The wildest part of this year’s Oscar race wasn’t the unpredictability; it was the noise. I’ve been watching the Oscars since 1997, more than half my life now, and I don’t think there’s been a race so obfuscated by feelings over facts, by reactions to reactionaries, by minute-by-minute “momentum shifts” that never really felt like they were there. Plus, Moonlight’s historic win last year over a loved—but also hated—La La Land has given professional pundits and amateur watchers pause in predicting the picture that every indicator suggests is the winner: Three Billboards Outside Ebbing Missouri.
It’s not Oscar season without frontrunner backlash, and Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri is getting a lot of heat from a lot of places ever since its wins at the Globes and the Screen Actors Guild awards. But then the Oscar nominations happened. Notably absent from the Best Director category was Martin McDonagh, the playwright-turned-director at the helm of the Best Picture favorite and a previous Oscar winner for his short film Six Shooter. Could it be the backlash setting in? Or maybe it’s as simple as McDonagh making a writer’s movie and not a director’s movie? Continue reading “THREE BILLBOARDS is the movie of the moment, for better or worse”
Jeff Nichols’s latest film, Midnight Special, is a beautiful, sad, striking work of cinematic art. There’s my review in a nutshell. I loved it. But there’s a very strong criticism from even some people who share my opinion: That ending. Continue reading “Why That MIDNIGHT SPECIAL Ending Makes Perfect Sense”
Zack Snyder isn’t a filmmaker. He’s a bro with an entourage that happens to have cameras.
I’m not saying this to offend Mr. Snyder or his fans. I think they’re all aware of this. I’m saying it as a DC kid who grew up to watch his heroes become selfish man-children. And honestly, I’m not as outraged as I thought I would be after watching Snyder’s Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. Because it’s hard to be upset when you ask Pauly D to be Pasolini.
James Cameron’s Avatar is no longer king of the domestic box office world. Star Wars: The Force Awakens took the top spot in North America officially on Wednesday, January 6, 2016. And with that record broken, we’ve been talking about Avatar more now than we ever have in years. It’s the biggest film of all-time worldwide with a stunning $2.7 billion in the bank, a figure that even the Star Wars juggernaut is unlikely to topple. Yet, we don’t make reference to it in everyday conversation. We don’t dress up like the characters every Halloween. We don’t think about it—ever. So how is it that Avatar, a film that made a half billion dollars more worldwide than Cameron’s equally blockbusting Titanic, is gone from most of our cinematic and cultural memories?