Tag Archives: Oscars

A LOVE LETTER TO ANDREW GARFIELD

A tour de force actor capable of portraying both the zany and the conventional. An inventive performer with impeccable grace and gravitas in any scene they’re in –an artist sporting a pure soul with a passion for love. There are only two people in the world that fit the bill, and they’re both named Andrew. Today, I’m taking a break from professing my love for Andrew Scott, and instead, I’m penning a love letter to the one and only Andrew Garfield.

I love you. I’m so sorry; I had to get it out of the way, I couldn’t play it cool. I fold immediately under any pressure. I’ll try to remain more composed for the rest of this article. Anyways, I loved you before any of these fakers (Burnt X’s beloved readers) ever did.  I watched the 2017 Hollywood Reporter Roundtable Interview during the pandemic, and I fell in love with Andrew Russell Garfield. The real Andrew Garfield fans and I had to pull the bandwagon over to let the dilatory lot on after they saw you in Spider-Man: No Way Home and discovered what we (stans) already knew, that Andrew Garfield is a shot of espresso bathed in sunlight. 

If you were to cut Andrew Garfield’s chest open, you would find the biggest heart in the world. Seriously, have you heard this guy talk about anything at all, ever? Every time he opens his mouth, floating stars and hearts begin to swirl around him as he generously gives a piece of his infinite heart to this cold and dark rock. Whether it is examining his romantic relationships or speaking about the relationship between him and his mother, he serves as a shining example of fulfilled and unconditional love. Speaking about a bully who picked on him when he was a child, Garfield explains to Stephen Colbert (linked below) that he used to defend the bully, believing “hurt people, hurt people”. He learned to love others unconditionally from his mother, much to the chagrin of the bully. His love for others is also found in the unconfirmed fan theory that Garfield built a handmade chair for his former partner, Emma Stone. The dual-citizen actor continually proves he is as loving as he is talented.

Every character with the gift of being imbued by this talent has their truth expressed beautifully with a vulnerability to all of the senses. Whether it’s playing a Jesuit priest in Martin Scorsese’s religious epic or losing himself Under the Silver Lake, this cat cannot miss. Then, of course, his performance as Eduardo Saverin back in 2010 thrust him into the spotlight, serving as the audience’s anchor to Eisenberg’s arrogant and cold Mark Zuckerburg and Justin Timberlake’s narcissistic, eccentric portrayal of Sean Parker. Proving himself to be a talent capable of keeping up with director David Fincher’s exhausting number of takes and finding the rhythm of infamous screenwriter Aaron Sorkin’s sped-up script, he then went to bigger and New York-ier skies. 

His next big role was as Peter Parker in Sony’s reboot of Spider-Man in 2012. In a role that he was cut from too soon, Andrew’s Peter Parker finds himself haunted by his relationship with his father and grounded by his love for Emma Stone’s Gwen Stacy. While their love on-screen was also real off-screen (as is the case for all three live-screen depictions of Spider-Man and their love interests), TASM’s love story remains the best part of his portrayal. While the two films rank lower with critics than other takes on the web-slinger, I maintain that Garfield’s nuanced performance allows the audience to more deeply connect with the character as compared to Tobey Maguire’s campy 2000’s films and Tom Holland’s contemporary take, which is constantly drowned out by other characters in the MCU franchise. And who can disagree with his ideological take on the character: “What I believe about Spider-Man is that he does stand for everybody: Black, white, Chinese, Malaysian, gay, straight, lesbian, bisexual, transgender. He will put himself in harm’s way for anyone. He is colourblind. He’s blind to sexual orientation, and that is what he has always represented to me. He represents the everyman, but he represents the underdog and those marginalised who come up against great prejudice which I, as a middle-class straight, white man, don’t really understand so much.”

Recently, Andrew Garfield held a nomination for an Oscar for his role in tick, tick… BOOM!. Training with a vocal coach for over a year, Garfield was snubbed when the Academy did not recognize his powerful and complex capture of playwright Jonathan Larson. However, I can assure you, he is a future Oscar winner, having already won a Tony, BAFTA, Golden Globe award, and previously been nominated for the Oscar in 2017.

A laugh-filled with innocence and intelligence. A smile too big for his face. A voice so full of passion, it could make this entire article sound good. But, at the end of the day, perhaps there is nothing more alluring than Andrew Garfield’s spirit. The comfort and trust one can feel when watching him in interviews or on the big screen– it’s a feeling. You can feel his flaws, his restricting idealistic tendencies, and his overanalysis of the little things. You can feel his pain, his joy, and his truth, but you know it’s only a fraction of the whole picture. When you hear his voice come through the IMAX speakers for your fourth viewing of Spider-Man: No Way Home, you know what to expect, but you can’t prepare for the palpable passion he has for his art form. He can express anything he feels, and he frees those listening with the truth. Nothing sums up the loveliness of the “agnostic pantheist” more than Stephen Colbert going in for a second kiss with him. 

Thus concludes my love letter both to and about the singular Andrew Garfield. May he serve as a beacon of light and truth during these trying times. Moreover, note that Andrew Garfield’s personality type is INFP, as according to the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator test, and guess who also happens to be an INFP… me. I. I..saac. Author Isaac Hermosillo. So, scientifically speaking, if you now love Andrew Garfield or were already loving him before reading this, you are now welcome to love a shorter, fully-American INFP, should you be prone to any impulses that arise in you at any time.

Featured Image By Francessca Conde

Judas and the Black Messiah Spoiler-Free Review

A story about revolution, featuring terrific acting and intense directing come together to bring us a riveting start to 2021.

The late-1960s saw the rise of the Black Panther Movement. A movement dedicated to the liberation of Black people during a time of heavy police brutality. We follow two key members of the group: Deputy Chairman Fred Hampton and William (Bill) O’Neal. One was responsible for the soar of the Illinois chapter. The other was responsible for its eventual downfall. 

Shaka King directs “Judas and the Black Messiah,” with “Get Out” star Daniel Kaluuya starring as Fred Hampton. LaKeith Stanfield stars opposite playing Bill O’Neal, the FBI informant sent to infiltrate the Black Panthers.

L-r) Director SHAKA KING and DANIEL KALUUYA on the set of Warner Bros. Pictures’ “JUDAS AND THE BLACK MESSIAH,” a Warner Bros. Pictures release. Photo by Glen Wilson

King and co-writers, The Lucas Brothers, tackle the enormous feat of the conflicting stories of these two men. Perfectly balancing a man who is lost, and one who has known his purpose his whole life. They also dive head-in with showing us just how involved the FBI was in taking down Fred Hampton.

A highpoint for me is the acting. Kaluuya’s first on-screen appearance as Hampton is at a college seminar. From his first line, “I don’t need a mic, can y’all hear me,” we know the type of person he will be portraying – a motivational, strong-willed and passionate leader. It’s fascinating to watch him bring Fred Hampton’s story to the screen. 

Photo courtesy of WarnerBros Studios via Variety

Stanfield’s performance as Bill O’Neal is stressful to watch, but in a good way. He’s so over the top to prevent anyone from catching onto him being an informant. Stanfield also does brilliantly at depicting the guilty side of O’Neal. The side of him that feels remorse for sacrificing others to save his skin.

Photo courtesy of WarnerBros Studios via The Guardian

Everyone in the cast did a phenomenal job, there were no weak links. Two stand-outs for me were Dominique Fishback and Algee Smith. 

This movie is coming at the perfect time. It makes you think – what is a revolution? What has to be done to achieve freedom, and how far are you willing to go? Will it even work in the end? 

In the context of what happened last year, we still find ourselves asking those questions. The Black Lives Matter Movement, a peaceful protest that quickly turned violent. We wanted an end to police brutality, and here we are in 2021. Did we achieve what the protests set out to do? How far must we go to get people to understand that Black lives matter?

People hold up a Black Lives Matter banner as they march during a demonstration against racial inequality in the aftermath of the death in Minneapolis police custody of George Floyd, in Washington, U.S., June 14, 2020. REUTERS/Erin Scott

“Judas and the Black Messiah” is a beautiful film. Some of its genius lies in the little things like the score, the poem about a mother giving her most precious things to the world, or the shot of the raised Black fists. Any award nominations are highly deserved, and I recommend this film.

Rated: R

Release Date: Feb 12 2021

Where: In theaters and HBO Max (for 31 days)

Featured image courtesy of Warner Bros Studios via Variety

The Oscars: South Korea’s Biggest Night

The 92nd annual Academy Awards, or Oscars, took place last Sunday night and featured surprising wins, historic moments and rap.

2019 saw an amazing year in film with gems like “Jojo Rabbit”, “Knives Out” and “Parasite”. Hollywood’s biggest and brightest filled the Dolby Theatre to celebrate these amazing films and hopefully win the industry’s most coveted award. The hostless show kicked off with an energetic number from Janelle Monae, and then the star-studded night was underway.

The first award of the night went to Brad Pitt for Best Supporting Actor, a win that surprised no one who’s been following this awards season. The “Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood” actor has been winning that award all season.

Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Other anticipated wins went to Joaquin Phoenix for Best Actor, Renée Zellweger for Best Actress, and Laura Dern for Best Supporting Actress.

However, the true stars of the night were the “Parasite” team.

“Parasite” swept the ceremony taking home, Best Screenplay, Best Director and the top award of the night — Best Picture. Making history as the first non-English language film to win the award.

Director Bong Joon Ho thanked fellow director, Martin Scorsese, for being his inspiration and said he would celebrate the night by drinking a lot.

Producers of “Parasite” also thanked the Academy for the historic win and shared their respect towards the Academy for voting for their film.

There were some comedic standout performances of the night from Will Ferrell, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Maya Rudolph and Kristen Wiig.

James Corden and Rebel Wilson presented the award for Best Visual Effects in cats costume. A fitting decision to make a joke about their roles in the critically panned film, “Cats”.

There were also a few musical surprises throughout the night, most notably from Eminem who took the stage to perform “Lose Yourself” from the movie “8 Mile”.

Overall this year was a very different Oscars, and it showed their attempts to be a more relevant ceremony in the eyes of the youth. As well as show their ability to truly celebrate film regardless of its origin and the 1-inch subtitles.