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Entries in Year in Review (252)

Wednesday
Jan312018

January. That's a Wrap

Here are a baker's dozen highlights from this month that didn't quite fly by (this winter has been brutal) in case you missed any of them! Remember to vote daily for your choices in the Oscar charts. Now it's on February/early March when we can finally put this cinematic year in this history books.

most discussed
FYC Allison Janney Seán loves her work in I Tonya
Oscar Shut-Outs Team Experience grieves for fine work unrecognized
SAG notes on the ceremony
Worst Best Picture Snubs a dozen movies for the all time lists

other must-reads
Roots and Wings Murtada's memory is stirred by Greta Gerwig's Globe win
Blueprint Jorge's column reads up on the Original Screenplay nominees
Soundtracking Chris Feil listens in on the Original Song nominees
The Shape of Water's Design Daniel looks at the aqueous fantasies of del Toro's Oscar frontrunner
Jamie Bell Interview Nathaniel talks to the Film Stars leading man about working with the Bening and his Old Hollywood dream project
Team Experience Awards Lady Bird and Call Me By Your Name lead the crop
50 Beloved Movies That Got Zero Oscar Love time alters the fates of some movies!
The editing of Baby Driver Tim's tribute to this Oscar nominated craft
22 black dresses the Globes red carpet was serious but not unglamorous

Coming in February:
The Supporting Actress Smackdown of 2017, Nathaniel's "Film Bitch Awards", Chile's A Fantastic Woman, Fifty Shades trilogy wrap-up, Marvel's Black Panther, various guild prizes, Aardman's Early Man, probably some Olympic detours, a 75th birthday celebration of Mike Leigh, and more. 

 

Sunday
Dec312017

VOTE In Our Thirst Trap Party. We Rounded Them Up For a Sexy NY's

Happy New Year's Eve! One last year in review list during the actual calendar year (though you know 2017 film year doesn't truly end until the Oscars are handed out). Here's Nathaniel R...

[Pictured left: Lady Bird just needed to see some D. We've all been there.]

In a not so festive season when we've all been thinking hard about a lot of terrible thinkings like corrupt governments and oligarchies, sexual misconduct and systemic isms that make life such an oppressive mess for so many people (and damage everyone -- even the opporessors -- since we all are truly in this life together) as well as the terror of both climate change and this particular cold snap  (I'm super sick right now, yay!)  it may feel counterintuitive to be silly and celebrate, I dunno, sexy movie men.

But it is New Year's Eve as I type this (my least favorite holiday since i can remember... I only like to goof off at home and make lists for this one) and we must start the New Year on a positive hedonistic note. Puritanism is bad for you anyway since sex and the enjoyment of sexy things can be a source of immense  joy and pleasure and intimacy and/or whatever both consenting parties have agreed upon. 

If you're a cinephile some part of you loves to look so this one's for you as we ogle some movie men after the jump. We squeezed them into six themed groups in their showoff or coy glory from which you should vote and choose the winners, okay? Okay!  

1 SIDEBAR HEROICS

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Sunday
Dec312017

Year in review: Top 5 mothers and daughters of 2017

A few more year in review list pieces coming (since we know the film year doesn't really end until awards seasons wraps). Here's Lynn Lee

If 2017 was a banner year for fathers in film, it was just as much the year of Complicated Mothers—from Frances McDormand’s justice-seeking Mildred in Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, MO to Holly Hunter’s tart-tongued but soft-hearted Beth in The Big Sick to Mary J. Blige’s stoic Florence in Mudbound.  Within this trend was another that spoke especially personally to me: the even more complicated relationship between mothers and daughters.  We saw all kinds of mother-daughter relationships in 2017—tender, fraught, hostile, sometimes all of the above—portrayed with a depth and complexity we don’t get nearly enough of in relationships between women in movies. 

It’s hard to choose favorites, but the following were the mother-daughter screen pairings this year that I found the most compelling...

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Thursday
Dec282017

Co-Star Chemistry - Please Bottle This!

Year in review / list mania each day. Here's Nathaniel...

This is our third year of highlighting that unpredictable spark between actors that can ignite greatness in a movie (see previously installments for 2015 and 2016 if you're so inclined). We had fun doing it before so we're going to keep on at it. If only we could bottle these formulas but the thing about great chemistry is that it can't ever be fully recreated even if old movies during the studio system teach us that the same pairing can generate similar energies again. Why Hollywood doesn't still try to repackage successful combos remains a missed opportunity both for pop culture impact and in-film loveliness. Just about the only films with recurring co-stars these days are franchises but that's a different kind of luck, since it would happen even if there was no actor-to-actor spark.

Okay here we go...

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Tuesday
Dec262017

Doc Corner: Documentary Hits of 2017

Each day a new year-in-review / recap list of sorts. Here's Glenn Dunks

Nathaniel has already looked at the foreign language hits of the year and a the top-grossers for films by or about women, people of colour, LGBTQ and more. Now it's my turn to chime in with a look at what non-fiction movies were doing at the box office. It ain't exactly pretty - but, then, the figures below don't always paint an accurate picture for the world of documentary.

Much like the rest of the independent and arthouse scenes, festivals and VOD/streaming are becoming the primary way for audiences to see documentaries. Some of the most buzzed and most discussed of the year, for instance, are Strong Island, Icarus, Voyeur and Chasing Coral, which never received a theatrical release beyond minimal Oscar-qualifying runs. Meanwhile, other significant 2017 titles like LA 92, Oklahoma City, Bright Lights: Starring Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds aired on TV.

TOP 40 DOCUMENTARIES FOR 2017
Listed by US Box Office Gross only. Linked titles leads to reviews.
Oscar finalists are in bold 
🔺 = still in theaters (Note: Figures are as of 01/21/2018)

1. BORN IN CHINA $13.8 (April 21st)
As is often the case these days, a Disneynature title tops the chart. However, the figures for these Earth Day releases are diminishing. This one about pandas is the lowest-grossing of the seven Disneynature docs to be theatrically released since Earth in 2009 (so, not including The Crimson Wing: Mysteries of the Flamingo which went curiously unreleased in America). Still, this is a great figure for a nature documentary and as long as they keep churning them out hopefully people keep going in at least these modest numbers.

2. I AM NOT YOUR NEGRO $7.1 (February 3rd)
One of the lone bright spots among the first half of the year for arthouses was this Oscar-nominated James Baldwin doc. We may grimace when distributors keep films from the general public, but Magnolia were smart to see they not only had a very likely Oscar contender on their hands (it should have won, but that's not what we're here to discuss), but that there's no way for these films to thrive among the end-of-year prestige glut...

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Sunday
Dec242017

Biggest $$$ Hauls of 2017 In Multiple Categories

Each day a different year in review party. Here's Nathaniel...

It's time for a special box office report. Though the year was dire for most studios (at least until the final quarter) with moviegoing down, especially in the summer, there are always hits. The question is only how large and what motivates people to buy a ticket. For all the griping you hear about "everything is superheroes" or "another sequel?" the biggest hits are nearly always sequels or superhero films so the audiences only have themselves to blame in a way.

We've already looked at the top grossing foreign language titles of 2017 so now to the wider releases as well as other categories. We'll break it down into multiple top tens so that it's more interesting than sequels and superheroes. (All grosses are US domestic)...

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