Hacksaw Ridge is a film based on true events during the WWII. Army Medic Desmond Doss, being a conscientious objector to the war, single-handedly saved many wounded soldiers on the battlefields of Okinawa, Japan. Doss refused to carry a gun and kill people in the war; he only wanted to save people’s lives. Although mocked, bullied, and almost being sent to the military prison, Doss did not lose his believe. He finally went to the frontline as a medic, and persistently proved himself as powerful as the armed soldiers. He was awarded with the Medal of Honor for his rescue effort; he is the first man in American history to receive this medal without firing a shot.
Nominated for 6 Oscars, Hacksaw Ridge is a movie about bravery and humanity. Andrew Garfield did a great job portraying the main character. There is definitely lots of blood and violence that made me jump in the movie, however, it is the cruelty of the war that makes Doss’ action shine. After I watch this film, I felt that the most powerful weapon is a person’s mind, and there is always hope and goodness in humanities.
A little late to the party, I know, but I finally got around to watching Robert Eggers’ directorial debut, The VVitch (which I’m just going to be calling The Witch from here on out)! And it is very very good, slow-build horror.
The Witch takes place in 1630s New England, where a family is being banished from their Puritan community for theological differences. William, Katherine, and their four children set out alone to try to eke out a living in the wilderness. Katherine has a fifth child, but the baby is stolen, and ultimately the family descends ever deeper into a spiral of fear and suspicion (of the woods surrounding them, and eventually of each other as well).
The movie explores many complicated themes, including the effects of long-term isolation on the human psyche, the power of faith, and ultimately with the kinds of fear and paranoia that can result when people seek desperately to explain the hardships life throws at them. It’s a story that could have played out the same way regardless of whether there really is a witch out there in the woods, and for me that’s where the real horror lies (though I also loved the unabashedly uncivilized and otherwordly glimpses we get into the witching world!)
In this heart-gripping drama, Casey Affleck portrays a man, Lee Chandler, who came back to his hometown to deal with the passing of his brother. Lee found out that his brother’s will is for him to be his nephew’s guardian. While trying to build a relationship with his teenage nephew, Lee found himself caught in the past that he does not want to remember. Manchester by the Sea is sorrowful and devastating, however, the sadness and nuances in this film are so real that it made me feel very much alive. The story did not try to force a “perfect” ending. Instead, it let the narrative flow, let the events unfold, and paused at a natural place.
I have never really noticed Casey Affleck in any other film, but his performance in Manchester by the Sea is truly memorable. His Golden Globe for the role of Lee Chandler is well-deserved (despite of what he might have done in real life).