Which films will be remembered in 50 years?

Posted by · 9:33 am · August 14th, 2009

It is nothing new for a film to be released, find no audience, no critical favor, and disappear to be discovered by a new generation and raised to the level of masterpiece. In fact, this has been going on since the silents. Charlie Chaplin’s masterpiece “City Lights” was released four years after the advent of […]

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WEEKLY WRAP: Buried treasure, reading pleasure

Posted by · 11:30 pm · July 11th, 2009

Entirely slipped my mind to do this on Friday, but here’s what we (and you) were talking about this week: • At 2009’s halfway mark, this week’s list shone a light on the year’s most undersung films thus far. • In Page to Screen this week, we eagerly sank our teeth into Dennis Lehane’s “Shutter […]

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Five years on, Gibson’s ‘Christ’ still moving, misunderstood

Posted by · 1:48 pm · July 10th, 2009

Five years have passed since the release of Mel Gibson’s extraordinary film “The Passion of the Christ,” a self-financed work that would eventually stun the industry, bringing in more than $600 million worldwide. There were gales of protest about the film, religious leaders spoke out, some for it , some actually against it, and audiences […]

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INTERVIEW: ‘The Stoning of Soraya M.’ director Cyrus Nowrasteh

Posted by · 1:03 pm · June 26th, 2009

Those seeking a cinematic escape from this week’s barrage of “Transformers” silliness couldn’t find a much more sober alternative than Cyrus Nowrasteh’s “The Stoning of Soraya M.,” an adaptation of the non-fiction bestseller by French-Iranian journalist Freidoune Sahebjam. A spare, moving study of gender persecution in 1980s Iran, as frank and unpretentious as its title, […]

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The new millennium Oscars?

Posted by · 9:53 am · January 18th, 2009

Looking back over the previous Oscar winners for Best Picture since 2000, the start of a new century (and a new millennium), I find myself wondering sometimes what the hell the Academy was thinking.  It’s no secret I disagree with the Academy a lot, but I can also admit that when they get it right, […]

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Why does the Academy fear controversy?

Posted by · 10:52 am · November 12th, 2008

In 1969, the Academy saw fit to give “Midnight Cowboy” the award for Best Picture — a first ever for an X-rated film.  Some saw the moment as a bellwether signaling a new dawn for the group, that they were developing a growing acceptance for the films that would start coming at them around this […]

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What does early (and excessive) Oscar hype do to a film’s chances?

Posted by · 3:31 pm · September 20th, 2008

In 1996, a fall movie preview of Entertainment Weekly arrived in my mailbox, the cast of “The Crucible” staring back at me on the cover, making clear to me this was going to be THE film of the fall. There were rumors floating within the industry that the film, based on the Arthur Miller play, […]

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Movies that Oscar missed

Posted by · 12:12 pm · May 26th, 2008

As film junkies, we all know it happens. Usually every single year there are one or more films the Academy passes over for Best Picture consideration, in some cases because there are, after all, just five slots available, but in others because, well — they blew it. Like the rest of you, I sit and […]

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Actors winning Best Director — always deserved?

Posted by · 6:51 am · May 1st, 2008

Of course not. Quite often the Academy gets behind an actor for the simple reason they pulled of the film without screwing too much up. How else can one explain Mel Gibson’s win for “Braveheart” but failure to be nominated for his masterpiece “The Passion of the Christ” and “Apocalypto,” easily two of the finest […]

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