Every year at this time, I post about how much I love the National Board of Review and their choices historically. The group is as old as the Oscars are, so there’s a lot of history to go by. They’re the one group who, every year, when they name their ten best films, at least 8 of them are in my top 25. And of the other two, one I go, “Yeah, that was really good,” and the other I go, “Wasn’t quite for me as much, but I get it.” With them, you know, they like auteurs. For years, Clint Eastwood automatically got on. Sully made it on last year. This year, I can tell you at least 60% of the list, sight unseen. That’s just how they are, that’s why I love them.
The quick history — NBR started as a bunch of theater owners and distributors in 1909, right when states were getting upset about the immorality of the movies. They got together to put a seal of approval on movies they thought were artistic. Then in 1930 (so like 2 years into the Oscars), they started putting out their list of ten favorite movies a year. The best thing about them is that they’re not just a critics group. I find that critics groups can start buying into their own tendencies and get very pretentious and or bandwagon-y. NBR is made up of critics and professors and students and film lovers and an assortment of people who just love movies.
In a way, this is the unofficial kick-off to Oscar season. NBR always announces first, and while they don’t have a huge impact on the race necessarily, it is really cool to see which way they go. (more…)
They announced the submissions for Foreign Language Film a while back. I’m only just getting around to them now. Mostly because this is my unofficial kick off to Oscar season, and I really like Oscar season. So I try to hold off as late as I can so I can really focus my attention on it. The only reason I even do this article is because of how much I love Oscar season.
There was a record 92 submissions for the category this year. Every year a couple of films don’t end up as official submissions or are disqualified for whatever reason. Still, 92 countries is pretty great.
What we do with this article is get acquainted with what each country submitted and what each of the films is about. And then I just sort of guess about what I think could end up getting shortlisted and/or nominated, which means very little but at least can make me feel pretty good if I get remotely close in the end.
Anyway, this tends to run long, so let’s just get into it. (more…)
It feels like it’s been forever since I posted on here. That’s entirely my fault. Life and time constraints getting in the way. I have like 50 years of top ten lists to write up, and I just can’t find the time and the brain space to actually finish doing so. Plus, my favorite time of year is coming up, and at this point I want to stall for time just so I can get to that. Most of my time has been dedicated to work, trying to write my own stuff, and furiously trying to attend as many screenings as I can and see stuff before it comes out.
Anyway, they announced the list of qualifying Animated Feature candidates today, and since it’s not 92 movies like the Foreign Language list, I can write about it quickly and not have to do crazy research. And also because I wanted to try to get ahead of all the articles that will undoubtedly be written that say “Is this the weakest year for animated films ever?” Because I saw this coming months ago and have been telling anyone who would listen to me about it. Because it is. The major studio animated output has been complete garbage this year and now you’re about to potentially get an Animated Feature category in which most people probably have really only heard of one of the nominees.
So without further ado, here are the 25 other movies that will automatically lose to Coco this year at the Oscars: (more…)