Oscar History

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Directors ofFor Sama

Lulu Wang(The Farewell)
Ritesh Batra(Photograph)
Schmidt & Abrantes(Diamantino)
Wanuri Kahiu(Rafiki)
Jia Zhang-ke(Ash is Purest White)

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Entries in Adepero Oduye (8)

May 02 2012

Best Shot: "Pariah"

On this season ofHit Me With Your Best Shotwe've looked at 80s fantasy (Ladyhawke),60s zeitgeist drama (Bonnie & Clyde),40s musical (Easter Parade),30s gamechanger (Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs),00s science fiction western (Serenity),and a 90s Asian masterpiece (Raise the Red Lantern).For this week's film,I chose something up to the minute,Dee Rees'Pariah(2011) just out on DVD.

I found this film so moving late last year that I cursed Focus Features for letting it be crushed in the December glut where it had no business being in the first place.The coming out story of a shy Brooklyn lesbian was far too smallandethnicandgayandfeminine an indie to hook Oscar voters so why make it compete forthatattention?This selection was my excuse to promote the film as it enters its second and hopefully warmly embraced life for home viewing;it gets better!

I say that with a wink but without a trace of sarcasm.You see though I didn't have time to rewatch -- I've been struggling lately offblog.Apologies -- my most vivid memory of the film visually,and what I thought I might choose,is either of the bookending shots on the bus.I still remember the curiousity and sympathy I felt near the beginning when watching "Lee"travel home on the bus late at night after visiting a gay bar and the cathartic mix of peace and tears I experienced at the finale when light floods on to our humble heroine.The two shots are like beautifully symmetrical start and end points on her gorgeously executed character arc,a curved frame if you will for Adepero Oduye's breakout performance.Not that this character arc is ending.Lee's journey has only just begun.

I'm thrilled to discover that both of these shots were chosen by one of our 'Hit Me' participants. SincePariahis as much about Alike trying to find her community as it is about her self-discovery,I think this is an ideal opportunity to say a genuine and loud THANK YOU to the participating blogs that make "Hit Me"such a rewarding communal series I hope you're always clicking and reading them for multiple views on all these fine films!

  • FILM ACTUALLYlooks at clothing as a public declaration of sexuality
  • ENCORE'S WORLDfinds light from within
  • AWWW,THE MOVIEScocoons you in the moving poetry
  • SKETCHY DETAILSfinds Rees use of color masterful and compares it to the work of Dario Argento (!)
  • CINESNATCHloves the performances but can't quite connect with the film
  • THE FILM'S THE THINGis disappointed in the acclaimed indie but found Alike's double life reflections interesting.
  • ANTAGONY & ECSTASYdiscusses the promise of Dee Rees and the bold recurring choices of artificial and "real"light...

...if all indie filmmakers thought about how to communicate visually as much as Rees has,American cinema would be in far better shape."

Next Wednesday on "Hit Me":The Exorcist(1973).Why don't you join in?I'll start early this week and make sure it happens.Nobody can ever believe that I've never seen it!

Feb 23 2012


"More please!"

...That's my chief criteria for nominating actorsfor Breakthrough prizesat this site's own annual gongs,the Film Bitch Awards.(For new readers the name is a long story.We're not so bitchy about the movies unless by bitchy you mean so in love with them that we hold them to high standards).We're hoping that Pariah is only the first great performance from Adepero Oduye (pictured left).

Rather than hand Her Lady of Sudden Ubiquity (Jessica Chastain) the gold silver and bronze this year,we're giving her a special "body of work"medal.

It's not our usual practice to nominate someone whose been working as long as Olivia Colman alongside debut artists like Martha herselvesElizabeth Olsen,but Colman was completely unknown to us here in the US.

You can see the Breakthrough nominations under the Film Bitch pulldown menu up top.We've also started handing out medals in the Oscar adjacent categories.Check them out!

P.S.Here's a cute video of the remaining nominees Tom Cullen & Chris New from "Attitude"'s photoshoot if you haven't seen it.

Jan 31 2012

Vanity Fair 2012 'Thoroughly Modern Actresses'

The "Hollywood Issue"cover is here!You can't see me but I'm totally throwing confetti.It's one of the ten greatest Oscar season traditions (do I feel a list coming on?Maybe later).

Mario Testino took over photography duties for the first time.The girl's with the hardest working teams behind them (how do you think anybody lands the front cover?) are,from left to right,Rooney Mara,Mia Wasikowska,Jennifer Lawrence,and Miss Ubiquity 2011Jessica Chastain.On the inside folds we get from left to right:Elizabeth Olsen,Adepero Oduye,Shailene Woodley,Paula Patton,Felicity Jones,Lily CollinsandBrit Marling.

A zoom in for a closer look...

Lisbeth,Katniss,"Mia Vashivovkoska"(thanks Meryl),and Miss Ubiquity

RuPaul's Drag Racepremiered again last night so you'll forgive this outburst...


Not that any of these beauties look like drag queens...though Shailene Woodley wins the awards for "looking the least like herself"and Rooney Mara is still working the most easily duplicated look should you want her as your new style icon.

more zoom-ins,reader questions,and fun triviaafter the jump!

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