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Entries in Oscars (11) (334)

Tuesday
May142019

The New Classics - A Separation

Michael Cusumano back again with my new series on great scenes/films of the 21st Century. This week a title we will surely hear often when the best of the decade lists start rolling in...

 

Scene: Razieh is Fired (aka The Incident)
It’s rare for a movie, even a great movie, to sneak up on the audience the way Asghar Farhadi’s A Separation does.

The screenplay is centered around an inflection point. Everything pulling the characters inexorably toward, or ricocheting off of, the moment when a man shoves a woman out his front door. Yet this action is not granted any special emphasis. First-time viewers have no clue they’ve witnessed the action around which the entire story pivots. It is only a few short scenes later, when the man is on trial for causing the miscarriage of the women he pushed (a murder charge in Iran) that the weight of that shove comes crashing home...

Click to read more ...

Thursday
Oct252018

Months of Meryl: The Iron Lady (2011)

John and Matthew are watching every single live-action film starring Meryl Streep. 

#43 —Margaret Thatcher, the polarizing British prime minister.

MATTHEW: After decades of heavy speculation about when, not if, Meryl Streep would finally win her third Academy Award, the most widely admired actress of all time picked up another trophy for a performance that may best be remembered as a textbook study in How to Win an Oscar. Despite stiff, down-to-the-wire competition from The Help’s eminently deserving Viola Davis, who transcended lackluster material in much the same way that Streep herself did in her most acclaimed tour de force, the actress sailed to victory after a season’s worth of ovations and exposure. The months preceding Streep’s first Oscar win in nearly 30 years found the acting legend accepting her eighth Golden Globe, her fourth New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Actress, her second BAFTA Film Award, her very first Vogue cover story, a Kennedy Center Honors lifetime achievement tribute, and endless publicity concerning one of the most challenging roles of her late career, that of Margaret Thatcher in what should rightfully be called Phyllida Lloyd’s The Iron Lady, but might just as suitably be described as Meryl Streep’s The Iron Lady. And when one truly considers the sheer size and notoriety of the role, who could have possibly topped Streep that year? Conversely, when truly considering the actual performance that returned Streep to Oscar glory, away from all the myth/history-making hubbub that surrounded it, one could be forgiven for wondering, Is that all there is?

Click to read more ...

Friday
Mar032017

New to Netflix: Spinal Tap, Blazing Saddles, Jurassic Park...

It's that time of month when we get our new streaming options. Here are random new titles on Netflix for March (or that showed up late in February), freeze framed at totally random places, whatever comes up. As we do...

It's part of a musical trilogy I'm doing in D minor, which I find is really the saddest of all keys. I don't know why but it makes people weep instantly.

This is Spinal Tap (1984)
Heh. So funny this movie. Christopher Guest and Rob Reiner's collaboration became a classic. Without it we probably wouldn't have had Waiting for Guffman or Best in Show or whatnot. 

More films after the jump...

Click to read more ...

Friday
Dec092016

Interview: Oscar-Winner Asghar Farhadi Returns with "The Salesman"

by Nathaniel R

Two award winners: Asghar Farhadi with his star Shahab Hosseni

Asghar Farhadi's fame is finally catching up to his talent. After his international breakthrough with A Separation (2011) which won the Oscar and the Globe Globe for Best Foreign Language Film and became a significant arthouse hit internationally, the Iranian auteur has had three other movies travel to cinemas abroad. The acclaimed About Elly (2009) found renewed life and finally a US release, and his two follow up pictures The Past (2013) and The Salesman (2016) both took home coveted acting prizes from Cannes.

The Salesman, which will begin its US release in January after an Oscar-qualifying week recently in Los Angeles, is Farhadi's fourth consecutive film to be chosen by Iran to represent the country at the Academy Awards. Like A Separation, it's a stunner which begins simply before a fraught incident sends out large ripples complicating the story and the characterizations. We talked to Farhadi about the pressure of representing Iran, his Oscar night journey, and his creative process. The interview is after the jump...

Click to read more ...

Monday
Nov212016

Tree of Life Revisited

This weekend a friend of mine invited me to join him for a screening at BAM of Terence Malick's The Tree of Life with a live orchestra. 'But that's only for silent films,' I thought. I said yes right away more to spend time with my friend than to see the film again which I had very much admired but not quite loved in 2011.

Seeing it again five years later proved unexpectedly rewarding. Perhaps it was the huge screen - the first time I'd seen it was on a tiny arthouse screen in Manhattan. Perhaps it was the live accompaniment of a huge orchestra and choir but it felt newly electric...

Click to read more ...

Thursday
Mar032016

If these were offered as doll sets each year...


yes, that's the whole decade* thus far

 

...I would need a bigger apartment.

... Also I would go bankrupt. (Especially when trying to hunt down 1950, 1973, 1961 and 1939)

(On a Related Note: Did you see Jose's Best Dressed List?)

 

* LAST UPDATE MARCH 2ND, 2017
Well, not quite the whole decade. There were two no shows: Judi Dench didn't attend for her nomination for Philomena and Natalie Portman opted out for Jackie due to her pregnancy so that's 68 of the 70 nominees above as they were be-gowned on Oscar night. If you could only afford 1 of these 6 doll sets which year would it be?