Even in the midst of a year as hectic and unconventional as this one, Oscar season is still in full swing when it comes to this week’s selection of heavy hitters. Joining me once again for the first time in nearly three years is Maria Garcia, my former partner in crime from such shows as Now Conspiring and Part-Time Characters, and we’re discussing two films often hailed as being among the greatest of all time! We begin with Raging Bull, the morally complex sports biopic that saved Martin Scorsese’s life and has developed a widely varied legacy, and which one of us isn’t especially fond of! From there, we rewind the clock to visit Miloš Forman’s award season darling One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, a wholly unique classic within film history that holds up wonderfully to this day.
The two and only Cinemaholics are back to review The One and Only Ivan, a new Disney+ family feature starring Bryan Cranston, Sam Rockwell, Danny DeVito, Angelina Jolie, and many more. We also go back in time in a fun way with our discussion of Tesla, the Sundance biopic from IFC Films starring Ethan Hawke. And we finish the show with a review of Words on Bathroom Walls, the new YA teen romance starring Charlie Plummer and Taylor Russell.
If there’s one adjective I typically abhor when it comes to describing films, it’s “cute.” Cute, to my disgruntled ears, comes off as cheap, lazy, and non-descriptive. It’s a broad word that doesn’t really get to the meat of one’s feelings beyond the surface level. It’s a deflection term, often used to describe the exterior of a film while avoiding anything specific, intellectual, or meaningful. It’s an inoffensive word, certainly; there’s really no sense in getting mad about its overuse beyond my (admittedly) overbearingly high literary standards. But I still find it ceaselessly grating. What exactly does it mean to be “cute” anyway? It looks nice? A squeaky-clean disposition? Positive vibes? Good morals? It’s a placeholder word when others fail you.