Category Frame by Frame

Breaking Down the Best Picture Box Office

Our contemporary Best Picture nominees rarely are the year’s highest-grossing hits. We can chalk this up to many factors, some of which I’ll explore; but however we slice it, Best Pictures are no longer the movies that all Americans have seen.

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The 2016 Oscar Season

With the 89th Academy Awards a week from today, I’m thinking back about the 2016 season. And yes, I’m still catching up on last year’s movies! It’s always a scramble to see all the major nominees…

The Next Glass Ceiling

Ava Duvernay will be the first black woman to direct a live-action big-budget movie. Let that sink in. I was completely surprised to read the news, though I shouldn’t be. It’s hard to name off-hand ten current women, period, who are major movie directors. For the record, there are quite a few, and I’ll get […]

The Year of Black and White

Why would Alexander Payne shoot Nebraska in black and white?, a reporter asked at Cannes. Payne’s reaction: “I wasn’t expecting that question at all.” I saw three black-and-white indies in theaters over the past six months: Nebraska, Joss Whedon’s Much Ado about Nothing, and Noah Baumbach’s Frances Ha. Despite the success of The Artist, it’s rare to see several major black-and-whites […]

Actor in Focus: Amy Adams

During the past few years, Amy Adams has had an interesting career turnaround. When she came on the scene with her Academy-nominated supporting performance in Junebug, Adams played the role of the “perky, sweet girl,” and seemed in some ways typecast with a variety of similar roles from the singing and dancing Princess Giselle in […]

Thing One and Thing Two

Stephen King’s horror novel It was announced today as the latest King to hit the big screen. After October’s release of Carrie failed to catch on with critics or ticket buyers, a major motion picture of It seems like a dubious prospect. Will audiences flock to an adaptation of a 1986 clown-fest? Make that two adaptations. According to The Hollywood Reporter, director Cary […]

Tis the Season to Be Greedy

If there’s one thing the people want for Christmas, it’s a reminder of corporate greed and one-percenter excess. The Wrap reported yesterday that The Wolf of Wall Street will come out in time for Oscar consideration, on Christmas Day no less. Wolf was first scheduled for November, but there were rumors it wouldn’t premiere until 2014. […]

No Shame in Not Campaigning

2011 was the year that America began to take notice of German-Irish actor Michael Fassbender. He played broody, secretive Edward Rochester in Cary Fukunaga’s refreshing take on Jane Eyre, Swiss psychiatrist and psychologist Carl Jung in David Cronenberg’s A Dangerous Method, the younger version of Ian McKellen’s magnetic super villain Magneto in X-Men: First Class, […]

Always a Bride, Never a Bridesmaid

“Did I really earn this, or did I just wear you all down?” Last week writer Mark Harris lamented about the “deplorable state” of the Best Actress race this year, arguing that by having a lineup of women who have already won awards (either in lead or supporting), we miss some of the lesser-known, yet […]