If you want the gravy…

…You've got to get the biscuits!


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2016 Rising: The Grand Finale and Predicting My Awards

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I like the poster. I liked the trailer. Will I like the film? (Source)

Let’s talk about 2016. Though you may understandably be reluctant so to do.

I don’t think many will disagree when I say this has been a bad year. They might take exception to the word “bad.” Which is fair. It might be better to say this year has been so crushingly weak.

But do the next two months offer some hope of salvation? That’s what I hope to determine.

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Trailer Salad II: A PIGEON SAT ON A BRANCH, LEVIATHAN, WINTER SLEEP, THE IDENTICAL, ROCKS IN MY POCKETS (slightly NSFW), THE HUMBLING, A GIRL WALKS HOME ALONE AT NIGHT, TUSK, and Posters for SHELTER and MEN, WOMEN & CHILDREN

Have I not said enough about how great Pigeon will be already? Do you need more evidence? Anyone want a shrimp sandwich and a beer, for free?

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My Top 20 and Bottom 20 of 2013

I wasn’t originally going to do this–I figured I’d said enough about these films over the last few weeks–but what the hell? This and my post-Oscar article will round the year off nicely (he said in March).

My Top 10:

1. Spring Breakers

Because this is 2013. This is how we live now. Is it an exaggerated view of our world? Yes, but does anyone think Easy Rider wasn’t a little romanticized itself? I mention Easy Rider because I think of this as a film that captures the 2010s like that film captured the late 60s. So later generations may not quite see what I see in it. And that’s fine. But it’s more than just a generationally significant film. It’s hugely entertaining, thought-provoking (when Alien says “This the fucking American Dream, y’all”, he’s more right than he might have guessed), funny, shocking, and all too true. When Faith (Selena Gomez) tries to encourage her friends to leave Florida and return to their safe, dull hometown rather than associate with Alien, and they opt to stay as though it were an obvious choice…let’s just say that moment resonated with me quite deeply. The performances (and not just James Franco’s mad tour-de-force) are great (Vanessa Hudgens, Gomez, Ashley Benson, and Rachel Korine make an eminently believable quartet), Harmony Korine’s writing and directing are just about perfect–as are the editing and Benoît Debie’s cinematography. It even uses Skrillex music to good effect. It’s one of those films that’s so good it makes me almost giddy.

Sprang break. Sprang break. Sprang break forevah.

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My 3rd Annual Film Awards: The Official Nominees

Picture:

  • Captain Phillips
  • Her
  • Nebraska
  • Prisoners
  • Short Term 12
  • Spring Breakers
  • A Touch of Sin
  • 12 Years a Slave
  • Upstream Color
  • The Wolf of Wall Street

Director:

  • Shane Carruth (Upstream Color)
  • Spike Jonze (Her)
  • Harmony Korine (Spring Breakers)
  • Steve McQueen (12 Years a Slave)
  • Jia Zhangke (A Touch of Sin)

Actor:

  • Bruce Dern (Nebraska)
  • Leonardo DiCaprio (The Wolf of Wall Street)
  • Chiwetel Ejiofor (12 Years a Slave)
  • Michael B. Jordan (Fruitvale Station)
  • Joaquin Phoenix (Her)

Actress:

  • Sandra Bullock (Gravity)
  • Judi Dench (Philomena)
  • Greta Gerwig (Frances Ha)
  • Brie Larson (Short Term 12)
  • Amy Seimetz (Upstream Color)

Supporting Actor:

  • Paul Dano (Prisoners)
  • Michael Fassbender (12 Years a Slave)
  • James Franco (Spring Breakers)
  • Matthew McConaughey (Mud)
  • Keith Stanfield (Short Term 12)

Supporting Actress:

  • Amy Adams (Her)
  • Kaitlyn Dever (Short Term 12)
  • Lupita Nyong’o (12 Years a Slave)
  • Julia Roberts (August: Osage County)
  • Octavia Spencer (Fruitvale Station)

Original Screenplay:

  • Her
  • Nebraska
  • Prisoners
  • Spring Breakers
  • A Touch of Sin

Adapted Screenplay:

  • Captain Phillips
  • Philomena
  • Short Term 12
  • 12 Years a Slave
  • The Wolf of Wall Street

Cinematography:

  • Prisoners
  • Spring Breakers
  • To the Wonder
  • A Touch of Sin
  • 12 Years a Slave

Editing:

  • Captain Phillips
  • Spring Breakers
  • 12 Years a Slave
  • Upstream Color
  • The Wolf of Wall Street

Production Design:

  • The Great Gatsby
  • Her
  • The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
  • Pacific Rim
  • 12 Years a Slave

Costume Design:

  • American Hustle
  • 47 Ronin
  • The Hunger Games: Catching Fire
  • Saving Mr. Banks
  • 12 Years a Slave

Makeup:

  • The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
  • The Hunger Games: Catching Fire
  • Lone Survivor
  • Prisoners
  • 12 Years a Slave

Original Score:

  • All Is Lost
  • Her 
  • Nebraska
  • 12 Years a Slave
  • Upstream Color

Original Song:

  • “Love Is an Open Door” – Frozen
  • “The Moon Song” – Her
  • “Ordinary Love” – Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom.
  • “So You Know What It’s Like” – Short Term 12
  • “The Money Chant” – The Wolf of Wall Street

Sound Mixing:

  • All Is Lost
  • Lone Survivor
  • Rush
  • Spring Breakers
  • Upstream Color

Visual Effects:

  • Elysium
  • Gravity
  • The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
  • Man of Steel
  • Pacific Rim

Sound Effects:

  • All Is Lost
  • Lone Survivor
  • Pacific Rim
  • Spring Breakers
  • Upstream Color

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Longlists to Nominees: Actress

We’re in the home-stretch now. And, thankfully, this category is pretty cut-and-dried. I wish there was more competition, but I think I can pick a very satisfactory final five out of this group. So let’s to it.

  • Sandra Bullock (Gravity)
  • Judi Dench (Philomena)
  • Greta Gerwig (Frances Ha)
  • Vanessa Hudgens (Spring Breakers)
  • Olga Kurylenko (To the Wonder)
  • Brie Larson (Short Term 12)
  • Rooney Mara (Side Effects)
  • Amy Seimetz (Upstream Color)
  • Meryl Streep (August: Osage County)
  • Tashiana Washington (Gimme the Loot)

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Longlists to Nominees: Original Screenplay

^ Not quite how it was in the actual film, but the spirit is the same.

Unlike Adapted Screenplay, where I had 6 viable candidates (4 of which were locks) and the only dilemma was easily resolved, this is one hell of a category. If I wanted to, I could take my Top 10 and call it a day for nominees (and I’m considering expanding all my categories to 10 in the future). Just look at this longlist:

  • Computer Chess
  • Frances Ha
  • Her
  • Inside Llewyn Davis
  • Mud
  • Nebraska
  • Prisoners
  • Side Effects
  • Spring Breakers
  • A Touch of Sin
  • Upstream Color

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