Film Preview: Detroit (2017)

Page Revisions:

(April 16, 2017) Original

Release Date:

August 4, 2017

Synopsis:

From IMDb: “A police raid in Detroit in 1967 results in one of the largest citizen uprisings in the United States’ history.”

Poster Rating: C+

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Review: Putting your portrait into landscape is an interesting stylistic decision, but that’s where the distinctiveness and creativity ends.

Trailer Rating: B

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Review: The trailer seems intent on presenting the entire film’s plot in one sitting, which doesn’t help build suspense or create a long-lasting impression.

Oscar Prospects:

The Hurt Locker was a major Oscar contender for Kathryn Bigelow and earned her the first Best Director award ever presented to a woman. For her next feature, Zero Dark Thirty, she was again a major contender and while the film scored several nods, Bigelow was absent. This time around, she has the same opportunities. Since the Academy will now have recriminations about her not getting a nod the last time, I suspect she’ll be nominated again as will the film in several categories.

Trailer #1

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Oscar in Box Office History (Week 16, 2017)

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

Free Fire (Wide)

Oscar Potential: Costume Design.

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The NEW Friday Face-Off #195

We are currently working on the losers bracket.

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

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This Day in Oscar History: April 21 (2017)

Here’s what happened today in Oscar History.

Born

Died

Released

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Film Preview: Star Wars: The Last Jedi (2017)

Page Revisions:

(April 16, 2017) Original

Release Date:

December 15, 2017

Synopsis:

From IMDb: “Having taken her first steps into a larger world in Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens (2015), Rey continues her epic journey with Finn, Poe and Luke Skywalker in the next chapter of the saga.”

Poster Rating: B / D

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Review: (#1) An interesting choice to go two-tone monochromatic, employing red as a background style while using blue as a visual punch. It’s a solid design for a film that didn’t need a solid poster to sell. (#2) Placeholders are ultimately pointless, but fans will be excited.

Trailer Rating: B

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Review: There’s a lot of overarching detail, a lot of simplistic reminiscence, and a lot of suggested action. Fans of the franchise won’t need much to buy tickets, but a better trailer is certainly needed.

Oscar Prospects:

The Force Awakens earned five Oscar nominations, the best showing the series has seen since the original. It’s possible this film shows up in the same five categories (Best Original Score, Film Editing, Sound Mixing, Sound Editing, and Visual Effects), but I suspect that it will lose out on Film Editing and may not get a chance at Original Score again.

Trailer #1

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Poll: Remaking Best Picture, 1997

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Polls

Remaking Best Picture, 1997

In 1997, I began offering up Oscar Hopefuls, a list of contenders for each category at the Oscars. Today, we start a new series of polls that attempts to rebuild various categories based on what films were nominated, which were hopeful for nominations, and which were honored by precursor groups. Our first series will be for Best Picture. From 1997 forward, we’ll present a list of contenders from which you can select five or ten (depending on the year and the rules) to make up the Best Picture slate. There will be an “Other” option, but you can only use this once and you’ll have to specify your other in the comments. We start where we always start: Best Picture.

Cinema Sight Asks: Which Hopefuls Should Have Been Nominated for Best Picture?

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Oscar Preview: Who’ll Be Back? – Part 5

On our message board, the UAADB (Unofficial Academy Award Discussion Board), we have an annual tradition where we look at the year’s Oscar nominees in certain categories and try to decide if the individual will make a return to the Oscars at some point in the near future. There’s also a bonus round for predicting what non-nominated talent who was a major competitor during the given year will soon become an Oscar nominee.

I’m turning that concept into a 7-week feature for Cinema Sight. In addition to the acting and directing categories that our posters typically cite, I’m going to throw in Animated Feature brining the category count to six plus an additional week for the bonus round.

For week 5, let’s look at the Best Actress nominees.

Best Actress

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Oscar Profile #336: Simone Signoret

Born March 21, 1921 in Wiesbaden, Germany to French parents, Simone Henriette Charlotte Kamiker was a legendary French actress known professionally as Simone Signoret (her mother’s maiden name). Her mother was a French Catholic. Her father, who had Polish Jewish roots, left France to join General DeGaulle in England in 1940. Upon completing secondary school during the Nazi occupation of Paris, she was forced to work as a typist for a French collaborationist newspaper to support her mother and two younger brothers.

On screen in minor roles from 1942, Signoret rose to leading roles after the war, making her English language debut in the 1948 British film, Against the Wind. Her portrayals of prostitutes in 1950’s La Ronde and 1952’s Casque d’or made her an international star. She won the first of three BAFTA awards for the latter. 1955’s Diabolique and 1957’s The Crucible AKA The Witches of Salem earned her further acclaim. She won her second BAFTA for The Witches of Salem.

Briefly married to director Yves Allégret from 1948-1949 with whom she had two children, she married actor Yves Montand in 1951. Hollywood was interested, but the timing was off as their progressive political activities clashed with McCarthy era politics and they were denied visas until he came to America in 1960 to star opposite Marilyn Monroe in Let’s Make Love and she became the first lead female Oscar winner in a non-Hollywood film.

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This Day in Oscar History: April 20 (2017)

Here’s what happened today in Oscar History.

Born

Died

Released

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Poll: What Are You Watching? (Apr. 21-23, 2017)

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Polls

What Are You Watching? (Apr. 21-23, 2017)

Cinema Sight Asks: What are you watching? (Apr. 21-23, 2017)

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Film Preview: Thor: Ragnarok (2017)

Page Revisions:

(April 16, 2017) Original

Release Date:

November 3, 2017

Synopsis:

From IMDb: “Thor must face the Hulk in a gladiator match and save his people from the ruthless Hela.”

Poster Rating: B

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Review: An interesting use of color, a blend infrequently used in poster designs. The base image is standard-issue, but it’s eye-catching, which is most important.

Trailer Rating: B

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Review: Some of the humor that made Thor more appealing in the Avengers film doesn’t trump the familiarity on display here. Sure, there are some unique details that we haven’t seen before, but everything seems so generic.

Oscar Prospects:

A Best Visual Effects nomination is certainly possible, but the film isn’t likely to show up anywhere else.

Trailer #1

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Looking at the Weekend: Apr. 21-23, 2017

Five films release this weekend in hopes of picking up some scraps during The Fate of the Furious‘ guaranteed second week at the top of the box office. Among these, Unforgettable has the most potential for broad appeal. Free Fire is too niche, Phoenix Forgotten is being dragged down by a late and weak marketing campaign, and The Promise is trying to avoid the more lucrative and appropriate platform release to head wide at the start. As such, the pulpy Unforgettable should pick up the most business, though it won’t even come close to holding a candle next to Furious.

Our Highest Rated Films: The Happiest Day in the Life of Olli Maki, Free Fire, The Promise
Our Best Awards Ratings: Free Fire (Oscars)

OTHER LIMITED RELEASES

The Lost City of Z (Expanding) (Read our Looking at the Weekend Coverage here)
Born in China
Citizen Jane
The Penguin Counters

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This Day in Oscar History: April 19 (2017)

Here’s what happened today in Oscar History.

Born

Died

Released

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Film Preview: My Cousin Rachel (2017)

Page Revisions:

(April 16, 2017) Original

Release Date:

July 14, 2017

Synopsis:

From IMDb: “A young Englishman plots revenge against his mysterious, beautiful cousin, believing that she murdered his guardian. But his feelings become complicated as he finds himself falling under the beguiling spell of her charms.”

Poster Rating: C+

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Review: Is she bemused or calculating. Is the veil to protect herself from unwanted attention or to hide her intentions. The poster’s still a bit too simple for selling the film, but there are just enough interesting questions that can be asked about it.

Trailer Rating: B+

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Review: This Edwardian thriller exists in a separate plane from all other dramas of the same period. It looks fascinating even if modestly predictable.

Oscar Prospects:

While the film looks like it could be a competitor in the Production Design and Costume Design categories and Rachel Weisz could be a surprise acting nominee, but the July release won’t get it as much year-end attention as it needs.

Trailer #1

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The DVD Report #512

Nominated for a total of ten Oscars between them, Lion with six, Hidden Figures with three, and Toni Erdmann with one, all walked away empty-handed, but all three should add to their haul of fans now that they are available on Blu-ray and standard DVD.

Garth Davis’ Australian film, Lion, is that rare film about lost and homeless children with a happy ending. It’s based on the true story of a five-year-old Indian boy who falls asleep on an empty train and ends up on the other side of the country when the train finally stops in Calcutta two days later. Unable to correctly spell or even pronounce his name, the place he comes from, or provide a name for his mother other than “Mum,” he is eventually adopted by an Australian couple and twenty-five years later, having become a successful Australian businessman, begins a Google search for his place of birth and reunites with his mother with the blessing of his adoptive parents.

Sunny Pawar carries the film’s first fifty minutes or so on his very capable young shoulders, while Oscar-nominated Dev Patel supplies his usual expertise to his portrayal of the older version of the character. Fellow Oscar nominee Nicole Kidman tops the supporting cast as his adoptive mother. The only flaw in the film is that the main character goes from little boy to grown man with no in-between, leaving a lot of questions unanswered. Despite that, it’s worth your time. Greig Fraser’s Oscar-nominated cinematography is especially noteworthy.

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