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The Next La La Land?

"It looks like fun and Hugh and Zac make a cute couple" - Jaragon

"Why do we keep treating La La Land like some sort of longsuffering, put-upon, misunderstood underdog? It's like making time to assure the prom queen that she's pretty and popular.." -Hayden

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Entries in Best Picture (194)

Wednesday
Jan112017

Best Picture - How many and which ones? 

Though the Academy Awards and the Golden Globes don't share voters, La La Land's sweep at the latter -- winning the most prizes, literally ever, at the Globes-- suggests the kind of overall crowd-pleasing and respectability strength that means the Best Picture Oscar is already won. The only suspense is how many other statues will be keeping it company on Hollywood's High Holy Night in February. But the race for nominations, which we've always maintained is the most exciting part each year anyway, is still relatively heated. So the Best Picture Oscar chart has been updated (more charts to follow over the next couple of days). But in short yours truly in punditry believe that the race currently breaks down like so

Tier 1 - The Locks... La La Land, Moonlight, and Manchester by the Sea
Tier 2 - If There Were Still Only 5.... Arrival and Hell or High Water?
Tier 3 - Probably Also In (So That Makes 8)... LionHidden Figures, Hacksaw Ridge
Tier 4 - It Depends on How Many Nominees? Nocturnal Animals or Fences
Tier 4.5 - Unless I'm Wrong In Which Case Loving, Jackie, or Sully

Assuming La La Land, Manchester and Moonlight are competing for the win... how would you rank the other Best Pic hopefuls?

That's ten pictures right there which means I have less faith in the rest though there are other films making noise like Silence (albeit a quiet kind of 'Jesuit priests in Japan but its Scorsese' noise) and Deadpool. I know I know... the PGA nomination... but I frankly can't imagine the latter as a BP nominee and my reasoning is this: it's the kind of picture you'd vote for if you're like "burn this whole place down! Oscars are silly and too elitist" -- there are surely some voters like that but in a year with so many richly loved movies I can't imagine this feeling is the dominant one. Also if the high budget superhero universal acclaim of The Dark Knight and the High Budget but similar to Deadpool (In Snark and Success) Charm of Guardians of the Galaxy couldn't do it why would the comparatively lowbudget and lowbrow Ryan Reynolds comedy be able to? And if it were to be nominated wouldn't that be like spitting in Marvel Studios' face? (Yeah, yeah, we know you've worked hard at consistent quality for a decade with barely any nominations to show for it even in tech categories, but whatever)

YOUR TURN. How many nominees do you think we'll get this year and which film is in the so-close but it's not going to happen position?

Tuesday
Jan102017

PGA Nominations: The usual suspects plus "Deadpool"

Did Deadpool just shoot some Oscar dreams in the head?It's fitting that a year such as 2016, which gave us all the middle finger in such a crass broad strokes kind of way with T**** would also prove to be the year of Deadpool and his tiny baby hand gave the middle finger to superhero blockbusters (albeit a middle finger of love since it's gleefully being everything it's snarky about). I can't imagine Deadpool transferring from the Producers Guild Nomination to Oscar's Best Picture roster especially since they have yet to nominate 10 movies in their new rules of "5 to 10 nominees" in the years since that ruling but congratulations on making it this far!

While you're perusing the Producers Guild noms keep in mind that this is not necessarily the end of Best Picture dreams for a movie that missed and here's why...

Click to read more ...

Friday
Jan062017

La La Demy Land

Now that La La Land is in wide release word of mouth from regular moviegoers (rather than critics) keeps expanding. As expected with Best Picture frontrunners, not all of it is kind. This unique and ravishing film has begun to suffer from the inevitable backlash.  Some of my musical theater friends are balking that neither star is a great singer, the songs aren’t sophisticated, and it doesn’t honor Hollywood musicals in the way they’d expected.


To harp on these issues misses the point of what director Damien Chazelle has created.  It's true that neither Emma Stone nor Ryan Gosling have Broadway-caliber singing voices, and it’s also true that future composers of musical theater are likelier to study Sondheim than Justin Hurwitz.  But Chazelle isn’t making a Broadway show, he’s crafting a wholly-original tone for a film, stealing bits and pieces from a wide variety of sources, and doesn’t seem interested in making a purely traditional Hollywood musical.

Chazelle has spoken in interviews about how the single greatest influence on La La Land were the two musical films of French director Jacques Demy:  The Umbrellas of Cherbourg, and The Young Girls of Rochefort...

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Jan032017

Your First Film Screening of 2017? Mine was "Casablanca"

Happy 2017, everyone! Dancin' Dan here, to celebrate how I rang in the New Year in cinema.

I personally opted not to go with any of the new releases, instead choosing January 1st to see a 35mm print of one of my Top Three films of all time, Casablanca. Apparently the print is making the rounds in honor of the 1943 Best Picture winner's 75th Anniversary. The timing, as always with Casablanca, is confusing: Casablanca premiered in New York in November of 1942 but it didn't become Oscar eligible until the 1943 film year winning the Oscar in March 1944 sixteen whole months after its premiere. Technically it's not quite 75 yet.

But never mind that, because Casablanca is always worth celebrating. It's so easy to fall in love with the shared beauty and charisma of stars Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman, and to applaud the film's witty, instant-classic lines. This time around, though, I was particularly struck by two things...

Click to read more ...

Friday
Dec232016

Podcast: "Lion" and "La La Land"

KateyNick, Joe and Nathaniel talk two Best Picture contenders along with conversational detours that pop up as these detours do. The podcast will return in the New Year. 

Index (43 minutes)
00:01 LION (and movie titles) 
12:15 LA LA LAND (divisive direction!) 
27:10 BEST PIC & LIST-MAKING (tis the season)
31:13 CHRISTMAS MEDLEY (Rent, Kermit, Judy G)

You can listen to the podcast here at the bottom of the post or download from iTunes. Continue the conversations in the comments and please have very happy and safe holidays until we're chatting at you again in January (probably around Golden Globes weekend January 8th-ish). 

Lion & La La Land

Tuesday
Dec202016

25th Anniversary: Prince of Tides (1991)

by Eric Blume

Twenty five years ago, director Barbra Streisand delivered her big-screen adaptation of the Pat Conroy novel The Prince of Tides for Christmas.  The film went on to win the Best Actor Golden Globe for Nick Nolte, as well as seven Oscar nominations, including Best Picture (but famously not a Best Director nod for Streisand).  

Looking at the film now, The Prince of Tides feels like a remnant from a lost Hollywood genre:  the mainstream, gimmick-free adult drama.  Streisand’s instincts lean to the commercial, and she’s fully devoted to the film’s rather banal psychobabble that purports how one good solid cry can heal a childhood rape.  The script may be as deep as a raindrop, but it has its strengths as well, and they’re strengths that align with Streisand’s own...

Click to read more ...

Monday
Dec192016

Links: Rogue One, Hidden Figures, The OA

Gurus of Gold the latest Best Picture chart along with Globe predictions. I went out on a limb or two for fun because the Globes usually do at least one weird thing with winners.
Variety Guy Lodge on the foreign film finalist list 
Variety on the Peter Cushing visual fx in Rogue One and performers rights to their image after death (I suppose we should talk about this eventually but I am still really weirded out and uncomfortable about it)
Jezebel in case you missed the brouhaha about Tilda Swinton's conversation with Margaret Cho about whitewash casting in Doctor Strange 

Tracking Board Will Ferrell and Kristen Wiig to headline a new musical comedy Everything's Coming Up Profits: The Golden Age of Industrial Musicals
The Gothamist loves Netflix's mystery series The OA [SPOILERS] from the pair that brought us that eco-terrorist thriller The East (Brit Marling & Zal Batmanglij), remember that one? I have only watched two episodes. Not sure that I get it. Feels padded and expository to me. I'll give it one more episode
Guardian talks to Sigourney Weaver, still going strong 37+ years into her big screen stardom
Coming Soon Ewan McGregor behind the scenes on T2 Trainspotting
Variety profiles great new director Garth Davis (Lion, Top of the Lake)
In Contention tries to figure out what the Makeup Oscar people might like in next week's bakeoff
Playbill First look at Philippa Soo in Broadway's adaptation of Amélie
Awards Daily Hidden Figures plays the White House. Headed for a Best Picture nod? 
/Film Josh Boone's initial plans for the movie franchise version of The New Mutants 

List-Mania
THR 25 best performances of the year - usual Oscar buzzing people plus a few interesting off-consensus choices like Kathryn Hahn in Bad Moms
Guardian 50 best comedies of all time - as chosen by comedians. 
Pajiba best lines of the year on TV 
Film School Rejects 50 most beautiful shots in Star Wars universe