music friday: bruce springsteen, "valentine's day"
oscar nom/film fatales #10: what happened, miss simone? (liz garbus, 2015)

oscar nom: bridge of spies (steven spielberg, 2015)

Bridge of Spies is standard Spielberg, which is fine ... he has made some of my favorite movies. But Bridge of Spies will never be one of my favorite movies. I hold him to a higher standard.

This is a director who made the movie I placed at #25 on my Top 50 list a few years ago (Close Encounters). I’ve given four of his movies my highest 10/10 rating, and eleven of his movies are at 8/10 or higher. I rarely dislike his films ... I didn’t think much of A.I. or War of the Worlds, and Hook was a disaster. But we’re talking a top director.

Which means a standard Spielberg is OK by me. It’s nominated for Best Picture, which seems a stretch, but the truth is, of the four nominees I’ve seen, only Fury Road rises above the pack. Mark Rylance is up for Supporting Actor, and he is very good here. The picture moves along ... it’s never boring, even at 142 minutes. Tom Hanks, who is kind of the Steven Spielberg of directors, does his standard thing, which is fine. I’d like to say better things about it, but I probably preferred Munich. 7/10.

I should also say something about Inside Out. I kept falling asleep, and so I can’t really give a reasoned evaluation. I liked the premise OK, and what I stayed awake for intrigued me enough to watch it again some time when I won’t doze off. But for now it gets an Incomplete.