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The Case for Martin Scorsese

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It’s difficult for many of us to be unbiased when it comes to Martin Scorsese. Very likely he could direct a remake of When Harry Met Sally and I’d think it was the greatest thing since Taxi Driver. But even given all of that bias, and all the ways I love The Wolf of Wall Street (my favorite film of the year) it’s still hard to put into words why…

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Final Lap – The Academy Awards, Race, and the Split Vote

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You’ll be happy that — barring the expected catastrophe that might occur next Sunday — this is very likely my last piece on Race and the Academy, until 50 years from now when the next film written, directed and starring black people is up for Best Picture. By then, I hope to be living off the grid on an island somewhere harvesting pineapples. Either way, you might not have noticed…

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Steve McQueen Named Polaris Project Ambassador

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Steve McQueen continues to say during Oscar campaigning (yes, I said it – at least I didn’t “on the campaign trail,” which is what it feels like during Oscar season) that slavery has not been abolished, and continues throughout the world. Polaris Project, a leading organization in the global fight against human trafficking and modern slavery, announced today that 12 Years a Slave Director Steve McQueen has been named an…

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The Unbearable Stillness of Being a Slave

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(SPOILERS) Another generation had its unbearable lightness. In 12 Years a Slave, we repeatedly bear witness to an unbearable stillness. A few times, it’s a tableau of a group of slaves seen from the waist up, ostensibly awaiting instructions. Another few times, it’s a close shot on the thoughtful visage of Solomon Northup (Chiwetel Ejiofor). Once, it’s him calling for help as the camera pans up to a sedate U.S….

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Best Director: The Case for Steve McQueen

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[The Case For is an annual series - we're starting with Best Director  this is not an advertorial] Someone on Twitter asked me recently why I so strongly believed that Best Director needed to be tied to Best Picture.  After all, she argued, they really are two separate things. The producers receive the award for Best Picture and the director gets his/her own award. Who gets to take credit for…

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Meg Ryan to Make Directorial Debut

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The Hollywood Reporter’s Pamela McClintock reports that “Marking her first turn directing a movie, Meg Ryan is teaming with Tom Hanks to make Ithaca, the film adaptation of William Saroyan’s classic 1943 novel The Human Comedy. In addition to directing, she’ll star opposite Sam Shepard, Melanie Griffith and Jack Quaid.” tom Hanks and Gary Goetzman are exec producing what will be a coming-of-age World War II drama. Go Meg go.

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Why I’m Still Predicting Steve McQueen and 12 Years a Slave to win Big at the Oscars

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I think there has been some confusion in my State of the Race pieces.  As the race has changed over the past few weeks different films seem to take their turn on top.  On my Gurus of Gold and at Gold Derby I have not yet wavered from 12 Years a Slave. But my role as someone who writes about the Oscars and tracks the race has to be more…

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Cliffhanger: Who Will Win the DGA Tonight? Poll + No Guts, No Glory

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The DGA breakfast today where Alfonso Cuaron, the expected winner tonight, was a no show — he was celebrating his son’s birthday in Italy. He will be back for the ceremony this evening.  All pundits are expecting Cuaron to win tonight (except me – I am the Lone Survivor predicting McQueen, being that I think 12 Years is winning Best Picture. Should Cuaron win tonight one must adjust to Gravity…

DGA Preview and Prediction

DGA Preview and Prediction

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This weekend, on January 25, the DGA will call out their winner for the 2013 film year. There are some things about this year that haven’t changed. The two films vying for the top prize still came out on or before Toronto/Telluride. Box office still isn’t going to play a part in the outcome. The critics have some say in how it’s gone down. The public is still completely taken…

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Oscar Flashback: 1939, Gone with the Wind

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There are just a few years that will always be remembered in Oscar history, either because one film so thoroughly dominated those awards, or because another film didn’t.   Gone with the Wind was the kind of film that Oscar seemed to be made for.  That film swept the Oscars 75 years ago. In many ways, Gone with the Wind is such a great film. The central role of Scarlett…