We expect the annual announcement of Academy Awards nominations to come with a healthy set of surprises, and usually a few snubs for films that arguably deserve to be in the final round of contention for one of the biggest arts awards in the world. This year’s set of snubs was more pronounced than most, with a set of nominations that ignores the diversity of great filmmakers and films that hit theaters in 2014. We know the Academy is made up of old (less than 14% under 50), white (94%) men (77%), but even with that understood, this year’s crop of nominees is sadly, even pathetically homogenous.
Granted, there are some pleasant surprises, too, if not nearly as many as there are snubs. Here’s a list of twelve major 2015 Oscar snubs and surprises.
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Posted on Tuesday, January 13th, 2015 by David Chen
David and Devindra chat about this year’s Golden Globe winners and report back on all the films and TV shows they watched over the break. Special guest Alan Scherstuhl joins us from The Village Voice and The Village Voice Film Club. Be sure to check out Ben Aston’s Russian Roulette, how Selma is like a horror film, and what matters in Selma.
You can always e-mail us at slashfilmcast(AT)gmail(DOT)com, or call and leave a voicemail at 781-583-1993. Also, like us on Facebook!
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What just happened? For years we’ve mocked the Golden Globes as a joke, a drunken farce that leads into the last few weeks of Awards Season before the Oscars. The show is basically one last hootenanny, like New Years Eve for celebrities, before the Important Awards sweep in to codify all that is good and worthwhile from the previous calendar year. (Note: no awards actually codify anything.)
But something happened in 2015. The Golden Globes, especially when it came to awards for TV, did not appear to be decided entirely by self-congratulatory voters more interested in getting loaded with celebrities than in the actual films and shows. The film winners were almost entirely independents, and the TV winners were diverse both in who they represent, and the ways in which those stories are getting to audiences. A big win for Amazon’s Transparent isn’t just unexpected; it is a great step forward.
Now, instead of bringing attention to stuff like The Tourist, the Golden Globes suddenly look almost progressive. The problem is that some of the 2015 awards winners are still things audiences haven’t seen, for a variety of reasons. So here’s a guide to some of the lesser-known achievements the Globes highlighted this year. Read More »
Focus, simplicity and control. As I look back over the films of 2014, the ones that most stay with me are not the sprawling epics or the movies that tried to cram a surplus of ideas or technique into one story. (Sorry, Birdman and Interstellar.) They’re the movies, not even necessarily the “small” ones, that exhibit something specific in filmmaking technique, or unusually refined in their approach to story. 2014 was packed with movies I loved, and this list could easily be three times as long as it is. Below, you’ll find the ten films that have stuck with me most intensely, along with a page of extra picks that all offer something special, too. Read More »
Time and time again, you’ve heard that 2014 was a great year for movies. And it was. But as I looked back at the about 150 films I saw released in 2014, I saw a pattern. There were, in fact, lots of great movies in 2014, and in the next few pages you’ll read about a bunch of them. But I honestly feel like when I picked my favorites, the films I felt were the best released this year, they all were on an even playing field. In a way, I could’ve just given you the ten best movies I’ve seen this year in alphabetical order and called it a day. But where’s the fun in that? The fun part is sitting down and making the hard decisions about what is truly the best. So, below, read my top ten movies of 2014.
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Posted on Monday, December 29th, 2014 by Angie Han
In box office terms, 2014 wasn’t a huge year for film. But in creative terms, it’s hard to fault this year’s crop. It contained at least one once-in-a-lifetime masterpiece, not to mention one of the greatest horror movies in years, several big-budget franchise-builders that soared way past expectations, and some completely out-of-nowhere gems.
As the year winds to a close, I’ve taken a moment to look back at some highlights. As usual, this shouldn’t be considered an objective list of the year’s best film, but an entirely subjective list of favorites. Run down my top 10 films of 2014 with me after the jump.
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The Christmas vacation week has been a great time for movies for many years now. Knowing that people are on vacation and (possibly) eager to escape the odd family obligation or two, studios plan big releases for Christmas day, which is also conveniently one of the last big release dates of the year, making the time also a prime spot for the release of films with big award season campaigns. That means there are also many choices this week, from new releases to films that have been in theaters for a week or more, and the plethora of VOD offerings. So here’s a list of twenty movies to watch this Christmas.
Here, we’ll run down the big options for Christmas week movies, and give you some clue of which audiences might get the most out of each. Read More »
Posted on Friday, December 19th, 2014 by Angie Han
The right director and the right script don’t mean anything without the right actor. Performers are the ones who bridge the gap between the minds behind the camera and the ones in front of the screen. It is their personalities that draw us in, their expressions that tell the story, and their faces that we remember.
There were no shortage of great performances this year, across all genres and all budgets. Inevitably, a few stood out above the rest. See our list of the best performances of 2014 after the jump. Read More »
In the US we’ve just seen the sad turnout for a midterm election in which the under-30 crowd accounted for only 13% of voter turnout, and the 30-44 age group was only another 22%. The 45-64 year olds turned out in far greater numbers — more of that age range than of everyone younger combined. Naturally, election results swing to the interests of that one voting bloc, and that bloc does not have the interests of everyone in mind.
So it’s a good time to be reminded that some voting rights were hard-won and should be used, no matter how cynical one may be about the process. (I speak as someone who is very cynical about the process.) In Selma, David Oyelowo plays Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The film follows the assassinated civil rights leader’s organization of three marches from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama, meant to protest unjust voting restrictions. Like other Civil Rights Movement actions, these marches faced violent opposition, but also raised awareness of the inequality suffered by African-Americans. Watch the first Selma trailer below.
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