Archive for December, 2013

B+ Movie Blog: Year Three

We’re three years in now.

I guess this has become an annual tradition now. Me throwing one of these up for midnight on New Year’s.

This has been a crazy year, since it’s all a blur to me. I’ve been doing nothing but two things all year: working, and doing Fun with Franchises. Fun with Franchises started at some point last January, while I was in the middle of the Oscar season, and then it ended right at the end of September. That was what I was doing all that time. That and paying bills and such. And then once that was done, all I did from October to now was catch up on all the movies I didn’t see from 2013. And now I’m all caught up with that, and I have to gear up for another few weeks of craziness until Oscar night. Mostly it’s the next month, since I have to get all the 2014 Release Calendar articles going, and fast. Everything else is manageable.

But it’s crazy that I’ve done so much and so little this year.

Last year, my final post of the year was #1,703. This is #2,397. So about 700 posts this year. Which isn’t as crazy as last year. Last year I had 900.

Though last year, I had 225,000 views and 154 followers at the end of the year. Now I have 364 followers and just under 569,000 views.

The funny thing is, last year, I had no plan for what I was going to do. And Fun with Franchises happened. This year, I’m actually planning on not doing something for a little while. I can really use a little bit of a break. I have some stuff I want to do on my end that won’t be posted, so until that stuff gets going, I doubt I’ll be doing all that much on here. Colin and I want to get back to Fun with Franchises at some point, but I know that won’t happen until the end of the year, at the very earliest. My guess is next year is most likely.

Other than that, it’s been a fun year. I don’t really count this year as being over, since I’m on the Oscar timeline. My year is March to February. All my prime posting is done from January through Oscar night. March and April are when it’s slow for me. So I’ll be doing my thing for the next two months and figure everything out after that.

Right now, I’ll let you know that there actually isn’t a plan in place. There might be two whole months where nothing happens on this blog. Which I guess there kind of were this year, right? I’m pretty sure I didn’t do much during the month of October and November. So there’s that.

Anyway, we’re three years in. That feels momentous.


Mike’s Top Ten Films of 2013

And now for my favorite movies of 2013.

I think 2013 has to be considered the year of disappointment. Never have I seen so many movies that were so promising fail to deliver at such a large rate. Not to mention so much stuff getting pushed at the last minute. Last year, I had an easy list of ten slam dunk entries for my list. Even 2011 had about seven or eight easy choices. This year — I was struggling. I was really struggling. You can tell by my statistics. I only gave three movies 5 stars this year. I just wasn’t as in love with movies this year as I was last year. This has felt like the weakest overall year for film in a while. But, by process of elimination, there have to have been ten movies I liked the best. And this is that list.

The way the list works is, every year, I pick my ten favorite films of the year. I do this very deliberately, not picking based on what the trendy choices are, or what films wowed me in the moment. I think about this in terms of the long game, in terms of which films I’m still going to love five or ten years from now. My goal is to have as few changes as possible when I revisit this list any time in the future. One, maybe two changes over time isn’t anything crazy. But if I make a top ten list, and within two years, half of it has turned over, then it means I messed up my list.

The other thing I do is list an 11-20, so we can give love to films I really loved but wouldn’t put at the very top of my list. And then, to really get into all the films I liked, I provide a second tier and third tier of movies after that, to give as many examples as possible of films I really enjoyed. The total ends up being a top ten, an 11-20, and forty other movies that I single out for kudos each year.

So here are my top ten films of 2013: (more…)


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Pic of the Day: “I suppose in the end, the whole of life becomes an act of letting go, but what always hurts the most is not taking a moment to say goodbye.”

Life of Pi - 28


The Unforgivable Films of 2013

It’s time to go over the shit. The darkest before the dawn. That moment you scrub all the crusted stuff off the plate with the brillo pad before you can give it that nice wash to make it clean. Because before I can go over the best films of the year, I have to go over the worst.

It’s time for the Unforgivables list.

The Unforgivables list started pretty unintentionally. Over the summer of 2010, I was home from college, just starting my Oscar Quest, and generally being a lazy individual. I was filling time watching all the 2010 movies I’d missed and had sat down to watch a movie called The Switch. (It’s the movie where Jason Bateman spills Jennifer Aniston’s artificial insemination jizz and fills the cup up himself and fathers her child. You know, like Citizen Kane.) And while watching that movie, I got so unbelievably mad that I had to pause the movie and send an angry message to all of my friends, warning them to never watch the movie. And it turned into a pretty hilarious angry rant, which became legend among my friends. (You can read the rant, as well as all my Unforgivables lists here.) Fast forward to six months later, I’m starting the blog and I figure I might as well begin it with a list of my favorite films of the previous year. And then I was quickly asked by a friend, “Are you gonna berate the shitty ones, too?”

Which is what I did. My first article was a top ten list, and my second article was an Unforgivables list. I got to reuse that Switch rant, and come up with a few more. And since then, it’s become an annual tradition for me, berating a bunch of movies that made me angry but comically exaggerating my hatred for them. It’s led to some pretty amusing little rants. (more…)


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Pic of the Day: “I admire you as a policeman – particularly your adherence to violence as a necessary adjunct to the job.”

L.A. Confidential - 28


2013: The Year in Reviews (Observations & Wrap-Up)

I’ve gone over everything — now let’s analyze it.

First, for reference, here are the articles involved in this recap:

2013 Film Release Calendar

2013: The Year in Reviews

January

January

February

February

March

March

April

April

May

May

June

June

July

July

August

August

September

September

October

October

November

November

December

December

Films Without Release Dates (A-L)

Films Without Release Dates (M-Z)

Unshot Films & 2012 Holdovers

Films That Were Unreleased

So what I’m going to do now is compare the two and see how close I was in guessing. (more…)


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Pic of the Day: “Our tree they killed it!” “Well, would you look at that now.” “They didn’t have any right to kill it, did they, papa!” “Now wait a minute. They didn’t kill it. Why, they couldn’t kill that tree.” “Promise?” “Why sure baby. Don’t tell me that tree is gonna lay down and die that easily. Look at that tree. See where it’s coming from. Right up outta that cement! Didn’t nobody plant it. Didn’t ask the cement to grow. It just couldn’t help growing so much it just pushed that old cement out of the way. Now when you bust it with something like that, can’t anybody help it, like… like that little ole bird up there. He didn’t ask anybody could he sing and he certainly didn’t take any lessons. He’s so full of singing it just has to bust out someplace. Why they could cut that ole tree right down to the ground and a root would push up someplace else in the cement.”

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn - 18


2013: The Year in Reviews (Films That Didn’t Get Released)

So, over the past twelve days, I’ve gone over all the movies that came out in 2013.

Today, we’re going to go over the ones that didn’t.

Typically, this list is populated with indies that never got release dates, studio films that got pushed for quality reasons, not being finished, or sheer, “We just think we’ll make more money coming out in February instead of December.”

Basically, what I do here, is get to reevaluate myself. I’ll go over the movies I tracked last January, and I’ll get to decide whether or not I want to keep tracking them and see them when they eventually (if ever) come out. Because, let’s face it — just because I track everything doesn’t necessarily mean I want to see everything. Especially some tiny indie that doesn’t look very good and will probably get dumped for twelve people to see a year and a half after I originally tracked it.

So that’s how this is gonna work. I’m gonna go back over the movies, mention what I said about them back in January, see what the deal is with it — if it’s scheduled to come out, what the status is, etc. — and then decide if I’m going to keep tracking it or not.

So, without having to keep writing a longer intro, here are the 2013 films that didn’t get released: (more…)


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Pic of the Day

Sunrise - 48


2013: The Year in Reviews (December)

Every January, I go over almost the films that are scheduled to come out that year. I use Wikipedia’s year in film article as it exists at the time, and preview all the films. I look at their loglines, their casts, their directors, set photos, posters, trailers — whatever is available. I use it to familiarize myself with what’s coming out, and, most importantly, use it to guess what I’m going to think about all of the movies. I like to guess what I’m going to rate all the films because, at this point, I know myself pretty well, and I selfishly like to see how close I can guess things, up to twelve months out. Plus, it allows me to see which films at the end of the year surprised me, for better or worse. But mostly, it’s so I know what’s coming out. Sometimes I just want to know what to be excited for.

Aside from the films scheduled, I also go over films that have been finished (or are shooting), that, in all likelihood, will probably come out over the course of the year. I’ve gotten much more thorough about this since starting the blog. In 2011, I previewed January through December, plus 30 more films that didn’t have release dates. In 2012, I had 90 more. This year, I had 157 films without release dates, 52, films that were, at the time, unshot (at least one of which actually came out) and 27 holdovers from previous years. At this point, there’s not much that I miss.

How these articles work — I recap of what I said about the films in January, write up my review of the films based on the initial watch, and then I give some final thoughts about the film, after having had time to think about it some more, and finalize my ranking. Typically, I’ll have posted reviews articles throughout the year, so the Final Thoughts space is for me going, “Well, in April, I gave it 3.5 stars, but now, it’s more like 3 stars.” But this year, I spent the first nine months doing Fun with Franchises, so most of the films were watched between September and December. So, while my Final Thoughts won’t be me rethinking ratings from ten months ago, they’re still going to allow me to rethink my feelings past those from the initial watch, which, in many cases, can be misleading.

So we’re going to start with January, recap all the films that came out, month by month, through December, then I’ll recap the ones that didn’t come out (almost all of which will be somewhere in the 2014 articles that will go up next month), and at the end of it all, I’ll analyze all the numbers, see how accurate I was in guessing back in January. Then, of course, we’ll end the year with the Unforgivables list and my Top Ten list. But that’s all not for another two weeks. Right now, we’re recapping December: (more…)


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Pic of the Day: “We can’t do that!” “How do you know? You never tried it.” “Well, yeah, but I never tried shooting myself in the head neither.”

The African Queen - 10


2013: The Year in Reviews (November)

Every January, I go over almost the films that are scheduled to come out that year. I use Wikipedia’s year in film article as it exists at the time, and preview all the films. I look at their loglines, their casts, their directors, set photos, posters, trailers — whatever is available. I use it to familiarize myself with what’s coming out, and, most importantly, use it to guess what I’m going to think about all of the movies. I like to guess what I’m going to rate all the films because, at this point, I know myself pretty well, and I selfishly like to see how close I can guess things, up to twelve months out. Plus, it allows me to see which films at the end of the year surprised me, for better or worse. But mostly, it’s so I know what’s coming out. Sometimes I just want to know what to be excited for.

Aside from the films scheduled, I also go over films that have been finished (or are shooting), that, in all likelihood, will probably come out over the course of the year. I’ve gotten much more thorough about this since starting the blog. In 2011, I previewed January through December, plus 30 more films that didn’t have release dates. In 2012, I had 90 more. This year, I had 157 films without release dates, 52, films that were, at the time, unshot (at least one of which actually came out) and 27 holdovers from previous years. At this point, there’s not much that I miss.

How these articles work — I recap of what I said about the films in January, write up my review of the films based on the initial watch, and then I give some final thoughts about the film, after having had time to think about it some more, and finalize my ranking. Typically, I’ll have posted reviews articles throughout the year, so the Final Thoughts space is for me going, “Well, in April, I gave it 3.5 stars, but now, it’s more like 3 stars.” But this year, I spent the first nine months doing Fun with Franchises, so most of the films were watched between September and December. So, while my Final Thoughts won’t be me rethinking ratings from ten months ago, they’re still going to allow me to rethink my feelings past those from the initial watch, which, in many cases, can be misleading.

So we’re going to start with January, recap all the films that came out, month by month, through December, then I’ll recap the ones that didn’t come out (almost all of which will be somewhere in the 2014 articles that will go up next month), and at the end of it all, I’ll analyze all the numbers, see how accurate I was in guessing back in January. Then, of course, we’ll end the year with the Unforgivables list and my Top Ten list. But that’s all not for another two weeks. Right now, we’re recapping November: (more…)


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Pic of the Day: “You’re not thinking I’m someone else?” “I know you are not.” “Or that we’ve met before?” “I know we have not.” “I felt, I knew something never before was going to happen, had to happen. But this is so much more.”

West Side Story - 13


2013: The Year in Reviews (October)

Every January, I go over almost the films that are scheduled to come out that year. I use Wikipedia’s year in film article as it exists at the time, and preview all the films. I look at their loglines, their casts, their directors, set photos, posters, trailers — whatever is available. I use it to familiarize myself with what’s coming out, and, most importantly, use it to guess what I’m going to think about all of the movies. I like to guess what I’m going to rate all the films because, at this point, I know myself pretty well, and I selfishly like to see how close I can guess things, up to twelve months out. Plus, it allows me to see which films at the end of the year surprised me, for better or worse. But mostly, it’s so I know what’s coming out. Sometimes I just want to know what to be excited for.

Aside from the films scheduled, I also go over films that have been finished (or are shooting), that, in all likelihood, will probably come out over the course of the year. I’ve gotten much more thorough about this since starting the blog. In 2011, I previewed January through December, plus 30 more films that didn’t have release dates. In 2012, I had 90 more. This year, I had 157 films without release dates, 52, films that were, at the time, unshot (at least one of which actually came out) and 27 holdovers from previous years. At this point, there’s not much that I miss.

How these articles work — I recap of what I said about the films in January, write up my review of the films based on the initial watch, and then I give some final thoughts about the film, after having had time to think about it some more, and finalize my ranking. Typically, I’ll have posted reviews articles throughout the year, so the Final Thoughts space is for me going, “Well, in April, I gave it 3.5 stars, but now, it’s more like 3 stars.” But this year, I spent the first nine months doing Fun with Franchises, so most of the films were watched between September and December. So, while my Final Thoughts won’t be me rethinking ratings from ten months ago, they’re still going to allow me to rethink my feelings past those from the initial watch, which, in many cases, can be misleading.

So we’re going to start with January, recap all the films that came out, month by month, through December, then I’ll recap the ones that didn’t come out (almost all of which will be somewhere in the 2014 articles that will go up next month), and at the end of it all, I’ll analyze all the numbers, see how accurate I was in guessing back in January. Then, of course, we’ll end the year with the Unforgivables list and my Top Ten list. But that’s all not for another two weeks. Right now, we’re recapping October: (more…)


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Pic of the Day: “He looks like a deranged Easter Bunny.” “He does not!” “He does too, he looks like a pink nightmare!”

A Christmas Story - 63


2013: The Year in Reviews (September)

Every January, I go over almost the films that are scheduled to come out that year. I use Wikipedia’s year in film article as it exists at the time, and preview all the films. I look at their loglines, their casts, their directors, set photos, posters, trailers — whatever is available. I use it to familiarize myself with what’s coming out, and, most importantly, use it to guess what I’m going to think about all of the movies. I like to guess what I’m going to rate all the films because, at this point, I know myself pretty well, and I selfishly like to see how close I can guess things, up to twelve months out. Plus, it allows me to see which films at the end of the year surprised me, for better or worse. But mostly, it’s so I know what’s coming out. Sometimes I just want to know what to be excited for.

Aside from the films scheduled, I also go over films that have been finished (or are shooting), that, in all likelihood, will probably come out over the course of the year. I’ve gotten much more thorough about this since starting the blog. In 2011, I previewed January through December, plus 30 more films that didn’t have release dates. In 2012, I had 90 more. This year, I had 157 films without release dates, 52, films that were, at the time, unshot (at least one of which actually came out) and 27 holdovers from previous years. At this point, there’s not much that I miss.

How these articles work — I recap of what I said about the films in January, write up my review of the films based on the initial watch, and then I give some final thoughts about the film, after having had time to think about it some more, and finalize my ranking. Typically, I’ll have posted reviews articles throughout the year, so the Final Thoughts space is for me going, “Well, in April, I gave it 3.5 stars, but now, it’s more like 3 stars.” But this year, I spent the first nine months doing Fun with Franchises, so most of the films were watched between September and December. So, while my Final Thoughts won’t be me rethinking ratings from ten months ago, they’re still going to allow me to rethink my feelings past those from the initial watch, which, in many cases, can be misleading.

So we’re going to start with January, recap all the films that came out, month by month, through December, then I’ll recap the ones that didn’t come out (almost all of which will be somewhere in the 2014 articles that will go up next month), and at the end of it all, I’ll analyze all the numbers, see how accurate I was in guessing back in January. Then, of course, we’ll end the year with the Unforgivables list and my Top Ten list. But that’s all not for another two weeks. Right now, we’re recapping September: (more…)


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Pic of the Day: “Remember, George: no man is a failure who has friends.”

It's a Wonderful Life - 25


2013: The Year in Reviews (August)

Every January, I go over almost the films that are scheduled to come out that year. I use Wikipedia’s year in film article as it exists at the time, and preview all the films. I look at their loglines, their casts, their directors, set photos, posters, trailers — whatever is available. I use it to familiarize myself with what’s coming out, and, most importantly, use it to guess what I’m going to think about all of the movies. I like to guess what I’m going to rate all the films because, at this point, I know myself pretty well, and I selfishly like to see how close I can guess things, up to twelve months out. Plus, it allows me to see which films at the end of the year surprised me, for better or worse. But mostly, it’s so I know what’s coming out. Sometimes I just want to know what to be excited for.

Aside from the films scheduled, I also go over films that have been finished (or are shooting), that, in all likelihood, will probably come out over the course of the year. I’ve gotten much more thorough about this since starting the blog. In 2011, I previewed January through December, plus 30 more films that didn’t have release dates. In 2012, I had 90 more. This year, I had 157 films without release dates, 52, films that were, at the time, unshot (at least one of which actually came out) and 27 holdovers from previous years. At this point, there’s not much that I miss.

How these articles work — I recap of what I said about the films in January, write up my review of the films based on the initial watch, and then I give some final thoughts about the film, after having had time to think about it some more, and finalize my ranking. Typically, I’ll have posted reviews articles throughout the year, so the Final Thoughts space is for me going, “Well, in April, I gave it 3.5 stars, but now, it’s more like 3 stars.” But this year, I spent the first nine months doing Fun with Franchises, so most of the films were watched between September and December. So, while my Final Thoughts won’t be me rethinking ratings from ten months ago, they’re still going to allow me to rethink my feelings past those from the initial watch, which, in many cases, can be misleading.

So we’re going to start with January, recap all the films that came out, month by month, through December, then I’ll recap the ones that didn’t come out (almost all of which will be somewhere in the 2014 articles that will go up next month), and at the end of it all, I’ll analyze all the numbers, see how accurate I was in guessing back in January. Then, of course, we’ll end the year with the Unforgivables list and my Top Ten list. But that’s all not for another two weeks. Right now, we’re recapping August: (more…)


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Pic of the Day: “You really want to know?” “I really want to know.” “Even though you won’t be able to do anything to help?” “Even if that’s the case, yeah.” “Okay. Well, the truth is… actually… I’m in love.” “Sorry?” “I know I should be thinking about Mum all the time, and I am. But the truth is, I’m in love and I was before she died, and there’s nothing I can do about it.” “Aren’t you a bit young to be in love?” “No.” ”Oh, well, okay… right. Well, I mean, I’m a little relieved.” “Why?” “Well, because I thought it would be something worse.” “Worse than the total agony of being in love?” “Oh. No, you’re right. Yeah, total agony.”

Love Actually - 32


2013: The Year in Reviews (July)

Every January, I go over almost the films that are scheduled to come out that year. I use Wikipedia’s year in film article as it exists at the time, and preview all the films. I look at their loglines, their casts, their directors, set photos, posters, trailers — whatever is available. I use it to familiarize myself with what’s coming out, and, most importantly, use it to guess what I’m going to think about all of the movies. I like to guess what I’m going to rate all the films because, at this point, I know myself pretty well, and I selfishly like to see how close I can guess things, up to twelve months out. Plus, it allows me to see which films at the end of the year surprised me, for better or worse. But mostly, it’s so I know what’s coming out. Sometimes I just want to know what to be excited for.

Aside from the films scheduled, I also go over films that have been finished (or are shooting), that, in all likelihood, will probably come out over the course of the year. I’ve gotten much more thorough about this since starting the blog. In 2011, I previewed January through December, plus 30 more films that didn’t have release dates. In 2012, I had 90 more. This year, I had 157 films without release dates, 52, films that were, at the time, unshot (at least one of which actually came out) and 27 holdovers from previous years. At this point, there’s not much that I miss.

How these articles work — I recap of what I said about the films in January, write up my review of the films based on the initial watch, and then I give some final thoughts about the film, after having had time to think about it some more, and finalize my ranking. Typically, I’ll have posted reviews articles throughout the year, so the Final Thoughts space is for me going, “Well, in April, I gave it 3.5 stars, but now, it’s more like 3 stars.” But this year, I spent the first nine months doing Fun with Franchises, so most of the films were watched between September and December. So, while my Final Thoughts won’t be me rethinking ratings from ten months ago, they’re still going to allow me to rethink my feelings past those from the initial watch, which, in many cases, can be misleading.

So we’re going to start with January, recap all the films that came out, month by month, through December, then I’ll recap the ones that didn’t come out (almost all of which will be somewhere in the 2014 articles that will go up next month), and at the end of it all, I’ll analyze all the numbers, see how accurate I was in guessing back in January. Then, of course, we’ll end the year with the Unforgivables list and my Top Ten list. But that’s all not for another two weeks. Right now, we’re recapping July: (more…)


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Pic of the Day: “Wow, Mr. Goofy! That was incredible!” “It’s magic!” “Gawrsh! Christmas magic, I guess.”

Once Upon a Christmas - 9


2013: The Year in Reviews (June)

Every January, I go over almost the films that are scheduled to come out that year. I use Wikipedia’s year in film article as it exists at the time, and preview all the films. I look at their loglines, their casts, their directors, set photos, posters, trailers — whatever is available. I use it to familiarize myself with what’s coming out, and, most importantly, use it to guess what I’m going to think about all of the movies. I like to guess what I’m going to rate all the films because, at this point, I know myself pretty well, and I selfishly like to see how close I can guess things, up to twelve months out. Plus, it allows me to see which films at the end of the year surprised me, for better or worse. But mostly, it’s so I know what’s coming out. Sometimes I just want to know what to be excited for.

Aside from the films scheduled, I also go over films that have been finished (or are shooting), that, in all likelihood, will probably come out over the course of the year. I’ve gotten much more thorough about this since starting the blog. In 2011, I previewed January through December, plus 30 more films that didn’t have release dates. In 2012, I had 90 more. This year, I had 157 films without release dates, 52, films that were, at the time, unshot (at least one of which actually came out) and 27 holdovers from previous years. At this point, there’s not much that I miss.

How these articles work — I recap of what I said about the films in January, write up my review of the films based on the initial watch, and then I give some final thoughts about the film, after having had time to think about it some more, and finalize my ranking. Typically, I’ll have posted reviews articles throughout the year, so the Final Thoughts space is for me going, “Well, in April, I gave it 3.5 stars, but now, it’s more like 3 stars.” But this year, I spent the first nine months doing Fun with Franchises, so most of the films were watched between September and December. So, while my Final Thoughts won’t be me rethinking ratings from ten months ago, they’re still going to allow me to rethink my feelings past those from the initial watch, which, in many cases, can be misleading.

So we’re going to start with January, recap all the films that came out, month by month, through December, then I’ll recap the ones that didn’t come out (almost all of which will be somewhere in the 2014 articles that will go up next month), and at the end of it all, I’ll analyze all the numbers, see how accurate I was in guessing back in January. Then, of course, we’ll end the year with the Unforgivables list and my Top Ten list. But that’s all not for another two weeks. Right now, we’re recapping June: (more…)


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PIc of the Day: “We get one day a year to prove we’re not screw-ups and what do we do? We screw it up.”

Jingle All the Way - 9


2013 Oscars Update: Best Foreign Language Film Shortlist

The Academy announced their shortlist for Best Foreign Language Film.

Nine films.

FYI, each country is allowed to submit only one film. So basically most countries are out on their ass.

Notably absent from this list are Blue Is the Warmest Color, which was some sort of scheduling deal (it came out after the deadline to submit or something like that) and then Wadjda, which seemed so interesting I’m going to see it. I think a lot of people thought that one actually had a good shot at winning the category. Not to mention The Past, which — maybe it had something to do with the film being in French and it being an Iranian film. Maybe.

Anyway, here are your final nine films, of which five will be nominated: (more…)