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Entries in Oscars (15) (381)

Tuesday
Feb072017

Q&A: Overhyped Loveables, Depression Coping Tactics, and Best Foreign Film 

Happy Hump Day Almost! Why do some weeks feel so much like surviving itself is the only goal / triumph? I have let the Q&A column go but we're getting back on the horse and will try to do them more regularly. Here are seven questions from last week and two from a long time ago.

Ready? Let's go! Questions about awards seasons calendar, Brie Larson, director/cinematographer teams, and coping with depression after the jump...

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Wednesday
Feb012017

Oscar's reigning quartet to present, as is the tradition. 

I've somehow never seen this photo of Mark Rylance trying not to step on Brie Larson's train. Adorable.

AMPAS has announced that last year's acting winners will each be presenting on Oscar night. One assumes they will present their corresponding opposite-sex category as is the tradition, but who knows. Perhaps Oscar will mix it up. I'm all for tradition at the Oscars, don'cha know, but I don't mind a curveball now and then. You?

Alicia Vikander is back on screens February 24th (Oscar weekend!) with long delayed costume drama Tulip Fever  in which she dumps Christoph Waltz for Dane DeHaan because who wouldn't.

Brie Larson is back on screens April 21st in the ensemble crime comedy Free Fire, from Ben Wheatley (High-Rise).

Mark Rylance is back on screens July 21st in Chris Nolan's WW II epic Dunkirk.

...and Leonardo DiCaprio is back on screens in... 2018? 2019? 2020? He appears to have taken a whole victory year off after winning the Oscar and still has no immediate plans to be in front of the camera. It was just announced that he'll headline The Black Hand because what the world really needs more of is mafia movies (sigh) but in truth that one is a long way off since there's no screenplay yet. There's also the possibility of the Olympic bombing movie The Ballad of Richard Jewell which Leo was once set to star in but might only be producing now. Whatever happened to The Devil in the White City with Martin Scorsese? That project was announced just over a year ago and not a peep since. If they've dropped it, I hope it becomes a miniseries instead because that book is dense with information, history, cause and effect through lines, and reams of characters. 

Monday
Dec192016

Subtitles Fading But These Soldiers March On...

Year in Review. Every afternoon, a new wrap-up. Today an exhaustive list of how foreign films performed at the US box office...  

Perhaps no film is a more perfect encapsulation of the 2016 reality for foreign films in the US marketplace than Netflix's Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon sequel. The first was an international theatrical phenomenon and a true blockbuster delivering over $100 million in the United States alone. The sequel sixteen years later was in English and went straight to streaming. 

Despite the inhospitable 21st century climate nowadays, specialty distributors fight on to deliver some variety to the US marketplace. Here's how they fared this year. These numbers were pulled from Box Office Mojo and we tried to be as thorough as possible (though we did skip documentaries and animated features which are sometimes screened in both dubbed and subtitled versions in the same marketplace)

TOP 100 FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILMS FOR 2016
By US Box Office Gross. Title links go to reviews. 🔺 = still in theaters
Note: Figures as of March 30th, 2017

01 Dangal $12.3 (India)

02 No Manches Frida $11.5 (USA) available to stream on IMDb

03 Sultan $6.2 (India)
Bollywood films account for a big portion of each year's foreign film grosses in the US. Up until the release of Dangal at Christmas, none were mightier for most of 2016 than the sports drama starring Salman Khan (pictured above).

Oscar Finalists, Isabelle Huppert, and buzzy Korean hits after the jump...

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Saturday
Jul092016

Stream This: Mustang, The Big Short, Hello Dolly, The Painted Veil

In the effort to stay au courant we're going to try to do "new to streaming" weekly, alternating between Netflix and Amazon Prime sometimes, big lists, sometimes highlights. This will also give us a chance to link to previous coverage of the old films that are "new" again via the power of the internet. But first a last chance notice...

Last Chance Netflix (Expires July 16th)

-Y'all were watching I take it. Did you see us fight?
-No.
-Trap." 

Serenity
I've been curious to watch Serenity (and Firefly for that matter) again to see if you can easily chart Joss Whedon's growth from self-created warm-up to Studio-hire mega-success in The Avengers. He was always good at selling team dynamics, though. That was clear from the earliest episodes of Buffy. We previously covered Serenity in Season 3 of Hit Me With Your Best Shot. I miss Whedon as TV creator on his own urges -- Agents of SHIELD just did not do it for me.

New to Netflix
We've freeze framed nine more titles totally at random to share whatever popped up for your amusement. Here we go...

-Lot of smug looking people here.

- It's like someone hit a piñata filled with white people who suck at golf."

The Big Short (2015)
Remember when this was suddenly a major Oscar player last season. That took me off guard even though I was at the actual premiere. It won Adapted Screenplay at the Oscars. Serious films with funny memorable lines are often popular in those categories.

I've decided to join the human race again.

Hello, Dolly! (1969)
Babs. Babs. You're really overworking this monologue...

Click to read more ...

Monday
Jun272016

The Furniture: The Venomous and Fanatical 'Embrace of the Serpent'

"The Furniture" is our weekly series on Production Design. Here's Daniel Walber... 

Embrace of the Serpent, Colombia’s first-ever nominee for Best Foreign Language Film, contains multitudes. Ciro Guerra filters the Amazon Basin into a tremendous cinematic document, a rich cornucopia of unexpected tableaux. The choice to confine this colorful landscape to black and white would be uncanny enough on its own, but the narrative is also unmoored by transitions between the two timelines. Long before the final hallucination, our perceptions are overwhelmed by the range of complex images.

And, of course, the work of production designer Angelica Perea, art director Ramses Benjumea and set decorator Alejandro Franco is an essential component. The best example of their work comes right at the film’s midpoint, with a pair of profoundly unsettling episodes that interrogate the role of Catholic missionaries in Colombia’s colonial history. [More...]

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Monday
May092016

The Furniture: Joy's Emerald City of Home Shopping

"The Furniture" is our weekly series on Production Design. Here's Daniel Walber on Joy, now available on DVD and Bluray

It seems impossible that production designer Judy Becker has only received a single Oscar nomination, if not supremely unfair as well. At the very least, she should have snagged a second nomination for Carol. Her resume includes such diverse triumphs as We Need to Talk About Kevin, Brokeback Mountain, Shame and I’m Not There, as well as a neat early credit as a set dresser on Spike Lee’s Malcolm X. And so it seems totally appropriate that Becker is the first production designer to merit a repeat appearance in 'The Furniture'.

Becker’s most fruitful collaboration has been with David O. Russell. She's worked on every one of his features since The Fighter and she earned her lone Oscar nomination for American Hustle. Her sets for Joy, particularly the charismatic QVC studio at the film’s core, are among the best design work of last year. They also make quite a one-two punch with Carol, Becker showing a remarkable affinity for the stylistic underpinnings of American shopping. [More...]

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