January 2015


That rare moment in The Seventh Seal when life wins out.

That rare moment in The Seventh Seal when life wins out.

You can read more about this year in film here.  The Best Picture race is discussed here, with reviews of all the nominees.  First there are the categories, followed by all the films with their nominations, then the Globes, where I split the major awards by Drama and Comedy, followed by a few lists at the very end.  If there’s a film you expected to see and didn’t, check the very bottom – it might be eligible in a different year.  Films in red won the Oscar in that category (or Globe, in the Globes section).  Films in blue were nominated.  Films with an asterisk (*) were Consensus nominees (a scale I put together based on the various awards) while those with a double asterisk (**) were the Consensus winners.

I’m listing the top 10 in the categories but only the top 5 earn Nighthawk nominations.

Nighthawk Awards:

  • Best Picture
  1. The Seventh Seal
  2. Wild Strawberries
  3. Some Like It Hot  *
  4. The 400 Blows
  5. North by Northwest
  6. Anatomy of a Murder  *
  7. The Diary of Anne Frank
  8. Sleeping Beauty
  9. Ben Hur  **
  10. Pather Panchali

Analysis:  That is a hell of a Top 5 – the second best to date, behind only 1946.  The first nine are all **** films.  This is the only year in film history in which both my top two are foreign films and the only one in which three of the top four are foreign. (more…)

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Raymond Chandler meets Ken Kesey.  Or, film noir on acid.  Or, as Veronica put it, a Pynchon novel.

Raymond Chandler meets Ken Kesey. Or, film noir on acid. Or, as Veronica put it, a Pynchon novel.

Inherent Vice

  • Author:  Thomas Pynchon  (b. 1937)
  • Published:  2009
  • Publisher:  The Penguin Press
  • Pages:  369
  • First Line:  “She came along the alley and up the back steps the way she always used to.”
  • Last Line:  “For the fog to burn away, and for something else this time, somehow, to be there instead.”
  • Film:  2014  –  (**** – dir. Paul Thomas Anderson)
  • First Read:  the day before it was released in 2009

(more…)

These two seemingly unconnected directors now have something in common.

These two seemingly unconnected directors now have something in common.

As will be seen when my Year and Film and History of Academy Awards for this year are done (after the Oscars), this has been a strange year.  Going into this morning, I had no idea what was going to happen with Best Picture.  I knew that, historically, at least a couple of trends were going to be bent.  They were bent far more than I thought.

Because they were announcing every category live this morning, I wrote ideas for all the categories, because it’s easier to just cross out the ones that are wrong and fill in the others.  There was a lot.  I went 4/5 in Director, Screenplay, Actress, Supporting Actor and Supporting Actress.  But I only got 7/9 for Picture (I wrote down 9 and got 7 right, but my #9 choice made it in, so I can’t say I was 7/8) and I didn’t get a single category 5/5.  I did correctly predict that Selma would be mostly snubbed, but was then stunned when it made it in the final Picture list rather than Foxcatcher, which I didn’t think would make it, but the other categories were there for it, so who knows.  So, I will just start in on the trivia. (more…)

Part of the brilliant opening shot of Touch of Evil.

Part of the brilliant opening shot of Touch of Evil.

You can read more about this year in film here.  The Best Picture race is discussed here, with reviews of all the nominees.  First there are the categories, followed by all the films with their nominations, then the Globes, where I split the major awards by Drama and Comedy, followed by a few lists at the very end.  If there’s a film you expected to see and didn’t, check the very bottom – it might be eligible in a different year.  Films in red won the Oscar in that category (or Globe, in the Globes section).  Films in blue were nominated.  Films with an asterisk (*) were Consensus nominees (a scale I put together based on the various awards) while those with a double asterisk (**) were the Consensus winners.

I’m listing the top 8 in the categories but only the top 5 earn Nighthawk nominations.

Nighthawk Awards:

  • Best Picture
  1. Touch of Evil
  2. Smiles of a Summer Night
  3. Cat on a Hot Tin Roof  *
  4. Nights of Cabiria
  5. The Defiant Ones  **
  6. Vertigo
  7. Death of a Cyclist
  8. Mon Oncle

(more…)