Movie Reviews and Previews Articles
Movie Reviews and Previews including industry news, new releases, upcoming projects, and box office results
The LA Film Critics Association named Moonlight the Best Picture of the year yesterday, followed by La La Land as runner-up. Barry Jenkins, who directed Moonlight, won Best Director. He also won Best Director from the New York Film Critics Circle last week while La La Land was Best Picture. And the LA and New York critics agreed on Mahershala Ali as Best Supporting Actor who is now likely the frontrunner for Best Supporting Actor Oscar.
How important are critics though in determining Oscar? Several times this year I’ve posted about how critics can affect box office performance, particularly for movies that are about and for women and minorities, not unlike how it works within the Academy, the institution that governs the Oscars. The majority of film critics are white men. They see and analyse films through that specific lens. How does that imbalance then affect the way films are supported and celebrated? How does that help or hinder a film’s awards momentum? This was the subject of the most recent episode of Vulture’s podcast, The Awards Show Show during which three critics discussed How Critics Affect the Oscars, and How Bias Affects Critics.
Jen Yamato is one of those critics. She talks about rivalries between different critics’ associations, how even the critics clubs are jockeying for position – who’s more influential, who can get out first with their pronouncements and declarations – and what impact, if any, these behind-the-scenes competitions have on award season and the films that end up contending for Oscar. Jen tweeted something last week that I sent to Sarah. It was after Martin Scorsese’s Silence had screened for critics. And while proper reviews are still embargoed, many critics started tweeting their initial reactions. Many of those (predominantly male) reactions were super-jizzy. Jen’s reaction was…
@DrewMcWeeny I expect to be the lonely one here siding with the Japanese against the Jesuits and yet another white male journey of discovery— jen yamato (@jenyamato) November 30, 2016
Anyone still championing Liam Neeson in SILENCE for Best Supporting instead of Tadanobu Asano, Yôsuke Kubozuka, or Issei Ogata, well...— jen yamato (@jenyamato) December 1, 2016
As viewers then, it might not be enough to know that “critics”, in general, love or hate a certain film. Because “in general”, right now, means generally white male critics loved or hated a certain film. Do we need to make a point of asking the follow-up question, “WHICH critic loved or hated a certain film?” Sarah is a member of the Chicago Film Critics Association. Jen Yamato is a member of the Los Angeles Film Critics Association. For me, their reviews are going to be weighted with more significance. The problem is that there are not enough Sarahs and Jens. To be fair, as Jen says in the Vulture podcast, the LA Film Critics Association is becoming more diverse. It’s led by a woman, Claudia Puig, and is perhaps more culturally and generationally diverse than other critics boards. Still, as she qualifies, film criticism is “becoming more diverse but criticism is not a diverse place to be”. So it’s not just Hollywood that has to work on representation and inclusion. It’s also everything that orbits Hollywood – critics, media, fans. And that includes us. We here at LaineyGossip are trying to work on it too. As always, we appreciate your criticism, feedback, and guidance.
Yours in gossip,
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Milo Ventimiglia is having a moment. Not only is he nailing his role as Jack, the hot dad of all hot dads, on This is Us, he’s also experiencing a renewed fandom after his Gilmore Girls character Jess Mariano showed up in the revival looking exactly how you don’t want an ex to look when you run into them: more muscular and more hot AF than you remember. Full Story
Jennifer Aniston is in Office Christmas Party. I think the junket is in New York this weekend. We’ll be seeing a lot more of her next week. This week, however, she was on Ellen helping Ellen give presents away to her audience – I love watching people go insane over free sh-t, it never gets old – and telling Ellen about how Justin Theroux came home to surprise her for Thanksgiving and, oh yeah, a game of I Never during which she sort of (?) admits to joining the Mile High Club. Full Story
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Today The Edge of Seventeen won the Best First Film Award from the New York Film Critics Circle. A great teen movie is timeless. The slang may change, fashions come and go, but the great teen movies never expire. Fast Times at Ridgemont High, The Breakfast Club, Clueless, Rebel Without a Cause—these movies still speak to us decades later. Full Story
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Rabbani and Solimene Photography/ Paul Bruinooge/ Jemal Countess/ Matthew Eisman/ Eugene Gologursky/ Getty Images
Sarah texted me the other night all confused and annoyed about Nocturnal Animals NOT being part of the awards circuit, not really in the Oscar conversation. The film was well-reviewed out of the festivals. It’s an all-star cast. But it feels like it’s almost being ignored. Anyway, the star of Nocturnal Animals is Amy Adams Full Story
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