR: Amusing affectations are balm and escape from real pain.Anderson's second best! B+
Oscar? That brilliant last movement in the end credits, with the narration of Desplat's music could go a long way for selling Best Original Score. But how about Screenplay and Art Direction? Too affected or just right?

People Like Us (Alex Kurtzman)
A young man (Chris Pine) discovers a half sister (Elizabeth Banks) he didn't know existed but keeps the truth from her and his angry recently widowed mother (Michelle Pfeiffer. 
10WR: Strong actresses but uncomfortably incestuous plot bizarrely filmed like an action flick. C-
Oscar? If it's an unlikely hit, Pfeiffer could win traction in Supporting Actress.

 

 

Peace , Love & Misunderstanding (Bruce Beresford)
An uptight depressed lawyer visits her estranged hippie mother and their cultures clash... again.
10WR: Kindhearted with enjoyable if obvious performances. Too programmatic when complexity is needed. C
Oscar? No. Though it sure is nice to see Jane Fonda back onscreen.

Prometheus (Ridley Scott)
A team of scientists seeks our genetic ancestors on a far away planet and discovers the diabolical origins of those pesky acid-blooded creepy crawlies instead.
10WR: Tremendously visual. Intermittently heart-stopping --  that abortion sequence!. Plot is a tough sell.  B
Oscar? We discussed this

 

YOUR TURN in the comments

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Reader Comments (16)

Love the 10WR; concise and sharp.

But Wes Anderson's second best movie is only a B+?

Obviously his films are usually really divisive but I thought you were on the bandwagon! On the other hand, I guess you might just have most of the other ones right up there with a B or even a B+, just a little lower than this one.

It also got me thinking that, besides Tenenbaums, he doesn't really have any movies that are contemporarily thought of as a MASTERPIECE/CLASSIC!!! for such a respected director with a pretty clear auteur seal.

I'd love to hear your thoughts!

June 30, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterFélix

Well, I'm writing a kind of similar post on my blog about "Oscar contenders so far" and I would consider "Moonrise Kingdom" in Best Picture and Best Director categories. He received that kind of reviews that often translates into Oscar buzz and if there won't be any other movie with such a well-matched cast, I can see it getting a SAG Award nomination in the Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble field... (and you know what getting this nod means!)

I believe "Beasts" will have a good shot in the awards season, specially if the "indie world" decides to award this movie and generate some Oscar buzz around it... and alongside "The Sessions" (aka "The Surrogate") sounds like the best indie option for this year's Best Picture category

It's good having Michelle Pfeiffer back into Oscar talking... I simply can't explain how she didn't win for "Fabulous Baker Boys"!

June 30, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterEd

What does everyone think of Roger Ebert more or less calling Beasts of the Southern Wild a sure thing for a Best Picture nomination?

June 30, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterEdwin

I do not tink People Like Us will be a hit. Variety is predicting Ted and MAgic Mike as #'s 1 and 2 and PLU is said to be lucky to get into the top 10 with a million plus dollars.

June 30, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterrick

felix -- the only ones of his film's i'd consider a masterpiece is THE ROYAL TENENBAUMS. god that movie is great. the others are usually in the B+-B- range for me with The Life Aquatic being the only one I'd give a thumbs down to.

June 30, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterNathaniel R

That's why Jane Fonda has been on some talk shows lately. I almost forgot from September.

Also, I have only seen publicity photos and read magazine pieces about Beasts of the Southern Wild and it's already making me cry in a good way.

June 30, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterPaolo

People Like Us

...incestuous plot bizarrely filmed like an action flick.

Put some hot model in the mix and you've got Michael Bay's most anticipated movie of the year.

June 30, 2012 | Unregistered Commenteriggy

Pfieffer best supporting actress? NOT.

June 30, 2012 | Unregistered Commentermed

med -- well, duh. It'd have to be an unlikely hit.

June 30, 2012 | Registered CommenterNATHANIEL R

Nathaniel-- Yeah, that's what I was thinking... Thanks from Venezuela!

June 30, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterFélix

Pfeiffer's resurgence and the apparent excitement from those in the business means her competitive career Oscar is on the way. Too bad nobody feels this way about Weaver and Close will have to settle for an Honorary one (fuckers).

June 30, 2012 | Unregistered Commenter4rtful

Always good to see more 12 word reviews. Completely agree about Moonrise Kingdom. On 'Beasts,' I guess I'm just going to have to accept that I'm that one jerk who didn't like it at all (aside from one or two scenes + the score). Meh.

June 30, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterjbaker475

I am happy Beasts has been so well received. I love the two lead performances. But its screenplay is its weakest element. I also think it has been incredibly overrated by critics.

June 30, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterGabriel Oak

I am interested to see Moonrise Kingdom, it will be hard for it to top Fantastic Mr. Fox for me, which I think is a damn near perfect movie.

July 1, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterRebecca

I agree about People Like Us. A director with a more delicate hand would have made a huge difference, and the story did drag on, but the ending was pretty good.

Elizabeth Banks was not impressive to me, and Chris Pine is just a huge bore.

Michelle was fantastic in a really small role, she had some great scenes. If this had been released in the fall, with perhaps a better trailer, this could have had some good box office returns and perhaps a few notices for Pfeiffer. The word of mouth has actually been really positive up to this point, but it stood no chance against Magic Mike, etc.

July 1, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJK

The movie is great but I am wondering why Brave is a must-seen movie?

August 13, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterPa Ul
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