January 2013


The wonderful ending scene in The Artist.

The wonderful ending scene in The Artist.

The 84th annual Academy Awards, for the film year 2011.  The nominations were announced on 24 January 2012 and the awards were held on 26 February 2012.

Best Picture:  The Artist

  • Hugo
  • The Descendants
  • Midnight in Paris
  • The Tree of Life
  • Moneyball
  • War Horse
  • The Help
  • Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close

Most Surprising Omission:  The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

Best Eligible Film Not Nominated:  Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy

Rank (out of 85) among Best Picture Years:  #43

(more…)

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If you're an 11 year old boy, this is the girl you want to meet - Chloe Grace Moretz in Hugo.

If you’re an 11 year old boy, this is the girl you want to meet – Chloe Grace Moretz in Hugo.

My Top 20:

  1. Hugo
  2. The Descendants
  3. The Artist
  4. Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
  5. Midnight in Paris
  6. A Separation
  7. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2
  8. The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn
  9. The Tree of Life
  10. The Ides of March
  11. Incendies
  12. Jane Eyre
  13. Beginners
  14. Contagion
  15. My Week With Marilyn
  16. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
  17. Rango
  18. Moneyball
  19. Margin Call
  20. Take Shelter

(more…)

I could have used a picture of me reading it but why would I do it when I have this one?

I could have used a picture of me reading it but why would I do that when I have this one?

Ulysses

  • Rank:  #3
  • Author:  James Joyce  (1882  –  1941)
  • Published:  1922
  • Publisher:  Sylvia Beach
  • Pages:  783
  • First Line:  “Stately, plump Buck Mulligan came from the stairhead, bearing a bowl of lather on which a mirror and a razor lay crossed.”
  • Last Line:  “and yes I said yes I will Yes.”
  • Acclaim:  Modern Library Top 100 English-Language Novels of the 20th Century #1
  • ML Version:  ML Giant #52 (two dust jackets – 1940, 1967); Ulysses in Nighttown (excerpt published as P-45); tan dust jacket; gold dust jacket (1992)
  • Film:  1967  (dir. Joseph Strick – ***), 2003 (Bloom – dir. Sean Walsh)
  • First Read:  July – August 2000 (more…)
James Cameron, landing higher on the list than his ex-wife Kathryn Bigelow proclaims himself king of the world.  He hasn't seen the final revised version yet, though.

James Cameron, landing higher on the list than his ex-wife Kathryn Bigelow proclaims himself king of the world. He hasn’t seen the final revised version yet, though.

This is the fifth group of directors who have been nominated at some point for Best Director by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (you know, the Oscars).  They are all ranked and there is a points system that is explained here.

And here we are again with an extra director in the mix.  Why is that you ask?  Well, because on 10 January, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced the nominations for this year’s Academy Awards and among the list of nominated directors were two who had never been nominated before: Michael Haneke and Benh Zeitlin.  So, then, you ask, why is there only one extra director thrown in here?  Well, for two reasons.  The first is that Benh Zeitlin, with a score of 295 ranks down around place #170, so he’s been well passed by already.  The second is that Zeitlin has only directed one feature film so far – Beasts of the Southern Wild – and it seems odd to throw him into the mix with only one film.  Every other director has done at least two films by now, even if their first film was what they earned their nomination for.  So, I will include Zeitlin in the overall ranked list when this process is done, but I’m not gonna bother to sum up his career which consist of only one film.

But that left me with Michael Haneke.  This was going to be easy, I thought; the only new director will be Ben Affleck, whose films I have all seen and who actually ranks pretty high because all three of his films have been great.  But then the Academy threw me the screwball and suddenly I had to go find the other 6 Haneke films I hadn’t yet seen and figure out precisely where he belongs.  Thankfully, he has earned enough points, even without Amour, to get bumped up into the next level and I don’t have to worry about seeing Amour (until tomorrow, when I’m planning on going to see it).

My plan to solve this problem, by the way, is to not wait another f****g year before I finish the last four parts of the list. (more…)

The rather odd cover of Vintage's edition of The Stranger which I have owned for decades.

The rather odd cover of Vintage’s edition of The Stranger which I have owned for decades.

The Stranger (L’Étranger)

  • Rank:  #4
  • Author:  Albert Camus  (1913  –  1960)
  • Published:  1942  (French)  /  1946  (English)
  • Publisher:  Librairie Gallimard
  • Pages:  154
  • First Line:  “Mother died today.”
  • Last Line:  “For all to be accomplished, for me to feel less lonely, all that remained to hope was that on the day of my execution there should be a huge crowd of spectators and that they should greet me with howls of execration.”
  • Acclaim:  Le Monde’s 100 Books of the Century
  • ML Version:  none – which is odd since Vintage, which is also published by Random House, has had paperback rights for decades and 5 of Camus’ other works have been published in the ML
  • Film:  1967 (*** – dir. Luchino Visconti); 1991  (Fate – dir. Zeki Demirkubuz)
  • First Read:  Fall 1991

(more…)

Clearly the Joaquin Phoenix add campaign worked.

Clearly the Joaquin Phoenix add campaign worked.

I fully expected to begin this post with the fact that no category had ever been entirely populated with former winners.  I expected that category to be Best Director.  Instead, with three nominees I wasn’t expecting, things have changed.  Instead, that category is Best Supporting Actor.

But the biggest news might be that Harvey Weinstein has done it again, and how.  By getting David O. Russell into the Best Director race, he has managed to do some things that haven’t been done in a long time.  And for the first time, The Weinstein Company has two films nominated for Best Picture.  And since Silver Linings Playbook is in for Director, we may have a return of the Miramax-Dreamworks wars for BP we had in the late 90’s.

But that will be part of the list below.  I also have to add in Michael Haneke and Benh Zeitlin to my Oscar nominated directors list.  That will be tricky since this is Zeitlin’s first feature film.

I went 4 for 5 on all the acting, 5 for 5 on both screenplay categories and 8 for 9 on Picture (I thought Amour would only get in if there were 10), but I went a shocking 2 for 5 on Director.

So, on to the trivia: (more…)

Steven Spielberg working with Daniel Day-Lewis on the set of Lincoln (2012)

Steven Spielberg working with Daniel Day-Lewis on the set of Lincoln (2012)

So, here we are with the Directors Guild nominations for 2012.

Here are the nominees for this year:

  • Steven Spielberg  (Lincoln)  –  11th nomination
  • Ang Lee  (Life of Pi)  –  4th nomination
  • Kathryn Bigelow  (Zero Dark Thirty)  –  2nd nomination
  • Tom Hooper  (Les Miserables)  –  2nd nomination
  • Ben Affleck  (Argo)  –  1st nomination

And I’m doing much better than last year in that I have already seen four of the nominees (I still need to see ZDT).

Here’s the trivia for this year: (more…)

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