If you want the gravy…

…You've got to get the biscuits!

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American Film Institute Top 10 Films: 2017


Could it happen?

The AFI announced their top 10 films yesterday. I always like their lists because they provide explanations as to why they chose these particular films – though at least this time they won’t provide the explanations until their awards ceremony on January 5. Too bad.

While they never sync up perfectly with the Academy, they’re usually decently close: last year they were 7 for 9 (missing Hidden Figures and Lion), in 2015 they went 6 for 8 (missing Brooklyn and The Revenant), and in 2014 they also went 6 for 8 (missing The Grand Budapest Hotel and The Theory of Everything).

Let’s see what they’ve got for us.

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National Board of Review Top 10 + Awards: 2017


As you might know, the National Board of Review is my favorite of the major awards groups. That they’ve produced a top 10 list every year since 1929, and that those lists include some daring choices (and a few delightfully strange ones) are major reasons as to why. So if my analysis of their annual awards has taken rather a while to appear (they were announced on November 28), it’s not because I didn’t care, it’s because I knew it would take me a while to get it done right.

So let’s see what they’ve got for us this time.

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Los Angeles Film Critics Association Awards: 2017



Major wins for what should prove to be one of the driving forces of the season.

Given the geographical proximity of the L.A. critics to the majority of Academy voters, you might think the results of these awards have some bearing, or at least give some clue, as to outcome of the Oscars, right?



Let’s find out.

One nice thing about the LAFCA is that they share both their winner and the first runner-up. Gives you a little insight into their thinking.

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Independent Spirit Award Nominations: 2017


Good enough for a lot…but not for everything.

These actually went up almost two weeks ago, so I’ll just give some quick thoughts on them. It helps that, between the nomination announcement and this writing, I’ve seen several more of the films in contention.

The awards will be announced March 3, 2018.

Best Film:

  • Call Me by Your Name
  • The Florida Project
  • Get Out
  • Lady Bird
  • The Rider

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New York Film Critics Circle Awards: 2017


Tangible praise for an acclaimed comedic performance. (Source)

So the season is starting to take shape. A couple of interesting choices here – a couple which aren’t terribly likely to be repeated over the rest of the season – and a few others which give us an idea as to where things are going.

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Not a perfect edition of the novel, but I rather like the cover.

This is the first book review I’ve done for this site (technically it’s adapted from a post I did for another page, but no matter). I’d planned on starting a book-review series much sooner, beginning with Isaac Asimov’s The Gods Themselves, which I’d finished in April of 2016, but I never got around to it, and didn’t even bother reviewing Shūsaku Endō’s Silence, which I read afterwards in preparation for seeing Scorsese’s adaptation of it.

But this evening, typing up my thoughts on P.D. Ouspensky’s Strange Life of Ivan Osokin (I’m not sure why there’s no definite article, but no edition of the book I’ve seen includes one), I considered that I had enough material to base a proper post on, and decided so to do. And if I am sacrificing some time and mental effort in composing this review, that’s entirely in the spirit of the novel; without sacrifice, nothing can be gained.

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The Films of 2017 in 150 Words or Less: Part II


Like hell you did. Or if you did, the editing did a great job of hiding it.

Since I published the first batch of 2017 reviews, I’ve only seen an additional 14 films for the year, partially because of the limitations on my time and money, and partially because there have been fewer films I felt I truly had to see. I hope to catch up over the next four months (I will be pushing my film awards back to allow myself more time), but I will likely not come too near the 118 films I saw for last year – still a personal record.

Still, films I have seen, and films I will discuss.

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