Oscar History

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Weekend Box OfficeWhat did you see?

"SawThe Kitchenand was disappointed.There was absolutely no style."-Ryan

"I would be more optimistic aboutThe Farewellif any of last year's deserving summer A24 releases,did better with the Academy."-Suzanne

"Scary Storiesis fun but not exactly great.It also has a confused but very intriguing relationship with history"-Dave

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Lulu Wang(The Farewell)
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Aug 30 2015

What did you see this weekend?

August 28th-30th estimates

01Straight Outta Compton$13.2 (cum.$134.1)Podcast
02War Room$11new
03Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation$8.3 (cum.$170.3)Tim's Review
04No Escape$8.3new(cum.$26.8)
05Sinister 2$4.6 (cum.$18.5)Interview

While it was a semi-drowsy weekend for new releases,Straight Outta ComptonandMission: Impossiblecontinued to hold well.Just outside this list wasThe Man From U.N.C.L.E.which,though it had a rough opening and is now losing theaters,is holding its per screen average better than should probably have been expected.Perhaps enough people have heard that it's actually G.O.O.D.?

BOX OFFICE LIMITED (excluding prev.wide releases)
August 28th-30th estimates

01Mistress America$.4 (cum.$.9) 150 screens
02Diary of a Teenage Girl$.4 (cum.$.9) 795 screensReview
03Phoenix$.3 (cum.$1.4) 142 screensInterview
04End of the Tour$.3 (cum.$2.3) 256 screens
05Grandma$.3 (cum.$.4) on 19 screensNathaniel's Review,Joe's Review,Posterized

While it's always thrilling to see a distributor get ballsy and expand tiny movies to the number of theaters that theydeserveto play in,rather than cautiously hope people will stumble upon hidden gems,it doesn't always pay off.Sony Pictures Classics added over 700 screens forDiary of a Teenage Girl,perhaps sensing now or never given their full upcoming slate,but the per screen average was not pretty.Will they be as bold withGrandmain two weeks?That has a chance of paying off better if they can stoke Oscar buzz and make Lily Tomlin's career-capper into a leave your house event for adult moviegoers.

Just outside this list sits the modestLearning to Drive,which is a highly pleasant watch starring Patricia Clarkson and Ben Kingsley and Life Metaphors.Improbably 2015 has become a strong year for women of a certain age with star vehicles for Patty (who is 55),Blythe (72),and Lily (75),with Charlotte Rampling (69) still to come in45 Years.That's in addition to the four who regularly get them: Meryl (Ricki),Helen (Woman in Gold),Judi & Maggie (Best Exotic 2).So we talked about that onlast week's podcast.

Finally,when I figure out why I didn't loveMistress America,considering that TFE was madly in love with the last Noah Baumbach & Greta Gerwig duetFrances Ha, I'll tell you but I haven't figured it out.If you've seen it perhaps you can help in the comments.What did you see this weekend?

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Reader Comments (26)

I watched Sinister 2 and really liked it.For one thing,the screen was actually lit this time around,so you could see the scares.For another,telling most of the story from the perspective of the child being targeted by the Boogey Man makes a lot more sense for the brand.More time for the children in a film series where the children are used to channel the evil that destroys families is a good thing.I don't see where the series could go from here,but I'm sure they'll try again.

August 30,2015 | Unregistered CommenterRobert G

Yeah I kind of loved Mistress,so waiting to hear your issues.

Also saw Queen of Earth,which was stupendous and then some.

August 30,2015 | Unregistered CommenterBrian Zitzelman

Today I saw on the big screen a double bill of two of the Kazan/Brando films.First was Streetcar which I've so many times as it's my favourite film of all time and seeing it on the big screen was so great because it made me appreciate so many more aspects as I was invested in the feature.Then directly afterwords keeping in connection with the smackdown was On the Waterfront which I've also watched multiple times and is also such a great film.What a great afternoon I had talking to others viewing these features who hadn't seen these films before which sort of made me feel big headed (not gonna lie).

In terms of new released I loved Queen of Earth and Elisabeth Moss really shows that when you let her loose she is so captivating.Also I saw 45 Years and the nomination I probably want even more then anything to happen is Charlotte Rampling who has been doing such great work in film for so long that giving her a career nom for such great work would make me so happy.Then I saw Straight Outta Compton which I thought was fine but ran to long to a point where I checked my phone (rare for me) and figured out there was still some time to go.

August 30,2015 | Unregistered CommenterEoin Daly

This has been a terrible summer for indies at the box office.I don't think there's been one breakout except for Dope,and even that made only 12 mil.

August 30,2015 | Unregistered Commentertonytr

I adored "Mistress America"because it's daffy and quick-witted and absolutely jam-packed with dialogue that's not only quotable,but genuinely meaningful.Thought Gerwig and Kirke had lovely chemistry and really bought their relationship.Overall,I really took to its exploration of millenials forging their identities on uncertain terms and trying to gauge their own creative potentials against each others' relative achievements.Familiar Baumbach,maybe,but so delightful.

August 30,2015 | Unregistered CommenterJonathan

I saw Straight Outta Compton.It's standard behind the music biopic but very well done and entertaining.My only gripes were things that it left out: Dre's bisexuality,and the fact that he beat up a female reporter (unforgivable);Cube's extensive repertoire of anti-women songs;and there is not a single woman in the film who has a good role (all the women in the film are barely character moms or ho's,and maybe that reflected the truth).The movie also ignores Tupac's and Suge's violent outcomes.But it does show very effectively how N.W.A.went from unknown artists to huge artists very quickly,and how much they bothered the police across the country with their music and ethnicity.This is also a pet peeve,but people who talk during movies should be ushered out.The woman behind me kept complaining about the facts of the movie to her boyfriend all through the movie,and that it was "too long"- nothing made her be quiet.

August 30,2015 | Unregistered CommenterTom Ford

"...a highly pleasant watch starring Patricia Clarkson and Ben Kingsley and Life Metaphors."This site is even funnier than usual today.

Mistress America turned me off so hard,once Greta finally got down those stairs at the beginning (that was funny).Then it kept turning me even more off.I'd recommend this for a podcast but Joe and I might fight,or I might say something about New York that gets everybody mad at me.

August 30,2015 | Unregistered CommenterNick Davis

American Ultra

I hadn't considered seeing this movie before I read Joe Hill's article about seeing movies you enjoy.And he was right.This is a good little movie.A violent,things blow up,love story.And Connie Britton is in it.

August 30,2015 | Unregistered Commenteradri

Caught Diary of a Teenage Girl and outside of Wiig,didn't care for it.

August 30,2015 | Unregistered CommenterRyan

Yes,indeed.It had been a great year for women of a certain age.I would add to the list The Second Mother,which I watched last Friday.It's a Brazilian movie that came out of nowhere and was one of the most complex stories and character studies I've seen all year.The lead Regina Case is truly outstanding.So much detail and nuance went into her performance.I thoroughly enjoyed it even if they tried to add unnecessary plot points in the last 20 minutes.Still,highly recommended.

August 30,2015 | Unregistered CommenterMr.Goodbar

I watched The Second Mother.If you havent watched this movie I highly recommend it.

August 30,2015 | Unregistered Commentermarcio

You are actively avoiding Straight Outta Compton.See it weenie hot.

August 30,2015 | Unregistered Commenter3rtful

"No Escape"exciting B-movie thrills

August 30,2015 | Unregistered CommenterJaragon

"Sinister 2"- better than the first,but that's a VERY low bar to clear.Would have enjoyed it more if it was a standalone,scrubbed of all franchise mythology.

"Hangover Square"and "Ladies in Retirement"- double feature at a (loosely defined) noir festival."Ladies"does not deserve its obscurity!Lupino and Elsa Lanchester in a gothic dark comedy psychodrama (with a nearly all-female cast)."Hangover"more uneven,but the finale is a knockout.

August 30,2015 | Unregistered CommenterDave S.

Yeah,I saw "Mistress America"this weekend and loved it,but maybe not as much as "Frances Ha."Greta Gerwig gives an amazing highwire performance and matching her is Lola Kirke.It's a screwball comedy of sorts with real pathos.

August 31,2015 | Unregistered CommenterRaul

I saw "Diary of a Teenage Girl"a few weeks ago and I loved it.It's one of my favorites of the year.As for "Mistress America",it's appeal is completely lost on me.I think my issue with it was that I found these young,self-involved characters extremely unpleasant and annoying,all too busy talking at each other but not listening.And I didn't laugh once.

August 31,2015 | Unregistered CommenterAnthony

Stunned at any negative feelings towards Mistress America.It's transcendent when it flips over into farce in the second half,and the rest is pretty dang delightful too.I was flying after I saw it.So great.

Cannot.Wait.For.Queen.Of.Earth.Opens here on Friday.

August 31,2015 | Unregistered CommenterJake D

I saw Queen on Earth which I really liked,but I'm also sure I didn't understand it all,especially the ending.Definitely the movie to think about after seeing it.Moss killed it

August 31,2015 | Unregistered Commentersati

I found Mistress America to be far too self-conscious in trying to be a memorable,quotable,funny comedy.I could almost imagine Baumbach and Gerwig coming up with lines and thinking,"Yeah,if we put that in the movie,students will definitely enjoy quoting it and feeling almost as cool as we are".It was like a film watching itself,admiring itself for its own effects.And the more I got that feeling,the more it turned me cold.Granted,the central sequence in the house is a well-sustained and well-paced sequence of madcap happenings,but even there,all the supporting characters are far more interesting than the two leads.I also don't much care for Baumbach's filming style (something I also felt about While We're Young).It's like watching a film wherein someone has zoomed in on the image to much.I kept wanting to grab the camera and pull it back!

August 31,2015 | Unregistered CommenterEdward L.

Toys in the Attic.Wendy Hiller is particularly good.And I was surprised to Gene Tierney in a limited role.Dean Martin was miscast,but he held his own.

August 31,2015 | Unregistered CommenterCharlieG

I saw We Are Your Friends.It was ok.

August 31,2015 | Unregistered CommenterJoseph W

Mistress America was really good.I can't say "I loved"it but I might have to think more about it.

Also,finally saw Trainwreck - which was funny enough but not the masterpiece it was heralded everywhere.I didn't like especially that it took the same pattern of all the other rom-coms,which kind of negated the whole thing.

August 31,2015 | Unregistered Commenteradelutza

Finally saw Ex Machina.Didn't love it as much as I thought I would but maybe this is the problem of a delayed viewing,after so much hype.Also perhaps,it came on the tail end of watching/listening to the show,Extant,while working.

Under the Skin still ranks #1 for me in terms of recent sci-fi offerings.Though I haven't seen Mad Max yet.

August 31,2015 | Unregistered CommenterPam

Seriously,I googled Life Metaphors thinking he / she was an actual person (kinda sounds like a slam poet turned actor...right?).I think that is my new stage name now.

August 31,2015 | Unregistered CommenterSoSue

Watched "Tom at the Farm."Dolan is a talented "everything"and I adore his films but I'm not sure how i feel about this one.I'm still thinking about it so that's something.


August 31,2015 | Unregistered CommenterMM in DC

I saw Grandma - really enjoyed it for what it was,but what it is is also pretty slight.Tomlin is great and while a Best Actress nod would be great I could also see this being forgotten by nomination time.

But Nat,can I convince you to consider Sam Elliot for Best Supporting Actor,not just Best Cameo?I know it was just one scene,but it was quite a long scene,probably longer than some actual Oscar winners (*cough Straight/Dench cough*),it showcased a huge range emotion for him and I think it would fit right into that category,ESPECIALLY if you're against filling that category with actual co-leads.

I also had a little movie day the other day:

Iris - very charming and delightful.Love her,love everything about her,want her to be my grandam.

Before Night Falls - Kind of captures the spirit of the book but kind of glossed over the worst parts of his life.Bardem was fantastic,aging believable from a paunchy,hunched 20-year-old to a decaying 47-year-old.

The Lady Eve - Loved it!How delightful and funny and surprisingly sexy for 1941.Definitely ranks up there with "It Happened One Night,""Bringing Up Baby"and "The Philadelphia Story"for classic romantic comedies.When someone first said "they don't make 'em like they used to,"I like to think they were referring to this movie.Why can't romantic comedies today even approach the sexy,smart,funny adultness of movies like these?

September 1,2015 | Unregistered CommenterDJDeeJay

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