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 Gemini, Cinephile, Actressexual. Also loves cats. All material herein is written and copyrighted by him, unless otherwise noted. twitter | facebook | pinterest | tumblr | instagram | letterboxd | deviantart 


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15 Oscar Documentary Finalists... A Tight Race

Could Marlon Brando return to the Oscars posthumously? The documentary Listen to Me Marlon made the finals for the Best Documentary Oscar even though documentaries about Hollywood stars and movies aren't typically so favorited. Note that Ingrid Bergman's documentary --also famously "in her own words" -- and the enjoyable Tab Hunter: Confidential and the Sundance sensation The Wolfpack about living through the movies weren't as lucky and did not make the finals. 

The 15 Finalists

Snubbed Again
Frederick Wiseman can't catch a break with the Academy though he's a legend and his latest In Jackson Heights met with the typical rapturous response among critics.

New Prediction Chart
I didn't have to adjust it too much. Why? Well I'm...

Of the 15 I Predicted for the Finalist, 9 of them made it so I did pretty well (of the films I predicted for nominations 4 of them are still standing). Bye Sherpa! Glenn is even better than me at Documentary predictions. Check out this prediction he tweeted back in October and all the films are still in the running:



Noteable High Profile Omissions
Though these films made a name for themselves at the box office or with honors from various organizations none of them made it to the finals:  The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution, Dark Horse, Deli Man, Dior and I, Iris, Janis: Little Girl Blue, Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck, Meet the Patels, Only the Dead See the End of War, Stray Dog, Sunshine Superman, The Russian Woodpecker, and The Wolfpack



John Waters Top 10 List: Fairy Tales, 3D Sex, Tasteful Trangression

John Waters with Patty Hearst at the "Carol" premiereAh one of our favorite bad taste good --no... singular taste traditions of year-end end look backs has arrived: the annual John Waters Top Ten List at ArtForum. Though the Baltimore film icon hasn't made a feature film in over ten years he still says active as a celebrity for which we thank him. Try and imagine the world without him; we never want to!

His top ten lists generally contain at least one or two titles we haven't even heard of (rare for us don'cha know) and that's true again with #1 and #9 right here. They're also always a mix of smart, beautiful, queer, and head scratching choices -- I'm sorry but Love is NOT a good movie even if it does contain, as John Waters raves, "heterosexual rimming -- in 3D!"

John Waters 2015 Top Ten List
01 HELMUT BERGER, ACTOR (Andreas Horvath)
02 CINDERELLA (Kenneth Branagh)

Yes, you heard me, Cinderella. I fucking love this Disney film.

03 THE FORBIDDEN ROOM (Guy Maddin and Evan Johnson)
04 TOM AT THE FARM (Xavier Dolan)
05 MAD MAX: FURY ROAD (George Miller)
06 CAROL (Todd Haynes)

Maybe the only way to be transgressive these days is to be shockingly tasteful. This Lana Turner–meets–Audrey Hepburn lipstick-lesbian melodrama is so old-fashioned I felt like I was one year old after watching it. That’s almost reborn.

07 THE DIARY OF A TEENAGE GIRL (Marielle Heller)
08 TANGERINE (Sean Baker)
10 LOVE (Gaspar Noé)

when will Xavier Dolan movies ever get on a respectable US release schedule? Tom at the Farm an excellent 2013 movie was only just released in the states in 2015

His commentary is always great fun -- his take on Xavier Dolan's tense grief thriller Tom at the Farm is especially John Waters but hugely spoiler-filled -- so go read if it you're so inclined.



NBR takes Fury Road... but to where?

The National Board of Review used to be the unofficial kick off to awards season / best of year honors but though it's still early, the race for "first" got so ridiculous that we've crept into November of late. They lost that distinction but they're still doing their thing super early in December. The first day of it. Welcome to month twelve!


This year they named George Miller's feminist action epic Mad Max Fury Road as the year's best and we salute them since we love it so and it's peak spectacle filmmaking. But Furiosa will be pissed to hear that they mostly ignored the other big female driven films this year.

Let's investigate after the jump...

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Required Viewing: Julianne Moore Acts for Tips in Times Square

I was hoping to hear a little Boogie Nights! But this will more than do. Billy Eichner is a national treasure. Or at least a regional treasure. Does he go over well in the southwest?

P.S. Mark Harris made a funny about this video on twitter.

ALL Oscar campaigns are basically this brilliant @billyeichner segment w/ Julianne Moore acting for tips in Times Sq.

It's funny because it's truthy.


Annie Awards Give Love to Pixar (and "Judy" in The Revenant!)

The Annie Awards, now in their 43rd year, seemed to have stabilized after their controversial laden years when people felt they were to beholden to Dreamworks Animation (am I remembering this correctly?) within their voting ranks. But their nominations often still feel quite random as in voice acting where Richard Kind was shut out for "bing bong" in Inside Out. Or Tom Noonan, who voices almost every character in Anomalisa, being ignored. Or their character design and visual effects nominations sometimes specifying individual scenes or categories and sometimes just labelled "all". And the varying number of nominations per category.

In short: their executive body really needs to sharpen up their rules so they feel more respectable / consistent.

But it was a good morning for Pixar since Inside Out and The Good Dinosaur dominated with 14 and 10 nods respectively. As for their competition for Oscar gold, good showings for Anomalisa, Shaun the Sheep and Peanuts with 5 nominations each. The low profile but reportedly excellent Brazilian feature Boy and the World received 3 nominations.

Even some live action films get honored by the Annies since most films get computer animated assists these days so... what's that? The Revenant was nominated? See more after the jump...

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Top 10 Delights from the Gotham Awards

Chris here. If you weren't watching last night's live stream of the IFP's Gotham Awards, you missed a delightful night of more surprise and unfiltered humor than most televised awards ceremonies.

Director & Muse reunited

Everything is still feeling optimistic with the awards season, so the fun moments and surprise winners were as fresh and intriguing as ever for the Gothams!

10 Takeways From the Gothams

Julianne Moore Gave Todd Haynes A Tribute Award And It Was Everything You Could Imagine: There's no video available yet to share, but what a treat. Moore was effusive in her affection for her frequent collaborator, sharing [safe] anecdotes and praising Haynes's warmth. Haynes's speech was career-spanning, but not longwinded, with the highlight being his praise of producing partner Christine Vachon. Carol went home empty-handed and didn't feature much in the tribute reel but the love in the for the filmmaker was palpable even through the playback feed. Here's hoping the Gotham tribute adds a little more steam to the film's increasing momentum.


Our New Favorite Besties, Shugs and Fats: Nadia Manzoor and Radhka Vaz's show walked away Breakthrough Series - Short Form and best speech of the night, where they joked about not thanking their families.

The Juries: Each category had a unique panel deciding the winner, with the members listed out before the prize is awarded. Bel Powley doesn't feel like such a surprising winner if you consider her jury included the likes of Lisa Kudrow and John Waters. Imagining them discussing the film is heaven!

Paul Dano: His work in Love and Mercy is among my personal favorite sof the year and he was charmingly sincere and understated in his speech. I fear this is as far as he gets with recognition for the film, though the Youth team is out and about, but it was exciting to see him take home a prize after a more than a decade of undervalued work.

We Don't Hate Anything Yet: The tide of viscious takedowns has not reached us yet and lets keep our fingers crossed that it takes longer this year to get a million thinkpieces on what is bad about a single frontrunner.

Dirty Jokes About the Queen: While Robert DeNiro and Harvey Keitel bombed with dirty jokes about Her Royal Highness and Helen Mirren in particular, Mirren showed the boys how it's done with a charmingly naughty anecdote about seeing herself in the role.

So How About Helen Mirren's Dress??: I joked about its juvenile print, but I unashamedly LOVE it. If we all could have fun like Mirren has fun, the world would be a happier place.

The Missed Opportunity of a Mya Taylor Acceptance Speech: She won the Breakthrough Actor Award for her work in Tangerine, but director Sean Baker had to accept on her behalf due to her missing her plane. He took the moment to champion trans performers, but it would have been heartening to hear the woman speak for herself.

Indie TV: While quality television dominating isn't a new topic, it was interesting to note we don't have much discussion or recognition for TV that's independently produced. Let's see if there is more conversation around this as our viewing options continue to grow.

Awarding the Angelika: The First Gotham Appreciation Award was given to Ellen Cotter of the Angelika Film Center, an independent theatre chain with its flagship in NYC. Theatres themselves play such a part in our relationship to the movies we love, and independent cinema houses especially deserve recognition for nurturing our passions - this prize is swell!


Curio: Sketches of Carol

Alexa here.  Over at Little White Lies everything is coming up Carol, with the current issue of the magazine dedicated to the film. I have been having fun following the entries for their latest creative brief, a competition seeking black and white sketches of the title character. The film is ripe with visual inspiration, so of course many lovely images have been appearing on instagram and tumblr and the like. Too bad the contest is for UK residents only, because the prizes for the winner are a poster signed by Todd Haynes, a framed print of the winning artwork, a copy of Patricia Highsmith’s novel, a copy of the film’s soundtrack and a one-year subscription to the magazine.

Todd Haynes will be selecting the winner. My favorites are after the jump

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