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The days of counting swear words are over. Welcome to a fresh voice in film and faith. Join Cinema Faith founder Jonathan Butrin and cinephile Tim Nelson as they discuss film through a Christian lens.
43 Episodes
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Parasite

Parasite

2019-11-2901:02:46

As protests spring up worldwide and economic populism becomes the defining politic of the moment, it was only a matter of time before a film tapped into the zeitgeist. That film is Parasite. The movie, directed by Bong Joon-Ho, nabbed the Palm d'Or at this year's Cannes Film Festival, opened in wide release across the country, and has already raked in close to $100 million domestically. Not bad for a foreign film with subtitles.Parasite is about a family of four struggling to make ends meet in a cramped South Korean apartment. Through a chance encounter with an old friend, the oldest son of the family, Kim Ki-woo, lands a tutoring gig for a rich family of four across town who are on the opposite end of the ladder socially and economically. Eventually, Kim Ki-woo sees an opportunity worth exploiting. Through a series of events, Kim Ki-woo finds a way to employ every member of his poor family in the household of the rich family, all while acting as if they are complete strangers. From there, the movie takes a variety of twists and turns, encompasses multiple genres, and finally culminates in a shocking climax. Joon-Ho's directing is crisp and precise. Every shot is honed for maximum impact, and every scene is filled with meaning and symbolism. Some stories are powerful enough to transcend language and culture. Parasite is one of them.Join Jon and Tim as they discuss the movies they're thankful for, a defense of cool whip, why Jon hates Star Wars, the lost theater amenity, strangers in loveseats, Tim's favorite parasite, Planes, Trains, and Automobiles, the myth of class dynamism, Jeff Bezos vs. Amazon factory workers, how elites manipulate the masses, why money can buy happiness, and the ways wealth disguises suffering beneath the surface.
Joker

Joker

2019-10-3101:21:46

No film in recent memory has been as polarizing as Joker. A scroll through Rotten Tomatoes reveals a spectrum of reactions ranging from the highest praise of the year to anger that the movie was even made. One thing's for sure though: everyone has seen it. Joker is officially the highest-grossing R-rated film of all time bringing in $856.3 million to date. And everyone who's seen it has an opinion. Naturally, the time has come for ours.Joker certainly isn't your average comic book movie. For starters, director Todd Phillips treats the material like a straight-forward psychological drama. Substituting Chicago for Gotham would in no way lessen its impact. For some, that's part of the problem. For others, it's a breath of fresh air. But Joker‘s ultimate offering is the only thing everyone can agree on: Joaquin Phoenix. In what's sure to net him his fourth Oscar nomination, Phoenix is nothing short of a revelation. He brings a haunting, physical approach to the Joker that manages to stand out even in the shadow of the other infamous portrayals of the villain. The praise for Phoenix is unanimous. And yet, no one can agree on the movie he stars in.Join Jon and Tim as they discuss their reactions to the reactions, the 50th Cinema Faith podcast, Ben Stiller's directing, the Mongolian Grill experience, Joaquin Phoenix's filmography, Jon's man-crushes, the streaming revolution, why Millenials don't appreciate Tim Burton enough, Robert De Niro's read-through, comedy directors doing serious films, Tim's HBO subscription, why we need to talk about mental illness, the duty of citizens in a social contract, banning art, and the way of cruciform love.
Booksmart

Booksmart

2019-10-0100:51:59

Booksmart has been on our radar since its release in May. With a 97% Rotten Tomatoes score, it's one of the best-reviewed films of the year. But now, it's our turn. Does the movie live up to the hype?Booksmart is the directorial debut of actress Olivia Wilde. Whatever faults Wilde brings to her first outing, casting isn't one of them. Kaitlyn Dever and Beanie Feldstein play Amy and Molly, two high school seniors who have made school their sole focus. With their enrollment secured at a prestigious university, they feel superior to their fellow classmates who seemingly care more about partying than homework. But when Amy and Molly learn that the students they looked down on have been accepted to the same elite universities as them, they suddenly realize they may squandered the last four years of their life and vow to cram all of the fun they could have had into one raucous night.Join Jon and Tim as they discuss Ira Glass' good looks, why radiation is scary, coming of age films, Jon's pick for the best movie of all time, why we're better than the New York Times, what "thirsty" means, why comedies just need to be funny, the birth of Joker time, when problems feel like the end of the world, the beauty of the Gospel, the false gods of our culture, the perils of individualism, and the value of loyalty.
The ninth film from Quentin Tarantino is now playing, and it's filled to the brim with everything you love or hate about his movies. When Once Upon a Time In Hollywood was first announced, we admittedly feared the worst. A Tarantino film about the Manson murders? Gulp. But the end result is guaranteed to surprise you.Hollywood is the collision of two different stories and two different eras. The first story follows fictional actor Rick Dalton (Leonardo DiCaprio) and his stunt double Cliff Booth (Brad Pitt) at the tail-end of the 60's coming to grips with the death of the cowboy hero and the birth of 70's counter-culture. The second story chronicles real-life actress Sharon Tate (Margot Robbie) as she follows the trajectory that leads to her real-life murder at the hands of the Manson cult. How do the two tales connect, and what is Tarantino's take on those fateful murders of 1969? The answers are best experienced spoiler-free, but one thing is certain: Hollywood is a welcome return to form for Tarantino after The Hateful Eight. The film is as entertaining as summer movies get with layers of depth to mine underneath the surface. Love him or hate him, a Tarantino film is always worth talking about.Join Jon and Tim as they discuss Brad Pitt's abs, their long hiatus, the controversy surrounding Tarantino, Dakota Fanning's scary comeback, where truth meets fiction, why Tim doesn't like Sandra Oh, why Jon doesn't like Jerry Seinfeld, whether Sharon Tate's portrayal is underwritten, the humble morality of Cliff Booth, the ultimate theological debate of 2019, whether God is a pacifist, and why we crave violent heroes.
Avengers: Endgame

Avengers: Endgame

2019-05-3101:08:44

Eleven years ago, Iron Man changed comic book movies forever. Not only was the movie great, it was the beginning of a journey through the Marvel Cinematic Universe, with each film offering something new while also being connected to one large story. Avengers: Endgame is the culmination of that 22-film saga. From this point forward, the MCU will never be the same.In many ways, Endgame is the pinnacle of Marvel's achievements. Their signature blend of comedy and adventure are still in place, but the movie also dives into weightier themes. All of the central heroes we've invested in over the years are together and better than ever. And directors Anthony Russo and Joe Russo employ an ingenious plot device that makes the movie both a celebration of the old and an embrace of the new. There's no question that Endgame is a great comic book movie, but is it also a great movie? What began as a normal Cinema Faith podcast became a sprawling discussion on the nature of art itself.Join Jon and Tim as they discuss how to compare art across genres, the Lubezki/Cuarón film no one's heard of, virtual reality movies, how Marvel ruined Jeremy Renner's career, time travel movies, whether The Matrix stands the test of time, how the Marvel heroes differ from Christ, Jon's Game of Thrones rant, why Thanos is right part II, the fine line between cool and ridiculous, the "popular film" Oscar category, Tim's dirty theater experience, the truth about grief and loss, and how to maintain hope in the darkness.
Gloria Bell

Gloria Bell

2019-05-0100:53:59

April is too early to be talking about the Oscars, but sometimes a gem comes along that's worthy of the discussion. Director Sebastián Lelio isn't well-known to American audiences. His only English-language feature prior to this year was 2017's Disobedience. But Gloria Bell could be the film that changes all of that for good.Bell is a remake of Lelio's own Spanish-language movie Gloria. Julianne Moore plays the titular character, a divorced 50-something looking for love and meaning wherever she can find it. She spends her days at a dull office job and her nights at a dance club. The latter is where she meets Arnold (John Turturro), a fellow divorcé. But Lelio is after something deeper than a plot-twisting romance. Bell is a character study first and foremost, inhabited by the best performance of Moore's career. Moore has already earned her place in the Best Actress discussion, and it's only April. And yet, this isn't just a performance in search of a movie. Lelio's talent behind the lens and poignant symbolism make Gloria Bell the best movie of 2019 to date.Join Jon and Tim as they discuss Lelio's voyeuristic style, their favorite Julianne Moore movies, the monthly weather report, a super-fan shout out, Jon Turturro's best role, why Tim is a prophet, Christendom's marriage obsession, the latest Netflix original, Jon's Marvel sales pitch, reclaiming the term "life-affirming," the dual natures of Jesus, and why it's better to be alone than inauthentic.
Rashomon

Rashomon

2019-03-2900:56:03

We're back! After taking February off for all things Oscars, Jon and Tim are ready to turn the page on 2018…by talking about a really old movie. Yes, that's right — 2019 will have to wait. It's a dumpster fire in movie theaters right now, so we thought we'd travel back in time to 1950 and visit the work of a master. There are few directors as influential and legendary as Akira Kurosawa, and Rashomon is the perfect introduction to his work for the uninitiated.Rashomon is a Japanese classic which tells four versions of the same story involving a bandit's attack on a married couple. Kurosawa uses the groundbreaking technique of differing narratives to highlight the fickle nature of truth, justice, and human nature. The movie is even more relevant today than when it was released 69 years ago. As we wrestle over facts in our post-truth era and regularly discover the dark side of people we thought we knew, Kurosawa offers us fresh insight and the one thing we need most of all: hope.Join Jon and Tim as they discuss Amy Adams' best performance, Cameron Crowe's fall from grace, why we're living in a golden age of television, highlights from Oscar night, the dynasty of Mexican directors, Jon's confession, the legacy of Akira Kurosawa, the "Rashomon Effect," why we need to take sin seriously, how Rashomon is responsible for Roma‘s Oscar win, the subjective nature of truth, and whether any of us are truly good.
If Beale Street Could Talk

If Beale Street Could Talk

2019-02-0101:10:23

Barry Jenkins and Damien Chazelle both directed Oscar-nominated movies this year. The last time that happened was in 2017 when Chazelle's La La Land was mistakenly announced as the Best Picture winner only to be supplanted by the true Best Picture winner — Jenkins' Moonlight. The debacle was a distraction from what should have been Jenkins' sole moment in the spotlight. Moonlight was indeed the best film of 2016. Now, Jenkins is back with a follow-up: If Beale Street Could Talk. Beale Street is an adaptation of the book by James Baldwin released in 1974. The film centers around a wrongfully incarcerated man named Fonnie (Stephan James) and his pregnant fiancée Tish (Kiki Layne) as they desperately try to prove Fonnie's innocence and reclaim their family. The story takes place in the early 70's, but its themes of racism, discrimination, and injustice are just as relevant today. Jenkins employs the same powerful visual style that made Moonlight a masterpiece. This, combined with outstanding acting across the board (including Regina King in an Oscar-nominated performance), makes Beale Street one of the best films of the year.Join Jon and Tim as they discuss the strangest Golden Globes ever, where not to get barbecue in Memphis, what Jenkins gets right about relationships, the most haunting scene of 2018, another voiceover rant, the long forgotten Look Who's Talking Too, the Amazon-Disney One World Government, why moving to France is tempting, the key scene that almost got cut, how cinematography enhances intimacy, why stories work better than arguments, the injustice of mass incarceration, and whether black folks can have a normal life in America.
Roma

Roma

2018-12-2801:00:04

It's that time of the year again. Lights are glowing. Music is going. Food is flowing. That's right — it's Oscar season! The festive holiday where we live in movie theaters because all the best films of the year appear over the course of three months. However, Netflix might be changing that. The platform that redefined TV as we know it just released their primary Oscar contender in theaters and streaming simultaneously. So rather than make yet another trip to the theater, you can watch this Oscar favorite from the comfort of your living room. But if you do, you'll be missing out on the most beautiful big screen experience of 2018.The movie is Roma — the latest from director Alfonzo Cuarón. Cuarón won over film buffs with his 2001 indie Y Tu Mamá También. And yet, he's also known for mainstream fare like A Little Princess, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, and Gravity. But Roma could be his best film to date. It's certainly his most personal. Cuarón constructed the movie primarily from memories of his own childhood growing up with upper class privilege in Mexico City while being taken care of every day by a lower class maid. The film centers around a re-creation of that maid named Cleo (played by first-time actress Yalitza Aparicio) and the unsung life she led. From a visual standpoint, the movie is stunning. Every shot is a work of art. But it's the subtlety and authenticity of Cleo's journey that lends Roma its true power, and it's why we'll be talking about it come Oscar night on February 24th.Join Jon and Tim as they discuss why it's okay to feel good about Christmas, Cuarón's filmography, sex as a personal journey, Michelangelo's Pietà, when dialogue is more effective than special effects, Christmas Eve movie picks, why Y Tu Mamá También is more than a threesome with someone's mom, Jon's Time magazine subscription, what book to film adaptations get wrong, why eating out with kids is always a mistake, Robert McKee on story, the importance of the first scene, God's favorite people, the strength of the powerless, and whether Roma is a true masterpiece.
First Man / Free Solo

First Man / Free Solo

2018-11-3000:48:15

Our audio equipment failed us in October, but we're back and better than ever. Welcome to our first double feature podcast! That's right, this month you get two movies for the price of one.Starting things off is First Man. After launching two masterpieces into the universe with Whiplash and La La Land, director Damien Chazelle is back with a film about Neil Armstrong's infamous walk on the moon. But First Man is so much more than a biopic. Chazelle re-teams with Ryan Gosling for an untold take on the Armstrong story that is far more about his small step than the giant leap for mankind. Once again, Chazelle employs a masterclass in writing, cinematography, directing, and music to create a spellbinding journey into the vastness of space.Next up is the documentary Free Solo about climber Alex Honnold who enjoys summiting mountains with no safety equipment in sight. Directors Jimmy Chin and Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi follow Honnold as he attempts one of the most dangerous free solo climbs in history: El Capitan at Yosemite National Park. What possesses a man to put his life on the line to climb a mountain? Perhaps it's the same thing that drove Neil Armstrong to the moon.Join Jon and Tim as they discuss the lost October podcast, what we'll be doing in heaven, the terror of space, Jon's latest man-crush, re-writing history, a Mission: Impossible 2 reference, Yoko Ono, why Tim podcasts in a bathrobe, Free Solo vs. Won't You Be My Neighbor?, a shout out from a fan, how cinematography creates intimacy, and the price of greatness.
Mandy

Mandy

2018-09-2800:58:03

Who is Nicolas Cage? Oscar-winning actor? Charming leading man? The king of rage? The answer of course is all of the above. His nearly four decade career has run the gamut. He's been acclaimed and panned. He's made hits and straight-to-DVD misses. But through it all, Cage is still making movies and we're still talking about him.Cage's latest is the strangest film of the year so far. Writer/Director Panos Cosmatos has an affinity for the grindhouse style of filmmaking. Mandy feels like it was teleported from the 70's and dropped into a projector for the midnight movie crowd. Cage stars as Red, a simple man who lives in the mountains with his wife Mandy (Andrea Riseborough), until a Satanic cult invades his home and sets him on a path of violent vengeance. Mandy is a bizarre exploitation film that highlights the best and worst of Cage's career.Join Jon and Tim as they discuss Ozark vs. Breaking Bad, grindhouse movies, Nicolas Cage's filmography, why Mandy‘s aesthetic is groundbreaking, Jon's DC Talk reference, VOD Cage Rage, inappropriate laughter, a Birdman rant, financial advice for celebrities, the dog poop cookie analogy, why demons need motorcycles, and what makes a movie worth watching.
Eighth Grade

Eighth Grade

2018-08-3100:57:22

Anyone who says they loved eighth grade is lying. It's the perfect storm. Bullies, hormones, rejection, fear, doubt, and self-loathing. Rinse, repeat. But what was hell on earth is cinema heaven. Enter stand-up comedian Bo Burnham. Eighth Grade is Burnham's feature film debut, and he couldn't have picked a time in our lives more rife with tension and conflict.You could almost call Eighth Grade a horror movie. With a raw, unflinching aesthetic, we follow Kayla (Elsie Fisher) around in the summer of transition from eighth grade to high school. There is no overarching plot. Kayla is the plot. We watch with dread as she struggles to find her place in the world, remembering what it felt like to walk in her shoes. Eighth Grade received a staggering 98% on Rotten Tomatoes with multiple outlets awarding it a perfect score. But does the movie live up to the hype?Join Jon and Tim as they discuss their eighth grade experiences, the Orson Wells opening that will give you chills, why Bo Burnham is better at directing than stand-up, Tim's fly fishing adventures, the "Sail Away" song battle, how Eighth Grade stacks up to other coming-of-age movies, Jon's latest TV obsession, top ten lists, the year in film so far, how smart phones changed a generation, and the power of unconditional love.
Won't You Be My Neighbor?

Won't You Be My Neighbor?

2018-08-0301:07:48

Could there be a movie more needed in 2018 than Won't You Be My Neighbor? As fear and tribalism reach fever pitch, we desperately need a mirror held up to our humanity. Fred Rogers was that mirror, not by pointing a finger, but by living a life of selfless love that still resonates today.The beauty of Morgan Neville's Neighbor is that he takes a man we thought we knew and reveals so much more. Many remember watching Mr. Roger's Neighborhood on childhood sofas after school, but how many were acquainted with Mr. Rogers himself? Neighbor shows us the life behind the scenes, and the journey is sublime. Fred Rogers embodied the best of what humanity can be. Even the hardest heart will walk away changed.Join Jon and Tim as they discuss why Vince Gilligan is a genius, the hidden art of documentary filmmaking, sex-ed videos, Morgan Neville's filmography, Tim's apology to Padooka, KY, how kids shows have changed, the danger of false masculinity, the oppressiveness of advertising, the puppet podcast, how being nice doesn't solve everything, why our differences matter, and the centrality of love.
First Reformed

First Reformed

2018-06-2901:15:02

Paul Schrader is better known for his writing than directing. Though he's directed over 20 films, it's his screenwriting collaborations with Martin Scorsese that have stood the test of time. Taxi Driver, Raging Bull, and Bringing Out the Dead highlight Schrader's proclivities as a writer. All three feature a tortured protagonist walking against the current of life toward a fateful end. In First Reformed, Schrader brings his trademark themes behind the lens for an addition to his directing resume that won't soon be forgotten.Ethan Hawke plays Reverend Ernst Toller, the overseer of one of the oldest churches in a fictional New York town. Toller lives a life of contemplation and solitude, desperately seeking to rekindle his faith. His congregants are few — a far cry from the parent church, Abundant Life, which hangs like a shadow over the simplicity of First Reformed. When Toller begins to counsel a troubled couple, he's forced to confront his beliefs head on and embark on a path of no return.Join Jon and Tim as they discuss which classic film is overrated, the real-life Ernst Toller, a good example of voiceover, Jon's latest HBO obsession, the ultimate movie review of Song to Song, Ethan Hawke's filmography, why Tim refused to go to Calvin, hope vs. despair, the pitfalls of megachurches, the controversial ending, how partisanship has infected the Church, and what it means to live out our faith in the real world.
Avengers: Infinity War

Avengers: Infinity War

2018-05-2401:07:10

In 2008, Marvel Studios took the gamble of the century. They released Iron Man, featuring a virtually unknown character outside the comic book world and starring an actor with a checkered past and little box office success in Robert Downey Jr. Raising the stakes even further, prior to the release of Iron Man, Marvel committed themselves to a handful of additional movies and an eventual team-up event starring more lesser known  characters like Thor, Captain America, and the Hulk. The result could have been disastrous. But Iron Man proved to be a hit with critics and audiences alike, paving the way for a long and prosperous future for the Marvel Cinematic Universe.Avengers: Infinity War is the capstone of Marvel's cinematic achievements. Nearly every character from the 18 films released since Iron Man make an appearance to stop the MCU's most powerful villain to date, Thanos. And once again, the movie strikes gold. Infinity War has already grossed $1.8 billion worldwide, and has garnered more praise from critics (83% on Rotten Tomatoes) and movie-goers ("A" on CinemaScore). As Marvel enters the next phase of their journey, can they maintain this unprecedented success? If Infinity War is any indication, we would never count them out.Join Jon and Tim as they discuss their monthly weather report, Jon's HBO obsession, which 9-year-old spoiled Infinity War for Tim, how Marvel's box office success could end world hunger, what characters were underwritten, the beauty of cross-promotion, why Kevin Feige is a genius, Tim and Jon's favorite Marvel movie, the theology of scarcity vs. the theology of abundance, the ways Thanos reveals our visions of God, and how a desire for happy endings is written on our souls.
Ready Player One

Ready Player One

2018-04-2601:05:27

We know what you're thinking. Another Spielberg movie? Really? Yes, two podcasts after The Post we're back for another discussion on the legendary filmmaker. But his latest entry couldn't be more different.Ready Player One, based on the novel by the same name, takes place in the year 2045. The world has devolved into a cramped, dirty mess and everyone is looking for an escape. And that's exactly what they find in a virtual reality world called the OASIS. Every day, the people of the future put on their headsets and travel to a place where they can be who they want, go where they want, and do what they want. But there's a catch. If they die in the OASIS, all the power-ups and money they've acquired die too. There's also a secret Easter egg embedded in the virtual world which bestows its finder with wealth and total control over the OASIS itself. The film follows Wade Watts (Tye Sheridan) and his band of underdogs as they attempt to find the Easter egg before it lands in the wrong hands.Join Jon and Tim as they discuss the year in film so far, their desert island Spielberg movie, why Fantasia is a better fantasy world than the OASIS, the video game that brought down Atari, Jon's friendship with John Krasinski, reclaiming artistic nostalgia, why the main characters in Ready Player One are the worst characters, the one 80's reference Spielberg couldn't get the rights to, the fundamentalism of fandom, modern-day Gnosticism, the right way to use virtual reality, and how entertainment can become a prison locked on the inside.
Annhilation

Annhilation

2018-04-0100:55:11

Our podcast this month was originally on A Wrinkle in Time. Then we saw the movie… Tune in to the beginning for Jon’s epic rant, and then stay for a discussion of a movie that’s actually worth talking about: Annhilation.Alex Garland is a prolific writer, ranging from novels (The Beach) to screenplays (28 Days Later), but in 2014 he began a new trajectory as both writer and director for Ex Machina. The movie is a scary meditation on artificial intelligence starring Oscar Isaac, Domhnall Gleeson, and Alicia Vikander. Now Garland is back for his second writing/directing outing using many of the same elements of Ex Machina, but on an even grander scale. Once again, Garland dives deep into a wide assortment of existential themes while still managing to tell an entertaining story. When an extraterrestrial shimmer begins to spread on earth altering everything it touches, Lena (Natalie Portman) volunteers to join a team of specialists to enter the shimmer and preserve the human race. Annhilation is a thought-provoking thriller with genuine bite. Movies this smart aren’t common in March. Hopefully it’s a sign of things to come as we officially begin the 2018 season of the Cinema Faith podcast.Join Jon and Tim as they discuss why Alex Garland is better at suspense than science-fiction, Hollywood's obsession with The Heart of Darkness, Alejandro Iñárritu's secret Oscar, why people don't like Natalie Portman, the way our relationships change us, Tim's pledge to watch every Marvel movie, how the science in the film is insulting, Jon's existential theater experience, our propensity toward self-destruction, and the beauty of the incarnation.
The Post

The Post

2018-02-0201:05:18

Is there any director with a more impressive filmography than Steven Spielberg? He defined our childhood, explored every genre, invented the blockbuster, and delivered masterpieces worthy of any top ten list. His work is legendary, and he's not done yet. The Post is Spielberg's 31st time behind the director's chair. And this time, he's got politics on the brain.In 1971, a government employee leaked a classified study on the Vietnam War called "The Pentagon Papers" to the New York Times. After the Times posted an excerpt, the Nixon administration took them to court and barred them from releasing any more documents. Enter the Washington Post. When the Post tracks down an additional copy of the Pentagon Papers, the head of the newspaper — Kay Graham (Meryl Streep) — is faced with an impossible decision: release the papers and face untold consequences or play it safe and protect her father's business? The story couldn't be more timely. Reporters today are faced with a similar predicament: report the truth and get labeled "fake news" or play it safe and avoid controversy? The future of American democracy may depend on their decision.Join Jon and Tim as they discuss why the Oscars are better than the Grammys, what movie should win Best Picture, how The Post is like a dodgeball team, why Jon is a starry-eyed millennial, what makes Steven Spielberg great, the danger of power relationships, why Meryl Streep is the Bill Belichick of film, Tim's homework assignment, the importance of the press, and the Christian obligation to truth.
The Shape of Water

The Shape of Water

2017-12-2901:03:27

You'd be forgiven for writing off Guillermo del Toro as just another genre director. Entries like Hellboy, Blade Runner II, Pacific Rim, and Crimson Peak fit neatly in that vein. But if you really want to uncover del Toro's heart, look no further than 2006's Pan's Labyrinth. The film has been described as an "adult fairy tale" — a child-like fantasy set in a grown-up world. It was nominated for five Academy Awards and won three.The Shape of Water is another fairy tale for adults that seems destined to make a splash at the Oscars. The movie, set in 1962, follows a cleaning woman named Elisa (Sally Hawkins) stationed at a top-secret government facility who develops an unconventional romance with the prize capture of the compound: a sea creature with extraordinary abilities. Water has some narrative hiccups, but it's unlike anything else released this year. Del Toro's attention to detail — combined with the highest levels of acting, cinematography, visual effects, and score — casts a spell you won't soon forget.Join Jon and Tim as they discuss Monopoly strategies, It's a Wonderful Life, Tim's Star Wars theory, Del Toro's Mis En Scène, Jon's CGI rant, Wes Anderson movies, Michael Shannon's Groundhog Day appearance, Octavia Spencer's Oscar theft, Tim's obsession with Guardians of the Galaxy 2, God's identification with the marginalized, the narratives we tell ourselves, and the danger of dehumanizing the other.
Lady Bird

Lady Bird

2017-12-0101:04:38

Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to Oscar season. After a dismal year at the movies, studios have saved their best for last. December boasts the most hopefuls, but November has a trick up its sleeve: a little indie called Lady Bird.Greta Gerwig isn't a household name, but you've seen her before. She's acted in roles both big and small for a decade (most recently as Jackie Kennedy's assistant in Jackie). But for Lady Bird, Gerwig steps behind the lens for the first time. The result is perfection. Saoirse Ronan plays Lady Bird, a 17-year-old Senior at a Catholic school desperate to escape her ordinary life and see the world. Laurie Metcalf is her working class mother, Marion, desperate to get her daughter's head out of the clouds and into reality. Gerwig's characters are fascinating, her script is razor-sharp, and the themes she explores ring true. This feels like the work of a veteran, not a first-time filmmaker. The film is 100% on Rotten Tomatoes and a shoo-in Oscar threat. There are still many films to see, but Lady Bird might just be the best film of the year.Join Jon and Tim as they discuss their favorite Thanksgiving food, why the houses in John Hughes movies are so big, how to pronounce Saoirse Ronan, why teenagers are jerks, Jon's secret obsession with Knocked Up, the symbolic importance of breast-feeding, why Disney is a bully, how Lady Bird is an Exodus narrative, and the transforming power of grace.
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