MOVIE: Doubt (2008)

Doubt Year: 2008 Rating: PG-13 Length: 104 minutes / 1.73 hours Years before Spotlight (2015) won the Oscar for Best Picture, Doubt (2008) took a hard look at the scandals that have been in the Catholic Church for some time and presented a gripping parable of gossip versus evidence. Aside from this central point, I found Doubt to be a fantastic movie filled with contrasts. The differences between male and female leaders in the Church only heightened the fundamental conflict between Meryl Streep and Philip Seymour Hoffman’s characters. Add to this the hardline stance of Streep’s Sister Aloysius, who has no flexibility for rules that aren’t actually in the Bible, and the result is an incredible look into changing times. Aside from Streep and Hoffman, Amy Adams and Viola Davis also gave superb performances full of raw and heartfelt emotion. In fact, I’d recommend everyone watch this film just for the career-defining roles of these individuals. Even among these, the intense ambiguity involved with Doubt’s...
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MOVIE: Little Women (2019)

Little WomenYear: 2019Rating: PGLength: 135 minutes / 2.25 hours After the success of Greta Gerwig’s debut film, Lady Bird (2017), I was pleased to find her directing again with a tried and true classic, Little Women (2019). This movie isn’t new or its content original by any means (this is the seventh film adaptation after all). However, Gerwig has managed to give it a poignancy and relevance to today’s issues while still maintaining an apparent loyalty to the period. It probably helped that Gerwig had tons of acting talent along for this film, including collaborators from her last film: Saoirse Ronan and Timothée Chalamet. In the end, I found this to be perhaps my most favorite adaptation of this classic piece of literature. Where Gerwig shines in this film is her ability to use flashbacks and dueling timelines to show the contrast and growth of the characters in stark moments of brilliance. My one qualm is that this technique was perhaps used...
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MOVIE: The Post (2017)

The Post Year: 2017 Rating: PG-13 Length: 116 minutes / 1.93 hours At this point, I just wonder if every movie Steven Spielberg makes that has anything to do with war (Schindler’s List (1994), Saving Private Ryan (1999), War Horse (2012), Lincoln (2013), Bridge of Spies (2015)) is just automatically given a Best Picture nomination. Don’t get me wrong, Spielberg has made a lot of quality movies that should be recognized and awarded. The question is more about the state of Hollywood films. Is there nothing else out there by up-and-coming filmmakers that would supplant a Spielberg film in the nominee list? Don’t even get me started on Meryl Streep’s nominations, either. Of course, in part due to the all-star power of Spielberg, and the leading roles filled by Tom Hanks and Meryl Streep, The Post (2017) is a movie that builds its tension right until the very end. Despite a somewhat slow start, the stakes are never higher when the ambiguity of publishing classified documents is taken all the way to its logical conclusion. The...
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