French-Canadian sci-fi thriller ‘Blade Runner 2049’ wins Two Oscars

Denis Villeneuve’s ‘Blade Runner 2049’ is a 2017 sci-fi thriller that is the follow-up to Ridley Scott’s 1982 original Blade Runner.


Director Denis Villeneuve is French – Canadian

Denis Villeneuve is French – Canadian from Trois-Rivières, Quebec, Canada. [Wow, I have an ancestor from there.] Villeneuve did his studies in Montréal. His mastery of digital cinematography makes sense because Montréal has an outstanding game development community. It is one of the world centers for special effects.


Blade Runner (1982)

The original Blade Runner is now considered one of the best science fiction movies of all time.

It tells the story of Deckard, (Harrison Ford) a cop who hunts replicants (synthetic humanoid slaves who have rebelled). It didn’t do very well in its original release, although the Vangelis soundtrack was nominated for BAFTA and Golden Globe awards for Best Original Score.

“More human, than human is our motto”

There are seven versions of Blade Runner. Since its release, the movie has become a cult hit. It’s eerie set design, unusual plot, and dramatic pacing have influenced the entire genre of science fiction in film, television, and video games ever since.


Blade Runner 2049

Making the sequel to such a significant film was a serious risk for Villeneuve.

The new story grafted onto the original story makes sense and is challenging to the mind, just as the original was. It also nicely connects with the original story by bringing back Harrison Ford as Deckard.

A new blade runner “K” (played by Ryan Gosling) discovers evidence that a replicant has given birth naturally. That wasn’t supposed to happen. To prevent the threat of a human vs replicant war, K is assigned to destroy the evidence.

As he works the case, K’s own memories suggest that he himself might be the replicant child. But it is hard to tell because replicant memories are manufactured. He learns this from memory designer Dr. Ana Stelline (Mackenzie Davis).

K finds Deckard, (Harrison Ford) and in the end solves the riddle of who is the replicant child.

Villeneuve creates an eerie and beautiful world

A scene from 'Blade Runner 2049.' Courtesy of Warner Brothers Pictures.

A scene from ‘Blade Runner 2049.’ Courtesy of Warner Brothers Pictures.

Blade Runner 2049 is visually interesting, although I hope our future is not like that. Principal photography was done in Budapest, Hungary. Eastern Europe is a great place for post-industrial backdrops.

Blade Runner is always flipping back and forth on both sides of the blade: human or humanoid? Blade Runner 2049 flips it around again and makes a hologram human. Her name is Joi, played by Cuban actress Ana Celia de Armas Caso. You get to sense her joy at being alive and mobile. Well, sort of.

The special effect of Joi melding with a human is stunning, and not something I’ve seen before.


Blade Runner 2049 Awards

90th Academy Awards (2018)

Blade Runner 2049 was nominated for five Oscars including Best Director. It won for:

  • Best Cinematography, Roger Deakins
  • Best Special Visual Effects, Richard R. Hoover, Paul Lambert, Gerd Nefzer and John Nelson.

BAFTA (British Academy Film Awards)

Blade Runner 2049 was nominated for eight BAFTAs including Best Director. It won for:

  • Best Cinematography, Roger Deakins
  • Best Special Visual Effects, Richard R. Hoover, Paul Lambert, Gerd Nefzer and John Nelson.

Watching Blade Runner 2049

Blade Runner 2049 is a movie you can watch a few times. It was released in October 6, 2017 so is out of theatrical distribution. You can rent or buy it on iTunes, Amazon, and other media providers.


 


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