BREAKING MOVIE NEWS
Gravity, to me, is a masterful ride Ė a harrowing but gloriously rewarding film that has deeper layers resting beneath its popcorn-thriller exterior. This, at heart, is the story of a damaged and unsure woman fighting to find a reason to live again in the wake of a terrible loss. It is an emotional survival story, tucked inside of a physical survival story.
For Your Consideration: 12 Years A Slave's Historical Importance Doesn't Automatically Make It The Best Picture
When the viewer is only given time to sit with its main character and think about the things that are happening to him, thatís when it stops transcending the material and reminds us that this is a movie about slavery.
Which movie had a lead character getting so fabulously wealthy that he could seduce Margot Robbie in front of her boyfriend while his best friend masturbated? What movie had enough coke to fuel the economy of a third world country? And which movie did you have the most FUN seeing amongst the Best Picture frontrunners?
For Your Consideration: Oscar Should Give Nebraska Best Picture And Stop Undervaluing Alexander Payne
From now until the Friday before the Oscars we'll be running daily pieces about why a film does or does not deserve Best Picture. Today, Eric explains why Nebraska deserves the big win during the Academy Awards.
There's an air to Dallas Buyers Club's Oscar campaign that embracing the film means embracing the queer community that was horrendously slaughtered by the AIDS epidemic, and still faces struggles in modern America. But the truth is Dallas Buyers Club actually re-enforces a dangerous message that not only excuses homophobia, but actually promotes it.
As captivating as it was to follow the story in headlines, the reality is that what actually happened doesnít have good narrative flow and as it unfolds breaks some very important storytelling rules.
I saw Her a couple more times, and each time, it was a new movie for me. Jonzeís film is soft but not quiet, funny but not uproariously silly, kind but not sentimental.
I left my showing of American Hustle with a smile on my face and a healthy appreciation for what Iíd just seen. I knew, without a doubt, it would go on my yearly Top 10 Movies list. The where was the only question. I initially assumed it would end up about seventh or eighth, but when I sat down to actually make the list, it kept getting bumped up and bumped up
From now until the Friday before the Oscars we'll be running daily pieces about why a film does or does not deserve Best Picture. Sean kicks it off with a discussion about Stephen Frearsí Philomena!
My favorite shot in Ben Affleckís Argo isnít during the nail-biting, armchair-gripping finale at the Iranian airport or the heart-palpitating opening sequence with the rioters attacking the U.S. embassy. Itís an establishing shot less than 30 minutes into the film that shows the famed Hollywood sign as protagonist Tony Mendez arrives in Los Angeles.
For a country founded on religious freedom, it did not take us long to find our national martyred saint. Imitated by children in construction paper top hats and felt beards, revered by the millions of visitors to his temple-like memorial, cited by any President or leader who wants to skim a bit of gravity for their words-- Abraham Lincoln became America's Christ
Let's just admit it: Zero Dark Thirty has about zero chance of winning Best Picture. It is one of the best films of the year, but after the movie became a political football for politicians who unfairly declared it "pro-torture" to further their own agendas, it's Oscar prospects sunk fast.
The thesis of Zero Dark Thirty is not torture is a miracle drug. Itís also not torture is an abomination or the war in Afghanistan is right or the Pakistani government canít be trusted or prisoners should be allowed immediate access to lawyers.
Life of Pi is an absolutely breathtaking movie. I won't pretend otherwise. When I saw it at the New York Film Festival last fall, I wholeheartedly believed it was a serious contender for the Academy Awards' most prestigious honor of Best Picture. And yet when the Oscars were finally announced, I had no enthusiasm for Life of Pi's nomination. Worse yet, I realized I'd be angry if it actually won.
For Your Consideration: Silver Linings Playbook Counters Oscar's Death Obsession With Humor And Honesty
Every once in a while, films luck into planet-aligning cinematic situations where everyone involved does their best possible work, creating a work of art. In Silver Linings Playbook, everyone working in front of and behind the camera in service of this uplifting story is operating at the top of their game, and the Academy has gone out of its way to recognize those accomplishments.
Les Miserables is the kind of musical that drives non-fans batty, but if you're watching this movie wondering why people are singing everything, you're genuinely missing the point. Musicals express feelings in a way spoken word simply can't, and this version of Les Miserables understands how to drill to the very root of those feelings, in ways nothing onstage really can.
When an adaptation of the musical Les Miserables was announced, and recent Best Director winner Tom Hooper signed on to direct it, all eyes zoomed in on Les Mis to be a contender. In fact, before anyone even saw it, most people put it on their Best Picture hopefuls lists
Beasts defies classification. It transcends easy genres. It is bold, original filmmaking done on a shoestring budget that is not reflected in its jaw-droppingly authentic production values. The movieís four Oscar nominations should be its consolation prize. Itís worthy of so much more.
Quentin Tarantino doesnít make the kind of movies you typically think of being honored by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Award season is crowded with war-set period dramas about people with disabilities, and Tarantino is all about brash, hyper, bloody tales of revenge and gangsters.
Somewhere inside Django Unchained is the best movie of the year.†Part meticulously researched homage and part aggressive, pulsating thump of originality, this re-cut would bleed with furious and vengeful momentum, swagger with the confidence of a gaudy suit and pause just long enough to offer whimsical and brilliant asides
Amour looks nothing like any of its fellow Best Picture nominees. In fact, it looks nothing like any of the Best Picture nominees of the last 20 years. It's a foreign film, of course, which puts it in the company of just four other foreign language films nominated for Best Picture since 1993
The Tree of Life asks a lot of moviegoers, no doubt, asking them not just to engage in a loopy and highfalutin' narrative, but to dig into their own personal emotions as well. This doesn't work for a lot of people, and it's not wrong not to like it, or to admit you don't get it. But if you let go just a little, and wait for The Tree of Life to get to the moment that moves you, I promise it will
it's the rougher edges of The Descendants-- the Alexander Payne-ness of it, the now-ness of it-- that make it stand out. The way it engages with Matt's strange conflict in being both white and native Hawaiian, the way it depicts marriage as something that can break while nobody is watching, the way it allows Lillard's Brian Speer his own dignity even as a philanderer-- The Descendants goes down easy, but it carries tough things with it
I donít think that Moneyball is a political film. I donít think that director Bennett Miller saw Beane as a proxy for Obama and I donít think the movie sways to either side of the political scale. How could it? Michael Lewis wrote ďMoneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair GameĒ in 2003 and the movie chronicles the Oakland Athleticsí 2002 season. But no movie released in 2011 better represents the era in which we are living
Allenís writing is every bit as charming and funny as the other light-hearted Best Picture contender, The Artist, but most importantly, MiP is a smart comedy that actually has something significant to say about tour collective problem with viewing the past through rose colored glasses