It seems every year some old stat falls, such as the idea that a film has to probably be a SAG Best Ensemble nominee to win Best Picture at the Oscars (both of the last two Best Picture winners did not meet that criteria). Is there a looming stat this year that could fall and that you would tell Oscar watchers to be looking out for this year?Roma last year was favored and failed to win. I’m sure that backers of Parasite are looking to see if Parasite can pick up where Roma left off, and it can finally be that movie that crosses that ultimate threshold for Foreign Language Film. The other one is the very way in which we consume and distribute movies has changed radically in the last few years, with the introduction and popularization of streaming movies, and so The Irishman this year is partially out in theaters but partially out on Netflix with that limited release window in theaters. That’s pretty different from how traditionally movies have been distributed and ended up … [Read more...] about How to predict the Oscar winners, according to an awards statistician
Oscar nominated best films
What of less immediate antecedents? Much has been made of how Phillips’s film doffs its cap to Scorsese – and sure enough, you can’t watch the latter’s scabrous, still undervalued media satire The King of Comedy (free on Amazon Prime) or Taxi Driver (Prime again), with its era-defining rebel yell of the unhinged, unloved Travis Bickle, without identifying the exact elements of both films that Joker has sampled and remixed. From an equivalent era and state of mind, it also echoes the humid desperation that suffuses Sidney Lumet’s Dog Day Afternoon (streaming on Chili) and Al Pacino’s electric performance as a bank robber down to his last nerve. In interviews, Phillips has repeatedly cited a different Lumet-Pacino collaboration, the hard, seamily atmospheric undercover cop noir Serpico (on Now TV), as a reference point: I see the kinship less, but it’s a great film all the same. … [Read more...] about Streaming: where to find the best Jokers in the pack
But there is another facet to Allen’s record with women: he is the laziest director in town. Allen’s one-movie-a-year work rate is often praised as heroic, but in order to maintain it, he barely directs his movies at all these days. This was revealed, perhaps inadvertently, by the recent book Start to Finish: Woody Allen and the Art of Moviemaking, in which long-time Allen chronicler Eric Lax shadowed him through the making of 2015’s Irrational Man. Allen doesn’t rehearse or prepare. He does the minimum number of takes and camera setups, never does reshoots, and likes to be finished by six every evening. What’s more, he barely gives his actors any instructions at all. No wonder big stars happily work with him: compared to other directors, it’s a holiday. … [Read more...] about Woody Allen’s Oscar-winning women: how did his direction affect them?
Last year, the NYFCC correctly predicted the Academy’s eventual Best Director champion, Roma’s Alfonso Cuarón, while the group’s Best Supporting Actor winner, Can You Ever Forgive Me?’s Richard E. Grant, received a follow-up nomination at the Oscars. … [Read more...] about 2019 New York Film Critics Circle Awards honor
Last frontier for white men? The Oscar nominations are so white and male [“Oscar Nominations: The Dance is Over for These Surprising Snubs,” by Amy Kaufman, Jan. 14], despite so many wonderful movies with female directors and actors of color this year, that it’s amazing a Caucasian man wasn’t nominated for best actress. … [Read more...] about Calendar letters to the editor, Jan. 26: Not such sweet music at academy