The Nice Guys: A TFS Awards Best Film Nominee and Stuff
This week, we're highlighting some of this year's Talk Film Society Awards Best Film nominees. Today, Rockie writes about the latest from Shane Black that was underseen by general audiences, but was nominated in four categories at the TFS Awards.
The Nice Guys opens with the retro red, black and white Warner Brothers logo and a needle drop of “Papa Was a Rolling Stone”, but rather than be a played-out piece of nostalgia cinema, it immediately sets the tone for another Shane Black two-man adventure, sprawling across a corrupt L.A. landscape. A comedy first and a mystery second, The Nice Guys has one of the best scripts produced in ages with vibrant characters and a sense of urgency that keeps you hooked. Writer/director Shane Black has survived decades of the Hollywood system and with this film he proves that his chops are sharper than ever. Juggling razor sharp dialogue with an intriguing plot, Black’s place amongst the screenwriting greats has a permanent residency.
If you can’t get behind him as a director, you can never question his ability to move story thanks to his electric words and attention to detail, especially with his characters — and what characters he has given us here! Russell Crowe plays a tough named Jackson Healy, a guy you would hire to beat up bad people when you want don’t want to call the cops. His work causes him to collide with an always wet, both with alcohol and water, private investigator named Holland March, played perfectly by Ryan Gosling. This oddest couple ever start to cut a path through Los Angeles facing hitmen, dirty state officials, and bees that ride in cars (believe me, it works) all to find a missing person which snowballs from there once they find her.
While the main story is not hard to unpack, it is chocked full of tiny details (see Crowe wince from a shoulder injury before we learn how he received it) making it a real joy to watch this thing unfold repeatedly. All the laughs in this film are well earned too, with Gosling doing a ton of heavy lifting with his stellar line delivery and equally great physical comedy. The toilet scene may be one of the greatest moments of his career, hands down. Crowe is no slouch either, his character is lot more stoic but still has undeniable chemistry with Gosling. The voice over in the opening scenes of the movie also deserves praise; constantly explaining what’s in a character’s head can be a crutch to a weak filmmaker, but not in the hands of Black.
With a Shane Black script every soul matters and is placed in the piece for a damn good reason. No small parts and nothing but meat on the bone, The Nice Guys not only deserves heaps of praise but it also belongs in your film collection. What went down in history as a box office bomb will no doubt be loved and cherished on DVD, Blu-ray, and On Demand (as of this writing, it’s also on HBO). A film with a true sense of purpose and stuff, this deserves a Best Film win at the Talk Film Society Awards, or a win in the Best Original Screenplay category. Thank the heavens all other aspects of the film are just as perfect. Finally, keep an eye out for a Robert Downy Jr. cameo, for he and Ryan Gosling have a mighty exchange.
The Nice Guys is nominated for four Talk Film Society Awards — Best Original Screenplay, Best Supporting Actress, Best Actor, and Best Film of the Year. Vote in this year's TFS Awards: talkfilmsociety.com/VoteTFSAwards. The deadline to turn in your ballot is Friday, February 17th at 11:55 PM Eastern.