January is known as a month of sucky movie openings (save for the award hopefuls that go wide. To qualify for an Oscar, a movie must play in at least one theater by December 31st). So, January is the time to catch up on potential award winners. Among my recommendations:
“The Shape Of Water”
“Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”
“Call me by Your Name”
Opening wide, the Oscar bait film “Molly’s Game”. Jessica Chastain (“The Help” & “Zero Dark Thirty’) could well get her 3rd Oscar nomination for this movie based on the real life of Olympic class skier Molly Bloom, who ran the world’s most exclusive high-stakes poker game til she was busted by the feds. Aaron Sorkin (who wrote “The Social Network”, “Moneyball”, “Steve Jobs” & “The West Wing”) makes his directorial debut with this overly long, close to 2-and-a-half hour drama. It has the trademark Sorkin rapid-fire, sharply written narration and dialogue but it had too much poker, not enough human interaction for me. The movie’s best moments were Molly’s scenes with her dad, played by Kevin Costner and her lawyer, an excellent Idris Elba. I wanted to know more about Molly as a person, not Molly the over-achiever. Jessica Chastain, as always, was outstanding. Yes- Oscar great. She ALWAYS is!!!! It gets 81% on Rotten Tomatoes.