Thursday, October 20, 2016

A Season Full of Awards: Gotham

So, I've been out of the Oscar watch game now for 2 years and the sting is strong in my heart, since this is one of the reasons I started this blog.  So, while I can't promise this will last all season, I want it to so pray for me.  This could be my ease back into relevant blogging.

So, Oscar season is officially upon us with the Gotham nomination announcement this morning, and so here are the nominees and my take on their Oscar chances.

Monday, September 26, 2016

1975 Fisti Awards

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1975.  I feel like I say this a lot, but WHAT A YEAR!  I personally wasn't prepared for how awesome this year would turn out to be, but it just kept getting better and better.  It felt like every auteur was delivering career best work, between Kubrick, Kurosawa, Antonioni, Tarkovsky, Spielberg, Lumet and Wier, not to mention some phenomenal achievements by the likes of Truffaut, Huston, Forman and Altman; and that's just the guys that wound up gracing my Directors Dozen.

1975 was also a tremendous year for women's stories, with films like The Story of Adele H, Hester Street, Grey Gardens, A Brief Vacation and Jeanne Dielman centering on strong portrayals of women in varying situations.

The 70's get knocked around a lot as being a decade of films that...feel very dated, and I get that.  There was a lot of politically centered films that feel very much 'a part of the times' and sometimes those particular films can be hard to embrace in a more modern setting, but this year is just so full of riches of all genres.  The snubs were painful...VERY painful, as films like Dog Day Afternoon, Picnic at Hanging Rock and The Story of Adele H got the shaft, but at the end of the day I'm very happy with the final ballot, and I hope you are too.

With that said, I present to you the Fisti Awards of 1975!

Friday, September 9, 2016

Sunshine Blogger Award

So, as many of you know, this has been a rough year for me, and unfortunately life stepping in the way of my blogging and what used to be a pretty consistent and prolific blog has become a wasteland of broken dreams and the occasional post trying in some sort of way to regain a sliver of it's former being.  But, not matter how little I get to post or how little I get to comment (seriously guys, I'm SO SORRY that I don't stop by as regularly as I used to), not a single day goes by when I don't think of you all fondly.

And then one of you mentions me in a post and my heart skips a little beat because I realize that you haven't forgotten about me and that you, too, think of me fondly.

So, before I get on with responding to this particular award, I want to say thank you to all who remember me because I still remember you (and always will).

And to Sati and Daniel...thank you so much for thinking of me, and Dan...your dedication:

Actually, pretty much everyone I would nominate has already been nominated (and most have accepted), so that makes this kinda hard. BUT, there is one person who always brings the sunshine when he posts who as far as I can tell has NOT been nominated for this award, so PLEASE JOIN ME in bestowing this honor on Drew (or Fisti, whichever your prefer) over at A Fistful of Films. We all love you, Drew, and while we all know "real life" has to come first, that doesn't stop us from missing you and your posts something awful. Thanks for the light you have always brought to this little corner of the blogosphere. I don't think there's anyone more deserving.

F***ing tears, man!

Saturday, September 3, 2016

2000 Fisti Awards

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2000.  This is a really weird year for me.  This is the year that I lost my Oscar virginity.  This is the year that I found God, and by God I do mean Russell Crowe.  This is the year that changed everything for me as a film-watcher.

I saw the light and the light was Gladiator.

For the longest time whenever anyone asked me what my favorite movie was, Gladiator spilled from my lips without hesitation.  Time has passed a great deal since 2000, though, and my cinephile tastes have evolved.  Gladiator doesn't even land on my BP ballot for this year.  That being said, when my friends ask me for my favorite movie, I still respond with Gladiator.  Why?  Because I'm always in the mood to watch it.  It's my happy place.  Pop me in front of a TV with a beer and a pizza and put on this movie and I'm in heaven.  Is it the best film of the year?  No, but does that matter.

Besides, none of my friends have ever heard of Mommy.

On that note, I present to you the Fisti Awards of 2000!

Thursday, September 1, 2016

1964 Fisti Awards

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1964.  Gulp.  Double gulp.  Bring on the feels.

This is such a vibrant and fun year, with two very special films at it's core.  It feels like the year of the big movie musical, and that also plays into my love of it.  Hell, even Oscar went ahead and awarded My Fair Lady Best Picture.  Sure, My Fair Lady is the lesser of the musicals of the year, but that's besides the point.  It's still a delicious win!

But this isn't all about the musicals (although they do win nearly every Fisti Award this year).  In fact, the diversity of the year itself is a godsend.  From political satire to Asian horror to familial dramas to foreign art house to thrillers and French New Wave and Disney and singing and dancing and Gothic pulp melodrama and so much more, this year has everything.

It also has, possibly, the greatest collection of actressing in any year, ever.  In fact, this is such a realism that I could not narrow my personal Lead Actress ballot down to five and, for the first (and quite possibly ONLY) time I have EIGHT Lead Actress nominees.  I just couldn't cut anyone, and all eight would land on my Top 100 Female Performances of All Time list...if I ever got up the balls to actually make one.

So, with that in mind, I present to you the Fisti Awards for 1964!

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Fisti Best Picture Predictions for 2016

I don't normally do this, but I'm bored and with each new trailer released I find myself wanting to talk more and more about what I perceive I'll think to be the best films of the, I've compiled the five films I think have the greatest chance of landing on my personal Fisti Best Picture ballot.

And here's why:

It's Only the End of the World ~ Xavier Dolan

Why?  It's f*cking Xavier Dolan and we all know my allegiance to him.  The reviews out of Cannes were...hard to read, but the jury fawned over his film (Grand Jury Prize) and Dolan's films just speak to me in ways that make me not care what anyone else has to say about it.  In fact, half the harsh reviews called out things as faults that, on paper, sounded like total pluses to me.  Besides, this, MY GOD YES!!!

La La Land ~ Damien Chazelle

Why?  I wasn't as taken with Whiplash as everyone else, but Chazelle's style was so prominent that you can't help but admit the talent there, and this looks like a delicious throwback to the years of Hollywood glitz, glam and MUSIC and you know how much I ADORE that.  Charm to spare, this looks like a visual and emotional masterpiece!

The Lobster ~ Yorgos Lanthimos

Why?  I haven't seen this yet (I know, I know) but everything I read about it has me so intrigued.  I love the idea of something so bizarre being so engaging, and Lanthimos has impressed me before.  It has the feeling of an quirky indie and yet it looks so mature, and I'm drooling all over this cast.

Moonlight ~ Barry Jenkins

Why?  This looks like it could be that one movie that just ruins me from an emotionally mature perspective (i.e. Carol).  Early word is that this is a masterpiece of modern cinema, and the story is certainly ripe to be one of those films that hits home and stays there.  Stories like this deserve to look and feel this rich and honest.

The Red Turtle ~ Michael Dudok de Wit

Why?  Um, this should be self explanatory.  It's an SILENT, ANIMATED film about the MAGIC of FAMILY...queue all the tears I have left in my eyes for the rest of eternity.  Given my current circumstances, I probably shouldn't see this in public with anyone else, and yet my eldest daughter has already said she wants to see this with me so...she will see her father a puddle, I assure you.  Word out of Cannes was that this is, without question, a masterpiece and will emotionally ruin me.

What else?  Two films have my attention and I speculate could make a play here as well, one being Loving and the other being Scorsese's passion project, Silence (if that does get released this year).  I'm also hopeful for Manchester By the Sea, and as much as I hate much of his filmography, Arrival looks really intriguing to me.

This is obviously just a broad guess based on synopsis, trailer, components, cast, directors and my personal feelings towards the projects, but who knows...this very well could be what my ballot looks like come this time next year when the Fisti Awards are complete.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

1945 Fisti Awards

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1945.  I'm all in for Oscar rewarding The Lost Weekend this year.  Sure, it's not my pick, but it's an astonishing film that really feels just as strong now as it most likely did upon it's release.  What a powerful film, indeed.

That being said, I like a few films even more.

1945 had so much variety to offer that I can't help but feel overjoyed with how these awards came together.  I was in a place where I just wanted to discover something new, and since 1945 was a year I had seen very little (before starting to dig into the year, I had only seen around five films) it was ripe for discovery.  It was also a year that had no clear frontrunner for me, since the two masterpieces from the year that everyone seems to point to (Brief Encounter and Children of Paradise) were both ineligible since they competed in the 1946 Fisti Awards due to the Oscar rule (when a foreign film competes in a specific Oscar year, that is the year it competes for the Fistis).

Well, I had no frontrunner until I saw a certain film that completely ruined me and felt as though it was pretty much made for me and then it was over.

Oh my bleeding heart.

Another weird little stat regarding this year is that my Best Picture winner does not snag a directing nom, and while this has happened before (here in 2011) what makes this extra weird is that my directing winner does not snag a Best Picture nom.  My winner created something that is so technically profound and yet the film itself, while I truly am astounded by it, is not a film I'd say  Still, rewarding him for what he accomplished was necessary.

With that said, I present to you the Fisti Awards of 1945!