Oscar History

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Doc Corner: McQueen

"It's an excellent film, very well balanced, full of fascinating talking heads, and beautifully put together." -Edward L

"This should be the fashion documentary that makes it through to the final 5." - Peggy Sue

"I saw this in the UK last week. I was fascinated --especially the relationship with Blow and reflections on his gender politics. Would recommend." - catbaskets

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Entries in comedy (259)


Blueprints: Emmy Nominees for Outstanding Writing in a Comedy Series

Jorge has been taking a look at the Emmy history for this year’s writing nominees. 

Let’s take a look at the four shows that made up the six nominees for Writing in a Comedy Series, the only writing category this year in which there were repeat nominations for the same show. Remember that, just as in the Directing categories, individual episodes are honored rather than overall series. For the fifth year in a row network shows were entirely shut out of the comedy writing category. (In fact network television was shut out of all three narrative writing category this year, only showing up in "Variety/Special"). Two newcomer shows and two established favorites got the comedy nominations; none of the shows have ever won for their writing.

Let's see the elevator pitches and the stats (we love a good round of statistics) after the jump... 

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"Monkey Business" Giggles

I caught a retro matinee of Howard Hawk's silly delight Monkey Business (1952) for my birthday last weekend. I'd never seen it before and was giggling throughout. Cary Grant, Marilyn Monroe, Hugh Marlowe, and Charles Coburn were in great form but Ginger Rogers completely steals the movie -- no small feat with that cast!

She plays the ridiculously patient and then suddenly immature wife of a chemist (Grant) who is trying to find a formula for de-aging that he's testing on monkeys. Hijinx ensue! My main takeaway this week has been that modern comedies try too hard to have a message, a character arc, and "heart" to go with the laughs. This spring's I Feel Pretty and Life of the Party had this problem and one assumes the newly opened Tag does, too, merely because almost all comedies now do. Heart and message and meaty arcs (if you have to have them) should just spring from silliness rather than be inorganically thrown on top of the comedy like a blanket. That blanket is wet and it dampens the fun.

Do you have this problem with modern comedies and what do you love most about Monkey Business if you've seen it? 


Tribeca 2018: Mary Elizabeth Winstead stuns in "All About Nina"

by Jason Adams

If you hear a sliver of Margo Channing's famous warning echoing across All About Nina you should know it's not just because the title's a riff on that Bette Davis classic. It is indeed going to be a bumpy night, a series of them actually, for Nina (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) and for everybody that comes into contact with her. Although there are interstitial daylight-breaks, Nina's life revolves around nights and the things that bump them. She's a comedian, and we know well by now how those lives are structured. Bump, bump, POW. Fasten them seat-belts, baby...

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Afternoon Break with Baby Daniel Kaluuya

A friend sent me the link to this video. I have no idea what it is. It looks like some sort of British short comedy series - there are several episodes. Maybe it was part of a sketch show?Whatever it is, it's delightful if only for showing us a young Daniel Kaluuya. We already knew he gave good face, and apparently he always did!

If anyone knows anything about this series, tell us in the comments. Otherwise tell us what else have you seen Kaluuya in, prior to Get Out and Black Panther, that other people should check out.


Isle of Dogs and Japanese culture: Riff, love letter, or appropriation?

by Lynn Lee

A friend on Facebook recently asked me, after I posted a positive response to Isle of Dogs, what I thought about the controversy over Wes Anderson’s alleged cultural appropriation of Japan.  My initial answer was that it bothered me a little bit, but not enough to mar my enjoyment of the movie.  Later I realized that I’d just implicitly accepted the charge that there was cultural appropriation and, as an Asian American, felt mildly guilty that it didn’t bother me.  But on further reflection, I’m not sure either of those knee-jerk reactions was warranted.  It’s more complicated than that.

The question of cultural appropriation can be broken down a few different ways...

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One Season at a Time

Spread the good news, Netflix has renewed "One Day at a Time" for a third season! They made it official with this clever promo spot using one of Season 2's best jokes.

If you haven't been watching, you really should tune in and catch up. It can be a bit of an adjustment if you resist the traditional sitcom format (as I do) but it's worth the mental switch. The writing is incredibly strong (so many good jokes in every episode) and the characters are across the board endearing. If there's any justice in the world the legendary Rita Moreno will snag the Emmy nomination she was mysteriously denied last season for her even better work in season 2.