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Oscar History

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REVIEW - Last Christmas

"Just saw a 7:00pm Thursday night show in Los Angeles. As flawed/imperfect as the film is, its quite winning due in a large part to some heavy lifting by Emilia Clarke. She’s got a real Sandra Bullock/Julia Roberts star power on full display here.-HardyofHearing

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Directors (For Sama)
Lulu Wang (The Farewell)
Ritesh Batra (Photograph)
Schmidt & Abrantes (Diamantino)
Jia Zhang-ke (Ash is Purest White)

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Entries in France (31)


Interview: Nadav Lapid on 'Synonyms' and who gets to tell which stories

by Murtada Elfadl

Using his own experiences as a blueprint Nadav Lapid (The Kindergarten Teacher) made a furious, kinetic and altogether astounding film about being disaffected and seeking a new life, ideals and country. In Synonyms (opening today in limited release) Tom Mercier plays Yoav, a young Israeli who flees Tel Aviv for Paris and tries to completely erase his former identity. The movie is not easy to describe, it’s better to dive in and enjoy the experience. It won numerous accolades around the world this year starting with the Golden Bear at the Berlinale. While in New York to present his film in the main slate of the New York Film Festival, we got the chance to talk to Lapid about his film, his powerful lead actor and who owns the rights to tell which stories. The interview has been edited and condensed for clarity

Murtada Elfadl: Can you talk about the beginning of the film. The first 10, 15 minutes are hypnotic, confusing, and disorienting, throwing the audience into the story with no introduction.

NADAV LAPID: I felt that the movie should start with a vibration, with movement. In a way the biggest challenge of the filmmaking was to create this movie that doesn't have a clear narrative line. I didn't want the film to become a series of anecdotes. We had to have something attached to that feeling, that vibration. It's a movie that's based on compulsion, on an urge. You cannot imagine an introduction to such a movie...

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Review: "Cyrano, My Love" & "By the Grace of God"

by Cláudio Alves

Pity those who live in the shadow of Oscar's champions. Such is the case of two French films from last year which now arrive in American theatres. If they were Hollywood productions, we'd surely be talking about Cyrano, My Love and By the Grace of God as potential contenders. As it stands, they can expect some golden recognition in the shape of the César rather than a little golden man. They must also expect eternal comparisons to more famous movies... 

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French finalists on fire...

by Nathaniel R

Last year's international film Oscar race was one of its all-time most popular years with all of the pictures turning into arthouse hits (that never happens. Usually one is a flop). 2019's competition might be just as exciting. If countries choose well and the Academy follows suit, that is. Spain's Pain & Glory and South Korea's Parasite are the two highest profile international films in the race (both opening in early October in the US) and are likely to be successful in theaters, the former due to the consistent sales of Almodóvar imports and the latter due to its buzz and accessibility as entertainment. The third most high profile contender MIGHT be Portrait of a Lady on Fire from France. But France has yet to choose a film. UPDATE 9/20/19: THEY HAVE CHOSEN "LES MISERABLES"

They have however narrowed it down to three...

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The Seberg in "Seberg"

by Mark Brinkherhoff

Jean Seberg at only 17 years of age at a screen test for her film debutKristen Stewart as Jean Seberg in SEBERG (2019)

Jean Seberg is a largely under-seen screen star among contemporary moviegoers and even cinéastes. I myself was unfamiliar with her work, save maybe Airport (1970), until a couple of years ago when Katrina Longworth, of the absolutely essential podcast, You Must Remember This, embarked on a nine-part journey that chronicled the parallel rise and, in terms of public favor, fall of Jane Fonda and Jean Seberg, circa the late 1950s into the ‘70s. 

That Jane Fonda of all people purportedly envied Seberg, a friend and fellow American expat in ’60s France, for her edgy, avant-garde segues into French New Wave cinema is itself intriguing. But it’s the eclectic filmography of the beleaguered, ill-fated Seberg, who died tragically (at only 40) in the summer of 1979, that actually warrants our collective fascination, examination and ultimately admiration. So, on the heels of the Venice Film Festival premiere of Benedict Andrews’ Seberg, starring a similarly dismissed, then eventually respected actress, Kristen Stewart, let’s stroll through a handful of Seberg’s more seminal works, all (miraculously) available now on various streaming platforms...

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France and the Oscar Race. Then and Now.

by Nathaniel R

As you've probably heard, France has altered their Oscar submission choice rules a bit. They'll now allow for "special screenings" (i.e. some variation of the common practice here in the US of the "qualifying run") to determine eligibility. In truth this wouldn't be news if it weren't France we were talking about. Most countries already allow some form of this practice so a film can be eligible for awards even if it isn't technically playing for audiences in time.

But France in the past has not allowed this given the country's very strict distribution rules. That's one of the reasons why, for example, that Blue is the Warmest Colour (2013) wasn't submitted in its year...

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