Oscar History

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Entries by Laurence Barber (9)

Sep 06 2016

YNMS: The Young Pope

by Laurence Barber

In the wake ofHouse of Cards' success,it seems networks have all been clamouring to make shows about other worlds that are full of their own political intrigue.Netflix itself has the Gerard Depardieu-starringMarseille,which French critics savaged and everyone else mostly ignored,and the upcomingThe Crown.In other ways,shows likeMr.RobotandUnRealseem partially derivative of this trend despite updating and resituating it.Now,in a joint production,Sky,Canal+ and HBO have teamed up to produce the latest project from Oscar-winning director Paolo Sorrentino:The Young Pope...

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Sep 05 2016

Yes No Maybe So: Certain Women

byLaurence Barber

Premiering at Sundance toa wave of critical acclaim,Certain Womenwas laterpicked up by IFCfor distribution and they've recently released the first trailer. Written and directed by Kelly Reichardt,whose patient portraits of the American northwest tend to inspire either passionate love or cool indifference,it stars acting goddesses Laura Dern,Michelle Williams and newly-minted demi-goddess Kristen Stewart.Reichardt's last film,Night Moves,was more on the propulsive side butCertain Womenscales things back,adapting three stories from Maile Meloy's collectionBoth Ways Is the Only Way I Want It.

Having seenCertain Womenback in June at the Sydney Film Festival,I can tell you that this one of those movies concocted in a laboratory just for your enjoyment.Collating and cross-charting the experiences of four women under different kinds of duress,the film is impressively performed and crafted.On the awards side though it isn't going to gain much traction outside of the Independent Spirit Awards.It's not that it's difficult,but it definitely asks you to fall into its river and let the current take you.

Le's break down the trailer after the jump...


Guess we'll just start at the beginning.

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May 26 2016

Thelma & Louise Pt.5: Crossing Over

25th Anniversary Five-Part Mini Series Event

Pt 1(Anne Marie & Margaret)
Pt 2(Nick Davis)
Pt 3(Daniel Crooke)
Pt 4(Nathaniel R)

Pt 5 (Finale) by Laurence Barber

It feels awfully daunting to write about the ending of this film,and not just because,as Nathanielpointed out,ditching the cop who pulled them over isn't Thelma or Louise's finest hour.As an Australian who has experienced outback heat,that scene always makes me feel a bit nauseous even if the way their doing away with this discipline daddy is pretty amusing.More logically,they could have made use of his handcuffs to disable him instead,but you have to appreciate that Callie Khouri hasn't constructed these crimes around what feels like pattern behaviour.Aside from Thelma's charm assault/armed robbery,their transgressions feel genuinely like two women thinking on their feet.

Also,you catch a glimpse of a shotgun behind him as he trades shades with Louise so I've always believed he figured his way out somewhere down the line (shoot the lock,dummy!).

Thelma: Officer,I'm real sorry ‘bout this."

Louise: I apologise also."

1:40:00 This aspect of the scene has always spackled over my misgivings about it too.Much has beensaid and writtenin recent years about the way women over-apologise,exercising a kind of ingrained cultural deference to male authority.In this scene,however,their apologies become a subversion;the way Sarandon half-heartedly apologises tells us that she's given up caring about the needs of men in any meaningful way.

Replete with her new Aviators – a hot new look Scott drinks in with a zoom that feels as awed by Sarandon as we do by this point – Louise and Thelma jump back in the Thunderbird and put rubber to the road,the final stage of their road trip stretching out before them.In a brief cut back to the police part of the plot,Harvey Keitel gravely intones,"Dreams will only get you so far,and luck always runs out."Lighten up,toots...

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Apr 15 2016

A Monster Calls For A "Visionary Filmmaker"

Laurencehere.Have you checked the children?Landing somewhat quietly in a week of splashy comic book trailerswas something that looks,frankly,altogether more interesting than both.J.A.Bayona,director ofThe OrphanageandThe Impossible,seems to have found the narrative intersection between both for his new film,A Monster Calls. We only have a teaser trailer so far so we won't give it the full YNMS treatment just yet,but it's an enticing,Burtonesque first glimpse.

Some more information on the film after the jump...

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Apr 13 2016

YNMS: The Lost City of Z

Laurencehere.Many people were disappointed by the way James Gray'sThe Immigrantwent mostly unnoticed beyond critics' groups.From the story to the stars,it seemed like a fairly strong prospect to garner Gray some mainstream awards attention,but the Weinsteins never seemed confident in it.Now Gray is making a decidedly more bombastic play to voting members with his new film,The Lost City of Z.This time he's paired up with Jennifer Aniston's former production company,Plan B,which has become very good at producing Best Picture nominees.

Based on David Grann's non-fiction bestseller of the same title,The Lost City of Zstars Charlie Hunnam as Percy Fawcett,a British explorer in the 1920s who led an expedition to the Amazon rainforest in search of a mysterious lost city.Grann's book chronicles the numerous attempts over the years to follow Fawcett's footsteps,with evidence emerging in 2005 that the city perhaps did,in some form,exist.The film seems to primarily function as a biopic of Fawcett,whose obsession with Z's existence led him to the heart of darkness.

Let's break down the now hard-to-find trailerafter the jump...

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