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Entries in BlacKkKlansman (24)

Tuesday
Mar122019

Nathaniel's (Belated) Top Ten List of 2018

by Nathaniel R

Given that we're two months into a new year, the best cinema of 2018 is receding in our mind's eye, still shimmering but moving out of focus. But so much vivid color and feeling remains. Before we are fully blinded to its beauties (until, that is, they are "old films" and we can revisit) by a whole new batch of cinematic images to obsess over, here's one last post to honor the year that was. Here's your host's choices for the 25 best films of 2018.

This year's HONORABLE MENTIONS are a varied bunch taking us from horny self-discovery in Swedish woods to a trash-heap island in Japan. Strangely, grief was the year's most defining theme across genres as diverse as horror, tragicomedy, bopics, thrillers, character studies, and romantic dramas.

The films are listed in loosely ascending order, though we always reserve the right to change our minds where lists and rankings are concerned:

  • Paddington 2 (Paul King, UK) If all franchises were crafted with this much heart and warmth and wit, Hollywood wouldn't feel souless at all.
  • Border (Ali Abassi, Sweden) A refreshing oddity which totally commits to its own hybrid identity as its protagonist discovers hers.
  • Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (Ramsey, Persichetti, and Rothman, US) If all superhero movies were this fun, inclusive, and inventive, they'd deserve their now automic success in the marketplace.
  • First Man (Damien Chazelle, US) A nation's epic ambitions paired with a marriage's intimate drama. So elegantly crafted.
  • Burning (Lee Chang-dong) as elusive and mysterious as a cat that doesnt want to be seen, until it saunters boldy into sight to stare you down.
  • First Reformed (Paul Schrader, US) The year's most disturbing drama. Hard to shake and necessary.
  • Widows (Steve McQueen) Overstuffed and strangely paced, but reverberating with provocative ideas and juicy characters. 
  • Capernaum (Nadine Labaki, Lebanon) For all that urgency and visceral feeling, not to mention one of the great child performances.
  • Support the Girls (Andrew Bujalski, US) for its ramshackle charms and subtle character-portrait
  • Hereditary (Ari Aster, US) What a calling card debut, from that dollhouse opening shot all the way through that psychotic break ending, a new horror classic. 

RUNNERS UP. Oh, if there were room in the top ten for all of these...

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
Feb272019

Why Green Book's win made me cringe. (It's not what you think.)

By Lynn Lee

I heaved a heavy sigh the moment Green Book won best picture.  But not for the reasons many of the rest of you probably did.

No, my heart sank because, dear readers, I like Green Book.  Liked it when I saw it, still like it now after all the controversies that failed to derail its path to Oscar.  Liked it enough to cringe at the thought of how exponentially the animus it’s already generated would grow following its victory, and how quickly it would be added to lists of the Academy’s Worst Decisions Ever...

Click to read more ...

Monday
Feb182019

Six days til Oscar. Six pieces of number 6 related trivia

Six is the number of the day so here are six different stats involving that number for distraction & fun.

1. BlacKkKlansman is the only movie this year with exactly six nominations. The other movies this decade with with exactly that number of nominations: Darkest Hour, Phantom Thread, Manchester by the Sea, Lion*, Hacksaw Ridge, Bridge of Spies, SpotlightCarol*, Boyhood, American Sniper, Captain Philllips*, Nebraska*, Dallas Buyers Club, War Horse*, Moneyball*, and 127 Hours*. I was hoping to discover that one of those titles had EXACTLY the same category nominations as BlacKkKlansman but none did. Titles with an asterisk lost all their nominations but the bulk of the six-time nominees won at least 1 Oscar which is good news for Spike Lee's Adapted Screenplay bid for BlacKkKlansman, the category its most likely to win in this coming Sunday.

2. Carol is the only six-time nominee in the past decade not to score a Best Picture nomination... 

Click to read more ...

Friday
Feb152019

Why *None* of the Nominees Can Win Best Picture This Year

by Abe Fried-Tanzer

For those of us who live within the world of Oscar history and statistics, every year brings with it the proclamation that certain benchmarks need to be achieved in order to merit a Best Picture win. In just the past decade, multiple insurmountable obstacles have been bypassed, with Argo triumphing without a Best Director nomination, Birdman winning without a film editing mention, and The Shape of Water managing a win even after it didn’t make the SAG list for its ensemble. All eight films nominated this year have a variable number of impediments standing in their way this year – here’s a breakdown of the top limitations for each nominee.

BlacKkKlansman
This incredible tale of a black cop who infiltrated the KKK has actually checked most of the boxes. It has nominations for directing, writing, and editing, and earned bids from all the relevant guilds. The problem is that it hasn’t won anything, suggesting that it doesn’t have the momentum it needs to garner first-place votes. If anything, it will be Lee who upsets to win the Best Director prize or the film’s screenplay that takes home an award. Being everyone’s third choice won’t help it win the top prize.

Black Panther
As if being the first comic book movie to contend in this race wasn’t enough, the seven-nomination haul for this Marvel blockbuster is actually pretty disappointing...

Click to read more ...

Thursday
Jan312019

Blueprints: Memorable scenes from your "Best Adapted Screenplay" nominees

by Jorge Molina

Last week we dove into the nominees for Original Screenplay. Unlike that category, which feels up in the air with a batch of uneven contenders, the adapted nominees reflect a much richer group of screenplays overall. From the pitch-perfect blending of genres and race-commentary in BlackKklansman, to the lyricism and poetry of If Beale Street Could Talk, and from the snark and melancholy in Can You Ever Forgive Me?, to the dark ironies that permeate through all the tales in The Ballad of Buster Scruggs, andthe interpersonal relationships against the backdrop of superstardom in A Star Is Born, each nominee says what it needs to say in a way only it could have. Let’s have a look at each of the nominees...

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Jan222019

The Best Picture race and the Bechdel Test. Thoughts?

What do these two talk about when they're not talking about T'Challa?We still have so much Oscar work ahead of us but this is a notice that the Best Picture Chart is now updated. You can vote (DAILY!) on which Best Picture you think should win the race and also check out various rankings of the movies by thing liks global success, running time, degree of horniness, how violent they are or aren't, and so on.

We can also discuss whether or not the movies pass the Bechdel Test. If you've been living under a rock all that test is (which should be easy to pass) is that a movie has to 1) have two female named characters who 2) talk to each other about something other than a man. That's it! Should be easy to pass but many many many films fail. Sadly only two of the Best Picture nominees are easy passes (The Favourite and Roma). But perhaps two more do as well. In Black Panther do the women discuss anything together besides T'Challa together? I think they do discuss the glories of Wakanda and possibly strategies for battle but I haven't seen the movie since February so perhaps I'm equating their fierceness with robust conversations? And in Vice do the Cheney women talk to each other about anything other than Dick? Perhaps they do discuss Mary's sexuality and Liz's political campaign? Or is that only a mom & dad conversation? My memory is a bit fuzzy on these details but perhaps yours isn't?

Anyway, enjoy the chart and the various lists. We love to list and we're just trying to keep ourselves, and you, entertained. Check it out and return to discuss.

Related Articles: 
• 12 things we learned from the noms • Adams vs Weisz, Round Two • Deep Cut Oscar Trivia • Mourning the Snubs • How to Stage the Original Songs • Nomination Index