By Megan Bianco
Since age 10, I’ve been watching and paying attention to the movies and celebrities of Oscar season every fall and winter. So as someone who’s been gossiping and reporting about this season in cinema for almost two decades, let me tell you: it got old really fast.
I’m usually obsessed with viewing, predicting and debating everything, though sometimes fatigue sets it. I don’t know if it’s because I’m going through a fatigue period right now, or if Hollywood is just in a funk creatively, but I’ve been underwhelmed this whole year.
Of course, I wrote earlier during summer how the Safdie brothers’’ Good Time was an impressive breakthrough, as was Robert Pattinson’s lead performance. Pattinson’s Twilight co-star Kristen Stewart also gave a personal-favorite acting effort this year in Olivier Assayas’ Personal Shopper. David Lowery’s A Ghost Story was my favorite self-aware arthouse flick, while Ceyda Torun’s Kedi might be the most adorable documentary I’ve ever seen on street cats.
Jason Hall’s Thank You for Your Service was unfairly overlooked. Edgar Wright’s Baby Driver was riveting for an original summer blockbuster, Denis Villeneuve’s Blade Runner 2049 was a relieving, good sequel to the 1982 sci-fi classic, and Michael Showalter’s The Big Sick brought the laughs for comedy in 2017.
And yet, I’m underwhelmed. There isn’t anything from this past holiday season that emotionally grabbed me. Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris’ Battle of the Sexes, Martin McDonagh’s Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, and Greta Gerwig’s Lady Bird were all technically well made, but didn’t stick with me afterwards. Then there were the unexpected disappointments of Sofia Coppola’s The Beguiled, Darren Aronofsky’s mother! and Rian Johnson’s The Last Jedi. Granted, I still haven’t seen Steven Spielberg’s The Post or P.T. Anderson’s Phantom Thread, but that underwhelming feeling persists.
Either for the first time in my life I’m getting burned out on movies, or the film industry really is in the midst of a weak patch and 2018 better bring in some fresh, high-quality features.
Megan Bianco is a Southern California-based movie reviewer and content writer with a degree from California State University Northridge.
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