Final Oscar Predictions 2019

This was a busy year for me and the Academy Awards! First, I started prognosticating for Movie City News’ Gurus o’ Gold series and then was interviewed by BBC radio this past Friday about my predictions for the telecast. (Check out my segment at 52:18.) I think race relations will be this year’s overarching political…

2019 Oscar Nominations: Final Predictions

Tomorrow morning is my version of Christmas. I get up early, bubbling over with anticipation, and wait nervously for the inevitable joy and pain. (The excitement of surprises and favorites, the anger of snubs or bad choices.) Arguably, Oscar nomination day is better than the awards show itself. By that time, the front-runners have already…

Top 10 TV Series of 2018

Top 10 TV Series of 2018 10. Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat A friend recently described chef Samin Nosrat to me as “The New Anthony Bourdain”. I disagree. I don’t think we need a “new” Anthony Bourdain and I don’t want to reduce Nosrat’s contributions to foodie television to the confines of someone else’s brand. She…

Top 10 Films of 2018

Top 10 films released in 2018 10. The Tale There’s a moment in Jennifer Fox’s The Tale that is so real and so startling, I’ll never be able to think of memory the same way again. In the film, Jennifer (Laura Dern) reexamines a “relationship” she had with an older man when she was a…

Final Oscar Predictions 2018

2017: The year I was never so happy to be so wrong. When Faye Dunaway and Warren Beatty announced La La Land  Best Picture, no one in the Dolby Theatre blinked an eye. It was just par for the course, the film having racked up a bunch of major awards, including Best Actress and Best…

2018 Oscar Nominations: Final Predictions

Tomorrow is my version of Christmas. I get up early in the morning, giddy with excitement, and I wait for catharsis after a year’s worth of anticipation. Will I get what I want? Will my heart break into a thousand pieces if I don’t? Arguably, Oscar nomination day is better than the awards show itself….

Top 10 TV Series of 2017

Top 10 TV Series of 2017 10. I Love Dick Jill Soloway’s brilliant micro-series about art, desire, and aging simply scorches: from the dusty desert setting to the searing sexual chemistry, you can practically feel heat emanate from your screen. Failed filmmaker Chris (Kathryn Hahn, indispensable) follows her older academic husband from Brooklyn to Texas…

Top 10 Films of 2017

Top 10 films released in 2017 10. Battle of the Sexes Can we just pretend Emma Stone won her Oscar for this one instead of Blah-Blah Bland? Stone is warm and understated as feminist tennis legend Billie Jean King, who faces off against Steve Carrell’s frustrating/charming Bobby Riggs in the famed 1970s tennis match of…

“Toni Erdmann” and the Burdens of Womanhood

You were lied to. Toni Erdmann is not a comedy. Sure, German director Maren Ade’s Oscar-nominated ode to fatherhood (and daughterhood) is hilarious. I laughed my heart out at its quotidian absurdity. The log line primes us for funny: “Goofy older music teacher plays pranks on his upright, workaholic kid to spark a little life…

Final Oscar Predictions 2017

I’ll be honest – 2016 was not my favorite year for film. While movies like American Honey, The Edge of Seventeen, Moonlight, and Manchester by the Sea astonished me (and Lion made me cry uncontrollably from the first five minutes until the end of the credits), I find myself less impressed with most of this year’s Oscar…