Best Director: Lost and Found in America

Variations on a theme running through this year’s strongest five films in the Best Director category — Gravity, American Hustle, 12 Years a Slave, Nebraska and The Wolf of Wall Street — all spring from the notion that the main character, or characters, are lost....
Posted On 19 Jan 2014

The State of the Race – Directors Break with Consensus

One of the more interesting questions in this year’s Oscar race is wondering what the Directors branch is going to do. Will their choices be as strange and random as last year, when only two names from the DGA also made Oscar’s list? In 2012, for the first time in...
Posted On 19 Nov 2013

The State of the Race: The Directors, Masters of the Craft

It’s funny how little our view of the Oscar landscape has changed since Cannes in May. Was a time when the heat of Cannes came too early to impact the Oscar race. But that has changed as the course seems to be charted much earlier than at any previous time in Oscar’s eight-decade...
Posted On 13 Nov 2013

Famous Directors on this Year’s Oscar Contenders

This Variety spread is pretty great, I must say. In addiction to Ben Affleck on Nicole Holofcener. Here is a sampling: Peter Bogdanovich on Alexander Payne: “You’ll probably think I’m old-fashioned,” John Ford said to me, “but black-and-white is real photography.” On...
Posted On 13 Nov 2013

Best Director: McQueen, Daniels Edge towards Making History

In 86 years of Oscar history only two African-American directors have ever been nominated for an Oscar — John Singleton and Lee Daniels.  It isn’t that the Academy leans towards white American filmmakers to be exclusionary. It’s more a function of the fact that...
Posted On 09 Sep 2013

Cannes Review: Payne’s America Unearthed Once Again in Nebraska

Across the wide, bleak expanse of Nebraska Alexander Payne cuts two charcoal figures — Will Forte and Bruce Dern. Nebraska is a name that stands alone. It’s the name of one of Bruce Springsteen’s best albums and it’s now the name of one of Alexander Payne’s best films. As...
Posted On 23 May 2013

Alexander Payne’s Nebraska previewed in USA Today

I have mixed feelings about stories coming out of USA Today now that our friend and their star entertainment reporter Susan Wloszczyna is no longer working there. Nonetheless, Alexander Payne gives a brief interview about the latest chapter in his ongoing rumination on America...
Posted On 07 May 2013

More raves sweep ashore for The Descendants

(new TV spot in advance of tomorrow’s premiere in NY and LA) Already standing in strong position with the critics, The Descendants stock rises with raves today from A.O. Scott, Glenn Kenny, Betsy Sharkey and the rare 4-star review from Peter Travers. [Travers' review now...
Posted On 15 Nov 2011
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