Awards Watch Archive for December, 2011

Critics Top Ten List 2011: Dennis Hartley

Dennis Hartley Digby’s Hullabaloo (alphabetical) Another Earth Certified Copy The Descendants 3 (Drei) Drive The First Grader Midnight in Paris Summer Wars Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy The Trip

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Critics Top Ten List 2011: Reverse Shot

Reverse Shot “We know this stuff is beyond silly—list-making, ranking, turning art into a form of competition—but if we’re going to do it, we have to set some sort of stable parameters, as these endeavors do create an idea of the state of the art, however superficially.” 1. The Tree of Life 2. Uncle Boonmee…

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Critics Top Ten List 2011: Robert Horton

Robert Horton Everett Herald “2011: Year of mystery? Sometimes it felt like it at the movies.” 1. Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy 2. Certified Copy 3. Melancholia 4. A Dangerous Method 5. Meek’s Cutoff 6. Drive 7. Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives. 8. Poetry 9. Into Eternity 10. The Descendants /Le Havre

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Critics Top Ten List 2011: Don R. Lewis

Don R. Lewis Film Threat “I suuuuck at year end “Best Of” lists. Why? Because I take them so seriously. I could sit here and debate with myself for hours and trust me, I do.” Take Shelter We Need to Talk About Kevin Moneyball Drive Warrior I Saw the Devil Young Adult Martha Marcy May…

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Critics Top Ten List 2011: Andy Klein

Andy Klein Glendale News Press “There are numerous inherent flaws and absurdities in the process of compiling Top 10s and Best ofs; nonetheless, here are my favorite films released in Los Angeles in the calendar year 2011.” 1. Melancholia 2. The Artist 3. The Tree of Life 4. The Trip 5. Hugo 6. The Girl…

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Critics Top Ten List 2011: John M. Urbancich

John M. Urbancich Sun News The Artist The Descendants Take Shelter The Tree of Life Drive Moneyball Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo Midnight in Paris Win Win

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It’s Cieply’s Turn To Surmise How The Academy’s Going To Push Paper This Year

It’s Cieply‘s Turn To Surmise How The Academy’s Going To Push Paper This Year

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Holden Eyeballs A Separation

Holden Eyeballs A Separation

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Thatcher’s Style Legacy

Thatcher’s Style Legacy

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Critics Top Ten List 2011: Eric Eisenberg

Eric Eisenberg Cinema Blend 1. Drive 2. 50/50 3. The Descendants 4. Shame 5. The Muppets 6. Moneyball 7. Take Shelter 8. The Guard 9. Rango 10. Conan O’Brien Can’t Stop

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Critics Top Ten List 2011: Patty Jones

Patty Jones Georgia Straight The Tree Of Life Melancholia Midnight In Paris Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy Bridesmaids Drive Le Havre Young Adult Hanna The Artist

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Critics Top Ten List 2011: Janet Smith

Janet Smith Georgia Straight Melancholia Martha Marcy May Marlene The Tree Of Life The Artist Circumstance Bridesmaids Hanna The Butcher, The Chef, and The Swordsman Hell and Back Again Beginners

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Critics Top Ten List 2011: Mark Harris

Mark Harris Georgia Straight Certified Copy Melancholia In a Better World Incendies Armadillo Another Year Shame Le Havre Winter in Wartime The Bang Bang Club

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Critics Top Ten List 2011: Steve Prokopy

Steve Prokopy Gapers Block 1. Drive 2. Martha Marcy May Marlene 3. Melancholia 4. 13 Assassins 5. Warrior 6. The Tree of Life 7. Moneyball 8. Midnight In Paris 9. The Artist 10. Young Adult

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Critics Top Ten List 2011: Jeremy Kirk

“The absolute best 2011 has to offer. It’s indicative of how well this year in movies has been that it was so difficult to get this list down to 10. There was a noticeable pain that came from having to cut some of those movies down to an honorable mentions list, but they are all works of cinema that are absolutely worth your time and effort.”

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Critics Top Ten List 2011: Matt Goldberg

” The movies on my Top Ten list became better on repeat viewings and I look forward to watching them again and again over the years.”

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Critics Top Ten List 2011: Josh Tyler

“To me it never matters what kind of movie it is, I’ll love it if it’s good. This list has the soul of a hero.”

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Dante Ferretti On Hugo

“The only thing I didn’t build was my pencil.” Dante Ferretti On Hugo

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Critics Top Ten List 2011: Kevin Jagernauth

Kevin Jagernauth The Playlist 1. Le Havre 2. The Artist 3. Take Shelter 4. Jane Eyre 5. The Interrupters 6. Drive 7. The Kid With A Bike 8. Shame 9. Beginners 10. The Tree Of Life

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Alan Rickman Looks Back On A Harry Potter Decade

Alan Rickman Looks Back On A Harry Potter Decade

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This is probably going to sound petty, but Martin Scorsese insisting that critics see his film in theaters even though it’s going straight to Netflix and then not screening it in most American cities was a watershed moment for me in this theatrical versus streaming debate.

I completely respect when a filmmaker insists that their movie is meant to be seen in the theater, but the thing is, you got to actually make it possible to see it in the theater. Some movies may be too small for that, and that’s totally OK.

When your movie is largely financed by a streaming service and is going to appear on that streaming service instantly, I don’t really see the point of pretending that it’s a theatrical film. It just seems like we are needlessly indulging some kind of personal fantasy.

I don’t think that making a feature film length production that is going to go straight to a video platform is some sort of “step down.“ I really don’t. Theatrical exhibition as we know it is dying off anyway, for a variety of reasons.

I should clarify myself because this thread is already being misconstrued — I’m talking about how the movie is screened in advance. If it’s going straight to Netflix, why the ritual of demanding people see it in the theater?

There used to be a category that everyone recognized called “TV movie” or “made for television movie” and even though a lot of filmmakers considered that déclassé, it seems to me that probably 90% of feature films fit that description now.

Atlantis has mostly sunk into the ocean, only a few tower spires remain above the waterline, and I’m increasingly at peace with that, because it seems to be what the industry and much of the audience wants. We live in an age of convenience and information control.

Only a very elite group of filmmakers is still allowed to make movies “for theaters“ and actually have them seen and judged that way on a wide scale. Even platform releasing seems to be somewhat endangered. It can’t be fought. It has to be accepted.

9. Addendum: I’ve been informed that it wasn’t Scorsese who requested that the Bob Dylan documentary only be screened for critics in theaters, but a Netflix representative indicated the opposite to me, so I just don’t know what to believe.

It’s actually OK if your film is not eligible for an Oscar — we have a thing called the Emmys. A lot of this anxiety is just a holdover from the days when television was considered culturally inferior to theatrical feature films. Everybody needs to just get over it.

In another 10 to 20 years they’re probably going to merge the Emmys in the Oscars into one program anyway, maybe they’ll call it the Contentys.

“One of the fun things about seeing the new Quentin Tarantino film three months early in Cannes (did I mention this?) is that I know exactly why it’s going to make some people furious, and thus I have time to steel myself for the takes.

Back in July 2017, when it was revealed that Tarantino’s next project was connected to the Manson Family murders, it was condemned in some quarters as an insulting and exploitative stunt. We usually require at least a fig-leaf of compassion for the victims in true-crime adaptations, and even Tarantino partisans like myself – I don’t think he’s made a bad film yet – found ourselves wondering how he might square his more outré stylistic impulses with the depiction of a real mass murder in which five people and one unborn child lost their lives.

After all, it’s one thing to slice off with gusto a fictional policeman’s ear; it’s quite another to linger over the gory details of a massacre that took place within living memory, and which still carries a dread historical significance.

In her essay The White Album, Joan Didion wrote: “Many people I know in Los Angeles believe that the Sixties ended abruptly on August 9, 1969, ended at the exact moment when word of the murders on Cielo Drive traveled like brushfire through the community, and in a sense this is true.”

Early in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, as Leonardo DiCaprio and Brad Pitt’s characters drive up the hill towards Leo’s bachelor pad, the camera cranes up gently to reveal a street sign: Cielo Drive. Tarantino understands how charged that name is; he can hear the Molotov cocktails clinking as he shoulders the crate.

As you may have read in the reviews from Cannes, much of the film is taken up with following DiCaprio and Pitt’s characters – a fading TV actor and his long-serving stunt double – as they amusingly go about their lives in Los Angeles, while Margot Robbie’s Sharon Tate is a relatively minor presence. But the spectre of the murders is just over the horizon, and when the night of the 9th finally arrives, you feel the mood in the cinema shift.

No spoilers whatsoever about what transpires on screen. But in the audience, as it became clear how Tarantino was going to handle this extraordinarily loaded moment, the room soured and split, like a pan of cream left too long on the hob. I craned in, amazed, but felt the person beside me recoil in either dismay or disgust.

Two weeks on, I’m convinced that the scene is the boldest and most graphically violent of Tarantino’s career – I had to shield my eyes at one point, found myself involuntarily groaning “oh no” at another – and a dead cert for the most controversial. People will be outraged by it, and with good reason. But in a strange and brilliant way, it takes Didion’s death-of-the-Sixties observation and pushes it through a hellfire-hot catharsis.

Hollywood summoned up this horror, the film seems to be saying, and now it’s Hollywood’s turn to exorcise it. I can’t wait until the release in August, when we can finally talk about why.

~ Robbie Collin