6 Good Films That Were Not Nominated For Best Picture: The 2010s


Concluding our look at good films that were not nominated for best picture, here are 6 films from the 2010s.

Exit Through The Gift Shop (2010, dir by Banksy)

This wonderfully subversive documentary was my second-favorite film of 2010, right behind Black Swan.  Was it real or was it all a hoax?  In then end, does it matter?  This brilliant film definitely deserved to be the first documentary to be nominated for best picture.  Instead, sadly enough, it was only nominated for Best Documentary Feature and it lost to the rather boring Inside Job.

Upstream Color (2013, dir by Shane Carruth)

Shane Carruth’s haunting and enigmatic Upstream Color was a film unlike any others.  This brilliant film was my favorite of 2013 but, sadly, it was totally snubbed by the Academy.

A Field In England (2014, dir by Ben Wheatley)

Speaking of haunting and enigmatic, A Field In England may not be for everyone but it’s still one of the most memorable films released over the past 6 years.  Was it a horror story?  Was it a historical heist film?  Was it all a hallucination, inspired by eating mushrooms found in the field mentioned in the title?  Your guess is as good as mine but you’ll never forget about it, even if the Academy saw fit to snub it.

Calvary (2014, dir by John Michael McDonagh)

This Irish meditation on sin and salvation featured one of Brendan Gleeson’s best performances, a brilliant script, and an unforgettable ending.  Sadly, not only was Gleeson snubbed but the Academy ignored the rest of the film as well.  Still, it’s one of the best films ever made about being Catholic and Irish in the 21st Century.

Carol (2015, dir by Todd Haynes)

How this film was not nominated for best picture, I’ll never understand.  Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara have never been better.  This is a moving and poignant film about two women who, in the end, refuse to allow society to dictate who they are and who they love.

American Honey (2016, dir Andrea Arnold)

In American Honey, Andrea Arnold creates an unforgettable portrait of life on the fringes and she gets a star-making performance from Sasha Lane, as well.  Even Shia LaBeouf is tolerable in this film!  American Honey was perhaps too long and, narratively, too loose for the Academy’s a taste.  That’s a shame because American Honey is a film that future historians will look at when they want to know what America was like in 2016.

And that concludes our look at good films that were not nominated for best picture!  Enjoy the Oscars, everyone!

 

 

4 Shots From 4 Irish Films: In The Name of the Father, The Butcher Boy, Six Shooter, Calvary


Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

4 Shots From 4 Films

In The Name of the Father (1993, dir by Jim Sheridan)

The Butcher Boy (1997, dir by Neil Jordan)

Six Shooter (2004, dir by Martin McDonagh)

Calvary (2014, dir by John Michael McDonagh)

There Are Three Things You Should Know Before Watching The Trailer for War On Everyone


Okay, before you watch the trailer for War On Everyone, there are three things you should know!

Number one, this is a red band trailer.  That means that, if you watch it at work or in a public place, you will be immediately arrested and deported to Vermont.  That is not something you want to risk because, as we all know, Vermont is an evil, evil place.

Secondly, this is the latest film from the brilliant Irish director, John Michael McDonagh.  McDonagh directed two of the best films in recent cinematic history, The Guard and Calvary!  (He’s also the brother of Martin McDonagh, who directed both In Bruges and Seven Psychopaths.)  From what I’ve heard, War on Everyone is another McDonagh triumph!

Third, Michael Pena and Alexander Skarsgard play corrupt cops!  After what happened to his honest cop in End of Watch, can you blame Pena for going bad?

Anyway, here is the red band trailer!  It’s full of cursing and all sorts of fun stuff.

Embracing the Melodrama Part II #122: Calvary (dir by John Michael McDonagh)


Calvary_movieposterCalvary was probably the best movie of 2014 that you did not see in a theater.  I missed seeing it during its brief theatrical run in the States.  If I had seen it when it was originally released, my list of the best films of 2014 would have been far different.  Calvary is an amazing film that takes a serious and intelligent look at issues of faith, morality, guilt, and absolution.  It is one of the best films about Catholicism that I’ve ever seen.

The film, which was written and directed by John Michael McDonagh (who previously gave us The Guard), tells the story of an Irish priest, Father James (Brendan Gleeson).  During confession, an unseen parishoner tells James about the horrific sexual abuse that he suffered as a child.  The parishoner explains that the priest who abused him has since died so the parishoner plans to get his revenge on the Catholic Church by killing James.  He tells James to meet him on the beach next Sunday.  He also informs James that his death will mean more because James is a “good man.”

The rest of the film follows James over the course of what could be the last week of his life and we watch as James struggles to fulfill his priestly duties in a world that seems to be moving further and further away from the Church.  While everyone seems to come to him with their problems and their questions, few people seem to share James’s faith and James is often left to wonder whether he’s doing any good at all.

For instance, when he confronts the local butcher (Chris O’Dowd) for beating his wife, the butcher refuses to admit that he did anything wrong.  When he goes to prison and talks to a serial killer (Freddie Joyce) who wants forgiveness, James replies that he can’t be forgiven because he feels no guilt.  The local millionaire (Dylan Moran) offers to donate money to the church but also confesses that he made his money through illegal means.  A local doctor, a hedonistic, cocaine-snorting atheist played by Aiden Gillen, takes perverse pleasure in taunting James for caring about death.  When James attempts to talk to a local girl, the girl’s father accuses him of being a pedophile.  When the local church catches on fire, nobody in the village seems to care.  And finally, one night, James returns home to discover that someone has murdered his beloved dog.

And yet, there are good moments as well.  James prays with a woman (Marie-Josee Croze) who has just lost her husband.  James gets chance to bond with his emotionally unstable daughter, Fiona (Kelly Reilly).  James successfully counsels a troubled young man (Killian Scott) and befriends an American writer (M. Emmett Walsh).

And, as Sunday approaches, James is forced to decide whether to leave his parish or to go to the beach.

Calvary is a great film, one that consistently takes you by surprise and forces you to think.  In many ways, James serves as a stand-in for the entire Catholic Church.  He’s made mistakes, he’s been battered, and he struggles with doubt.  And yet, at the same time, he is still capable of doing so much good.  Calvary is one of the best Catholic films ever made.

And it also features Brendan Gleeson’s best performance to date.  That is truly saying something because Brendan Gleeson is one of our greatest actors.  Gleeson is onscreen for every minute of Calvary and his emotional and, at times, warmly humorous performance is an amazing thing to behold.  When we first see James, he’s a weary and burned-out man.  Over the course of the week (and the film), he goes from being frightened to angry to sad to eventually achieving a state of grace.

It’s a great performance in a great film.

You may have missed Calvary in 2014.

Don’t miss it again.

Award Season Continues! Here Are The Winners From Georgia!


selma

Yes, awards season is still going on and critics and guilds from across the country and the industry are still announcing their picks for the best of 2014!

The latest group to make their picks known?  The Georgia Film Critics Association!  Here are their nominees for the best of 2014!

Best Picture
BIRDMAN
BOYHOOD
GONE GIRL
THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL
IDA
A MOST VIOLENT YEAR
NIGHTCRAWLER
SELMA
SNOWPIERCER
WHIPLASH

Best Director
Richard Linklater BOYHOOD
David Fincher GONE GIRL
Wes Anderson THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL
Ava DuVernay SELMA
Damien Chazelle WHIPLASH

Best Actor
Ralph Fiennes THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL
Jake Gyllenhaal NIGHTCRAWLER
Michael Keaton BIRDMAN
David Oyelowo SELMA
Eddie Redmayne THE THEORY OF EVERYTHING.

Best Actress
Marion Cotillard TWO DAYS ONE NIGHT
Scarlett Johansson UNDER THE SKIN
Felicity Jones THE THEORY OF EVERYTHING
Lisa Loven Kongsli FORCE MAJEURE
Julianne Moore STILL ALICE
Rosamund Pike GONE GIRL

Best Supporting Actor
Riz Ahmed NIGHTCRAWLER
Ethan Hawke BOYHOOD
Edward Norton BIRDMAN
Mark Ruffalo FOXCATCHER
JK Simmons WHIPLASH

Best Supporting Actress
Patricia Arquette BOYHOOD
Jessica Chastain A MOST VIOLENT YEAR
Rene Russo NIGHTCRAWLER
Emma Stone BIRDMAN
Tilda Swinton SNOWPIERCER

Best Original Screenplay
BOYHOOD
CALVARY
THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL
NIGHTCRAWLER
SELMA

Best Adapted Screenplay
GONE GIRL
THE IMITATION GAME
INHERENT VICE
SNOWPIERCER
THE THEORY OF EVERYTHING
WILD

Best Cinematography
BIRDMAN
THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL
IDA
INHERENT VICE
INTERSTELLAR

Best Production Design
THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL
INHERENT VICE
INTERSTELLAR
INTO THE WOODS
SNOWPIERCER
UNDER THE SKIN

Best Original Score
BIRDMAN (Antonio Sánchez)
GONE GIRL (Trent Reznor, Atticus Ross)
INTERSTELLAR (Hans Zimmer)
LIFE ITSELF (Joshua Abrams)
UNDER THE SKIN (Mica Levi)

Best Original Song
“Everything is Awesome” from THE LEGO MOVIE
“Glory” from SELMA
“We Will Not Go” from VIRUNGA
“I’m Not Gonna Miss You” from GLEN CAMPBELL: I’LL BE ME
“Something So Right” from MUPPETS MOST WANTED

Best Ensemble Cast
BIRDMAN
BOYHOOD
THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL
GONE GIRL
SELMA

Best Foreign Language Film
FORCE MAJEURE
IDA
SEPIDEH
TWO DAYS ONE NIGHT
WE ARE THE BEST!

Best Animated Feature Film
BIG HERO 6
THE BOOK OF LIFE
THE BOXTROLLS
HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON 2
THE LEGO MOVIE

Best Documentary Feature Film
CITIZENFOUR
FINDING VIVIAN MAIER
KEEP ON KEEPIN’ ON
LIFE ITSELF
SEPIDEH

Breakthough of the Year
Ellan Coltrane
Ava DuVernay
Gugu Mbatha-Raw
Jenny Slate
Tessa Thompson

Selma

 

Here Are The Chicago Film Critics Association Nominations!


Happy Valentine's Day!

Finally, from the former hometown of Al Capone and President Obama, here are the Chicago Film Critic Associations Nominations!

BEST PICTURE
Birdman
Boyhood
The Grand Budapest Hotel
Under the Skin
Whiplash

BEST DIRECTOR
Wes Anderson, The Grand Budapest Hotel
David Fincher, Gone Girl
Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, Birdman
Richard Linklater, Boyhood
Christopher Nolan, Interstellar

BEST ACTOR
Benedict Cumberbatch, The Imitation Game
Jake Gyllenhaal, Nightcrawler
Michael Keaton, Birdman
David Oyelowo, Selma
Eddie Redmayne, The Theory of Everything

BEST ACTRESS
Marion Cotillard, Two Days, One Night
Scarlett Johannson, Under the Skin
Julianne Moore, Still Alice
Rosamund Pike, Gone Girl
Reese Witherspoon, Wild

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
Josh Brolin, Inherent Vice
Ethan Hawke, Boyhood
Edward Norton, Birdman
Mark Ruffalo, Foxcatcher
J.K. Simmons, Whiplash

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Patricia Arquette, Boyhood
Jessica Chastain, A Most Violent Year
Laura Dern, Wild
Agata Kulesza, Ida
Emma Stone, Birdman

BEST ORIGNAL SCREENPLAY
Birdman, Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, Nicolas Giacobone, Alexander Dinelaris and Armando Bo
Boyhood, Richard Linklater
Calvary, John Michael McDonagh
The Grand Budapest Hotel, Wes Anderson
Whiplash, Damien Chazelle

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY
Gone Girl, Gillian Flynn
The Imitation Game, Graham Moore
Inherent Vice, Paul Thomas Anderson
Under the Skin, Walter Campbell
Wild, Nick Hornby

BEST FOREIGN-LANGUAGE FILM
Force Majeure
Ida
Mommy
The Raid 2
Two Days, One Night

BEST DOCUMENTARY
Citizenfour
Jodorowsky’s Dune
Last Days in Vietnam
Life Itself
The Overnighters

BEST ANIMATED FEATURE
Big Hero 6
The Boxtrolls
How to Train Your Dragon 2
The Lego Movie
The Tale of the Princess Kaguya

BEST ART DIRECTION/PRODUCTION DESIGN
The Grand Budapest Hotel
Interstellar
Into The Woods
Only Lovers Left Alive
Snowpiercer

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY
Birdman
The Grand Budapest Hotel
Ida
Inherent Vice
Interstellar

BEST EDITING
Birdman
Boyhood
Gone Girl
The Grand Budapest Hotel
Whiplash

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE
Birdman
The Grand Budapest Hotel
The Imitation Game
Interstellar
Under the Skin

MOST PROMISING PERFORMER
Ellar Coltrane, Boyhood
Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Belle/Beyond the Lights
Jack O’Connell, Starred Up/Unbroken
Tony Revolori, The Grand Budapest Hotel
Jenny Slate, Obvious Child
Agata Trzebuchowska, Ida

MOST PROMISING FILMMAKER
Damien Chazelle, Whiplash
Dan Gilroy, Nightcrawler
Jennifer Kent, The Babadook
Jeremy Saulnier, Blue Ruin
Justin Simien, Dear White People

What Do They Like in San Diego? Let’s Find Out…


Jake Gyllenhaal in Nightcrawler

And finally, here are the San Diego Film Critics Nominations!

(Insert your own clever and snarky analysis here because I’m exhausted.  Maybe point out that they nominated Alejandro Inarritu for best director and Michael Keaton, Edward Norton, and Emma Stone but they didn’t nominate Birdman for best film…)

(h/t to awards circuit)

Best Film

  • “Boyhood”
  • “Gone Girl”
  • “The Grand Budapest Hotel”
  • “Nightcrawler”
  • “Selma”
  • “The Theory of Everything”

Best Director

  • Alejandro González Iñárritu, “Birdman”
  • Richard Linklater, “Boyhood”
  • David Fincher, “Gone Girl”
  • Wes Anderson, “The Grand Budapest Hotel”
  • Dan Gilroy, “Nightcrawler”

Best Actor

  • Ralph Fiennes, “The Grand Budapest Hotel”
  • Brendan Gleeson, “Calvary”
  • Jake Gyllenhaal, “Nightcrawler”
  • Tom Hardy, “Locke”
  • Michael Keaton, “Birdman”
  • Eddie Redmayne, “The Theory of Everything”

Best Actress

  • Marion Cotillard, “Two Days, One Night”
  • Felicity Jones, “The Theory of Everything”
  • Rosamund Pike, “Gone Girl”
  • Hilary Swank, “The Homesman”
  • Mia Wasikowska, “Tracks”

Best Supporting Actor

  • Riz Ahmed, “Nightcrawler”
  • Ethan Hawke, “Boyhood”
  • Edward Norton, “Birdman”
  • J.K. Simmons, “Whiplash”
  • Mark Ruffalo, “Foxcatcher”

Best Supporting Actress

  • Patricia Arquette, “Boyhood”
  • Carrie Coon, “Gone Girl”
  • Keira Knightly, “The Imitation Game”
  • Rene Russo, “Nightcrawler”
  • Emma Stone, “Birdman”

Best Original Screenplay

  • “Birdman”
  • “Boyhood”
  • “The Grand Budapest Hotel”
  • “Locke”
  • “Nightcrawler”

Best Adapted Screenplay

  • “The Fault in Our Stars”
  • “Gone Girl”
  • “The Theory of Everything”
  • “Unbroken”
  • “Wild”

Best Foreign Language Film

  • “Force Majeure”
  • “Heli”
  • “Ida”
  • “Two Days, One Night”
  • “Venus in Fur”

Best Documentary

  • “CITIZENFOUR”
  • “Elaine Stritch: Shoot Me”
  • “Glen Campbell: I’ll Be Me”
  • “Last Days in Vietnam”
  • “Life Itself”

Best Animated Film

  • “Big Hero 6″
  • “The Boxtrolls”
  • “How to Train Your Dragon 2″
  • “The LEGO Movie”
  • “The Nut Job”

Best Cinematography

  • “Force Majeure” (Fredrik Wenzel)
  • “Interstellar” (Hoyte van Hoytema)
  • “Gone Girl” (Jeff Cronenweth)
  • “Nightcrawler” (Robert Elswit)
  • “Unbroken” (Roger Deakins)

Best Editing

  • “Boyhood” (Sandra Adair)
  • “Edge of Tomorrow” (James Herbert, Laura Jennings)
  • “Gone Girl” (Kirk Baxter)
  • “The Grand Budapest Hotel” (Barney Pilling)
  • “Nightcrawler” (John Gilroy)

Best Production Design

  • “The Grand Budapest Hotel” (Adam Stockhausen, Anna Pincock)
  • “Into the Woods” (Dennis Gassner & Anna Pinnock)
  • “The Theory of Everything” (John Paul Kelly)
  • “The Imitation Game” (Maria Djurkovic)
  • “Interstellar” (Nathan Crowley)

Best Score

  • “Birdman” (Antonio Sanchez)
  • “Gone Girl” (Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross)
  • “The Grand Budapest Hotel” (Alexandre Desplat)
  • “The Imitation Game” (Alexandre Desplat)
  • “Nightcrawler” (James Newton Howard)

Best Ensemble

  • “Birdman”
  • “Boyhood”
  • “The Grand Budapest Hotel”
  • “The Imitation Game”
  • “Selma”