December 2020


Miles Raymond: Come on, man. You know. Hemingway, Sexton, Plath, Woolf. You can’t kill yourself before you’re even published! Jack: What about the guy who wrote Confederacy of Dunces? He committed suicide before he was published. Look how famous he is!

My Top 10

  1. Sideways
  2. A Very Long Engagement
  3. Closer
  4. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
  5. Finding Neverland
  6. Million Dollar Baby
  7. Shrek 2
  8. The Motorcycle Diaries
  9. Baadasssss!
  10. Spider-Man 2

note:  A solid Top 5 but a much weaker second 5.  The rest of the list is down below with none of them among the award nominees that are fully reviewed. (more…)

Screen Shot 2020-11-14 at 11.39.57 AMAll of these films except the last one is an 88.  The last one is an 89.  All are low ****.  The introduction is here. (more…)


Good riddance to 2020.  As I write this, there are 21 days left in the year and 41 left in the administration that made this year much worse than it needed to be.  But both are on their way out and so comes our annual holiday letter, pushed to the internet because I can’t go in to my office and print out copies.  So, let’s see what this year brought us. (more…)

Starting tomorrow (maybe Wednesday), the top of the blog will be our annual Christmas letter.  Though that will be stuck to the top of the post, I will probably continue do more film posts – they just won’t be at the top of the page until around New Year’s or so.

We don’t normally post the Christmas letter but COVID has meant it won’t be easy to print the copies we need for our Christmas cards.  So if you feel the need to comment on the letter, just remember it’s something that will be read by most of our families and I might cut comments if I view them as not appropriate.

Now, as for the award news.  Normally by this time, the Annies have announced, the Globes have nominated and the NYFC and NBR have started handing out actual awards and F.T. is chiming in with guesses about the Best International Feature Film category.  But the Oscars, for good or ill (ill in a lot of ways but more on that below) have pushed things back a couple of months.  So if you want to chime in with award comments and such, this is the post where I’d prefer you to leave your comments. (more…)

A Century of Film


The Genre

There were several genres that didn’t flourish much in the Silent Era but the only genre that literally couldn’t exist before The Jazz Singer was Musicals.  It was always an eventuality, given the popularity on Broadway, that they would arrive on-screen and it’s not a coincidence that after those first few words, Al Jolson started singing. (more…)