April 2016


Whether you go with the 3 hour theatrical release or the 6 hour television version, Fanny and Alexander is the best film of the year.

Whether you go with the 3 hour theatrical release or the 6 hour television version, Fanny and Alexander is the best film of the year.

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 (or directors) in olive are links to earlier posts that I don’t want to have show up in blue and be mistaken for a nominee.  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. Fanny & Alexander  *
  2. Terms of Endearment  **
  3. The Big Chill
  4. Zelig
  5. The Right Stuff
  6. Betrayal
  7. Star Wars Episode VI: The Return of the Jedi
  8. Educating Rita  *
  9. Miss Europe
  10. Danton

(more…)

inside-out-14In mid-January, on the day the Oscars were announced, I wrote a piece about the Oscar nominations.  In response to a comment on that piece, I listed Inside Out as my #6 film of the year.  A month and a half later, when I published my Year in Film, it was listed at #3 for the year.  What happened in between?  Well, Starz happened in between, as it started airing Inside Out the weekend of the Oscars.  Since it kept coming on and it’s something we’re definitely okay with Thomas watching, we kept putting it on.  The more I watched it, the more I found myself moved by it.  It wasn’t the moment that everyone talks about either, the moment when Bing-Bong sacrifices himself so that Joy can make it back, so that Riley can be saved.  It’s the end of the film, when the emotions can’t seem to bring Riley back, when she’s losing the capacity to feel anything at all. (more…)

Garcia Marquez isn't the only South American who can write a fantastic magical realism novel.

Garcia Marquez isn’t the only South American who can write a fantastic magical realism novel.

The House of the Spirits (La casa de los espíritus)

  • Author:  Isabel Allende  (b. 1942)
  • Published:  1982  /  1985  (English tran.)
  • Publisher:  Plaza & Janés, S.A.
  • Pages:  433
  • First Line:  “Barrabás came to us by the sea, the child Clara wrote in her delicate calligraphy.”
  • Last Line:  “It begins like this: Barrabás came to us by the sea.”
  • Awards:  Panorama Literario
  • Film:  1994  (**)
  • First Read:  Fall 2000

The Novel:  When I first started at Powells, I was living in Beaverton and commuting into Portland on the Max.  That gave me a lot of time to read, and I was employed by the largest bookstore in the world.  So I made a list.  It was a mixture of a variety of books – some were books I had seen the film of, some were finishing off authors whose other books I had already read and some were award winners I felt the need to read.  I don’t remember all of the books on the list, but some of them come back to me vividly, as I remember reading them while on the Max, or walking through the streets of Northwest to the Max.  This is one of those books. (more…)

The desperation and tragedy of love in Sophie's Choice.

The desperation and tragedy of love in Sophie’s Choice.

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 (or directors) in olive are links to earlier posts that I don’t want to have show up in blue and be mistaken for a nominee.  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. Sophie’s Choice
  2. The Verdict  *
  3. Das Boot
  4. Tootsie  *
  5. Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan
  6. Missing  *
  7. E.T.  *
  8. The Long Good Friday
  9. Diner
  10. Fitzcarraldo

Analysis:  There are nine **** films and then a three point drop to a high-level ***.5, followed by another couple of high-level ***.5 films, My Favorite Year and Blade Runner.  Yes, that means I have Blade Runner as the third-ranked Sci-Fi film of the year, which for many will be blasphemy. (more…)