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Amy Adams Gives up Seat for American Soldier

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Reporting on the events she saw on her flight, Jamele Hill witnessed Amy Adams giving up her first class seat to an American soldier, something the flight crew has never seen before but frankly, they should see more often. I’d go so far as to say that any American soldier flying in the US from combat should automatically be upgraded to first class. “I was on a flight from Detroit…


The State of the Race: Will Best Picture Ever Be More or Less Than Nine?

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As we head into another Oscar year we are once again faced with nine Best Picture nominees. We all know it will be nine because ever since the Academy changed their rules from Best Picture from five to ten and then from ten to an arbitrary number between 5 and 9 it has been nine – for three consecutive years. That’s because there are so many good movies every year…


Best Films with Zero Oscar Nominations

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My Facebook friend (#humblebrag) and one of my favorite film directors Rod Lurie recently posted the following status update: [Redacted, how much he loved Joe Carnahan's film The Grey] “If I had been a critic when that film came out I would have pounded the Academy into submission. I swear I would have. Indeed, without hyperbole, it’s the greatest American film ever made that doesn’t have a single Oscar nomination….


The State of the Race: What Does “Too Dark” for “The Academy” Really Mean?

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This question shadows the Oscar race from the beginning of the year onward. It stood upright when No Country for Old Men was in the race and it loomed large when The Departed was in the race. “Too dark” translates this way: The Academy is made up of senior citizens, it is assumed, who spend their days in retirement, for the most part, locked up in a giant mansion in…

women's lib

Schooling Shailene Woodley on the Word Feminist

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Warning: This post is not Oscar-related. Please feel free not to read it. I can’t believe I have to do this. Overall, any press that revolves around something someone said is one of the signs of our society’s demise — Gwyneth said this, Beiber said that – WHO GIVES A FLYING FUCK? Really, there are far worse things to be outraged by in our country right now — like, global…


Maleficent: How Disney is Reshaping its own Princess Legacy, Giving Back What was Taken

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Make no mistake, Maleficent is a revisionist, feminist retelling of a familiar princess story, one of THE princess stories. When I was a little girl, my favorite Disney movie was Sleeping Beauty. When I look back on this now, the only possible reason I can think of for loving it so much was that Aurora was, to me, the prettiest of all of the princesses. With her long cotton candy…

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OscarWatch: An Early Look at the Best Actress Race

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As we head into another Oscar season you’ll see an array of representations of male characters of all ages and walks of life. Old, young, fat, thin, handsome, unattractive – you name it, they never run out of stories to be told about them. Women, such is not the case. Women have the choice of being the Bond girl, the superhero love interest, the regular love interest who helps male…


Can the Cannes Awards Impact the Oscar Race

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Now that the Cannes awards have been handed out, some might wonder whether any of the films honored will make it all the way to the Oscars. The same films I thought had a chance at the beginning — Foxcatcher and Mr. Turner — still have a good chance, both collecting hardware today. Not winning any awards but with their eyes clearly aimed at the awards race would include The…


Cannes Diary – Of cloudless climes and starry skies

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Saying goodbye to this beautiful city is hard. No, coming to this festival is hard. No, it isn’t anywhere near hard. Nothing about coming here is hard. We are the privileged few who get to see movies for free, who get to see them first, who get to sip rich coffee out of a tiny doll’s cup, to breathe the sea air as it whips itself up into a frenzy…


The State of the Race: The Ghost of Roger Ebert, The Future of Film

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Roger Ebert silently presides over these proceedings here at Cannes. He’s long gone from this physical world but his legacy steadfastly endures — especially this year, partly due to the documentary of his biography “Life Itself,” playing to rapturous reviews here at Cannes, and partly from the presence of Ebert’s wife Chaz, a vital force for film criticism here at Cannes, and online as she continues to run the website,…