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FINAL OSCAR PREDIX - in podcast & written form

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Entries in foreign films (484)

Friday
Feb152019

Review: Birds of Passage

by Abe Fried-Tanzer

Modernity is rarely a welcome concept for those rooted in tradition. What many see as progress is often decried as the destruction of long-held values and an attempt to push out members of the old guard who still adhere to customs they do not believe to be outdated. Every community must adapt to technological progress in some way or remain isolated from the rest of the world, a strategy that can’t last forever.

In Colombia's Birds of Passage, which made the nine-wide finalist list for foreign film but missed the nomination, the setting is the 1960s and the disruptive influence is the drug trade. Rapayet (José Acosta) becomes engaged to Zaida (Natalia Reyes), and, according to the customs of their indigenous Wayúu community, must present her family with a substantial dowry. Motivated by pride more than anything, Rapayet sees a business opportunity to provide Americans from the Peace Corps with marijuana...

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Tuesday
Feb052019

Thoughts I Had... about the Oscar Luncheon Class Photo

Watching this video (embedded after the jump) is so worth your time. Why does anyone want the Oscars to be short? Even 48 minutes just to celebrate the nominees taking a photo is too short!

00:27 Why isn't Laura Dern president of the Academy. Save us, Laura! Things have gone so haywire and the rumor is you yourself put the kabosh on the "popular film Oscar" idea so we know you have common sense. 

01:15 "...A narrative that does not propagate myths but dispel them."  Hmmm, whatever/whoever/what political party / propaganda channel could she ever be talking about? Hee.

02:00 I imagine these decorative bells on her dress making beautiful tiny ringing noises, too faint for the mic, when she moves, like she herself is giving wings to many angels by the second. She's one of them...

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Wednesday
Jan302019

All 95 Foreign Film Nominees This Century. Oscar & Box Office Trivia!

by Nathaniel R

Roma's great competition: Shoplifters, Never Look Away, Cold War, and Capernaum

Dear readers, I've been filled with existential despair this week. I'm not sure how to continue covering the Oscars next year if the Oscars are going to drain all the art out of it by denying all the categories that make cinema, cinema, and announcing them off air. I haven't quite formed my thoughts on this (I expect this upcoming Oscar night to be disastrous) for a complete post but while we still have the more movie-fan friendly categories to look forward to let's continue to talk about them!  We've done some research on how the foreign film category tends to fare in the US marketplace that we wanted to share. In addition to being a super high quality roster, this year's Foreign Film list has done well with audiences, too. 

Both Poland's Cold War  and Japan's Shoplifters have become genuine hits and will certainly outgross the long runs of the last few years worth of most talked about foreign flicks whether or not they were Oscar nominated like The Square, A Fantastic Woman , Elle, The Salesman, and The Handmaiden. In fact, in any year without Roma or each other in it, wouldn't Cold War or Shoplifters be winning this category with ease ?!? 

After the jump, let's take a look back at all 95 nominees this century and how well they fared at the box office. Plus lots of trivia just because trivia is fun and will ward off the despair...

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Wednesday
Jan232019

Best Director Fun. What a Category This Year!

How cute is this? Here's Adapted Screenplay nominee Barry Jenkins (If Beale Street Could Talk) celebrating Spike Lee's Best Director nomination for BlacKkKlansman:

 

In related news: the Best Director Chart is updated and ready for your votes (who should win? vote every day!) and commentary. We've added trivia, stats, as well as speculated on "How'd they get nominated?" as is our annual habit. Let's take Spike Lee as an example. This is how'd we'd wager Spike got his nomination...

35% Reputation and do-over. An iconic director who'd never been so honored. Sorry about Do The Right Thing!
30% His biggest hit and best film in several years. Critically adored and guild supported, too. 
16% Timely themes - plus the world has caught up to him.
12% Cannes gave him an early boost and his movie instant highbrow cred.
7% Had the summer all to itself to percolate as Best Picture worthy

Find out how the others got nominated on the chart. Agree? Disagree? Are we forgetting a key factor? Do tell in the comments.

Tuesday
Jan222019

New Oscar Trivia, courtesy of this season's nominations

by Nathaniel R

We just called to say we love you!With each new year's nominations, new trivia or follow-up stat discussions can emerge. Here are some things we noticed straightaway this morning. If you have any suggestions, do tell!

ACTRESSES

• With Glenn Close's seventh nomination for acting at 71, she is now the 8th oldest nominee in that category ever, and THE most-nominated actress who has never won. Meanwhile Amy Adams, with her sixth nomination if she loses, takes Glenn Close's previous spot in a three way tie with 1950s mainstays Thelma Ritter and Deborah Kerr for 'most noms for an actress ever without a competitive win'. Related: OUR CHAT WITH GLENN LAST MONTH

• If Glenn Close wins in February for The Wife (2018), she'll become only the third leading actress over 70 to have won. The other two were 80 year old Jessica Tandy for Driving Miss Daisy (1989) and 74 year old Katharine Hepburn for On Golden Pond (1981).

• Last year Mary J Blige became the first actor ever nominated for Best Original Song and acting in the same year! The very next year, Lady Gaga has repeated the trick with A Star is Born , so now there are two people who have done it. Note: Barbra Streisand is the only person to win for both songwriting and acting but she did it in two separate years...

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Thursday
Jan172019

Final Predictions: Supporting Actress, Foreign Film, and Sound Categories

by Nathaniel R

Expecting a high nomination count for "First Man" even if it misses Best PictureRunning out of time we are! So here are the final predictions for six more categories!

SUPPORTING ACTRESS
We've been over and over this one in our brains, trying to figure out that fifth spot (we don't believe, as some panicky folks do, that Regina King is in any danger of missing for Beale Street). In the end we're defaulting to Claire Foy in First Man who's been there all along. Primarily because she's been there all along and these things have a way of sticking if you're considered solidly in for months, even if you start losing steam toward the end of the season. We expect First Man to have a high nomination count despite predicting it to miss Best Picture and Claire Foy has remained visible all season. Sorry, Margot Robbie...

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Friday
Jan042019

Review: Capernaum

Please welcome new contributor Abe Fried-Tanzer

Two years ago, despite over a dozen submissions since 1978, Lebanon hadn’t had a film nominated for the Oscar for Best Foreign Film. Now, the small Middle Eastern country is looking at a likely second consecutive nomination. The Insult was a powerful portrait of two adult men divided by hate and behaving like children. Capernaum, equally compelling, spotlights the opposite: a child acting like an adult, seemingly far more capable of understanding the world for what it is than the actual grown-ups in his life.

The sensational description of this film’s plot focuses on its approximately twelve-year-old protagonist Zain (Zain Al Rafeea) suing his parents for giving birth to him. That summary may conjure up courtroom drama, but that’s far from the truth of the film which takes place on merciless streets. Instead, Capernaum provides a layered look at what it means to be responsible for another person...

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