*Week 15 – Movie Recommendations from #ADAF

The Accountant (Gavin O’Connor, 2016)

As a math savant (Ben Affleck) uncooks the books for a new client, a Treasury Depeartment agent (J.K. Simmons) closes in on his activities and the body count starts to rise.

“The Accountant” is an action/crime/drama that flew under the radar late last year, lost amidst the chaos of the last leg of the American election (oh, how simpler things were then… but let’s not get into that now). Gavin O’Connor, the director behind another underrated movie, “Warrior,” takes a well-written script that checks all the boxes and puts onscreen a thrilling and intriguing story with a unique main character. His uniqueness? Ben Affleck plays a hero who’s strength and weakness stems from the same source: his autism. I dare not comment whether or not the movie portrays the widespread neurodevelopmental disorder fairly, but I will say that “The Accountant” breaks away from the James Bond movies by applying real psychology to a hero who’s adept at tackling problems both mentally and physically. Oh wait, I suppose Bond can do that too. But you know what I mean.

@anotherdayanohterfilm Recommended by Jeremy Yonzon

Chaplin (Richard Attenborough, 1992)

As a huge admirer of his, I honestly don’t think that this is the best movie that reflects Charlie Chaplin. But on the other side, it is hard to summarize his life in two hours. I have to warn you that this movie is a bit biased and focuses more on the lows of Chaplin’s life. However, this is a great film wherein Chaplin is played by Robert Downey Jr. He is perfectly cast as Charlie Chaplin and his brilliant performance earned him an Oscar nomination. This film showcases the entire life of Chaplin in chronological order and shows Chaplin in his youth, as a middle-aged success, and in his twilight years. “Chaplin” shows how a man becomes a legend.

If you don’t already know, after living for 40 years in U.S., Chaplin was exiled from the country. A man who voiced his opinion for equality and freedom was sentenced by the United States without trial. He was a man whose voice wasn’t heard in his art, but voiced his opinions publicly nonetheless.

@anotherdayanohterfilm Recommended by Merve Tekin

Eye in the Sky (Gavin Hood, 2015)

A British military officer (Helen Mirren) in command of an operation to eliminate terrorists in Kenya sees her mission escalate when an innocent girl enters the kill zone of a drone strike, triggering an international dispute over the implications of modern warfare.

Andrew Niccol’s “Good Kill” tackles the same heavily disputed subject of unmanned drone strikes. But, whereas “Good Kill” stacks all the moral ambiguity onto one man’s shoulders, Gavin Hood’s “Eye in the Sky” zooms out and takes a wider picture of the kind of complications a single military operation can give rise to. Beyond morality and military technicality, “Eye in the Sky” ventures into the political, international, and the logistical implications of a single drone strike. It’s amazing to see how far down the chain of command an operation consists of and to bear witness of the white-knuckle decision-making behind eliminating a national threat while weighing out the costs and benefits. Helen Mirren, Alan Rickman, and Aaron Paul will have you on the edge of your seat while they more or less stay stationary in their respective battle stations. The action in the field, however, is anything but stationary. Besides the great acting performances, the storyline takes the basic dramatic writing principle of “fortunately, unfortunately” and sustains it throughout its events. “Eye in the Sky” will have you holding your breath on several occasions, while also giving you pause about the reality that this smart and entertaining movie is portraying.

@anotherdayanohterfilm Recommended by Jeremy Yonzon

All About My Mother (Pedro Almodovar, 1999)

There’s a lot of movies I can recommend that was made by Almodovar, but this one is special for me. I don’t know how many times I’ve watched “All About My Mother.” This film heals me from a certain feeling I have sometimes. It is a story of a mother, a nun, a transvestite, an actress… it is the story of a WOMAN. Manuela, a single mother in Madrid, loses her son in a car accident and goes back to Barcelona to find her son’s father, who happens to be a transvestite. In Barcelona, she reunites with her old friend who is also a transvestite. Then a friend introduces Manuela to a nun (Penelope Cruz). What Almodóvar creates with this movie is just incredible. This comedy/tradegy studies carefully the female universe with strength and realism and also explains the importance of motherhood. All the main characters are very well developed. I know many people don’t like to read subtitles, but pay attention to the dialogue, they are fabulous!

@anotherdayanohterfilm Recommended by Merve Tekin

The Drop (Michaël R. Roskam, 2014)

A bartender (Tom Hardy) finds himself at the center of a robbery gone awry and gets entwined in the ensuing investigation that digs deep into the neighborhood’s sordid past.

You may not know this, but James Gandolfini passed away about a month after shooting “The Drop,” a crime movie that runs on the combined fuel of great acting and a spot-on adapted script. It is, however, undeniably Tom Hardy who owns the majority of the reasons why this movie works so well. Much like the tone and pace of the story, Tom Hardy’s character is quiet and brooding. Both plot and character only give out information when absolutely necessary. “The Drop’s” screenplay was written by one of my favorite writers, Dennis Lehane, who also penned Scorsese’s  “Shutter Island” and Ben Affleck’s “Gone Baby Gone,” both are totally recommend-able movies.

@anotherdayanohterfilm Recommended by Jeremy Yonzon

I Am Sam (Jessie Nelson, 2001)

If you haven’t seen this one, please do it as soon as you can. “I Am Sam” will likely make you say, “Wow!” afterwards because it is a masterpiece, one of the best movies about pure love. Sam is a single father who has the mental capacity of a 7-year-old. When his daughter reaches age 7 herself, Sam’s limitations start to become a problem. The authorities take his daughter away and Sam fights to take her back. An amazing cast and amazing performances. Excellent directing. Nice Script. Nice story. Very well written. Very good editing. Beautiful cinematography. And a wonderful musical soundtrack that’s composed mainly of Beatles covers.

@anotherdayanohterfilm Recommended by Merve Tekin

The Devil and Daniel Johnston (Jeff Feuerzeig, 2005)

A documentary film on Daniel Johnston, a manic-depressive singer/songwriter and little known musical genius, presenting a portrait of madness, creativity, and love.

I was driving home last night when Beach House’s cover of “Some Things Last a Long Time” played over the radio. That reminded me of the song’s original writer/performer, Daniel Johnston, which in turn reminded me of the documentary about his life and his art, “The Devil and Daniel Johnston…” which THEN reminded me to recommend the movie here on ADAF. It seems like not many people have even heard of Daniel Johnston, which to me, is the allure of this particular doc. He’s a relatively unknown figure, yet he’s influenced numerous musical giants, including one of the most impactful musicians who has ever lived: Kurt Cobain. Remember that shirt Cobain once wore, the one with the crude drawing of a frog with the caption, “Hello, how are you?” Yup, that’s a reference to Daniel Johnston’s work. The documentary pieces together a life full of heartache, challenges, and regret, yet it’s his musical passion and talent that prove to be the prevailing force in his life.  It’s a bit sad, but entirely inspiring. “The Devil and Daniel Johnston” has always had a special place in my heart because I consider it as a reminder to strive to make your mark on the world, no matter how big or small, and whether or not you become famous in the process.

@anotherdayanohterfilm Recommended by Jeremy Yonzon


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