Category Archives: Thought

Thought – 2023 – Oscar Preview

Category : Thought

Of course it’s too early to make Oscar predictions; the nominees are months away from being announced.  Some of what may be the best films of the year haven’t even come out yet.  But that doesn’t mean we can’t talk about it anyway and make guesses based on almost nothing.  At the very least, here is a list of movies that deserve a watch, as they might be in the Oscar conversation soon.

This is the Variety ranking of top Academy Award contenders:

 

  1. The Fabelmans
  2. The Banshees of Inisherin
  3. Tar
  4. Top Gun: Maverick
  5. Women Talking
  6. Everything Everywhere All at Once
  7. Elvis
  8. Emancipation
  9. Living
  10. The Woman King
  11. Glass Onion
  12. Triangle of Sadness
  13. Black Panther: Wakanda Forever
  14. Avatar: The Way of Water
  15. She Said
  16. Empire of Light
  17. Pinocchio
  18. Babylon
  19. The Inspection
  20. Thirteen Lives
  21. RRR
  22. Devotion
  23. Aftersun
  24. The Whale
  25. All Quiet of the Western Front
  26. Bardo
  27. Bones and All
  28. The Son
  29. Till
  30. Armageddon Time

 

Snubbed: Lightyear, The Northman, Prey, The Gray Man, Downton Abbey: A New Era, Hustle, The Batman, The Adam Project.

 


Thought – 2022 Oscar Picks

Category : Thought

Coming soon, the Academy Awards!  I’ve very excited about this year’s Oscars; there are a ton of excellent films represented, as well as the annual snubs left out.  It should be a great show and I’m sure I’ll be reacting live during the event on Twitter (@OlieCoen).  You can check out my Oscars page for a complete listing of the nominees in the six major categories, but here are both my predictions and my picks for the best films of 2021:

Best Actor

Best Supporting Actor

Best Actress

Best Supporting Actress

Best Director

Best Picture

 


Thought – 2022 Oscar Update

Category : Thought

A few months ago I posted a list of 30 potential Best Picture Oscar contenders, plus a list of snubbed films that deserved consideration.  Since then, I’ve updated the list with reviews as I’ve seen the movies, including any personal favorites that hadn’t previously made the list.  As the Academy Awards draw closer, let’s take a look at an updated watchlist, a list that has taken into consideration those undervalued films that have risen up the ranks and those over-hyped movies that have taken a tumble.

This is the Variety ranking of top Academy Award contenders:

  1. Belfast
  2. The Power of the Dog
  3. Dune
  4. West Side Story
  5. Licorice Pizza
  6. CODA
  7. King Richard
  8. The Tragedy of Macbeth
  9. Tick, Tick …BOOM!
  10. No Time to Die
  11. Drive My Car
  12. Don’t Look Up
  13. The Lost Daughter
  14. Nightmare Alley
  15. Being the Ricardos
  16. Spider-Man: No Way Home
  17. Parallel Mothers
  18. C’mon, C’mon
  19. Flee
  20. The Harder They Fall
  21. A Hero
  22. Spencer
  23. House of Gucci
  24. Cyrano
  25. Red Rocket
  26. The French Dispatch
  27. The Tender Bar
  28. The Last Duel
  29. Encanto
  30. Passing

Snubbed: Val, Kurt Vonnegut: Unstuck in Time, Black Widow, Luca, Benedetta, The Green Knight, The Mitchells vs the Machines, Shang-Chi, The Guilty.


Thought – 2022 Oscar Preview

Category : Thought

Of course it’s too early to make Oscar predictions; the nominees are months away from being announced.  Some of what may be the best films of the year haven’t even come out yet.  But that doesn’t mean we can’t talk about it anyway and make guesses based on almost nothing.  At the very least, here is a list of movies that deserve a watch, as they might be in the Oscar conversation soon.

This is the Variety ranking of top Academy Award contenders:

  1. Belfast
  2. King Richard
  3. The Power of the Dog
  4. Dune
  5. Being the Ricardos
  6. Tick, Tick … Boom!
  7. Licorice Pizza
  8. The Tragedy of Macbeth
  9. Don’t Look Up
  10. West Side Story
  11. The Lost Daughter
  12. Nightmare Alley
  13. CODA
  14. C’mon, C’mon
  15. A Hero
  16. Parallel Mothers
  17. The Harder They Fall
  18. House of Gucci
  19. Spencer
  20. The Last Duel
  21. Passing
  22. Flee
  23. The Tender Bar
  24. Cyrano
  25. Swan Song
  26. The French Dispatch
  27. Red Rocket
  28. Stillwater
  29. Mothering Sunday
  30. The Hand of God

 

Snubbed: Val, Kurt Vonnegut: Unstuck in Time, Black Widow, Luca, No Time to Die, Benedetta, The Green Knight, Shang-Chi, The Guilty.

 


Thought – 2021 Oscar Picks

Category : Thought

This Sunday, the Academy Awards!  I’ve very excited about this year’s Oscars; there are a ton of excellent films represented, as well as the annual snubs left out.  It should be a great show (although with a new format for a strange year) and I’m sure I’ll be reacting live during the event on Twitter (@OlieCoen).  You can check out my Oscars page for a complete listing of the nominees in the six major categories, but here are both my predictions and my picks for the best films of 2020:

Best Actor

Best Supporting Actor

Best Actress

Best Supporting Actress

  • WinnerYuh-Jung Youn – Minari
  • Runner-upOlivia Colman – The Father
  • My choiceYuh-Jung Youn – Minari

Best Director

Best Picture

 


Thought – 2021 Oscar Update

Category : Thought

Almost three months ago I posted a list of 30 potential Best Picture Oscar contenders, plus a list of snubbed films that deserved consideration.  Since then, I’ve updated the list with reviews as I’ve seen the movies, including any personal favorites that hadn’t previously made the list.  As the Academy Awards draw closer, let’s take a look at an updated watchlist, a list that has taken into consideration those undervalued films that have risen up the ranks and those over-hyped movies that have taken a tumble.

This is the Variety ranking of top Academy Award contenders:

  1. Nomadland
  2. The Trial of the Chicago 7
  3. Minari
  4. Promising Young Woman
  5. One Night in Miami
  6. News of the World
  7. Sound of Metal
  8. Judas and the Black Messiah
  9. Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom
  10. The Father
  11. Mank
  12. Da 5 Bloods
  13. Soul
  14. First Cow
  15. The Mauritanian
  16. On the Rocks
  17. Malcolm & Marie
  18. Another Round
  19. Hillbilly Elegy
  20. Palm Springs

Snubbed: The Devil All the Time, Pieces of a Woman, Onward, The Platform, Borat Subsequent Moviefilm, The Gentlemen, Underwater, The Way Back, Eurovision, Extraction, Yes God Yes, Ammonite, The Midnight Sky.

 


Thought – Trump vs. Democracy

Category : Thought

An ill-advised gathering of clownish MAGA morons who temporarily forced a pause in the electoral process is the perfect metaphor for Trumpism, and how its flash in the pan may have seemed destructive, but it did not permanently destroy anything.  It feels like a lifetime ago, but Trump’s specific movement isn’t very old, it’s new and dumb and violent and unpredictable, an unstable organism that we don’t fully understand.  Perhaps that’s why it was able to take control so quickly and so fully; we simply didn’t see it coming.  We should have, though; Republicans have been marching toward this point since the Bush Era, using fear and ignorance as weapons once they realized how potent those element were, and how easy they were to control.  So we watched the death of Reagan Republicans, witnessed the rise of the Tea Party, and then were introduced to Trumpism, a new version of the same blind racism and voluntary insanity that has haunted this country since its foundation, but perhaps had never found quite the modern, mainstream foothold that Trump and his cronies offered.

The good news is, in a larger sense than one presidential term, it didn’t last long.  It was more passing gas than a mighty wind, a child’s fancy more than a serious strategy, and we can all sleep well at night knowing that Democracy won out.  That’s not to say that the racism that Trumpism was built upon is dead, or that our country hasn’t faced awful problems and won’t face them again, of course not.  Rather, it’s hopeful to look at how quickly “MAGA” came and went, and how weakly it was supported at its base; it’s already crumbling as we speak.  Republican lawmakers are jumping ship in droves, voters have already shown their lack of support by allowing losses in the House, the Senate, and the Presidency itself, and soon the evil that crept up into the light because it finally found support there will fall back into darkness, not dying out but at least laying low, which is something.

I’m confident that we withstood something terrible, I’m confident that this was a temporary step back, or a push back to our multiple steps forward, and I choose to be hopeful that Democracy will prevail in the end, because I think we saw it happen in real time on January 6th.  Trump supporters rallied, they grew angry, for a moment they broke through the barriers, their fervor was something unplanned for, they entered the sacred rooms of our Republic, they temporarily took control, paused the process, forced patriots to retreat, and seemed to have found a purchase to lay their ridiculous groundwork.

But then they were removed.  They were arrested.  They will be found and charged.  And they realized that they hadn’t stopped the wheels from turning at all, that the Capitol wasn’t a castle, but just a building, that Democracy simply pivoted, moved aside, regrouped, and came back with more resolve.  If that’s not a tight summary of Us against Trumpism I don’t know what is.  They attacked, they seemed strong for a moment, and then Republicans and Democrats as one denounced the movement and got the election back on track, not even waiting a day to reenter the rooms that were taken from them so easily, but without any real, lasting damage.  Trump didn’t really win anything, his mob didn’t really take anything, they were temporary, and they are already losing support across the country, as anyone with any sanity left distances themselves from a movement that was more goofy than groundbreaking.

I say none of this to lessen the evil that was done in Trump’s name, the policies that were enacted during his time that will have to be reversed, the voice he gave to those who were progressively being removed from our country’s narrative because they represented the worst in us: the KKK, the NRA, the Proud Boys, QAnon, all the “Karens”, your average racist grandpa.  That hurt us, having these people reemerge, having Trump and his people in charge, having the world take a step away from us because we had lost control of our rational government.  But what I’m saying is this; Donald’s accidental four years are up, his own supporters are slinking away, this latest outrage has shaken even his bat-shit base, and Democracy prevailed because we fought for it, and partially because they weren’t very good at being fascists.  After all, it was their first takeover, they couldn’t be expected to be perfect at it, and, both in practice at the Capitol building and in a greater sense in America, real patriotism simply side-stepped and came back with a left hook, knocking out an attempt at extreme populism that only seemed to work for a time because we were slightly unprepared.

We won’t be caught off guard next time.  We will see it coming.  The Democratic Party now has control of the House, the Senate, and the Presidency, and there’s a reason for that; the American people don’t want Trumpism any more or ever again.  We simply said no, and although we will remember every Representative, Senator, staff member, and voter who allowed this to happen by supporting the madness of a man who never should have been in charge in the first place, we at least recognize that when our Democracy was in danger the vast majority of sane Americans realized that it was time to say goodbye to the MAGA mindset.  What do we do now?  Keep fighting.  Because while Trump may become a shell off his former self, while the Republican Party might splinter into factions, while the racists might start hiding their faces again, not every villain has fled the scene.  Trump’s useless children still have political aspirations, seven Coup Caucus Senators voted against counting electoral votes for a new President, and countless rural Republicans are still out there ready to vote for the next politician who points at someone with dark skin and swears that *they* are the reason for all your woes.  This cycle isn’t new, the U.S. didn’t invent it, but I think we licked it this time around, and soon our kids’ textbooks will associate the name ‘Trump’ with the term ‘sedition’, and that will be a good lesson learned.


Thought – 2021 Oscar Preview

Category : Thought

Of course it’s too early to make Oscar predictions; the nominees are months away from being announced.  Some of what may be the best films of the year haven’t even come out yet.  But that doesn’t mean we can’t talk about it anyway and make guesses based on almost nothing.  At the very least, here is a list of movies that deserve a watch, as they might be in the Oscar conversation soon.

This is the Variety ranking of top Academy Award contenders:

  1. Nomadland
  2. Minari
  3. Mank
  4. The Trial of the Chicago 7
  5. One Night in Miami
  6. The Father
  7. Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom
  8. News of the World
  9. Promising Young Woman
  10. The Prom
  11. The Mauritanian
  12. Judas and the Black Messiah
  13. Da 5 Bloods
  14. The Midnight Sky
  15. Soul
  16. The United States vs. Billie Holiday
  17. On the Rocks
  18. Tenet
  19. Sound of Metal
  20. Palm Springs
  21. Ammonite
  22. Pieces of a Woman
  23. First Cow
  24. Supernova
  25. Wonder Woman 1984
  26. Never Rarely Sometimes Always
  27. Cherry
  28. The Nest
  29. The Life Ahead
  30. The Invisible Man

Snubbed: The Devil All the Time, Onward, The Platform, Borat Subsequent Moviefilm, The Gentlemen, Underwater, The Way Back, Eurovision, Extraction, Yes God Yes.

 


Thought – The Best Films Streaming

Category : Thought

I’m not taking this lightly, but during this difficult time we can all use a little distraction.  So, during semi-quarantine, what better job for a film critic than to recommend films that are available in your own home, so here we go.  Sticking to Netflix and Amazon Prime, here are some of the best options for movies to stream right now, for families and also for grownups, with links to its IMDb page and to my review, if written.  Have fun, and stay safe!

 


Thought – 2020 Oscar Picks

Category : Thought

Sunday February 9th, 2020, the Academy Awards!  I’ve very excited about this year’s Oscars; there are a ton of excellent films represented, as well as the annual snubs left out.  It should be a great show (although with no host this year and a few misjudgments by the Academy along the way) and I’m sure I’ll be reacting live during the event on Twitter (@OlieCoen).  You can check out my Oscars page for a complete listing of the nominees in the six major categories, but here are both my predictions and my picks for the best films of 2019:

Best Actor

Best Supporting Actor

Best Actress

  • Winner – Renee Zellweger – Judy
  • Runner-up – Charlize Theron – Bombshell
  • My choiceSaoirse RonanLittle Women

Best Supporting Actress

Best Director

  • WinnerBong Joon HoParasite
  • Runner-upTodd PhillipsJoker
  • My choiceSam Mendes1917

Best Picture

 


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