“The Red Turtle” Mini-Review


The Red Turtle (2016)

The Red Turtle” is this year’s best animation Oscar nominee that surprised people in a way it masterfully combined visual simplicity and metaphoric depth. The film borrows the theme of Robinson Crusoe to tell the story of a shipwrecked man who experiences both desperation, sorrow and then happiness on an isolated island. The director of this gem is Dutch Michaël Dudok de Wit who partnered with the Japanese Studio Ghibli to produce a wordless, but very meaningful animation which explores the theme of a man’s survival on an island, but also the bigger topics of a man’s place in the universe and his relationship with nature. Given the film’s visual simplicity, it is astounding how much there is to experience here for the viewer. Even if the content of this animation may be described as “thin”, the underling symbolism of the movie guarantees that the audience engages in emotive reflection.

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The Academy Awards 2016


I won’t title this blog “The Academy Awards 2016: Controversial, Emotional & Predictable”, although I want too. What have we had so far? Protests regarding the representation of black people and women nominated[1], and nominated actors who you can so safely bet on winning – the chances that they won’t is like forgetting your own name. Diversity & Competition or rather a lack thereof. Here, I will only comment on the Best Picture, Best Animated Film, and Best Actor and Actress categories.

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“Spotlight” Review


Spotlight (2015)

Directed by Tom McCarthy, “Spotlight” is this year’s critically-acclaimed Best Picture Academy Award nominee that deals with a very sensitive topic of exposing a widespread and systematic child sex abuse by Roman-Catholic priests in the area of Boston, US. In the movie, “Spotlight”, the investigative team of the Boston Globe newspaper, becomes in charge of the task of investigating the allegations against a number of priests involved in the scandal. As the team digs deeper, it uncovers more and more horrifying facts of the matter that includes unbelievable cover-ups and world-wide accusations.

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Academy Awards Nominations 2016: Some Thoughts


Best picture

  1. The Big Short 
  2. Bridge of Spies
  3. Brooklyn 
  4. Mad Max: Fury Road
  5. The Martian
  6. The Revenant
  7. Room 
  8. Spotlight 

It seems it’s all about “action and impact” with this 2016 Best Picture Academy Awards. I am rooting for “Spotlight”, but am glad that “Room” was nominated.  In my personal view, the “The Revenant” has its fair share of flaws, but who knows…We don’t see here “Carol” or “Steve Jobs”, surprise, surprise, and what about “Inside Out”?…this will be interesting, nevertheless. 

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Steve J Donahue

Film reviewer

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