Category: Oscar Contenders

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The universal language of cinema: ‘Parasite’ breaks barriers as 92nd Academy Award winner for Best Picture

Once you overcome the one-inch tall barrier of subtitles, you will be introduced to so many more amazing films. – Bong Joon-ho, Oscar-winning writer and director of “Parasite” Before Sunday night, a lot of things were different in the world of cinema. A foreign language film had never won Best Picture at the Academy Awards; no South Korean film had ever earned a nomination; … Read More The universal language of cinema: ‘Parasite’ breaks barriers as 92nd Academy Award winner for Best Picture

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92nd Academy Awards preview: Parasite v 1917

For the sake of posterity, here are my predictions and thoughts on tonight’s Academy Awards: Best Picture: Going to win – 1917, the runaway winner at BAFTA and odds on favorite tonight, the Academy will likely favor an old standard in Best Picture winners: the technically proficient, period war epic Should win – Parasite, probably sitting in the runner-up chair, Bong Joon-Ho’s masterpiece has … Read More 92nd Academy Awards preview: Parasite v 1917

1917: War close at hand

You’ll never see Roger Deakins on screen, but he’s in every frame of director Sam Mendes’ new war epic “1917,” from the opening frames bathed across a sea of endless green grass until the final cut to black before the credits. World-renowned as a master craftsman in his art, the British-born Deakins achieves his magnum opus with “1917” – a visual spectacle combining his … Read More 1917: War close at hand

Uncut Gems: Loving the uncomfortable

Tense situations often provide for the best drama and leave bystanders watching things unfolding on the sidelines captivated in awe. It’s a compulsion that pulls us to slow down and gawk at accidents and train-wrecks; the very thing that allows a television program like “The Jerry Springer Show” to exist. Cinematically, that uncomfortable draw that keeps audiences on the edge of their seats can … Read More Uncut Gems: Loving the uncomfortable

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Little Women: Frantic urgency in domestic life

Another period drama remake of an oft-told story isn’t what cinema needs these days. There’s far too little originality in filmmaking to warrant updated versions of a book that already has six feature film adaptations. “Little Women” is the exception. From the opening moments where writer/director Greta Gerwig begins at the end, it’s readily apparent that Louisa May Alcott’s classic coming-of-age novel about four … Read More Little Women: Frantic urgency in domestic life

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The Rise of Skywalker: No real end to never-ending saga

Millions upon millions of dollars have been poured into a series of Flash Gordon-esque movies about the unseen “Force” around us for the better part of a half-century. Many millions more have been poured into the bank accounts of Disney execs by casual and ardent fans of the acclaimed “Star Wars” franchise that reached its summation this weekend with director JJ Abrams’ second turn … Read More The Rise of Skywalker: No real end to never-ending saga

Marriage Story: Finding the beginning in the end

We’ve been told there’s two sides to every story. Often it feels as if it’s as simple as the truth and then anything other than the truth. But what happens when both sides of the story are true but conflict, or worse yet, outright contradict one another? Writer/director Noah Baumbach explores this complex duality through the structure of a fractured relationship in his latest … Read More Marriage Story: Finding the beginning in the end

A Beautiful Day In The Neighborhood: The measure of a man

What is the impact that one person can have on another? How is that one life can intensely, irreversibly be altered by coming into contact with someone? It’s a common theme in modern cinema, but rarely told as simply and unapologetically in a PG-rated film as director Marielle Heller’s latest film. “A Beautiful Day In The Neighborhood” is not a biopic. It’s a wonderfully … Read More A Beautiful Day In The Neighborhood: The measure of a man

The Irishman: Legacy of a cinematic Don

At the end of the day, what’s it all about? It’s a question that continuously lingers under the surface of celebrated auteur Martin Scorsese’s latest feature, a melancholy retrospective that acts almost like a career summation filled with riddles of bullets and dynamically vulgar dialogue. For the premier filmmaker in the gangster genre, Scorsese’s “The Irishman” definitively closes the book on how crime dramas … Read More The Irishman: Legacy of a cinematic Don

Jojo Rabbit: A funny thing about Adolf Hitler

Comedy is the ultimate playground for escapism, for letting the worries and cares of daily life fade away in order to decompress and unwind. The best comedies, though, usually have unexpectedly a little bit more to say on their minds than first glance might suggest. There’s a hysterical new comedy hitting theaters this fall that combines a stellar, side-splitting screenplay and award-worthy performances. It’s … Read More Jojo Rabbit: A funny thing about Adolf Hitler

Parasite: South Korean masterpiece one of decade’s best films

Spoiler alert: The best film of 2019 doesn’t star Leonardo DiCaprio and isn’t directed by Martin Scorsese. Average American audiences probably haven’t heard of filmmaker Bong Joon Ho or his frequent collaborator Kang-ho Song, but their latest feature together is the best South Korean film of all time and a top five movie of the last decade by any measure. “Parasite,” a haunting and … Read More Parasite: South Korean masterpiece one of decade’s best films

Dolemite Is My Name: Return of a comedy legend

From the moment he begins a verbal diatribe that drowns out Marvin Gaye, it’s apparent that Eddie Murphy has a special passion for his latest role. It’s evident in the way he carries himself, in the timbre of his voice and the cadence with which he recite lyrical tongue-twisters with effortless repetition. Murphy melts into his homage to one of his mentors and heroes, … Read More Dolemite Is My Name: Return of a comedy legend