Oscar History

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Entries by Eric Blume (94)

May 31 2019

Fosse/Verdon - Finale!

by Eric Blume

Michelle & Sam as Gwen & Bobby

Fosse/Verdonwrapped its 8-episode run this Tuesday,and here's a quick recap on the final three episodes,and some overall thoughts on this captivating mini-series.

Episode Six,"All I Care About is Love"
Episode six concerned Fosse's heart attack during the editing ofLenny(1974)editing and rehearsals forChicagoon Broadway.It was one of the weaker episodes of the series,especially coming offthe previous episode,the almost-staged-play episode with the characters locked in a Hamptons house,arguably the show's high-water mark.That episode gave director Thomas Kail (who went fromHamiltonto TV with graceful ease) the opportunity to put in the nails early on and keep screwing tightly,with all the actors laser-focused on their objectives and obstacles.Episode Six,on the other hand,contained some material handled directly inAll That Jazz,and it felt more like a transitional episode for the final narrative haul of the show...

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May 21 2019

Game of Thrones "The Iron Throne" (S08E06)

For this final season ofGame of Thrones,Team Experience members Ben Miller and Eric Blume have been alternating on coverage.Now they're joined up for the final wrap.- Editor

BEN MILLER: Alrighty Eric.  We are at the end of the line.  Before we get to the final episode,are you happy with the final season leading up to the finale has gone?

Personally,I feel it's been pretty fulfilling.  The problems everyone seems to be having are more related to the spectacle and anticipation as a whole.  This might be the last piece of monoculture we have for a while,so everyone has strong opinions about what it should and should not be.  I also believe our culture does not lend itself to objective criticism.  Instead of watching an episode and forming your own opinion,you watch the episode while the rest of the world is simultaneously tweeting about it.  After the episode,you watch the immediate reaction videos and fiery blog posts.  The next day,you laugh or scoff at the thousands of produced memes,read seven reaction articles and reviews,take in another dozen YouTube videos,then you suddenly have an opinion.  I started my personal media blackout until my opinion was formed after episode 2 of this season.

ERIC BLUME: While I agree with your assessment of how movies and TV are now consumed,I think there's a more disturbing trend at hand with this season:  armchair criticism.  Obviously it's cool to be disappointed with this final season in whatever way you're disappointed.  But the ugly dismissal of Benioff and Weiss by viewers is deeply gross to me...

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May 09 2019

Game of Thrones "The Last of the Starks" (S08E04)

by Eric Blume

In this season's best episode yet,Game of Throneshead creatives David Benioff and D.B.Weiss display their astounding aesthetic taste and uncanny ability to know exactly what viewers want to see.This episode featured one powerhouse match-up after the next,giving us duet after duet of characters we want to see together,talking about what we want them to talk about,in exactly the way we want them talking about it.The episode also features particularly fine writing,an element ofGame of Thronesthat often goes unsung despite being one of the show's strongest features.

The show opened with a funeral segment and an extended banquet scene that paid tribute to last week's monumental battle...

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Apr 25 2019

Happy 50th to Renée Zellweger

by Eric Blume

It seems crazy,but today marks the 50th birthday of Oscar-winning actress Renée Zellweger.Zellweger is a bit of a divisive actor (even within this site!),but I loved her the second I first saw her onscreen,loved her through her big decade of success,and will proudly love her forever.

I fell for Zellweger for the first time the way most of America did:  as assistant Dorothy Boyd opposite Tom Cruise inJerry Maguirein 1996.Even though that film features Cruise's best performance (he should have beat Geoffrey Rush for the Oscar),I walked away fromJerry Maguirethinking,who the hell is Renée Zellweger?It takes major presence and considerable skill to not be blown off the screen by a star like Cruise at his most commanding.Not only did Zellweger hold her own,she brought out new things in him: a comic warmth,a quality of genuineness,something softer and more open.He listened to her and didn't anticipate everything,because she was off-center...

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Apr 24 2019

Fosse/Verdon - EP 3: "Me and My Baby"

Previously:Episode 1andEpisode 2

by Eric Blume

Fosse/Verdoncertainly isn't flawless,but it's very strong out of the gate in these first three episodes.Hamiltondirector Thomas Kail guided the first two episodes with an assured hand,throwing us headfirst into the theater world with little set-up,allowing audiences to feel their way into the environment,and trusting that his two star performances will keep people hooked.His instincts were right on,and despite some awkward editing and temporal shifts,the show is arresting,absorbing,and intelligent.

Episode Three is directed by Adam Bernstein,a very talented guy who won an Emmy for30 Rockand was nominated forFargo...

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Apr 23 2019

Game of Thrones "A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms" (S08E02)


by Eric Blume

TheGame of Thronescreative team are taking a very strategic approach into this final season.While last week's premiere episode laid the groundwork to reorient the viewer and feature satisfying reunions for characters parted for years,they've used Episode Two to provide an emotional tapestry between the characters,with a meditation on mortality,before they go into the big battle episodes ahead.For loyal viewers,this episode served as a reminder of our attachment to these characters beyond the narrative,as well as a laser focus on the show's main theme of honor.

We started with a killer scene where Jaime stands trial against the two families he has slain and wronged over the years,followed immediately by a tender exchange between him and his brother Tyrion (Nicolaj Coster-Waldau and Peter Dinklage are always magical together)...

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