In Contention

We’re getting into the heart of awards season, and I’m forgetting which movies I’ve seen and which I haven’t. But I’ve (mostly) broken down my Top Ten for the year and I’m filing my TFCA ballot tonight, which will put an end to the constant deliberations and reprioritizing in my head. It’s been exhausting.

Meanwhile, here’s this week’s stuff!

All Governments Lie: Truth, Deception and the Spirit of I.F. Stone: Fred Peabody’s documentary examines the way the corporate media consistently fails to serve the public interest. Susan found it a little US-centric, but I thought that was the whole point.

Jackie: Natalie Portman plays the enigmatic First Lady in Pablo Larraín’s impressionistic biopic, which focuses on the window of time immediately after the assassination of JFK. Susan liked it a bit more than I did — Portman’s great, and so is Peter Sarsgaard as a grieving RFK, but the movie around them is a little mannered.

Lion: Dev Patel and Nicole Kidman do great things with thin material, and Glenn is willing to give Garth Davis’ inspirational true story a pass on the basis of its emotional impact … but I was too distracted by its mechanics to ever invest in the story. 

Miss Sloane: Jessica Chastain is terrific as a Washington lobbyist who shocks the system when she applies her remorseless tradecraft to a noble cause, but John Madden’s mediocre movie never rises to her level.

Office Christmas Party: All-star corporate mayhem, duuuuuude! It is what it is. Rad‘s review will be online later today. UPDATE: Oh, well.

Sadie’s Last Days on Earth: Michael Seater’s YA dramedy has some good ideas and solid performances, and that’s enough to carry it over some of the rougher stuff.

Sugar Mountain: A hoax spins dangerously out of control in Richard Gray’s wintry thriller, opening for a run at the Kingsway with very little fanfare. UPDATE: Postponed at the last minute!

Tampopo: Juzo Itami’s  noodle Western returns in a new digital restoration, remains both insane and delightful — though perhaps not as daring as it was back in 1985.

That’s everything, I think. Now, back to my ballot. Keep an eye on the TFCA’s Twitter account Sunday afternoon for news of the awards!

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