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Non-Review Review: I, Tonya

I, Tonya is a biopic for the post-truth era. It is also brilliant.

The subject of I, Tonya will be casually familiar to most viewers, the figure skater Tonya Harding who was implicated in an attack on fellow figure skater Kerrigan. The incident was a flashpoint for the nascent twenty-four hour news cycle in the early nineties, although most people remember it as a warm-up for the O.J. Simpson case only shortly afterwards. As such, I, Tonya feels like the perfect window through which to examine the modern era’s obsessive celebrity-focused culture and the desire to turn our heroes into monsters for the audience’s viewing pleasure.

Putting her own spin on it.

I, Tonya is fascinating on that level alone. Its characters repeatedly break the fourth wall in an attempt to steer and control the narrative, but occasionally do so to indict the audience for their complicity. I, Tonya is a film that understands it cannot be about this media maelstrom without being part of this media maelstrom. There’s a canny knowingness to I, Tonya, an understanding that a movie about culture’s slipping grip on the idea of reality cannot be too earnest or too sincere.

I, Tonya repeatedly suggests that its story may stray into the realm of fantasy and fiction, but the movie still packs a real punch.

Get your skates on, mate.

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Non-Review Review: Nightcrawler

Nightcrawler features a tour de force performance from Jake Gyllenhaal.

Gyllenhaal plays Louie (“call me Lou”) Bloom, a wandering and lost soul who stalks late-night Los Angeles in search of a lucrative pay-day. He is just trying to get his foot on the ladder any way that an entrepreneurial young gentleman can – he’s introduced stealing construction supplies and scrap metal so he can sell them on, seguing effortlessly into a well-rehearsed job pitch applying for an unpaid internship.

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Bloom seems like a man who has watched people from a distance for years, almost through a filter. Gyllenhaal injects a haunting eccentricity into the character, his wide eyes and practised stillness almost edging Bloom into the uncanny valley. Though he seems to always know just what to say, there’s something distinctly inhuman about Lou Bloom. He watches people, but from the outside. He has got a pretty passable impersonation of a human being down, but there’s just something missing.

Nightcrawler is a fascinating, harrow and occasional wry look at desperation and ruthlessness – and the heady cocktail they make when blended together.

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Non-Review Review: Morning Glory

Early in Morning Glory, our plucky female lead (TM) is interviewing for a position at a major morning show. Asked to outline her vision, she states that “no story is too high or too low” for the show to tackle. Unfortunately, the film makes it clear that the emphasis on that last part. Because this is exactly what we need – a movie about how morning shows aren’t dumb enough.

It's a news day...

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It’s the Hurt Locker!

I’ll probably have a more well thought out reaction tomorrow, but woot! My brother owes me €10!

He looks kinda like an Oscar statuette!

Other than that though, didn’t this seem like the most predictable Oscars ever, with the acting categories all sewn up even before nominations were announced? Still, great to see Mo’Nique and Christoph Waltz win. I particularly liked Mo’Nique’s confirmation it could be “about the performance and not the politics” – though I’m cynical enough to see her season-long disengagement as a calculated political move, it still made me smile.

Batman 3 and Superman Reboot Confirmed…

Wow. It looks like getting Nolan to sign on for Batman 3 wasn’t the hard part. It was getting him to sign on to be the brains behind the new Superman reboot. Yes, there’s a new Superman reboot coming. Guess DC is finally doing something with the Man of Steel. Looks like it’s no longer just fanboy hopes riding on Christopher Nolan – it’s the future of DC comics on film.

Forget Clark Kent, Christopher Nolan is the real Superman...

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See-Saw: Lionsgate Torturing Saw VII Director

This is the kind of Hollywood dickishness that you can’t imagine really taking place, but it seems that it is. Apparently a turf war between the Saw and Paranormal Activity franchises has brought out the inner childish jerk in everyone, and left director Kevin Greutert stuck in the middle. For a series which is devoted to torture porn, it seems that life is imitating art.

Apparently Lionsgate have been taking lessons from Jigsaw...

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Is Avatar Addictive?

I read an interesting article on Avatar over at CNN last week, which basically suggested that some audience members were feeling a deep depression on returning home from the cinema. Since my dislike of the film appears to a very minority view (a borderline fringe view, to be completely honest), I will assume it has nothing to do with the poor storytelling of the movie. Instead, they seem to depressed at the prospect of leaving Pandora, having been so immersed in the 3D world that James Cameron had created.

Did the end of Avatar leave you feeling blue?

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