Tropic Offers Academy Award Winners
Reviewed by Shirrel Rhoades
Film Critic, Cooke Communications
Well, I hope your Oscar picks were better than mine. But if there are any winners you missed seeing, you can still catch many of them at the Tropic Cinema.
Coming back is “Dallas Buyers Club,” the HIV drama that garnered Oscars for Matthew McConaughey and Jared Leto as Best Actor and Best Supporting Actor. Philadelphia Inquirer says, “Just about everything is right with Dallas Buyers Club, beginning with Matthew McConaughey's literally transformative portrayal.” Cinemaphile.org calls it “pitch perfect.”
Holding over is “12 Years a Slave,” the intense retelling of Solomon Northrup’s story, a free black man who was kidnapped into slavery in 1841. This picture won three Academy Awards: Best Picture, Best Supporting Actress, and Best Adapted Screenplay. The Standard deems it “a truly impressive piece of filmmaking.” And The New Republic tells us, “It is a film that necessity and education demand seeing.”
Holding over is “American Hustle,” a darkly comic rehash of the FBI’s Abscam sting. While the film got locked out of any Oscars, it had an impressive ten nominations. Passionate Moviegoer calls it “compulsively watchable.” And Baret News sees it as a “memorable masterpiece.”
For those looking for serious drama, there’s “Gloria,” the Spanish-Chilean film about a woman of a certain age. ABC Radio Brisbane terms it “An engaging character study.’ And Detroit News says, “By its end, you want to cheer the simple act of living.”
Giving us a little-known tale from World War II is “The Monuments Men,” telling how an elite group of soldiers (George Clooney et al.) saved art works from Hitler. Minneapolis Star Tribune calls it “a sturdy, old-school, big-scale Greatest Generation war movie.” While handing out some critical lumps, Daily Express admits that it’s “a fun and fitting tribute to some unsung heroes with bags of old-fashioned charm.”
Finally we have “The Wind Rises,” an Oscar-nominated animated film from Japan. However, this fantasized bio of the man who invented the Zero warplane is voiced by such familiar actors as Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Emily Blunt, Stanley Tucci, Mandy Patinkin, and others. Salon.com describes it as “a work of immense mystery and strangeness, loaded with unforgettable images, spectacular sweeps of color and nested, hidden meanings.” And Austin American Statesman calls it “a spellbinding, dreamy paean to imagination.”
These films are a fine way to reassess after the Tropic’s gala Oscar party!