Best Picture 2012: ‘Argo’?
Ben Affleck has completed the career turnaround of which we all hoped he was capable—shrugging off his string of horrendous late-90s/early-00s films to reinvent himself as a potent filmmaker with wide ambitions. So maybe there’s more to “Argo” than meets the eye. (We are astoundingly quick to criticize blockbusters, to be fair.) At the very least, I’m willing to reexamine the film.
Why ‘Beasts of the Southern Wild’ Won’t Win the Oscar
Anyone at all remotely interested in films knows that the Oscars are a bit of a sham, and just to be clear, we’ve known this for a while. By 1942 — when “How Green Was My Valley” beat out “Citizen Kane” and “The Maltese Falcon” for Best Picture — the trend was set. Each year’s Academy Awards ceremony almost never rewards the year’s truly best film. The winner needs a killer story, an aggressive producer and the eyes of the nation.
Rebel Without a Pause
Coming-of-age movies are pretty self-defeating when you think about it. You see, the problem with any given one is that it’s usually pretty difficult to translate across time: “American Graffiti” doesn’t hold the same weight for an ’80s audience, just as Emilio Estevez and “The Breakfast Club” are a bit out-of-date for someone from my »
A Case for Cinematic Stories
Three weeks ago I read in this publication an interesting guest column, written by Becca Edelman ’14, that drew a distinction between cinematic story and style. As Edelman argued, stylistic films have carried and should continue to carry the day in Hollywood, thrusting aside more moderately-tempered movies for bold, daring narratives told in bold, daring »
Limo Rides and Billionaires
I’m reluctant to say I don’t understand “Cosmopolis” because that would be too easy. After all it’s a David Cronenberg work, based on a Don DeLillo novel: the willfully unconventional filmmaker has more than a few odd pictures in his canon, so his tag team with the already distant DeLillo should spell out a strange »
A Brief Defense of ‘Wasting’ Your Time Watching Old Movies
Somewhere in the neighborhood of 10 months ago I decided, on a whim, to print out the American Film Institute’s 1998 list of Top 100 films. The original intention was simple: cross out those I’d already seen and get about watching, more or less in linear order from top to bottom, all those I hadn’t. »
‘Hunger Games’ is not the new Harry Potter
I really want to keep this point direct and clear: “The Hunger Games” is not the new Harry Potter franchise. This shouldn’t become a rant. I want to stay civil and controlled; I don’t want to preach for 700 words. But people always fall for the latest hype, and we — meaning the writers watching »
Class and Classic Actors: A Dissection
The big winner from the 84th Academy Awards, “The Artist,” was a perfect Oscar movie: a feel-good work that was entertaining and engaging. And safe. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a neat idea for a film — a cute, attractive, clean story predicated on its novelty, which it played to the tune of five Oscars. »
Who will win big at the Oscars?
At this point, guessing the major Oscar winners is worthless — we pretty much know who’s going to win the big ones. Instead, what makes the prediction process fun is its capacity to inspire debate: Sure, we know Meryl Streep is going to win, but should she? And for those of us filling out mock »
Cinema to the Max: A bittersweet ode to love and insecurity
We’re creeping towards February’s midway point, and it’s becoming more and more obvious that there’s something off in the air. What it is, exactly, could be anything. But rather than insert a half-ass joke about how it could be New Haven’s smog levels, Yale’s smug levels or last Sunday’s atrocious Coca-Cola Superbowl commercials, I think »
Cinema to the Max
The 69th Golden Globes have come and gone, sans excitement and upsets — sound familiar? The awards show hasn’t been relevant in years: not in presentation, not in star power, not even in choice of cable network. At most, the Globes offer a cooler, hipper venue for Hollywood’s elite to pat each other on the »