8 Reasons Why You Should Watch Hele sa Hiwagang Hapis

8 Reasons Why You Should Watch Hele sa Hiwagang Hapis

The reactions from friends and family have been universal upon mentioning I watched Lav Diaz’s Hele sa Hiwagang Hapis. “You watched an 8-hour movie. Why?” I admit I might not have been so interested in a John Lloyd/Piolo starrer had it not been for the fact it received an international award from a film festival I very much respect. We rarely get art house in the mall multiplexes, and while I love blockbusters, sometimes I feel like I need a change.

Oscar Contenders: Brooklyn

Oscar Contenders: Brooklyn

Young Eilis (Saoirse Ronan) hasn’t got much room to grow in the small island of Ireland, so like many of her compatriots before her she heads for the Big Apple. There she starts work as a shopgirl in a department store and meets a handsome young Italian, Tony (Emory Cohen), who starts to court her. As she begins to build her life in New York, tragedy strikes back home, and Eilis has to return to her old life, caught between her two worlds.

Oscar Contenders: Spotlight

Oscar Contenders: Spotlight

A new editor Marty starts work at the Boston Globe. He catches wind of an issue that seems oddly evaded by the local newspaper, a string of child abuse cases against Catholic priests. He orders his apprehensive team of expert investigative journalists called Spotlight to dig up the truth about the situation.

Oscar Contenders: The Big Short

Oscar Contenders: The Big Short

Oscars nominations: An honorable 5 (Best Motion Picture of the Year, Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role for Christian Bale, Best Achievement in Directing for Adam McKay, Best Writing, Adapted Screenplay, and Best Achievement in Film Editing)

Oscar Contenders: Bridge of Spies

Oscar Contenders: Bridge of Spies

At the height of the Cold War, insurance lawyer James B. Donovan (Tom Hanks) is requested to take on his first criminal case in years. It is tricky as he is asked to defend an alleged spy named Rudolf Abel (Mark Rylance). Donovan must then head to East Germany to negotiate a prisoner exchange between Abel and downed American spy-plane pilot Francis G. Powers (Austin Stowell).

Oscar Contenders: Room

Oscar Contenders: Room

Based on the Novel by Emma Donoghue (who is nominated here for also writing the screenplay), a young woman is locked in a room by her captor. In it, she births a son Jack, whom she protects from the man who has imprisoned her. However, inspired by her love for her child, she must attempt to escape her cell with him to return to the outside world.

Oscar Contenders: The Martian

Oscar Contenders: The Martian

A NASA Mission to Mars has to evacuate the planet because of a massive storm. However, during the evacuation, one of the crew, botanist Mark Watney (Matt Damon), is lost in the storm. Presumed dead, Commander Lewis (Jessica Chastain) has no choice but to leave him behind and head back to Earth. The injured Watney wakes to find himself alone on Mars, with the prospect of having to live several years on the planet before the next ship come for its scheduled mission. Can Watney survive the harsh, alien landscape and the more alienating loneliness? How will he be saved? With an unstoppable self belief and scientific knowhow, Watney uses his expertise in botany to survive and grow food to become the first Martian colonist.

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