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 Gemini, Cinephile, Actressexual. Also loves cats. All material herein is written and copyrighted by him, unless otherwise noted. twitter | facebook | pinterest | tumblr | letterboxd

 

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NEW HONORARY OSCARS
Maureen O'Hara & Harry Belafonte

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Entries in Oscars (13) (314)

Wednesday
Jun112014

An Awards Aftermath Question For All

The annual Women in Film gala, which is held today always celebrates several names but the big prize is the Crystal Award and Amy Adams will present it to Cate Blanchett for "Excellence in Film". A few months later Matthew McConaughey might well be honored with an Emmy for True Detective but even if he doesn't win that he'll be collecting will the American Cinematheque prize in October. And future fall honors aside, he was just handed another trophy by Spike TV last week as their "Guy of the Year"

In short, Oscar's Homecoming King and Queen are not yet done being showered with praise and tributes. We just saw an illustration of this afterglow effect with Bryan Cranston's Tony win for "All The Way". Did he win because he was the best in the category or because it's all the rage to honor him given the super duper success of that protracted final season of "Breaking Bad"? Wouldn't he immediately be the favorite to win the Oscar this next season if he had a substantial role in a movie, solely from all this goodwill. 

McConaughey, Blanchett, and Cranston aren't done collecting trophies this year

Right or wrong, and the debate will forever rage, the Oscar is viewed as the pinnacle of showbiz prizes. So what's with grabbing more trophies as you ski-lift down from that peak? Aren't they redundant? Why do organizations feel the need to rubber stamp Oscar's choices instead of starting the drums for someone else. Aren't they afraid of viewer fatigue or sloppy seconds?

And, a better question, why do the actors go for it? They all seem so exhausted after awards season that you'd think they'd hide away for a few months thereafter instead of doing more monkey dances for more trophies that don't mean a great deal in the long run.

I'm curious to hear theories. 

Tuesday
Apr082014

"Poor Ivy”: August: Osage County’s Underappreciated MVP

Here's Andrew to celebrate the release of last year's embattled August: Osage County newly arrived on DVD. Significant spoilers ahead.

Each year there's at least one film which wins middling to good reviews and manages Oscar nods but is promptly forgotten as soon as it's released. August: Osage County was 2013's victim of that unfortunate annual tradition. Sure, it earned those two acting nominations it seemed assured early on but no one was particularly interested in talking about any aspect of August: Osage County, but for its Oscar belly-flop elsewhere and the Oscar queen at the centre. Perhaps, it was an automated response to Meryl Streep usually being at the centre of films with little else to offer than her star turn (The Iron Lady, Julie & Julia, Music of the Heart, etcetera). It's a shame because the former awards’ hopeful had so much more to celebrate than just the fire-breathing matriarch in the middle.

The strongest asset was undoubtedly that excellent cast. Aside from Streep and Roberts, only a few players picked up significant praise and even then the one most deserving was the one afforded hardly any attention: Julianne Nicholson as middle-child Ivy.

Click to read more ...

Thursday
Apr032014

DVD Review: The Great Beauty

Tim here. The recent release of Paolo Sorrentino’s The Great Beauty on a DVD/Blu-Ray combo from the Criterion Collection means that most of us in North American finally have our first decent chance to see the most recent winner of the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar. And by “decent chance”, I mean two things: one is that if you live outside of any of the usual big urban centers that get little foreign releases, The Great Beauty hasn’t been remotely near your home before now. The other is that even if you live in one of those places, The Great Beauty isn’t likely to have played in any of the best & shiniest multiplexes, but in the dogged little art theaters that don’t have the money to do much besides show movies in a more or less tolerable environment. Where I live in Chicago, for example, the film played in the biggest art house that’s long on well-preserved atmosphere from the golden age of movie theaters, and which boasts just about the crappiest projection and tinniest speakers of any commercial venue.

That’s no way at all to see a movie as heavily invested in surface-level appeal as The Great Beauty, so that’s one cause for celebration all by itself. Now we have a chance to see Luca Bigazzi’s cinematography in crisp, retina-searing high definition, allowing all the rich, lurid colors of the production design and costume to glow right off the screen.

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Mar112014

'The World is Round, People!' But Can It Spin a Little Differently?

Blue Jasmine was one of Woody Allen's biggest hits, earning $94 million globallyGeena Davis and I have been harping on gender disparity in film for ever and I've also spent a lot of time on its sister problem: ageism focused on women. But in the past couple of years it feels like the conversation has finally reached the mainstream. 

Every website, even the most misogynist-friendly, now knows what the Bechdel Test is and that the majority of movies still fail it even though it's super easy to pass. Cate Blanchett's Oscar speech got a lot of attention and Kevin B Lee recently had a major cinemetrics piece in the New York Times about women's limited screen time and now, as The Wrap reports, a new study out of San Diego State's Center for the Study of Women in Television and Film shows how bad the problem is not just in lead roles (only 13% of the films in the top 100 of last year) but in ageist double standards (women over 40 account for only 30% of female roles while 55% of male roles are for the over 40 set) and in racial representation (73% of all female roles are for caucasian women).

All of this despite the fact that Cate's Oscar speech was total righteous truth-telling. [More...]

Click to read more ...

Sunday
Mar092014

And The Podcast Goes To... The Oscars

Season Finale
Nathaniel R, Katey Rich, Nick Davis, and Joe Reid discuss Oscar night in detail, with lots of commentary on all the stars and a few reader questions to help guide us 

00:00 Introductions & the musical performances
05:00 Liza Minnelli, Ellen DeGeneres, presenters & "relevancy"
15:00 The Selfie & how Oscar treats its own history
24:00 Our own standing ovations for Amy Adams, Cate Blanchett and more...
37:00 Reader Questions: creative casting, snubs, selfie swaps
53:00 Matthew McConaughey's speech & Randomness
1:00:00 What we did after the Oscars 

Suggested Supplement Reading:
Joe on the "2013" Oscars, Katey talking to the Make-up winners, Vanity Fair's Leonardo DiCaprio piecethose Acceptance Speeches, Jennifer Lawrence's Bestie's Diary and Nathaniel's Oscar Wrap / TFE Funding Drive.

You can listen to the podcast at the bottom of the post or download the conversation on iTunes. Continue the conversation in the comments... which of our ballots most closely resembles yours?Hunger, Shame, I Heart Huckabees, Taxi Driver, King of Comedy, Goodfellas, Cape Fear, Children of Men, Y Tu Mama Tambíen, 

Oscar Nite Finale