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Open Thread

As you're all suspiciously quiet, please do share your cinematic thoughts. What are they right this moment? I have a weird mix of Imelda Staunton, Queen Margot and The Imitation Game playing in my head right now. (It's a very uncomfortable mix.) We're recording a podcast at the moment but more updates later.

Please do scroll down and check out two important news stories, a new well dressed interview, and my top twenty of the year.

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Reader Comments (33)

I've been watching the shortlisted docs (the ones that I can find online at least) so I've been thinking-- how much of a good documentary is a good subject? Judging by the Oscar winners, a lot. Judging by critics, maybe also a lot?

I've been having a tough time judging Citizenfour just because it's so unique.

January 4, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterEvan

I've got The Conversation , which I saw last night for the first time, in my mind. Wasn't expecting it to be such a mood piece, but quite liked it. Hard to be believe Hackman didn't get an Oscar nod.

Also going to finally see The Theory of Everything tonight and wonder if it'll live up to the hype.

January 4, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterCarlos

Lindsay Duncan was so good in Le Week-End and Birdman, and in the disturbing first episode of Black Mirror, which I just watched last night. I wish Glenn Close would get parts like that, instead of the throw-away ones like in Guardians of the Galaxy. But hopefully, there's another Damages in her future.

January 4, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterPam

What if Adele Exarchopoulos for Blue is The Warmest Color took that fifth Best Actress slot ala City Of God's surprise nominations?

January 4, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterConMan

I'm digging hard into old movies I've never seen this year.

January 4, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterBrianZ

Imelda is always on my mind, but more so at the moment.

I watched Vera Drake again recently and it's been on my mind since, so good, the film and Imelda. Imelda also did a musical for the BBC over Christmas, That Day We Sang (it's on BBC iPlayer), written by Victoria Wood, that too, so good, and Imelda. I've got my tickets to see Imelda in Gypsy once it transfers to the West End, her reviews from the Chichester, where the production started out were superb. Imelda was my theatre performance of the year last year in the West End production of Good People and I'm certain her Momma Rose will win her my personal award again this year.

January 4, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterKeegan

I was just thinking whether Benedict Cumberbatch or Eddie Redmayne could Sean-Penn-in-Milk their way to a win over Michael Keaton's Mickey-Rourkeing (rely on their more serious reputation and the biopic factor over the latter's comeback status).

January 4, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterLucky

I had a dream last night about the Oscar nominations morning: "The Theory of Everything" was snubed in Best Picture; both Cumberbatch and Knightley didn't make part of the nominees in spite of "The Imitation Game" Best Picture nomination; and Mica Levi got a nod for "Under the Skin" score...
I don't remember who got that 5th spot in the Best Actress category, but Channing Tatum got nominated in the Best Supporting Actor category.

Will this come true?

January 4, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterEd

This whole awards season I've been wondering how Spall and Marion (for 2D1N) aren't walking away with everything, and are even snubbed for nominations. Yesterday's NFCS announcement reawakened that dragon in me. Intellectually I know why, campaigning / politics etc., but it still baffles me. How can those performances be denied?

January 4, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterCharlie O

Rewatching an old favorite, I wondered whether Hope & Glory is the best Best Pic nominee that nobody's ever actually seen. Has anyone else fallen in love with this gem? Why doesn't it get talked about?

January 4, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterJames

Although I don't think her performance is one of the best of the year, nor her best of the year, I'll be so upset at a Keira snub. Keira has deserved another nom for a few years and performances now.

January 4, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterKeegan

Sorting out my feelings about The Lego Movie, which I finally saw (on a big screen) last night. My husband (who didn't entirely hate it) went into a diatribe about the soullessness of the filmmaking on the drive home. I don't necessarily disagree and I think I'll follow it up by watching Still Alice this evening.

I'm also ruminating about Marion Cotillard and Tom Hardy and the frustrating Best Actor/Actress races.

January 4, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterPaul Outlaw

I've been religiously reading your blog for over 13 years now, but rarely comment. I love your blog and check it every day several times, but maybe I'm too shy (or lazy? *gulp) to comment!
Anyway, thanks for all your hard work, and if you ever come to London, drinks and dinner would be on me!

January 4, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterBenji

I've been following the Twice a Best Actress series over on A Fistful of Films and this week they reviewed Glenda Jackson. It's inspired me to revisit some of her films, right now I'm rewatching one of my favs of hers, Return of the Soldier, with Alan Bates, Julie Christie and Ann-Margret in addition to Glenda. It's so very, very good!

Imelda Staunton is always worth keeping in mind. How I'd love to see her in Gypsy!

January 4, 2015 | Unregistered Commenterjoel6

Queen Margot? Why? Are we finally getting the long awaited/promised re-release (the original cut we didn't get here in the States)? Do you know something we don't oh ye of screeners out the wazoo?

January 4, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterHenry

Maybe it's Virna Lisi, Henry.

January 4, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterPaul Outlaw

I saw Wild this weekend, and decided to complement it by watching Election last night, so I have Reese on the brain. We're lucky to have her.

January 4, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterMike in Canada

We should all be so lucky to have Virna Lisi haunting our dreams.

January 4, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterHenry

I simply cannot get "La Piscine" (1969) out of my mind. I was rendered helpless under its erotic, languid, hypnotic spell on December 31st, and I've been haunted ever since.

January 4, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterTyler

Burt Lancaster in Visconti's "The Leopard" (1963). Both his performance and the film heavily influenced Brando and "The Godfather," and it's easy to see why. Easily one of the best of all time.

January 4, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterLizzy

Imelda Staunton is a good thought to have. I saw her in Sweeny Todd in the West End a couple of years ago and she was superb. Would love her to be on Oscar's radar again.

January 4, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterRichie

i finally saw Wild this weekend, which I loved. I've been trying to catch up on all the movies I missed this last year by streaming them. There's a hazard of living in a small city that doesn't have more than 11 movie screens (not theatres, but SCREENS), the movies do not stick around long. If your life has you busy, some movies you want to see, or you should see, are gone too quickly.

Tonight will be Gone Girl -- i hope it's good, as I have to purchase it online to stream it. My goal is to identify my top five of the year before the year is too far gone. I saw Obvious Child last week (it never showed here), which made my list, as did Wild. Thank god for online streaming of less mainstream films. Obvious Child, Ida, We Are the Best, and Snowpiercer all were great. Thanks for this site to help me discover some of these films!

January 4, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterErin

It seems increasingly likely that the Golden Globes will get the Best Supporting Actress Oscar category correct for the second year in a row.

January 4, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterTravis C

I love "Hope and Glory" one of my all time favorite movies.

January 4, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterJaragon

Can Colleen Atwood win costume design without a
Sandy Powell nomination??
They both only win when the other one is also nominated.

January 4, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterVictor S

@joel6: I loved Return of the Soldier, although I haven't seen it for years. One of the most romantic movie moments- how did it go?- spiteful Julie waits with resigned Glenda for Alan to see Glenda as she is now, dowdy and middle aged. But when Alan looks at Glenda, she is as beautiful as ever to him and he is still in love with her.

@James: yes, I've seen Hope and Glory. Great little movie. I think some of its scenes have leaked into my unconscious though, because when I see them, I think wait, that was in that movie?

January 4, 2015 | Unregistered Commenteradri

Goldderby posted polls for the most deserved best actress, best actor and best picture Oscar winners since 2001 (hoping the html works fine).

January 4, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterMe34

James - I love Hope & Glory, such a lovely performance by Sarah Miles - it deserves to be more widely seen.
Imelda Staunton is a gem, don't forget her incarnation of evil as Dolores Umbridge in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, I would love to see her in Gypsy.
I was somehow immune to the charms of The Lego Movie, which I found too loud and predictable.

January 5, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterLadyEdith

They are only small and don't have an effect on most, but the Central Ohio Film Critics nominees have given me a small confidence boost that my prediction for the surprise snub (no Benedict Cumberbatch for Actor) may actually happen.

January 5, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterTravis C

James & LadyEdith -- i've never seen that one. Maybe we should start revisiting UNDERDISCUSSED NOMINEES

January 6, 2015 | Registered CommenterNATHANIEL R

Hope & Glory is delightful. I loved Sammi Davis in it as well as Sarah Miles. There really wasn't a weak spot in the cast and Charley Boorman looks great in a uniform.

January 6, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterHenry

It's not movie related but I just watched the first season of Enlightened for the first time ever last week. OMG you guys. I can see why people were cool on it in the end but Laura Dern sells the SHIT out of it. Can't wait to see some of the season 2 episodes that I remember people raving about.

January 7, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterMark The First

Nathaniel -- that would be amazing!

FWIW, I found a recommendation on H&G that A.O. Scott did a few years back that could serve as a quick intro:

January 7, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterJames

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