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Entries in Directors (268)

Saturday
Feb232019

'Can You Ever Forgive' everyone ignoring Marielle Heller?

by Nathaniel R

Marielle Heller is, we suspect, a real deal cinematic treasure. Her debut film, the sexually charged, inventively imagined Diary of a Teenage Girl (2015) showed a ton of promise. Her second feature Can You Ever Forgive Me? (2018), while more modest at first glance, was yet more complex and successful.

We think she ought to have been one of the Best Director nominees with Oscar this year, which is why she's in our Film Bitch Awards Best Director lineup...

Click to read more ...

Thursday
Feb142019

Interview: Rachel Weisz on "The Favourite" and why she hasn't peaked yet.

by Nathaniel R

Rachel with her BAFTAWhen we sat down with Rachel Weisz to discuss The Favourite, she was as intimidating as the Lady Sarah Marlborough. Not, we think, on purpose. Sometimes an actor so slays a role that, if you've never met them before and have a tendency to live for the movies, it's like looking straight into the character's eyes. Weisz, cool and measured, impeccably dressed, offered tea. Remembering Lady Sarah's own downfall, I chose water.

We'd both seen The Favourite just once at the time but were eager for round two. "I'm so glad you liked it," she cooed, if somewhat cooly. All business, and why not, ready for questions but not any question. Taking the hint I steered clear of the past though I couldn't resist a brief question about one early role (The Shape of Things), since it had been a rare chance and my first to ever see an actor do a role on stage and then watch them repeat it on film. She found it, "a bit hard, that particular one" citing the need for freshness and spontanity in filmmaking and "...we'd said the words so many times before."  But we were there to discuss The Favourite, and spontaneity and freshness are in no short supply in that electric movie. She even shared how they managed to get them.

She hadn't yet been nominated when we spoke but the honors would soon, quite obviously, pile up including a BAFTA win for Best Supporting Actress and the Oscar nomination. Our interview, edited for length, follows:

NATHANIEL R: You've had such a strong handful of years now: The Deep Blue Sea, The Lobster, Disobedience, The Favourite. But you won an Oscar 14 years back or so and I wonder if at that point, before these recent peaks, you thought 'well, what now?' 

RACHEL WEISZ: I mean, it’s a thing [The Oscar] that you never think will happen to you. I don’t really feel like I can rest on my laurels and it’s all over now. I just don’t feel like that. There’s so much to explore. Hopefully I get better at my job. I think the more work you do… well, for me, the more I've done, the more I’ve figured out what kind of work I want to do...

Click to read more ...

Friday
Feb082019

Directing an Actor to a Nomination - The Stats

by Ben Miller 

Adam Driver (BlacKkKlansman) is the third actor Spike Lee has a directed to a nomination after Danny Aiello (Do the Right Thing) and Denzel Washington (Malcolm X)

With the upcoming Academy Awards celebrating their 91st year, the Oscars have plenty of history to obsess over.  One of the less-discussed pieces of history is which directors have the most pull with the Academy's acting branch. Today's topic: directors who have guided multiple actors and actresses to nominations and/or wins. 

With this season's nominations, directors Bradley Cooper (3), Yorgos Lanthimos (3), Peter Farrelly (2), and Marielle Heller (2) all join a group of directors who've guided multiple actors to Oscar nominations. In this season's crop of films Vice's Adam McKay (4), Roma's Alfonso Cuaron (3), If Beale Street's Barry Jenkins (3), BlacKkKlansman's Spike Lee (3), Bohemian Rhapsody's Bryan Singer (2) and At Eternity's Gate's Julian Schnabel (2) all add to their previous tallies since each had previously directed either one or two actors to a nomination.

In the 91 year history of the Academy Awards, 1757 performances were directed to an Oscar nomination.  I tracked every single one of them to come up with these numbers. More notes after the jump...

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Tuesday
Jan082019

DGA nominees match the Globe lineup *exactly*

by Nathaniel R

This awards season keeps throwing us unpleasant curveballs. First Bohemian Rhapsody took the top prize at the Globes and now, the Director's Guild of America has decided to up and agree with the Globes exactly on the Best Director list.

Their nominations and statistical hand-wringing after the jump...

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Friday
Dec142018

Oscar's Foreign Race Pt 7 - Famous Auteurs / Frequent Oscar-Seekers

by Nathaniel R

On Monday the 87 movie wide official list of Academy Award Foreign Film submissions will be whittled down to 9 titles. It's a merciless cull  -- why aren't their 15 finalists as in Documentary?  -- and even more ignominious is the knowledge that less that 50% of those that are deemed finalists will be discarded at the last second before they can taste victory. At least with a 10 wide list, just one more title, it would be kinder, giving you a 50/50 chance. That would feel like a toss of the die and thus more whimsical than unkind in the long run. 

But nevertheless, until that fateful cull on Monday, all the competitors in the huge foreign film category can feel excited about their prospects. Here's a last look behind the scenes at the field.  We've previously watched the trailers, broke the list down by genre, and discussed the female directorsfirst time filmmakers, and international hunks

Today we conclude the general field coverage with the 11 directors who ought to be the most familiar with the game at this point...

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Saturday
Nov172018

Interview: Ofir Raul Grazier on his Oscar hopeful "The Cakemaker"

An abridged version of this interview was originally published in Nathaniel's column at Towleroad

Ofir Raul GrazierThe Oscars are coming and with them, renewed attention for some of the year’s most memorable films. One of this past summer’s sleeper hits was The Cakemaker, an LGBT drama that’s just been released on DVD / Blu-Ray. The tiny but prolific distributor Strand Releasing, who have released many gay favorites, have been in business for almost 30 years now and, if you don’t adjust for inflation, The Cakemaker quietly turned into their biggest box office hit ever this summer. The drama about a grieving gay German man who seeks out the widow of his lover (who was unaware of her husband’s affair) earned nearly a million at arthouse box offices across the U.S!

After winning Best Picture at the Ophir Awards in Israel, it became the country's submission for Oscar’s Best Foreign Language Film category. We recently caught up with its director Ofir Raul Grazier. Our interview follows, edited for clarity and length.

NATHANIEL: The Cakemaker is your feature debut. Was that terrifying for you or totally natural on set? 

OFIR RAUL GRAIZER: It was a bit scary, of course, because the amount of responsibility is huge. The producers,  the crew, the actors --  I was thinking about all of that more than the film itself. But once the camera was rolling it felt quite natural. I love to do this. This is my passion. I managed to enjoy shooting. Everything between the shots was a nightmare [Laughs]...

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Tuesday
Oct232018

Barry Jenkins on the Red Carpet

Barry Jenkins was in Rome Sunday to promote If Beale Street Could Talk. Was he...

...so overwhelmed with the adulation that he passed out on the red carpet?
...just really jet-lagged?
...super chill about his glamorous life as an auteur?
... Other ______ (write in votes accepted in the comments)

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