The Wolf of Wall Street

leo

One or two instances of dodgy editing aside, TWOWS is a masterpiece. By refusing to focus on the victims, and re-framing the crime as a kind of working class revenge on a system that typically excludes or exploits them, Scorsese permits us to enjoy every drug-addled excess. Leo 4 Oscar.

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Twelve Years a Slave

 

tyas

TYAS is a stunningly beautiful, brilliantly soundtrack-ed and punishingly complex film about the outrage of slavery. More than mere emotion-porn, and somehow subtler than his other films, over and over again McQueen asks us: how can we idly permit such horrors to happen so long as they don’t touch us?

The Great Beauty

tgb

TGB is a ravishing piece of cinema, a Fellini-esque festival of sight and sound in the Italian capital, full of symbolism, touching on questions of philistinism, excess, and the vampirism of the wealthy, old, amoral upper class. It’s also, like the much-referenced artistic ambition of Flaubert’s, about nothing at all.

American Hustle

ah

American Hustle is the cinematic equivalent of pantomime – big hair, big accents, big acting –  a cynical, awards-baiting concoction that plays to the gallery; so slavishly does it follow the formula of last year’s best picture winner, Argo, that it may actually be a sequel. O Russell is better than this.