The words the happy say Are paltry melody But those the silent feel Are beautiful— Emily Dickinson’s sister-in-law comes over in the wee hours, alarmed to see a light on, only to find Emily awake and preparing to write poetry in the quiet of the night. The look on Emily’s face is beautiful as she […]
The years are catching up with Bette and Joan. This season of Feud has only spanned two years so far, from early 1962, when Joan Crawford approached Bette Davis with What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?, to 1964, when Crawford exited Hush, Hush… Sweet Charlotte. At the start of the series, both actresses jumped at the chance to […]
“And the winner is… Anne Bancroft in The Miracle Worker.” The camera cuts to Susan Sarandon, standing in the wings, and for an infinite second she can sparely sputter a breath. Jessica Lange drops her cigarette, stamps it out beneath her silver sole—and proudly struts past Susan to collect that Oscar. “And the Winner Is…” is […]
It’s an unusual play with, I think, some of Tennessee’s most empathetic writing. By the third act, Iguana is essentially a two-hander for Hannah and Shannon, as they comfort and understand each other. Hannah’s fervent hope becomes a lightning rod for Shannon, inspiring him to—well, we don’t know.
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.
I re-watched Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner before catching Jordan Peele’s Get Out in theaters. Many critics have suggested Peele plays off the earlier movie’s title and crowd-pleasing comedy-of-manners style. Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner was old-fashioned when it opened in 1967. Sidney Poitier was a big star at the time; he was the only […]
Forget Rogue One and the latest Marvel face-off: The last scene of Moonlight rivals both for intensity and suspense. Without giving everything away, we watch two men circling each other, nothing exchanged but conversation and a cup of tea. Plenty of things feel unspoken. They haven’t seen each other in years; each became someone the other didn’t expect. And we can’t […]
Here’s my final ballot for this Sunday’s Academy Awards. I predict La La Land will clean up with 9 wins, meaning this will be the most boring Oscars since Gravity swept the tech awards. Still, only one acting category is a sure thing (here’s looking at you, Ms. Davis!), so I’m ready for a good surprise or two. […]
It’s always instructive who merits an Oscar campaign and who doesn’t. The three ladies of Hidden Figures would have had better odds if their highly successful movie had premiered earlier in the season. As it played out, there was only one vulnerable slot in Supporting Actress, and Octavia Spencer snuck in. Similarly, with so much talent in Moonlight, […]
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…