OSCARS: Deconstructing the NBR Winners and What it Means to the Oscar Race

As you’ve likely seen already, “Manchester by the Sea” took home four prizes this afternoon from the National Board of Review, picking up citations for Best Film, Best Actor for Casey Affleck, Best Original Screenplay for Kenneth Lonergan and Breakthrough Performance (Male) for Lucas Hedges. Co-distributors Amazon Studios and Roadside Attractions must be feeling excellent at […]

2016 National Board of Review Preview – What Film Starts as the Oscar Frontrunner?

The National Board of Review has the distinct honor of kicking off the precursor season this year. On Tuesday, Nov. 29, they will unveil their favorite films and performances of 2016. In the last six years, their Best Film winner has gone on to a nomination for Oscar’s Best Picture five times (naming “A Most […]

Film Review: ‘Fences’ Draws More Meaning to the Art of Acting

Two-time Academy Award-winning actor Denzel Washington has made his mark on film history with such films as “Malcolm X” and “Glory.” His work as a director has admittedly struggled to find the right voice and aesthetic to capture the same passion he’s brought to his acting roles. In the adaptation of August Wilson’s Pulitzer Prize-winning […]

Sully, Telluride Film Festival

Oscar Circuit: Following the Box Office to the Best Picture Nomination

Readers and followers on the Awards Circuit social media pages led me to think about the box office and the “follow the money” mentality that plagues Oscar-goers. This, in turn, led me to think about how thin the populist vote will be represented by the Academy Awards this year. At this time of writing, of […]

Miss Sloane

Film Review: ‘Miss Sloane’ Is Ruthless With a Monstrous Turn by Jessica Chastain

2016 AFI FILM FEST: In a time of fiery debate, just following a tumultuous election year, nothing is as timely or educational as John Madden‘s politically charged “Miss Sloane.” Constructed by a crackling script by Jonathan Perera, in his boisterous debut, the film is rich in words and helmed by an enigmatic turn by Jessica […]

Oscars: ‘Fences’ Lands and Golden Globes Chasing the Hollywood Couples?

The beginning of Phase 1 has officially kicked off. FYC ads and sites are up and running, pundits are chiming in with predictions and commentary, and events are taking place to put the right films and performers in front of the right voting member. Over the next four weeks, studios are setting up special screenings […]

Film Review: ‘Hacksaw Ridge’ and Mel Gibson Shine a Light on Brutality and Service

Say what you will about director Mel Gibson in regards to his personal life and choices he has made, but the guy knows how to make a movie, plain and simple. “Hacksaw Ridge,” his newest endeavor, has the Oscar-winning director of “Braveheart” mobilizing on the battlefield of World War II. While far from perfect, with […]

deepwater horizon

Film Review: ‘Deepwater Horizon’ Shows Fury and Technique from Director Peter Berg

Real stories about tragic events have the advantage of being harrowing without much effort because the accounts of the truth do much of the job for them. It takes a distinct type of filmmaker to raise the film above the standard. While director Peter Berg doesn’t completely connect the dots, he promotes a tale of […]

Arrival

Film Review: ‘Arrival’ Is a Masterclass in Filmmaking With Amy Adams Magnified

The science fiction genre has evolved into some of the most prolific imagery and storytelling of the silver screen. Denis Villeneuve’s splendid “Arrival” has the foreign director taking on uncharted territory and putting forth his finest film of his career yet. Starring Academy Award nominee Amy Adams, “Arrival” tells the story of unidentified spacecrafts that enter […]

Lion

Middleburg Film Review: ‘Lion’ Takes Tear-Jerker to a Whole New Level

2016 MIDDLEBURG FILM FESTIVAL: Harvey Weinstein sure knows how to pick out stories that tug at the heartstrings, as is demonstrated by his newest production “Lion.” In his feature film debut, director Garth Davis creates a formally riveting and emotionally shattering look into the complexities of family and the ache of separation. Based on the […]

Middleburg Film Review: ‘Loving’ Values the Legacy of Its Timeless and Timely Story

2016 MIDDLEBURG FILM FESTIVAL: “Loving,” Jeff Nichols’ passionate look at injustice in our nation’s history, can best be described with one word: understated. Always a straightforward filmmaker in the way he presents his material, Nichols’ choices in his newest film allow him to focus on the emotion and intricacies of his story. Richard and Mildred Loving […]

documentary

Middleburg Film Review: ‘The Eagle Huntress’ Captures the Spirit and Wonder of Dreamers

2016 MIDDLEBURG FILM FESTIVAL: Films that showcase different cultures from around the world are sorely lacking in our filmmaking landscape. Good thing we have films like “The Eagle Huntress.” Director Otto Bell, in his impressive debut, is a natural of the lens. Bell captures some breathtaking images while harnessing the simplicity and magic of his […]

Austin Film Festival

Middleburg Film Review: ‘La La Land’ Examines the Dark, Unforgiving Nature of Hollywood

2016 MIDDLEBURG FILM FESTIVAL: It is extremely difficult to live up to any expectations, especially when they’re set by yourself in your own psyche. It can sometimes be nearly impossible for one of the most anticipated films of the year to match those expectations. Damien Chazelle‘s highly anticipated follow-up to his Oscar-winning “Whiplash” was not just […]