Asghar Farhadi has another Oscar contender on his hands...

Oscar History

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Oscar Horrors: The Sixth Sense

"I love this movie so much. And to those sad about M. Night's current career, Split with James McAvoy has gotten positive reviews!." -Connor

"Re: "Spoilers" - I can't be the only one who thinks that it's a spoiler to even be warned about a "spoiler" or a twist. It immediately puts you on guard, even if the ultimate spoiler hasn't been revealed." -The Jack

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Entries in running times (14)


"Silence" is Shorter, Still Possibly Golden

a new image from the film - our first look at Adam Driver

In very good news for butts of all shapes and sizes, news came this morning that Martin Scorsese's Silence is no longer going to be his longest feature film ever. That dubious honor will continue to be held by the excruciatingly long winded duo of Casino and Wolf of Wall Street. It seems that Marty and his trusted editor Thelma Schoonmaker have whittled away some 22 minutes from the earlier reported running time of 3 hours and 1 minute (or thereabouts)...

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Still Blissing Out Over "La La Land"

Over the weekend I wrote up an Oscar preview for Towleroad - which you can consider a companion to our current Best Picture Chart and updated Oscar predictions. Here's what I wrote about La La Land, which I realize I didn't capsule review for you at TIFF: 

This musical from the young writer/director Damien Chazelle (Whiplash) won the coveted "Audience Award" at Toronto. That prize nearly always aligns with a Best Picture nomination in January. But the nomination will be the least of it - it has "winner" written all over it. La La Land is a total bliss-out, a colorful two hour romance with song and dance numbers about an aspiring actress and her jazz musician boyfriend. This is the third movie to co-star Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling and their onscreen chemistry is even better this go around and it was tremendous to begin with in Crazy Stupid Love five years back.

Here's a shocking statistic for trivia buffs: If La La Land is nominated for Best Picture it will be the first original live-action musical to do so since All That Jazz (1979). The musical nominees inbetween them were either animated  (Beauty & The Beast), adaptations of pre-existing shows (Chicago) or used pre-existing music for their songs (Moulin Rouge!). If La La Land wins it will be the first original movie musical to win the Oscar since Gigi (1958).

In addition to these general notes here are a few slighter more specific ones...

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Tweetweek: Top 5 Scorsese, Olympic Spirit, Light Between Oceans

This weeks collection of short amusements features Olympians, a little Scorsese mania (it was going around for reasons we have yet to discover), an impossible dream of a Ghostbusters sequel, and my first impression of The Light Between Ocean which is out soon. It's all after the jump but we'll start with Scorsese... 

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YNMS: American Honey

Murtada here. The best thing about this lackluster summer movie season, might be the trailers for fall movies. This week sees one of our most anticipated, Andrea Arnold’s American Honey starring Shia LaBeouf, Riley Keough and introducing Sasha Lane in the lead role. The film is about a young woman who joins a travelling magazine sales crew, and their adventures as they travel the midwest, party and maybe fall in love. There’s also some law-breaking.

Let’s deep dive with a Yes, No, Maybe so after the jump..... 

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Cinematic Lumps of Coal: 15 Worst of '15

They've been naughty. So we shan't be nice. Rather than choosing the 15 worst movies (we skip a lot of stuff that looks atrocious), here are 15 matters of annoyance within the movies of 2015, whether the movies were decent or terrible. Vague/light spoilers ahead.

15 Lumps of Coal From '15
Links go to past articles about the film or reviews if they exist

15 Grab Bag of Undelights
Afew I couldn't fit in below: Chris Hemsworth's wandering accent in In The Heart of The Sea often within the same scene. Is this First Mate Australian, British, or from the Bronx?; The way Mother Malkin's (Julianne Moore) red hair stays that way when she shifts into dragon form in The Seventh Son. That was cute with Madame Mim in The Sword in the Stone but in "realistic" cgi not so much; and, the perpetual agony of trailers that take you from the beginning to the end of a movie (Room and The Revenant are the latest victims) spoiling every story beat.

14 Longwindedness
In nearly great movies (Clouds of Sils Maria 124 min), good movies (Saint Laurent 150 min.), divisive movies (I'm still making up my mind about The Revenant okay? 156 min), and arthouse curiousities (Arabian Nights, Vol II 131 min., Love 135 min.) alike the tendency in contemporary cinema is to let the camera linger here and there and everywhere and also to include entire sections that add nothing particularly new to the plot or our understanding of character or theme if narrative isn't the movie's main thrust. Don't misunderstand: a good lingering camera can be among the greatest of things but if you're running over 90 minutes please justify it with new information. Shave 10 minutes (or a lot more in some cases) off any of these movies and they're instantly improved. 

13 more after the jump...

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Batman v Running Time, Ex Machina v Blockbusters, and More

Can you believe Christmas is just 3 days away? Eeep how fast the month has gone. Let's jump right into news & links...

Women and Hollywood well, this is good timing. Charlotte Rampling is getting an eight film retrospective in NYC starting Wednesday... just in time to remind East Coast AMPAS members of her brilliance before balloting. Do NOT miss The Night Porter (1974) or Under the Sand (2000) if you haven't seen them.
THR looks at make or break moments coming in 2016 from Batman v Superman to MTV's Shannara Chronicles
Comics Alliance Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice is apparently 151 minutes long. Yikes. Here's an idea: cut the death of little Bruce's parents because how many times we gotta see that origin story. The entire world knows it. No need for "previously ons" at this point.
The Wrap Dustin Lance Black and Gus Van Sant are working together again post-Milk. The new project is a miniseries When We Rise about the gay rights movement kicking off with the Stonewall riots

Variety Guy Ritchie's untitled King Arthur movie has been pushed back to 2017 
Variety Star Wars pay scales... back end bonuses don't kick in until the film grosses one billion dollars. Not that it won't pass that in record time (it's already over half a billion globally after that first weekend)
Slash Film modern movies getting the old VHS cover treatment
W Magazine the most provocative fashion photography of 2015. Miley Cyrus, Jessica Chastain, and Cate Blanchett among the subjects
W Magazine Bryan Cranston does a dramatic reading of Drake's "Hotline Bling"
AV Club charts the 24 times 2015 totally lost its shit. Outrage culture is exhausting! 

/Film Cuteness. You can sit in a BB-8 chair (row BB, seat 8 in the balcony) while watching movies in the El Capitan in Los Angeles through February 7th.
The Guardian on the Bechdel Test's origins and Star Wars. Good history feminist politics piece but for the very odd suggestion that gays aren't interested in seeing heterosexual romance onscreen. What the what now? History (and LGBT culture) does not remotely support this notion.
i09 on the devolution of the fan fiction trope "the Mary Sue" with the release of Star Wars: The Force Awakens 
Gawker the complete history of Quentin Tarantino's use of the N word, used 65 times in The Hateful Eight which is second only to its use in Django Unchained  

Prize-Giving. Tis the Season
Playbill The Sydney Theater Award nominees for 2015 have been announced for fans of Aussie actors (i.e. everyone). Cate Blanchett and Hugo Weaving are among them
St Louis Film Critics chose Spotlight as Best Picture and Leo & Brie as best leading actors
Nevada Film Critics Society gave those exact same top 3 prizes but since The Revenant won four prizes it feels like the defacto winner

And Finally...
The Academy has announced the 10 finalists for Best Visual Effects, chosen from that longlist of 20 we shared earlier. The 5 Oscar nominees will come from these 10 pictures...


  • Ant-Man
  • Avengers: Age of Ultron
  • Ex-Machina
  • Jurassic World
  • Mad Max: Fury Road
  • The Martian
  • The Revenant
  • Star Wars: The Force Awakens
  • Tomorrowland
  • The Walk


The most surprising miss among the earlier semi-finalists is probably Spectre since James Bond films generally make the finals in the Daniel Craig era, don't they? But this category gets more competitive every year. I'm suddenly less confident about my current predictions (Avengers, Jurassic, Mad Max, Martian, Star Wars). Might Ex Machina, which hasn't left the awards conversation despite an April bow and is 1000% deserving of this particular nomination, actually make it despite not being of their preferred size and with the effects actually in a supporting role for a change? 


Oscar's Foreign Race Pt 5: We do love our trivia!

"everything u ever wanted to know about the foreign film category
*...but were afraid to ask"

Pt 1 81 Trailers | Pt 2 Women Directors & Debuts | Pt 3 Zoology | Pt 4 I know that face! 

who will follow Pawel Pawlikowski (Poland's IDA) to an Oscar win for Foreign Language Film?OKAY OKAY. We promise to calm down now.

We hope you've enjoyed our week long attempt to get you really pumped up for an Oscar category that's sometimes hard to get invested: Best Foreign Language Film. The films can be hard to track down making this competition less accessible, so we try our statistics and anecdotes and lists to pique your curiosity!  

But from here on out we'll try to track down as many as we can and actually see them. Imagine it: seeing movies! Please do share this series on twitter and facebook and whatnot. It's so much work and so many websites just depressingly print text only lists of titles and call it a day! We've already reviewed or done interviews from 11 of the pictures: Argentina's The Clan, Austria's Goodnight Mommy (now in theaters), Colombia's Embrace of the Serpent, Dominican Republic's Sand Dollars, France's Mustang, Germany's Labyrinth of Lies (now in theaters!), Hungary's Son of Saul, Norway's The Wave, Portugal's Arabian Nights Volume 2, Sweden's A Pigeon Sat on a Branch, and Taiwan's The Assassin (opens Friday!). Off blog we've lined up screenings of 8 more in the next two weeks so we'll be sure to report. We'll never get to 81 but we can try.

Let's talk running times, previous Oscar nominees, and returning directors who've been submitted before.

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