Friday, February 9, 2024

2023 Academy Awards Best Picture - The Banshees of Inisherin

Banshees was really, really good. 

Great, even.  

I'm reading a book called The Secrets of Story, and the author says a good 2-hour movie (or book!) has a one-hour plot, and the rest of the space/time/story is filled with complex scenes of emotional baggage, irony, and personal relationships.  The Banshees of Inisherin is a PERFECT example of this.  It has a simple plot (a guy's best friend ditches him, and takes weird and drastic steps to ensure their friendship is over). 

The movie is slow (not boring; in fact, it's kind of mesmerizing) and chews over the various relationships (his sister, various animals, the local barkeep, the local cop, and his son) and the acting is beautiful and powerful and perfect, and the cinematography and scenery (Ireland at its most lovely) is gorgeous, all set in the spring of 1923 as the Irish Civil War is winding down.  

It's sad and sometimes tragic, occasionally darkly funny, weird, and so very ... human.  It's not the sort of movie I'll want to watch over and over, but my life is richer for having seen it.  Warning: the Irish brogue was a little thick at times, and you might want to turn on subtitles. I could understand it (mostly) but the subtitles helped.

Note: I think Banshees was the better movie, but I *liked* Fabelmans better.

(Pithy Reviews; and Rankings of 7 out of 10 nominees):

  • The Banshees of Inisherin (Excellent, beautiful, and a little surreal; Cathy:1, Chris: 2)
  • Elvis (Excellent movie with stellar acting, music and costumes; Cathy: 4, Chris: 1)
  • Everything Everywhere All at Once (Excellent, beautiful, imaginative and utterly bizarre; Cathy: 3, Chris: 3)
  • The Fabelmans (Good story about a storyteller; Cathy: 2, Chris: 4)
  • Top Gun: Maverick (Very enjoyable but not really Oscar material; Cathy: 5, Chris: 5) 
  • Tár (Boring movie about a loathsome person. Only watched 60%; Cathy: 6, Chris: 6) 
  • Triangle of Sadness (Terrible, gross, and Cathy only watched half; Cathy: 7, Chris 7)


- Originally written February 18, 2023

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