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Added by johanlefourbe on 11 Oct 2023 11:15
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2023 movies - Personal review and Awards -

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Best Picture of the year

People who added this item 113 Average listal rating (75 ratings) 7.5 IMDB Rating 7.9
Past Lives (2023)
Notes: Since I’m myself an immigrant myself, son of an immigrant, I’m always fascinated by such stories, especially when it is so perfectly handled as it was definitely the case here. Indeed, with this movie, you didn’t have 1 but 3 fascinating intricate characters and, as a result, it was probably the best love triangle I have ever seen. Indeed, there was no good guy, no bad guy, only some really realistic and convincing human-beings dealing with some complex feelings. As pointed out by Arthur himself, in a weaker movie, he would have probably been the evil jealous White husband doing everything he can to prevent his wife to see her childhood crush. But, even if he was a nice guy who really loved his wife, it doesn’t mean that his situation was easy though. Concerning Jung Hae Sung, you get the feeling that he will never really manage to let go of this childhood romance but you spend enough time with him to see that, even if he cherished every minute he spent with Nora, he was so compassionate towards her, even towards her husband, it was quite inspiring to behold. Another interesting thing is that they argued that Nora made her choice to be where she ended up but, in fact, she never really made this choice in the first place. Indeed, it was her parents who took the decision to immigrate to Canada, she would have never made this choice at 12 years old, and you can only wonder what would have been her relationship with Jung Hae Sung if her parents who have decided to stay in South Korea. Anyway, the damned thing was just so fascinating and it is easily the best movie I have seen this year.

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Grand Jury prize

For those who don't know, in a festival, the Grand Jury prize honors a great movie which just missed the biggest prize.
People who added this item 360 Average listal rating (271 ratings) 7.8 IMDB Rating 8.3
Oppenheimer (2023)
Notes: A usual with Christopher Nolan, this movie it was visually really neat and the directing was top-notch. Above all, Oppenheimer was such a fascinating character, easily one of the best characters Nolan as ever worked with. His quest to create the first atomic bomb was also so interesting because it would change our world forever and its impact is still topical nowadays. So, the story was great but I’m not sure Nolan’s approach completely worked. Indeed, at times, it felt as if you either needed to have read the book or have Wikipedia at all times open or that you had to be a massive history buff to keep track of everything and above all everybody involved. Concerning the cast, well, Cillian Murphy was rightfully praised, the guy was amazing and easily delivered one of the best performances of his career. I wish I could say the same about the rest of the cast though. It’s not that anyone was bad, I was more bothered by the fact that so many showed up for barely nothing. It was especially frustrating with Matt Damon, Emily Blunt and Florence Pugh who all seemed to have some more substantial characters and, yet, they were given so little to do after all. Even Robert Downey Jr., after getting stuck playing Tony Stark for so many years, who was finally given the opportunity to do something else, didn’t really impress me because the focus on this conflict with Lewis Strauss was, in my opinion, a rather poor idea. Anyway, even though I might seem harsh, the damned thing was still really good though.

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Best Male Performance

People who added this item 192 Average listal rating (138 ratings) 7.5 IMDB Rating 7.6
Notes: The tragic fate of the Osage was after all not really the main focus with this movie. After all, the focus was mostly on Ernest Burkhart and I was fascinated by Leonardo DiCaprio who delivered here one of his very best performances. Indeed, his character was so complex, he was probably one of the most confused men I have ever seen on the silver screen. Basically, he was an average White male who was promised some easy money and, like every White American man at the time, he didn't care one bit about the Indians. And, yet, somehow, he actually fell in love with this beautiful sharp Indian woman who also loved him back. But, then, how could he possibly try to kill this woman, possibly the only person on Earth who actually cared for him, and wipe out also all her family if he loved her so much? On paper, it wouldn't make any sense at all and, yet, DiCaprio was always convincing. It was just so fascinating to see him going through a seemingly endless roller coaster of completely contradicting emotions.

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Best Female Performance

People who added this item 35 Average listal rating (27 ratings) 6.9 IMDB Rating 7.1
Nyad (2023)
Notes: I have to admit that it was not easy to make a decision for this category. Anyway, even though Annette Bening and Jodie Foster were both fine in 'Nyad', I still preferred Greta Lee in 'Past Lives' though. Indeed, her character, Nora, was probably the one who got the most screen time and it was just so fascinating to see her wrestling with her past, her present, her culture baggage, and, eventually, you never get some clean clear-cut answers but that’s how it goes in real life and that’s how it’s supposed to be. Anyway, she was quite spellbinding to behold, that's for sure.

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Best Animated Picture

Notes: Like its predecessor, it was again visually so neat, there were maybe slightly too many details but the end-result was still quite amazing to behold. It's also the reason why such multiverse features actually works better with animation because, this way, they could tweak each dimension, give its own specific visual identity, which would be much harder to achieve with a live-action feature. It was also neat to see Miles Morales growing up and becoming an anxious and insecure teenager. In general, it was a much more emotional feature, probably the most emotional Spider-Man feature ever made so far. I mean, not only Spider-Man had to live a life of secrets and loneliness but, in this case, he was even called an anomaly which was then tracked down by 100's of other Spider-Men and Women. Eventually, the only minor issue I had was that, nowadays, we get just too many movies dealing with multiverses (Hell, even the last Best Picture Academy Award winner was a multiverse feature), even if, in this case, I have to admit that it is slightly unfair since its predecessor was the first movie to explore this genre.

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Most Fun Picture of the year

Notes: It was quite a year for Wes Anderson as the indie master would release no less than 5 movies (1 full-length feature and 4 shorts). Well, even though 'Asteroid City' was rather well received, I enjoyed much more these 4 shorts though. Indeed, even though I have to admit that I have never been a fan of Roald Dahl’s books film adaptations, I really did love ‘Fantastic Mr. Fox’ which is, as far as I’m concerned, Anderson’s best movie so far. Well, the famous writer and the indie film director seemed to be once again a match made in heaven. Indeed, as usual with this director, these shorts were a visual treat but, above all, there were such fun tales and, combined with Anderson’s quirky directing style, they were just a marvel to behold, every single one of them.

The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar

The Swan

The Rat Catcher

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Best Sequel/Prequel/Reboot/Spin-Off

People who added this item 102 Average listal rating (71 ratings) 6 IMDB Rating 6.5
Notes: Even though I have to admit that 'A Haunting in Venice' turned out to be a decent surprise, the best sequel this year was definitely and easily 'Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse' though. Indeed, I just loved the damned thing and I'm really glad we managed to catch this amazing sequel on the big screen this time. It was also impressive that even though it was really long, even though it was only half of this story, there was never a dull moment and I was completely entertained from the beginning until the end.

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Best Non-English speaking movie

Notes: Sure, it might seem weird that a half-decent Dutch thriller like this one might win this award but it's because I have seen only 3 movies in this category this year (I know, it's pretty pathetic...). Concerning the movie itself, I thought it was not bad at all though. Indeed, the story and the characters involved were all quite entertaining but unfortunately, like most Dutch productions, it was obviously lacking some ambition. As a result, it was visually nothing thrilling and not much better than a cheap TV police procedural. Above all, the hypnosis scenes were especially weak as they didn't even display how the main character was put under hypnosis which was rather disappointing. Concerning the actors, I always had a weak spot for Anna Drijver and she was not bad here but everybody else was rather weak though. Coming back on the story itself, I stil enjoyed it though. Indeed, it was never too convoluted and the whole hypnosis thing actually made sense, even if you obviously can't trust some memories that go back 25 years before (I can't even figure out what I actually did yesterday...).

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Biggest disappointment

People who added this item 145 Average listal rating (114 ratings) 6.3 IMDB Rating 6.7
The Killer (2023)
Notes: I know, I had some doubts about giving this award to this movie since it was actually not bad at all but, from all the movies I have seen, it did fit the bill, I'm afraid. First of all, I respect the fact that ‘Mank’ was a critical success but, in my opinion, this story did sound so much more interesting. Indeed, I loved the concept and, since it had been a passion project for David Fincher for about 20 years, I was hoping for something really amazing. Well, unfortunately , the damned thing turned out to be rather disappointing after all. I mean, it wasn’t a bad movie, I loved the 1st chapter, Michael Fassbender was pitch-perfect and, as expected with Fincher, the mood was really neat. Unfortunately, everything happening after this 1st chapter turned out to be such a generic revenge tale. Seriously, in spite of Fassbender’s solid performance and Fincher’s expert directing, nothing really noteworthy or surprising or really entertaining happened until the very end. Indeed, the end-result was just terribly generic, predictable and hardly fascinating to behold after all.

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Worst Picture of the Year

Notes: To be honest, I wish that the very first ‘Spy Kids’ had turned out to be a huge box-office flop when it was released because Robert Rodriguez would have hopefully dropped the concept right away back then. Seriously, the guy has spent pretty much half of his career making such kids flicks which are just terrible and this new installment was not an exception, I’m afraid. The only interesting idea was the fact that spies have to lie all the time, that’s basically part of the job, but, in this case, how do you raise some children by telling them to be honest and to always tell the truth? I actually liked this paradox but, unfortunately, it was only quickly mentioned by one of the characters at some point but they really did nothing with that after all. The other thing that I enjoyed was that Gina Rodriguez not only did look lovely but she was pretty badass and she also managed to be a convincing mother at the same time. Unfortunately, all the other characters involved were just so underwhelming. I mean, Zachary Levi was not awful but he did really nothing interesting with his character at all. Even more problematic was the fact that, once again, they picked up some of the worst children actors I have seen. Seriously, they were both rather cringe-inducing to behold and it is in fact very often the case in Rodriguez’s kid flicks. Seriously, I’m rather flabbergasted that some critics actually praised these kids for their work on this movie.

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Other movies I have seen (from best to worst)

This list is NOT a prediction of the following award season.

It is my review of the 2022 movies I have seen and, for fun, I give some awards to the best (and worst movies) of the year.

If you are intested to see last year's results, check this list :
2022 movies - Personal review and Awards -

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