The Shape of Water

An aquatic quest that dives into unchartered waters.

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Whilst working night shifts as a cleaner at a high-security government laboratory, Elisa (Sally Hawkins) discovers the unthinkable as she stumbles across a water-born creature like no other.

As a mute, the character of Elisa has zero dialogue throughout this frighteningly original plot, making the quiet silence of the film uniquely eerie whilst still unfathomably intriguing.

Despite this lack of verbal discourse, the film does not suffer from a lack of communication due to the addition of subtitles.

Director, Guillermo Del Toro, is able to further instigate a sense of context by surrounding the main character with a support system of actors, thereby adding both authenticity and understanding.

Though the film is excellently produced and artistically executed, the plot itself baffles in its direction with its haphazard storylines which gives way to disorientated confusion.

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The Mercy

An oceanic adventure that ends in a wave of merciless peril.

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Donald Crowhurst (Colin Firth) is determined to be the first novice sailor to win the Golden Globe Race, but his admirable motivation soon becomes a distant memory when he finds himself alone on a yacht in the middle of the ocean with little hope of winning.

Despite being based upon the true tale of Crowhurst’s 1968 defeat, Director James Marsh reconstructs every inch of this dramatic demise with a touch of fictional elegance which allows for a fairytale discovery that leaves the historical facts trailing behind.

With Firth taking on such a delicate and somewhat lonely character, the expectation of emotional success could be comprised, but Firth manages to excel in this department by showcasing his tumultuous talent which radiates throughout the film, creating an unrelenting emotional connection between actor and audience.

Though at its core this film is riddled with sadness and defeat, it still stands as a testament to a man willing to risk everything to pursue his dream of adventure.

 

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Justice has never looked better in the headlights.

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After her daughter was raped, murdered and then burnt, Mildred Hayes (Frances McDormand) takes the law into her own hands when she puts up three controversial billboards questioning the local police forces’ lackluster investigations.

Though the film is incredibly serious in its nature, the ludicrously wonderful levels of sarcasm and general humor injected into the script provide ample relief for what is a painfully heart-wrenching tragedy.

At the heart of this comic relief are Frances McDormand and Woody Harrelson (Chief Willoughby) who take the craft of acting to a new level, with beautifully sensitive performances that give their characters a quiet sensitivity which is echoed throughout the storyline of the film.

Regardless of this films inherent delicacy, as a stand-alone piece of cinema, it is a spectacular culmination of small-town community and human compassion.

Downsizing

Little is the new big.

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Financially strapped for cash, Paul (Matt Damon) and his wife Audrey (Kristen Wiig) decide to take part in the latest scientific breakthrough; downsizing.

The logistics of this film are somewhat tricky when big meets small, but director Alexander Payne, seems to take on the challenge as he creates a world that is befitting to the characteristics of all sizes.

Though this film has the makings of greatness, unfortunately, the plot falls short of its potential as the story escalates into a battle of confused madness, which almost seems to run away with itself, all whilst leaving the audience behind in a muddled haze.

Even the quick wit of Christoph Waltz (Dusan) isn’t enough to save this film from its epic decline, but it does at least provide some comic relief from an unrelenting plot disaster.

The Post

Uncomfortably accurate in this time of political unease.

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After the papers release incriminating documents regarding the government’s involvement in the Vietnamese war, President Nixon takes on The Washington Post in an attempt to stifle the freedom of the press in a lawsuit like no other.

Director, Steven Spielberg, manages to adapt this significant moment of journalistic history into a stark tale of government intervention which hits at the very core of politics today.

With Meryl Streep and Tom Hanks at the helm of this non-fiction escapade, the film is given a subtle sense of maturity that adds to the already beautifully constructed frenzy of the plot.

In essence, the film is a realization of the economics of journalism, which strives to serve the governed, rather than the government.

Just Say Goodbye

A beautifully constructed emotional rollercoaster that manages to ebb into every facet of life as we know it.

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Jesse (Max MacKenzie) is a kid like no other, he has a drunk for a father and a mother who was a victim to suicide; and all this before the age of sixteen. His only saving grace in his ever-deteriorating existence is his best friend, Sarah (Katerina Eichenberger).

A film with suicide at its core is never an easy subject to breach, especially in the marketplace of independent productions. Though new(ish) to the film industry, the team behind this production manages to tackle this enormously complex labyrinth of feelings with such ease it’s as though Director, Matt Walting, has been constructing such wonderfully unique dynamics for years.

The actors too shine from start to finish, as their enthusiastic energy becomes an integral component of the film’s overall subtle sensibility, that engulfs the audience with captivating finesse.

For a film with such a limited budget, it has reached heights that rival even the big screen giants, clearing the way for a very successful awards season and even more successful future for Walting Entertainment.

Click here to find out more about this film.

Darkest Hour

So many people to save, so little time.

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With an impossible task ahead, Winston Churchill is promoted to the role of Prime Minister, will little hope of resolve in the impending doom of WWII.

Gary Oldman takes center stage as Churchill to bring one of the greatest stories in recent history to the big screen, and I can think of no better man to do it.

A story as well known as this one is always somewhat difficult to reinvent and captivate, but director Joe Wright seems to have taken it in his stride, with the minor details becoming major details in this most unusual retelling of history.

What begins as a nose dive into a war engulfed Britain, soon becomes a noisy mess, as viewers are resigned to witness a slow slog of heavy dialogue, which makes this film feel like a long haul flight with no sign of any available parachutes.

Though this film may lag at points, the overall content provides an insight into one of the greatest minds this country has ever seen and reveals the baffling conflict of WWII politics, as the brunt of war is encrypted in secrecy.