Oscar History

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Entries in Year in Review (255)


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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Year in Review: 17 Wigs From 2017

Each day a new "year in review" angle. Here's Chris Feil...

Perhaps it's the return of RuPaul's Drag Race next month or the fact that we finally have Greta Gerwig in the Oscar race, but we've got wigs on the brain. While Oscar has nailed down the potentially nominated wiggery for the Makeup and Hairstyling category, it's worth reflecting that this year gave us far more glorious wig moments than can be captured in a single Oscar category.

From Michelle Williams's subtle 70s waves in All the Money in the World, the white trash extravaganza of I, Tonya, to The Greatest Showman's candy confections, the movies had us shouting "WIG!" all year long.

Here are 17 memorable moments in wigs in 2017...

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The 17 Greatest Music Videos of '17

Each day a new 'year in review' countdown. Here's Nathaniel...

Ah the music video. The only reliably viral genre of short film, though they're rarely include in short film collections, festivals, awards, or whatnot. What follows is a semi-random collection of terrific music videos that debuted this year with the caveat that there could only be one per artist. Which means no "Little of Your Love" by HAIM even though it's directed by the great auteur Paul Thomas Anderson in somewhat rare joyful mode. Other music videos worth checking out that we couldn't find room for were the sci-fi pop glam of "Venus Fly" by Grimes feat. Janelle Monae, "Burning Star" by Their Name and its intergalactic fleshy nonsense,  the interactive humor of "Words Hurt" by Naive New Beaters, and finally a video that's prominently featured in a lot of such lists due to its meta resourcefulness -- "Wyclef Jean" by Young Thug for its meta resourcefulness.

They're not as acclaimed but why not also give a shout out to "Beautiful Trauma" by P!nk for its playful pastiche and giving us Channing Tatum in movie musical mode again. And though Lady Gaga's recent music video output isnt as thrilling as it once was there's something about "John Wayne" that almost makes it hyper garish cuisinart cut overkill feel like a parody of music videos that are trying way too hard... though it's doubtful that that's what it was.

Okay enough talking. On to the singing and dancing... 

I adore P¡nk in Earnest mode and there's something about the helicopters and police lights circling that inchoate desperate "us" dancing on the lonely edge of town that totally works. Anthemic energizing anguish. Directed by Georgia Hudson and choreographed by the Goldenboyz

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Father Figures, the best and worst of 2017

Each day a new "year in review" piece. Here's Ben Miller...

I’ve been a father since 2012.  It’s one of the great joys in my life.  If you classified me as a person, father would be near the top of how I would want to be described.  I want to be a good father and I strive to be. 

But, generally, I don’t look to film for guidance.

Terrible fathers are a touchtone of cinema.  From Jack Torrance to Daniel Plainview, movie dads rarely get the chance to show how great they can be for their children.  2017 surprisingly provided us with a bevy of complex relationships between parents and their progeny, and the dads actually got a chance to shine.  Check out the top ten great dads in 2017 films.  (I also included five terrible fathers, because 2017 gotta 2017.)

Spoilers for all of these films are included

01 Larry McPherson, Lady Bird (Played by Tracy Letts)
Lady Bird and her mother, the central figures in the film, aren't the only ones to benefit from Larry's warmth (we previously discussed this characterization here). Even when faced with a fruitless job interview, he smiles in the face of adversity, opting for a big bag of Doritos.  When his son comes in for the next interview, there is no animosity.  Larry straightens his tie, pats him on the shoulder and tells him to go get ‘em.  He does this while losing his job, providing for an extra person in his house, losing his daughter to college and suffering from years of depression.  God bless Larry McPherson. 

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100 Biggest Foreign Language Hits of 2017

Our year in review party begins. A different list each day. Here's Nathaniel R...

In the Fade didnt risk release in 2017 after all, hoping for Oscar favor to buoy its release in 2018Time for an annual look back at subtitled fare in cinemas. As with last year's list India, China, Mexico, and South Korea dominate with a smattering of other countries faring much less well in the American marketplace. Much of that is due, we think, to dedicated distributors focusing specifically on one market like FIP, China Lion and WellGo. Some of the movies we though might be big deals this year like Chile's Oscar nominee A Fantastic Woman opted for Oscar qualifying release only and Germany's Oscar finalist In the Fade starring Diane Kruger (pictured left) opted to sneak out at the last second to qualify for all Oscars though it did not receive nominations, buried in that post Christmas glut of tiny releases.

For the purposes of this list we skipped documentaries and animated films to keep the list more focused (and avoid arguments about dubbed versions or whatnot) but please to know that had we kept them in the wonderful Turkish street cat documentary Kedi would be in the top ten right here. This list is otherwise, as carefully as we could manage, accurate though we're happy to take corrections should we have missed something.

Listed By US Box Office Gross only 
Title links go to reviews | 🔺 = still in theaters
Note: Figures are as of January 21st, 2018

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November It's a Wrap

November wrapped so quickly with such excited via the NYFCC Awards and Oscar chart revamping that we didn't even realize that December has just begin. Here are two handfuls of highlights from the month that was in case you missed 'em:

Get Out Party Kaluuya and Peele chat favorite moviegoing experiences
• 25 Youngest Actors Ever Oscar Nominated Marlon, Heath, Monty, Mickey and more. Timothée will be 3rd youngest if he pulls it off
Call Me With Kindess the controversy over sex scenes in Call Me By Your Name
Yes No Maybe So: Avengers Infinity War so many heroes. so much running and punching
The Furniture takes a spooky train back to Bram Stoker's Dracula for its 25th
Honorary Beauty gazing at the legendary stars at this year's Governor's Awards
Best of 1972 and 1956 just for fun!
Soundtracking Frances Ha since Greta Gerwig is all the rage again
Smackdown 1944: Gaslight, Dragon Seed, and Since You Went Away
FYC Tiffany Haddish inspired hilarity in Girls Trip
Specificity and Universality on Coco and Call Me By Your Name

COMING IN DECEMBER: More year end hoopla, top ten lists. Interviews with Octavia Spencer, Lois Smith, Greta Gerwig, Jamie Bell, James Ivory, and more...


September/October. It's a Wrap

Since the bulk of September and October are given over to festival life each year (here's all that business wrapped up for you) there's less time for randomness which is in some ways our favorite thing about blogging about the cinema. But since we haven't done an ICYMI best of since August, here are 16 things you might have missed that you should check out:

and Best Ofs...

The 1944 Smackdown, Call Me By Your Name, Coco, James Ivory interview, Greta Gerwig interview, Lois Smith interview, Thor: Ragnarok fun, Nathaniel in Los Angeles for AFI festivities, Lady Bird, Donald Sutherland and Agnes Varda's Honorary Oscars, Murder on the Orient Express, Three Billboards, and of course lots of Oscar talk as the race heats up while the temperature cools down. 


TIFF & NYFF & Middleburg Wrap-Ups

Another autumn whizzes by and with it a look back on the festivals we've covered. Here's everything we reviewed from TIFF and NYFF and Middleburg this year in case you missed it. Reviews from Jason Adams, Manuel Betancourt, Nick Davis, Sean Donovan, Murtada Elfaldl, John Guerin, Chris Feil, and Nathaniel R

TIFF 2017

the films
The Breadwinner •  Darkest Hour • 
Death of Stalin • Disaster • Downsizing • 
Euphoria • Film Stars Dont Die in Liverpool • 
First They Killed My Father • 
The Florida Project • Happy End • I, Tonya • 
The Killing of a Sacred Deer • Kings • 

Lady Bird • Lodgers • Mademoiselle Paradis • 
Mary Shelley • mother! • 
Never Steady Never Still • On Body and Soul • 
The Racer and the Jailbird • Revenge • 

The Seen and Unseen
 • The Shape of Water • 
Sheikh Jackson • Thelma • 
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing Missouri • 
Tigre • Western • The Wife • Zama

parties, events, randomness
greatest party photo ever • "I'm Armie" • 
Helena Bonham-Carter • mother! moods • 
portraits from the fest • PODCAST FINALE

NYFF 2017

the films 
Arthur Miller: Writer • BPM (Beats Per Minute) • Before We Vanish • 
Boom for Real: The Late Teenage Years of Jean-Michel Basquiat • 
Faces Places • Félicité • First Reformed • The Florida Project • 

Joan Didion: The Center Will Not Hold • Lady Bird • Let the Sunshine In • 
The Meyerowitz Stories • Mrs Hyde • Mudbound • The Rider • Spielberg •

 parties, events, randomness 
red carpet prayer • PODCAST FINALE


the films
Darkest Hour • A Fantastic Woman • Last Flag Flying • Mudbound •
Novitiate • Wonderstruck

parties, events, randomness
James Ivory talk • Nicholas Britell in concert