The State of the Race: Can the Oscars Change Hollywood? (And Thank You)

Now that the bright, beautiful Lupita Nyong’o has arrived, what will become of her fate in Hollywood? We all know the statistics. We know what kinds of movies mostly get made. I wonder if it’s too much to ask that one actress inspire the five white guys in suits to...
Posted On 03 Mar 2014

The State of the Race: Hope is the Thing with Feathers

“I find I’m so excited, I can barely sit still or hold a thought in my head. I think it’s the excitement only a free man can feel, a free man at the start of a long journey whose conclusion is uncertain. I hope I can make it across the border. I hope to see my...
Posted On 17 Feb 2014

The State of the Race: On the Eve of Oscar Voting, Heroes vs “Heroes”

“As you get older it is harder to have heroes, but it is sort of necessary.” ― Ernest Hemingway The theme of the 86th Oscars is Heroes. That might come to be regarded ironically when all is said and done on the evening of March 2. Two of the strongest films in the race...
Posted On 14 Feb 2014

Best Director: The Case for Steve McQueen

[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....
Posted On 12 Feb 2014

Fever Dream: the Collaboration of DiCaprio and Scorsese

The Oscar race might be straining the Santa Barbara film festival past its breaking point. Wednesday night, the appearance of Oprah Winfrey nearly broke the festival and last night’s appearance of Leonardo DiCaprio, Jonah Hill and Martin Scorsese caused such a frenzy...
Posted On 07 Feb 2014

The State of the Race: Academy’s Choice Embrace the Future or Redefine the Past

“Change will not come if we wait for some other person, or if we wait for some other time. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.” ― Barack Obama There are many ways to interpret the upcoming choice for Best Picture the Academy will be...
Posted On 04 Feb 2014

Her, Captain Phillips, Stories We Tell win WGA Awards

WRITERS GUILD AWARDS Best Original Screenplay Her, Written by Spike Jonze Best Adapted Screenplay Captain Phillips, Written by Billy Ray Best Documentary Screenplay Stories We Tell, Written by Sarah Polley Best New Series House of Cards Comedy Series Veep Drama Series Breaking Bad
Posted On 01 Feb 2014

The State of the Race: Guilds Split Three Ways, Gravity has Edge

For the first time since the Academy expanded the Best Picture race to more than 5 nominees, the industry seems divided between three strong films. The actors branch clearly loves David O. Russell’s American Hustle, giving it nominations in all four acting categories, plus...
Posted On 26 Jan 2014

The Frontrunners and their Challengers

This Oscar year has to be one of the most competitive we’ve seen in a while. While it’s true that it feels like all of the acting categories are locked in, many of the other categories aren’t, including Best Picture, Best Director, Original Screenplay and most...
Posted On 24 Jan 2014

Oscar Flashback: 1939, Gone with the Wind

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...
Posted On 21 Jan 2014