Tag Archives: The Artist

5 Reasons This Year’s Oscars Are Worth Watching

It’s close. It’s so close. I can taste it. And it tastes awesome. The 84th annual Academy Awards is less than two weeks away. Take my birthday. Take Christmas. Give me the Oscars and remain silent during the show. I must not be disturbed. If you want to know my thoughts, follow me on Twitter (@suddenlydog), as I’ll be live tweeting for my third year.

There’s always plenty to get excited about each year, but here are my top five reasons the Oscars are worth watching this year:

5. A Pig and a Frog Walk into a Bar …

Though nothing has been confirmed, the prospects of Muppets appearing at the Oscars is enough to get me excited. “Man or Muppet” from The Muppets is nominated for Best Original Song. It would be a hugely missed opportunity if the Jim Henson creations of my youth didn’t appear on stage for the number (that is, assuming the songs are performed on stage this year—there’s only two, so why not?). And don’t forget—Miss Piggy is a fashionista. Could she be strolling the red carpet? Joan Rivers did leave some shoes to fill. I think our porcine friend could cram her hooves in them with little effort.

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Review: The Artist

NOTE: This review contains spoilers.

Some time last year, I thought to myself, “Why doesn’t anyone make a silent film today? It would be interesting to see a contemporary filmmaker’s take on early cinema.” And then The Artist came along …

I had been looking forward to seeing The Artist since it screened at Cannes mid-last year. The film follows 1927 silent screen superstar George Valentin (Jean Dujardin) as he holds firmly onto his principles at the expense of his career in the wake of the emergence of “talkies.” Following a chance encounter with one of his fans, Peppy Miller (Bérénice Bejo), who bumps into him (literally), she is immediately bitten by the Hollywood bug. As her acting career takes off in the talking pictures, Valentin’s begins to flounder. It’s the stuff A Star Is Born is made of.

Typically, I’m a sucker for movies about movies, and being a classic film buff, I was excited about the prospects of watching a modern-day silent film set in the ’20s, a pivotal period in early cinema. Having just watched it, I can say that it’s a terrific film. As is the case with any great film, all elements come together to make one great picture—a reminder that the sum should always be greater than its parts. The film, much like its leading man Dujardin, is debonair, classy, and charming. The beautiful black-and-white cinematography by Guillaume Schiffman merges with some dazzling performances by Dujardin, Bejo, and John Goodman (who plays a Cecil B. DeMille-type studio executive).

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This Fall’s Awards Contenders

Being originally from New England, fall has always been my favorite season. You’ve got the cool, crisp air and the bright-colored leaves. Then there’s the holidays and my birthday. But chief among it all … the movies! We’re ramping up for awards season, so now’s the time for the studios—big and small—to put out some of the best cinematic fare of the year. I spend all year keeping my eye on awards contenders, but the fall is when the best films are released. It’s a simple principle: the last thing you see is the first thing you remember. And that’s why studios wait until the end of the year to put out their big guns. These are the films that voters are most likely to remember (and consider) for the year’s top awards. Here are just some of the remaining films to be released this year that are primed for awards consideration, as well as some of the categories for which they stand to potentially receive nominations. (Note: This is not an exhaustive list, as several earlier releases are worthy of consideration in various categories.)

If you’re anything like me and you determine which movies to watch based, at least partly, on awards viability, then set your calendars for these upcoming releases (release dates listed below).

Best Picture

       

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