Monday, April 10, 2017

REVIEW: Heal the Living


Images of a heart provide a pivotal moment in the narrative of “Heal the Living,” a tragic drama from director Katell Quillévéré. And indeed, the film’s “heart is in the right place,” showcasing the perseverance of humanity in the aftermath of an accident. But despite its best intentions, there’s something lacking in this wandering multi-narrative story.


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REVIEW: Truman


Winner of five Goya Awards in 2016 (including the trifecta of Best Film, Director and Screenplay) Cesc Gay‘s “Truman” confronts one of the most difficult facts of life. Namely, death becomes the central theme throughout this gentle drama, which stars Ricardo Darin in a role that will feel familiar to any audience. “Truman” bears witness to this character’s dying days, reminding us of the depressing and often uneventful experience of losing a loved one.

Read more at The Awards Circuit

Friday, March 31, 2017

REVIEW: God Knows Where I Am


“God Knows Where I Am” is a documentary that is as depressing as it gets. Centering on the final days in the life of a woman named Linda Bishop, it examines an issue that evidently needs urgent attention. The villains in the story of her death aren’t sadistic serial killers, but they are equally effective. Framed around her own lonely thoughts, directors Jedd and Todd Wider deliver a harrowing but insightful account of the failures of the mental health care system and its dire consequences for the mentally ill.

Read more at The Awards Circuit

REVIEW: I Called Him Morgan


No matter how objective a documentarian sets out to be, non-fiction films are always guided by a particular agenda. In the case of Kasper Collin and his new feature “I Called Him Morgan,” he seems intent on validating an age old saying. Namely, “behind every successful man, there is a woman”. Breaking the mold of similarly tragic rise-and-fall artist documentaries, Collin tells the story of Lee Morgan through an unexpected focus on the woman by his side.

Read more at The Awards Circuit

Friday, March 10, 2017

REVIEW: Contemporary Color


What is Color Guard? That is the question frequently asked throughout “Contemporary Color,” the new documentary from directors Bill Ross IV and Turner Ross. In defining this unique cross between modern dance and cheerleading, the duo lets its inherent beauty speak for itself. Turning the cameras towards a one-of-a-kind event, they crafted a concert film that captures this niche “art sport” in all of its glory.

Read more at The Awards Circuit

Sunday, February 26, 2017

OSCAR WATCH: Oscar Predictions


Happy Oscar Day! The TV event of the year is now upon us and it's been quite a journey to get here. After a long season, "La La Land" has weathered some of the most ridiculous backlash to remain firmly ensconced as the Oscar frontrunner. I predict it will do very well tonight. Here are my final predictions. Enjoy the show!

Best Picture
La La Land

Best Director
Damien Chazelle, La La Land

Best Actor
Casey Affleck, Manchester by the Sea

Best Actress
Emma Stone, La La Land

Best Supporting Actor
Mahershala Ali, Moonlight

Best Supporting Actress
Viola Davis, Fences

Saturday, February 25, 2017

OSCAR WATCH: Indie Spirit Awards


We're finally nearing the finish line of this year's awards season and in the last stop on the precursor tour, the "Moonlight" was definitely shining. Indeed, Barry Jenkins' masterwork was the toast of the evening as the film scooped up all 6 of the awards it was nominated for at the Independent Spirit Awards, including Best Feature and Best Director. Overall, the show was a nice celebration of contemporary cinema, making me proud to be a voting member (my picks are indicated by asterisk) of Film Independent. If the quality of the winners at the big show tomorrow as anywhere near as good, then it will truly be an Oscar night to remember. But for now we'll bask in the glory of "Moonlight". Here are the 2017 winners of the Film Independent Spirit Awards:

Best Feature
Moonlight

Best Director
Barry Jenkins, Moonlight

Best Male Lead
Casey Affleck, Manchester by the Sea

Best Female Lead
Isabelle Huppert, Elle

Best Supporting Male
Ben Foster, Hell or High Water*

Best Supporting Female
Molly Shannon, Other People

Thursday, February 23, 2017

10 Great Foreign Language Performances Overlooked by Oscar



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Monday, February 13, 2017

OSCAR WATCH: BAFTA Awards


Making headlines that could have been written before the show even happened, "La La Land" once again came out on top at a major awards show, claiming 5 honors, including Best Film, Best Director and Best Actress. But though it took home a substantial haul, the Brits did shine a light on some other films, notably "Lion", which performed surprisingly well with wins for Best Supporting Actor (Dev Patel) and Best Adapted Screenplay. With these further question marks in the awards race, it will certainly be interesting to see how much AMPAS matches up with their counterparts across the pond. Here are the winners of the 2017 BAFTA Awards:

Best Picture
La La Land

Best British Film
I, Daniel Blake

Best Actor
Casey Affleck (Manchester by the Sea)

Best Actress
Emma Stone (La La Land)

Best Supporting Actor
Dev Patel (Lion)

Best Supporting Actress
Viola Davis (Fences)

Director
Damien Chazelle (La La Land)

Saturday, February 11, 2017

OSCAR WATCH: BAFTA Predictions


Tomorrow is pretty much the last major stop in precursor season with BAFTA Awards and it's virtually guaranteed that it's gonna be a "La La Land" lovefest. Still, it's gonna be interesting to see how Best Actress and Best Original Screenplay turn out. Here are my predictions:

Best Picture
La La Land

Best British Film
I, Daniel Blake

Best Actor
Casey Affleck (Manchester by the Sea)

Best Actress
Emma Stone (La La Land)

Best Supporting Actor
Aaron Taylor-Johnson (Nocturnal Animals)

Best Supporting Actress
Viola Davis (Fences)

Director
Damien Chazelle (La La Land)