In a final push for Oscar time, I threw a few movies on the Netflix queue to try and catch up before Sunday’s ceremony. Most of them didn’t come, but we did get to watch two.
What a small and lovely film about basic human decency, and how messed up our nation’s immigration system has become. Richard Jenkins indeed gives a Oscar-worthy performance; it’s reserved for much of the movie, but that’s absolutely part of the character. The supporting cast (Haaz Sleiman, Danai Jekesai Gurira, and Hiam Abbass) were all very strong in this movie. It’s well-paced and doesn’t have a lame Hollywood ending. Well worth seeing.
A movie like this rises up from, “Huh, that’s kind of odd and sad,” to “Ugh, that is creepy!” when you see those fateful words at the beginning – “based on a true story.” I won’t rag on Angelina Jolie here – she was very good in the role and totally believable. I will say, however, that I don’t think it was one of the best performances this year (I’d easily choose Cate Blanchett in Benjamin Button instead). I think most of what makes Jolie seem so good is the intense story that her character is surrounded by in Clint Eastwood’s well-directed story. And even the plot starts strong but begins to drag in the final half-hour.
Stay tuned for my Oscar predictions, coming tomorrow!