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Entries in Best Picture (195)

Sunday
Aug282016

Box Office Special: 1984 Hits

Rather than talk about this weekend's boring box office results (nothing new to see here beyond a big weekend for that new kill-the-trespassing-teenagers flick Don't Breathe) let's travel back to 1984 which was a hugely influential year for franchises of many kinds. What can the biggest hits tell us about the then and the now? 

TOP TWENTY OF 1984
numbers adjusted for today's dollars via box office mojo

01 Ghostbusters $589.6  
Two Oscar nods. Spawned 1 terrible sequel, two animated TV shows, and this year's reboot

02 Beverly Hills Cop $581.5
Led to two sequels, a TV remake, and a TV pilot that wasn't picked up. Beverly Hills Cop 4 has been in some stage of development for 20+ years and is still supposedly being made. We'll believe it when we see it.

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Aug162016

Stream This: No Country For Freddy's Happyness

I trust you're all Netflixing today to prepare for Hit Me With Your Best Shot: "The Get Down" tonight. We've missed Baz Luhrmann, haven't you? Netflix hasn't announced its September availabilities yet but here are a few things that just arrived as well as a few you'll need to watch quickly, if you have any desire, as they expire shortly. Let's freeze frame them at random places and see what turns up, shall we?

NEW TO NETFLIX

She will now lay her eggs - eggs with a truly remarkable destiny.

Flight of the Butterflies (2012)
That sounds uneccessarily dramatic, like it's a tagline for a butterfly blockbuster. This is, you guessed it, a documentary on butterflies. Pretty pretty.

(seven more movies after the jump)

Click to read more ...

Sunday
Aug072016

Posterized: Woody Allen's Filmography

Will Cafe Society win Oscar attention? It certainly looks handsome.Woody Allen's Cafe Society is the prolific auteur's 46th full length theatrical feature. He's been so regular a presence at the movie theaters he even makes speedy Clint Eastwood look like a slacker. In fact, though he's got his first television series due in September starring himself, Miley Cyrus and Elaine May (the six episode season will be called Crisis in Six Scenes and debut on September 30th), it won't be slowing down his theatrical output since he's already working on the 47th feature as well (which will star Kate Winslet and Justin Timberlake as previously noted).

It's too early in Cafe Society's run to know where it will stack up in terms of success, but it appears to be tracking to be one of his mid-range pictures, the kind that do fine but are neither true hits nor flops. We shall see. But for now let's look back at that highly prolific theatrical career. His pictures have earned a total of 52 Oscar nominations and 12 wins and they were once so popular they finished in the top ten hits of the year (can you imagine? Ah the 1970s when moviegoers were far crazier about what they'd turn out for)

How many of his 47 films have you seen (we're including the omnibus film New York Stories because why not)? All the posters and waves of his career are after the jump...

Click to read more ...

Monday
Aug012016

Podcast/Smackdown Pt 2: Richard Dreyfuss Double Feature of '77 and Films Oscar Ignored

As a companion piece to yesterday's Smackdown, a two-part podcast. If you missed Part One it's right here. Now we conclude our '77 festivities (did you enjoy or did we go to overboard?) with our panel, which includes Mark Harris, Guy Lodge, Nick Davis, Sara Black McCulloch, and Nathaniel R, discussing Tuesday Weld, Richard Dreyfuss, Diane Keaton, Looking for Mr Goodbar, The Turning Point and a few '77 extras.

Part Two Finale. Index (40 minutes)
00:01 One more anecdote on The Goodbye Girl 
04:45 Richard Dreyfuss' big year and Steven Spielberg's interest/disinterest in actors in Close Encounters of the Third Kind
15:30 Tuesday Weld's career and the divisive Looking for Mr Goodbar
24:00 The Turning Point and a female-heavy Best Picture lineup
32:15 Performances that weren't nominated from: Saturday Night Fever, Opening Night, Handle With Care, Roseland, and Three Women
39:00 Thank yous! 

You can listen to the podcast here or download from iTunes. Continue the conversations in the comments, won't you?  

Smackdown 77. Part Two. Close Encounters

Wednesday
Jul272016

HMWYBS: "The Turning Point"

Bancroft & Maclaine reminisce in The Turning PointBest Shot 1977 Party. Chapter 2
The Turning Point (1977)
Directed by: Herbert Ross
Cinematography by: Robert Surtees

When The Turning Point is remembered today, on the rare occasion that you hear it name-checked, it is nearly always in connection to its status as Oscar's all time loser (11 nominations without a win). That "achievement" was later shared when Steven Spielberg's The Color Purple (1985) met the same Oscar fate, entering the competition as a very big ticket and coming away empty-handed. It's surely no coincidence that both films are women's pictures. Oscar has grown increasingly wary of films about and for women over their 88 year history; that's not a mark on the films themselves but a stain on film culture and the Oscars. 1977 was in some significant ways, the very last Oscar year to be dominated by women. The sole "boys" movie up for the top prize was Star Wars, which perhaps also not coincidentally became the film which most Hollywood films aspired to be thereafter. Yes, 80% of the Best Picture nominees in 1977 were actually about women. Can you imagine it?!? That's a huge percentage which has, alas, not happened again in the 39 years since. Most Best Picture years since have been the reverse of those numbers, when in a more sane world it'd be about 50/50 since, you know, that's actually how the human race breaks down. 

Bronze. I think this is trying to be the film's signature image, but there are two many climaxes preceding it and following it to quite pull it off.

But now we're straying into Oscar stats when what we really want to talk about is this ballet melodrama and its gauzy prettiness. Worthy of 11 Oscar nominations? Surely not but that's not because of its subject, its genre, or its cast of accomplished women... 

Click to read more ...

Friday
Jul152016

Yes No Maybe So: "Loving"

As far as first looks go, the La La Land trailer might have sucked all the air out of the room this week, but we also got a trailer for another Oscar hopeful: Cannes entry Loving. It left Cannes empty handed for prizes, but there was pletny of praise for the film and buzz for leading lady Ruth Negga. You can bank we'll be talking about this one before it finally arrives stateside in November all the way to the big show.

While that transfixing glimpse at Land was more a feast for the eyes and ears, the Loving trailer goes right for the heart. I know I'm higher on Jeff Nichols than most of Team Experience, so I can admit that I'm a little biased on the film already, even if I agree that his other film this year Midnight Special was his weakest. After flirting with fable and genre in his past three films, how will a more straight forward narrative work for the auteur this time?

Does the trailer make us any more or less excited? Let's break it down after the jump...

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
Jul062016

Comment Party: Halfway Mark - Best Pictures? 

You have a pretty good idea of the films I've loved this year thanks to reviews, frequency of posting, and other "honors" - consider it a warm up before the year end party... so that we don't forget the early films. So let's dispense with all the froufrou and just get right to the questions:

If Oscar voting happened now, would LOVE & FRIENDSHIP lead?

1. If you had a 5-wide Best Picture Ballot right now (January to June releases only) who would you vote for?
2. What would Oscar nominate if 
the Academy voted right now? 

Here's my guesswork about the Academy. If they voted right now (only January through June releases eligible) my guess is that we'd see the following films up for Best Picture... 

Click to read more ...

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