Film (#110 of 3155)

Tribeca Film Festival Review Flames

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Tribeca Film Festival Review: Flames

Tribeca Film Festival

Tribeca Film Festival Review: Flames

Early in Flames, we see the film's co-writers, co-editors, co-directors, and co-stars, Zefrey Throwell and Josephine Decker, in the first of many compromising positions. Decker's hanging off a bed upside down and naked, while Throwell, standing right-side up, has comically unglamorous sex with her, his pumping ass facing the camera while they both laugh. We're seeing a real side of sex that Joe Swanberg explored in his early films but that's not often acknowledged by cinema (which usually offers erotic and romantic titillation that's self-seriously sanitized): its potentialities as a hang-out activity, when one's grown so comfortable with a partner that self-consciousness eases and pleasure deepens. Knowledge that one doesn't have to elicit an orgasm per minute from their partner is freedom—a step toward lovers allowing themselves to be human in one another's company.

Tribeca Film Festival Review The Departure

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Tribeca Film Festival Review: The Departure

Tribeca Film Festival

Tribeca Film Festival Review: The Departure

Death hangs over The Departure in grandly cosmic fashion. Lana Wilson's documentary is a portrait of Ittetsu Nemoto, a Buddhist priest in Japan who's devoted his life to preparing people for death and trying to talk people out of taking their own lives. The film's opening sequence captures in detail one of Nemoto's workshops, in which, among other things, he has his followers write down on small pieces of paper various things they feel they can't live without, and then proceed, in stages, to crumple most of them up and throw them away. This establishes not only the film's thoughtful approach to death, but also its calm aesthetic, with its long takes and wide shots inducing a sense of serene reflection wholly appropriate to its eternal subject matter.

Tribeca Film Festival Review The Family I Had

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Tribeca Film Festival Review: The Family I Had

Tribeca Film Festival

Tribeca Film Festival Review: The Family I Had

Charity Lee occupies the center of one of those true-crime stories that's so operatically atrocious it's impossible to comprehend. In 2007, Charity's 13-year-old son, Paris, savagely murdered her four-year-old daughter and his half-sister, Ella, strangling and beating the girl, stabbing her 17 times with a kitchen knife. Katie Green and Carlye Rubin's documentary The Family I Had opens with Charity's recollection of hearing of Ella's death, which is initially presented as a terrifyingly arbitrary incident. We hear the recording of Paris's call to 911, in which he sounds remorseful and panicked, as if he's snapped out of a slumber and is describing an act committed by another person.

Tribeca Film Festival Review Dog Years

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Tribeca Film Festival Review: Dog Years

Tribeca Film Festival

Tribeca Film Festival Review: Dog Years

It's unseemly watching Burt Reynolds, one of the greatest movie stars, beg for sympathy in Adam Rifkin's Dog Years. The film bears a resemblance to Daniel Noah's Max Rose, as both are vehicles for their stars to explore their own legacies within a thinly fictional framework. But in Max Rose, Jerry Lewis had the sense not to overtly soften his character's crustiness, maintaining his dignity and reminding viewers that he was still a vital actor despite the production's pervading mediocrity. Reynolds still has his characteristic comic-masculine force, and he can still throw a line away with masterful panache, but he allows Rifkin to enable his self-pity.

The 2017 TCM Classic Film Festival

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The 2017 TCM Classic Film Festival

Edward M. Pio Roda

The 2017 TCM Classic Film Festival

Almost by definition, any festival dedicated exclusively to the treasures, glories, and the occasional folly of the past is likely to be visited by ghosts, and the spirits of the dead are practically a staple at the TCM Classic Film Festival, which held its eighth gathering in the heart of Hollywood this past weekend. The memory of the late Debbie Reynolds, who had made several in-person appearances at TCMFF over the past eight years, was invoked through yet another screening (the festival's third) of the indisputable classic Singin' in the Rain, in which Reynolds made her first big Hollywood splash back in 1952, and at a screening of Postcards from the Edge (classic status somewhat more disputable), before which Reynolds and her daughter, Carrie Fisher, were remembered fondly by Todd Fisher, Reynolds's son.

Even though he wasn't represented at the festival on screen, Don Rickles, who passed away on April 6, the festival's opening day, couldn't be ignored. Rickles's star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame is located on Hollywood Boulevard across the street from the Chinese Theater complex, and as I made my way through the usual crush of tourists, desperadoes, and TCMFF pass holders toward my first screening on Thursday afternoon I wasn't surprised to see the little square of sidewalk devoted to Rickles surrounded by flowers, curious bystanders, and entertainment reporters trolling for soundbites, and even adorned by one fan's thoughtful memorial: a brand-new hockey puck.

The ghost that made its presence felt at almost every turn of this year's festival belonged, of course, to TCM's beloved host Robert Osborne, who died one month to the day before the launch of this year's festival. Osborne began his Hollywood career in the early 1950s as an actor; his highest-profile moments were uncredited, blink-and-you'll-miss-them appearances in Psycho and Spartacus. But his heart was never in it, and at the encouragement of Lucille Ball he abandoned acting and combined his love of movies and journalism to concentrate on writing and documenting Hollywood history, eventually becoming the genial, knowledgeable, silver-haired host who won the allegiance of TCM fans worldwide.

Oscar 2017 Winner Predictions

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Oscar 2017 Winner Predictions

Paramount Pictures

Oscar 2017 Winner Predictions

This is a complete list of our predicted winners at the 2017 Academy Awards with links to individual articles.

Picture: La La Land
Director: Damien Chazelle, La La Land
Actor: Casey Affleck, Manchester by the Sea
Actress: Emma Stone, La La Land
Supporting Actor: Mahershala Ali, Moonlight
Supporting Actress: Viola Davis, Fences
Original Screenplay: La La Land
Adapted Screenplay: Moonlight
Foreign Language: The Salesman
Documentary Feature: O.J.: Made in America
Animated Feature Film: Zootopia
Documentary Short: The White Helmets
Animated Short: Piper
Live Action Short: Enemies Within
Film Editing: La La Land
Production Design: La La Land
Cinematography: La La Land
Costume Design: La La Land
Makeup and Hairstyling: Star Trek Beyond
Score: La La Land
Song: “City of Stars,” La La Land
Sound Editing: Hacksaw Ridge
Sound Mixing: La La Land
Visual Effects: The Jungle Book

Oscar 2017 Winner Predictions Picture

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Oscar 2017 Winner Predictions: Picture

Lionsgate

Oscar 2017 Winner Predictions: Picture

It should've surprised no one that Hollywood was interested in remaking the Oscar-nominated Toni Erdmann with Jack Nicholson and Kristen Wiig, and certainly not for the same reasons that catapulted the film to the top of our list of the best films of 2016. Spending the last month grimly assessing the chances of La La Land to not only tie but potentially surpass the all-time record for Oscar wins, we couldn't seem to get the hallmark moment from writer-director Maren Ade's masterpiece out of the back of our heads.

Sandra Hüller's Ines Conradi, a marginalized and harried cog in the machine of global capitalism, reaches a crisis point in her father's deprogramming campaign. Staring down the option of assessing her personal responsibility or picking up the musical cue that her Yamaha DX7-tinkling father, Winfried (played by Peter Simonischek), is throwing her way, she submits, howling through the all-time song-of-myself anthem: “Because the greatest love of all is happening to me/The greatest love of all is easy to achieve/Learning to love yourself is the greatest love of all!” If ever a foreign film somehow lucked into a temperature read of Hollywood's state of mind, this one did.

Oscar 2017 Winner Predictions Adapted Screenplay

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Oscar 2017 Winner Predictions: Adapted Screenplay

A24

Oscar 2017 Winner Predictions: Adapted Screenplay

Oscar voting ended on February 21, and usually in the last few days one can tell where a film stands—and, in some cases, always stood—from news items related to where the allegiances of certain voters lie. When actors like Mark Duplass lobby in favor of Moonlight, encouraging Oscar voters to contemplate what a best picture victory would “mean” for the Barry Jenkins film, he's acknowledging both the cultural moment in which Moonlight was fostered and its uphill battle against the received wisdom that La La Land has been the best picture favorite since the start of the awards season.

Oscar 2017 Winner Predictions Costume Design

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Oscar 2017 Winner Predictions: Costume Design

Lionsgate

Oscar 2017 Winner Predictions: Costume Design

Not every category seems to have cleared the decks for a La La Land rampage. But some slates have aroused our suspicions. We can't say we'd be surprised if a whisper campaign was launched against Arianne Phillips, whose work on Tom Ford's lurid and only borderline defensible Nocturnal Animals practically flashes dollar signs up on the screen whenever Amy Adams starts crying. We're willing to bet Mary Zophres missed out on landing a nomination for her whimsical work in the Coen brothers' Hail, Caesar! as a result of Beverly Hills gerrymandering. It's a certainty that Marlon Boyce and Margot Wilson missed the secret society meeting that would've ensured The Dressmaker its rightful representation here, owing to the literal-mindedness of certain Oscar voters. And word has it that Jo Sang-kyeong accidentally spilled her amuse-bouche all over Harvey Weinstein's lapel last November, and rumor was immediately put out that her work on The Handmaiden was not to make the final five. All of these alternative facts were brought to you by the same piece of our collective consciousness that can't get over the idea of double-digit Oscar wins for La La Land, which incidentally is the same zone experiencing the cognitive dissonance of being put in a position to root for the radical un-reimagining of Jackie O's pillbox hat, as it's the only viable alternative to halt Emma Stone's twirly yellow dress in its tracks.

Oscar 2017 Winner Predictions Sound Editing

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Oscar 2017 Winner Predictions: Sound Editing

Lionsgate

Oscar 2017 Winner Predictions: Sound Editing

This is your annual reminder that Eric Henderson and I slap each other silly every year until one of us screams “Auntie Roo!” and accepts the degradation of writing about this category. Because there's only so many ways one can say that the average Academy member can't tell the difference between sound mixing and sound editing, but when they're caught between a show tune and so much sturm und drang, they know where to draw the line in the sand. Or, rather, there are enough techies in the Academy who can tell the difference between sound mixing and editing that a maelstrom like La La Land is unable to get by here simply on sheer force of will. And while we would like to think that enough of these techies will tilt the scales in favor of Arrival and its densely layered aural environment, history favors the most earth-shattering sounds here, however artificially they've been fabricated, and Hacksaw Ridge is the more predictable choice for anyone in the La La Land fan club with at least enough sense to not obligatorily check off the film's name in all of its 14 nominated categories.