Clockwise from bottom left: ‘For Sama,’ ‘The Cave,’ ‘American Factory,’ ‘The Edge of Democracy,’ ‘Honeyland’
Many of you are no doubt rushing to catch up with your movie viewing in advance of Feb. 8’s annual Academy Awards. While “Best Picture” always draws the most attention and conjecture, this was a particularly great year for films in the documentary feature category, and they are well worth exploring. With Netflix, Amazon, HBO, PBS, and even the Obamas now in the documentary film production business, the number of quality offerings has grown dramatically, as have the ways to view them. Some show us worlds we’ve never imagined, while others offer us a deep dive into subjects that we may know only as headlines. There are also a number of excellent films that that didn’t make the final Academy cut. Here’s the list, along with my take on each. And unlike the directors considered for “Best Picture,” three out of five of the nominated documentaries were directed or co-directed by women.
ON THE TOWN, ROYAL WEDDING, SINGIN’ IN THE RAIN,SEVEN BRIDES FOR SEVEN BROTHERS, IT’S ALWAYS FAIR WEATHER, FUNNY FACE,THE PAJAMA GAME,INDISCREET, DAMN YANKEES, CHARADE,ARABESQUE, TWO FOR THE ROAD and BEDAZZLED.
On the eve of the 2019 Academy Awards we are saddened to learn of his passing but happy that he lived a full 94 years and gave movie audiences many hours of pleasure. It will be interesting to see how they work Stanley into the Oscar “In Memory” reel.
“When they called my name, I had this feeling I could hear half of America going, ‘Oh no. Come on… Her, again?’ You know. But, whatever.”
– Meryl Streep, Best Actress, The Iron Lady, 2012
Will this be Glenn Close’s big night? As The Onion suggests in their annual irreverent Guide to the Oscars, “with seven nominations and no wins, Close currently holds the record for the most cut-to reaction shots of her pretending to look happy for other people.”
As we prepare for the “Big Night” without any Streep nominations I thought our readers would enjoy some tips and other fun. We’ve got speech writing tips, ballots, Oscar Bingo, food ideas and predictions. Plus the Independent Spirit Awards.
The film industry is watching closely to see if Alfonso Cuarón’s ROMA changes everything. The award-winning director clearly made his movie to be seen on the big screen in theaters with the best possible sound and projection. But it was financed by Netflix, a company that wants their films and shows to only be seen on their streaming platform.
A barrage of ads for “Roma” — in trade publications, on Netflix-owned billboards in Los Angeles — has continued for months. Photo by Hunter Kerhart for The New York Times
Are you having an Oscar Party? Maybe you should go through your house and assemble some goodie bags. But we doubt you can top the bags that will be delivered to the acting- and director-category nominees the morning after the Academy Awards.
Lash Fary with some of the 2014 Unofficial Oscar Goodie Bag goodies his team assembled. –Photo courtesy of Business Week
“Even Hollywood’s most acclaimed stars are disappointed if they do not win an Oscar. When our consolation gift shows up the next day, we like to think it is welcome distraction to lift their spirits,” says Lash Fary, whose company Distinctive Assets assembles the bags.