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Entries in Best Picture (121)

Saturday
Apr182015

Revisiting Rebecca (Pt 5): Burn It Down, Mrs Danvers

Previously on "Revisiting Rebecca"
Pt 1 - a whirlwind de Winter courtship
Pt 2 - return to Manderley, meet Mrs Danvers
Pt 3 - feel up Rebecca's lingerie
Pt 4 - attend a costume ball but don't jump out the window, young lady!
 

...And here is Jason, with our final installment.


1:44:50 We fade up from a kiss to a sign reading "Kerrith Board School 1872." It seems so exact it made me wonder if this is a real place, but a quick google comes up with nothing. I assume this, like most everything save the more obvious natural exteriors (the beaches filmed on the California coast, for example), was a set. It seems an odd detail to so prominently focus upon though. My guess is Hitch liked the connection to The Past, with it hanging over everyone – he was never exactly the most subtle with his themes.

In the Hitchcock/Truffaut book the two filmmakers discuss how "the location of [Manderley] is never specified in a geographical sense; it's completely isolated." Hitch actually talks at length about how he sees this possibility of isolation as an "American" thing -- that if Rebecca had been filmed in Great Britain he'd have shown the countryside surrounding the house but filming it in America gave him the possibility of this "abstraction." It certainly helps that whenever we’re seeing the mansion itself it’s always a miniature, and not an actual location. Anyway, here we are... Where ever here is!

Continue on to the final installment

Click to read more ...

Saturday
Apr042015

April Foolish Predictions. Let's Talk Best Picture

Subverting expectations, let's not start small but big with our annual April Foolish Oscar predictions. The first chart is up for the BEST PICTURE competition. Bear in mind that apart from Fox Searchlight's Brooklyn, (reviewed at Sundance) nobody has seen any of these films so this is pure fumbling in the dark for things that have the general shape of Oscar darlings. There are so many variables in each season and this first guess as to the general field is meant to spur conversation and must be taken with a grain of salt salt block.

A lot of recent Oscar darlings will try to sell new wares including Hooper, Inarritu, Vallée, Tarantino, and David O. Russell. Steven Spielberg, a perennial, could be back with his cold war film Bridge of Spies. Previous winners with heavy cobwebs on them in terms of Academy favor like Ron Howard, Warren Beatty, Jonathan Demme and Robert Zemeckis will try for comebacks. And one of TFE's all time favorite filmmakers, Todd Haynes, is back after a long long big screen hiatus. Oscar has never quite known what to do with him so will they figure him out once they see Carol? It's a big question mark even though the movie sure looks like a potential beauty.

The films I have the most faith in at the moment -- in terms of Oscar appeal only -- are The Danish Girl and The Revenant but it's all guesswork until we see real footage on all these films.

Thoughts? Psychic revelations? Future tomatoes thrown?

Wednesday
Mar042015

Release Date Jockeying: Hey Studios, Keep Spreading the Wealth!

The conversation about the 87th Oscars had barely died down yet when you could hear rumblings about the 88th Academy Awards. It's not just the "will they go back to five" question but the sudden jockeying for release dates for the oncoming battle. Today we've had two new November announcements (Brooklyn & The Danish Girl) to go along with the previously announced titles of potential interest. 

And so far... miracle of miracles, things look pretty balanced... but will that continue?

Titles That Might be of Awards Interest In Some Way
Not a complete list of releases - links take you to articles

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
Mar042015

Back to Five? Back to Reality. (On the Best Picture Problem)

Back from a fantasy, yes...

By now you have read the rumor that the Academy is considering going back to only five Best Picture nominees per year. I've been amused by the headlines about this as they're extremely telling before you even get to the editorials. Consider Awards Daily's jaded / defeated "As They've Always Wanted" (Sasha likes the expanded field) or In Contention's even angrier / more insulting "Wants to Go Backward" (Gregory also likes the expanded field). Oscar bloggers have, for the most part, enjoyed the expansion because it gave us more to write about.

I never personally liked it. Oh sure it was fun the first couple of years in the way sudden upheavals in any tradition can feel thrilling in either an adventure film or horror film way. It also prompted fun guessing games about what might have been nominated in years past. But as a lover of Oscar history who enjoys comparing all eras too each other in out-of-time conversation, it was ultra-disruptive. How to compare years with 5 versus years with 8 versus 9 versus 10? Pick a number and stick with it. I understand that people have enjoyed the diversity of genres that the expanded field brought us but that only worked the first two years. [Lots more...]

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Mar032015

Visual Index ~ The Sound of Music (1965) "Best Shots"

Each Tuesday night we ask anyone with a pinterest, blog, tumblr or what have you to post their favorite shot from a preselected movie. To kick off Season Six: The Sound of Music (1965) for its 50th Anniversary.

Unlike its obvious counterpart in belovedness, The Wizard of Oz (previously featured in this series) it was wildly popular from the day it opened. If you adjust for inflation it remains the third highest grossing film of all time after Gone With the Wind (1939) and Star Wars (1977). Like GWTW, its production trouble seems to have magically made it a stronger film rather than torpedoing it. Funny how fate works. For example Christopher Plummer's contempt for the project (he turned it down several times and loudly denounced it afterwards) bleeds through but affects the movie in surprisingly perfect ways, balancing the sweet with just enough sour. 

In short, it's one of 'Our Favorite Things'. 

Best Shots from
THE SOUND OF MUSIC

Click to read more ...

Monday
Mar022015

That's a Wrap ~ All the 87th Academy Awards Coverage

Thanks for reading & listening. You should sign up for the forthcoming weekly newsletter so you don't miss important events like a new Actress Psychic contest, the April Foolish Predictions and films to watch before big articles hit. It'll take you 5 seconds. Do it! 

It's okay boys. Not everyone can go home with an Oscar.*

OSCAR RECAP COVERAGE
The Arrivals - Dakota Johnson, Rosamund Pike, The Streep
The Live Blog - Flu-ridden spontaneous responses
Best & Worst Moments - the Team speaks out
Birdman Post-Mortem - reflections on the Best Picture win
Readers Choice - who TFE's audience was rooting for. Sorry!
Nathaniel's Ballot - Nathaniel's 2014 favorites for comparison's sake
Title Cards - how beautiful was this year's art for each category?
Oscar Stages - how did this year's compare to past set designs?
Oscar Charts - updated. To be replaced with new predictive ones starting in April!
Best Oscar Tweets - from gaga gloves to great sex

Julianne Won an Oscar - a love letter
Julianne's Baby Boy Won an Oscar - who's next?
Best Supporting Actress Gowns - and a few presenters
Best Actress Gowns - and the Aussie goddesses
Lupita's Stolen Dress - we name suspects
Oscar Snacks - what did you serve at your party?
After Party Gowns - Andie Macdowell, Hailee Steinfeld, and more
New Trivia - several interesting things happened
Podcast - wrapping it all up. Final reflections.

and
The New Actress Hierarchy - Julianne Moore enters the royal palace

 

COMING IN MARCH: "We Can't Wait" 2015's Most Exciting Movies, Cinderella (2015), The return of "Hit Me With Your Best Shot" with The Sound of Music (Tomorrow! Are you ready?), The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, Chappie, and looks back at Paris is Burning, Pretty Woman, and the films of Ida Lupino.

* last chance to post a photo of Channing Tatum in a singlet - had to take it.