Posts Tagged ‘Academy Awards’

My 10 Favorite Films of 2013

February 24, 2014 3 comments
image via

12 Years a Slave image via

Well, my goal to create a list of my favorite films of 2013 BEFORE the Oscar telecast on March 5th has finally been met. Many are touting ’13 as one of the more memorable years for film in recent memory, and I’d have to agree. As soon as the fall/winter awards season arrived, it seemed as if one interesting film after another was out every weekend. That’s the way it should be — it’s not called “awards season” for nothing — but 2013 was extra impressive.

Auteurs really made their mark. Directors like Scorsese, Allen, Jonze, Greengrass and Payne showed off why they’re so highly regarded as artists. It was a great year of some career-best performances from people like Cate Blanchett, Hugh Jackman, Matthew McConaughey and Michael Read more…


My Thoughts on ‘Amour’

December 10, 2012 5 comments

'Amour' opens in limited release on Dec. 19th, 2012.

‘Amour’ opens in limited release on Dec. 19th, 2012. (image via

I’m a pretty devoted fan of Austrian filmmaker Michael Haneke at this point. With previous films like the The White RibbonThe Piano TeacherFunny Games (both of them), and Caché, he’s more than solidified his spot on a short list of all-time great writer-directors. The talented auteur’s latest offering is Amour, and although it’s less violent and obviously shocking than the aforementioned movies, it’s nevertheless a devastating and emotionally gripping experience that may be the most respectful and forthright film about marriage that I’ve ever seen.

Georges (Jean-Louis Trintignant) and Anne (Emmanuelle Riva) are an elderly couple who seem to live a quiet, comfortable life in their Paris apartment. They clearly share a comfortableness with one another that only decades of closeness can create.  Their foundation is shaken, however, when Anne begins to experience some debilitating medical issues that leave her in a wheelchair, which is apparently similar to something that Haneke experienced with a family member in real life. I won’t go into great detail in an effort to stay spoiler free, but I will say that watching Anne’s struggle with her new circumstances is painful to watch, as is Georges’ efforts to keep her well.

That’s really all you need to know about the film’s story because what unfolds over the course of 127 minute running time needs to experienced, not explained. The bulk of relationship films that show a couple struggling Read more…

A Quick Note About the Great Bob Hoskins

August 8, 2012 1 comment

Bob Hoskins is an actor who I am always happy to see on screen. Sadly, it now seems that I’ll never see him show up and elevate a new film ever again.

Hoskins’ agent released a statement that reveals the superb actor from films like Mona Lisa, Who Framed Roger Rabbit?HookNixon, and The Long Good Friday will now retire from acting due to a Parkinson’s Disease diagnosis. It’s a sad end to an exceptional career.

I’m not going to pretend to know a great deal about the man, and I’ve honestly not seen all of the films in which he has starred. However, I remember every single Bob Hoskins performance that I have seen. That might seem obvious– why wouldn’t I remember something I’ve seen before– but there are a lot of forgettable actors and forgettable performances. Hoskins has a quality that few possess, and that is he stands out from everyone. It’s not “movie star” gloss or bombastic onscreen actions, but a genuine likability and honesty that Read more…

My 13 Favorite Horror Films: Unabridged

April 22, 2012 9 comments

Thank you for all of the kind feedback on the first half of my 13 Favorite Horror Films list. Now, here’s the complete countdown:

I think I’ve been asked, “Do you like horror movies?” more than any other film-centric question. People LOVE horror films of all kinds, but I’ve always felt somewhat out of the loop because I’ve never responded much to them. So when people would ask if I like horror, I generally responded by saying I just like good movies, some of which end up being horrific by genre; meanwhile, all I could think is how much I hate things like Final DestinationI Know What You Did Last Summer, or the Leprechaun films. Torture porn like the Saw or Hostel franchises don’t do much for me either. This overall judgmental attitude was wrong, however, because the term “horror” evoked the wrong feeling in me. I shouldn’t have thought of bad acting, hokey music, and goofy violence when thinking of horror. Just like anything else, there’s good and there’s bad, so I started to focus on what makes a great scary movie rather than what makes a bad one.

Maybe it’s years of systematic desensitization or maybe I’m a born sociopath, but I don’t frighten too easily anymore. Even if a loud burst of music cues while a mirror breaks onscreen, that brief moment of surprise doesn’t leave me feeling scared. I need Read more…

My (unnecessary) Disgust with the Oscars

January 26, 2012 2 comments

Well, I mentioned in previous posts (here and here) how much I loved the performances this year of Michael Fassbender in Shame and Tilda Swinton in We Need to Talk About Kevin. About the thespians, I said, “It’s a good thing these two aren’t competing with one another for awards because I would be at a loss when choosing a favorite.” Thanks to the oh-so-wise-and-cutting-edge  jackasses at the Academy, I’m in no danger of choosing my favorite actor or actress this year.

I hate to say it, but I was fuming when I read the Oscar nominees that were announced on Tuesday morning. I know it’s silly to be so incensed over something so trivial and vain, but I feel like I am the Academy Awards demographic– I love movies! I love the art Read more…