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The Gotham Nominations

Get Out (4 nods each), Lady Bird, Call Me By Your Name, Florida Project (3 nods each)

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Entries in Denzel Washington (34)

Thursday
Oct052017

Denzel Back in the Oscar Race?

Chris here.

After it was such a surprise late addition to the TIFF lineup, it wasn't much of a shock that Roman J Israel, Esq. got one of the more muted responses of the festival's big premieres. But the film is coming right around the corner and we can expect a much more attentive response for its release now that we have more time to actually get excited for it. And from the looks of the new trailer, it looks like we'll be getting more of peak Denzel Washington after a near miss with Oscar in Fences.

So can this film build on the momentum that Washington had last year? The Best Actor race is on the thin side, aside from incoming behemoth Gary Oldman, so some movie star goodwill can't hurt. Writer/director Dan Gilroy certainly gave us a complex sociopolitical male vehicle with Nightcrawler and this looks like another layered morality tale, even with significantly less scabrousness than that debut. But if there's any actor today who can mine the full depth of a character's compromise and regret, it's Washington.

As for the film itself, it will have to overcome some already tepid reviews to register beyond the megastar. There is certainly some promise here in the trailer, even if I'm bracing myself to be enraged by yet another film sidelining the fabulous Carmen Ejogo and giving us Colin Farrell sans beard. Roman J Israel, Esq. opens on November 3.

Tuesday
Aug152017

1963 Convo Pt 2: Lilies of the Field 

Previously, in this '63 Party:
The Supporting Actress Smackdown 
Podcast Conversation Part 1

To close out our little Oscar 1963 celebration, Nathaniel talks Lilies of the Field and more with this month's panel: Teo Bugbee, Keiran Scarlett, Séan McGovern, and Brian Mullin. 

Smackdown '63 Companion Podcast Part 2
(42 minutes)
In which we wrap up our discussion of big budget airport trifle The VIPs. Then the panel has differing opinions on the merits of the classic feelgood Lilies of the Field. Also up for discussion: Sidney Poitier's unique spot in Hollywood history, Denzel Washington comparisons, and an aside to Alfred Hitchcock and The Birds. And, as we say our goodbyes, we each offer up one must-see film from 1963 that we hope you'll watch.

You can listen to the podcast here at the bottom of the post or download from iTunesContinue the conversations in the comments, won't you? 

Smackdown '63 Conversation Part Two - LILIES OF THE FIELD

Sunday
Jul302017

Actor Chart Updates: Who will repeat?

Having just had a lively discussion about Best Actress and Supporting Actress possibilities, let us turn our attention to the men.

Though I'm not currently predicting any women from last year's 20 honored thespians to repeat this year, it's not uncommon for that to happen. So let's try out a Denzel Washington post-Fences prediction and see how it feels. He's headling Roman Israel, Esq. a Dan Gilroy (Nightcrawler) picture about a lawyer in crisis and conflict with his new law firm. Colin Farrell co-stars. The film was called Inner City during filmmaking but now goes by the name of Denzel's character. The film takes place in the 1970s so Denzel has a fro!

1970s are popular in cinema this year. Also working early 1970s looks this year are the stars of two true stories. Spielberg's The Papers is already causing a buzzy stir. Less discussed but also scheduled to open this season is the Ridley Scott drama All the Money in the World about the famous kidnapping of a young man from a wealthy family (busy actor Charlie Plummer). Kevin Spacey is the grandfather billionaire who won't pay the ransom, Michelle Williams is the mother, and Mark Wahlberg is a CIA operative but it's tough to know who is lead or supporting or whatnot since it sounds like an ensemble picture. Incidentally the role played by Michelle Williams was originally offered to Angelina Jolie and then they sought out Natalie Portman. It's tough to know what they were looking for for that role (beyond stardom) because those three actresses have such different onscreen personas and talents.

Both of these movies could easily be something closer to box office hopefuls than gold-statue hunters given their mainstream stars and plots but you never know with holiday season releases. Check out the updated charts and report back...

ACTOR CHART UPDATES
Denzel & Daniel & Tom (all multiple Oscar winners!) on the rise
SUPPORTING CHART UPDATES 
A ton of movement here since we still know relatively nothing about what might happen in this category yet. Upward movement for mother!'s Javier Bardem, Call Me By Your Name's Michael Stuhlbarg, and Dunkirk star Fionn Whitehead who will next be seen in a big role opposite Emma Thompson in The Children Act

 

Friday
May192017

Three Games for the News: Denzel and the Mias

by Murtada

News is coming at us so fast from the 70th Cannes, currently unspooling, that we can hardly keep up. Let’s then take a moment then to ruminate on a film that might screen at the 72nd edition in May of 2019...

Click to read more ...

Sunday
Apr022017

Netflix for April - Screengrab Roulette

As we do, we've spun a handful plus of new to Netflix titles and posted whichever screengrab we landed on - no cheating. Do any of these make you want to see the movie? ALSO: Which of the "new" streaming titles would you most want to read a write-up on this month? I'll obey your consensus command. 

You're in luck my little immigrant. This is America!

An American Tail (1986)
Ouch. That line of dialogue isn't aging well. (I feel like Don Bluth doesn't get the credit he deserves for being basically the only independent animator who managed to frequently get pictured made before the current animated boom which sees so many animated pictures from so many corners each year. He turns 80 this year.)

Complete list after the jump...

Click to read more ...

Thursday
Feb232017

Black History Month: Spotlight on Octavia Spencer

by Steven Fenton

On February 26, 2012, Octavia Spencer won the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress for her endearing performance as the feisty Minny Jackson in Tate Taylor’s The Help. With her win, Spencer joined an elite group, becoming just the sixth black actress to win an acting Oscar (and only the seventh overall, if you count Irene Cara’s Original Song win for Flashdance, since she also starred in the film). Prior to 2011, Spencer had worked steadily since the mid-90s, gaining a reputation as a warm and generous co-star and a beloved character actress. So her win in February 2012 felt like an authentic opportunity for the academy to recognize an industry favorite.

Spencer was an indomitable force in the 2011 awards season, snatching wins at the Critics Choice, SAG awards, Globe Globes, and BAFTA, and beating out a talented crop of women in sensational breakout performances, including: Melissa McCarthy (Bridesmaids), Shailene Woodley (The Descendants), and Spencer’s co-star, Jessica Chastain (who had taken both the LA and NY Film Critics awards for her outstanding trio of performances in The Help, Take Shelter, and Tree of Life). Spencer’s Oscar win was a foregone conclusion early in the race. The real competition that was year between Viola Davis and Meryl Streep in Leading Actress. Viola could have made history that night as the second black woman to win in lead, but it wasn’t to be. Instead, Spencer walked away with The Help’s only win that evening. Little did we know then, Octavia’s Oscar story wasn’t over, and she definitely wasn’t done making history...

Click to read more ...