Friday, December 19, 2008
National Board of Review, Los Angeles Film Critics, New York Film Critics, Golden Globe Awards and the Screen Actors Guild Awards have all been announced. There seems to be a few films that every group agrees on! Across the board, Man on Wire gets best documentary nods. This fascinating documentary follows the high wire walks of Philippe Petit, including his infamous walk between the twin towers of the World Trade Center in New York. It is currently available on DVD in the HBPL Media center. Another, which is also now out on DVD and available at HBPL, is the Best Animated Film, Wall-E. For my money, Pixar makes the best animated films that are currently being released. This is no exception; a smart, funny, charming animated adventure of a lonely waste management robot. Who knew trash could be so loveable?
It seems that Josh Brolin is fated to be at the Oscars again this year. Although not nominated for his portrayal in No Country For Old Men, from all the accolades he has already received for his supporting actor role of Dan White in Milk, it would be a great surprise if an Oscar nomination didn’t come his way as well. And speaking of Milk, another actor whose performance is recognized by the critics is Sean Penn in Milk as Harvey Milk. From every group he is either their pick as best actor or in the nominated group.
The other films that seem to be getting multiple nominations are The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Doubt, Slumdog Millionaire (an amazing film that should not be missed!) and Frost/Nixon. Of course, all will eventually be available on DVD and will make their way onto the shelves at HBPL.
In the new year I will write more on the films that are getting recognized. The award season culminates with the Oscars on February 22, 2009 (with Hugh Jackman as host…but that will be a post in itself!). But until then have a wonderful holiday season and I will be back in 2009!
Tuesday, December 02, 2008
Galaxy Quest: It has been 17 years since the "Galaxy Quest'' TV series was canceled, and the actors' careers have been reduced to appearances at annual conventions. Alan Rickman plays a Spock-like character who hates the direction that his career has taken and his co-stars. Aliens show up after watching years of the series, thinking they have been watching historical documents. They want the intrepid crew of Galaxy Quest to help them defeat their enemies. So funny, so campy, so galactic!
Harry Potters: Alan Rickman is superbly cast as Severus Snape in the Harry Potter films. The voice, the sneer, the hair! A decidedly misunderstood character! We who have read the entire Harry Potter series, know that Snape is somewhat redeemed in the final act. I can’t wait to see Rickman’s portrayal in the film version of the Deathly Hallows.
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
Young @ Heart is a geriatric rock 'n roll singing choir from Northampton, Massachusetts which you've got to see (and hear) to believe. If you are a fan of “The Ramones”, just wait until you've seen a 92-year-old woman steady herself with her cane as she walks to the microphone and belts out "I Wanna Be Sedated". It gives a whole new twist to punk music!
This is a documentary about how music can enrich your life at any age. It is also about twisting your perspective and appreciating that getting old doesn’t mean you have to stop enjoying life. Young @ Heart is a thoroughly enjoyable documentary filled with humor, affection, irony, fascination and toe-tapping music.
It is available on DVD from the HBPL Media Department.
Thursday, October 30, 2008
Bulworth is a disillusioned, Democratic senator. He hates his job and his life, and has just lost millions in the market. So he puts out a contract on his own life and has only three days to live. But in those three days he decides that, for once, he is free to say exactly what he thinks, and that's what he does. Warren Beatty, who directed, produced, co- wrote and stars in this film, deserves huge credit for pulling off an enterprise as audacious and risky as Bulworth.
Dr Strangelove (DVD)
For me, Dr. Strangelove is the best political satire film ever made. The film starts with a deranged General Ripper declaring a "Code Red", sealing off his Air Force base, and ordering a nuclear attack on Russia. What follows is political satire at it’s finest as President Merkin Muffley (Peter Sellers), hawkish General Turgidson (George C. Scott) and Dr. Strangelove (Peter Sellers), an ex-Nazi scientist are called to determine how to react to the crisis. Hilarious and frightening, all at the same time!
All the President’s Men (VHS)
This film is based on the non-fiction book written by Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward. It starts with the investigation of a seemingly minor break-in which leads Bernstein and Woodward all the way to the White House. Their investigation of the Watergate incident was instrumental in the resignation of Richard Nixon.
Bob Roberts (VHS)
Documentary-style look at the fictional Senatorial campaign of Bob Roberts (Tim Robbins), an arch-conservative, self-made millionaire, folk singer turned politician. Although Roberts has the look of a home town Woody Guthrie, his message is that greed is good, the bottom line is the only line and winning is everything.
And remember, if you haven’t voted early…make sure and vote on November 4th!!
Tuesday, October 07, 2008
The Manchurian Candidate
And when I say Manchurian Candidate, I mean the original Frank Sinatra, 1962 version of this film. (Despite the excellent cast, the 2004 remake just wasn’t anywhere near the quality of this version). The plot: an American patrol is captured by Chinese communists during the Korean War, and one soldier is programmed to become an assassin; two years later, he's ordered to kill a presidential candidate. This is a minimalist view of this complex and intriguing film. After its release in 1962, Pauline Kael wrote, "It may be the most sophisticated political satire ever made in Hollywood". A must see for political film fans. Or those that want to see what real acting chops Angela Lansbury has!
Ivan Reitman directed this gem of a film. When the president falls into a coma, Dave Kovic (Kevin Kline) a dead-ringer look alike for the president is asked to temporarily step in. The White House chief of staff, an evil genius played by Frank Langella, decides not to turn over the reins of power to the vice president (Ben Kingsley) but instead to use Dave as a permanent front man, with him pulling the strings. Problems begin, however, when Dave starts to act like a leader – a compassionate and intelligent one -- instead of the puppet that his Chief of Staff wants him to be.
The always wonderful Joan Allen portrays a senator who is nominated to become Vice President following the death of the previous office holder. The President (Jeff Bridges) who is near the end of his final term, decides to leave a legacy by selecting a woman to fill the position. Unfortunately, there are those that don’t’ think this is a wise choice and they dig up things from the senator’s past that have her fighting for her good name.
One of my favorite films! This is most certainly about politics; the politics of a high school election. Based on the Tom Perrotta novel of the same name, Election is about the eternally perky, Tracy Flick’s (Reese Witherspoon) bid for class president. Flick’s exuberance rubs teacher, Jim McAllister (Matthew Broderick), the wrong way and he sets out to foil her election plans. Cynical, dark comedy at its best!
Saturday, September 27, 2008
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
Here are the top five:
Touching the Void: I have touted the wonder of this film before in this blog. It is one of the most amazing adventure survival stories ever told. Two climbers, 20,813 foot Siula Grande in the Peruvian Andes, one climber leaves the other believing him dead, but he wasn’t…
This is my favorite adventure film and one that was mentioned several times by my fellow rafters.
March of the Penguins: I am sure many of you have seen this fascinating documentary. It won the 2006 Academy Award for Best Documentary and it was certainly worthy. The film depicts the yearly journeys of the emperor penguins of Antarctica. The beauty of their life and the tragedy as well, it is one of the best nature films ever. It emotionally engages audiences more successfully than most other films of this genre.
Into the Wild: Based on the 1996 non-fiction book by Jon Krakauer, Into the Wild is a feature film, based on the adventures of Christopher McCandless. McCandless travelled around the country, ending up in Alaska. He survived for approximately 112 days in the Alaskan wilderness before meeting his demise. Whether you think he was a crazy, irresponsible youth or an adventurer with a poet’s soul, McCandless’ story is certainly compelling.
Blue Planet: This 2001 David Attenborough documentary claims to be the first ever comprehensive series on the natural history of the world's oceans. It has outstanding photography and includes footage of some sea creatures that have never before been captured on film. This film took 5 years to make and they filmed in over 200 locations around the globe. HBPL has the eight episodes available in a 5 DVD set. Each of the eight 50-minute episodes examines a different aspect of marine life.
River Wild: Alas, HBPL does not have this currently on DVD (it is on order), but I still wanted to include it because several of my fellow vacationers gave it as an adventure film to watch. Directed by Curtis Hansen (L.A. Confidential) and starring Meryl Streep. The story involves a family on a whitewater rafting trip who encounter two violent criminals in the wilderness. The supporting cast includes John C Reilly, David Straithairn and Kevin Bacon who puts in the best performance as the charming but sinister bad guy.
Saturday, August 30, 2008
I am out of here!
Saturday, August 16, 2008
Second, although I very much wanted to do a fall film program of political films, there is “no room at the inn”. Our meeting rooms and theatre are fully booked!! I have already started looking at dates for a spring film program and will post dates here as soon as they are finalized. The spring program will have a different theme which is also TBA. Things to look forward too!! Next month I will have a list of political films to watch to get ready for the November elections.
In the meantime, for those who missed the Hollywood Librarian but are looking for a documentary to watch, check out The Cats of Mirikatani (of course, available at HBPL). This is the story of Jimmy Mirikatani, a homeless, elderly artist of Japanese decent living in New York City. Jimmy was living near the Twin Towers when 9/11 happened and the days’ events threw his life into even more disarray. Linda Hattendorf (the director of this documentary) found Jimmy on that day and decided to give him a place to stay. She learned more about him, including that he spent time in a Japanese internment camp. This sends her on a journey to help Jimmy organize his life, reclaim his past and look for a home of his own.
Tuesday, August 05, 2008
Saturday, July 19, 2008
Tuesday, July 01, 2008
This Friday is Independence Day aka the 4th of July. Most of you will probably be having a three day weekend as the 4th has considerately landed on a Friday. Due to our growing gas prices, many are deciding to take stay-cations (stay at home vacations) instead of leaving town. Now, you know what my recommendation will be to fill those long summer hours. Watch a movie!!! (or two or three!). Here are a few of my favorite films that I watch to lift my American spirit:
1776: This movie version of the Broadway musical depicts the events leading up to the drafting of the Declaration of Independence and our nation’s first 4th of July. Many of the song lyrics and parts of the dialog are based on actual correspondence of the time. American history has never been so much fun (Sit down, John!). (DVD)
Yankee Doodle Dandy: James Cagney portrays the legendary Broadway songwriter and performer George M. Cohan in this rousing, flag-waving classic. It is hard to remember Cagney’s gangster roles when you see him singing and tap dancing. But his gangster roles didn’t win him his first Academy Award, singing and dancing did (Cagney won a Best Actor Oscar for his role in this film). (VHS)
Glory: During the Civil War, Robert Gould Shaw (Matthew Broderick) led the first all-black volunteer company. Glory is more about the struggle for individual dignity than it is about the mechanics of war. This film is a winner of five Academy Awards, including a Best Supporting Actor Oscar for Denzel Washington. (DVD)
Independence Day: What could be more appropriate on Independence Day then, well, you know. Oddly enough, when I first saw this film, I didn’t really like it. Even odder might be the fact that although I didn’t like it, I kept watching it whenever it happened to be on television. I guess it grew on me. Will Smith, Presidential Bill Pullman and aliens. All you need to help celebrate our independence! (DVD)
Have a safe and sane 4th of July!!
Tuesday, June 17, 2008
I, Claudius: I, Claudius is a thirteen part BBC adaptation of Robert Graves' books I, Claudius and Claudius, the God. This is a marvelous miniseries that is historically pretty accurate. It stars the talented Derek Jacobi as Claudius as well as Sian Phillips, Brian Blessed, Patrick Stewart, John Hurt, John Rhys Davies and Bernard Hill. The tale is told in flashbacks as the aging roman emperor Claudius writes the memoirs of his life. The debauchery of Caligula (John Hurt) and the scheming of Livia (Sian Phillips) are but two reasons to spend some time with ancient Rome. (DVD)
Jewel in the Crown: This miniseries was adapted from a series of novels known as The Raj Quartet written by Paul Scott. It takes place in India in the twilight of the British Raj and the start of the Indian independence movement. The story follows a young Indian man who has been educated in England and feels more British than Indian. He returns to India to work as a journalist and the British there certainly do not consider him a peer. This miniseries made a household name of Charles Dance and Tim Pigott-Smith (at least in the UK). (DVD)
Roots: Before VCR and tevo’s became a way of life, some television compelled people to actually stay home and watch it. Such was Roots. The twelve-hour mini-series aired on ABC in January 1977 and for eight consecutive nights it riveted the country. I can remember watching it and then talking to friends about it and then hardly being able to wait for the next night’s episode. The story follows the life of Kunte Kinte played as a boy by LeVar Burton (Star Trek: TNG’s Geordi) and then by John Amos as an adult. If you haven’t seen this (or read the book), it is historical television and more than worthy of your time. (DVD)
Saturday, May 31, 2008
Wednesday, May 28, 2008
This years’ jury was headed by none other than Sean Penn. The other members of the jury were Italian actor and director Sergio Castellitto, Hollywood actress Natalie Portman, Mexican director Alfonso Cuaron, Thai filmmaker Apichatpong Weerasethakul, German actress Alexandra Maria Lara, French directors Rachid Bouchareb and Marjane Satrapi, and French actress Jeanne Balibar. The jury gave the coveted Palme d’Or to the first French movie to win Cannes’s top prize in 20 years, Laurent Cantet’s The Class. This film gave an account of teacher-student dynamics in a multicultural French middle school.
The second place Grand Prix award went to Gomorrah, Italian director Matteo Garrone’s movie about organized crime in Naples. The third place jury prize went to Paolo Sorrentino’s Il Divo, which satirized the career of former Italian Prime Minister, Giulio Andreott. Nuri Bilge Ceylan won the directing prize for Three Monkeys, a drama about family pulled apart by crime and suspicion. Benicio Del Toro took the Best Actor prize for his portrayal of Che Guevara in Steven Soderbergh’s four plus hour biopic of the revolutionary (which will be released as two separate films, Guerrilla and The Argentine). Best Actress went to Sandra Corveloni (by-passing Anjelina Jolie in Clint Eastwood’s Changeling) who portrayed a single mother of four fatherless boys in the Brazilian family drama, Linha de Passe (Line of Passage).
This Saturday, May 31st, will be the final film in our current Saturday Film Forum, “Cinema Français: Gypsies, Tramps and Thieves”. We will be screening Baz Luhrmann’s Moulin Rouge! and it is a MUST to see on the big screen. Please join us at 2pm in the Library Theater! A word of warning on parking: The Concourse Car Show will be taking over Central Park near the library both Saturday and Sunday. They will be finished on Saturday at 2pm so I hope parking won’t be too hard to find.
Friday, May 23, 2008
Radcliffe has also been making some interesting non-Harry Potter films. Check out these two (currently available from the HBPL Media department):
In the late 1960's, four close-knit orphans in Australia, called the December Boys because they were all born in the same month, leave their orphanage for a holiday by the sea. Having all but given up hope of ever being adopted, the friends are on a seaside holiday one summer when they hear a rumor that a seaside couple are looking to adopt one of the orphans, friendships are tested and new alliances made as the four boys compete for the chance to gain a real family.
My Boy Jack:
Daniel Radcliffe does an excellent job of portraying, John (Jack) Kipling, son of Rudyard. It is 1913 and Rudyard Kipling is at the peak of his literary fame. World War I breaks out, and Jack is determined to fight, but the Army and the Navy both reject him because of his extremely poor eyesight. Undaunted, Kipling uses his influence to land Jack a commission in the Irish Guards, sparking off a bitter family conflict.
Thursday, May 08, 2008
In the meantime, we are currently between major film festivals (hence the sandwich!). Tribeca Film Festival ran from April 23rd to May 4th and Cannes International Film Festival starts on May 14th.
The Tribeca Film Festival was started by Robert De Niro, Jane Rosenthal and Craig Hatkoff following 9/11 to help build economic and cultural revitalization of lower Manhattan. Since its founding, the festival has been attended by over two million attendees and has generated 425 million in economic activity for New York City. It was recently announced that this year’s festival had an attendance of 155,000 moviegoers to 700 screenings and 14 panel discussions. The winners of the big awards this year were:
Cadillac Award (audience choice): War Child: A documentary based on the life of hip-hop artist Emmanuel Jal, a veteran of the 20-year civil war in southern Sudan. Now in his 20s, this former “lost boy” is using his music to raise awareness about the ongoing humanitarian crisis in Sudan and the plight of child soldiers throughout the world.
Founder Award for Best Narrative Film: Let the Right One In: Twelve year old Oskar gets relentlessly bullied by day and by night he dreams of revenge. This beautifully touching tale tells of the first romance for bullied 12-year-old Oskar and the girl next door, Eli… who also happens to be a vampire.
Best Documentary Feature: Pray the Devil Back to Hell: After more than a decade of civil wars leading to more than 250,000 deaths and one million refugees, a group of courageous women rose up to force peace on their shattered Liberia and propel to victory the first female head of state on the African continent.
Sometimes it takes a bit of time for festival films to make the local art house, but these would be worth keeping an eye out for viewing in the future.
Wednesday, April 30, 2008
So please join us this Saturday at 2pm in the Library Theatre, for French Kiss!!
Thursday, April 17, 2008
Amelie: Probably all of you have seen this film already. It came out in 2002 and charmed everyone that had the good fortune to discover it. And if you can’t get enough of the star, Audrey Tautou, try her 2005 film: A Very Long Engagement. This film is set against the backdrop of World War I. Mathilde (Tautou) doesn’t believe it when she is told her fiancée has been killed in battle so she heads out to find him. Adventure ensues!
Cyrano de Begerac:
Years ago, I worked at Disney Studios. When I was there, they were making the film Green Card and I heard horror stories about one of the stars, Gerard Depardieu. It almost put me off watching his films but I would have been the poorer for it. If you have not seen his version of Cyrano de Bergerac, have a look; it will break your heart! I have gone on to have a great appreciation for the work of this French actor.
Another oldie but goodie is Jean Renoir’s Grand Illusion. It was released in 1937 and was the first foreign language film to be nominated for a Best Picture Academy Award. At the time President Roosevelt said that “everyone who believes in democracy should see this film”. Hence Nazi propaganda chief Josef Goebbels listed Grand Illusion as Cinematic Public Enemy #1. It was the film he wanted to destroy the most. When Germany moved into France during the war, they confiscated much of the film archives of Paris. The person in charge, Dr Frank Hensel, was a Nazi but he was also a huge film buff. Instead of destroying the films, he sent them to Berlin. The negative for Grand Illusion was thought to be destroyed in an air raid on Berlin. After the war, the sector where the film archive had been was in the Soviet sector. In the 1960’s, there was a film exchange between the Soviet (Film Archive) Gosfilmoford and the Cinematique Toulouse (France). Unfortunately, the archive in Toulouse didn’t look at all the material they had received very closely. In the 1990’s it was discovered that they had received in the exchange the ORIGINAL sound and picture negative for Grand Illusion! Unfortunately, the director, Jean Renoir died in 1979 and was never aware of this discovery (he died thinking his masterpiece was gone.). But fortunately for us, the original negative was restored and in 1999 was released as the inaugural DVD of the Criterion Collection. This is the version that is available at HBPL.
Tuesday, April 08, 2008
I hope to see you all there!
Wednesday, March 26, 2008
This has led me to catch up with some of those in the “DVD” category and, who knew, that my favorites would be westerns! If you haven’t seen them already, I would recommend both 3:10 to Yuma and The Assassination of Jesse James (by the coward Robert Ford).
3:10 to Yuma is a remake of the 1957 film by the same name starring Glen Ford and Van Heflin. Of course, you know by now that I think Christian Bale is an amazing actor and he continues to show us why in this film. I was quite surprised to see Peter Fonda and actually didn’t recognize him until well into the story. And, of course, there is Russell Crowe. Despite all the fun the tabloids have with Russell, he continues to give us performances that show his depth of talent and the range that he can play (My favorite Russell Crowe is still L.A. Confidential).
The Assassination of Jesse James (by the coward Robert Ford) runs a bit long but I didn’t mind as much as others seem to as I was mesmerized by the performance of Casey Affleck. His creepy, hero-worshipping performance as Robert Ford was perfectly pitched. His brother is played by another one of my favorites, Sam Rockwell. Both the brothers’ profit from the notorious deed but ultimately it destroys them. Several well known reviewers have written scathing reviews of this film however, I couldn’t disagree with them more. I will leave it up to you to decide.
If these two films just aren’t enough of the wild, west for you, I might also recommend some others that are also currently available from the Media Department at HBPL:
Lonesome Dove: the best western mini-series EVER! Based on the Larry McMurtry novel (which you should certainly read if you haven’t already) and follows the escapades of Captain Woodrow Call (Tommy Lee Jones) and Augustus McCrea (Robert Duvall).
Silverado: This Lawrence Kasdan film brought life back to the western genre of films. A very entertaining film with a great cast: Kevin Kline, Scott Glenn, (a very young) Kevin Costner, Danny Glover, John Cleese, Brian Dennehy, Linda Hunt, Jeff Goldblum and Rosanna Arquette.
How The West Was Won: Talk about casts! This film had almost everyone who was anyone in it! Gregory Peck, Jimmy Stewart, Debbie Reynolds, Henry Fonda, John Wayne, Eli Wallach, Robert Preston, Karl Malden, Carolyn Jones, and on and on! How the West was Won is one of only two feature films (the other being The Wonderful World of the Brothers Grimm) made using the three-strip Cinerama process. Although, it loses something on the small screen, it is still a story worth watching.
The Searchers: My favorite John Wayne western. The Searchers is usually found on just about every top ten list of best westerns ever made and it surely belongs there.
Wednesday, March 12, 2008
BTW, have you had a look at the New Releases in the Media section lately? Instead of just one BIG New Release section, the Media staff has made new headings that will help you make your DVD selections. The New Release DVD’s are now broken into the following headings: Comedy, Drama, Musical, Action, Western, Mystery, Science Fiction and Horror.
Speaking of new releases, the following hot titles have recently shown up here at HBPL: Into the Wild, Michael Clayton, In the Valley of Elah, Dan in Real Life, The Bee Movie, August Rush, the Darjeeling Ltd., and the best picture of the year, No Country for Old Men.
Wednesday, February 27, 2008
My winning percentage was down this year but looking at the glass half full, I have to say I did extremely well on the major awards! I only missed Best Supporting Actress, but then again, I think many missed that one. Tilda Swindon? Deserved, but not expected…even by her! And what about Marion Cotillard! She very much owned the Best Actress this year and she is only the third French actress to win the Oscar; the others being Claudette Colbert (It Happened One Night in 1934) and Simone Signoret (Room at the Top – 1960).
Just a reminder, the Saturday Film Forum returns on March 8th with a screening of Chocolat. It will be in the Library Theatre, 2pm and it’s FREE! So please join us! I won’t be updating this blog until after Chocolat so stay tuned!
Thursday, February 21, 2008
Best Actor: Daniel Day Lewis
Best Actress: Marion Cotillard (every one else thinks Julie Christie but I have a feeling...)
Best Director: Coen Brothers
Best Supporting Actor: Javier Bardem
Best Supporting Actress: Ruby Dee (but many think Amy Ryan)
Adapted Screenplay: No Country for Old Men
Original Screenplay: Juno
Animated Feature: Ratatouille
Art Direction: There Will Be Blood
Costume Design: La Vie En Rose
Documentary: No End in Sight
Editing: Bourne Ultimatum
Foreign Language: Katyn
Make-up: La Vie En Rose
Original Score: Atonement
Original Song: Falling Slowly – Once
Sound Editing: No Country For Old Men
Sound Mixing: Transformers
Visual Effects: Transformers
I usually do pretty well. If I remember right, last year I only missed 3 categories. Now I will have to wait until Sunday night to see if I had another year of “choosing wisely”.
Btw, if you have problems with the “comments” on this page, you can always e:mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Saturday, February 16, 2008
Who is nominated:
Atonement (Focus Features)
Juno (Fox Searchlight)
Michael Clayton (Warner Bros.)
No Country for Old Men (Miramax and Paramount Vantage)
There Will Be Blood (Paramount Vantage and Miramax)
Someone predicted that the “American” vote would split between No Country for Old Men and There Will Be Blood and the award would go to Atonement. I liked Atonement quite a bit and although it won the BAFTA for best picture, I just don’t think Academy voters will go for it. Loved Juno but way too hip for Academy voters to select and Michael Clayton…if only they would give it to this smart, fascinating film! But since the Coen brothers won the DGA for best director and the Writers Guild gave No Country for Old Men best adapted screenplay, I will have to go for No Country for Old Men to win the top prize.
Have you seen the top films?? Most of them are still playing in the local cinemas but if you are waiting for them to come to DVD, here are some dates of release*:
Atonement: March 18th
Juno: April 15th
Michael Clayton: February 19th
No Country for Old Men: March 11th
There Will Be Blood: April 8th
(*Even when a release date is set, sometimes they change if the film wins major awards.)
I will be updating this blog Wednesday or Thursday next week with my other predictions. I would love to know what you predict so feel free to add your predictions to the comments and I will share them next week.
Thursday, January 31, 2008
Tuesday, January 29, 2008
This year the awards went to:
The Grand Jury Prize winner for U.S. Dramatic films , *Frozen River, centers on a woman in upstate New York struggling to provide food for her kids - until she is drawn into a smuggling ring carrying illegal immigrants from Canada through the Mohawk Indian reservation. The Grand Jury Prize for U.S. documentaries, Trouble the Water, focuses on Kimberly Rivers Roberts and Scott Roberts, a couple from New Orleans' Lower Ninth Ward during Hurricane Katrina - and features footage shot by Kimberly on her camcorder as the floodwaters forced the family to seek refuge in the attic. I heard Kenneth Turan speak on both of these films. He says the mere description of plot doesn’t do either justice. Both were powerful films that are worth waiting to see in your local theaters!
In the World Cinema: Documentary category, the top honors from both the Jury and the audience were presented to Man on Wire, which chronicles French artist Philippe Petit's daring dance on a wire suspended between New York's Twin Towers and his subsequent arrest for what would become known as “the artistic crime of the century”.
Audience awards went to the documentary, Fields of Fuel about America's addiction to oil, and the drama *The Wackness about a teen drug dealer.
A Special Jury Prize was awarded to *Choke for Work by an Ensemble Cast (Sam Rockwell, Anjelica Huston, Kelly MacDonald, Brad Henke). The film is an adaptation of Chuck Palahniuk's (Fight Club) novel by the same name.
(* means the film has a distribution deal. Hopefully they all will get distribution now that they have won awards at Sundance!)
Thursday, January 24, 2008
Wednesday, January 16, 2008
Saturday, January 05, 2008
Golden Globes: Sunday, January 13, 2008
SAG (Screen Actors Guild) Awards: Sunday, January 27, 2008
Independent Spirit Awards: Saturday February 23, 2008
(As of January 2nd, the Writer’s Guild has NOT given a waiver to the Golden Globes. They have given them to both the SAG Awards and the Independent Spirits. According to the WGA, they will be picketing the Golden Globes. It will make it difficult for celebrities to cross the picket line to attend and without celebs…poor Golden Globes.)
And of course my “mother ship” of award shows:
Oscars: nominations announced: Tuesday, January 22, 2008
Oscar telecast: Sunday, February 24, 2008
Some of the film critics have already made their picks for the best of 2007:
New York Film Critics:
Best Picture: No Country for Old Men
Best Actor: Daniel Day Lewis (There Will Be Blood)
Best Actress: Julie Christie (Away From Her)
Director: Joel and Ethan Cohen (No Country For Old Men)
Boston Society of Film Critics:
Best Picture: No Country for Old Men
Best Actor: Frank Langella (Starting Out in the Evening)
Best Actress: Marion Cotillard (La Vie En Rose)
Director: Julian Schnabel (Diving Bell and the Butterfly)
Los Angeles Film Critics:
Best Picture: There Will Be Blood
Best Actor: Daniel Day Lewis (There Will Be Blood)
Best Actress: Marion Cotillard (La Vie En Rose)
Director: Paul Thomas Anderson (There Will Be Blood)
National Board of Review:
Best Picture: No Country for Old Men
Best Actor: George Clooney (Michael Clayton)
Best Actress: Julie Christie (Away From Her)
Director: Tim Burton (Sweeney Todd)
Two of the films that have some of the top nominations are already available at HBPL. Media currently has Away From Her and La Vie En Rose!
So as I like to say to my Oscar betting buddy: Let the Games Begin!