Tag Archives: The Tree of Life

The Best Picture Project — Birdman (2014)

Birdman poster.jpgDirected by Alejandro G. Iñárritu

Screenplay by Alejandro G. Iñárritu, Nicolás Giacobone, Alexander Dinelaris, Jr. and Armando Bó

Starring Michael Keaton, Zach Galifianakis, Edward Norton, Andrea Riseborough, Amy Ryan, Emma Stone and Naomi Watts

In the first half of the 2010s, the Academy the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences did an abrupt about face.  For most of the previous decade they’d operated as a body that preferred to give Oscars to faux-important films, e.g. Crash (2005) and The King’s Speech (2010), over truly resonant and moving work, e.g. Brokeback Mountain (2005) and The Social Network.  Then, all at once, AMPAS turned into a group that essentially rewarded itself, giving Oscars to films that threw big, fat self-congratulating kisses on the movie industry and acting in general.

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The Best Picture Project – The Artist (2011)

Directed and Written by Michel Hazanavicius

Starring Jean Dujardin and Berenice Bejo

Unlike my wife and daughter, I am no movie snob.  For my wife, she refuses to see anything that requires subtitles – so no Truffaut and Herzog for her.  For my daughter, anything in black and white is out the window, which means just about any movie made before 1960 is out.  It makes me sad to think of the great films her snobbery will deprive her of.

Anyway, though I’m not snob, and though I love silent films as much as anybody – my particular favorite is The General, though I’m also partial to Harold Lloyd – I’ve got to acknowledge that watching a silent film is exhausting.  Unlike a ‘talkie’, where the story is told in sounds and images, silent films require so much more attention and fidelity to the image on screen that it can literally where you out.

This, ultimately, is my problem with The Artist. Continue reading

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