Thursday, January 28, 2016

The Hateful Eight - 3 nominations

Actress in a Supporting Role - Jennifer Jason Leigh
Music (Original Score) - Ennio Morricone
Cinematography - Robert Richardson

The Hateful 8 was a true surprise to me because the story is told so well, in some ways it felt like a Sherlock Holmes mystery or an Agatha Christie novel with much much more violence and bloodshed.  The premise of the film is that Jack Ruth (Kurt Russell), a bounty hunter, is taking outlaw Daisy Domergue (Jennifer Jason Leigh) to be hanged in the Wyoming town of Red Rock.  Along the ride, they pick up two characters - another bounty hunter and the new sheriff of Red Rock.  As a blizzard approaches, the four seek refuge at Minnie's Haberdashery, but the proprietors are mysteriously missing while other surly and suspicious types are there with seemingly the same agenda of sheltering from the storm. Ever vigilant, the bounty hunter stakes his claim on his captive and then the chapters unfold in flashbacks and flash forwards, revealing everyone's true intents and true identities.

What a joy to see the amazing Jennifer Jason Leigh back in action.  Viewers who only remember her for Fast Times at Ridgemont High don't know the depth of her talent.  While I was watching the film I kept thinking, "I bet Jennifer was having a blast in this character."  She's funny and crazy and sarcastic and tough as nails.

While the music and the cinematography are beautiful, I'm truly surprised that the screenplay wasn't nominated.  The story was so clever and the dialogue so sharp that I could easily have replaced Bridge of Spies with this film.  If you do plan to see it, be forewarned - it is bloody, it is violent, and there is plenty of racism that makes me more uncomfortable than the blood or the violence.  If you're comfortable with those element, you're in for a fun night.

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