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Entries in Best Picture (167)

Sunday
Apr172016

April Foolish Predictions: Visual Categories

Hello Dear Reader! Your host Nathaniel checking in from a screening and chart-making frenzy. I'm heading off to my jury meeting at the Nashville International Film Festival (New Directors competition) to bestow prizes. But I wanted to point you to chart updates (the remainder will premiere this week to complete our April Foolish tradition). So let's talk costume design and cinematography and such. (lots more after the jump)

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Tuesday
Apr122016

April Foolish Predictions. What will be up for Best Picture?

It's that time of year when we Sally Streep forth to venture into brand new Oscar charts. Before I get in TOO deep into the 20+ charts, I trust that you'll let me know which imminently forthcoming pictures you heartily believe in I have totally forgotten about.

some best picture possibilities

 

Currently I am feel cautiously bullish on the following traditional Oscar efforst (i.e. those that with big themes / pedigree / period trappings: Fences, Birth of a Nation and Silence (though I bet the latter is all in or nothing).  I'm far more riskily "let's do this!" optimistic about a non-traditional hopefull La La Land (contemporary musical). And under the banner of 'directors Oscar hasn't yet noticed but could at some point' let's put our eggs in the baskets of Jeff Nichols (Loving), Denis Vllieneuve (Story of Your Life), and Garth Davis (Lion). Davis has never made a feature but he did co-direct the TV mini Top of the Lake and that was a-ma-zing. 

Titles that confuse me for various reasons are Story of Your Life (i'm opting to guess well received) and Passengers (i'm opting to guess close but no cigar) because they're sci-fi dramas for adults. Sci-fi is such a tricky drama to pull off well and Oscar can be so "ewww" about it. On the other hand sometimes they sit up all "ooooooh" as with Gravity. I kept both World War II pictures (Five Seconds of Silence, and The Zookeeper's Wife) outside the predicted 10 primarily because I couldn't decide between them without any real footage yet.

THE CHART

Viggo Mortensen in Captain Fantastic

P.S. Titles I'm personally obsessed with seeing that I'm not really thinking about in terms of Best Picture because I don't want to make myself crazy from wishful thinking including Captain Fantastic (Viggo Mortensen forever... and he deserves a great comeback movie), Mike Mills 20th Century Women (The Bening), Beat-Up Little Seagull (the return of La Pfeiffer), and United Kingdom because I so want Rosamund Pike's to really capitalize on the Gone Girl breakthrough.

You?

 

Tuesday
Apr052016

Best Shot Peck Centennial: Roman Holiday & To Kill a Mockingbird

Gregory Peck was an instant sensation at the cinema. He was nominated for Best Actor in his very first year of the movies for The Keys of the Kingdom (1944) and the hits just kept on coming: The Yearling (1946), Gentleman's Agreement (1947), Twelve O'Clock High (1949). The Academy became less interested in nominating him after that the 1940s but for his Oscar winning and most iconic role (To Kill a Mockingbird) but audiences never stopped loving him. He had key hit films for over 30 years in his big screen career.

Though he was a very politically active liberal he was never interested in running for office himself but he  proved to be an influential politician within the industry itself as a key AMPAS president. 

For this week's Hit Me With Your Best Shot, in honor of Peck's Centennial, we gave participants the choice between what are arguably his two greatest films, Roman Holiday (1953) or To Kill a Mockingbird (1962).

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Wednesday
Mar302016

Q&A: Artists in Movies and Uninspiring Best Pic Lineups

For this weeks Q&A I asked for an art theme to celebrate the joint birthday of Vincent Van Gogh and Francisco de Goya on this very day! So we'll start with a few art-focused topics before venturing to rando questions.

TOM: Which film about an artist (in any field of the Arts) that you were not particularly knowledgeable about made you want to see/hear the real work by that artist? 

I vastly prefer non-traditional biopics so I'm susceptible to stuff that piques curiosity rather than gives you a greatest hits. So I like bios like Thirty Two Short Films About Glenn Gould (1993). I have some problems with I'm Not There (2007) which is my least favorite Todd Haynes film but I respect the hell out of it conceptually. In terms of movies about painters I definitely became more interested in Francis Bacon after Love is the Devil (1998) and not just because of Daniel Craig in the bathtub! I already cared about Caravaggio before seeing Derek Jarman's Caravaggio but I hope people see that one, too. 

BRIAN: If you had to recommend a budding Cinephile a movie based on an artist, a work of art, or has artistic themes what would it be?

Hmmm. A lot of movies about painting aren't very good (Watching someone paint being only a notch more interesting than watching someone write). So let's do "artistic" theme and the answer there is easily Amadeus (1984). It's such a useful movie to reference in ways both commonplace ("too many notes!") and contemplative (what makes the difference between competent journeyman skill and true genius?). One of my other favorite "art" movies is High Art (1998)...

8 more questions after the jump

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Monday
Feb222016

Q&A: Iconic Couples, Vote Counts, Favorite Kurosawas

There were so many good questions this week for the Q&A that we had to do this twice. Here are more questions asked of your host Nathaniel, and now answered. Thanks for being engaged readers!

Nicole & Ewan at MTV Movie Awards 2002Since there's been talk of how sweet it would be to see Leo and Kate both win Oscars this year, I've been thinking about recent screen couples that have captured audiences' imaginations in that way, that people would love to see win Oscars at the same time and I couldn't think of any quite on that level. Are there any post-Titanic screen couples you think of as legendary pop culture pairings? -EDWIN

Had Nicole Kidman & Ewan McGregor ever reteamed post Moulin Rouge! I think they might have become a screen couple like that. The fact that they haven't is a tragedy since we will love them until their dying day. You could argue that Rachel McAdams and Ryan Gosling (The Notebook) qualify. I think if Heath Ledger were still alive this might have happened with him and Jake Gyllenhaal since they're both such tremendous actors and liked each other quite a lot. It would have been fascinating to see them co-star in a second film in a totally different genre. 

The Film Experience is 1000% behind today's Hollywood realizing that reteaming stars who had insane chemistry is one of the best traditions of Old Hollywood. It's not only fun for fans, it's also marketable! Wouldn't you be so excited if Kate & Leo made a comedy together in 2018?

What's your favorite performance given by an animal actor? -TYLER

Asta as "Mr Smith" from The Awful Truth (1937) which is my first or second or third* favorite screwball comedy of all time. (It's hard to decide because they're so many great ones)

If it was up to you to decide, would you release the official vote counts from old Oscar ceremonies? Or would that take away the fun of endless speculating? is there a particular race you would want to know the official tally? - MARCELO

The answer and more after the jump...

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Saturday
Feb202016

8 Days til Oscar...

If you haven't fully investigated the Best Picture Chart you should do that today. There are several unusual ways to rank the 8 nominees for Best Picture: machismo factor, number of deaths, MPAA ratings, running time, and more.

Sample to your right. Check it out 

Ranking, my friends, is mandatory since Best Picture is determined on a preferential ballot. There's mine to the far right (this was crafted the day of nominations so no "backlash" was in play). Theoretically the preferential voting puts polarizing pictures at a disadvantage but what isn't polarizing these days?

How would you rank them? Are you still undecided as to which film will win? Three good indicators (SAG Ensemble, PGA, and DGA) famously went to three separate pictures (Spotlight, The Big Short, and The Revenant) confusing the matter more than is usual. If you missed the latest podcast Nick and I talked about the most difficult categories to predict which we're guessing are: Picture, Director, Costume Design, Production Design, and Sound

Monday
Feb082016

Linkbowl 

Boy Culture revisiting Maurice with director James Ivory 30 years later
The Guardian previews Alone in Berlin, a new WW II drama starring Emma Thompson & Brendan Gleeson
Playbill How the Newsies choreographer got Channing Tatum tap dancing for Hail, Caesar!
The Film Stage 15 movies to see after you've seen Hail, Caesar!

Film Mixtape Chris Feil's top ten.
MNPP [nsfw] Tom Hardy on the set of Taboo... with tattoos 
Antagony & Ecstasy comparing current Best Picture nominees to previous Best Picture winners 
Pajiba on Star Wars...dildos? 
i09 argues that Virtuosity (1995) starring Russell Crowe and Denzel Washington now works as a 'bad movie we love' instead of just a bad movie 

Today's Watch...
I was watching George Clooney and Channing Tatum lounge and dance about in Roman soldier and Sailor costumes during the big game so I watched the new movie commercials afterwards. X-Men Apocalypse, Captain America: Civil War, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2, The Jungle Blook, 10 Cloverfield Lane, Jason BourneIndependence Day: Resurgence are included after the jump.

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