the Oscars

Oscar-Nominated 'The Square' Distorts the Sad Reality for Democratic Movements
February 07, 2014

The outcome in Egypt has also darkened Western perceptions of the possibility for political evolution in authoritarian states everywhere.

The Best Film of the Year Has Just One Actor
"All Is Lost": Why Robert Redford deserves an Oscar
October 03, 2013

A thursday afternoon, late in August, in southwestern Colorado. It has rained and it will rain again. That “it” here, the weather, has a mind of its own, generous but perilous, too, because it can change so fast. The mud is dusky red.

The Remarkable—and First—Movie Filmed Entirely In Saudi Arabia
September 12, 2013

Director Haifaa al-Mansour insists Wadjda, her movie about a Saudi girl who marches to the beat of her own drum, which opens in the U.S. Friday, isn’t a “feminist film.” That may be why it’s such a good one.

Nate Silver is About to Take All the Fun Out of Oscar Night
July 22, 2013

Nate Silver, the stat guru moving soon from The New York Times to ESPN/ABC, will cover sports, as he did early in his career. According to Politico’s Mike Allen, Silver will continue do politics, where he achieved fame and renown.

Why Helen Hunt Deserves a Best Actress Oscar for The Sessions
January 19, 2013

The Oscars are odd. It’s just about the only reason left for having them; that and for the sake of the people who make red carpets. Every year when the nominations come out, there are three or four days of stories about the “surprises” and the people who were “snubbed.” So Tom Hooper and Kathryn Bigelow were overlooked, but Michael Haneke was remarked on. And Helen Hunt got a supporting actress nod for The Sessions. No, I’m not suggesting that she was undeserving—far from it.

Has Hollywood Murdered the Movies?
September 14, 2012

How the richness of technology led to the poverty of imagination in American film today.

And The Award Goes To...
February 25, 2012

2011 wasn't the most interesting year for film, but it did have its moments: The silent film reasserted itself while Scorsese went 3D, Terrence Malick recreated the genesis of the universe and Maya Rudolph got diarrhea in a wedding dress. But how will these ambitious projects fare at the 84th Academy Awards show this Sunday night?

The Problem with Oscar Voters: They All Look The Same
February 23, 2012

You may recollect that at the Academy Awards show last year, the hosting job went to Anne Hathaway and James Franco. She was 29 and he was 33, and there was a vague hope that they were young and hot enough to pull in the junior crowd for the television marathon. It didn’t work: Franco seemed bored, while Hathaway was trying too hard. There was no chemistry between them, and very little fun. So this year the host was going to be Eddie Murphy, but he backed off when the producer’s job was withdrawn from Eddie’s chum, Brett Ratner, on account of anti-gay remarks.

If Liberals Want to Help the Poor, They Should Focus on the Middle Class
February 23, 2012

What’s the surest sign that the economic crisis is finally lifting and normalcy is in sight? We’re back to arguing about how the middle class is doing over the long sweep of history since the 1980s: Have they been dragged down by stagnating wages, high-end inequality, economic insecurity, and a greater chance that economic mobility will take them downward than up? Or is the middle class doing OK? This debate had been in hibernation for the last three years, while everyone except the top 1 percent took a beating.

David Thomson on Films: ‘The Artist’ Was Awful—and Other Reasons I’m Not Watching the Oscars
February 21, 2012

Since first seeing The Artist, I believed it was going to win Best Picture. It’s “different” without being challenging or difficult or worrying. The Artist could have been designed by a computer to appeal to anyone who has a sense of nostalgia for movie history. (And 54 percent of Academy voters are over sixty). It is also a light, entertaining picture in which froth passes for energy, and pat ironies are made to seem intelligent. I enjoyed it, until the moment I guessed how close it was to getting Best Picture.

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