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Lessons from the success of "It"

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Entries in musicals (408)

Tuesday
Jan242017

8 Big Takeaways from the Oscar Nominations

Each Oscar nomination morning brings waves of hot takes. Here are seven things that stood out to me on first pass. What stood out for you?

Barry Jenkins directing his young cast in MOONLIGHT which received 8 nominations

Oscars No Longer So White (For Now)
As far as we are aware this is only the second year (other than 2004) where all four acting categories feature at least one actor of color. There are seven actors of color nominated this year, or 35% of the nominees. While I personally felt the anger last year was both justified and misdirected (there simply weren't that many options to feasibly nominate - and the Oscar nominees have been more diverse than Hollywood itself in years past which is where the problem truly lies), it's a great relief to see so much diversity this year. Not  every year has so many acclaimed hits starring people of color like Hidden Figures, Fences, Moonlight, Loving and Lion so let's hope the Academy has plenty of options next year, too. It's a good development. We also have the first black female nominated in editing (Joi McMillion for Moonlight) and the second black man ever nominated in cinematography (Bradford Young for Arrival -- the first was British Remi Adefarasin for Elizabeth) and, most famously, Viola Davis becomes the most Oscar nominated black woman of all time with her third nomination

Releasing After Christmas Just Doesn't Work
A24 had been there before with A Most Violent Year but the magical miraculous 20th Century Women met nearly the same fate of a shut-out...

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Monday
Jan162017

The Next La La Land?

Manuel here catching us up on a project that is primed to be billed as "The next La La Land." Not only is Michael Gracey's upcoming musical The Great Showman scheduled for release next Christmas (just in time for the holidays and awards season) but it features music by La La Land duo Benj Pasek & Justin Paul, who'll soon no doubt be credited with single-handedly bringing the original movie musical back to life. 

Focused on the life of P.T. Barnum, the film has suffered through a long development period but is finally shooting here in New York...

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Sunday
Jan152017

Can "Hidden Figures" and "La La Land" get other films greenlit?

If you believe that success for one movie inspires greenlit for similar movies, than now is the time for filmmakers to pitch movies with black female leads and new movie musicals! Both Hidden Figures and La La Land are shaping up to be giant hits. And that's before Oscar nominations give them another boost. Hidden Figures fell only 10% in its second wide weekend which is non-existent as drops go, indicating amazing word of mouth and potentially very long legs with audiences. Meanwhile La La Land should be at $100 million in no time. Question: how many musical hits do there need to be exactly before Hollywood gets that people like them? Chicago, Dreamgirls, Hairspray, Les Miz all grossed over $100 million stateside in the past 15 years and still people act like "oh, musicals. dead genre. nobody will go see them!"...

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Saturday
Jan072017

Odd Golden Globe Nominations This Century

by Brian Zitzelman

The Golden Globes take the spotlight again tomorrow night, however briefly. As the Oscars shine with prestige, the Globes remain its bratty little brother; he seems well behaved, but does enough wild things (drinks, watches too much tv, dresses down) that he'll never escape his elder sibling's shadow. And annually he let's strange nominees slip out the gate... 

This is not to say that Oscar doesn’t occasionally include films and performances that are immediately forgotten or unworthy, but nobody beats the Hollywood Foreign Press Association for oddball picks, both deserving and not. So, if you’re curious why the Globes are such an easy punching bag for movie hounds, while nonetheless being a delight for their originality, here are a few of the most peculiar nods of this century. Not all of these are laughably bad -some reveal a daring and interest in films outside the 'prestige' norm, yet in the world of film awards, they are indeed odd... 

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Saturday
Jan072017

Tweetweek: Deadpool Revival, La La Land Triumph, and A Few Good Jokes

We'll start with two tweets to suit this morning's neurotic Tennessee Williams heroine mood. Continue on for La La Land and Deadpool divisiveness (with jokes), and more... 

 

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Friday
Jan062017

La La Demy Land

Now that La La Land is in wide release word of mouth from regular moviegoers (rather than critics) keeps expanding. As expected with Best Picture frontrunners, not all of it is kind. This unique and ravishing film has begun to suffer from the inevitable backlash.  Some of my musical theater friends are balking that neither star is a great singer, the songs aren’t sophisticated, and it doesn’t honor Hollywood musicals in the way they’d expected.


To harp on these issues misses the point of what director Damien Chazelle has created.  It's true that neither Emma Stone nor Ryan Gosling have Broadway-caliber singing voices, and it’s also true that future composers of musical theater are likelier to study Sondheim than Justin Hurwitz.  But Chazelle isn’t making a Broadway show, he’s crafting a wholly-original tone for a film, stealing bits and pieces from a wide variety of sources, and doesn’t seem interested in making a purely traditional Hollywood musical.

Chazelle has spoken in interviews about how the single greatest influence on La La Land were the two musical films of French director Jacques Demy:  The Umbrellas of Cherbourg, and The Young Girls of Rochefort...

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