And the Oscar Goes To… Not a Clue

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Review: True History of the Kelly Gang

The film opens with, “Nothing you’re about to see is true,” so you know that even though it’s based on the true story of an infamous Australian outlaw and folk hero, extensive liberties have been taken. Adapted from a novel by Peter Carey, True History of the Kelly Gang is really Ned Kelly’s (George MacKay, 1917) story. It’s told in two parts: young Ned’s education at the hands of his less than perfect parents and grown Ned’s criminal life and death. The first part gives you a sense of how he became who he was. The second part is less coherent.

Quickie Review: 1917

I’m not big on epic war dramas. They all tend to share the same brutal message: War is hell. But 1917 is surprisingly engaging, and best seen on the biggest screen possible. It’s an immersive, visceral film that relies on a gimmick of sorts to set it apart from classic war movies like Apocalypse Now, Saving Private Ryan, Dunkirk, etc. The film is designed to give the impression that it’s all shot in one continuous take. Gimmick or not, it works. 1917 follows the perilous journey of two young British soldiers sent across enemy lines at the height of the First World War to deliver a message that could potentially save 1600 men from walking into a deadly trap set by the Germans. It reeks of a suicide mission from the start. But one of the young men, Lance Corporal Blake (Game of Thrones’ Dean-Charles Chapman) has a very personal stake in getting the message across. His brother is among those heading into an ambush.

Captain Fantastic

I really liked this film. It’s another that was somewhat under the radar that I think audiences would love if they knew a bit more about it. So… Captain Fantastic is about a single father raising six kids somewhere in the forests of the Pacific Northwest. He’s teaching them to be resourceful and both intellectually and physically rigorous. But a death forces the family to leave their paradise for the real world and confront the pros and cons of their cut-off existence. It’s funny, touching, and thought provoking.