Wednesday, March 6, 2019

three movies not nominated for Oscars

The Old Man & the Gun. Quiet little movie mostly about a slowly-developing romance between two old people, Robert Redford (82) and Sissy Spacek (69). The gimmick - and that's really all it is - is that Redford's character is a bank robber. But since he's very polite to all his victims, never uses or even points his gun, and commits his robberies more for the fun of it than anything else, he can still be the hero. Redford really has a knack for playing charming rogues like this, going back to the Sundance Kid. Weirdest footnote: his gang consists of Danny Glover and Tom Waits. Charming movie.

Leave No Trace. Another quiet little movie, this one about a 13-year-old girl gradually realizing she needs a life apart from her father, with whom she's always been very close. The gimmick in this one - but this time it's more than just a gimmick - is that Dad is a veteran, apparently with PTSD, with an utter phobia against living in civilization. He camps out in the woods, going into town just once a month to pick up his meds, which he sells to other woodsy types to get cash to buy supplies. He's trained his daughter to love this life too, but when the authorities force them into a rural home and job, she finds she likes people. (And having a bed and a roof, et al.) Dad admits everyone's being very nice to them, but he can't take it. The ending is sad but not tragic. Effective movie.

The Front Runner. Bio-pic about the fall of Gary Hart. Remember him, the author of a biography of James Monroe? Turned out to be one of those irritating movies in which everyone is always talking at once, mostly blither that's either designed to catch the viewer up on the events of 30 years ago or else smugly assuming the viewer still remembers all that stuff. I doubt anyone too young to remember it will watch this meticulous but tone-deaf reconstruction of tawdry events, and there's no reason that they should. Annoying movie.

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