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Entries in Spotlight (46)

Thursday
Mar032016

Link Becomes Her

Anya Taylor-Joy photographed by Gregory HarrisThe Washington Post interesting visual analysis of Tom McCarthy's Oscar winner Spotlight
Interview M Night Shyamalan interview Anya Taylor-Joy from The Witch
Pajiba Agent Carter in limbo after second season finale. (Is limbo the new code word for cancelled? I've never seen a network burn off that many episodes that quickly if they weren't going to cancel something)
My New Plaid Pants "I would like to talk about... Madeline Ashton." YES. Death Becomes Her is getting a special edition BluRay next month
Kotaku Ghost in the Shell finally adds a famous Asian actor to its cast list, Beat Takeshi. 
Playbill This is cool 15 ambassadors from the UN saw a special performance of Fun Home The Musical. Can we please get a film version? That show is sublime
Film School Rejects looks back at Oliver Stone's The Doors (1991) for its 25th anniversary
NY Times profiles Sarah Paulson who talks about her Marcia Clark role, her romance with Holland Taylor, and why she's drawn to older people in her life. 
The Playlist Matthias Schoenarts will star in Kursk, a Russian submarine survival drama 
MNPP on Kenneth Lonergan's new play Hold on to me, Darling starring Timothy Olyphant 
MTV briely, with wit, on Leo's Oscar win 
Tracking Board Joseph Gordon-Levitt developing a movie called K Troop, about a US Army division assigned to take the Ku Klux Klan down during their rise. 

Finally...
By know you've probably read that Amy Adams has confirmed what those  leaked Sony emails suggested that she was quite unhappy on the set of American Hustle. It was her second film with David. O. Russell but I suspect there won't be a third given what she told British GQ.

Photo by Norma Jean Roy

I was really just devastated on set. I mean, not every day, but most. Jennifer [Lawrence] doesn’t take any of it on. She’s Teflon. And I am not Teflon. But I also don’t like to see other people treated badly.. It’s not ok with me. Life to me is more important than movies. It really taught me how to separate work and home. Because I was like, I cannot bring this experience home with me to my daughter.

 

 

Thursday
Mar032016

A "Spotlight" on Sexual Assault 

The Oscars last Sunday threw a somewhat unexpected spotlight on the issue of sexual assault. Best Picture Spotlight is famously the true story of journalists covering the cover-up of sexual abuse in the Catholic Church. Room is about a girl who is raped and imprisoned and ultimately escapes with her son. A Girl in the River, winner for best documentary short, is about honor killings—something that is intimately tied to the sexual control of women. And Lady Gaga’s much discussed performance was of a song about surviving rape, featured in a movie about campus rape, The Hunting Ground

In general, when awards shows and sexual assault go together, there’s a kind of gawky, almost porny pandering. Pat ourselves on the back for giving an acting award to the rape victim—yes, I’m looking at Joanne Froggatt, who has done very fine work on Downton Abbey, but who won her Golden Globe for getting raped on the show. 

But that’s not what we saw Sunday night. What we saw was respect for survivors, and the will to change. 

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Mar012016

New to DVD & BluRay. Plus: Readers Choice Instant Watch

What's new or newish for home viewing? Let's see... It's been two release weeks for Oscar contenders. Several of them now available for rentals and sales hot off their Oscar wins. 

Creed. See why we all fussed about it and why so many were rooting for Sly (who lost in one of many surprises Sunday night) despite an unspectacular career. That's the German cover to the left. I include it because it's intereting to note that overseas they have to mention Rocky in the title somehow "Rocky's Legacy," not trusting that just Creed would do it.
The Danish Girl. See why Vikander won the Oscar. (Hint: Huge leading role and she's playing a Long Suffering Wife, in short Oscar's two favorite things in the Supporting Actress category)
Fargo Year Two - I hear it's good. Why am I still resisting?
The Good Dinosaur - Tim was relatively kind in his review. I was not impressed -- could not relate to the weird juxtaposition of photoreal backgrounds and bright green rubber dinosaurs -- but I did love "Spot"... such a cutie
Legend Tom Hardy x 2
Miss You Already Toni Collette + Drew Barrymore. It was easy to miss them in theaters. Gone already? Love both of them though so let's catch up.
My All American Finn Wittrock headlines. But it's straight to DVD
Room See Brie Larson's Oscar winning work and Jacob Tremblay's and the Production Designer's shoulda been nominated work - hey, at least we honored them
Secret in their Eyes The remake of the Oscar winning Argentinian film. I'm getting so far behind on the Kidman pictures. Must catch up, regardless of the quality but she makes a lot of movies so it's easy to fall behind.
Spotlight See why this won Best Picture despite the odds. Hint: it's a) really good and b) hard to dislike and thus scored well on the Academy's Preferential Ballot against a field of decidedly more divisive competitors.
Youth So curious how y'all will like it who haven't yet seen it. It's quite divisive but it is not uninteresting. Jane Fonda bears her teeth. Harvey Keitel mopes. Rachel Weisz gets a mud bath. Paul Dano wears... no, that's a spoiler. And there's a really big opera number that should've made a great Oscar moment ("Nah... we can't have a famous Asian woman singing on stage in a year where we're dinged for being too white!" - Some Academy producers somewhere.)

READERS CHOICE
I hinted that we might try a series wherein you choose the latest instant watch title for Nathaniel to write up. A Reader's Choice Date... perhaps biweekly? So here are your first options. All new to Netflix or Amazon Prime beginning on March 1st (or thereabouts). Make your case in the comments or simply vote. I'll revisit the title you pick and wrote about it on March 10th. American Psycho (2000) is also new to Amazon Prime -- just in time for the new Broadway musical starring Benjamin Walker -- but we've talked about that modern classic a lot in the past so we'll skip it this time. (A is for Amazon; N for Netflix)

Monday
Feb292016

Oscar Night Shockeroos

Oscar night never fails to deliver on surprises, but the 88th ceremony, which kicked off just 25 hours ago was among the most shocking. The Revenant's take was left to its three star players in favor of a film (Mad Max Fury Road) once   hought too weird to be taken seriously by the stuffy Academy. Let's run down the unexpected moments of the night!

First, the winner surprises:

Spotlight wins Best Picture
The nominee that most pundits had all but given up on became the newest example in recent years to defy those "can't happen" statistics. The festival staple was the season's first front-runner, but kept getting underestimated next to the big dollar heavyweights like The Revenant and the emergence of similarly politicized, but higher pedigreed The Big Short. But there is power in the preferential ballot and you can bet that Spotlight's win was solidified by number of second and third place votes. Given the broad admiration for the film, its somewhat surprising that the film's chances to win were so doubted.

"The Writing's On The Wall" wins Best Original Song
After Lady Gaga's performance brought the unusually standing ovation averse audience to their teary feet, even Sam Smith seemed gobsmacked that she lost. The combination of political fire, an agressive campaign, and Diane Warren's nomination history were thought to be unstoppable. Damn, Academy, you guys really like "Skyfall."

Ex Machina wins Best Visual Effects
Manuel gave us a fun bit of trivia on the win earlier, but this is a win we'll likely be celebrating around these parts for some time. Like The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo's Best Editing win, this was a gasp-inducer that no one expected. It's also the rare craft win (and nomination) for a supporting design element - hooray for BEST, not MOST! Dance party at A24 headquarters!

The Mad Max Hour
It really did feel like the steampunk actioner could go all the way towards the middle of the show. While its six wins weren't quite so surprising in themselves, the rapid succession of statues felt for a minute like dominoes falling into place. One more commercial break and its winning streak came to a dead hault, but the love in the room for Mad Max was more palpable than for any other film. WITNESS!

Losers, oddities, and more after the jump... 

Click to read more ...

Saturday
Feb272016

Live Blog : Independent Spirit Awards

Welcome to the Independent Spirit Awards Live Blog!  Your usual host Nathaniel is otherwise occupied. I’m Murtada hoping to take you through the next couple of hours in good spirits and minimal puns.

Refresh periodically for updates!

The show hosts today are Saturday Night Live star Kate McKinnon and  Silicon Valley’s Kumail Nanjiani. They gave a fun interview to Vanity Fair where they both admitted to being obsessed with awards shows growing up. Do you think they read The Film Experience?

McKinnon:

 "I have this notebook. I’m about 12 and I’ve got a notebook, and I watch all these shows and write down the winners in all of the categories. In every category at all the Oscars, the Globes, the Emmys. . . . Because I was really so interested in the entertainment industry.”

 Nanijani:

"I loved the Oscars and I had V.H.S. tapes for the Oscars, and I used to watch them over and over. There was probably one year where I watched it like 20 times or something.”

 

Read it when the commercials are on; it’s fun.

The nominations were led by Carol (6) and Beasts of No Nation (5). But if the last few years are any indication then Spolight, which scored 4 nominations, is the favorite since it's the only Oscar best picture nominee in the running. They really love the Oscars at Indie Spirits. 

However this year there are several categories that have 0 correlation with Oscar. So we are in for an unpredictable show. Hopefully.

Live commentary after the jump:

Click to read more ...

Saturday
Feb202016

3 Times Lucky: Mark Ruffalo

Murtada here. Love for the Meryl and C/Kates of the world can skewer perceptions. It's rare for actors to receive multiple Oscar nods. Most first nominations are also last nominations. Less than 180 actors in Oscars 88 years have managed 3 or more. And this year Mark Ruffalo in Spotlight joined that list. (The rest is after the jump due to extreme gif'ing).

Click to read more ...