Tag Archives: The Big Sick

Road to the Oscars: Best Performances That Should Be Nominated

It’s that time again folks; we are just days away from the big show itself, the cause of so much joy and controversy, it’s the Oscars. Last year, we lamented on the previous year’s best acting performances that couldn’t get any love from the Academy, and the omissions this year are just as heartbreaking. Let’s have a look at the best performances that couldn’t Oscar nominations this year.

Vicky Krieps – Phantom Thread

We can’t tell you just how marvellous Phantom Thread is; it’s a spellbinding film that deserves almost every nomination it garnered this year…Almost. Lesley Manville scored a nod for Best Supporting Actress in her turn as Daniel Day-Lewis’ cold sister, and while there are no issues with her performance, it was certainly not as deserving as the film’s lead actress, Vicky Krieps. By all means gush about Day-Lewis’ exhilarating final performance, but let it be known that this is far and away Krieps’ film. She doesn’t just lead, she dominates. Much like her exceptionally well written character Alma, Krieps’ owns Day-Lewis’ character and blows him out of the water, passively demanding every scene she’s in. She is breathtaking, and the fact she wasn’t recognised is insane.

Sebastian Stan – I, Tonya
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I’ve said it before, but I truly wish I, Tonya came out in a different so that it would have a chance at the Oscar nominations it deserves; it’s a stacked year and it’s no surprise that it didn’t make the cut, with only Robbie and Janney’s performances being a lock. That being said, it wasn’t stacked enough that we had to nominate two actors from the same film in Best Supporting Actor. Woody Harrelson is great in Three Billboards…, but is clearly the less impressive out of him and Sam Rockwell. That space belongs to Sebastian Stan for his rousing performance as Tonya Harding’s ex-husband Jeff Gilooly. In the bizarre true tale, Stan takes the real life piece of trash to disturbing and hilarious heights, and has such excellent chemistry with Robbie. It should have been a lock.

Michelle Williams – All the Money in the World

The film world was stunned and impressed when Kevin Spacey was dropped from Ridley Scott’s All the Money in the World following the sexual assault allegation made against him, and though the work put in by the crew and Christopher Plummer was undeniably brilliant, I can’t help but feel we’re talking about him a little too much. See, there was another performance in the film that could move mountains, and it was that of Michelle Williams. *gasp* Michelle Williams? Giving one of the best performances of the year? I know, it’s the least surprising thing since Meryl Streep getting another nomination, but we cannot underestimate how good this performance is. Her turn as distressed mother Gail Harris had an Audrey Hepburn feel to it; it was quiet, but enraged. Sensible, but aggressive. Helpless, but calculated. It was everything it needed to be and more. She’s been denied of her glory four times already – Her loss for Blue Valentine is unforgivable – so maybe it wasn’t that all shocking, but it’s sad that even this beauty couldn’t overtake Meryl Streep.

Hugh Jackman – Logan
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Say what you will about comic book movies, what Hugh Jackman has created with Wolverine is nothing short of a legacy; years spent nurturing and fulfilling this role, sinking himself into film history. It’s at the point where many fans would rather Wolverine never appeared on screen again, than have him be played by someone other than Jackman, who brought his tenure as the violent mutant to a close in James Mangold’s Logan. A film that transcends it’s genre, Jackman’s final performance was just as charged and witty as his others, but throwing in a whole heap of melancholy, defeat and finality. His last moments truly bring forth the end of an era, and to think he’s not being recognised for it is utterly insane.

Emma Stone – Battle of the Sexes
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Following her Best Actress win last year for Damien Chazelle’s enchanting La La Land, Stone took to the tennis courts in Battle of the Sexes, my personal favourite from last year telling the story of tennis champion Billie Jean King in her fight for equality and coming to terms with her sexuality. While she’s incredible powerful in her depiction of a sports player fighting for what she deserves and offers an undeniable relentlessness while playing the game, it’s her depiction of a closeted woman embracing her true feelings as she pursues a hairdresser (Andrea Riseborough), and their scenes together were worthy of all the awards. It’s all in Stone’s face; from something as subtle as the way her mouth curves when she smiles at Riseborough, the sheer elation is present, and the passion in their more intimate scenes is just breathtaking. Yet another performance far more deserving than Meryl Streep.

Kumail Nanjiani and Holly Hunter – The Big Sick
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Seriously, where is The Big Sick’s Best Picture nomination? It’s a hilarious and riveting rom-com that goes above and beyond it’s genre, and it’s Screenplay nomination is among the most deserved in the show. Where it also needs some love is in it’s stellar cast; Kumail Nanjiani, who wrote the film with his wife Emily V. Gordon based on the true story of their relationship, has impeccable comic timing and brings such powerful emotion when needed. He’s one of the most charming leads of the year, and is complimented beautifully by the loud and raucous nature of Holly Hunter’s portrayal of Gordon’s mother. An already aggressive attitude coupled with the burgeoning stress of her daughter’s ill health, Hunter is electrifying, especially in that comedy club scene.

Jamie Bell – Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool
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Bringing our list to a close is some home grown talent in the form of one of our most underrated actors; Jamie Bell is a wonderful actor who has been cursed with some very bad films – The cast of Fant4stic are still trying to come to terms with it. Michael B. Jordan had to take over Wakanda just to get over it – but Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool is a shining example of what he’s capable of. While a lot of attention has been paid to Annette Bening’s lead role as Gloria Grahame, and deservedly so, Bell completely steals the show with a tender and heart felt performance. And by heart felt, I mean that he literally shoved his hand into my chest and pulled it straight out, because I was ready to bawl watching his on screen journey. It’s a marvellous film that deserves your attention, and while it was never going to garner any Oscar votes, Jamie Bell’s omission is truly a sad one.

Those are just some of the great performances that didn’t any Oscar love, and that’s not including those I haven’t had a chance to see yet like Brooklyn Prince in The Florida Project and Michael Stuhlbarg in everything, apparently.

So what are your favourite 2017 performances missing from the nominees?
Let us know in the comments, and tune in to the big show this Sunday, March 4th.

The Big Sick – Review

Romantic comedies are dead. We’ve had enough of the same garb thrown in our face constantly. We’re so exhausted by the plight of two love-struck people who are usually white, usually stunning, and usually selfish preoccupied people who just let a good thing go by…

Sure, there is nothing wrong with romantic comedies. When they are good, they are brilliant. When they are different, they are impeccable. When they are bad, however, they are unbearable. Laced with cliches that have been parodied so often the jokes themselves have become a cliche, the romantic comedy genre is always indeed of reshaping and rejigging.

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The Big Sick falls is a mixture of the first and second category; a great and brilliant comedy with a lot of humanity that is so close to impeccability. And certainly is the perfect anecdote to the genre.

Based on the true story of how comedian Kumail Nanjiani met his wife (and incidentally, written by himself and spouse Emily Gordon,) the film revolves around Kumail and his trials and tribulations as a stand-up comic in Chicago. Bouncing around a few gigs with little recognition, he is heckled by a woman in the audience named Emily. The passion are instantaneous as they fall immediately into a one night stand. Against their initial judgement, the pair fall in love but are torn apart by Kumail’s religious family and Emily’s intrepidation, they break up. During their split, Emily falls into a coma through an illness and

Directed by Wet Hot American Summer‘s Michael Showalter, The Big Sick is a compelling, concise, and comical film. There is a nature humanity that comes with a script developed by the people it portrays and that shows in a humorous manner. The realism that flows throughout The Big Sick is engaging and greatly done. The laughs come from awkwardness that we recognise all too well throughout dating as well as the extreme circumstance that makes Kumail question his integrity over Emily. This conflict of love and hilarity produces one of the most slickest (and sickest in the most literal sense) films of the year.

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Two leads Kumail Nanjiani (playing himself) and Zoe Kazan (playing Emily,) have chemistry to boot. Their on screen flirtation blossoming into love undeniably poignant and recognisable. Tableau’s of their relationship as they develop play out in this recognisably sincere way. Together they portray a rocky road relationship where you wish they’d pull together at every stop. And yet, even though it’s clear you know the outcome, it is never predictable – twisting and turn through frustrating yet palpable moments. Nanjiani and Kazan are terrific in this way, gifting Nanjiani’s real life story with a cinematic version every bit as great.

Support comes from Ray Romano, Holly Hunter, Aidy Bryant, and Bo Burhnam, each offering different slices of comedy, addled with times of drama and emotion. To use the biggest cliche, despite The Big Sick choosing to lean away from them, the overall product is heart-warming. Bring life back into the genre, The Big Sick is an unmissable true life romp.

The Big Sick is out 28th July