After half a year of frenzied film festival-hopping, I got back to home base only to find a teetering pile of DVD and Blu-ray screeners and an inbox bursting with screening invites and iTunes downloads. We are in the middle of the run up to the awards season, and my task, over the next few weeks, is to watch all these movies and vote for them across categories.
An arresting film
One of the more arresting films I watched was Tom McCarthy’s Spotlight (2015). McCarthy debuted as a director in 2003 with The Station Agent , an indie drama about a diminutive person in search of solitude, which won big at Sundance and won him a screenwriting BAFTA. The Visitor (2007) continued McCarthy’s chronicling of solitary men, this time following a Connecticut-based professor, who returns to his apartment in New York, only to find an illegal immigrant couple squatting there. Richard Jenkins got an Oscar best-actor-nomination for his portrayal of the professor. In McCarthy’s Win Win (2011), Paul Giamatti is not solitary at all as a lawyer who is also a wrestling coach, forced to wrestle with the consequences of a debatable moral decision. I did not watch McCarthy’s The Cobbler (2014) simply because it stars Adam Sandler, who I do not have much time for these days, though I will yield to no one in admiring his bravura turn in Paul Thomas Anderson’s Punch-Drunk Love (2002), and I have no shame in admitting that I watched Pixels (2015) because of nostalgia for 1980s video games.
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