Reacting to The Irishman VFX

The Morning Watch is a recurring feature that highlights a handful of noteworthy videos from around the web. They could be video essays, fanmade productions, featurettes, short films, hilarious sketches, or just anything that has to do with our favorite movies and TV shows.

In this edition, VFX artists react to the de-aging technology used in Martin Scorsese‘s The Irishman, which was nominated for an Oscar for Best Visual Effects, and a few more movies. Plus, The Hollywood Reporter has an actress roundtable with Renee Zellweger, Jennifer Lopez, Scarlett Johansson, and more. And finally, Jude Law breaks down his career on film on television. Read More »

Hoai-Tran Bui’s Top 10 Movies of 2019

hoai-tran bui's top 10 movies of 2019

I don’t remember a year where I struggled more to narrow down my favorite movies. It’s almost ridiculous how jam-packed 2019 was with excellent films: from stunning debut features to contemplative epics by masters of their craft, to character dramas that plunged into unimagined depths, to cozy family fables that unexpectedly cut like a knife, to the embarrassment of riches floating in from abroad. Movies had so much to say, and they said it brilliantly.

These are just a few of my favorite things, but even at the last minute I was shuffling this list around. So in honor of those movies that almost made the cut, here are my honorable mentions:  The Irishman, The Lighthouse, Us, Ad Astra, Marriage Story, Varda by Agnes, John Wick Chapter 3, Transit, Long Day’s Journey Into Night.

With that, here are my top 10 movies of 2019.

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Chris Evangelista’s Top 10 Movies of 2019

Chris Evangelista's Top 10 Movies of 2019

It was another great year for movies, where we were blessed by new classics from beloved auteurs and new works of genius from fresh faces. Where sophomore efforts turned out to be magnificent titles in their own right. And, perhaps most interesting of all, where multiple movies conveyed a similar, and timely, “eat the rich” motto. My name is Chris Evangelista, and I approve this message. These are the 10 best movies of 2019, according to me.

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the farewell real grandmother

Lulu Wang‘s deeply personal, disarmingly universal story of culture clash and family grief became an indie phenomenon when it premiered at the Sundance Film Festival last year. Based on Wang’s own experiences, The Farewell tells the story of a Chinese family who decides not to tell their grandmother that she has Stage 4 lung cancer, and the Chinese-American granddaughter (Golden Globe winner Awkwafina) who struggles with this decision.

But what about the real grandmother that the story is based on? She never found out the truth, even when Wang first told the story on This American Life in 2016, nor when Wang began shooting her film in her grandmother’s hometown in China. Wang and her family would have liked to keep it that way, but due to Chinese-language reviews published ahead of The Farewell‘s upcoming release in China, Wang’s grandmother found out the truth.

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The Best Female-Directed Movies of the Decade

best female-directed movies of the decade

(This article is part of our Best of the Decade series.)

The 2010s were a banner decade for female directors. Despite the still abysmally low number of women working behind the camera, women directors have made significant strides in Hollywood and across the globe, earning as much or even more acclaim — and now, as much money — as their male counterparts.

In just the past decade, which came off of Kathryn Bigelow becoming the first woman to win the Academy Award for Best Director, Greta Gerwig became the new generation’s rising star, Patty Jenkins became the highest-paid female director working in Hollywood, and acclaimed indie filmmakers like Chloe Zhao and Ava DuVernay used their weight to land high-profile superhero jobs or boost other rising diverse directors. We still have a long way to go, but the glass ceiling has already started to accumulate plenty of cracks.

So without further ado, here are the best female directed movies of the decade, listed in alphabetical order.

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Top 25 Movies of 2019

We’re getting closer to the end of 2019, and that means the year-end lists delivering what critics think are the best movies of the year are starting to arrive. It’s a little early, especially since some of the movies appearing on lists haven’t hit theaters yet, but many critics have seen those movies in advance thanks to deadlines for voting bodies to determine their awards nominations. That brings us to film critic David Ehrlich‘s traditional video countdown of the Top 25 Movies of 2019. Did any of your favorites make the cut? Find out below. Read More »

gotham awards 2019 nominees

Awards season has officially begun with the announcement of the Gotham Awards 2019 nominees. The awards ceremony from the Independent Filmmaker Project has always marked the unofficial start of movie awards season, and from the looks of it, this will be A24 and Netflix’s year. The independent studio and the streaming giant dominated the indie honors, with A24’s The Farewell, Uncut Gems, and The Last Black Man in San Francisco leading the charge with three nods each, and Netflix’s Marriage Story scoring the same.

See how awards season could start shaping up with a look at the full list of Gotham Awards 2019 nominees.

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the farewell mandarin version

The Farewell is returning to theaters for a special Grandparents Day release. This weekend, The Farewell Mandarin version is coming to theaters, with the entire film subtitled in Mandarin for the film to reach an audience that will get to see themselves in the movie.

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The Farewell Script Breakdown

The Morning Watch is a recurring feature that highlights a handful of noteworthy videos from around the web. They could be video essays, fanmade productions, featurettes, short films, hilarious sketches, or just anything that has to do with our favorite movies and TV shows.

In this edition, a new edition of Lessons from the Screenplay breaks down how the action of The Matrix allows for the easy unloading of exposition. Plus, writer/director Lulu Wang breaks down the process of rewriting her screenplay for the indie darling The Farewell, and Groundhog Day and Four Weddings and a Funeral star Andie MacDowell looks back at some of her most memorable role over the years. Read More »

Cool Posts From Around the Web:

The Farewell streaming deal

Lulu Wang‘s The Farewell tells the story of Billi, a Chinese-American artist who discovers that her grandmother is dying of cancer. Her initial distress intensifies when she realizes that her family has no intention to tell grandma about the diagnosis, although they do schedule a mock wedding so the family can have one big get-together to say goodbye.

In today’s day and age, movies like The Farewell are a miracle. When even movies based on hit franchises can’t get any traction with critics or the box officeThe Farewell, which is continuing to expand in theaters this weekend, has found its place as one of the most emotionally powerful films of year. The film has achieved this success despite taking place mostly in a different language, having no explosions or action scenes, and with a cast devoid of household names (beyond Awkwafina, who is excellent here).

I had a chance to watch The Farewell at the Seattle International Film Festival last month and was fortunate enough to chat with Wang afterward. We talked about the style of the film, the challenges of the Chinese-American experience, and how the power of “no” got the film to where it is today.
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