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Entries in Yes No Maybe So (190)


YNMS: The Big Short

Manuel here. Every year there are a number of late-breaking releases that suck up all the oxygen in the room, commanding every conversation because of their timeliness. Of course, every year also sees a number of well-made films get lost in the shuffle. Adam McKay’s The Big Short, set to close out the AFI Fest, is obviously hoping for the former. Based on the true story and best-selling book by Michael Lewis (The Blind Side, Moneyball), the film is set against the ticking bomb that was the collapse of the housing market. Does it stack up to other Fall prestige releases? Let's find out by putting it to our patented Yes, No, Maybe So test:


“There’s some shady stuff going down.”

Click to read more ...


The Best Part of That 'Our Brand Is Crisis' Trailer

Glenn here, asking if you have watched the trailer for Our Brand is Crisis? It's the new Sandra Bullock movie that was meant to be the new George Clooney movie that, somewhat infamously, came to be after the gender was flipped on the lead character. Bullock plays a political strategist who gets hired to spearhead the campaign of a contender in the 2002 Bolivian government elections and finds herself battling against both rival Billy Bob Thornton and the native language. What a predicament!

The film is based on a 2005 documentary of the same name and is directed by David Gordon Green who, let's be honest, is peculiar. His whole career is made up of peculiar choices so we'll go with it for now.

The trailer is... interesting. It certainly presents as being in the same vein as Argo, a movie that is quite largely name-checked, albeit perhaps a bit more overtly comedic in tone. It's also got more than a hint of the "nice white lady" routine that made Bullock's 2009 Oscar-winning vehicle The Blind Side such a lightning rod. It is great to see the likes of Anthony Mackie and Ann Dowd with such (apparently) prominent roles, although I would have preferred more than just a passing glance of my beloved Scoot McNairy (he's there at the one-minute mark).

Consider this another BYOYNMS (remember, we introduced that new blog acronym last week) and pipe up in the comments about what you think.

I did, however, want to make mention of what is clearly the best moment in the trailer. It comes right at the start and actually made me scream with glee. Can you pick it by watching the trailer?

Why yes, they have used an old screenshot of The Net to represent Bullock's character in the '90s as a whiz! The Net! The 1995 Irwin Winkler-directed cyberspace thriller starring Sandra Bullock that is, just quietly, one of the most pleasurable of guilty pleasures. Mozart's Ghost, man! Pi! Praetorian! Mainframes and the world wibe web! I'd recognize that shot of Bullock frantically reaching for her floppy disc as she hacks anywhere.

How deliciously ridiculous. We should all see Our Brand is Crisis just because they were inspired enough to include that in the trailer.


Official Foreign Film Submission Oscar Charts. Plus Trailers

Twenty-one Official Submissions for the 2015 Foreign Language Film Oscar race have been announced! That's just under a third of the list given the usual amount of submissions but things are already weird and wild with a colorful LGBT drama (Xenia from Greece), a disaster movie (The Wave from Norway), more documentaries than usual already including animated and 3D offerings (Palestine, Switzerland, and Panama), alongside your more usual type of competitor like World War II focused entries (Germany and Hungary, which I'm currently predicting for nominations) and historical epics (South Korea)

The foreign film charts are a major project each year behind the scenes and we're so proud to have raised the profile of this awards category over the past 15 years. The Film Experience was literally the first website to cover it in detail (all the way back to our humble beginnings) and slowly but surely the fever spread. As did all things Oscar. Now, everyone does it! It's no longer "ours" so to speak -- not that one can own an Oscar topic -- but we're still justified in feeling the pride of original adoption. And if we don't pat ourselves on the back who will since we get no damn respect from the larger online film culture. Ahem.

Greece's XENIA and South Korea's THE THRONE


Current Predictions and All Time Stats & Trivia on This Category


Afghanistan through Estonia
Will Brazil send The Second Mother? Will Argentina send festival-premiering crime drama The Clan? Info on Official entries from Austria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, China, and Croatia.
Ethiopia through The Netherlands
Mexico has a 14 film shortlonglist. Info on official entries from Finland, Germany, Greece, Guatemala, Hungary, Iraq, Japan, Kazakhstan, and Luxembourg
New Zealand through Vietnam
Speculation on The Philippines. Info on official entries from Norway, Palestine, Panama, Romania, South Korea, Sweden, Switzerland, and Venezuela


Click to read more ...


BYOYNMS: The Danish Girl 

That's "Bring Your Own Yes No Maybe So," in case you're wondering. Acronyms for daaaays, henny! I'm seeing The Danish Girl very shortly at TIFF and I don't want to spoil my first experience since I haven't read the book (I know I know) and I'm hearing that this trailer gives away each story beat. 

But if you don't care about spoilers, or have read the book, please to watch and let us know where you fall on the Yes No Maybe So divide.

Or, rather, if the trailer moved your needle at all on this latest costume drama from frequent Oscar presence Tom Hooper (The King's Speech, Les Misérables). Gender identity is such a hot topic of late (I Am Cait is basically like having an Intro to Genders Studies course weekly on E! of all places, and Transparent's about to win an Emmy or three, don't you think?) that this film's timing is probably very good. IF, that is, the film lives up to its hype.

The movie will be opening just after Thanksgiving in the US.


Yes No Maybe So: Concussion

Manuel here to talk about Will Smith's newest film, Concussion, which released its first trailer. The film follows Dr. Bennet Omalu (Smith) who discovered CTE (Chronic traumatic encephalopathy) in two football players who later committed suicides. Based on the GQ article "Game Brain" by Jeanne Marie Laskas, the film is about Dr. Omalu's attempts at getting the NFL to take his findings seriously; that is, that the concussions suffered by football players may lead to chronic degenerative brain diseases.

You can imagine how that went in real life and how that'll play out in the film itself. The film was written and directed by Peter Landesman (who wrote and directed Parkland). Following our patented trailer evaluation system, let's take a look at Concussion:

Click to read more ...


YNMS: Victor Frankenstein

Jason from MNPP here with a look at the first trailer for Victor Frankenstein, the tale of... Igor, the hunchbacked assistant. This follows the grand tradition of movies being named after a supporting character that comes to transform the lead (look no further than Carol, which book-wise is really Rooney Mara's story, although I won't be surprised if Todd Haynes gives Cate Blanchett a little more to do and hey look how I turned this into a post about Carol, isn't that funny...)

But back to Igor & Friends (which would've been a far greater title if you ask me) -- the previously ghastly assistant ain't so ghastly this go-round - the hunchback's been swapped out for the big blue eyes and bounteous neck-beard of Harry Potter himself, Daniel Radcliffe, who is taken under the well-muscled wing of Professor X I mean Dr. Frankenstein, played by Mr. James McAvoy. Let's Yes No Maybe So this sucker.

Click to read more ...


Lukewarm Off Presses: James Dean, Christopher Guest, Bryan Cranston

Three stories we're late mentioning but so what? Always eager to hear your thoughts...

Still no trailer but there's now a poster for Trumbo, the Hollywood blacklist drama starring Bryan Cranston and Helen Mirren (as gossip icon Hedda Hopper). Cranston could be looking at the Triple Crown if he's Best Actor nominated since he already has the Tony and the Emmy. Will Oscar go wild for this? A word of caution for those predicting at home: People were going on and on about how much Hollywood loves movies about itself when Birdman won the Oscar last season but it's not entirely true. They sometimes nominate movies about movies but they don't tend to be the big winners. And Hollywood blacklist dramas are an infrequent subcategory unto themselves: Career (1959) won a few tech nominations but nothing in the top categories;  The Way We Were (1973) only won for music and didn't even make the Best Picture lineup which it absolutely deserved to be in; Guilty by Suspicion (1991) with Robert De Niro and The Bening and The Majestic (2001) starring Jim Carrey were both entirely ignored;  Good Night and Good Luck (2005) was popular with voters for nominations but lost each of its categories. 

It's been nine freaking years since Christopher Guest's last mockumentary For Your Consideration (2006) which was, unfortunately his weakest comedy. But he's finally making something new! The movie will be for Netflix and it's about what it sounds like it's about. No cast announced yet but I think we can safely guess at least a handful of players. I NEED to see Parker Posey and Catherine O'Hara in big furry costumes, okay? I need it like I need oxygen. 

<-- The "Life" of James Dean
Bring Your Own "Yes No Maybe So" in the comments. James Dean has had biopics before but this one comes from Anton Corbijn who I think we should allow made a very fine music biopic on Ian Curtis of Joy Division called Control (2007). This ground, however, is amply covered previously -- except for its macro focus on a photoshoot the moment before Dean was famous. The film, which looks depressingly actress free from the trailer, stars Robert Pattinson, Ben Kingsley, the ubiquitous Joel Edgerton and Dane DeHaan as James Dean.

Ready? Go...