Having just recently flew on an airplane, and watched various films, I’m going to put two movie reviews (Spotlight and Joy) in this one post. Just to point out, I did not finish watching these two movies, because at some point I kept nodding off. Perhaps it was boring, or that I was too tired, but I did not feel absorbed into either narrative.
A group of reporters who work for a section of The Boston Globe, called ‘Spotlight’ uncover a story about priests molesting boys who come to their service. The team consists of Mike (Mark Ruffalo), Walter (Michael Keaton), Sacha (Rachel McAdams) and Matt (Brian d’Arcy James). Their new boss Marty (Liev Schreiber) brings the story to their attention, and wants the story brought to light. Directed by Tom McCarthy.
Based on a true story, Spotlight does well at giving a pragmatic account of what actually happened. I’m not very sure at which part I stopped watching (and which parts I missed) but from what I did watch, the progression of the film seemed to take a while. Also, because it dealt with an industry I don’t know much about, most of the technical talk went over my head.
I mean it’s great that they’re bringing this story to light, but I was not following along that well. The cast did a good job at playing their characters though, and it was great to see A-list actors playing characters outside their typical roles. As well, the mise-en-scene did well in setting the atmosphere of the movie.
I just did not get it.
Another film that I watched on the plane (right after this one), and that I also did not finish, was:
Joy (Jennifer Lawrence) lives in a hectic family where she must do everything. Her mother Terry (Virginia Madsen) lays on the bed for most of the day watching soap operas, her ex-husband Tony (Edgar Ramirez) lives in the basement, her father Rudy (Robert De Niro) needs her to balance the books for his business, and Peggy (Elisabeth Rohm) her half-sister, is always at her back. The only one she can rely on for some help and support is her grandmother, Mimi (Diane Ladd), who helps her take care of her two children. Then Joy decides to invent something, and with the funding from Trudy (Isabella Rossellini) can almost make it big. Directed by David O. Russell.
While this film was a little more engaging than the one above, I ended up falling asleep during the latter part of the second half. I think I really tried to not fall asleep, but always ended up doing so, so I just stopped it and went to sleep. I think if I have time, I would like to finish watching this film.
The acting is pretty great, and the cast really did well at portraying their characters. The chemistry between characters has a palpable tension which aids in establishing the dynamics of the family.
The settings too are well designed and help bring the era of that time back to life. Lawrence’s character shows how perseverance and hard-work isn’t all that is needed to be successful. Her reliance on other people proves detrimental, and the film pretty much says that to succeed you need to be the one who does everything.
I really do want to finish watching the rest of the film now. Just to see how she ends up, and where the family members go from there.
Overall, I would say I prefer Joy over Spotlight, just because it felt more engaging. However, I do like that Spotlight is a biography, and that they worked hard in depicting a realistic view of what reporters do. Oh wait. Joy is listed as a biography too, how interesting. Well then. It definitely felt more exciting and managed to bring me in better than Spotlight did.
I give both films a 6/10 (my fault for not completely watching them).
Have you watched Spotlight, or Joy? Rate it out of 5 stars above or leave a comment below!