Film review


I’ve read the first book and am looking forward to reading the next two.  I thought the film was excellent, really well done, especially the scene leading up to the entrance into the arena which was extraordinary gripping.  The book and the film are so good in that they challenge long after you’ve finished.  In many ways the world of the hunger games resembles exploitation happening today in our own world.  I’m left with a lingering realization of my own compliance and everyday acceptance of the injustices in our world.

If your interested in some of these provoking themes check out the following links:

Julia Clawson has written what sounds like an excellent commentary on the hunger games trilogy.  The book (currently only an e-book) is called The Hunger Games and the Gospel: Bread, Circuses, and the Kingdom of God.   Homebrewed Christinity interviewed her on their Theology Nerd Throwdown podcast – well worth a listen, here’s the link.

Jesus in ‘The Hunger Games’ a magazine article in Christianity Today

I’ll probably watch some of the oscars on Sunday night so I thought I would have a scorecard to make things a little more interesting, because lets face it the ceremony can go on a bit.

BEST PICTURE

127 Hours

Black Swan

The Fighter

Inception

The Kids Are All Right

The King’s Speech

Winter’s Bone

True Grit

The Social Network

Toy Story 3

My prediction: The King’s Speech

Ann’s prediction: The King’s Speech

Who I think should win: Toy Story 3, a close call with King’s Speech, Black Swan & The Social Network, but surely this is the greatest trilogy ever and deserves to be the first animated movie to win best film.

Note: I haven’t seen True Grit, The Fighter or 127 Hours.

BEST DIRECTOR

Darren Aronofsky – Black Swan

David O Russell – The Fighter

Tom Hooper – The King’s Speech

David Fincher – The Social Network

Joel Coen and Ethan Coen – True Grit

My prediction: David Fincher – The Social Network

Ann’s prediction: Darren Aronofsky – Black Swan

Who I think should win: David Fincher – The Social Network

Note:   I’m really surprised that Christopher Nolan wasn’t nominated for Inception, which was brilliantly directed.  I haven’t seen True Grit or The Fighter.

BEST ACTOR

Colin Firth – The King’s Speech

Jesse Eisenberg – The Social Network

James Franco – 127 Hours

Javier Bardem – Biutiful

Jeff Bridges – True Grit

My prediction: Colin Firth – The King’s Speech

Ann’s prediction: Colin Firth – The King’s Speech

Who I think should win: Colin Firth – The King’s Speech

Note:  I haven’t seen 127 Hours, Biutiful, or True Grit.

BEST ACTRESS

Annette Bening – The Kids Are All Right

Nicole Kidman – Rabbit Hole

Jennifer Lawrence – Winter’s Bone

Natalie Portman – Black Swan

Michelle Williams – Blue Valentine

My prediction: Natalie Portman – Black Swan

Ann’s prediction: Natalie Portman – Black Swan

Who I think should win: Natalie Portman – Black Swan

Note: I haven’t seen Blue Valentine or Rabbit Hole.

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR

Christian Bale – The Fighter

John Hawkes – Winter’s Bone

Jeremy Renner – The Town

Mark Ruffalo – The Kids Are All Right

Geoffrey Rush – The King’s Speech

My prediction: Christian Bale – The Fighter

Ann’s prediction: Geoffrey Rush – The King’s Speech

Who I think should win: John Hawkes – Winter’s Bone

Note: I haven’t seen The Fighter

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS

Amy Adams – The Fighter

Helena Bonham Carter – The King’s Speech

Melissa Leo – The Fighter

Hailee Steinfeld – True Grit

Jacki Weaver – Animal Kingdom

My prediction: Helena Bonham Carter – The King’s Speech

Ann’s prediction: Helena Bonham Carter – The King’s Speech

Who I think should win: Helena Bonham Carter – The King’s Speech

Note: I haven’t seen any of these performance except Helena Bonham Carter’s.

BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM

Biutiful – Mexico

Dogtooth – Greece

In a Better World – Denmark

Incendies – Canada

Outside the Law (Hors-la-loi) – Algeria

My prediction: Biutiful – Mexico

Ann’s prediction: Biutiful – Mexico

Note: I haven’t seen any of these, but I really want to see Gods and Men, which I’ve heard loads of good reviews about so I’m astonished that this wasn’t nominated.

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY

Mike Leigh – Another Year

Scott Silver, Paul Tamasy and Eric Johnson (screenplay), Keith Dorrington & Paul Tamasy & Eric Johnson (story) – The Fighter

Christopher Nolan – Inception

Lisa Cholodenko and Stuart Blumberg – The Kids Are All Right

David Seidler – The King’s Speech

My prediction: David Seidler – The King’s Speech

Ann’s prediction: Christopher Nolan – Inception

Who I think should win: David Seidler – The King’s Speech

Note: I haven’t seen The Fighter or Another Year

BEST ANIMATION

How to Train Your Dragon

The Illusionist

Toy Story 3

My prediction: Toy Story 3

Ann’s prediction: Toy Story 3

Who I think should win: Toy Story 3

Note: I’ve only seen Toy Story 3.

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY

Danny Boyle and Simon Beaufoy – 127 Hours

Aaron Sorkin – The Social Network

Michael Arndt – Toy Story 3

Joel Coen and Ethan Coen – True Grit

Debra Granik & Anne Rosellini – Winter’s Bone

My prediction: Aaron Sorkin – The Social Network

Ann’s prediction: Danny Boyle and Simon Beaufoy – 127 Hours

Who I think should win: Aaron Sorkin – The Social Network

Note: I haven’t seen 127 Hours or True Grit.

RESULTS

Me: 7/10

Ann: 4/10

 

Well Avatar didn’t win the oscar and rightly so in my mind.  The amount of money made by this film is mind boggling (its the highest grossing film of all time) unfortunately the film itself is not.  I personally was not overly impressed, the themes and plot lines are predictable and shallow to say the least, and I was not totally convinced that the 3D effects added to the movie.  A damning review! – perhaps I felt letdown, I had not seen a feature film in 3D before and we went all out for the full IMAX experience.  The hype surrounding the film suggested a truly extraordinary viewing experience, alas it wasn’t to be.  However, there were some themes germane to this blog that merit some attention.  Seemingly in it’s effort to portray a holist view of the environment as well as provide a commentary on environmental concerns in our own time ultimately resulted in a disappointing position on both religion and science.  Let me explain my views; firstly science: a work obsessed, bossy, smoking, drinking, lab coat adorning female scientist who discovers some kind of biologically interconnected sentient life force … really is this the best they could come up with.  Secondly religion: the film clearly espouses pantheism: identifying God with nature, the Creator with the creation (this sentiment was also conveyed in James Cameron’s recent Golden Globe acceptance speech).  This is contra to traditional Christianity which has held the position of divine transcendence, set apart and wholly distinct from creation.  Recent thinking has moved towards the middle ground of panentheism (see, for example, Philip Clayton, God and Contemporary Science, 1997).  Whereby “the Being of God includes and penetrates the whole universe, so that every part exists in Him but (as against pantheism) that his Being is more than, and is not exhausted by, the universe” (The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church).  John Polkinghorne has a more nuanced view (see, for example, Science and Christian Belief/Faith of a Physicist, 1984 and Faith, Science & Understanding, 2000) whereby panentheism isn’t the present reality, but will prove to be the the eschatological (end time) relationship between God and creation.  Although no Philosopher I like this view especially when considered alongside the brilliant passage of Mark 1:10 (“And when he came up out of the water, immediately he saw the heavens being torn open and the Spirit descending on him like a dove” ESV).  This violent imagery of heaven being ripped open, puncturing Earth with that triple point connection of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit in intimate relationship which sets in motion the ministry of “Jesus Christ, the son of God” (Mark 1:1) culminating in the death and resurrection of our Lord and laying the seed of the new creation which will grow until eventually God will be “all in all” (1 Cor. 15:28)