Directed by Bong Joon-Ho
Screenplay by Bong Joon-Ho, story by Bong Joon Ho and Han Jin-won
Starring Song Kang Ho, Lee Sun-Kyun, Cho Yeo-jeong, Choi Woo-shik, Park So-dam, Lee Jung-eun and Jang Hye-jin
The Oscars sure are an eclectic bunch. Usually when you describe somebody eclectic it refers to their tastes, specifically to mean varied tastes. That they like serious drama as much as they like camp. That they like arty films as much as they like populist films. That they like John Wayne as much as they like the anti-John Wayne. Basically, it’s meant to say a person who likes both sweet and savory.
But when applied to the Oscars, the meaning should be more along the lines of having a lack of taste. Or, rather, a lack of knowing what taste they have. After all, some years the Best Picture goes to an artier film like Moonlight. Other years it’s deadly serious films like Spotlight or 12 Years a Salve. Then in other years still, middle-brow junk masquerading as high art wins the big prize, like Crash and Green Book. It’s all just so…erratic. Continue reading
Well, it’s that time of year again for the Oscars, my loyal readers. That one event we wait for all year. Like Christmas – second Christmas. Only without any gifts and double the disappointment. And while I’m a bit late to turning my ballot in, timeliness means nothing. It’s not like the Academy actually registers my vote for anything anyway, so who cares if I get my picks out now, or next year. Still, in the spirit of adding to the discourse and nothing more, here’s my Oscar picks for 2019:
Directed by Peter Farrelly
Screenplay by Peter Farrelly, Nick Vallalonga and Bryan Hayes Currie
Starring Viggo Mortenson, Mahershala Ali, and Linda Cardellini
As awards season 2018 marched to its bitter end, I resisted seeing Green Book. In a year in which I’d seen 5 0f the 8 nominees in theaters, and saw the sixth on video, and just couldn’t make time for Vice, Green Book was the one film I didn’t even try to make time for. It didn’t matter that as time went on it looked increasingly to be the presumptive winner, and maybe I should see it out of curiosity. It only mattered it was shit on by critics as being sloppy in how it deals with the racial aspects of its story. But also, I worried that the director of There’s Something About Mary, and Dumb and Dumber, might not be the best guy to take charge of a story that deals with race relations. Yes, we should encourage guys to try to get out of their creative ruts whenever they can, but perhaps this was all too much of a swerve for one man’s own good. Continue reading
Directed by Guillermo Del Toro
Screenplay by Guillermo Del Toro and Vanessa Taylor, story by Guillermo Del Toro
Starring Sally Hawkins, Richard Jenkins, Michael Shannon, Octavia Spencer, Michael Stuhlbarg and Doug Jones
Firsts are everything in life – first steps, first words, first kiss. The same is true for the Oscars. Here are some important firsts for Oscar wins: Continue reading
If you are a long-time reader of this blog, you are aware of my years-long series, The Best Picture Project. You’re also probably aware that in late-2016 I compiled that series together, edited the entries, and put it out in both paperback and ebook formats. It was called The Best Picture Project. Like this blog, I didn’t put the book out with any hope it would sell or make me money — and it hasn’t. I put it out because I like to write, and like it when people read my stuff. Continue reading
So, a little more than a year ago the complete, collected, and re-edited Best Picture Project appeared in book form. It sold like gangbusters, which is to say, it barely sold at all. But, I don’t necessarily write to be paid, I write to give me joy, and so if anybody bought it and enjoyed it, great!
And then I was notified of a comment on a post on this site — to the post regarding The Sound of Music, a Best Picture Project entry. The comment? Apparantly I forgot to include The Sound of Music in the book. It took about two minutes for me to confirm that, yes, I did forget it.
Well, you’ll be pleased to know that everything should be fixed now. I revised the Kindle version of the book right quick and you should be able to get that one now. The paperback version has also been corrected but that might take a couple days for all the kinks to work out between the old version and the new.
Nevertheless, feel free to purchase now and, as before — if you find an error in it, let me know, because I fix that shit.
Ah, here we are at the time of year when the good people of the world start throwing around shitloads of money on gifts to celebrate the birth of Jesus. Or, because we grew up in a culture that values yearly gift giving. So if you are one of those people, but don’t quite know what to get for that special someone, maybe tried spending your hard-earned cash on something I wrote.
Directed by Nicholas Hytner
Screenplay by Alan Bennett, based upon his play
Starring Nigel Hawthorne, Helen Mirren, Ian Holm, Amanda Donohoe, and Rupert Everett
The year 1994 belonged to box office juggernaut, and improbable awards darling, Forrest Gump. It’s domestic gross, thanks to Box Office Mojo, was $329 million, on top of its seven Oscar wins from 13 nominations, which included taking the trophies for Picture, Director, Actor and Adapted Screenplay. And somewhat rare among Best Picture winners, it’s actually fairly enjoyable. It’s not great – certainly not Best Picture worthy – but it’s not bad, either. And that’s how we would remember the film today if not for it having one Best Picture over a true classic, Pulp Fiction.
Just as Crash would be forever tainted by beating Brokeback Mountain and could never be a movie judged on its own merits again, Forrest Gump is derided for having bested Pulp Fiction. The win doesn’t change the quality of either movie, only the perception of them, and opens them up to harsher criticism than they might otherwise face. As Pulp Fiction’s faults are overlooked because it didn’t win Best Picture, Forrest Gump’s are magnified because it won. Continue reading
Available in both ebook and paperback — buy one of each!
The original idea for this blog was there was no idea – I had no grand unified vision, only wanted some place to dump out the various non-fiction thoughts rolling around in my head. Primarily those thoughts would be about movies, but they might very well be about anything. I did not envision having columns, or features, or even having readers. I just wrote what I felt like, when I felt like writing it, and chose this place to deposit it whether or not somebody was there to get it.
In a way, this blog was meant as a peek into my id. Continue reading
Directed By Barry Jenkins 2016)
Screenplay by Barry Jenkins, Story by Tarell Alvin McCraney, based upon the unproduced play “In Moonlight Black Boys Look Blue.”
Starring Trevante Rhodes, Andre Holland, Janelle Monae, Ashton Sanders, Naomie Harris and Mahershala Ali.
In 1993 Marissa Tomei was nominated for Best Supporting Actress for her broad, yet smart, take on a goomba’s-girlfriend in My Cousin Vinny. It was a bit of a left-field nom, to be sure, given the film was basically comedy built on cliché, a type of film the Academy rarely has time for, and she didn’t even manage a Golden Globe nom for the role. Plus, her opposition was the type of nominees, in the types of films, that normally got academy affection – Judy Davis in Husbands and Wives, Joan Plowright in Enchanted April, Vanessa Redgrave in Howard’s End and Miranda Richardson in Damage. No surprise that the race shaped up with Davis and Redgrave as front-runners. Come Oscar night, though, when Jack Palance opened the envelope and read Tomei’s name as the winner, it was a literal twist-ending. Continue reading