It’s Oscar week, people. Not the week of the Oscars, but the week the Oscar winners and nominees come home to us. All told, five Oscar nominees (including the best picture winner) are available for home entertainment. And, if you prefer bad movies, Justice League is also out. Choice!
One of the best films of 2014 and the very best performance of Jake Gyllenhaal’s career becomes available for home entertainment today.
No telling why it took so long to combine Network and American Psycho, but Nightcrawler is here now, so buckle down for a helluva ride. Jake Gyllenhaal is at his absolute best in a film that is as scorchingly relevant an image of modern media as it is a brilliant character study in psychosis. You should see Nightcrawler.
There may be no better pairing for this acidic look at modern media than the only film that could do it one better, Sidney Lumet’s masterpiece Network. The film is as prescient as any movie could be, predicting with wicked humor and weird precision the catastrophic consequences of pairing network news and profit. It’s one of the best films ever made.
We normally like to use For Your Queue to champion an underseen new release and pair that with an older film you may have missed. This week, however, there are two wonderful films coming out on DVD that you should check out. Both are foreign language titles – one that went sorely underseen, while the other won the Oscar.
The Past is the newest film from Asghar Farhadi, whose magnificent A Separation took home the Oscar for best foreign language film in 2012. Another intimate examination of rocky family bonds, The Past winds through one man’s journey into his estranged family’s crisis. Centered on a volatile and brilliant performance from Berenice Bejo, the film is another exceptional family drama from one of modern cinema’s most promising filmmakers.
Paolo Sorrentino’s Oscar winner The Great Beauty also drops today. A visual wonder, combining satire, silliness and social commentary with a loose narrative and the brilliant performance of veteran Italian actor Toni Servillo, the film lives up to not only its Oscar, but perhaps more impressively, to its “Fellini-esque” label.