My Top 20 Films of the Decade: v. 0.0

Talking to a friend of mine the other day, we found ourselves musing over what the best films of the decade were. He had his own ideas, and I had at least three which immediately came to mind, which led me to say, off-handedly, that I should compile a list of the decade’s best at…

2016 Rising, Actus Tertius: Reflections

It’s time to close the door on 2015. Past time, even. But I wanted to round off this awards season, as patchy as my coverage of it may have been, with a poll (seen above), some statistical fun, and some reflection on my awards past.

2016 Rising: Actus Primus

Happy New Year! Another apology for not having gotten some of these promised posts out; first I was too busy with work or too tired to write, but then over the weekend I added being sick to my list of impediments (nothing severe, but…), and aside from seeing The Hateful Eight (which is, shock of shocks, ****),…

THE TRIBE Review – ****

The logline alone commands the attention: a Ukrainian drama, told entirely in sign language, without music or even subtitles. That it deals with the lawlessness lurking beneath the surface of a school for the deaf makes it essentially another troubled-youth film with the by-now expected sex and violence on top of the corrupted-innocence storyline. So…

CLOUDS OF SILS MARIA Review – ***½

Clouds of Sils Maria, if nothing else, is a superb acting showcase for one actress long regarded as brilliant and one long dismissed as a lightweight, but who is reinventing herself as an accomplished performer. It provides less and more problematic material for a third actress who has done consistently solid work, but whose treatment…

Conflating My Nominees

For my 2014 Film Awards, I opted to split the major categories into Drama and Musical/Comedy. However, I’ve been considering what I would do had I stuck to the model I had used in previous years, and separated from the heat from awards season, I think I can whittle down my expanded nominees and produce…

FOXCATCHER (****½) and AMERICAN SNIPER (***½) Reviews

I’ve decided to review these films side by side, not least because they complement each other so well thematically; both films tell true stories, of men who believe they are saving America, but do not realize it is themselves who need saving. One film openly displays the absurdity of its protagonists’ hubris, while the other treats…

87th Academy Awards Wrap-Up

Well, it’s over. And I’m glad. The outcome was, in some respects, better than I anticipated. In a way, it was like last year: the best nominee for Best Picture beat the overrated juggernaut, and the tech awards were largely satisfactory, but the acting awards left me largely uninspired. That may be a result more of…

Final Oscar Predictions

Best Picture: American Sniper Birdman Boyhood The Grand Budapest Hotel The Imitation Game Selma The Theory of Everything Whiplash It’s a tight race at this point. Birdman has all the guild awards. Boyhood has the Globe, BAFTA, and Critic’s Choice. Based on years past, that actually gives Birdman the edge, but Boyhood has been so roundly acclaimed it’s hard not to predict….