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Entries in film critics (103)

Saturday
Dec142013

Catching Up With the Linkses

The Wire a definitive ranking of the hair in American Hustle. Elizabeth Röhm's Dolly Polito and that awesome bathroom showdown between Amy & Jennifer are not high enough!
NY Post gives you more background on The Wolf of Wall Street's Jordan Belfort and how filthy rich he still is. So much for penance!
Vulture interesting piece on Inside Llewyn Davis and discrepancies with actual folk music culture as it was experienced at the time
Cinema Blend first images from Transcendence with Johnny Depp
Movie City News 12 weeks to go in the Oscar punditry game. Why is so little changing?
MNPP renames Hercules "The Legend of Pecules" which is all well and good since Kellan Lutz beefcake will surely be the only reason to watch it 
LA Times looks at the quiet subversive Oscar campaign for James Franco in Spring Breakers (oh I so wish the Globes had had the guts to go there 

List-Mania
Alan Sepinwall's  top ten TV of the year including Southland and Top of the Lake (yes times two) and I really co-sign the comments on both Mad Men and Masters of Sex
Matt Zoller Seitz's top ten TV of the year 
Stephen Holden's top thirteen of the year. So much capitalistic anxiety
Cinephiled this podcast gives you a peek inside the voting for the Los Angeles Film Critics Awards. I meant to share this last week but it's very much worth a listen: Starring James Rocchi, Karina Longworth, Alonso Duralde, and Amy Nicholson 
A.O. Scott's top ten of the year with love for the Coens and the McQueen but I'm most enthralled by #10 which goes like so:

10. ‘The Great Gatsby’/‘The Wolf of Wall Street’/‘The Bling Ring’/‘Spring Breakers’/‘Pain and Gain’/‘American Hustle’ Six variations on the big theme of our times: “Just look at all my stuff!” It’s capitalism, baby! Grab what (and who) you can, and do whatever feels good. We’re all going to hell (or jail, or Florida) anyway.

Slant individual top 10s from their team. And...
Slant top 25 films of the year (collectively) with lots of love for Museum Hours, Her, and Inside Llewyn Davis.They also loved two films I hated: Bastards (to me Claire Denis' nadir) and Upstream Color


Off Cinema

The Advocate on the gayest responses to Beyoncé's surprise album release. 
Gawker 'Beyoncé is just like everyone else only much better'
(I'm not really a music person but I definitely admire a capable surprise and in this day when most entertainment WILLFULLY spoils itself before it premieres I am so proud of this woman I don't even care about! I can't imagine how a celebrity that big kept all of that a secret when other celebrities and their teams were involved)
Playbill it's hard to imagine an odder pairing than avante garde performance artist Taylor Mac and Broadway legend Mandy Patinkin but here they are co-starring in The Last Two People On Earth: An Apocalyptic Vaudeville which starts performances today! Hope I get a chance to see this one.

Tuesday
Dec102013

Online Film Critics Society announces its nominations.

It's Tim, to discuss with you the Online Film Critics Society nominations. A day late, admittedly, but these sorts of lapses will happen in this rampant crush of critics group awards.. Anyway, as one of the Team Experience members who happens to be in the OFCS myself, it falls naturally to me to make a big darn deal about this particular announcement.

And in all immodesty, it's one of the more interesting sets of titles that has shown up this year. We were just complaining about groups like the AFI using their awards as nothing but Oscar predictions, were we not? There's certainly not much of that going on here, at least not at the nomination stage - in fairness, I fully expect that the winners will be part of the great Gravity and 12 Years a Slave love-in (and Her, if the group at large ever receives screener DVDs) - with some titles that have received absolutely no attention elsewhere and likely won't again. And that's what year-end awards and lists are about, to my mind: not commemorating the same three movies and two performances as everybody else, but passing around names of things that you really should have seen, it's so great.

This year also finds the OFCS made the jump from a traditional five nominees to a new-fashioned ten. We all undoubtedly have opinions on such matters; some of us, unfortunately, are prevented for reasons of professional ethics from communicating those opinions in public.

The nomination leaders include 12 Years a Slave with 8, and Her and Inside Llewyn Davis at six each (surprisingly, The Wind Rises, with 5, ends up ahead of Gravity's 4).

Nomination leader "12 Years a Slave"

The full list is below the jump.

Click to read more ...

Sunday
Dec082013

Los Angeles chooses Gravity and Her in a tie

Such a big day for critics' awards - not only are Boston's picks so fresh that the steam is still coming off of them, the Los Angeles critics have announced. In most years, they can be relied upon for the least mainstream picks of any major group - famously, they bullied Universal into acknowledging the existence of Terry Gilliam's functionally unreleased Brazil by heaping awards on it in 1985 - though this year they broke hard for Gravity and Her, which between them took nine wins or runner-up slots out of 11 categories in which they were eligible. Ties in three major categories, which is admirable, I guess, in the sense that it's not nice to pick favorites, but it's a little disappointing as an awards-watcher.

Full list below the jump.

Click to read more ...

Sunday
Dec082013

Boston Chooses 12 Years A Slave, Enough Said?

The Boston Society of Film Critics' (BSFC) very first Best Picture prize went to Martin Scorsese's Raging Bull (1980) and over the next 32 years they've mixed smart off the path choices with future Oscar darlings. In the past decade they seem to have mellowed and mainstreamed and unless you count a tie in 2008 (Wall•E shared the prize with Slumdog), it's been well over a decade since that grabby run when they thought outside the box consistently (1998-2001) when they were giving Best Film prizes to great movies like Out of Sight (2 below the line Oscar nods) Three Kings (0 Oscar attention) and Mullholland Dr (1 Oscar nod) which were obviously not going to play big with the Academy. (During that period they were also making interesting calls in non Oscar-baiting performances so something about the membership must have changed thereafter.

This year they've wrapped their Bostonian arms around native New Yorker Solomon Northrup in a big way giving 12 Years a Slave three top prizes. They were also kind to Nebraska and Enough Said which each won 2 prizes. Full list of winners with commentary after the jump

Click to read more ...

Sunday
Dec082013

LinkLove

Randomness
Salon Rashida Jones clarifies her earlier statements about pop stars #actinglikewhores 
Washington Post Shirley Maclaine gets the Kennedy Center Honors. What a career
Variety The Square takes the top prize at the International Documentary Awards. The doc Oscar race is really really competitive this year!
In Contention European Film Awards. We shared the winners earlier but Guy has extensive coverage
Daily News Madonna's daughter Lola plays Rizzo in Grease at NY's performing arts high school (aka the Fame school) 
Salon has a really interesting piece on the Coen Bros obsession with failure via Inside Llewyn Davis though I would suggest not reading it before you've seen the movie since it reveals virtually every pivotal plot point and punchline. Save it for later

CoSign!
Jonathan Rosenbaum on "the season of critical inflation" Yes, to this. Just yes.
John Forde on the loud reactions to diver Tom Daley's coming out
i09 Wicked imagined as an animated musical (no, not Frozen

Tis the Season of List-Making
Slant Kurt looks at 20 great shots from the film year from Spring Breakers through undersung indies like Mother of George and new treats like Her
Guardian looks at the best screen "robbers" because I guess The Great Train Robbery is coming to TV or something? (I'm not clear) from Mr Pink (interesting choice) through Bodhi (duh)
NY Post Lou Lumenick and Kyle Smith battle it out over their top ten lists - they share only Mud and Gravity
Time Magazine Richard Corliss loves The Hobbit (again? ugh) but my favorite bit is this line on Spike Jonze Her...

In a future Los Angeles so near-Utopian that no scene takes place in a car...

hee!

Saturday
Dec072013

European Film Award Wi -- what? Scorsesaywhat? 

I watched a bit of the European Film Awards live streaming earlier today and the first sight that greeted me was Anke Engelke looking like she'd stepped out of the Capitol to announce the next Hunger Games. The only thing she got wrong was that her hair and makeup were too demure. Tim said she looked a "teensy bit too lindt bunny" which made me giggle.

While attempting to watch the show I was pulled into an endless twitter debate about misogyny and glorification/condemnation thereof in The Wolf of Wall Street - a conversation which I expect will rage throughout awards season unless the veritable army of Scorsese stans succeeds in stamping out open discussion about the movie's merits; they're weirdly adamant that one should only do adrenaline fueled wolf howls at it which is, I don't mind saying, one of the worst things that can happen to a movie that merits any kind of considered conversation.

SOOOOOO, while I didn't make it all the way through the EFAs and am ashamed to note that I missed Catherine Deneuve's tribute altogether (argh) here are 5 thoughts from the ceremony...

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Dec032013

NYFCC Runners Up?

Redford's nearest rivals, Chiwetel Ejiofor & Oscar Isaac, were tied at a distant second at the NYFCCUnlike some Oscar-obsessed blogs, I don't really see much of value in sharing "runners up" from various critics orgs (running up is not winning and you can't use it as promotion unless the fine print is really really small.)

But, since NYFCC is the first and the oldest critics group, and surprised with 3 prizes for American Hustle we're not yet sick of critics prizes (that happens in about... 12 days? 7 or 8 if everyone goes samey-samey) why not talk their runners up: Lou Lumenick at the New York Post shared how the voting went down and it looks like the "almosts" went like so... Picture (12 Years a Slave lost in a squeaker), Director and Actress (David O. Russell and Amy Adams so the American Hustle voting block was strong in the final rounds. Were they true fans of the film or did they just prefer it to the others when their favorites were eliminated in the rounds of voting?), and Supporting Actress (Lupita Nyong'o). It's interesting that both Actor and Supporting Actor had no strong challenge to the eventual winners (Robert Redford & Jared Leto). Perhaps it means nothing but I find it interesting since, especially in the case of the Oscar race for Best Actor, consensus seems hard to come by as to which actor is most deserving or even which might eventually win.

Why was Redford such a clear favorite here in New York? Is it the sentimental edge from his glorious cinematic history? (That's a pretty damn strong filmography all things considered.)

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