| Flicks

FLICKS: 45 Years & The Hateful Eight

Posted on 28 January 2016 by LeslieM

By “Cinema Dave”


The Oscar-nominated 45 Years opens tomorrow in local theaters. Starring Charlotte Rampling and Tom Courtenay, this film feels like 1970s old school Oscar nominations: the performances are excellent, the cinematography enhances the simple story with subtle symbolism and the slow pace builds to a subtle climax that is haunting.

While preparing to celebrate their 45th wedding anniversary, Kate (Rampling) and her husband Geoff (Courtenay) receive some surprising news. Geoff’s deceased girlfriend of 46 years has been found frozen in ice after falling off the Swiss Alps. This revelation mars the gala that is supposed to celebrate marital stability.

After screening 45 Years, you will be thinking about this film afterward and will likely want to go back and review certain scenes. At one point, Kate makes a comment that in 45 years of marriage, the couple has no photographs in the house. Later, Kate goes to the attic and discovers slides of Geoff’s late girlfriend in Switzerland.

With this scene alone, veteran Charlotte Rampling earns her Oscar nomination. It is a subtle performance that chips away at a stoic character’s strength. With pure professional understatement, Rampling reveals the empty soul of her Kate. While this film will not be embraced by a callow generation, 45 Years will resonate with individuals with life experience.

Like a delicate flower, Charlotte Rampling blossoms in 45 Years, a film that should not be forgotten in overproduced marketing hype.

With much hype and Oscar hyperbole, Quentin Tarantino’s The Hateful Eight will be leaving the big screen soon. Despite three Oscar nominations for cinematography, musical score (by Ennio Morricone) and best supporting actress (Jennifer Jason Leigh), The Hateful Eight is Tarantino’s first financial flop and will likely secure his place in the Academy of the Overrated.

The first third of the film features the vast, wide open spaces that celebrate the best that the American Western has to offer. After introducing four of the Hateful Eight on the stagecoach, the film makes a pit stop at Minnie’s Haberdashery. The rest of the film becomes more claustrophobic and the tone shifts from an adventuresome Western to that of an Agatha Christie parlor mystery. With this claustrophobic scenery shift, why bother seeing The Hateful Eight on the big screen? Its running time feels longer than the Arizona Cardinals/Carolina Panther’s playoff game.

With long-winded conversations, explosive violence and repetitive motifs, the quirky Tarantino has reached the law of diminishing returns with this motion picture.

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