Ladies and gentlemen, we’ve reached an important time in the season for film fans. Yes, we’re now at the point where the movies folks like me have been pegging as Oscar fare are being released. The prior weekend saw Pablo Larraín‘s Spencer, starring Kristen Stewart, hit screens. Yesterday, it was time for Kenneth Branagh‘s Belfast. You’ve heard me rave about both, and perhaps even seen my quotes in various marketing and FYC material for the flicks. Now, it’s time for another Awards Radar Community post, in the form of a Community Question. Specifically, it’s the following: if you’ve seen Belfast and/or Spencer, what are your thoughts?
Last week, Spencer was released, allowing fans to see Stewart in action. Regardless of what you think of the film (after all, it’s challenging fare), it’s hard to argue with how great Stewart is in the title role. She just disappears into the part. Here is part of my four star rave out of the Toronto International Film Festival:
Kristen Stewart deserves to win the Oscar for Best Actress, full stop. Disappearing into the role of Diana, there isn’t a moment in Spencer where you’re seeing Stewart. It’s only the Princess of Wales. It certainly doesn’t hurt that some of the paparazzi elements and external pressures laid at Diana’s feet resemble things the actress has gone through, but it’s still a performance for the ages. Tightly wound but full of personality, she shows you why this human being captured the imagination of so many. Especially in one particular sequence, she makes the woman truly come alive.
This weekend, Belfast has begun its theatrical run. With winning turns from Caitriona Balfe, Judi Dench, Jamie Dornan, Jude Hill, and Ciarán Hinds, Branagh’s memory of his childhood is like an hour and a half long hug. All of the Best Picture buzz is warranted, as you’re about to see. Back at TIFF, I raved about it like so:
Belfast is a beautiful love letter from Kenneth Branagh. He makes the film incredibly singular in its relationship to him/his family, but presents it in a way that everyone can engage with. Branagh fills your heart for 90 minutes, never overstaying its welcome. This is the rare movie that you want to be longer. When it ends, moments after a lovely line about acceptance, you’ll be all smiles (and maybe tears).
What are your thoughts on Belfast and Spencer? Let us know!