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Best Picture: Why Selma is a threat, and not just in the Oscar race

Women directors have much to live down before they can be taken seriously. Most of the heads of the five families in the film industry do not trust women to direct, partly because of the money thing. And partly because, deep down, they don’t think women can bring it. Angelina ...

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Picture of the Day: The Imitation Game

Just posted on their Facebook page.

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The CriticsTopTen.com Top 50 of 2014

This site collects top ten lists and compiles them year by year. This is how it’s shaking down for 2014. I’ve bolded the Best Picture contenders via the pundit consensus thus far. Unbroken does not show up on the top 50 here but it does have two votes over at ...

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The Top Tens of the Top Tens Begins

Movie City News has launched their top ten of the top ten lists. If you look at the article I posted about Oscar and the “heart light” movies that get in despite their reviews, you’ll see that those same movies do not usually place very high on these lists – ...

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NPH

Neil Patrick Harris Promos the Oscars

They’re coming, whether we want them to or not. I’m looking forward to the host, that much I can say for sure.

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Unbroken takes Box Office on Christmas, Despite Reviews

Both Unbroken and Selma were headed for the box office on Christmas day, along with Into the Woods, Big Eyes and American Sniper. Unbroken just barely edged out Into the Woods (which was in fewer theaters and had a higher per theater average), to become the Christmas day winner. Source: ...

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Interview: Graham Moore

As a child, Graham Moore was a slight techie, and as a teen, Moore heard camp fire stories about Alan Turing. Intrigued by this camp fire legend, Moore was inspired to write a screenplay about Turing. The Imitation Game stars Benedict Cumberbatch as Alan Turing. We sat down with Moore ...

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Christmas Chat with Tom O’Neil on Predicting the Oscars

As a treat for you readers, I interviewed the king of Oscar predicting, the one who started it all way back when, Tom O’Neil. Gold Derby has been revamped and improved continually over the years, and now includes a small calendar near the predictions that will take you back to ...

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A Gone Girl Christmas

My daughter drew this for me as a Christmas present. Wishing all of you a very Merry Christmas!

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ST. VINCENT

Supporting Unsung Supporting Actresses

When Naomi Watts was nominated by the Screen Actors Guild the pundits kind of giggled and twittered about it being a major coup by the Weinstein Co. to bring an out of nowhere performance onto the Oscar stage. But really, that was just an example of dropping the ball, of ...

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Recent Posts

What will the Academy’s Doc Branch do About the new NY Times Critics Policy?

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The New York Times has announced a new policy where it will no longer — can no longer — guarantee to review every movie that comes out. Smart, considering the kind of movies that are being released now that really need no critic to review them.  It does have an impact on the Academy’s doc branch, however, because their rule requires a film to be reviewed either by the New York Times or the LA Times to qualify. It’s all on the Los Angeles Times, says a spokesperson in the Academy about the documentary branch’s rule that films must be ...

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Why is Nobody Talking About What Serial Left Out?

Undated yearbook photo of Hae Min Lee, which  Justin George copied from one of Hae's former teachers at Woodlawn High School.

Sarah Koenig today updated fans of the wildly popular, game-changing podcast series Serial with an update on the new shows, yet another award they won and the recent news about the case against Adnan Syed. Syed was the subject of the podcast and is currently serving a life sentence, 15 years in, for the murder of his ex-girlfriend, 17 year-old Hae Min Lee. While there have been plenty of websites salivating over the recent update on Syed’s case, including Huffington Post, The Frisky, and a few others, there is still a glaring flaw in the story that began with Serial ...

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AFFRM Hosts 12-Hour Twitter Takeover with over 40 Black Filmmakers

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Check it out — taking action via social media, Ava DuVernay’s AFFRM will host a 12-hour long Twitter takeover “with over 40 black feature filmmakers to raise awareness for AFFRM’s mission called Array Releasing. AFFRM + ARRAY’s amplifies varied voice and visions in film and is currently in the middle of a member drive at www.arrayaction.com.” Filmmakers from far and wide are standing with AFFRM + ARRAY from hot festival favorites like Ryan Coogler (Fruitvale Station) and Rick Famiyuwa (Dope) to studio stalwarts like Tyler Perry (For Colored Girls), Gina Prince-Bythewood (Beyond The Lights) and Malcolm Lee (The Best Man) ...

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An Appreciation of Michael Mann’s Heat, 20 Years On

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by guest author Nick Clement Find Nick here Michael Mann’s Heat represents the finest distillation of the filmmaker’s stylistic and narrative obsessions, the ultimate synthesis of plot, character, and action, all fused together in a nouveau package that still feels fresh and contemporary 20 years after its initial release. Mann, a writer/director who has often reached greatness throughout his career, appears to be most comfortable when telling stories about crime and its effects on the various people that surround his multilayered stories. A reworking of his earlier NBC movie of the week, L.A. Takedown, Heat still holds up now even ...

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The State of the Race: On the Hunt for Important Men Doing Important Things

ST. JAMES PLACE

The Oscar race could be flipped this year to feature films about important women doing important things, which would be highly significant in that it could mirror what’s happening, or might soon happen, in the Oval Office. Pixar’s Inside Out is here to represent on the animation side. Charlize Theron and her gang of feminist fugitives could dominate the effects genre films for the year, eclipsing Age of Ultron quite handily. Perhaps The Force Awakens will indeed feature a female at its center (not counting on it just yet). Finally, we have two films headed for the Best Picture race, ...

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Jacques Audiard’s Dheepan wins Palme d’Or at Cannes; Rooney Mara, Emmanuelle Bercot share Best Actress prize

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Palme d’or: Dheepan, dir. Jacques Audiard Grand Prix (second prize): Son of Saul, dir. Laszlo Nemes. Best Director: Hou Hsiao-Hsien, The Assassin Jury Prize – The Lobster, dir. Yorgos Lanthimos Best Actress: Rooney Mara, Carol & Emmanuelle Bercot, Mon Roi Best Actor: Vincent Lindon, Measure of a Man Camera d’Or – Land and Shade, writer/director Cesar Acevedo

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Festival de Cannes 2015, open thread

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[Update: the live stream of the broadcast has of course ended, but the discussion continues after the cut.] From May,13th to May,24th 2015, join us for live coverage of the Festival de Cannes Competition 24/24 (Red Carpet, Press Conferences, Photocall) TODAY’S AGENDA Sunday, 24th May 18h00 Red carpet Ice and the sky – Luc Jacquet 20h00 Awards evening 20h15 Press conference Jury 20h30 Photocall Award Winners 20h45 Press conference Award Winners 21h15 Interview Pierre Lescure and Thierry Frémaux

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Todd Haynes’ Carol awarded the Queer Palm

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Todd Haynes’ Carol has been named the winner of the 2015 Queer Palm prize at Cannes. The Queer Palm was instituted in 2010 by journalist Franck Finance-Madureira to honor films for their portrayal of LGBT themes, and is selected from among all the films nominated or screened at Cannes each year. Queer Palm Winners 2010: Kaboom – dir. Gregg Araki 2011: Beauty – dir. Oliver Hermanus 2012: Laurence Anyways – dir. Xavier Dolan 2013: Stranger by the Lake – dir. Alain Guiraudie 2014: Pride – dir. Matthew Warchus 2015: Carol – dir. Todd Haynes

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Cannes 2015: Un Certain Regard

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PRIZE OF UN CERTAIN REGARD HRÚTAR (Béliers / Rams) by Grímur Hákonarson JURY PRIZE ZVIZDAN (Soleil de plomb / The High Sun) by Dalibor Matanić BEST DIRECTOR PRIZE Kiyoshi Kurosawa for KISHIBE NO TABI (Vers l’autre rive / Journey to the Shore) UN CERTAIN TALENT PRIZE COMOARA (Le Trésor / Treasure) by Corneliu Porumboiu PROMISING FUTURE PRIZE MASAAN by Neeraj Ghaywan Ex aequo NAHID by Ida Panahandeh

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Cannes Directors’ Fortnight winners

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SACD Prize My Golden Days (Arnaud Desplechin) Europa Cinemas Label Mustang (Deniz Gamze Erguven) Art Cinema Award Embrace of the Serpent (Ciro Guerra) Illy Prize Rate Me! (Fyzal Boulifa) Special Mention The Exquisit Corpus (Peter Tscherkassky) Oceans Prize Pape (Nicolas Polixene) (via Paddy Mulholland at screenonscreen)

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Son of Saul, Masaan win Fipresci Ahead of Palme

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The International Federation of Film Critics (FIPRESCI) gave out their top awards to Son of Saul, probably the most buzzed film of the festival, and to Masaan. It is not unheard of for a film to win both this prize and the Palme d’or. Blue is the Warmest Color swept Cannes, winning both, only to then deflate somewhat once it played elsewhere. That was a good example of how things that happen in Cannes can sometimes stay in Cannes. On the other hand, Son of Saul is not loaded with the same kind of controversy nor hype. It should have ...

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Marion Cotillard and Michael Fassbender Earn Raves in Cannes

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Macbeth screened on the last day in Cannes and earned raves both for Cotillard and Fassbender. That should launch them into the race for Actor and Actress, as expected. Guy Lodge’s elegantly written review has this wonderful paragraph about Cotillard: A plum role for any actress, Lady Macbeth proves an exhilaratingly testing one for Cotillard, whose gifts as both a technician and an emotional conduit apparently know no linguistic barrier. Streaked with unearthly blue eye shadow — Jenny Shircore’s daring makeup designs are a constant marvel — and working in a cultivated Anglo-Continental accent that positions the character even more ...

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First Look: Meryl Streep in Florence Foster Jenkins

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Pathe released the first photo today of Meryl Streep as the famously tone deaf opera singer, Florence Foster Jenkins.  Jenkins tells the tale of the New York Heiress who used her money to embark on a singing career, performing in concert venues in the 1920’s.   Florence Foster Jenkins is directed by Stephen Frears. Hugh Grant plays her partner St.Clair Bayfield. The film has started shooting in the U.K    

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