Film Preview: Silence (2016)

Page Revisions:

(November 27, 2016) Original

Release Date:

December 23, 2016

Synopsis:

From IMDb: “In the seventeenth century, two Jesuit priests face violence and persecution when they travel to Japan to locate their mentor and propagate Christianity. ”

Poster Rating: C+

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Review: There’s a subtlety to the poster that is undone by the lightly colored background.

Trailer Rating: B-

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Review: One wants to be impressed with an important director releasing a passion project, but this trailer doesn’t entirely alleviate concerns about Martin Scorsese’s latest.

Oscar Prospects:

One of the year’s most promising contenders. No one has seen it yet, so it could be a bomb, but Martin Scorsese’s passion project is sure to garner a lot of support even if it isn’t as good as people want it to be.

Trailer #1

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Eyeing the Truth

The Witness (Netflix)witness

By this point, most of us only know the Kitty Genovese story as the briefest of stories in a sociology textbook: a young woman was brutally murdered in Queens while 38 witnesses stood by and did nothing to help her. The Witness, the debut documentary from James D. Solomon, goes back and tries to figure out exactly what happened to Kitty on that fateful night and how much of her story is actually true. It follows Kitty’s brother Bill, only 16 when his sister was murdered, as he tries decades later to piece together his sister’s story.

The first half of the film acts as a straightforward detective tale. Bill discovers witness stories that were never complete, reads trial transcripts of a trial he and his family never attended, and returns again and again to the scene of the crime to wrap his own head around the 37 minutes his sister was struggling for her life. As the film goes on, though, you realize that the details of the crime are only part of the story. Only the Macguffin. Instead, we are watching Bill try to make sense of his own life, a life that he defined by his sister’s murder, and discover that his sister was a lot more than he ever understood her to be. We watch him struggle with her death in new ways and try to come to terms with almost 50 years of history.

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This Day in Oscar History: December 3 (2016)

Here’s what happened today in Oscar History.

Born

Died

Released


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Film Preview: Detour (2017)

Page Revisions:

(November 27, 2016) Original

Release Date:

January 20, 2017

Synopsis:

From IMDb: “A young law student who, while grieving for his dying mother, struggles to decide whether he should kill his unfaithful step-father. ”

Poster Rating: C+ / D+

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Review: (#1) A diversion from the standard multi-panel designs with an interesting color scheme and a foreground image that ties everything together. It’s still not great, but I applaud the effort. (#2) And then a scenic view that might have some bearing on the film’s premise, but is ultimately inconsequential.

Trailer Rating: B-

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Review: The dual personality exploration isn’t common in cinema and the trailer positions this as a unique take on it, but it’s also very confusing. While there might be some promise, the trailer sells the promise short.

Oscar Prospects:

None.

Trailer #1

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Oscar in Box Office History (Week 49, 2016)

Every week, we’ll take a look back in 5-year intervals at the box office past to explore how Oscar’s nominees were doing at the box office each weekend historically. All data is collected from Box Office Mojo. The first section under each year is the positioning of all Oscar nominees during that weekend at the box office (as well as a section looking at the inflation-adjusted numbers). The third section is an alphabetical list of those films and the categories in which they were nominated. And to start each week off, we’ll be looking at the films releasing over the weekend that have the best chance of getting Oscar nominations and specifying the categories where we think they have the best shots at this stage of the game. If you have any suggestions for more data you’d like to see, please let us know.

This Year: Potential Oscar Nominees Releasing This Weekend

Jackie (Limited)

Oscar Potential: Picture, Director, Actress (Natalie Portman), Supporting Actor (Peter Sarsgaard), Supporting Actress (Greta Gerwig), Original Screenplay, Film Editing, Cinematography, Production Design, Costume Design, Makeup and Hairstyling.

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89th Oscars: Visual Effects Longlist

The Academy has announced 20 films on the shortlist for consideration for this year’s Best Visual Effects Oscar. From these 20, the list will be narrowed to 10 films from which the final 5 nominees will be selected.

Based on my own predictions and hopefuls list, the titles missing are A Monster Calls, Assassin’s Creed, Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk, Ghostbusters, Hacksaw Ridge, The Legend of Tarzan, Pete’s Dragon. Of those, the only exclusions that surprise me are A Monster Calls, Ghostbusters, and Pete’s Dragon. The rest were longshots anyway.

As to what made it to this list and not mine? Kubo and the Two Strings and Sully. While Kubo‘s inclusion matches the frequent decision of the preliminary selection committee for recognizing stop-motion animation or computer animation in general. It has never manifested in an Oscar nomination, nor to my recollection, a final shortlist appearance. Sully makes sense only in that it has a lot of supporting effects, which this group likes. I guess it was a more popular option than Billy Lynn or Hacksaw.

Based on these selections (and since I won’t be updating my hopefuls for another week or two), I’d say the most likely to move to the final ten are: Arrival, Doctor Strange, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, The Jungle Book, Passengers, Rogue One, and Star Trek: Beyond. That’s only seven titles, but the remaining three slots are murky to me. I could see any one of the others except Kubo making that final ten.

20 CONTENDERS ADVANCE IN VFX OSCAR® RACE

LOS ANGELES, CA – The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences today announced that 20 films are in the running in the Visual Effects category for the 89th Academy Awards®.

The films are listed below in alphabetical order:

  • Alice through the Looking Glass
  • Arrival
  • The BFG
  • Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice
  • Captain America: Civil War
  • Deadpool
  • Deepwater Horizon
  • Doctor Strange
  • Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
  • Independence Day: Resurgence
  • The Jungle Book
  • Kubo and the Two Strings
  • Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children
  • Passengers
  • Rogue One
  • Star Trek Beyond
  • Suicide Squad
  • Sully
  • Warcraft
  • X-Men: Apocalypse

The Academy’s Visual Effects Branch Executive Committee determined the preliminary shortlist. Later this month, the committee will select the 10 films that will advance to nominations voting.

Nominations for the 89th Oscars® will be announced on Tuesday, January 24, 2017.

The 89th Oscars will be held on Sunday, February 26, 2017, at the Dolby Theatre® at Hollywood & Highland Center® in Hollywood, and will be televised live on the ABC Television Network at 7 p.m. ET/4 p.m. PT. The Oscars also will be televised live in more than 225 countries and territories worldwide.

The NEW Friday Face-Off #175

We are now in the third round of voting for the Friday Face Off, pitting winners from the second round against each other. Just choose one selection in each of the categories below. Because we want to keep the polls open a bit longer before starting the next phase, after we finish this third pass, we’ll be starting a Losers Bracket going back to round one and pulling all the losers out and facing them off against one another.

Here is this week’s five (or fewer) face-offs. So, let’s get started.

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This Day in Oscar History: December 2 (2016)

Here’s what happened today in Oscar History.

Born

Died


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Poll: Cinema Sight @ 20 – Best of 2003

Return Links

Polls

Best of 2003

In honor of our 20th year on the internet, we’re beginning a series of polls aimed at the results of the last 20 years and picking what the best of the Oscar nominees were. Here are all of the categories for this year.

Best Picture

Cinema Sight Asks: Of the Oscar nominees for Best Picture 2003, which film is best?

View Results

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Film Preview: The Comedian (2016)

Page Revisions:

(November 27, 2016) Original

Release Date:

December 2, 2016

Synopsis:

From IMDb: “A look at the life of an aging insult comic.”

Poster Rating: –


Review: There was no poster immediately available for my review. Should one become available in the future, this section will be updated.

Trailer Rating: B

SEE ALL TRAILERS BELOW
Review: There’s some great humor here and Robert De Niro is responsible for that; however, there are a lot of questionable editing choices in the trailer making it seem like a formulaic effort.

Oscar Prospects:

There is some chatter of an Oscar nomination for Robert De Niro, but the film’s low-profile release doesn’t give much of an impression that it’s a competitor.

Trailer #1

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Precursor: 82nd New York Critics Awards (2015)

La La Land gets another huge shot in the arm with a Best Picture win from the New York Film Critics Circle. Moonlight also got a major boost, as did Isabelle Huppert. Zootopia is the surprising choice for Best Animated Film and gives it a boost towards the Oscars where its early release may have put it in danger of consideration.

Award Tallies

(3) Manchester by the Sea, Moonlight

The Awards

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Oscar Profile #316: Mercedes McCambridge

mccambridgeBorn March 16, 1916 in Juliet, Illinois, Mercedes McCambridge was the daughter of an Irish-American farmer and his wife, who was of Irish, English and German extraction. Educated in Catholic schools, she graduated from Mundelein University in Chicago before embarking on a career as an actress. Called by Orson Welles “the greatest living radio actress”, her radio career began in the 1930s and continued through the 1940s.

McCambridge married her first husband, William Fifield, in 1939. Their son, John Lawrence Fifield was born in December, 1941. The couple divorced in 1946, the year after McCambridge made her Broadway debut in A Place of Our Own.

The actress made her both her TV debut in the first season of the soap opera, One Man’s Family and her film debut in All the King’s Men in 1949. She promptly won a Golden Globe Award and then a Best Supporting Actress Oscar for the latter. Later in 1950 she married second husband, TV actor/producer/director, Fletcher Markle. Her son John would later take Markle’s name.

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Precursor: 22nd Broadcast Critics Nominations (2015)

The Broadcast Film Critics Association, moving ever further back into the awards season, wants to be the first live broadcast of awards of the season. In moving back, they have inadvertently made themselves slightly less relevant. With two of the year’s major Oscar players Silence (for most categories) and Rogue One (in tech categories), not screened early enough for their consideration, both are conspicuously absent. Last year, they made the bone-headed decision to award an 11th slot in their Best Picture slate to The Force Awakens, embarrassing the organization for having rushed to be the first.

So, what can this list of nominations say about the state of the race in general? Clearly La La Land and Moonlight are major players, as is Manchester by the Sea, but is this love for Hacksaw Ridge genuine or Golden Globe-style fan adoration? Time will tell as other groups announce their selections. Will the Globes follow suit? We will have to wait and see. There are no major surprises. Hidden Figures may have proven to be a one-hit wonder with its strong showing at the Satellite Awards as it earns a scant three citations here, though its Ensemble nominations at both will surely presage a Screen Actors Guild Cast citation, which might boost its Oscar credentials (that’s how The Help managed to surge five years ago.

Other noteworthy omissions: No The Founder or its star Michael Keaton. This may have been the result of a failure to screen as well. Jessica Chastain couldn’t make it into their list for Miss Sloane, which suggests her support may be softer than expected. I’m sure there’s something else missing that I will realize in a few hours. I will add more commentary later if I think of it.

Nominations Tallies

(12) La La Land
(10) Arrival, Moonlight
(8) Manchester by the Sea
(7) Hacksaw Ridge
(6) Doctor Strange, Fences, Hell or High Water, Jackie, Lion
(4) Deadpool, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, Loving, Sully
(3) 20th Century Women, Captain America: Civil War, The Edge of Seventeen, Florence Foster Jenkins, Hidden Figures, Nocturnal Animals

The Nominations

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The Top Tens: Films That Warm Our Hearts

Every month, our contributors submit lists of ten films fitting certain topics. Each month, we feature an alphabetical list of films along with commentary explaining our selections. There will also be an itemized list at the end of each of our individual selections.

For our final list of 2016, we have decided to celebrate the holiday season with a list of our favorite films that warm our hearts and lift our spirits. Peter, Tripp, Thomas, and I have put together our individual lists of the 10 films that most speak to us when we need cheer, holiday or otherwise.

A look at our lists finds minimal overlap. Five films are common between our lists: Babe, Beauty and the Beast, It’s a Wonderful Life, E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial, and Random Harvest. For directors, Frank Capra is the only director featured twice showing up with It’s a Wonderful Life and Mr. Smith Goes to Washington.

After the break, dig into our introductions and our subsequent blurbs on each film.

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This Day in Oscar History: December 1 (2016)

Here’s what happened today in Oscar History.

Born


Died

Released


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