2017: #6 BPM (Beats Per Minute)

Directed by
: Robin Campillo
Written by: Robin Campillo and Philippe Mangeot
Starring: Nahuel Pérez Biscayart, Arnaud Valois, Adèle Haenel, Antoine Reinartz, Felix Maritaud, Médhi Touré, Aloïse Sauvage, Simon Bourgade, Catherine Vinatier, Saadia Ben Taieb, Ariel Borenstein, Théophile Ray, Simon Guélat, Jean-François Auguste, and Coralie Russier
Distributor: The Orchard
Country: France
Language: French
Rating: Unrated
Running Time: 140 Minutes
Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
Format: Digital
Date released: 8/23/2017
Date seen: 11/11/2017
Worldwide Box Office Gross: $110,000* (International Box Office Unknown)
# of Oscar nominations: 0
# of Golden Stake Nominations: 2 (Ensemble and Original Screenplay)
# of Golden Stakes Won: 0

BPM (Beats Per Minute) was a movie that was difficult to honor during the Golden Stakes, which in some ways speaks to its unconventional nature.  There’s nothing terribly special about its technical merits, it doesn’t have a ton of major set pieces, and its ensemble nature makes it hard for individual performances to really stand out, but the things it does do it does very well.  Specifically this is one of the best depictions of grassroots activism that I’ve seen on film.  Depicting the Parisian branch of the ACTUP movement for AIDS awareness back in the 90s, the film shows these young activists, many of them HIV positive, as they go on various protests.  The film is at its best when it is in the group’s meetings and acts as a sort of fly on the wall as they debate amongst themselves in various fascinating ways.  These scenes are of course reminiscent of another film that Robin Campillo had a writing credit on, the 2008 drama The Class, which to me is the greatest film ever made about high school classrooms.  The movie isn’t quite as strong when it tries to look at the activists’ personal lives but it remains a film that provides something that few other movies are interested in.

#7 Year End Honors #5