Tag Archives: Jacob Tremblay

Before I Wake (2016)

Before I Wake review

written by Souranath Banerjee

With better performances and a proper ending the film could have achieved real greatness in this particular genre.   

My ratings: 3.7/5

A regular horror flick surrounding a scary child and some clueless adults terrified by the unknown – well, close enough but not that stereotyped after all.

before-i-wake-poster2Before I Wake is a supernatural thriller where the basic concept revolves around a child’s dreams that become real, but unfortunately so does his nightmares!

Yes, an orphaned 8-year-old boy, Cody (Jacob Tremblay) who is recently taken in by a young couple Mark and Jessie (Thomas Jane and Kate Bosworth), but soon enough the loving foster-parents discover Cody’s special talent (unintentional though) to turn his dreams into actual physically-tangible reality.

As long as they are bright colored butterflies or cute dead kids back to life, nobody seemed to complain but when the dreams started to conjure up hollow-eyed demons who likes to swallow up people, its time to panic and look for a remedy to stop Cody’s nightmares.

before-i-wake-poster3The horror coefficient is high but the real USP of the film Before I Wake is the child actor Jacob Tremblay’s superb performance and of course the brilliant use of visual effects.

But then the acting abilities of the grown ups, specially Kate Bosworth playing the desperate, grief stricken, emotionally drenched mother towards the end of the film needed to look a bit more convincing.

And then, the ending itself for me really doesn’t live up to it’s expectations, open ended to the extent of undecided!

Nevertheless, director Mike Flanagan is surely honing his skills in the horror genre, Before I Wake being his third horror flick after Absentia in 2011 and Oculus in 2013 and is definitely his best work till date.  

If you like being scared you will be rewarded generously.

Poster courtesy: www.impawards.com

Room (2015)

Room review

written by Souranath Banerjee

An exceptional tale of mother-child bonding, an emotional whirlpool.

My Ratings: 4.4/5.

There are movies that defy against the notion of being made just for entertainment, there are films which shatter the general norms of popular cinema and become something extraordinary. And in the process, they set an example just as the film Room did last year.

Based on Irish-Canadian writer Emma Donoghue‘s popular novel by the same name, who is also the screenwriter for the film, the brilliance of Room is difficult to be tagged into one particular genre.

room-poster2Essentially it’s a thriller that involves the account of a daring attempt to slip away from the clutches of a ruthless kidnapper but on a deeper note the film is a complex sensitive drama and an expert dissection of human psychology.

Directed by Lenny Abrahamson, Room is evidently treated in two distinctively different halves.

The first half till the intermission deals with a mother Ma (Brie Larson) and her son Jack (Jacob Tremblay) who are being kidnapped inside a garden shed (the room) by a psychopath called Old Nick (Sean Bridgers) and then of course, the planning and execution of their valiant escape. 

And then the second part which takes the film to another level of brilliance, actually deals with the emotional turmoil that they had to go through even after they are so called ‘safe’. And by ‘they’ it’s not only the mother and her son but also their near-family included.

Acting wise everybody is a winner.

room-poster1Specially Brie Larson who as the protective mother, dealing with her certitudes and also her vulnerabilities has given one of the best performances I have seen in a long time!

And then of course, young Jacob Tremblay, such effortless way he delivers his dialogues, his bond with the room, and then his body language when exposed to the world, his unconditional ability to love others – that boy just nailed it.

And superbly supported by Joan AllenMatt Gordon and not to forget the cameo by William H. Macy.

May be inspired by similar real life kidnapping cases of Jaycee Lee Dugard and Amanda Berry or may be the film is completely a work of fiction as the author claims, but one thing is certain – Room is one rare piece of cinema that promises to stay with you for a long time.

Highly recommended. Run.

Poster courtesy: www.impawards.com

2016 Oscar Predictions: Best Picture

2016 Oscar Predictions: Best Picture

written by Souranath Banerjee

On Sunday, February 28th, it’s that time of the year when they give away those awards!

Yes, on this day, the Academy of Motion Pictures and Sciences will hand over the most prestigious awards of the entertainment world – the Academy Awards or the Oscars.

On the basis of the ‘preferential voting’ system (democratic and unbiased), all the nominees are chosen each year for the various award categories and then they simply wait, hope and pray to win!

This year Chris Rock will be hosting the award ceremony on ABC.

In total 305 feature films are competing for Best Picture nominations. Though the final and official seven/eight nominated ones will be announced on Thursday, January 14th, it’s always fun to guess, predict and anticipate a little before hand.

So let the predictions for the ‘Best Picture’ category begin!

10. Beasts of No Nation (Netflix)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2xb9Ty-1frw

beasts-of-no-nation1An African country at war, where violence is routine and murder is the law.

Directed by Cary Joji Fukunaga, this is the story of a kid who is forced to join a group of soldiers and take up the gun to fight and kill people.

A raw and deadly film that shows the emotional turmoil of a child soldier. And surely a favorite in the Oscar race.

9. Carol (The Weinstein Company)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H4z7Px68ywk

carol-poster1The combination of New York in 1950s and Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara, and a perfect love story.

Full of emotions and breathtaking visuals, superb music and brilliant acting – the film is a complete package of aw

Directed by Todd Haynes, this one is a favorite of mine as well as the Oscar nominees. 

8. Youth (Fox Searchlight Pictures)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-T7CM4di_0c

Youth-poster2Michael CaineHarvey KeitelRachel Weisz and director Paolo Sorrentino cooks up one of the best mouthwatering cinema of this year.

(click for the review)

A film that reflects on the youth and relishes the old age with the same intensity. It deals with friendship, love, marriage, lust, professions, emotions and above all emotions. I bet my

7. The Hateful Eight (The Weinstein Company)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gnRbXn4-Yis

hateful-eight-posterQuentin Tarantino is back with his 8th film and along with Samuel L. JacksonKurt RussellJennifer Jason Leigh and Tim Roth among others this one gets as gritty and violent as you can expect it to be.

Powerful performances with awesome visuals and a superbly entertaining story line.

An Oscar favorite because ‘No one comes up here without a damn good reason’. 

6. Brooklyn (Fox Searchlight Pictures)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=15syDwC000k

brooklyn-poster11950s Brooklyn as the backdrop, the film is about an Irish immigrant’s life, her love story and her past, and the choices she makes.

Directed by John Crowley, and outstanding performance by Saoirse Ronan, this is a film that breadths perfection.

My personal favorite and I wish it all the luck for the tough Oscar chart ahead.

5. Mad Max: Fury Road (Warner Brothers)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hEJnMQG9ev8

mad-max-poster5In the year 1979 Mad Max was established – a drifter, a loner and of course mad as hell. And this is the latest addition to the popular franchise.

(Click for the review)

Powerful, dramatic and full of energy, directed by George Miller, this is undoubtedly the best action flick of 2015 and a leader in the Oscar race for the ‘Best Picture’. 

4. The Revenant (20th Century Fox)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LoebZZ8K5N0

revenant-posterDirected by Alejandro González Iñárritu (whose film Birdman won the ‘best director’, ‘best picture’ and ‘best screenplay’ awards last year), has come up with this brilliant tale of an explorer Hugh Glass (Leonardo DiCaprio).

A fur trading expedition in the 1820s; inspired by true events this is an epic adventure, a quest for survival and also a sure favorite in this year’s Oscar.

3. The Big Short (Paramount Pictures)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rDlYm15ztK4

big-short-posterWhen Christian BaleSteve CarellRyan Gosling and Brad Pitt come together – you know it’s worth it. 

Directed by Adam McKay, this is a biographical account of the time (mid 2000) when there was a financial crisis in the US, and four individuals decided to fight the greedy banks for their lack of foresight.

Looks like a pretty sure thing for the award ceremony. Watch out!

2. Room (A24 Films)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E_Ci-pAL4eE

room-posterAdopted from Emma Donoghue‘s famous novel, this is one unique story of a five-year old boy who is told by his loving mother that their 10-by-10 foot ‘room’ is the only world that exists! 

Directed by Lenny Abrahamson, a brilliant film that surely is becoming people’s favorite and a likely contestant for the Oscar.

Brilliant performance by Brie Larson and Jacob Tremblay

  1. Spotlight (Open Road Films)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EwdCIpbTN5g

spotlight-poster1Probably the most significant cinema on ‘journalism’ made after the epic All the President’s Men (1976).

Directed by Tom McCarthy, this is one film that is considered certainly as the top favorite in this year’s Oscar game.

With Mark RuffaloMichael KeatonRachel McAdams and Liev Schreiber among others this is one safe film to put your money.

and (The ‘+1′ film is not necessarily the best but certainly the most popular one).

+1. Star Wars: The Force Awakens (Disney)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sGbxmsDFVnE

star-wars-posterThe recently released ever popular addition to the Star Wars franchise and a sudden favorite for the Oscars.

Directed by J.J. Abrams, this film with it’s immense fan following has the potential to be a game changer in the race for this years ‘Best Picture’ Academy Awards.

By the way, this film has recreated the U.S. box office record beating James Cameron‘s Avatar!

And now the films though not included in my list but are certainly fair competition for the award: Straight Outta ComptonCreedTrumboSon of SaulBlack MassThe Danish GirlLove & MercyTangerineSicarioSteve JobsThe MartianBridge of Spies and Joy.

And finally – A Thank You to the movies of 2015.

Poster courtesy: www.impawards.com.