Review: Sicario + Bonus Golden Globes Rant

Are the Golden Globes really a big enough deal for me to write a rant on? Probably not, but it gives me the opportunity complain about something I don’t agree with (which is something I happen to be good at) and issue a warning for the upcoming Academy Awards. I believe that 2015 has been one of the best years for movies that we’ve had in a long time. This makes it hard for even the Hollywood Foreign Press to get some of the awards wrong. That being said, as the only award show that puts TV and film on the same stage, the Golden Globes have, once again, managed to screw everything up.

Often, I hear friends and family complain about how political the Academy Awards seem to be. While it may seem that way, my defense for the Oscars will always be, “Hey, at least they aren’t the Golden Globs” (yet). The term “Oscarbait” should really be changed to “Globebait.” Is your film about a potentially controversial or political figure? Here’s your golden globe nomination. Is your film focused around a relevant social issue. Oh, look what I got for you, another nomination! Don’t believe me? Look at the nominated films for the Best Actress award; The Danish Girl stars Eddie Redmayne (AKA the Golden Globes’ poster child actor) as Einar Wegener, and Carol, which received TWO nominations for the category, stars Rooney Mara and Cate Blanchett as two women that share a “forbidden love”…. as if we haven’t seen this movie before. Before you ask, no, I didn’t see, and no, I won’t see it. Is it because I’m disgusted by lesbians? No. Is it because I’m tired of people  ignoring creativity in order to push their political ideals? I’m not even going to answer that one.

This is not the Hollywood Foreign Press’s only crime. The most egregious crime they committed this year was put The Martian into the Comedy/Musical category, allowing it to sweep the awards. I’m not complaining that the Martian won anything, I thoroughly enjoyed the film, it’s just a shame that no actual comedy movies won any of their awards. I was very happy to see Ridley Scott get up on stage and do everything short of actually flipping the bird to the camera.

And now, in a half-assed segway into my bonus review, I would like to describe one of the Globes’ other crimes. Movies and shows influence a lot of our culture, it’s part of what makes them magical. It’s great to see the films and shows that influence culture more than others get rewarded for their achievements… but only if they really deserve it. Saying, “Hey Sylvester Stallone, we really appreciated you in those Rocky Movies. Here’s a Golden Globe award to show our appreciation,” or, “Hey Jon Hamm, we realized we screwed up by not giving you this award sooner but now that your show is over we figured better late than never! Sorry Rami Malek, hopefully your show will survive for just as long so we can give you your award on its last season too!” When this kind of thing happens, the awards, or even nominations, are stolen from those that deserve them. [INCOMING SEGWAY] Like how a film that I consider to be my favorite film of the year did not receive ANY nominations whatsoever. Sicario is director Denis Villeneuve’s return to the spotlight since his movie Prisoners in 2013 (which I also highly recommend). I had very few complaints about this film, it was well rounded and very well made. If you hadn’t noticed, the screenshot that appears at the top of my page is actually a still image from this film. If the Globes had gone my way, it would have received every award, including the award for Best Animated film, despite a severe lack of animation that is usually required to receive a nomination in that category.

 

Story: 9/10

Sicario is a story about the Mexican Cartels in border states like Texas and Arizona. Without spoiling anything, I will say that this was the easily the most suspenseful thriller to hit the big screen this year. Everything about the plot is suspense-driven. I had to find a reason to take a point off, since nothing deserves a perfect 10 unless it was written by yours truly. So, I came up with two: it seems unlikely at times that the main character (Emily Blunt) would actually find herself in the situations that she actually ends up in. The other problem is that there was room to kick more ass than the movie already did.

 

Acting: 9.5/10

Benecio Del Toro could have swept the acting awards on his own. The fact that he was not even nominated by the Globes is cause to put some of the Hollywood Foreign Press members on the FBI’s most wanted list. Had Josh Brolin had more speaking parts in the film, we would have also been nominated, but the award would have still gone to Del Toro. Emily Blunt was also excellent, and also deserved at least a nomination.

 

Cinematography: 9.5/10

This film had some of the best cinematography I’ve ever seen. While it’s hard to compete with Alejandro González Iñárritu’s nature documentary, The Revenant, Sicario certainly is a close contender. Roger Deakins is one of the best cinematographers around, he makes films beautiful and pleasing to watch no matter the subject matter.

 

Music: 9/10

If you did not see this film in a theater, I pity you. The score, created by Jóhann Jóhannsson, gave me chills throughout the entire run-time of the movie. I took off 1 point because, upon re-watching the film at home, I noticed how this effect was lost without the giant theater speakers. But it is still great, and I still downloaded it so I could listen to it while I sit on the toilet because it is the one of the greatest suspense building scores of all time.

 

X-Factor: 7/10, No Donald Trump Cameo

The subject and timeliness of this film demands a Donald Trump cameo. This film tells PC culture to go screw itself by showing us how terrible things are in places like Juarez and El Paso. Del Toro’s character sums up the film in one line by saying, “Nothing will make sense to your American ears, you will doubt us every step of the way, but in the end, you will understand why we do this.” We are appalled at the lengths the government might go to solve situations, but then the film bombards you with pictures of the atrocities committed regularly the Cartel.

 

Overall:  8.8/10

As I’m writing this post, Sicario is without a doubt my favorite film of 2015. I have high hopes for it in the Oscars, and am praying that the Academy gods will show favor upon it over the BBC science documentary starring Leonardo DiCaprio.

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