The Hollywood Read ep. 2

THR LogoSteve McQueen’s new film, Widows, is not performing well at the box office, which could doom its Oscar hopes. It shouldn’t! But it does! Because the Oscars are ridiculous and only getting more so as the Academy tries to find ways to combat the slipping ratings which are still really high. This week Kayleigh Donaldson and Sarah Marrs discuss Widows, the Oscars, that proposed “popular Oscar” category everyone is ready to throw out of a moving car, and how box office and popularity impact award campaigns. So join us for the first in a series of discussions about the upcoming Oscars and how they will be different from any previous Oscars ceremony. Also: GO SEE WIDOWS.

Kayleigh’s Widows review can be found here.

Sarah’s Widows review can be found here.

Yell at Kayleigh here: 

And yell at Sarah here: @Cinesnark

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Handicapping the Oscars: Too close to call

86th_Academy_Awards_posterMan, I thought last year was tough. Well, this year is just as bad. Maybe even worse because at least there year there are some really obvious films that ought to walk away with a lot of awards (12 Years a Slave for all the big stuff, Her for stuff like writing, production design and music, Gravity for technical categories), but because Her is “weird” and 12 Years doesn’t pat white people on the back for ending racism in 1962, what should be obvious becomes occluded. Last year, the politics of campaigning mattered. This year it’s less about that and more about the sheer arbitrariness of taste. Continue reading “Handicapping the Oscars: Too close to call”

Meet your totally expected 2014 Oscar nominees

2013 was a great year in film. It was a “dart year”, meaning that if you threw a dart, you would hit a movie deserving of recognition and praise. It’s the kind of year where there are no real snubs, simply because there was an abundance of good work, not only from actors and directors, but writers, cinematographers, editors, composers, stylists, and engineers—everyone was firing on all cylinders last year. That said, there will definitely be regrets about the 2014 Oscars within five years. Not all of these movies are going to hold up—in fact, I can already pick four on the Best Picture list that won’t hold up at all: American Hustle, Captain Phillips, Dallas Buyers Club and The Wolf of Wall Street.

american-hustle Continue reading “Meet your totally expected 2014 Oscar nominees”

Best & Worst of the Oscars 2013

That show felt really, really long, right? In actual running time it was average (around three and a half hours) but it felt like it took all year to watch. I’m putting it down to the horrible direction. That was a really, truly, terribly directed telecast. No sense of rhythm or pace and not nearly enough cutaways to the audience to make it worth our time. We watch for the cutaways as much for anything else. We want to see George Clooney’s face when someone makes a joke about his younger girlfriends. We want to see Joaquin Phoenix bitchfacing the host to death when he hopes Phoenix is “on his meds”. I, personally, wanted to see some cutaways to Academy bigwigs when Robert Downey, Jr., plainly annoyed, snapped, “Biggest movie of the year, but only got one Oscar nomination”.

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Continue reading “Best & Worst of the Oscars 2013”