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Entries in Oscars (16) (335)

Thursday
Aug082019

What if there had been a Best Casting Oscar this past decade?

Since we shared the news that Casting Director David Rubin had become the new president of the Academy, we've been thinking a lot about a potential Best Casting Oscar. The common 'they shouldn't do this' feeling in the comments and on twitter was based on the fact that the Academy would likely get it all wrong and only pick a random sampling of Best Picture nominees with starry casts. But that's never a reason not to have a category when there should be one. Lord knows they get a lot of things wrong and many of the branches are susceptible to strangely ignoring anything outside of the Best Picture race even if the film isn't strong in their particular field.

Here at TFE, in our Film Bitch Awards, we've had a Best Casting category since 2013 which makes it pretty much our newest category. Why did we wait so long? Who knows. But after the jump we thought we'd share our nominees each year and what we think Oscar would have nominated in those same time frames. Play along in the comments, won'cha?

2013
   
Film Bitch Nominees What Would Oscar Have Chosen?

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Friday
Dec212018

Months of Meryl: Florence Foster Jenkins (2016)

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


#51 —
Florence Foster Jenkins, a socialite and opera singer of abysmal ability.

MATTHEW: Florence Foster Jenkins was an affluent New York heiress who is only remembered today for her decades-long career as a nonprofessional soprano that spurred many to label her “the world’s worst opera singer.” Meryl Streep is one of the most acclaimed and rewarded actresses in history, a global celebrity whose foremost attribute is talent, pure and simple. The marquee casting of Streep as Jenkins is the amusing and unignorable irony at the center of Stephen Frears’ Florence Foster Jenkins, a biographical drama that narrativizes the amateur, septuagenarian chanteuse’s notorious attempts to resuscitate her dormant career in the years before her death in 1944. It is nothing if not a testament to Streep’s power as one of the only active, major female movie stars of a certain age that a period piece about an awful opera singer well into her 70s received a prime summer release from a major studio (Paramount) and a full-steam awards campaign that garnered the actress her 20th Oscar nomination...

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Thursday
Nov162017

Blueprints: "Jackie"

In this week’s edition of Blueprints, Jorge takes a trip to the brief shining moment known as Camelot to look how a script can transmit mood.

There can sometimes be a common misconception that what a writer contributes to a script is limited to story structure, action description, and dialogue. These are in no way small feats; after all, it’s the creation of an entire world, the people who inhabit it, and what they do. But it is often thought that his or her job stops there, and it is everyone else's job to fill in the blanks with textures.

Many of cinema’s most deep, emotional, and transcendental moments are a marriage of sound, image, and performance; devoid of any substantial plot or dialogue. So much of what makes cinema powerful is about mood. And while there may be the belief that this is the work of the director, cinematographer, actors, and musicians, mood is also born on the page.

 

Let’s take a look at Jackie, a movie that is more a collection of feelings, images and sounds than a straight forward narrative...

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Tuesday
May232017

Hit Me With Your Best Shot: "Moonlight"

by Nathaniel R

Little and Juan framed by nature

A truth: No matter how much you love a movie on first viewing, what makes it become a classic, a masterpiece even, is less predictable. That's in how it endures and oft times whether it can keep giving you new information. Aging, even for non-living things like a movie which is already "complete," before it begins that process, is tricky. But after a handful of screenings of Moonlight over the past nine months, it's quite obvious that the film (not to mention its surprise Best Picture win) will age spectacularly well. A prediction: We're just barely getting to know its marvel.

The Hit Me With Your Best Shot series initially started as an idea to honor Cinematography but film is so collaborative and complex that that's not how it turned out. It's ended up being more of a mise-en-scène appreciation ... sometimes the images that grab you are lighting based, other times it's the perfect marriage of a sound and picture, and then there are performances so indelible that they even become the primary iconic visual. Because Moonlight is rich in all of its moving parts, I opted to just look at the first act (for now). And I did something I never do: I watched it with the sound turned off... 

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Friday
May192017

Thomas Vinterberg returns with "The Commune"

This review originally ran in September 2016 from the Toronto International Film Festival. With the film finally in theaters in select cities starting today (and available to rent on Amazon), we didn't want you to miss it...

Thomas Vinterberg first came to fame with the Dogme 95 masterpiece The Celebration (1998) which was an international success reaping Golden Globe and BAFTA nominations for Foreign Film. Oscar famously snubbed it during their long stretch of controversial years in the 90s and 00s where they regularly ignored major critical darlings eventually prompting reforms to the selection process in the late Aughts. Vinterberg was eventually nominated with another international success The Hunt (2012) and after his English language sleeper success Far From the Madding Crowd (2015) it's safe to say he's on quite a roll currently. 

For years people had suggested to Vinterberg that he make a film about commune life since he had grown up in one as a child in the 70s...

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Monday
May082017

The Furniture: The Salesman Crafts His Own Stage

"The Furniture" is our weekly series on Production Design. You can click on the images to see them in magnified detail. Here's Daniel Walber...

Asghar Farhadi's Oscar winning The Salesman begins with a set. The opening credits appear over the quiet stage of a small Tehran theater, nearly ready to debut a new production of Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman. We see the bed before the actors who will lie in it, neon lights illuminated for an empty house. It is a quite literal setting of the stage before the drama begins.

It’s not a play adaptation, but it often feels like one. There are few locations and the cast is small. And, as in many play adaptations, the production design does a lot of heavy lifting...

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