Snapshots - #38: Only the Brave, Jane, Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle

Only the Brave (2017), (♦♦♦♦): Based on the true story of the effort it took to get a municipal crew of firefighters from Prescott, Arizona, certified as Hotshots. After battling thousands of wildfires since their inception, the Granite Mountain Hotshots answered a call to battle the Yarnell Hill fire—about 30 miles away from Prescott—along with several other crews. How they got to that point and what happened is what this movie is about.
Only the Brave is a drama with some thriller on the side, and excellent performances to boast of. It's got a dynamic pace, engaging plot, amazing shots of wildfires, fun camaraderie, and great music to underscore the action. As an audience, we care for the journey of that crew, individually and as a group, and as heartbreaking as the closing scenes are, we stand in awe at the sacrifices that firefighters and their families make every day of their lives. Only the Brave is a darn great tribute to them, and elite firefighters such as the Granite Moun…

Amour (♦♦♦½)

Georges and Anne are married and growing old in their apartment in Paris. Anne has the carotid blocked and must undergo surgery but after an unsuccessful procedure she returns home and suffers a stroke that paralyzes the entire right side of her body. Georges promises to avoid going to the hospital in the future and starts taking care of her but the growing demands of his wife’s sickness take a toll on both of them.

Amour is a very intimate film that occurs entirely in the confines of an apartment. Contributing to the intimate atmosphere of the film is the scarcity of actors, very few in the whole film, the same ones coming and going to and from the apartment of Anne and George.

The acting is superb, particularly Emmanuelle Riva as Anne and Jean-Louis Trintignant as Georges.

Amour is an unflinching portrayal of what is like to get sick in old age. It is a sad film with plenty of awkward conversations between the young and the old, because let’s face it, it’s not pretty to grow old. Amour is also a raw look at the intricacies of marital life and how taxing it is for everyone involved to take care of a loved one in their time of need.

Amour is profound yet manages to keep its topic grounded and in perspective. It doesn’t waver; it doesn’t avoid the uncomfortable questions that arise when people face those same situations. Amour also makes the audience wonder what one would do, there aren’t easy answers and Amour has an honest enough script as not to take the easy way out. The result is an utterly human film that deserves to be watched and treasured.