5 Oscar Could Have Beens: 2013

So with all the movies released in the year 2013 it came down to two. Was it not always about these two anyway? The Picture (12 Years a Slave) / Director (Gravity) split at the Oscar was on the cards for a long time in my eyes. Both movies were excellent achievements in very different […]

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Review: Allied

Headed by two beloved acting forces Marion Cotillard and Brad Pitt, with a well-established film-maker of the last 30 years Robert Zemeckis, a critically acclaimed screenwriter Steven Knight, a household-name score composer Alan Silvestri, and a narrative set amidst war, politics, romance, intrigue, humor – seen that kind of fodder before, sure, but we always […]

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5 Oscar Could Have Beens: 2012

So this was the year of Oscar contender movies like Hyde Park on Hudson, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, The Perks of Being a Wallflower, Magic Mike. You can see where I am going already with this. Yes, none of them managed a single nomination between them. Matthew McConaughey was possibly the closest to being nominated, for Best Supporting Actor […]

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Review: Split

Here I am, about to disagree with the popular view again. Watching this did not make me think Shyamalan is “back”, or has vastly improved or something along those lines. If anything, it all strikes me as a tad ‘samey’. Even on the back of good cinematography, the movie itself suffers from atmospheric deprivation, ill-timed […]

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Listmania: Al’s Top 10 Movies of 2016

It’s time for me to look back on the year in movies that was for 2016, and rank my top 10 favorites of the year. These 10 are not what I would objectively call the best, but more what ones I had the most fun or thought were the most interesting. Overall I saw around […]

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Film Honors 2016: Nominations

2016. The movies took us to some great places and times. Some not so memorable, some disappointing, some ruined somewhat by hype. A lot of fine films and filmmaking stayed with us for the journey – some came early, some turned up right at the last minute. Zombies boarded our train. We climbed through a […]

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5 Oscar Could Have Beens: 2011

Two perfectly pleasant and accomplished movies, with a taste of France and the movies, went head to head in the end. Hugo and The Artist. But I am not going to talk about either of them today. Two gorgeously shot movies, that had opinions stretched either end of a see-saw also made the Best Picture […]

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5 Oscar Could Have Beens: 2010

There were many delights this year. Those delightful or funny or quirky movies we really liked that had no chance with Oscar. Some may pop up somewhere we critics awards, or even the Golden Globes. But the Oscars? Nope. I really enjoyed Easy A, the perfect platform movie for Emma Stone when you look where […]

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5 Oscar Could Have Beens: 2009

So there was Barbara Streisand, a woman with a significant level of success draped around her, on the stage again, this time to announce the winner of the Best Director Academy Award for 2009. That can’t be a coincidence, can it? That a previously (Oscar) snubbed woman director was selected to announce what would turn out to be […]

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Review: Hunt for the Wilderpeople

It starts off great; clever writing, beautiful cinematography, likable characters, witty, off-beat humour. It strongly reminded me of a more adult, ‘WesAndersony’ version of Pixar’s UP which, given the fact that film ranks so high in my mind, is definitely not a bad thing. This movie looked stunning, it had things to say and I […]

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5 Oscar Could Have Beens: 2008

Another peculiar Oscar year. Slumdog Millionaire was a great story and great movie, but it should not have dominated as it did with eight Oscar wins. The Curious Case of Benjamin Button had the most nominations, and was the least Fincher movie he has ever made – what does that tell us about what the Academy think […]

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Review: Fences

Simply echoing what so many people have astutely pointed out already — this is not a well-rounded stage-to-screen adaptation. By adhering to the palcosenico’s static nature, the film ends up feeling devoid of progression, making it rather difficult for the viewer to connect to the characters that, on the whole, are simply not likeable. Failing to […]

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Review: The Handmaiden

I’m sure no one needs another voice in this roaring crowd echoing that this is a truly good movie. Sadly, it didn’t reach masterpiece levels for me but not on account of the story itself or the performances. To my surprise, eventually, it was the third act that tired me. I found The Handmaiden solidly filmed, […]

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5 Oscar Could Have Beens: 2007

So this was more like it regarding the quality of movies on offer at the Academy Awards. An Oscar race is not really an Oscar race without a swing in direction however. Early on it looked like Atonement ticked all the right boxes, and it was impressive. There was also talk of Juno sweeping the […]

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* LIVE * Watch Oscar Nominations Announced

Javier Bardem, Queen Latifah, Behn Zeitlin, and many others got brief screams or applause or even a “wow” when their names were called out – or even a cheer as Naomi Watts or Michael Shannon discovered – during various announcements of the Oscar nominations. And now, here we are, about to find out the nominees […]

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5 Oscar Could Have Beens: 2006

Generally considered one of the weaker year’s for Oscars. Yet they failed to find room in the Best Picture category for Little Children, Flags Of Our Fathers, Children of Men, Pan’s Labyrinth, The Last King Of Scotland, Volver, United 93. There will always be alternatives. I, nor any other blogger or movie-goer or critic, tends […]

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7 Potential Sneaky Oscar Nominations

I don’t do nomination predictions. That’s what I always say. Sometimes I cave, sure. It’s a tough game to resist. Every single year. See Al Robinson’s Oscar Predictions posted earlier for the there-or-thereabouts of what might happen come the big announcement. I decided to stick my neck out and dive in with some more unlikely […]

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Al Robinson’s Final Oscar Predictions

Here are my Oscar predictions. This year there will be no #OscarsSoWhite problem. Best Picture Arrival Fences Hacksaw Ridge Hell or High Water La La Land Lion Manchester by the Sea Moonlight Best Director Damien Chazelle – La La Land Garth Davis – Lion Barry Jenkins – Moonlight Kenneth Lonergan – Manchester by the Sea […]

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Listmania: Al’s 5 Disappointments Of 2016

So for most people, the year of 2016 in movies was horrible. It was only saved by movies like Moonlight, Manchester by the Sea, and La La Land. That is an overstatement, but I think it fits the sentiment. Most of the summer blockbusters were a disaster, and to quote Ian, the Minister of Truth, […]

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Film Honors: 1960

My own personal choices for the year. They reflect not just necessarily what I think is the best or essential cinema, but perhaps resonate with me or inspire, both at the time, and still today. Subject to alter choices if new viewings are worthy enough. Other published Film Honors posts can be found at the […]

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