05. 03. 17 / Views
In Moonlight

So far, I’ve only watched 6/9 Best Picture nominees in the recently concluded Oscars. I’ll try to watch all of them but don’t quote me on that.

Here are my short reviews and my favorite quotes from them: (WARNING: Spoilers ahead!)

ARRIVAL
I enjoyed watching this movie just because it’s sci-fi and it’s refreshing to see this genre stand up against Drama in the Best Picture category. I love the flashforwards in the movie and I think Amy Adams and Jeremy Renner’s acting were superb. The film was good in a low-key kind of way. I especially loved that they named their daughter “Hannah,” which is a palindrome–meaning it can be read the same way forwards or backwards, just like how heptapods write their language.

Language is the foundation of civilization. The first weapon drawn in a conflict.

HACKSAW RIDGE
Didn’t think I could take Andrew Garfield with a Southern accent seriously but, well, he pulled it off. His acting was actually good. I also didn’t think I could sit through another one of Mel Gibson’s gory movies but I did because Garfield was so compelling to watch. I liked how they ended with Garfield on a stretcher on his way down like so many of those he saved then continued to show footage of the real people the movie was based on.

With the world so set on tearing itself apart, it don’t seem like such a bad thing to me to want to put a little bit of it back together.

HIDDEN FIGURES
All I can say while watching this movie was, “Yes!” because it empowered me so much as a woman of color 1I’m a Filipina, so I’m Malayo-Polynesian. I loved Taraji Henson, Janelle Monae (she is killing it in acting) and Octavia Spencer. Also liked Glen Powell even though I thought I couldn’t see him another way because of his role in Scream Queens season 1 lol. The narrative was good, there wasn’t a moment I was bored while watching this movie. I’m surprised it didn’t win any Oscars.

Yes, they let some women do some things at NASA, Mr. Johnson. And it’s not because we wear skirts, it’s because we wear glasses.

LA LA LAND
I’m a sucker for musicals (Hamilton is my jam). The lead roles were poorly-written but the story, music and cinematography were amazing. It’s good because it combined elements of Hollywood’s classic musical films but it wasn’t anything new for me. Still, I held out hope for a happy ending of Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling’s characters even if I knew they weren’t gonna get it.

I’m always gonna love you.

MOONLIGHT
Moonlight definitely deserved the award. I love how the story was told in three parts–my favorite was Chiron, the teenager. The film portrayed Chiron so genuinely that even though I didn’t go through what he went through, I feel like I experienced his life. It goes to show that you don’t have to be the exact same person in able to feel empathy for them. And it’s so important in today’s dialogue that a POC movie won among mostly white films.

In moonlight, black boys look blue.

MANCHESTER BY THE SEA
The story was sad in a good way, but I wasn’t impressed by Casey Affleck’s acting. I think Garfield deserved the award more but then again I haven’t seen the other nominated actors’ films. Would recommend watching this if you feel numb and you want to feel something because this movie will give you all the feels.

Patrick: Where are we going, to the orphanage?
Lee: Shut up. Get in the car.
Patrick: Can’t obey your orders until you unlock the door.

Regarding the whole Best Picture debacle–what an embarrassment! It took the Academy two minutes to correct the announcement. Horowitz, the La La Land producer who announced that Moonlight won, looked rude when he snatched the envelope from Warren Beatty’s hand but he gets a point for stepping up and letting the audience know that it was Moonlight that won.

What’s your favorite Best Picture nominee this year?

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P.S. New layout is up! Tried to incorporate a little bit of color for a change. Peach is currently my favorite.

Footnotes   [ + ]

1. I’m a Filipina, so I’m Malayo-Polynesian
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18 Comments | Leave one? ⇡

    On March 5th, 2017, Elisa said,
  1. I have only watched Arrival and I love love it. I’m so sad it only won one oscar (correct me if i’m wrong) and i wish it won like THE BEST of all or something. Arrival isn’t the kind of scifi movie that everyone can understand but my sassy ego likes to think it’s because those people cannot handle movies with metaphors and symbolisms and think deep enough since they prefer shallow films, pfft. I watched it with my boyfriend and i was the only one who left the cinema with star struck eyes and wanted to go on and on about how, if i were to really write a scifi book, Arrival is the kind of material i hope and wish i can come up with. Scifi films tend to have lots of aliens and those shit invading earth bla bla bla but Arrival does it differently and is very good at executing it. Instead of wanting to wreck earth, the heptapods are actually GIVING us “weapons” in the form of words which is hella amazing because not a lot of people use language as metaphorical weapons. Ugh, i just adore that film and i will go batshit crazy if anyone bash it in front of my face, lol. My boyfriend wasn’t THAT impressed though because he has always been more simple minded than i am (he’s an esfp and i’m an intj so there you go) and he was left confused, though he didn’t go and say arrival sucks because if he did, i would have slapped him.

    I actually chose Arrival over la la land when i went to the cinema. I don’t regret i did. Because while la la land would be, no doubt, beautiful thanks to all the cinematography, music and costume design, i personally think it’s a film only musical lovers would be squealing at. Does that make sense? I’m not a huge fan of musicals. I only wanna watch la la land for emma stone but i thought i can just do that via download or streaming anyway. Arrival, on the other hand, is more of a feature film that may appeal to not only scifi lovers but other people too. It’s like… For la la land, it’s obvious what kind of people would enjoy it while for arrival, it can be a wild guess, you know? I’m trying to judge the two without being biased though lol
    While one is a fun, melodious ride filled with colorful lights and twirling dresses, the other one is a laidback, slow paced curiosity with underlying metaphorical idea.

    [Reply]

    On March 5th, 2017, Gillan replied:

    Yes, Arrival is such a good movie without being flashy! I love how it’s subtle compared to other sci-fi movies that are all explosions and fighting off an alien race.
    It’s good because the film forces one to think and dig deeper.
    Like I said, La La Land was good but it was nothing new, which is what I hated about it because it didn’t add anything fresh to the musical genre. It was just a big celebration of Hollywood, basically lmao

    [Reply]


  2. On March 5th, 2017, Pauline said,
  3. Out of the list, I’ve only seen La La Land and I really loved it <3 It was such a lovely, cute, romantic musical. I love musicals in general so maybe I'm biased xD I liked the ending, it hurt a lot personally because I could SO relate but it was great :)
    Pauline recently posted Embracing Global Diversity 🌎My Profile

    [Reply]

    On March 6th, 2017, Gillan replied:

    @Pauline, same! That’s sad to hear, but just like in the film, there will always be better days ahead and better things to come <3

    [Reply]


  4. On March 6th, 2017, Sasha said,
  5. I watched Hacksaw Ridge, back in February.
    I whole-heartedly hate war movies, so I went to watch Gibson’s film thinking Garfield would be the only good element in it and hopefully enough to not get bored….boy, was I wrong. I still don’t like war films, but Hacksaw Ridge is spectacular and Garfield is just the cherry on top of a movie that deserved to win every Oscar it was nominated for – especially the Best Picture one. <3

    [Reply]

    On March 6th, 2017, Gillan replied:

    @Sasha, Right?? I also hate war movies because they’re bloody and gory. But I managed to sit through Hacksaw Ridge because the story was that good!

    [Reply]

    On March 9th, 2017, Sasha replied:

    @Gillan, That’s the exact reason why I too dislike war movies and why (in addition to Andrew Garfield) I loved Hacksaw Ridge….but I’ll probably watch La La Land as well since I love musicals, but just to try to understand why it caused so much hype – as the songs didn’t really get me excited as musicals’ should. -_-

    The Huawei P8 is very good; my mum has a Huawei P9 and I love it, that’s why I put the P8 in my final choices – I went with the Wiko mainly due to my budget, but I’m still happy with my choice. <3

    [Reply]


  6. On March 6th, 2017, Deanna said,
  7. I’m not sure if I’ve ever watched The Oscars haha. I also haven’t seen any of these movies. I really haven’t watched many movies since I stopped working at the theater about 10 years ago. I wonder why that is?

    [Reply]

    On March 6th, 2017, Gillan replied:

    @Deanna, I only watch it to get movie recommendations haha
    Is it because you’ve been around movies and got enough of it for a lifetime? :lol: However, there are always new and exciting movies to watch and learn from :D

    [Reply]


  8. On March 6th, 2017, Audrey | Brunch at Audrey's said,
  9. I’ve only watched Arrival and La La Land, but I’ve been meaning to watch Hidden Figures for the longest time! Have you read the short story that Arrival is based on? It’s fantastic! (Story of Your Life by Ted Chiang.) La La Land’s cinematography was beautiful but there’s no doubt that there were some serious underlying issues! -Audrey | Brunch at Audrey’s

    [Reply]

    On March 6th, 2017, Gillan replied:

    @Audrey, you should go watch Hidden Figures, it’s very entertaining and empowering to watch :)
    I didn’t know that, will definitely read it, thanks!
    It is, the camera techniques are amazing. However, I feel like they just combined tropes of Hollywood musicals all in one film lol

    [Reply]


  10. On March 6th, 2017, Claudine said,
  11. I’m not really a movie person (I’m more into theater), but I’ve heard really good things about Hacksaw Ridge and La La Land. My friends and my teachers are raving about them! :D
    Claudine recently posted January 2017: Taichung – HighlightsMy Profile

    [Reply]

    On March 6th, 2017, Gillan replied:

    @Claudine, same except I’m more of a book person haha
    They are, you should go see them! <3

    [Reply]


  12. On March 7th, 2017, Richel V. said,
  13. I haven’t seen any of these movies since I don’t really watch a lot of them. :( Lowkey wishing there are award shows for books too, lol. BUT now I’m intrigued. I think I’ll start off with La La Land then the one with Garfield on it.

    xo, Richel V.

    [Reply]

    On March 10th, 2017, Gillan replied:

    @Richel V., an awards show for books is actually a good idea! Hope you enjoy them! ☺

    [Reply]


  14. On March 15th, 2017, Gillan said,
  15. […] relative: true, offset: [10, 10] });, but I am a sucker for musicals, as I’ve stated in my Oscars post. So when I read that Hamilton is a hip hop musical, I couldn’t fathom it. However, when I […]


  16. On March 19th, 2017, Gillan said,
  17. […] think a book review is long overdue seeing as how I’ve reviewed films and music here but had not yet written about my favorite pastime. So without further ado, I […]


  18. On March 31st, 2017, Gillan said,
  19. […] I have also reviewed Arrival and Manchester by the Sea before and you can read it here. […]