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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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The Case For: David O. Russell

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In the third installment of our series looking at the Best Director category to make the best case for each one, we’re looking at David O. Russell, who makes Oscar history as the first director with back to back Best Picture and Director nominations to earn four acting nominations.  That is a significant achievement, especially considering in the early days of Oscar there were many back to back directing nominees….

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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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The Audacity of a Film About Ideas: the Case for Lincoln

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“I am not bound to win, but I am bound to be true. I am not bound to succeed, but I am bound to live by the light that I have. I must stand with anybody that stands right, and stand with him while he is right, and part with him when he goes wrong.” — Abraham Lincoln I was ten years old when Jaws was released in theaters. It’s…

The Case for … Zero Dark Thirty

The Case for … Zero Dark Thirty

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Written by Craig Kennedy What do you do when you have, what I and many think, is the best American movie of the year and it also turns out to be the most controversial movie of the year? That’s Kathryn Bigelow and Mark Boal’s Zero Dark Thirty for those of you keeping score at home. In a vacuum, it probably doesn’t matter, but in the Oscar bubble, it could be…

The Case for Les Miserables

The Case for Les Miserables

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Les Miserables was considered an early frontrunner Oscar’s Best Picture before the race really began. That put it at a disadvantage immediately because most frontrunners are bigger targets when the collective believes they are going to win. It’s better, always, to fly under the radar.  The film enters the race now with two major obstacles in its path: 1) its director, Tom Hooper, won as recently as 2010. Unless you…

The Case for: Holy Motors

The Case for: Holy Motors

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by Russell Hainline When I first experienced Holy Motors, Leos Carax’s sprawling surrealist journey, part of me immediately lamented the fact that the year-end awards race was likely to ignore it. It’s unapologetically strange and purposefully fantastical, difficult to fully digest, much less describe to friends and family. This is the type of film that should receive the national recognition that the Academy Awards provide: it’s brave, honest, and enormously…

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The Case for: Moonrise Kingdom

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by Marshall Flores Part of an ongoing series at Awards Daily. More “The Case For” - you can pitch yours by writing us. When it is all said and done, 2012 will go down as one of those film years where there is simply too much greatness, too many achievements and accomplishments, for AMPAS to adequately recognize. The Best Picture race is already shaping to be quite a battle royale, crowded…

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The Case for The Dark Knight Rises

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“Sometimes a man rises from the darkness. Sometimes the pit spits something back.” When we drill down to sum up The Dark Knight trilogy in simplest terms, what many will see emerge is a guy in a bat suit. There is no getting around it, and probably why The Dark Knight was shut out in 2008. At the same time, Nolan’s epic also represents the crest of a changing tide…

The Case for: Argo

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I’m not going to talk about whether Argo will or won’t. I’m only going to talk about how good it is and what a successful film it’s been this year. We’re used to Oscar years where most of the movies aren’t all that. Occasionally there will be an overwhelming array of greatness, as there was, to my mind, in 2010 with The Social Network, Black Swan and Inception, to name…