Winter break is The Flipside‘s favorite time to enjoy pleasures like fine dining, movies, and basic human interaction before hibernating on the fifth floor of Main Library until June. So once we’d recovered from a fall quarter emotional overload we can only attribute to watching either the “Wrecking Ball” video or the 2013 NU football season, The Flipside was ready to review the very best awards season cinema had to offer.
As much as we enjoyed those two movies with Jennifer Lawrence, our favorites were definitely Frozen and The Wolf of Wall Street. In the former, Disney artfully explores the complexities and potential shortcomings of life in a feudal society, while in the latter, director Martin Scorsese re-envisions a traditional fairytale with strong protagonists that embody modern values. Both boast a strong cast, an amazing soundtrack, and a whole lot of snow, but we strongly urge all moviegoers to think twice before bringing their children to Frozen.
Frozen’s Elsa rises to power suddenly, and though she’s a smart, daring, and charismatic leader, she struggles to maintain control over behaviors that become harmful to herself and those close to her. Family members, a posse of sleazy Scandanavians she knew from high school in the gingerbread village, and a Swiss financier named Olaf are all complicit in Elsa’s scheme to exploit the Kingdom of Arendelle’s corrupt economic system. They roll fast and loose and the glüwein flows, but after Elsa crashes her extravagant reindeer sleigh on the way home from the village yodeling club, she realizes all too late that there are consequences to her reckless lifestyle. Albeit compelling and ultimately profound, Elsa’s story may not be appropriate for families or the faint of heart.
A departure from Scorsese’s usual style, Wolf of Wall Street is a charming animated feature complete with glamorous balls, funny dwarves, and a whole cast of mythical creatures one can only hope to spy on the underside of Manhattan. With a little help from his furry sidekick Danny and lots of magical potions, Jordan Belfort, played by Leonardo DiCaprio, wins financial fame and fortune and the heart of the beautiful Duchess of Ray Ridge. All is well until the Big Bad Bureau of Federal Investigation invades his new kingdom and Duke Belfort and his friends take a brave stand against evil exchange regulations and the criminal justice system.
Both films are likely to be a presence at awards shows over the next few months, and we can’t imagine that the Academy will overlook Jonah Hill’s stunning method acting in Wolf. He plays an incredible reindeer. If the past is any indicator though, DiCaprio probably shouldn’t get his hopes up.