Movie Awards

LAMB Devours the Oscars 2021: Best Actor in a Leading Role

This year’s awards season is just going on forever, isn’t it? Roll on a bit of movie normality, I say! Last year I wrote a small piece for The LAMB (Large Association of Movie Bloggers) about the Best Lead Actor category at the Oscars, and I was thrilled when Rob got in touch to say that category was still free this year! 2021 is such an incredible year for the Lead Actors. Firstly, the diversity! We love to see it. Secondly, the combined talent of these 5 men is astronomical! Let’s break it down, shall we?

Gary Oldman – Mank

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Now, I might not be a professional critic but I like to make an effort to at least know what I’m talking about. I have to be honest, I find nothing appealing about Mank at all but I’m watching it as I write this in order to give a biased opinion. Gary Oldman is an actor who always gives 100% but if the noise on social media is anything to go by, he’s not in the running to win this year.

Anthony Hopkins – The Father

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The Father was my most recent watch and I think my heart is still hurting from it. My full review will be posted next week but wow, all I can say is believe the hype! Anthony Hopkins plays a character suffering from dementia and struggling to understand what is real and it’s so incridibly easy to sympathise with him. His final scene is his stand-out moment and he played it so well it’s a scene I don’t think I can ever bring myself to watch again.

Steven Yeun – Minari

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Argh, 2020 might have been a bit disappointing for movies generally, but we sure got a handful of gems from it, didn’t we? I didn’t expect Minari to capture my heart in the way that it did, and although that’s largely thanks to Supporting Actress Yuh-Jung Youn, I can’t ignore Steven Yeun. He plays a father desperately trying to create a better life for his family and whilst it’s a quiet and nuanced role, it can’t be ignored.

Riz Ahmed – Sound of Metal

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Can I get a YAAAAAAS for Riz Ahmed? Sound of Metal is growing on me every day that I think about it. I didn’t rave about it after I first watched it but Riz blew me away. Ever since Nightcrawler (2014) I knew he was destined for greatness, and here we are! As much as I would love for him to take the Oscar I don’t think he will – but he stands a decent chance at the BAFTA this weekend I reckon,

Chadwick Boseman – Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom

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Whenever I think about Chadwick or Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom I hope that his passing was a bad dream. He was taken away so, so early and right at the height of his acting career. Before I’d seen his performance as Levee, the dark cynic in me had to wonder if there was a certain level of sympathy behind his nomination, but after watching the movie twice I can say without a shadow of a doubt that isn’t the case. Chadwick absolutely owns this movie and I would argue it’s more Levee’s story than Ma Rainey’s. I don’t think it’s set in stone, but I do think that he’ll win.

Movie Reviews

Minari (2020)

minari-movie-2020-review-posterDirector: Lee Isaac Chung

Genre: Drama

Runtime: 115 Minutes

Main Cast: Steven Yeun, Han Ye-ri, Youn Yuh-jung, Will Patton, Alan Kim, Noel Kate Cho, Scott Haze, Darryl Cox

Plot: Jacob (Steven Yeun) is moving his family from the West Coast to Arkansas in search of a new way of living. His wife Monica (Han Ye-ri) doesn’t approve of the ‘house on wheels’ that he’s bought. Their son David (Alan Kim) and his sister aren’t upset by the move but are bored senseless. That is, until, their Grandma moves in with them.

My Thoughts: It doesn’t matter how many times I get proven wrong, I still judge books by their covers. Or, I guess, movies by their posters. I tried to watch Boyhood (2014) and couldn’t do it, I was bored just as much as the kids in Minari. It’s tainted that little sub-genre of dramas about families with no defined plot, and I wrongly assumed Minari was cut from the same cloth. Now that it’s getting so much award buzz it landed back on my radar and I finally gave it the chance. It’s a beautiful movie that I wished would never end.

The stand out star by far is Youn Yuh-jung, who plays the kids’ grandma. Oh, she reminded me so much of my own Granny at times, I miss her so much. She wasn’t a ‘proper’ grandma either, she didn’t bake cookies – she made what was probably the world’s worst cheese on toast that I still loved. She had what she called her ‘naughty voice’ which is when your mind just really wants to do something childish like, oh I don’t know, push your granddaughter into a bush whilst taking a walk! David hates the fact he has to spend so much time with his grandma but she never stops trying to win him over, even when he plays a cruel prank on her!

Coupled with that strained relationship is Jacob desperately trying to turn the land around their home into a successful farm. He pours in every last penny he has and puts everything on the line – including his relationship with his wife and I wanted so hard for him to succeed. The entire movie is just so wholesome, and tender. There’s no other way to describe it.

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Best Bit: Pretty much every moment between David and his grandma was pure perfection but when David made friends with another boy and his grandma told him that his penis was broken? Absolutely classic! One of those jokes that means absolutely nothing unless you’ve seen the movie, of course.

Worst Bit: I can’t say exactly because of spoilers but if I say ‘Noooo Grandma, what did you do?!’ you’ll hopefully understand what part I mean. My heart sank into my feet at that moment and it was already down to my knees by then. Do me a favour, if you can, and tell your grandmother’s you love her – for me.

Fun Trivia: Steven Yeun’s red hat was a gift from his mother when he was 17.

My Rating: 4 and a half bottles of ‘water from the mountains’.

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