Posts Tagged ‘christopher nolan’

The 8th Annual Edgy Award Nominations

It’s the most wonderful time of the year. The time when I get to educate everyone on what this year’s Oscar nominations should have looked like.

To review how these work, while there may only be 7 previous editions of the Edgys available online, the awards are cataloged by yours truly going all the way back to 1940. The recipients’ nomination and win counts are grouped according to each category, with the exception of the two music categories and the four acting categories being linked. So while Martin Scorsese may be getting only his 3rd nomination for producing, that certainly does not include the wealth of nominations he’s accumulated for directing.

Without further ado, here are my nominations for the best craftsmanship and talent on display in 2017:



Mighty River
featured in “Mudbound”
Music and Lyrics by Mary J. Blige (3rd nom), Raphael Saadiq (1st nom) and Taura Stinson (1st nom)

“Mystery of Love”
featured in “Call Me By Your Name”
Music and Lyrics by Sufjan Stevens (2nd nom)

“The Pure and the Damned”
featured in “Good Time”
Music by Daniel Lopatin (1st nom), Lyrics by Iggy Pop (1st nom)

“Visions of Gideon”
featured in “Call Me By Your Name”
Music and Lyrics by Sufjan Stevens (2nd nom)

“World Gone Mad”
featured in “Bright”
Music and Lyrics by Dan Smith (1st nom)



“Blade Runner: 2049”
Benjamin Wallfisch (1st nom) and Hans Zimmer (10th nom, 4 wins – “12 Years a Slave,” “Gladiator,” “The Thin Red Line” and “Rain Man”)

“Phantom Thread”
Jonny Greenwood (4th nom, 2 wins – “The Master” and “Exit Music (for a Film)” from “Romeo and Juliet”

“The Shape of Water”
Alexander Desplat (5th nom)

“Star Wars: The Last Jedi”
John Williams (29th nom, 10 wins – “Munich,” “Amistad,” “Schindler’s List,” “Empire of the Sun,” “Star Wars: Return of the Jedi,” “E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial,” “Raiders of the Lost Ark,” “Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back,” “Star Wars: A New Hope,” “Jaws”)

“Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”
Carter Burwell (5th nom, 2 wins – “Fargo” and “Barton Fink)



Alessandro Bertolazzi (2nd nom, 1 win – “Suicide Squad”) and Christopher Alan Nelson (2nd nom, 1 win – “Suicide Squad”)

“Darkest Hour”
Kazuhiro Tsuji (1st nom), David Malinowski (1st nom) and Lucy Sibbick (1st nom)

“The Disaster Artist”
Thomas Floutz (1st nom), Andy Clement (1st nom) and Molly Tissavary (1st nom)

“I, Tonya”
Deborah La Mia Denaver (2nd nom) and Adruitha Lee (3rd nom, 1 win – “12 Years a Slave”)

“The Shape of Water”
Jeff Derushie (1st nom), Jordan Samuel (1st nom) and Michael J. Walsh (2nd nom)



“Alien: Covenant”
Neil Corbould (5th nom, 2 wins – “Gravity” and “Gladiator”), Charley Henley (2nd nom) and Christian Kaestner (2nd nom)

“Blade Runner: 2049”
John Nelson (4th nom, 1 win – “Gladiator”), Gerd Nefzer (1st nom), Paul Lambert (1st nom) and Richard R. Hoover (3rd nom)

“The Shape of Water”
Dennis Berardi (1st nom), Trey Harrell (1st nom), and Atilla Ceylan (1st nom)

“Star Wars: The Last Jedi”
Ben Morris (1st nom), Michael Mulholland (1st nom), Neal Scanlan (3rd nom, 2 wins – “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” and “Babe”) and Chris Corbould (6th nom, 2 wins – “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” and “Inception”)

“War for the Planet of the Apes”
Daniel Barrett (3rd nom, 1 win – “Rise of the Planet of the Apes”), Dan Lemmon (4th nom, 2 wins – “The Jungle Book” and “Rise of the Planet of the Apes”), Joe Letteri (9th nom, 5 wins – “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey,” “Rise of the Planet of the Apes,” “Avatar,” “LOTR: The Return of the King,” and “LOTR: The Two Towers”) and Joel Whist (1st nom)



“Alien: Covenant”
Michael Fentum (1st nom) and Oliver Tarney (4th nom, 1 win – “United 93”)

“Blade Runner: 2049”
Mark Mangini (5th nom) and Theo Green (1st nom)

Richard King (8th nom, 4 wins – “Inception,” “The Dark Knight,” “War of the Worlds” and “Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World”)

Paula Fairfield (1st nom) and Jill Purdy (1st nom)

“Star Wars: The Last Jedi”
Ren Klyce (6th nom, 1 win “The Social Network”) and Matthew Wood (9th nom, 1 win – “Star Wars: The Last Jedi”)



“Baby Driver”
Tim Cavagin (1st nom), Mary H. Ellis (1st nom) and Julian Slater (1st nom)

“Blade Runner: 2049”
Ron Bartlett (1st nom), Doug Hemphill (6th nom) and Mac Ruth (1st nom)

Gregg Landaker (8th nom, 4 wins – “Interstellar,” “Twister,” “The Empire Strikes Back” and “Raiders of the Lost Ark”), Gary Rizzo (6th nom, 2 wins – “Interstellar” and “Inception”) and Mark Weingarten (4th nom, 2 wins – “Interstellar” and “The Social Network”)

David Giammarco (4th nom, 1 win – “3:10 to Yuma”), Paul Ledford (1st nom) and Paul Massey (6th nom, 1 win – “3:10 to Yuma”)

“Star Wars: The Last Jedi”
Ren Klyce (6th nom, 1 win “The Social Network”), David Parker (8th nom, 1 win – “The Social Network”), Michael Semanick (9th nom, 2 wins – “The Social Network” and “The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King”) and Stuart Wilson (4th nom)



“The Beguiled”
Stacy Battat (1st nom)

“I, Tonya”
Jennifer Johnson (1st nom)

“The Lost City of Z”
Sonia Grande (1st nom)

“Phantom Thread”
Mark Bridges (5th nom, 1 win – “The Artist”)

“Victoria and Abdul”
Consolata Boyle
(2nd nom)



“Blade Runner: 2049”
Dennis Gassner (5th nom) and Alessandra Querzola (1st nom)

Larry Dias (2nd nom, 1 win – “Inception”), Martine Kazemirchuk (1st nom) and Philip Messina (1st nom)

“The Post”
Rick Carter (6th nom, 1 win – “Lincoln”) and Rena DeAngelo (1st nom)

“The Shape of Water”
Paul Austerberry (1st nom), Jeffrey Melvin (2nd nom) and Shane Vieau (2nd nom)

“Star Wars: The Last Jedi”
Rick Heinrichs (2nd nom, 1 win – “Sleepy Hollow”) and Richard Roberts (1st nom)



Lee Smith (6th nom, 1 win – “The Dark Knight”)

“Get Out”
Gregory Plotkin (1st nom)

“I, Tonya”
Tatiana Riegel (1st nom)

Andrew Weisblum (1st nom)

“Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”
Jon Gregory (2nd nom)



“Blade Runner: 2049”
Roger Deakins (15th nom, 5 wins – “Sicario,” “O Brother, Where Art Thou?,” “Fargo,” “The Shawshank Redemption” and “Barton Fink”)

“Call Me By Your Name”
Sayombhu Mukdeeprom (1st nom)

Hoyt Van Hoytema (2nd nom)

“It Comes at Night”
Drew Daniels (1st nom)

“The Shape of Water”
Dan Laustsen (1st nom)



“City of Ghosts”
Matthew Heineman (2nd nom)

Dan Cogan (1st nom) and Bryan Fogel (1st nom)

“One of Us”
Heidi Ewing (2nd nom, 1 win – “Jesus Camp”) and Rachel Grady (2nd nom, 1 win – “Jesus Camp”)

“Strong Island”
Joslyn Barnes (1st nom) and Yance Ford (1st nom)

“Whose Streets?”
Damon Davis (1st nom) and Sabaah Folayan (1st nom)



“Call Me By Your Name”
James Ivory (1st nom)

“The Disaster Artist”
Scott Neustadter (2nd nom, 1 win – “500 Days of Summer”) and Michael H. Weber (2nd nom, 1 win – “500 Days of Summer”)

“Molly’s Game”
Aaron Sorkin (6th nom, 3 wins – “Moneyball,” “The Social Network” and “A Few Good Men”)

Dee Rees (1st nom) and Virgil Williams (1st nom)

“Star Wars: The Last Jedi”
Rian Johnson (3rd nom, 2 wins – “Looper” and “Brick”)



“Get Out”
Jordan Peele (1st nom)

“Lady Bird”
Greta Gerwig (1st nom)

“Phantom Thread”
Paul Thomas Anderson (5th nom, 1 win – “Boogie Nights”)

“Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”
Martin McDonagh (2nd nom, 1 win – “In Bruge”)

“Wind River”
Taylor Sheridan (3rd nom)



“Call Me By Your Name”
Vanda Capriolo, Amira Casar, Timothee Chalamet, Victoire Du Bois, Esther Garrel, Armie Hammer, Michael Stuhlbarg

Steven Bogaert, Jack Dylan Grazer, Nicholas Hamilton, Chosen Jacobs, Jaeden Lieberher, Sophia Lillis, Wyatt Oleff, Jackson Robert Scott, Jeremy Ray Taylor, Bill Skarsgaard, Logan Thompson, Finn Wolfhard

Jonathan Banks, Mary J. Blige, Kerry Cahill, Jason Clarke, Kelvin Harrison Jr., Garrett Hedlund, Jason Mitchell, Rob Morgan, Carey Mulligan

“The Post”
Alison Brie, Carrie Coon, David Cross, Bruce Greenwood, Tom Hanks, Pat Healy, Tracy Letts, Bob Odenkirk, Sarah Paulson, Jesse Plemons, Matthew Rhys, Meryl Streep, Bradley Whitford, Zach Woods

“Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”
Kerry Condon, Abbie Cornish, Peter Dinklage, Woody Harrelson, John Hawkes, Lucas Hedges, Zeljko Ivanek, Caleb Landry Jones, Sandy Martin, Frances McDormand, Kathryn Newton, Sam Rockwell



Allison Janney – “I, Tonya”
1st nom

Lesley Manville – “Phantom Thread”
2nd nom, 1 win – “Another Year”

Tatiana Maslany – “Stronger”
1st nom

Laurie Metcalf – “Lady Bird”
1st nom

Michelle Pfeiffer – “Mother!”
3rd nom



Willem Dafoe – “The Florida Project”
4th nom

Jason Mitchell – “Mudbound”
1st nom

Sam Rockwell – “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”
2nd nom

Patrick Stewart – “Logan”
1st nom

Michael Stuhlbarg – “Call Me By Your Name”
1st nom



Sally Hawkins – “The Shape of Water”
3rd nom, 1 win – “Happy Go Lucky”

Jennifer Lawrence – “Mother!”
4th nom

Frances McDormand – “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”
5th nom, 2 wins – “Fargo” and “Mississippi Burning”

Margot Robbie – “I, Tonya”
1st nom

Saoirse Ronan – “Lady Bird”
2nd nom



Timothee Chalamet – “Call Me By Your Name”
1st nom

Daniel Kaluuya – “Get Out”
1st nom

Gary Oldman – “Darkest Hour”
6th nom, 2 wins – “The Contender” and “Sid and Nancy”

Robert Pattinson – “Good Time”
1st nom

Jeremy Renner – “Wind River”
2nd nom



Darren Aronofsky – “Mother!”
2nd nom

Martin McDonagh – “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”
1st nom

Christopher Nolan – “Dunkirk”
5th nom, 1 win – “The Dark Knight”

Trey Edward Schults – “It Comes at Night”
1st nom

Denis Villeneuve – “Blade Runner: 2049”
4th nom, 1 win – “Arrival”



 “Blade Runner: 2049”

Broderick Johnson (2nd nom) and Andrew Kosgrove (2nd nom)

“Call Me By Your Name”

Emilie Georges (1st nom), Luca Guadagnino (1st nom), Marco Morabito (1st nom) and Peter Spears (1st nom)


Christopher Nolan (4th nom, 1 win – “The Dark Knight”) and Emma Thomas (4th nom, 1 win – “The Dark Knight”)

“Get Out”

Jason Blum (2nd nom), Edward Hamm Jr. (1st nom), Sean McKittrick (1st nom) and Jordan Peele (1st nom)

“It Comes at Night”

David Kaplan (1st nom) and Andrew Roa (1st nom)

“Phantom Thread”

Paul Thomas Anderson (6th nom, 1 win – “There Will Be Blood”), Megan Ellison (5th nom), Daniel Lupi (4th nom, 1 win – “There Will Be Blood”) and JoAnne Sellar (6th nom, 1 win – “There Will Be Blood”)

“The Shape of Water”

J. Miles Dale (1st nom) and Guillermo Del Toro (2nd nom)

“Star Wars: The Last Jedi”

Ram Bergman (3rd nom) and Kathleen Kennedy (10th nom)

“Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”

Graham Broadbent (2nd nom), Peter Czernin (2nd nom) and Martin McDonagh (1st nom)

“Wind River”

Elizabeth A. Bell (1st nom), Peter Berg (1st nom) and Wayne L. Rogers (1st nom)



Films with multiple nominations a piece:

Blade Runner: 2049 – 8
Call Me By Your Name – 8
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri – 8
The Shape of Water – 7
Star Wars: The Last Jedi – 7
Dunkirk – 6
Mother! – 6
I, Tonya – 5
Phantom Thread – 5
Get Out – 4
Mudbound – 4
It Comes at Night – 3
Lady Bird – 3
Wind River – 3
Alien: Covenant – 2
Bright – 2
Darkest Hour – 2
The Disaster Artist – 2
Good Time – 2
Logan – 2
The Post – 2

“The Dark Knight Rises” – New Photos and Promos

November 28, 2011 Leave a comment

Even with the buzz of the Oscar season overwhelming every second of my life and so many promising films hitting theaters left and right, it is difficult to deny that in my mind, and probably everyone else’s, one movie continues to dominate the sense of anticipation. That film is obviously “The Dark Knight Rises.” Even though I’m still a little bent out of shape over the fact that Pittsburgh was chosen to replace Chicago as the Gotham City backdrop (I mean really, who are they kidding?), the excitement towards the closing chapter of one of the most extraordinary and game-changing franchises in movie history is undeniable.

Therefore, I find it necessary to report some of this extraordinarily exciting news reported in the new issue of Empire Magazine. The periodical contains the first actual stills from the film reel itself as well as some revealing interviews with both Christopher Nolan and Tom Hardy. The two of them discuss some interesting facets of the film which could perhaps give an inkling to a few plot details.

Thanks to Hardy, we now have a clearer image of what kind of villain Bane will serve in the film. The answer is a pretty damn harsh one:

“He’s brutal, brutal. He’s expedient delivery of brutality. And you know, he’s a big dude. He’s a big dude who’s incredibly clinical, in the fact that he has a result-based and orientated fighting style…Everything is thought out way before. He’s hit you, he’s already hit somebody else. It’s not about fighting. It’s just about carnage with Bane. He’s a smashing machine. He’s a wrecking ball. The style is heavy-handed, heavy-footed, it’s nasty. Anything from small joint manipulation to crushing skulls, crushing rib cages, stamping on shins and knees and necks and collarbones and snapping heads off and tearing his fists through chests, ripping out spinal columns. It’s anything he can get away with. He is a terrorist in his mentality as well as brutal action. So he’s horrible. A really horrible piece of work.”

Wow. Well it will be interesting if Nolan (or the MPAA) actually allows the removal of spinal columns in the next Batman film or if Hardy was just being sarcastic and caught up in the moment. As far as Christopher Nolan is concerned, he had this to say about Bane and what we can expect Batman to be facing in this new episode:

“With Bane, we are looking to give Batman a physical challenge that he hasn’t had before. With our choice of villain and with our choice of story we’re testing Batman both physically as well as mentally. Also, in terms of finishing our story and increasing its scope, we were trying to craft an epic, so the physicality of the film became very important. Bane’s a very different kind of villain than Batman has faced before in our films. He’s a great sort of movie monster, but with an incredible brain, and that was a side of him that hadn’t been tapped before.”

Along with this, the director also offered an interesting tidbit of information concerning the time of the film. Unlike most sequels, this one will not be picking up exactly from where the previous chapter left off:

“It’s really all about finishing Batman and Bruce Wayne’s story. We left him in a very precarious place. Perhaps surprisingly for some people, our story picks up quite a bit later, eight years after The Dark Knight. So he’s an older Bruce Wayne — he’s not in a great state.”

You put all of this together, and one question bares very strongly in my mind: just how dark is Nolan going to take this film? Everything that we’ve seen and heard points to a possibility that the film’s predecessor, widely acclaimed for its realism and unsentimentality, could seem like a Disney movie compared to this one. There’s one quite cataclysmic event that some journalists and enthusiasts are contemplating. Between Bruce Wayne’s older state, the brutality of Bane and Nolan’s description of Batman being tested both physically and mentally like never before, one has to wonder if Bane will, in fact, break Batman’s back. Those who have read or have a decent knowledge of the comics know that this event does occur in Knightfall. Perhaps this will be Nolan’s way of closing out the Batman series, and to be even more speculative, maybe bringing Catwoman in to take on the mantel. She has already been seen in photos riding the Batpod.

The internet is like a sewing circle of gossip and rumors and all we can do is wait for the next dollop of news. Supposedly, we will not have to wait that long. As Nolan did with “The Dark Knight” a prologue is being planned for theatrical release. The first six minutes of the film are going to be shown as a complete short before IMAX screenings of “Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol.” I personally wish they could have attached it to a film that I actually planned on seeing, but I’m sure it will pop up on the internet sooner or later. The prologue featured the Joker’s bank heist. Who knows exactly what this one will feature. Though, it’s been made clear that Bane’s mask and antecedent injury is explained in the early scenes of the film so perhaps we’ll see something along those lines.

Below are the rest of the photos released in Empire, as well as their cover series:

Batman: “Begins, Falls, Rises” Triptych Poster

July 19, 2011 2 comments

Okay. I understand that lately this site has been going a little nutty over anything to do with Christopher Nolan’s new film, although how can anyone really hold it against me? Yet, I promise that after this I will try to cool it for a while. Meanwhile, this gag was just too eye-catching to pass up. I found this over at Sasha Stone’s Awardsdaily, who apparently dug it up at Modernismism.

This is a fantastic effort made towards finding a true thematic harmony for this soon-to-be trilogy. I really appreciate the fluidity created between the three different color schemes, balancing the changing tones cast by the films’ director. It certainly gives a clue into what we can expect from this final chapter for they seem to get bleaker and more sinister as the trilogy progresses.

I would love to have this poster on my wall. Kudos to whoever’s behind this impressive piece of film art.

“The Dark Knight Rises” Teaser Trailer Released

Well, folks, here it is. Warner Brothers actually took the social networking route and debuted it on both Facebook and Twitter, rather than on an official website or iTunes. I must say that the trailer does display a bit more footage than I thought (even though people are already bitching about a lack of visuals). One thing’s for sure, Christopher Nolan has not before, nor will he (apparently) leave behind the gritty elements of realism that have made his franchise so immensely popular. This chapter looks about as cut and dry as anything I’ve ever seen. It appears that Nolan really knows what he’s doing in this final installment and I’m not expecting any disappointment.

As far as the footage goes: stellar. Gary Oldman on the hospital bed was probably the last thing that anyone was expecting to see, but it works. And the final shot of Bane approaching a beleaguered Batman in some kind of seedy industrial setting was chilling. Nothing on Catwoman, yet, but we’ve still got plenty of time. If this film follows the same publicity pattern as the last film, we can probably expect a second trailer with more footage by January, followed by a final piece by perhaps March or April.

One more thing. Before seeing this trailer, I had little to no respect for the film’s title. However, after getting a very loose glimpse of the film’s plot and tone, maybe the “Rises” actually works for it.

Check out the HD trailer below. Embedding has been disabled, therefore just play the video and follow the link to youtube.

“The Dark Knight Rises” Joke Poster

There’s not much to this. I just think that, what with all of the guessing and analysis over the poster and upcoming teaser, that this is just downright hilarious. Enjoy spending a few minutes looking this over.

Check out the actual poster, free of red ink, here: “The Dark Knight Rises” Poster

“The Dark Knight Rises” Publicity Weekend

July 12, 2011 3 comments

Even though this was only released within the last few hours, it is already practically old news. Still it’s worth reporting on this mad publicity blitz for the highly anticipated film. This poster is only the first step. Accompanying the release of Warner Bros’ final installment of “Harry Potter” this weekend (thank God, by the way, that it is finally the last), there will be a featured first teaser trailer for Nolan’s flick.

To be quite honest, Batman fans shouldn’t get their hopes up. Their production has barely begun so I wouldn’t expect a whole lot of footage. I’m expecting something similar to the first teaser of “The Dark Knight,” a fancy, blue visual effects show with some voiceovers. Not that that preview didn’t give chills, but most of those came from hearing the first syllables spoken by an infinitely more anticipated antagonist. They might be generous and throw in a shot of Bane to wet appetites.

The poster, released today, granted is an early promotional tool, is honestly pretty boring to me. The design is cool, but the detail on the buildings is fairly sloppy. I understand that it’s just a poster and I shouldn’t take it too seriously, but take a look at the buildings again. That has got to be one of the most claustrophobic city blocks I’ve ever seen. Where does the street go?

I don’t know. Maybe I’m still just annoyed that it’s not a Chicago city street we’re looking at. I’m not sure if that grievance will ever be resolved in my mind, but we’ll save that round of bellyaching for a different article. I will post the new teaser as soon as it becomes available online, probably within a day of it’s release in theaters. In the meantime, I’ve attached the first “Dark Knight” teaser, below, to show what we can probably expect.

BREAKING NEWS: Amy Adams is Lois Lane in “Superman” Reboot

March 27, 2011 Leave a comment

I can’t say that the new “Superman” franchise is something that I’m looking forward to with beaming eyes. Even with Christopher Nolan’s attachment, Zack Snyder at the helm of anything makes me kind of want to purge a little. However, this seems like a pretty cool casting choice. Adams is a phenomenal actress, and extremely attractive, and I like it when Hollywood casts meaty roles with actresses who hold both of those qualities rather than just the latter.

Here’s an excerpt from the LA Times article:

The 36-year-old star got the news on Sunday from director Zack Snyder, who phoned her from Paris, where he was promoting his just-opened film, “Sucker Punch.” There had been a crush of Hollywood interest in the lead female role in the Warner Bros. project but Snyder said that after meeting with Adams, she was the clear choice to take on a character that dates back to 1938 and has long represented the strong, professional woman who can hold her own against any man – even if he can leap tall buildings in a single bound.

It’s kind of strange that of the two leading lady roles available for superhero movies floating around, Adams gets the part of the woman who isn’t famous for her blazing red hair as opposed to the one who is. Who knows? Since Mary Jane supposedly will not even be a part of “The Amazing Spider-Man,” (which I still can’t believe), Adams will have to dye down that mop settle for being in the more boring of the two comic book films. I am, however, looking forward to having at least some of “Man of Steel” being shot here in the Chicago area ever since Christopher Nolan turned his back on the second city with the only superhero movie that really matters…

Darren Aronofsky has moved on from “Wolverine”

March 17, 2011 Leave a comment

I guess that one could react to this news in many different ways. I imagine that having an experienced and talented director taking on a comic book franchise would a refreshing change of pace. Jon Favreau aced the first “Iron Man” movie (though that was a surprise, if anything else). Christopher Nolan obviously knocked Batman completely out of the park. Seeing an edgy and dark personality tackle an X-Men film might be interesting.

Hard to believe I’ve been reading numbskulls on IMDB talking about how happy they are because Darren Aronofsky because he’s not talented enough and would have ruined the series. I shall refrain.

Honestly, I am happy about this news, as well. Yet, I am joyed for a different reason. Quite frankly, Aronofsky is too good for this. “Black Swan” is not my favorite movie of his, but it’s definitely a hell of a breakthrough for him. He has the potential to basically do whatever he wants with his career, at this point, and I’m sure he has some better ideas in his head then the sequel to a prequel of a comic book movie. Aronofsky is a brilliant and original mind and he should helm those qualities with pride and “Wolverine” would seem to put them on hold for a year or so. Quite frankly, I can’t wait that long.

Here’s to what hopefully comes instead.

My Top Ten List – 2010

February 15, 2011 1 comment

Last year, I can remember the huge uproar against the AMPAS extending the amount of Best Picture nominees to ten. I can also remember, that through it all, I was one of this notion’s strongest supporters. I recognize the faults in the logic. It allows for lesser films that have no business being considered one of the year’s best to fight their way in due to endless campaigning and the votes of stupid people. This flaw took shape last year in the form of “The Blind Side” getting nominated for Best Picture.

However, the upsides of the expansion are far greater. It gives the field a more diverse look, for one. It’s nice to see films from a wide range of directors and collaborators. If allows also a mix of both intelligent box office hits and scrappy indy favorites. More than anything else, however, is that five films is just two few to sum up a year in cinema. Had the Academy enacted this ruling ten years ago, one would look back on certain films and think it a crime had they not been nominated, which they haven’t. Imagine a world if films like “The Wrestler,” “The Dark Knight,” “WALL-E,” “Into the Wild,” “Once,” “The Diving Bell and the Butterfly,” “United 93,” “Little Children,” “Children of Men” and “Pan’s Labyrinth” could have been Best Picture nominees, and that’s only the last five years.

It must be for that reason that critics, for over fifty years, have been issuing top ten lists of their favorite films, rather than top five lists. It’s about that time, therefore, for The Edge of the Frame to release its own list for the 2010 year. I have now seen sixty films from 2010, which is low for me and not quite an respectable amount. Over the years, I’m sure that this list will change a spot or two as I see more, but for now, I believe that I’ve seen an acceptable sum to create an adequate list.

This has been a good year for film, but not really a great one. Out of sixty films, I gave only two films “A” grades. The year has had its high points and low points. For instance, it has been a great year for lead acting performances, but a rotten year for cinematography. For sure, I will always remember 2010 as the year that the Oscars snubbed its nose at great film and went home to their comfort zones. More than anything else, however, 2010 has been the year of the documentary. Never have I seen a year in cinema in which so many documentaries have captured my interest, let alone made it into my top ten.

As always there are a few stragglers that, even though they don’t qualify for my top ten, they still deserve an honorable mention. Therefore, this next selection of films are all very good, but just not good enough. They may be packed with amazing moments, but there’s also one too many flaws that have kept them down. So without further adieu, here are the films that just didn’t quite make it:


“127 Hours”

Directed by Danny Boyle
Written by Danny Boyle and Simon Beaufoy

Click HERE to see the rest of the list

Read more…

The Nominations – My Thoughts and Reactions

January 25, 2011 Leave a comment

The nail-biting is over, at least for a few weeks. The Oscar nominations are here, and I believe that for the first time in years, my joy outweighs my sorrow. I suppose its appropriate to get into the bad news, first.

One thing’s official. As much as the Academy seems to have the most outrageous hard-on for Stephen Daldry (3 films made, 3 Best Director nods), they seem to have an everlasting grudge against Christopher Nolan as a director (3 DGA noms, no Oscar nods for Director). I just don’t understand what the man has to do to get their recognition. You can’t feel completely bad for him, pulling down two nominations for producer and writer, but are those the types of roles that any great director wants to be remembered for? I’m sure it wasn’t good enough for Stanley Kubrick. Honestly, Christopher Nolan is one of the most talented directors in Hollywood. Who else can take a film with such originality, intelligence, grandeur and finesse and bring in 300 million dollars with it or more. And on top of that, do it twice in three years. Nobody since Steven Spielberg, I’ll tell you that much.

The second-most disturbing snub has got be the exclusion of Andrew Garfield in the Supporting Actor category. Ridiculous. Definitely one of the best performances of the year, Garfield’s portrayal of innocence-lost is the soul of “The Social Network.” Though, while I bemoan the lack of Eduardo Savrin, I simply could not be more thrilled about the inclusion of John Hawkes for his turn in “Winter’s Bone.” People who’ve visited this site often must be aware of my penchant for this particular acting job, and this morning’s news of his inclusion is the crowning jewel of almost a year’s worth of supporting him on my part.

Since I’m ever so thrilled about Hawkes, I can’t blame him for the Garfield snub. Therefore, I’m gonna have to just go ahead and blame Jeremy Renner. I never thought that in one year, I could turn so much on this performer. In “The Hurt Locker” he was phenomenal, truly deserving of a lead actor nomination. Here, he is an average performance in an average film. I don’t think I ever considered him a candidate for my supporting actor picks, not even back in October. I was genuinely shocked and confused when accolades and Oscar talk began surfacing a few months ago. It baffled me then and it truly baffles me now.

At least its consolation that Renner was “The Town”‘s only nomination, missing out on that Best Picture nod that everyone was predicting….well almost everyone ;). The fact that “Winter’s Bone” took its place could not be more gratifying, as well. What a glorious film that more than deserves all of its bestowed nominations.

Let’s look at how some films made out on the whole. “127 Hours” defied pundits with a huge 6 nomination comeback, including yet another double category nomination for A.R. Rahman (Best Original Song, Best Original Score). Meanwhile, maybe the biggest shocker of the day, was “Black Swan” achieving only 5 nominations. For a while now, many people have been projecting Aronofsky’s film to be the potential nomination frontrunner, amassing perhaps ten or twelve. Instead, the film missed out on Supporting Actress (for both of its contenders), Original Screenplay, Art Direction, Costume Design and both Sound categories. I didn’t have it predicted in all of those, but it certainly had potential. Perhaps the biggest crime here is its Sound Effects exclusion. The work done on the sound of pattering feet and flapping feathers was phenomenal.

The worst overall snub of a film had to be Martin Scorsese’s “Shutter Island.” Not an amazing film, by any standards, but certainly one in which at least its technical achievements deserved some recognition. It should have easily made the grade for both Cinematography and Art Direction. Some of the best work of the year. I’m also depressed that Ryan Gosling missed out on a more than deserving nomination for Best Actor in “Blue Valentine.” It’s very nice to see Michelle Williams nominated, but not enough of a consolation. I’m sure that when I see “Biutiful” this weekend, however, Javier Bardem will wow the living shit out of me and I will be able to praise his surprise inclusion.

Let’s move on to some of the brighter aspects of day. The big story in the news is “The King’s Speech” being the nomination leader, but “The Social Network” really did have a pretty damned good day. 8 nominations, tied for the third highest, including four technical nominations, not an easy feat for a contemporary comedy/drama. It’s true that we definitely have ourselves a race now. Yet in terms of the race, “The King’s Speech” may have gained ground, but “The Social Network” hasn’t lost any of its.

One thing that’s really got me happy is the semi-snub of “Alice in Wonderland.” True, it did receive three nominations, yet I call it a snub for the one award it had almost always been not only a lock, but a frontrunner: Best Makeup. It appears that this branch of the Academy really does know the difference between makeup and CGI. Some very interesting choices replaced it, including “Barney’s Version” and “The Way Back.”

Without a doubt, the biggest joy for me, this morning, was seeing the results that the Doc branch rolled out. This has been one of the best years I’ve ever seen for documentary films. Lately, it’s seemed as though the lackluster “Waiting for Superman” was lined up to sweep the Oscar after wins at the BFCA and PGA. However, that belief was certainly swayed when the movie did not even show up among the nominees. The Academy also chose to avoid “The Tillman Story,” a pretentious and jumbled look at the soldier’s tragic story. Instead, among the nominations, are my three favorite documentaries of the year: “Restrepo,” “Inside Job” and the glorious “Exit Through the Gift Shop.” Well done, guys.

My predictions were some of the best of my time doing this gig. out of 109 nominations, I correctly predicted 82. Not bad at all. If you were to ask my girlfriend, I was inches away from predicting Bardem at about 2 o’clock this morning. Oh well. Got to stick to your guns.

This race has gone from being a one trick pony to a cutthroat race to the finish. It is going to be “The Social Network” vs. “The King’s Speech” right to the last note. While, for sure, I have a favorite, it’s refreshing to have a very close race. While last year was a nice David and Goliath battle, looking back, it was always “The Hurt Locker”‘s for the taking. And before that, it was two years of no competition. Now we have a race the likes of “The Departed” vs. “Little Miss Sunshine” or “Million Dollar Baby” vs. “The Aviator.” However, in reality, I don’t think we’ve ever had a race quite like this one before. Should be a good time. Stay tuned.