Rarely does a film have the potential to empower you, aspire you and at the same time make you feel ashamed of the world you are living in!
My Ratings: 4.4/5
A young boy, only 12 year-old sues his parents! The child wants his voice to be heard. He wants the judge to listen to him. He wants all the adults in the world to listen to him. But what is it so important that a dirt poor Beirut street kid has to offer? May be something we all know but choose not to care about.
“I want to make a complaint against my parents. I’d want adults to listen to me. I want adults who can’t raise kids not to have any. What will I remember? Violence, insults or beatings, hit with chains, pipes, or a belt?”
Capernaum is a film that portrays the adventures (hardships to be more appropriate) of Zain, a kid from Lebanon who runs away from his abusive parents and tries to figure out the pitiless world on his own. He meets interesting people on his journey, the old forgetful Cockroach man, and then an Ethiopian woman named Rahil. She is an immigrant without legal papers who lets Zain stay at her place. And in return Zain takes care of Rahil’s toddler while she is out at work. But soon Zain is again on the street, cold hungry and shelterless, with nothing but the toddler and a stolen skateboard – standing all alone against the world outside!
No wonder the film’s title Capharnaüm means ‘chaos’ in Arabic, and is also a reference for the Biblical town cursed by Christ.
Directed by Nadine Labaki, Capernaum was the official Lebanese entry for Best Foreign Language Film at the 91st Academy Awards, Golden Globes, BAFTA and almost every other prestigious film festivals across the world. Competing for the Palme d’Or, it won the Jury Prize at the 2018 Cannes Film Festival, and received a 15-minute standing ovation following its premiere!
A work of fiction but based on reality! Each character in the film has been influenced by some real person whom Nadine Labaki met and interacted while researching on the plot. Surprisingly all non actors were casted in the film. The shoot went on for six months which gave her 12 hours of footage to edit from. And then the editing process lasted for over two years!
The brilliant cinematography by Christopher Aoun of the Beirut alleys gives the film the much needed documentary like reality and the performances of the actors are unbelievably genuine! Specially the young lead actor is simply terrific, he is an actual Syrian refugee named Zain Al Rafeea.
For me Capernaum brought back fond memories of Danny Boyle‘s Slumdog Millionaire and Mira Nair‘s Salaam Bombay! But then again it will be an injustice to compare such movies because these are not mere cinema but a shout out to the society we live in. They show us the real world. They show us the mirror. They show us that we have lost the battle. They show us that may be we still have a chance!
If you still haven’t please watch Capernaum. You may be in tears but you won’t regret it. Trust me.
Oscar Nominations 2018 Best Picture: Hosted by Jimmy Kimmel (for the second time), on this March 4th evening we have a date with our beloved movies from 2017 – the nominations for the Oscars – The 90th Academy Awards ceremony traditionally presented by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences(AMPAS).
After last year’s La La Landhiccup and Moonlight‘s sudden triumph speculating this year’s Best Picture has certainly become more difficult a task but have to admit the fun remains the same, even more!
In total nine nominations for Best Picture and I have listed them according to my order of liking, in a way keeping my favourite one in the number 1 spot. You all do your own homework, predict, guess and wonder, and let’s see who can hit the bull’s eye!
A historical biography directed by Joe Wright which in total has six Oscar nominations this year!
The film revolves around the early days of World War II when Churchill was appointed the British Prime Minister and showed immense character that changed history forever.
Gary Oldman is undoubtedly an actor par excellence and his performance as Winston Churchill is awe-inspiring (every chance of winning the Male Leading Role). But I am real doubtful about the movie winning big this year.
An African-American guy meets his white girlfriend’s parents for the weekend but things are not exactly what it seems to be. There lies some dark dangerous secrets that changes his life forever.
Now a low budget horror thriller gets nominated in the Best picture category – well, that’s a first!
Jordan Peele‘s direction and Daniel Kaluuya acting are spot on; though honestly to me the film apparently doesn’t look like a tough competition as an Oscar contender but you never know, unpredictability is the name of the game!
A beautifully shot film directed by Luca Guadagnino and superb performances by Armie Hammer and Timothée Chalamet. Though not nominated in the direction, cinematography or editing categories it is a tough aim for the big spot but then if the movie snatches the Oscar I would say it totally deserved it.
An incredible love-story between a mute lady-janitor and an amphibious creature that being held captive at a top secret research facility.
With 13 nominations, directed by acclaimed filmmaker Guillermo del Toro and a superb performance by Sally Hawkinsthis visually stunning movie probably has the highest bets for the award. My favourite too. Fingers crossed!
The tale of a fugitive poet and his flitting poetries; Cinema at it’s best!
My Ratings: 4.3/5
There is nothing as beautiful an experience as a blend of pure poetry in cinema; when the dialogues turn into lucid verses, and the visuals infuse with the rhythm of the poet’s manoeuvring voice.
Yes, that’s exactly what the film Neruda is all about!
Essentially based on two characters – “In this fiction, we all revolve around the protagonist. A hero and a supporting character.”
‘The protagonist’ is none other than the famous Chilean poet Pablo Neruda who won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1971. But this is a story that dates much before the poet’s international fame, in the late 1940s when Neruda is being hunted in his own country for being a Communist!
And the ‘supporting character’ is Óscar Peluchonneau (played by none other than Gael García Bernal), the determined police officer who has the specific orders to hunt down Neruda – to ‘catch him and humiliate him’.
Thus in between the priceless poetries and the endless humours, between the artist’s vulnerability and the stalker’s frustration – we experience a classic cat and mouse game, ‘a wild hunt’ that ends the way you would have least expected!
Directed by one of my favourite filmmaker Pablo Larraín, this one has already been selected as the official submission of Chile for the ‘Best Foreign Language Film’ category for the 89th Academy Awards in 2017!
The performance of a life time by Luis Gnecco, as he plays the ever-popular, exotic, intellectual poet, Mercedes Morán as his aristocratic wife and then of course the stunning Gael García Bernal, the man who will chase down Neruda till the snowy surreal horizon.
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!
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!