Every December, movie theaters across the globe experience a strong influx of critically and commercially successful films, all vying for the same thing: awards. It is a time in which stars and filmmakers offer their very best in the desperate hopes that they will eventually end up with some statues. This year, Angelina Jolie has directed Unbroken, a true story of epic proportions. It is her second time directing (the first being 2011’s In the Land of Blood and Honey) and while the film is a bit cliché and overly optimistic, it works on a few levels. It is also beautifully shot and features a relatively strong performance from young star on the rise Jack O’Connell (Starred Up, Skins, This is England).
Well, it’s time of the year again: award season, a time where movie studios both big and small push out some of their strongest films and there is no doubt that we are in for some really special works of cinema. Hot off of his Oscar-winning tour de force Dallas Buyers Club, director Jean-Marc Vallee has teamed up with Oscar-winner herself Reese Witherspoon (Walk the Line) to bring the story of hiker/memoirist Cheryl Strayed to the big screen. Wild is equal parts adventure and equal parts gritty drama and the results are truly, truly great.