Vice and Green Book were the last two films nominated for Best Picture at the 2019 Oscars that I had yet to see. I had heard mixed things about both movies but I was excited to see them, especially Vice given how much I loved the work of director Adam McKay with The Big Short.
I also had the chance to see Can You Ever Forgive Me? which has been lauded when it comes to the performances given by Melissa McCarthy and Richard E. Grant. I was not expecting any of these three movies to be bad and, thankfully, they were not and you can see my short reviews for all of them below.
While I do not think that Vice is on the same level of quality as The Big Short, it is a good, entertaining satire. Christian Bale is absolutely phenomenal as Dick Cheney and he continues to show that he is one of the best actors working today. He transforms into this role, especially as an older Dick Cheney pulling all the strings in the Bush Administration.
Still, even though I liked the film, it is not Best Picture worthy. In terms of acting, it is stellar and it has some great moments from a comedic and dramatic perspective. Yet, it is not as clinical in its execution as The Big Short was.
The movie took more of a shotgun approach in its storytelling structure and it means that Vice is hit and miss but the approach Adam McKay took did work overall. However, the execution of what this movie was trying to achieve could have been a bit better.
Can You Ever Forgive Me?
Can You Ever Forgive Me? is a film with an okay story that is elevated by great acting. I thought this was a decent movie. The story is a bit boring but Melissa McCarthy and Richard E. Grant keep you engaged through their great individual acting as well as the chemistry they have together.
The film has its funny moments as well as some great poignant moments in the third act. But, in the end, I did find Can You Ever Forgive Me? to be a bit unremarkable and it is not a film I will revisit any time soon.
Green Book has been quite a polarising film and not without controversy with the way it deals with its subject matter but I personally thought it was a really good movie. Once Tony (Viggo Mortensen) and Don Shirley (Mahershala Ali) are together, the film really hits its stride.
The chemistry between Viggo and Mahershala is fantastic and they really elevate the material they were given to work with. The film has great humour as well as serious moments and it all blends together quite well.
I was really invested in the relationship between Don and Tony and their relationship developed to a point where the friendship and connection they made was really genuine to me. The way this film ends is very uplifting even if it is a bit cliché.
I do understand why the film has not worked for everyone though. Moreover, while it can be argued that a nomination for Best Picture is just about deserved, it should not be in the running to win this award. Still, my experience with Green Book was a positive one.