Three Movies the Oscars Overlooked

Though this trio of films received a combined zero nominations from the Academy, all three are award-worthy and worth a watch.

The End of the Tour

IMDb: 7.4
Metacritic: 82

Synopsis: The story of the five-day interview between Rolling Stone reporter David Lipsky and acclaimed novelist David Foster Wallace, which took place right after the 1996 publication of Wallace’s groundbreaking epic novel, ‘Infinite Jest.’

This movie is not for everybody. It’s a simple character study about two literary intellectuals discussing the merits of art and fame. Jason Segel does an excellent job disappearing into his role and provides the film with a low-key depth.

Love & Mercy

IMDb: 7.4
Metacritic: 80

Synopsis: In the 1960s, Beach Boys leader Brian Wilson struggles with emerging psychosis as he attempts to craft his avant-garde pop masterpiece. In the 1980s, he is a broken, confused man under the 24-hour watch of shady therapist Dr. Eugene Landy.

A fascinating look at the life of a musical genius. This is a film for not only fans of the Beach Boys, but for anyone who’s intrigued by the intersection of creativity and mental illness. The use of sound throughout is especially remarkable.

Tangerine

IMDb: 7.1
Metacritic: 85

Synopsis: A working girl tears through Tinseltown on Christmas Eve searching for the pimp who broke her heart.

Another flick that’s probably not for everyone. Shot entirely on iPhones, this tragicomedy follows a group of underrepresented characters through the seediest parts of L.A. on a kinetic and colorful journey. It’s a small story but one that deserved to be told.

Love & Mercy

Love-Mercy

“When you listen to Pet Sounds, use earphones in the dark, and you can hear everything.”

Though I’ve long known that Pet Sounds is considered one of the greatest albums ever recorded, it was not until I watched a film called Love & Mercy that I ever gave the record a proper listen.

The movie depicts two eras in the life of the Beach Boys’ musical genie Brian Wilson. The mid-60s version, played by Paul Dano, is a young man overflowing with sonic inspiration, and hints at the shadow that will eventually swallow Wilson for a while. John Cusack plays the man in the 1980s, when he has become zombified by a mad doctor who badly mistreats Wilson’s mental disease.

While both eras of the picture are compelling, it was the sections that focused on the Pet Sounds sessions that intrigued me the most and made me seek out these songs. I now listen to the album on repeat on my long walk to work, letting it’s whimsical melancholy wash over me like a harmonic ocean.

The movie is worth seeing if only to give you a chance to hear life with new ears.