Ex Machina – “Get Down Saturday Night” – Oliver Cheatham
Alex Garlands science fiction film Ex Machina was all about unsettling the viewer. From the way the color red bled through the screen when the power would go out in Nathan’s facility, to the entire sequence where Caleb questions his own humanity, the film’s goal is to creep its way under your skin. Nathan’s unpredictability is what makes him such a fascinating antagonist, and this impromptu dance sequence further exemplifies just what isolation can do to a person who has the mindset of a jock as well as a petulant boy genius. Oscar Isaac shines (once again) in a scene that’s equal parts silly, bizarre and even mildly frightening. Author – Allyson
Far From the Madding Crowd – “Let No Man Steal Your Thyme” – The Traditional
There is so much to love and swoon over in Thomas Vinterberg’s adaptation of the classic romance, Far From The Madding Crowd. The story revolves around Bathsheba (Carey Mulligan), a strong-willed young woman who inherits a farm and is determined to run it on her own. She enchants three different men: a captivated farmer (Matthias Schoenaerts), a passionate soldier (Tom Sturridge) and a rich but kind older gentleman (Michael Sheen). One of my favorite scenes is the duet between Bathsheba and Sheen’s character. They sing the traditional folk song, “Let No Man Steal Your Thyme.” Besides the fact that the song itself is completely fitting of Mulligan’s character and the main themes of the film, their performance was incredibly and subtly moving. It’s one of those scenes that could’ve easily felt odd and out of place, but the way it’s filmed and the sparse and sort of haunting arrangement of the song makes it one of the momentous and revealing parts of the film. Author – Gaby
Allyson is a New England based writer, who has been a film critic since 2012. She is a member of the Boston Society of Film Critics, the Boston Online Film Critics Association, and the Online Film Critics Society, along with being a Tomatometer approved critic on Rotten Tomatoes. Her writing can also be found at CambridgeDay.com, ThePlaylist.net, VagueVisages.com, RogerEbert.com, TheMarySue.com and elsewhere.