The Oscar nominations have just been announced for 2016 as I write this; Sylvester Stallone has been nominated for Creed. I haven’t seen Creed yet but I have seen Copland which was the last time Stallone went for Oscar glory.

Stallone piled on the pounds to play a local town sheriff in thrall to real New York City cops who live in his seriously corrupt town. Copland doesn’t quite work; it feels like it’s trying to do Sidney Lumet but falls just short. However, it’s a very enjoyable film and again has a nice big movie feel about it.

What else is there to recommend it? DeNiro is good in a small character part and Ray Liotta is very memorable as Figgs – he seems the most real character in the picture and his Clint Eastwood like return at the climax of the film is a thing of scriptwriting beauty.

But what is Stallone like? He’s good, lumbering and inhabits the character well. His back story is faintly touching. And of course there’s Harvey Keitel in mix, who is always value for money. Like Stallone’s character Freddy I also love Annabella Sciorra, she’s lovely.

The trailer is below,

So, 45 films to go…

Matthew Cooper has written for Emmerdale, Eastenders, Hollyoaks and Family Affairs. He was winner of the first ever Lloyds Bank Channel Four Film Challenge and the Oscar Moore Screenplay Prize. His first short film starred a then unknown Ewan McGregor and was picked up by Channel Four when Matthew was 19 years old. He’s been a script writer for hire and filmmaker for hire for over 20 years.