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Entries in A Room With a View (9)

Tuesday
Dec202016

Catching up w/ Critics Prizes: Chicago, London, Kansas City, and SEFCA

Another week another big round of critics prizes. As previously noted we only cover about 16 groups (for sanity purposes) so here were a fourth of them as announced these past few days.

CHICAGO FILM CRITICS ASSOCIATION

Chicago's association was first established in 1988 with a Best Picture prize for Mississippi Burning of all things. This year they liked The Handmaiden so much that it even broke into their Best Picture nomination, a rarity for the group. The last foreign language film to do so with Chicago was Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon back in 2000. It won three prizes, just shy of what Manchester by the Sea managed...

Click to read more ...

Saturday
Feb132016

Valentine's - A Room With a View

Team Experience is celebrating Valentines Day with favorite love scenes. Here's Lynn Lee on an 80s classic

Everyone who loves this film remembers The Kiss.  It’s the moment proper Edwardian girl Lucy Honeychurch (a very young Helena Bonham-Carter), vacationing in Italy, discovers romantic passion for the first time.  She doesn’t know it yet, but the odd free-thinking young man she’s only recently met (Julian Sands) is her soulmate.  He knows it, though.

Besides being (literally) storybook-romantic—a sun-drenched poppy field in Italy! lush soprano aria in the background!—the kiss is also wreathed in comedy, as the film cuts back and forth between Lucy, wending her way uncertainly towards George, and her fussy chaperone Charlotte (Maggie Smith) bonding with another fellow tourist, a hacky romance novelist (Judi Dench), over scandalous love stories before she starts to worry about Lucy.  Meanwhile, the Italian driver who led Lucy to George looks on in amusement at what he has wrought.  He knows what’s up, his own public display of affection having been previously smacked down by these uptight Brits.  But the Kiss will not be denied.

 

It’s also the kiss that keeps on giving for the rest of the movie.  Its memory haunts Lucy during her utter failure of a first kiss with her fiancé, Cecil (Daniel Day-Lewis, vying for comic MVP with Maggie Smith), in England.  It reappears again at a critical and exquisitely awkward moment as a passage in a terrible romance novel, penned by none other than Charlotte’s novelist friend, that the clueless Cecil just happens to read out loud to none other than Lucy and George.  The tension that was simmering since George’s reentry into Lucy’s life then comes to full boil, precipitating a chain of events that eventually forces out in the open what Lucy’s been denying for too long: she and George belong together. 

All thanks to one glorious kiss.

Our Valentine's Series
Shakespeare in Love (1998)
Before Sunset (2004)
The Painted Veil (2006)
Love Songs (2007)
(500) Days of Summer (2009)
Beyond the Lights (2014)

 

Tuesday
Oct202015

Top Ten '86 Flashback. Plus A Room With a "Best Shot"!

We've done a terrible job of having top tens ready for you every Tuesday so here's a quickie from 1986 since it's Best Shot time again.

Top Ten Films of 1986

  1. A Room With a View (James Ivory)
  2. Aliens (James Cameron)
  3. Hannah and Her Sisters (Woody Allen)
  4. Little Shop of Horrors (Frank Oz)
  5. My Beautiful Laundrette (Stephen Frears)
  6. The Fly (David Cronenberg)
  7. Betty Blue (Jean-Jacques Beineix)
  8. Peggy Sue Got Married (Francis Ford Coppola)
  9. Parting Glances (Bill Sherwood)
  10. The Mosquito Coast (Peter Weir)

Disclaimer: I haven't seen many of these films in a very long time. I am sure there are major titles I should reconsider or see for the first time since I wasn't seeing movies as voraciously back then. 

What does your top ten from that year look like?

Basically the top three there are "all-timers" for Nathaniel, not just for an annual list. And yes yes, I'm aware that IMDb considers the James Ivory classic a 1985 movie but that's stupid because it did not open that year. It opened nowhere that year. It opened in both its home country of the UK and in the USA and then spread to other countries in the early summer of 1986. It was a big deal, crossing over from the arthouse and justly receiving a slew of Oscar and BAFTA nominations (and actual statues, too). If you've never seen it, I envy you your first time. 

BEST SHOT CHOICES...
Please click over to see the choices and read these articles. My choice will be up tomorrow so if you're running late you still have time! REPULSION, our finale of the season, will also be delayed two days (you have until Thursday the 29th to post your choice) because we have a sudden trip to London for The Danish Girl interviews this weekend so Tuesday will be impossible.

FILMMIXTAPE

The film is never lacking for gorgeous imagery, with even the most perfunctory medium dialogue shots being frames you want to live inside.

ANTAGONY & ECSTASY

The fact that it's a depiction of a literal room with a view wasn't part of my calculation

CHIRAPAT

When my mind and body long for relaxation and comfort, I usually swing the ‘costume drama’ window wide open and let it soothe my soul... 

FILM ACTUALLY

Loved every preening, posh second of Daniel Day-Lewis's performance.

MAGNIFICENT OBSESSION

Maggie Smith, she’s the ultimate symbol of the film’s humor, making (poor) Charlotte Bartlett into one of her most remarkable creations and an indispensable part of the film’s comedic construction.

ALLISON TOOEY

If it wasn’t for the costumes and some of the dialogue, the movie could have been set in almost any time period...

SORTA THAT GUY

Like many films chosen for this series, A Room with a View is a film I had meant to see sooner, but just never got around to it. 

MOVIE MOTORBREATH

Oh look!...

Exactly! Look at these movies. Pick a shot. Repulsion (1965) starring Catherine Deneuve is next on October 29th.

Tuesday
Oct062015

12 Questions: A Room with Ultron's View of the XXL Freakshow

It's easy to get lost in future film excitement this time of year. So let's step back for a moment into the now. Here are two handfuls of key new releases on DVD. Answer nine questions about them in the comment party (it's not a party if people don't show up so do RSVP, wont'cha?)

The Avengers: Age of Ultron in which Joss Whedon juggles dozens of powereds but struggles to make the whole as good as all the parts
Q1:  Would you kill me if I went deep on this in a future miniseries? Yes, I'm a crazy person who has already seen it thrice. And yes I speak out loudly about the damaging effects of superhero culture on cinema but... but... but I have this terrible soft spot for all things Captain America

Dark Places the Gillian Flynn adaptation that never seemed to open!
Q2: Are you covering your ears right now delusionally "Charlize Theron only made one movie this year and it was awesome!!!" ?

Going Clear: Scientology & The Prison of Belief in which Alex Gibney (and presumably a team of top HBO lawyers) take on the "Church" of Scientology and its famous disciples
Q3: Did you feel more or less for Tom Cruise in His Bubble after seeing this? 
Q4: Do you think this has a shot at the Documentary Oscar?

Magic Mike XXL in which Channing Tatum and Company attempt to recapture lightning in a bottle without as much flesh peddling
Q5: What is your favorite scene in this movie other than "Chez Andie MacDowell" ? (obvs the best scene)
Q6: Which of the strippers do you most want a lap dance from? 

Dame Besties (Smith/Dench) are pure delight in "A Room With a View"

A Room With a View (Criterion Collection) in which Merchant & Ivory found their breakthrough hit, provided the world with ridiculous amounts of joy (seriously this movie) and helped launch the careers of three-named wonders Helena Bonham Carter and Daniel Day Lewis in this picturesque influential comedy about stuffy Brits at home and abroad.
Q7:  Will you join us for BEST SHOT on this one if we do it on Wednesday October 14th?

Spy in which Melissa McCarthy gets to star in her own comedy James Bond movie. 
Q8: It's weird to think of McCarthy movies on DVD or BluRay right? They all  feel like they are all made specifically to be on loop on cable channels for years to come until everyone can quote them verbatim.
Q9: Do you know what a sad Bulgarian clown looks like? 

When Marnie Was There in which a lonely young girl is sent to live in the country and encounters a mysterious mansion
Q10: Do you think Studio Ghibli will somehow rally and start making features again? 

Zipper in which Patrick Wilson has trouble keeping it in his pants
Q11: Why didn't they just use that for the tagline? 

TV Seasons
The Leftovers (S1), Jane the Virgin (S1), iZombie (S1), Fresh Off the Boat (S1), Penny Dreadful (S2), Vikings (S3), Grimm (S4), AHS: Freakshow (S4), South Park (S18)

Q12: Do you watch any of those shows or did you stop reading this the second you realized that American Horror Story Freakshow is now on Netflix Instant Watch where you can watch Finn Wittrock oil himself up, bathe in blood, and suck alcholo from nippled baby bottles whenever the mood strikes you?

Tuesday
Sep012015

Linker in the Rye

WTF w/ Marc Maron talks to Peter Bogdanovich
Yahoo! has the first image of Michael Fassbender in Assassin's Creed but don't get too excited because it could be anyone, given that the character loves those face covering hoods
EW everything Mads Mikkelsen wore on Hannibal thanks to costume designer Christopher Hargadon. So much fine suitage!
Awards Daily Nicolas Hoult to play JD Salinger in a biopic Rebel in the Rye. Danny Strong is on writer/director duties
Variety Penny Dreadful S3 adds Wes Studi (remember how good he was in Last of the Mohicans), Shazad Latif, Jessica Barden, and Patti LuPone (!) as a regular now, albeit in a new role since her witch died last season


Deep Dish [nsfw] celebrates 66 factoids about Richard Gere for his recent birthday - I didn't know a lot of the off-movie stuff
Tracking Board Michael J Fox is voicing a robotic canine for a new film called A.R.C.H.I.E. as befits an 80s sounding high concept comedy
Empire Sam Worthington and Ruth Wilson to headline a new sci-fi picture called The Titan about a military family participating in an experiment in space
Empire French filmmaker Pascal Chaumeil (Heartbreaker) dies at 54 
Film School Rejects has a bathe with A Room With a View... such a great movie 

We ♥ to Watch
Gizmodo Amazon Prime now first subscription service to offer download / watch offline
Cinematically Insane looks at the changes at TCM and what that might mean down the road. I'm so wary of this because even if they rebrand to be less about "old" movies then agreed upon "greats" how will we see the really old movies that are harder and harder to find with the death of DVD? I know I'm not alone among cinephiles in the desire to see less-than-great films regularly so as to get context for a career (director or actor) or timeframe at the movies 
/Films warns you about all the films leaving Netflix in September. (I'm so glad i never gave up my dvds since the range of their streaming options get grosser and grosser beyond their original content)

For LOLz
The Toast A League of Their Own inspired thinkpieces. Inspired silliness.
MNPP Michel Huisman strutting around New Orleans 
Back of the Cereal Box discovers an old Meryl Streep joke that still holds up 

Off Screen
Boy Culture a-ha's "Hunting High and Low" to receive 30 year anniversary rerelease. Such an amazing album - pity that people only think of "Take On Me"
Playbill Jim Broadbent returns to the West End toplay Scrooge in A Christmas Carol this season
Towleroad author Oliver Sacks who wrote Awakenings (which became an Oscar nominated movie) recently died (RIP)

Finally
The trailer to the final season of Downton Abbey. So many big shows wrapping up lately.

Monday
Oct272014

Does Eddie Redmayne in "Theory of Everything" = Daniel Day Lewis in "My Left Foot"?

A consistent yet elusive golden thrill: that moment in each year's Oscar race wherein everyone disagrees on who and what is the frontrunner in this or that category.

There are a few different schools of thought out there about who might win Best Actor. I have always believed and probably will continue to believe that the race for Oscar nominations is a very different and altogether more interesting contest than who will eventually win them. Because of this I like to focus on that before I get to "who will win" but I'll make an exception today for fun. Most experts (see this handy Gurus of Gold chart) currently name Michael Keaton (Birdman), Eddie Redmayne (The Theory of Everything) and Benedict Cumberbatch (The Imitation Game) as the leading threats to win the statue. I agree wholeheartedly with this and actually believe that they're the only three who could pull off a win in this particular year (unless American Sniper is some sort of late breaking Oscar stampeding Million Dollar Baby for Bradley Cooper... but I personally doubt it). Who will fill the other two 'not-in-it-for-the-win' slots is anyone's guess. I've returned again to the unpopular notion that Channing Tatum and Steve Carell will both win Best Actor nominations for Foxcatcher but I've mostly done so under the file labeled "Why Not? Who knows?" The competition for those two final slots is where the action is right now and there are about twelve guys who, with the right combo of precursor support, smart campaign moves, media approval, film heat coattails, and/or old fashioned luck could still pull it off. Any of the 12 who aren't out there fighting for it are, frankly, crazy.

Eddie at an AMPAS screening of THEORY OF EVERYTHINGBut, jumping ahead... who will win? 

On twitter today I was briefly discussing this with Kris & Jenelle and found them both sympathetic to my notion that Redmayne has a rather underdiscussed but considerable advantage in that he is enormously charming in person. When races are tight, charm counts for a lot. I've seen him in public thrice, met him once, and this charm is highly visible. What's more his charm never tilts toward cockiness but toward genuine-feeling humility. That's quite a trick if you stop to think about how actors build successful careers...

Click to read more ...