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Entries in Texas (8)



Hello all. Nathaniel, returned home, back from vacation. You may not have even noticed that I'd gone but I was almost completely offline for the past 5 days. I was in Austin, TX to visit a friend I hadn't seen in a few years and we had a ton of fun. While travelling I read "The Devil in the White City" and y'all were right -it's absolutely gripping. It's also so dense with information and fascinating details that Leo & Marty may well have a tough time pulling it off. Especially if they make it a star vehicle since the book screams for more of an Altman Ensemble feel. 

On the trip home my friends and I discovered we were sharing the flight with Pearl (from RPDR) so the return to NYC felt even more glamorous than usual. This long weekend vacation was the last movie and computer free moment before The Season which, roughly speaking, consumes my entire life from mid-September to late-February each year. Thank you to Jose and Manuel for keeping the lights on while I was out and to Murtada, David, Kyle, Glenn, Sebastian, Amir, and Margaret who also pitched in.

Why not catch up on anything you missed this morning? I'll be doing the same. 

A Heaping Handful of Highlights
Chris Eigeman talks Metropolitan - This uniquely pleasurable 1990 indie just turned 25
100 Things I Love About Movies - off the top of my head
HBO LGBT: "Normal" - Manuel's great series is revealing that HBO has really been ahead of the curve
Bergman Kisses - a grand swooney journey through Ingrid Bergman's onscreen love life - she may be well be the greatest romantic heroine of the movies
Mr Robot and Humans - we started a new weekly TV discussion series with these two paranoid examples of our current communal disconnection. The series continues tonight with Masters of Sex
Smackdown 1995 - that's how we started the month and Smackdown 1954 is how we'll end it 
Disney's Upcoming Slate - Moana, Zootopia and more 

Meanwhile in Oscar Land
The forthcoming Oscar race is all starting to feel very real what with the releases of Hateful Eight's trailer, Germany's long list, Carol's teaser, and that image of Tom Hiddleston in a big hat...

Reviewed Recently
Fantastic Four (Tim), The Gift (Jose), Man From U.N.C.L.E. (Kyle), M:I - Rogue Nation (Tim), Ricki & The Flash (Nathaniel) and Woman in Gold (Nathaniel) 


Would It Be Truly Terrible If 'Boyhood' Was in Fact About a Racist?

Roland Ruiz with Patty Arquette on the set of Boyhood (image via his Facebook page)Jose here. A recent article on Latino Rebels in which the author claims that Richard Linklater’s Boyhood contains the worst kind of racism has caused a bit of a stir. Grisel Y. Acosta uses the infamous gardener subplot, in which Patricia Arquette’s character unexpectedly turns around the life of the only non-white character (played by Ronald Ruiz) featured in the film, as his basis to explain that the film is racist both by omission (where are all the other Hispanic characters in a film set in Texas?) and also by depicting “the horrific ‘save me White person’ trope” that has been prevalent in American filmmaking since, well, always.

It’s a shame that the article turned up the week when Oscar voting ends, because now it will be dismissed as having an “agenda”, or being part of a “smear campaign”, when the truth is that, beyond silly movie awards, the piece only directs us to a conversation we should have been having since the movie came out.

As a Hispanic immigrant living in the United States, there is not a single week that goes by where someone hasn’t congratulated me for "bothering" to learn English “...and writing it so well”, assumed I was Mexican or Puerto Rican, or when I’m asked by a peer if I went to college, or have a random person ask me if I’m a doorman or a cab driver. I have learned to live with people’s assumptions because of my ethnicity, and I often brush them off, because race is not something that's easy to discuss in this country...

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Boyhood Trophies. Nightcrawler Sweeps. Plus: A Bunch of Oscar Chart Updates

Pro Boyhood. Meh on Gone GirlAs you have undoubtedly heard by now even President Barack Obama has boarded the Boyhood train, declaring it the best of the year... that he has seen (it might surprise you to hear that presidents don't have a lot of time for moviegoing). FLOTUS, who helped hand out the Oscar for Best Picture to Argo if you'll recall, offers up no "Best" opinion to People Magazine but randomly shares that she didn't think Gone Girl was all that and preferred the book.

Where were we? Oh yes. Regional critics groups are feeling a tiny bit friskier than usual. No, they really are. Oh sure there is a lot of hive mind action happening (Boyhood, Arquette, J.K., Citizen Four etcetera) but it's not quite as lockstep as it has been in recent years.

Since we last spoke a few more cities have weighed in and it's semi-interesting at least to see a range of Best Actress choices (Reese & Rosamund) and how about San Diego's total unblinking obsession with Nightcrawler?

Lou Bloom must have given them the hard sell. Lou Bloom got that job. [More...]

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Critical Kudos Continue: Kansas, San Francisco, Dallas, OFCS

(We interrupt your Missi experience this morning to bring you more awards news. Missi returns this afternoon for two final posts.)

The Film Critic (a monolith) floats in his room this month contemplatively, aging rapidly before our eyes. A difficult choice faces him/her: Birdman or Boyhood? After the jump see which cities chose what and which categories they're allowing themselves to have a little fun with...

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Film Critics Popping Out Awards All Over the Place

Another day, another ten film critics awards. This eventually slows down or we eventually tune it out whichever comes first. The tuning out happens mostly when we reach the "no new names" part which looks to have happened this very weekend. I'm guessing, for example, that San Diego's Shailene Woodley pick and Kansas' Michael Fassbender selection are the last "new" names in the acting categories we'll hear. People just can't tear themselves away from Leto & Blanchett even though there are many rich performances worth honoring. Chiwetel Ejiofor is getting there, too. Just about the only category in which there's little consensus is Supporting Actress but that has only three names for film critics: Lupita, Jennifer and June.

But let's march on to the prizes from San Fran, San Diego, Kansas and Houston...

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Stripper of the Day: Jacy Farrow 

Michael C here. I think it's safe to say a lot more people can relate to Cybil Sheperd's striptease in Bogdonavich's The Last Picture Show than they can to Magic Mike.

Strippers in movies usually hit the stage with the confidence of Greek Gods and the choreography of Madonna's back-up dancers. Rarely do movies strippers capture the truth that even for people as stunning as a young Cybil Shepherd, the idea of undressing in front of a room full of strangers is the stuff of nightmares.  The Last Picture Show Bogdanovitch captures that feeling in excruciating detail.

In one of those scenes impossible to forget once seen, Sheperd's small town heartbreaker Jacy Farrow has given her sweetheart the slip and run off with doofy Randy Quaid to an out-of-town party where it's rumored there will be skinny-dipping. Cut to a record player and a dozen naked Texas teens arrayed around an indoor pool, filmed by Bogdonavich with a matter-of-factness that must have left jaws on the floor in 1971. 

come on in, the water's fine

One of the ringleaders delights in informing Jacy that newcomers have to undress out on the diving board in full view of everybody. Jacy feebly agrees, and it's here that the tension spikes...

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It's Michelle/Marilyn for Dallas, Florida, Vegas and Chicago

The critical map continues to unfold with only three films scoring repeatedly: The Artist, The Descendants and The Tree of Life. All of them recently picking up another "best of year" prize. I had expected Hugo to feature more prominently after its high profile NBR win but that hasn't come to pass. But isn't it awfully nice to see a year with three major critical players even if you don't much like one of them (for me that's The Descendants). In short: Death to sweeps!

Michelle Williams is dominating the critics awards

While she's not quite a sweeper Michelle Williams is going to be on a lot of airplanes if she intends to attend all of these critics ceremonies that plan to honor her work in My Week With MarilynAfter the jump prizes from... Chicago and St. Louis who both just announced, Dallas Ft Worth, Florida, and Las Vegas (which I missed last week oopsie).

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