Anyone who truly reads my Oscar coverage each year (which is in the tens) knows how much I love the National Board of Review. It’s my favorite voting body. They’re the only precursor group whose nominations/awards I actually look forward to. Everything else is marginal to me. The reason I love them is twofold. First, it’s the only group with as much history as the Oscars. And second, it’s the group that tends to be closer to my own personal tastes than any other one.
To get more specific about that first point — NBR started in 1909, when a bunch of theater owners banded together to show that films, which were looked at as a “lower” art form, and pretty immoral based on their content, to say, “No, look, these films are artistic.” So they would put their stamp on approval on the films they thought furthered the art form and showed what cinema could be. And in 1930, two years into the Oscars, they started putting out a list of their ten favorite movies each year. Which they’ve continued to this day. And unlike all the other precursor groups, they’re not just industry people (SAG and the other guilds) and they’re not just critics (HFPA, BFCA). They’re made up of critics and students and film lovers and people who just love movies. They are as locked into their tastes as anyone — I can always count on them to have certain types of films on their list each year — but very rarely do I look at their list and straight up disagree with more than one, maybe two of their choices.
Which brings me to that second part — I find that almost every year, their top ten films are almost all in my top 25 films of the year. Maybe like one of them falls outside of that. And when there is something outside, it’s never something I straight up disagree with. It’s always, “Yeah, I get it.” I always compare them to that good friend you have who also loves movies… sure there are gonna be things they like that you don’t, but you’re always like, “Yeah, I get it. You love those kinds of movies.” That’s how I feel about them. We may not be entirely aligned, but we generally agree and I know that, sight unseen, I already am like 70% in line with them. (more…)
They announced the Independent Spirit Award nominations today. And I, for one, am happy. Because as much as I’ve tried to get stuff done this year, nothing makes me amped more than the beginning of Oscar season. I don’t even have to try to come up with stuff to talk about. Pretty soon NBR is gonna announce, and then everyone’s gonna start forming real opinions and not half-cocked ones based on what movie came out first and made money, and we can start talking about stuff for real. Meanwhile I’m knee deep in watching everything and gearing up for end-of-the-year article bonanza.
But now, we can look at what the indies are doing, which I never find overly helpful, but it is fun to look at. So here we go. Your Independent Spirit Award nominees for 2018: (more…)
I guess this means it’s officially Oscar season, folks.
I, for one, am thrilled. I need something to get me focused enough to start writing on here again, and there’s nothing that gets the creative juices flowing like talking Oscars.
They announced the eligible films for Best Animated Feature this week. 25 of them. One less than last year, but still a solid number. I remember the days of like, 13 films in total. I will see all 25 by the time nominations come about. For now, I’m just gonna look them over and see what I think. This year more than ever, I’m feeling one particular trend is gonna stand out, but I think let’s look over everything and then go from there.
So here are the 25 films that can be nominated for Best Animated Feature: (more…)