Monday, June 17, 2013

Before Midnight (2013)- One of the greatest films of all time (4 Stars)

Before Midnight is an hour and forty-six minutes long, but feels like thirty minutes tops. It is easily the year's best film so far (I say that a lot, but this is it by a landslide), and will easily nab a spot in my top three by 2014.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Upstream Color (2013)- An endless cycle in 90 minutes (3½ Stars)

Shane Carruth is a jack of all trades. He directed, wrote, and acted in his latest film Upstream Color, but he also did casting, editing, sound, camerawork, production design, and produced it. Fortunately, with great control and handling, Upstream Color is a true work of digital cinema, one that this century has not seen.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Behind the Candelabra (2013)- The best TV movie in a long time. (3½ Stars)

Right now, HBO Films has been incredible to me as a viewer. I thought 2005's highly underrated Sometimes in April was exhilarating, and Gus Van Sant's Elephant  was great. So at this point in the year, I have finally found a film worthy to be called the year's best: Steven Soderbergh's Behind the Candelabra.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Masterpieces Classics: Close-Up (1990)

Hossain Sabzian is not a bad man. He is a man deeply interested in cinema. He is also not film director Mohsen Makhmalbaf.

Close-Up is one of the most harrowing and complex films ever made. It explores the true story of how a man named Hossain Sabzian tricked a family into believing he was popular film director Mohsen Makhmalbaf. It's a tale straight out of fiction, but its all 100% true.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Mud (2013)- Once Upon a Time in the South (3 Stars)

Mud is a modern day fairy tale by  Jeff Nichols. The first thing the film does right was done in the beginning of production, and that was to make the film easily watchable and accessible. This is from Jeff Nichols, whose Take Shelter was disorienting, cold, and somewhat hard to watch (but not bad).

The Place Beyond the Pines (2013)- An American Mosaic (3 Stars)

Last year The Place Beyond the Pines premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival. It was picked up by Focus Features, but they chose not to release it until the desolate early April. I wrote an article discussing the film's Oscar potential, and I was going blind without seeing it.

Post-Cannes Best Picture predictions!

Blue is the Warmest Color won the big prize at Cannes, but the real winner was the Coen's Inside Llewyn Davis, a film that simply captivated the fest and is now an Oscar frontrunner (literally, with lead Oscar Isaac). However, I still think our winner has yet to be seen.

1. Foxcatcher
The last time a best picture winner came out in December was Million Dollar Baby, and even then the film was a somewhat of an underdog. I think Foxcatcher has what it takes to win due to a strong cast (Steve Carell, Channing Tatum, Mark Ruffalo, Vanessa Redgrave), a strong director (two-time BP nominee Bennett Miller) and an undecided release date that will most likely free the film of any controversy before the big show.

2. American Hustle
Usually directors without a win seem to contend better than directors that have wins under their belt. David O'Russell seems like a director prime for a win (Silver Linings Playbook and The Fighter were both Academy hits). A top-notch cast also does not hurt (Amy Adams, Christian Bale, Jennifer Lawrence, Jeremy Renner, and Bradley Cooper). Oh yeah, did I mention that both this and Foxcatcher are based off true stories? OSCAR BAIT!

3. The Wolf of Wall Street
The third true story in a row, and the third in a row with a top notch cast (Leo Dicaprio, Matthew McConaughey, Jean Dudjardin, Jonah Hill, Kyle Chandler) and Martin Scorsese behind the director's chair.

4. The Monuments Men
Directed by George Clooney. Which is the film's achille heal. Clooney only has one Best Picture nomination, and despite Ides of March being his best film, he only got a Screenplay nomination. Still, Clooney is on a hot streak with producing Argo. This film is still a contender!

5. Inside Llewyn Davis
This is a film that has been screened already at Cannes, to extreme critical acclaim. I don't know anyone that doesn't like it.

6. Before Midnight
With up to 10 slots now, I think finally a 'Before' film will get a nomination. Finally!

7. Captain Phillips
Tom Hanks in a true story by Oscar-nominee Paul Greengrass. 'Nuff said.

8. August: Osage County
The Weinstein Company is bound to get a nomination, and this one is bound to be it. Guaranteed SAG nomination.