Film & TV

Oscar-Worthy Movies #2

It’s done. I watched DUNKIRK, the last of the four Oscar-nominated movies, this weekend and well, to put it bluntly, that’s several hours of my life I will never see again!

In the spirit of the Mini Book Review trending about the web right now, I thought to write my own (rather sarcastic, or it that, scathing?) mini movie reviews. You’ve been warned.

Murder on the Orient Express — A movie in which twelve suspects of varying social status have three minutes of screen time to convince Kenneth Branagh—I mean, Poirot—that they are not the killer of Johnny Depp’s despicable character and the obvious bad guy.

With a waveringly bad accent, the heroic Hercule Poirot confronts the suspects—who are artfully arranged at a table in the mouth of the train tunnel to look like Da Vinci’s Last Super—and recounts a series of events in flashback, to solve the mystery.

They all did it!

3 Billboards outside Ebbings, Missouri — A foul-mouth red-neck woman hurls abuse at the town’s Sheriff and his inept, racist department for not finding her daughter’s killer. In a last ditch effort to get the dying Sheriff to find a clue, she rents three billboards to get her message across. More swearing and ultra violence ensues before the Sheriff blows his brains out, and a disgraced deputy miraculously over-hears someone bragging in a bar of his rape conquest.

Disgraced deputy and foul-mouthed woman team up, and go on a road-trip to murder the bragging rapist.

Lady Bird — A dull, coming of-age movie in which the two central characters of a mother and daughter hurl derogatory abuse at one another. Where the character of Christine ‘Lady Bird,’ a senior at Catholic high school about to graduate and go to college, acts like a self-centred spoilt child in a series of lack-lustre vignettes. The two best of which are wasted in the trailer for the movie to make you think this is a comedy. It isn’t.

Dunkirk — A long, slow, and violent look at the evacuation of 400,000 Allied troops from the beaches at Dunkirk, via three interwoven threads, confusingly mixed at random. With a total lack of regard to any continuity, we see disturbing images of men drowning, men being blown up, men running along a beach. Men waiting in long lines out in the open, waiting to be shot at by the enemy. Men screaming and jumping off sinking ships, and drowning in long drawn out sequences to heroic, or jarring music.

There is little or no credible dialogue, as there are few speaking parts. One of which is Kenneth Branagh as a Naval Officer stood on a pier looking heroically out to sea, or to the sky for deliverance. There is none for him, or for us.

A sad testament to all those who lost their lives at Dunkirk.


  1. Oh, my, Alex! I really do like the way you get right to the point about what didn’t work for you in these films. I honestly have purposefully avoided the new version of Murder on the Orient Express. It’s not anything, really, like the original novel, and the casting…well….yes, let’s just leave it at that. At any rate, I give you credit for watching the films and thinking about them before making up your mind.

    • Alex says

      I did debated a long time after writing this piece, whether or not to share it. Given my rather dour review of each movie, concise or otherwise. I can be, as some point out, rather tart in my observations. One of the reasons I put the reviews beneath a “more” tag so people can choose whether to read them, or not, Margot! 😉

  2. Kenny Harrison says

    You sure know how to pick movies, Alexandra. 🙂

    Reading your concise reviews, I don’t feel compelled to sit through any of the films you endured. I’ve likely reached a saturation point in my film watching; I’m not moved unless my emotions and senses are electrified, leaving me drained yet wide-eyed. Keep those film reviews coming!

    • Alex says

      Oh, don’t I know it, Kenny. You would think that Oscar-nominated stood for something alas, apparently not. And I’m with you, I think that’s the last four movies I’m likely to watch this year.

      I shall save my money for ice cream and books … or maybe, just books!

      • Kenny Harrison says

        The brain is a very large muscle and reading exerts the brain, therefore ice cream can fuel the brain for additional reading. 🙂

        Stock books and ice cream, Alexandra!

        • Alex says

          Ah! A very wise man, Kenny. Ice cream and books it is then. Especially as in, oh, about 3 weeks, we will jump from spring into summer.

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