Before We Forget

Okay, the fun summer is over, time to get sad and serious. My wife is doing research on alzheimers and dementia, so I wanted to compile the oscar films that touches on the subject. I ended up watching them by myself since she was busy the whole week. But, I guess it is a good thing that at least one in the household is still in a good mood. Conclusion: Dementia sucks!

Iris (2001)
A bit by the numbers. Having the movie split in two stories with different actors playing young and old versions of the characters made me a little emotional detached. It is not a bad film by any means, but I wished it was better executed.
Winner of Best Actor in a Supporting Role (Jim Broadbent) in 2002. Nominated for Best Actress in a Leading Role (Judi Dench) and Best Actress in a Supporting Role (Kate Winslet).

Away from Her (2006)
Pretty much everything I was missing from Iris. You get a sense of the characters from when they were young via dialogue, not a different set of actors (for the most part). It has good pacing and it also serve an interesting plot.
Nominated for Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role (Julie Christie) and Best Writing-Adapted Screenplay in 2008.

The Iron Lady (2011)
Great performance. Piss poor filmmaking. The last half hour or so is baffingly bad.
Winner of Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role (Meryl Streep) and Best Achievement in Makeup in 2012.

The Savages (2007)
Really depressing subject matter done lighthearted and whimsical, but still treats it seriously and with respect. I enjoyed it a lot.
Nominated for Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role (Laura Linney) and Best Writing-Original Screenplay in 2008.

A Separation (2011)
Great! It is not an easy task to make a film seem so authentic and raw. Every dramatic turn seems very organic thanks to a very well written and nuanced script. A captivating slice of life.
Winner of Best Foreign Language Film of the Year in 2012. Nominated for Best Writing-Original Screenplay.

Lorenzo’s Oil (1992)
This could easily have become an “oscar baity” film, but in the hands of the eclectic George Miller it elevates. Several of the scenes sticks out being kind of over the top, but it makes the scenes feel disoriented, chaotic and nightmarish, and therefore highly effective.
Nominated for Best Actress in a Leading Role (Susan Sarandon) and Best Writing-Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen in 1993.

Complaints of a Dutiful Daughter (1994)
I am grateful that the filmmaker is sharing a very private insight into how alzheimers shape a mother and a daughter, and their relationship. It is both sad and fascinating, and surprisingly uplifting too.
Nominated for Best Documentary, Features in 1995.

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