All three of these films receive a five-star review from me.
If Beale Street Could Talk
A beautiful film full of love and sacrifice. If Beale Street Could Talk is another masterstroke perfectly executed by writer-director Barry Jenkins (2017’s Best Picture winner, Moonlight). Uplifted by engrossing performances from actor’s Kiki Layne and Stephan James. While actress Regina King’s performance will bring you to tears. I’ll be rooting for her to win the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress. Visually stunning and wonderfully crafted, our narrative follows a couple (Tish and Alonzo) in the early 1970s. Their dreams are shattered when Alonzo is arrested for a crime he did not commit. Beale Street is presented in a non-linear structure, while the score is meticulously blended underneath. Composer Nicholas Britell (12 years a Slave, Moonlight, and Vice) fills the atmosphere with cellos, brass, and horns. "The cellos really became for us this symbol of love, because the movie is about love and injustice." It’s one of the best films from 2018. Beale Street should also win the Oscar this month for Best Adapted Screenplay. It’s a shame The Academy didn’t give this film recognition for Best Picture. Jenkins’ masterwork deserved to be a nominee. If Beale Street Could Talk is a great American novel (written by author James Baldwin) that’s now been turned into a great American film.
If Beale Street Could Talk is rated R (Restricted). For language and some sexual content.
Cold War (Zimna wojna)
Cold War (Zimna wojna) is a beautiful movie full of love, heartbreak, and politics. Writer-director Pawel Pawlikowski’s (2014’s Ida) masterstroke of gorgeous artistry and jaw-dropping landscapes are breathtaking. Flawlessly crafted and wonderfully acted, Cold War follows the love story of one couple’s on-and-off again relationship throughout the 1950s. This dense 88-minute picture draws you in fast and will leave you speechless by the end. Nominated for three Oscars, Cold War is one of the finest films I’ve seen to display the harsh realities of a grim life incorporated in the ‘50s Poland, Berlin, Yugoslavia, and Paris. Yet, we are also enriched by the sophisticated theatrical show biz of that era. Blended with a jazzy background, Cold War showcases the haze people lived in after the war. Pawlikowski based the story on his real-life parents, who did break up and get together a couple of times as well as moved from one country to another. One could get lost in Pawlikowski’s gorgeous, yet bleak visuals. It's a master craft only by a true artist with a keen eye for beauty. It’s one of my favorite films from 2018 and one of the very best to come out. Dare I say, a bonafide masterpiece.
Cold War is rated R (Restricted). For some sexual content, nudity and language.
Burning (Beoning) is one of the most haunting and most complex movies I’ve seen in recent memory. I highly recommend experiencing this slow-burning masterpiece. This is a film that sticks with you, long after the credits fade away. I can't get it out of my head. Our film follows the complex love triangle between a girl (Jong-seo Jun), a boy (Ah-in Yoo) and a serial killer (Steven Yeun). Burning is a murder mystery infused into the human condition. This haunting spectacle is perfectly executed by writer-director Chang-dong Lee (2011’s Poetry). Burning is an art-house thriller that takes its time to sneak up behind you. Chang-dong Lee is an international master, who slowly builds his narrative puzzle. The end result will leave you breathless, bar none. Burning is one of the best films from 2018. It’s a shame The Academy snubbed this gem from an Oscar nomination for Best Foreign Language Film of the Year. Do yourself a favor and go watch this gripping nightmare on the big screen. In the end, you won’t know what hit you.
Burning is rated NR (Not Rated).