Reviews of Movies, TV shows & metro Detroit Restaurants

Short movie & TV show reviews and metro Detroit restaurant reviews

Sunday, April 18, 2021

Reviews & Ratings for the 2021 Oscar Best Picture Nominees

I have now seen all of the 2021 Best Picture nominees and I liked all of them. But none of them would be considered “pick me up” movies as they are all pretty intense with a lot of heartbreak. Given the last year, it’d have been nice to have something nominated that was more refreshing and a lot less heavy. are my ratings for each in the order that I liked them.

Judas and the Black Messiah (

While I could have watched Judas and the Black Messiah from home, I was fortunate enough to see it in a theater. It's a fantastic & powerful movie with great performances from the entire cast, but especially from Daniel Kaluuya as Black Panther Party chairman Fred Hampton & Lakeith Stanfield (who I've loved since I first saw him in the TV show Atlanta) as party infiltrator Bill O'Neal. I didn't know the story of Hampton prior to seeing this movie and sadly I wasn't surprised by how it ended. This is an excellent movie...9.0/10 stars

Nomadland is a wonderful journey and a great story. Francis McDormand is in every scene and turns in an outstanding performance as modern-day nomad Fern. The following quote from the movie says it all:

“One of the things I love most about this life is that there's no final goodbye. You know, I've met hundreds of people out here and I don't ever say a final goodbye. I always just say, ‘I'll see you down the road.’”

I did really like this movie...8.5/10 stars

I’ve been a fan of Riz Ahmed since I first saw him in the HBO miniseries The Night Of. His performance in Sound of Metal carries this movie to another level and I was very impressed with him in this role of heavy metal drummer Ruben who loses his hearing. While the supporting performances by Olivia Cooke (playing Ruben’s girlfriend & band partner Lou and who I’ve liked since I first saw her in the TV show Bates Motel) and Paul Raci (playing Joe, the man who runs the shelter for deaf recovering addicts that Ruben goes to) are outstanding, it’s Ahmed’s that carries the movie. The movie’s portrayal of Ruben’s deafness is outstanding and I really liked it...8.0/10 stars

Promising Young Woman (

I had heard that this movie was good, but didn't really know what it was about. At the time I saw it, movie theaters had just reopened. Since I needed happy things in my life and going to movies makes me happy, I went to see it in a theater. And I am very glad that I did! I guess it's probably technically a thriller, but it has moments of comedy (albeit dark) & romance as well. Carey Mulligan plays Cassandra who goes on quite the journey in this movie and she might just win her first Oscar for her performance. I really liked it...8.0/10 stars

I think Citizen Kane is an overrated movie. Apparently, its filmmaking is groundbreaking and that is probably true, but I just don’t think it’s that great of a story. I actually like Mank, a movie about the writer of Citizen Kane (Herman Mankiewicz), better than the movie whose story it’s telling. I think Gary Oldman carries this movie as Mankiewicz and Amanda Seyfried’s (who I have liked since first seeing her in the HBO series Big Love) supporting performance as actress Marion Davies is brilliant. I definitely liked it...8.0/10 stars

Immigrants frequently come to the United States to find a better life than what they had in their home country. That is the ultimate American dream and how the U.S. was founded. Minari is a movie that tells this exact story, with the immigrants in this case coming to Arkansas from South Korea. It’s a wonderful telling of just such a story. It has moments of humor, but is quite dramatic otherwise and heart-wrenching. All of the performances are great, from the kids (Anne played by Noel Kate Cho and David played by Alan Kim) all the way to the grandma (played perfectly by Youn Yuh-jung and deserving of her Oscar nomination). But Steven Yuen really stood out for me playing the father Jacob Yi and I’ve liked him ever since I first saw him in The Walking Dead (plus he grew up in Michigan!). His Best Actor nomination is also well-deserved. I enjoyed this movie a lot...8.0/10 stars

The Trial of the Chicago Seven (

I knew very little about the uprising at the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago going into this movie. It is a compelling story and The Trial of the Chicago Seven does a great job of telling it. Aaron Sorkin is one of the greatest screenwriters of all time and while this isn’t his greatest screenplay, he does tell this story well. What shocked me the most about this story was the treatment of Bobby Seale during the trial (told accurately by the movie) and this at times was difficult to watch, but a necessary part of the story. I liked this movie...8.0/10 stars

I’m not sure if anyone could have done a better job of portraying Anthony (an aging man who must deal with his progressing memory loss) than Anthony Hopkins (and not just because they have the same name!). Like so many of this year’s Best Picture nominees, a great performance by this powerhouse actor carries this movie. The Father depicts Anthony’s memory loss as if the audience IS Anthony and living through his confusion. It’s a sad story that is difficult to watch at times, which is why it’s my least favorite of the nominees. But I still liked it quite a bit...8.0/10 stars

No comments: