Schindler's List

24 Jan 19
OZeBuys

Experience one of the most historically significant films of all time like never before in the 20th Anniversary Edition of Steven Spielberg’s cinematic masterpiece. Schindler’s List tells the incredible true story of the enigmatic Oskar Schindler (Liam Neeson), who saved the lives of more than 1,100 Jews during the Holocaust and whose lessons of courage […]

23 Jan 19
Fugue for Thought

performed by the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra under Mariss Jansons, or below by the Royal Scottish National Orchestra under Neeme Järvi (cover image by Michal Dolnik) Thankfully, we have now arrived at uncontested, overwhelming greatness in Shostakovich’s symphonic output. Not only that, it must certainly be one of the most arresting, monumental, important, tragic, powerful […]

23 Jan 19
GoldDerby
The Oscar nominations were announced on January 22, and in only a day literally thousands of Gold Derby users have chimed in with their predictions. That includes the Expert journalists we’ve polled from top media outlets, and their early consensus is that “Roma” will make history by winning Best Picture … unless it’s “BlacKkKlansman.” As of this writing, 11 Experts are betting on a win for “Roma”: Thelma Adams (Gold Derby), Edward Douglas (Weekend Warrior), Matthew Jacobs (Huffington Post), Tariq Khan (Fox TV), Michael Musto (NewNowNext), Tom O’Neil (Gold Derby), Kevin Polowy (Yahoo), Claudia Puig (KPCC), Christopher Rosen (TVGuide.com), Anne Thompson (IndieWire) and Susan Wloszczyna (Gold Derby). SEE Congratulations, Marina de Tavira (‘Roma’): You just became the 18th Oscar nominee without bids from any of Critics’ Choice, SAG Awards and Golden Globes It’s easy to see why. “Roma” tied “The Favourite” as the most nominated film of the year, and in doing so it exceeded our expectations in a big way. It earned two acting nominations (for lead actress Yalitza Aparicio and supporting actress Marina de Tavira) when we thought even one would be lucky for the film. And the intimate family drama even earned noms for Best Sound Mixing and Best Sound Editing, awards that usually favor action movies and musicals. But it would be an unconventional Best Picture champ to say the least. It would be the first foreign language film ever to win, the first Netflix streaming movie to win, and only the third black-and-white movie in the last quarter century to win, following “Schindler’s List” (1993) and “The Artist” (2011). If “Roma” can really pull it off, then the Oscars are truly entering a brave new world. [pmc-related-link href=”https://www.goldderby.com/article/2019/spike-lee-oscar-nominations-top-5-ways-he-made-history-with-his-blackkklansman-bids/” type=”SEE” target=”_self”]Spike Lee Oscar nominations: Top 5 ways he made history with his ‘BlacKkKlansman’ bids[/pmc-related-link] But Tim Gray (Variety) is the minority report among Experts, predicting a win for “BlacKkKlansman.” It doesn’t have as many nominations as “Roma” (just six for the Spike Lee joint), but it’s nominated in every field a film usually needs to signify a Best Picture front-runner: acting, writing, directing and film editing. “Roma,” meanwhile, missed in the Editing category, and only one film in the last 37 years has won Best Picture without that corresponding nomination: “Birdman” (2014). “Klansman” also has the advantage of its SAG Award nominations. Its ensemble cast earned a bid there, while “Roma” was entirely shut out. Only two films have ever won Best Picture at the Oscars without a corresponding SAG Award nomination for their ensemble casts: “Braveheart” (1995) and “The Shape of Water” (2017). [pmc-related-link href=”https://www.goldderby.com/article/2019/oscar-nominations-yalitza-aparicio-marina-de-tavira-roma-latina-nominees/” type=”SEE” target=”_self”]‘Roma’ stars Yalitza Aparicio and Marina de Tavira join short list of Latina acting Oscar nominees[/pmc-related-link] The fact that the exceptions to those rules were so recent is good news for “Roma” — maybe those crystal balls have lost their luster. But it still means that “Klansman” has ticked boxes during this awards season that “Roma” hasn’t. So it doesn’t appear that this race is a done deal just yet. Many more Experts and users are yet to make their predictions, and many more awards groups are yet to decide their winners. The tide could turn yet again. [predictions-widget id=1202617374] [pmc-related-link href=”https://www.goldderby.com/leagues/” type=”PREDICT” target=”_self”]the Oscars now; change them until February 24[/pmc-related-link] Be sure to check out how our experts rank this year’s Oscar contenders. Then take a look at the most up-to-date combined odds before you make your own Oscar predictions. Don’t be afraid to jump in now since you can keep changing your predictions until winners are announced on February 24.
23 Jan 19
Travelling with Lees

The history of Jewish people in Poland is an interesting and long one. It’s also a very sad one as during World War 2 Krakow was a place that was targeted by the Nazi’s. Kazimierz was the name of the Jewish Quarter and we went to have a look. It was interesting to walk through […]

23 Jan 19
Brian Baumann Movie Reviews

Roma is one of the best films of the year and one the most emotionally involving films I have seen in some time. It’s a gut-puncher sledgehammer of a passion film directed by Alfonso Cuaron soon to be an all time master filmmaker along the lines of Scorsese, Spielberg and Weir. Roma may never become a […]

22 Jan 19
IndieWire
Alfonso Cuaron’s “Roma” has tied “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” with 10 Oscar nominations, the most ever for a non-English language contender. This comes on the heels of wins from the New York and Los Angeles critics’ groups, along with multiple guild nominations, and a best director Golden Globes award. What once looked like a streaming-service outlier is now a serious, if not leading, contender to win the industry’s top award. In the nine-decade history of the Academy, no foreign-language film has ever won. (“The Artist” was a French film, but it was silent.) Nine foreign-language films received five or more nominations among all categories (some — but not all — included Foreign Language Film). Of these, perhaps two — “Z” and “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” — had a legitimate shot at winning Best Picture. The ascension of “Roma” isn’t certain. It’s receiving limited theatrical play (approaching $3 million in the U.S. per our estimate, the best for any specialized subtitled film in recent years), and is streaming worldwide on Netflix — although that’s something that didn’t dissuade the Academy in its nominations. It is also a black-and-white film, a format that has seen only two Best Picture winners (“Schindler’s List” and “The Artist”) since 1960. We’ve looked back at the 90-year history of the Oscars and its arms’-length relationship with foreign-language films in major categories. What’s revealed is a steep and choppy path to success — but the path is there. 1969: “Z” The first foreign-language Best Picture nominee was Jean Renoir’s “Grand Illusion” in 1938; it was 30 years before there was another with “Z” in 1969. Its position as a contender stemmed from a confluence of good timing, topicality, and a new wrinkle in critics’ group judgments. Cinema V was a New York-based distributor, run by leading specialized exhibitor Don Rugoff, that found success maximizing unlikely non-studio films like surfing documentary “The Endless Summer” and Swedish romance “Elvira Madigan.” “Z” was a political thriller from little-known Greek director Costa-Gavras, based in France in exile from his country’s military dictators. Led by two French actors — the iconic Yves Montand and up-and-coming Jean-Louis Trintignant — it won two prizes at Cannes. Rugoff backed the big-city openings in December (at a time when late-year entries weren’t as common as today). He bet on its success by opening in multiple markets, with far more advertising than normally was spent for a foreign title. It paid immediate dividends. Reviews were rapturous, led by Pauline Kael who provided the money quote: “Remember when the movie ads used to say ‘It will knock you out of your seat?’ ” Well, Z damn near does.” But what then boosted it was a change in rules by the New York Film Critics. The previous year, the more-traditional “The Lion in Winter” narrowly edged John Cassavetes’ “Faces” for best film. That led the group to expand its membership beyond newspaper-only voter to magazines, and also allowed non-English films to compete for the top prize. “Z” won top film from the New York Film Critics Circle, at a time when it was considered the most important prize other than the Oscar. Twelve of the its previous 15 selections went on to win the Oscar. The other leading critics’ group, the somewhat more highbrow National Society of Film Critics (only in its fourth year, always open to subtitled films), also chose “Z.” Roger Ebert, still in his 20s, named it as his best film, as did many other critics. Cinema V then hired a former Warner Bros. publicist with Oscar experience to spread the word and reach the right voters in Los Angeles. With nominations then coming out in mid-February, word of mouth to spread from an aggressive screening campaign. When nominations came out, “Z” had five – Picture, Director, Adapted Screenplay, Film Editing (then as now a key indicator of Best Picture legitimacy), and Foreign Language Film (as Algeria’s submission, not France’s, which got its own nomination). It was a year with no clear favorite. “Hello, Dolly” made it in as a last-gasp, year-end big-budget release; “Anne of the Thousand Days” led the nominations and swept the Golden Globes, but its history lesson focusing on Richard Burton’s performance with then-newcomer Genevieve Bujold seemed out of step with the times. “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid” was a massive hit (the year’s biggest, in adjusted grosses, not far behind “Black Panther”) but somewhat lightweight for a Best Picture. “Midnight Cowboy,” grossed a little less than half as much (not quite $300 million in 2018 terms). That was a massive success, more so for an X-rated film (a broader designation in the code’s early days), but its content was seen as a potential problem. “Midnight Cowboy” came out in the summer and didn’t score key early prizes. With an open field, “Z” had a shot and an aggressive campaign. Ultimately, “Z” lost to Midnight Cowboy, which also won Director and Adapted Screenplay. “Z” won its certain Foreign Language award, but also Editing — the first time it went to a non-English language title. That suggests that members saw and appreciated the craft. Editing went to the Best Picture winner nine of the preceding 13 years, and the win suggested a new openness to films across the board. Cinema V took the opportunity and ran with it, ultimately grossing the equivalent of over $80 million (most of which came from dubbed English-language prints). Specialized companies noted that they now had a broader playing field. “Cries and Whispers” Over the next 30 years, only four subtitled films scored Best Picture nominations. Two were Swedish, both starring Liv Ullman — Jan Troell’s epic “The Emigrants” (released in the U.S. by Warner Brothers) and Ingmar Bergman’s “Cries and Whispers” (the first subtitled Cinematography winner); the other two were 1990s Miramax releases, “Il  Postino” and “Life Is Beautiful.” The latter won Best Actor (only the second time for a lead performance not in English), Foreign Language Film, and Score. It never felt like a serious contender to win Best Picture, particularly with Miramax pushing for its own “Shakespeare in Love” (the upset winner) that year. Three years later brought “Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon” from Ang Lee who, like Alfonso Cuaron, was a known American industry presence. It was a major commercial success with a domestic gross (adjusted) over $200 million. second only to the estimate for “La Dolce Vita” ($250 million) for subtitled films in the U.S. Of the five nominees that year, two seemed longer shots with Steven Soderbergh’s “Erin Brockovich” and Miramax’s lightweight “Chocolat” (a case study of their Oscar magic). “Gladiator” was an even bigger hit at over $300 million (adjusted), and the kind of retro genre contender the Academy sometimes celebrates. Competing as a late-year specialized/crossover success was Soderbergh’s other film, “Traffic.” It won the New York Film Critics’ top prize, was a surprise audience success (ultimately also $200 million adjusted), and won the SAG Ensemble award as well as lead actor (Benicio Del Toro, who went on to win the supporting Oscar). “Crouching Tiger” set the record for subtitled films with 10 nominations. It received an aggressive and expensive campaign from Sony Pictures Classics, backed with the financial resources of their parent company. Its 10 nominations included five in craft branches, the most ever for a subtitled nominee. In the end, it won three of those craft awards (Score, Art Direction, Cinematography) as well as Foreign Language Film (“Gladiator” won Best Picture.) One factor that might explain its Best Picture loss is one that “Roma” faces: It had the alternative of winning Foreign Language. However, “Roma” received two acting nominations — something that eluded both “Z” and “Crouching Tiger.” Today, we also have the preferential ballot for Best Picture, which can help a passionately supported film that also is regarded by most voters as Oscar worthy. Will that help “Roma?” And what impact will its streaming-weighted general audience viewing have? In the last decade, a French-produced black-and-white silent film managed to pull off this trick. If “The Artist” could win, the unprecedented can’t be ruled out. Sign Up: Stay on top of the latest breaking film and TV news! Sign up for our Email Newsletters here.
22 Jan 19
The Ongoing Civil War

Of the high-profile men who fell to #metoo, Louis C. K. has been the first to try a comeback. Once admired in left-leaning circles, his recent work sounds like a man who, being turned out of the temple, now rails against its acolytes. His December 2018 routine condemned Millennials as boring, overly serious, and censorious. […]

22 Jan 19
GoldDerby
The Oscars have finally taken a big step into the 21st century by nominating not just its first superhero adventure, “Black Panther,” for Best Picture (along with six other bids) but also finding a place for the first streaming-service contender, Netflix’s “Roma,” which is tied with “The Favourite” for the most ballot spots with 10 total. But the academy also seemingly turned back time by having two black-and-white films, “Roma” and “Cold War,” compete for Best Cinematography for the first time since the 1966 race. That was also the last time that the Oscars split the cinematography category into both black-and-white and color entries. The following year,  the true-life murder saga, “In Cold Blood,” went up against four color films but lost to another reality-based crime tale, “Bonnie and Clyde.” SEE 2019 Oscar nominations: Full list of Academy Awards nominees in all 24 categories Since then, it’s rare that a non-color film makes its way into the cinematography category. They include  “Lenny” (1974), which lost to “The Towering Inferno”;  “Raging Bull” (1980, both color and black-and-white), which lost to “Tess”;  and “The Artist” (2011), which lost to “Hugo.” But Steven Spielberg’s  fact-based Holocaust drama, “Schindler’s List,” remains the only black-and-white film (save for a girl’s red coat) to win since the two separate cinematography categories collapsed into one. SEE Oscar nominations slugfest 2019: Editors’ stunned reactions to WTF snubs and OMG shockers [VIDEO AND AUDIO PODCAST] “Roma,” which is set in Mexico City in ‘70s and “Cold War,”  which spans from the late ‘40s to the ‘60s in France and Poland, are both personal looks back at the past, informed by  their directors’ family memories. Both feel like a scrapbook of sorts, triggering emotions as if flipping through an album of black-and-white snapshots. With “Roma” having tied for the lion’s share of nominations, it stands the best chance of winning the category. That its director, Alfonso Cuaron, did his own photography work is especially impressive. But don’t count out “Cold War,” whose creator, Pawel Pawlikowski, who seemingly bumped “Green Book’s” Peter Farrelly out of the directing category, earned a Best Foreign Language Film Oscar previously for 2013’s “Ida.”  He and Cuaron will also go head to head  in foreign-language line-up this year. SIGN UP for Gold Derby’s free newsletter with latest predictions
22 Jan 19
Corvidae History

Holocaust denial is a big issue in some parts of the world. Social and political influences have created a climate in places like France and Iran where it’s very common for people to downplay the Holocaust, claiming that only a few- if any- were killed and that there were never any gas chambers. It’s a […]

22 Jan 19
The Writer London Wildheart

One day I was minding my own business when I walked on by this dumpster and I heard this rustling around in it and this guy’s head pops out and it’s one of my friends and I’m not real surprised because I have all kinds and it takes all kinds it really does and I […]

22 Jan 19
Cinema Bravo

Blood in the snow will flow in Liam Neeson’s (known for the highly successful Taken franchise) latest thrilling action film “Cold Pursuit” where he plays Nes Coxman, a snowplough driver  in  Kehoe, a 10 degrees and counting glitzy ski resort in the Rocky Mountains. Liam Neeson is no stranger to reinvention. But even by his […]

21 Jan 19
The R.L. Terry ReelView

With the Academy Awards quickly approaching and the nominations announcement early tomorrow morning, I thought that it would be interesting to dive deep into what it takes to build a film that gets nominated and wins the most coveted film award in the United States, the Oscar for Best Picture

21 Jan 19
NhanNguyen2610

I don’t remember when I first joined GoodReads’s reading challenge but I do remember when I exceeded my goals – 2018 is the year. After a few times of overestimating, I decided to take only half of that and rounded it to 10. Just random as it was and just how lazy I was to […]