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100 Best of the 21st Century?

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Entries in Oscars (00s) (122)

Tuesday
Feb092016

Bye Instant Watch: United 93, Star Trek, and a Dutch LGBT Gem

Here's another batch of movies leaving Instant Watch services on Netflix of Amazon Prime if you'd like to catch up with them. It also provides us with an excuse to talk about a handful of random movies so why not. We've freeze framed randomly. Let's begin...

UNITED 93 (2006) ends February 11th on Netflix

United 93, Cleveland. Verify your altitude." 

This freeze frame is about 45 minutes in. The terrorists have just taken the cockpit when air traffic control tries to reach them. God this movie is upsetting. 

WERE THE WORLD MINE (2008) ends February 11th on Netflix

-Jonathan. You look luminous.
-I'm in love.  

I dont remember this well beyond its silly everyone straight becomes gay through magic plot. But I think there was a good musical number?  [More films after the jump...]

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Feb022016

Q&A Part 1: Leo's World. 

Dear Readers, Last week I asked for more reader questions but since three of them at least were about Leonardo DiCaprio let's get them all out of the way as an appetizer to the main Q&A post. Ready... here we go.

LADY EDITH: Now that you have experienced the "Jonas blizzard" so recently how do you feel about giving "The Revenant" Oscars? [More]

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Wednesday
Jan272016

Retro Sundance: 2001's Memento

When Memento arrived in 2001, it was a total buzzfest: Everyone was talking about it. It had a Wachowski level of cool (even co-starring Wachowski favorites Joe Pantoliano and Carrie-Anne Moss), it had a gritty noir sensibility, and an innovative time-bending structure deftly designed to get you inside the brain-damaged mind of Leonard Shelby (Guy Pearce). It left Sundance that January with the Waldo Salt Screenwriting Award, hit movie theaters in March, and when awards season came it was nominated for an Oscar for the Screenplay (Chris Nolan's first Oscar nomination) as well as the Editing prize. The movie has lost none of its cachet in the intervening years, retaining a 92% “fresh” rating on Rotten Tomatoes, and clocking in at #46 on the IMDb Top 250.

But I have a personal reason for loving this movie, as well as a story (I always have a story) if you'll indulge me after the jump...

Click to read more ...

Thursday
Dec312015

To Gong Li on Her 50th Birthday

One of the screen's all time great beauties turns 50 today and she's still completely ravishing. Gong Li holds the fascinating distinction of being the only Chinese cinema star that Oscar has ever been consistently interested in. Despite Oscar's historic (and frankly bizarre) resistance to Asian cinema, even in the foreign film categories, an incredible six films from her resume have been nominated for Oscars.

Alas she has not been nominated herself, though she was "in the conversation" as it were on two separate occassions.  A Gong Li beauty break and those six of her most famous films after the jump... 

Click to read more ...

Thursday
Dec102015

Team Experience: The Best of Brokeback Mountain

Ten years ago Brokeback Mountain arrived with truly bracing power.

10 years later Brokeback Mountain has lost none of its power

It was the rarest of things: an honest to god "instant classic". The phrase is overused but once in a while hyperbole proves true. The Oscars were stingy with it (just three prizes) but ten years on the film is as sturdy and majestically irreducible as the mountains that haunt the protagonists. When you're watching it you're breathing rarified air - not from the high altitudes of Wyoming but further on up, think cinematic heaven. The invaluable Ang Lee won his first Best Director Oscar for the film and it's easy to see why given the sensitivity of the performances (early career peaks from four promising ascendant stars), the classicism of the filmmaking, and his unshakeable hand as he sutures the neo western to the romantic tragedy with the thread of American masculinity.

I asked our contributors if they had a favorite scene they'd like to share with us and here were their responses.

FAVORITE SCENES IN BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN

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Friday
Nov202015

His & Hers Oscars? Happy 10th to June & Johnny

Ten years ago right about now Reese & Joaquin took the stage in movie theaters with a full sung duet as June and Johnny Cash. Both were Oscar-nominated for their ringed fire as tempestuous country superstar marrieds with Reese going on to win in a strangely non competitive Best Actress year. His & Hers Oscar nominations for lively onscreen marriages aren't anything new of course but they also aren't dependable since one of the partners is often foregrounded while the other is window dressing or is equally brilliant but just not nominated.

But of the ten double nominees who did it best in the intervening years? (I included the divorced couples just to up the numbers). You decide. To make this more exciting, judge the performances FUSED. Who wins your vote then? These are your ten options

Lead unless otherwise noted
2005 Joaquin Phoenix & Reese Witherspoon*, Walk the Line
2005 Heath Ledger & Michelle Williams (supporting), Brokeback Mountain
2010 Helen Mirren & Christopher Plummer (supporting), The Last Station 
2011 Colin Firth* & Helena Bonham Carter (supporting), The King's Speech  
2012 Daniel Day Lewis* & Sally Field (supporting), Lincoln 
2012 Amy Adams & Phillip Seymour Hoffman (both supporting), The Master 
2013 Bruce Dern & June Squibb (supporting), Nebraska 
2013 Christian Bale & Jennifer Lawrence (supporting), American Hustle 
2014 Eddie Redmayne* & Felicity Jones, Theory of Everything 
2014 Patricia Arquette* & Ethan Hawke (both supporting), Boyhood 

*won the Oscar

What of 2015?

The "His & Hers" teams of married possibilities this year are Eddie Redmayne & Alicia Vikander in The Danish Girl (Hers & Hers in that case, though she's pretending to be supporting), and Charlotte Rampling with Tom Courtenay in 45 Years. Neither of those pairs are locked up for nominations just yet. As befits this year with blessed multiple female-centric films, Vikander and Rampling both have more nomination heat than their male actor screen spouses.

 

Monday
Nov022015

Q&A: Hotel's Casting, Woody's Men, Oscar's Quartets

It's time for our semi-weekly Q&A session. Let's just jump right in since there was no uniting theme this time. If I didn't answer your question, apologies. I select by a very scientific process of Which Ones I Feel Like Answering. 

Jeff Daniels should've been Oscar nominated for The Purple Rose of Cairo (1985)LIZZY: What are your favorite male performances in Woody Allen films?

Hee. So typical that I've never even thought of this before as the ringleader of Actressexuality. Let's see. Towering above them all has got to be Jeff Daniels in The Purple Rose of Cairo (1985). Both Mia and him should have been nominated that year at the Oscars with threats to win. It's such a delicately specific, stylized, and endearing performance in a movie that's aged superbly well. Completing a top five in no particular order I'd go with: Woody himself in anything/everything between 1977-1986, Max von Sydow in Hannah and Her Sisters, Corey Stoll in Midnight in Paris, and Chazz Palminterri in Bullets Over Broadway. But I really had to think on this one... his movies are all about the women, for all his neurosis and intermittent misogyny and/or misanthropy.

It's true. The only man who's ever won an Oscar for acting in a Woody (Michael Caine in Hannah and Her Sisters) is not one I'm particularly fond of. I wouldn't call myself allergic to Michael Caine but he's in the "don't quite get the appeal" column of legendary actors. 

PATRYK: Do you consider Kate Winslet's performance in Steve Jobs annoying? I was surprised how drastically her accent changed. Shame on the Academy if she wins on a tag-a-long nomination instead of someone like our Elizabeth Banks, who might actually be a real contender without tag-a-long Winslet and fraudulent Vikander and Rooney. 

No. I thought Kate was great in the movie. Yes, the accent was dodgy but I've already explained why I'm okay with that. Otherwise she really nailed the most important part: a psychic kind of work wife connection to Fassy's Jobs. I also agree that Banks was fabulous in a potentially dull/underwritten part in Love & Mercy but I'm not so sure she isn't the lead of that movie. I'd like to see it again before determining. 

TYLER: What is your favorite film set in New Orleans?

the answer (not Interview with a Vampire) and enticing Oscary questions after the jump

Click to read more ...