The Hollywood Read ep. 14

THR LogoThe 91st Academy Awards have come and gone, and all that’s left is to pick up the pieces and make sense of a very up and down, back and forth show. On the one hand, the no-host experiment paid off. On the other: Green Book won Best Picture, which will almost instantly age into a poorly remembered choice. This week, we dive into the Oscars, the good, the bad, the Bohemian Rhapsody of it all. The show was not a disaster, but some retrograde winners reveal a divided Academy pushing back against the recent membership inclusion effort. Join us as we break it all down and get into what worked, what didn’t, and just why it is that Green Book will soon be joining the ranks of worst Best Picture.

Here is Kayleigh on the ignominy of Green Book‘s win: https://screenrant.com/green-book-worst-best-picture-oscar-winner/

And here is Sarah on anonymous voter “Chet”: https://www.laineygossip.com/this-years-anonymous-oscar-voters-reveal-no-consensus-pick-for-best-picture/52030

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The Hollywood Read ep. 13

THR LogoLast year, romantic comedies came back in a big way, fueled by the success of Crazy Rich Asians and Netflix’s “summer of love”. This week, we take a look at the rom-com revival and how this once-great staple of the cineplex is now fodder for streaming platforms. We dig into how Netflix fueled the revival by releasing several rom-coms within a few months, the landmark success of Crazy Rich Asians, and how streaming rom-coms are propping up a new generation of young stars. But we also get into the limits of the genre and wonder how long Netflix can really keep it up before they kill rom-coms just like traditional studios once did. Roll into Oscar weekend with a comparatively light-hearted episode about the one genre of film dedicated solely to making you feel good.

Here is Lana Condor in Cosmopolitan talking about how she’s too busy to be thirsty: https://www.cosmopolitan.com/entertainment/celebs/a26029103/lana-condor-cosmopolitan-cover-march/

The Hollywood Read ep. 12

THR LogoNetflix and Hulu each released a documentary about the catastrophe that was Fyre Fest in the same week, giving us a very good look into the con that fell apart in part due to the incessant social media posting of the very influencers meant to bolster the event. This week, we take a look at Fyre Fest, social media influencers, sponsored content, and the nightmare world we live in where there are no more hobbies, only side hustle. We get into online plagiarism, the Fuck FuckJerry movement, con men, and the inevitable robot takeover of human industry. Join us as we stave off despair on the frontier of social media influencer culture.

Megh Wright takes on Jerry Media’s rampant plagiarism: https://www.vulture.com/2019/02/comedy-central-fuck-jerry-instagram-ads.html

The Hollywood Read ep. 11

THR LogoDo you remember the McConaissance? That halcyon time when Matthew McConaughey reinvented his career as a dramatic actor, won an Oscar, and starred in True Detective just before Peak TV swamped us with movie stars on TV shows? This week we revisit the McConaissance and take a look at the perfect storm of conditions that made it possible for Matthew McConaughey to reinvent his career after a string of bad movies, almost all of which happen to be romantic comedies. We talk about that, auteurs, whether or not McConaughey counts as a proto-Chris, WTF was Sea of Trees, and who, if anyone, could pull off their own version of the McConaissance. We start our episode with a discussion of McConaughey’s latest film, and a Hall Of Fame flop, Serenity.

Sarah’s review of Serenity (spoilers): https://www.laineygossip.com/serenity-starring-matthew-mcconaughey-and-anne-hathaway-movie-review-with-spoilers/51850

Kayleigh’s review of Velvet Buzzsawhttp://www.pajiba.com/film_reviews/review-velvet-buzzsaw-is-scathing-art-world-satire-crossed-with-final-destination.php

Rachel Syme at The New Yorker (probably) coins The McConaissance: https://www.newyorker.com/culture/culture-desk/the-mcconaissance

Matthew McConaughey and Anne Hathaway are mad their terrible movie flopped: https://www.indiewire.com/2019/01/mcconaughey-hathaway-furious-serenity-release-aviron-pictures-defends-1202040030/

The Hollywood Read ep. 10

THR LogoThe Bryan Singer expose finally arrived, published by The Atlantic after Esquire, or rather, Hearst Communications, declined to release it. Alex French and Maximillan Potter put a year’s worth of work into connecting the dots and laying out the trail of human destruction strewn in Bryan Singer’s wake. We discuss the article, Singer, the system that enables and protects him, and how that system will continue so that people can make money and win prizes. There is also some discussion of the Oscar nominations, which are also tainted with Singer’s presence because Bohemian Rhapsody earned five nominations, including one for Rami Malek and another for Best Picture. So one year after #MeToo and #TimesUp, this is what’s happening. Listen as we try and stave off existential despair and the creeping nihilistic belief that nothing is getting better. This is a tough subject, so be kind to yourselves.

The Atlantic‘s expose: https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2019/03/bryan-singers-accusers-speak-out/580462/

Be Kind Rewind breaks down Harvey Weinstein’s Oscar campaigning: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6tihITlPAn4

If you are a survivor, and need to talk, RAINN offers 24/7 support: https://www.rainn.org/

The Hollywood Read ep. 9

THR LogoIn 1989, Spike Lee’s masterpiece Do the Right Thing premiered at Cannes, kicking off a year of controversy. Film critics blamed any potential race riots on Lee, the Cannes jury awarded Steven Soderbergh’s sex lies and videotape the Palme d’Or, something Spike Lee is still salty about, and then in 1990 came a truly momentous Academy Awards. This week, we take a look at the 62nd Oscars, honoring the films of 1989. This is the year Driving Miss Daisy won Best Picture and Do the Right Thing wasn’t even nominated. It’s the year Harvey Weinstein flexed real campaign muscle, guiding My Left Foot stars Daniel Day-Lewis and Brenda Fricker to Oscars–something he would lord over women in the industry for decades to come. With Spike Lee once again in contention this year, and up against the Miss Daisy-esque Green Book no less, we examine the narratives and Oscar strategies that took hold in 1990 and continue to impact the Academy Awards today.

Here is Matt Zoller Seitz on why Leonardo DiCaprio’s self-flagellating performance in The Revenant is bad for acting: https://www.rogerebert.com/mzs/why-leo-winning-an-oscar-for-the-revenant-would-be-bad-for-acting

And here is Natalie Walker’s epic Twitter thread mocking film stereotypes: https://twitter.com/nwalks/status/736046606940798977

The Hollywood Read ep. 8

THR LogoGerard Butler is a fascinating actor. He’s made a career mostly out of B-movie schlock, has garnered a large and loyal following, has jump-started at least one, maybe two, original-idea franchises, and he does it all for less than half what a superhero movie costs. He doesn’t seem overly concerned with his reputation as an actor, yet every character he plays has to be the Absolute! Best! At! Their! Job! This week, we dive into our odd fascination with Gerry B, his terrible movies, and pitch our own idea for a Gerard Butler action thriller. Join us as we laugh our way through Geostorm, Scottish stereotypes, and how this law-school drop out carved his way through post-millennial Hollywood.