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LawrenceA

Films of 2016

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SO B0GIE 66, are you now also going to new releases & kinda' reviewing them?

 

 

PLEASE LET ME KNOW

 

& CHECK OUT POST I DID ON EARLY WORLD ON "RULES DON'T APPLY"-(likely screenplay, art-director, costumes & maybe *Warren for s. actor?)

 

& THE SURPRISING NEGATIVE BUZZZ FROM *BOBBY DEE'S "THE COMEDIAN?"

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Exce

 

 

llent work!  However, where are the NBR Awards,etc? & PGA noms?

AGAIN 4 STAR JAZZ!   & if you have studied the history of not only the *Academy Awards, but the-(not far too many annual Pre *Oscar awards)

 

They generally vote small, where is *Oscar goes back

 

 

In my past 34yrs oddsmaking *Oscar I never try & predict the winners of NYFCC, LAFCA & others, but I can already see they may go vote the likes of  "Moonlight" "Hell and High Water" & others. Where is it almost already seems written Hollywood will just adore "La La Land"

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Drain the Swamp!  John Madden's Miss Sloane starring Jessica Chastain tackles the unseamly world of Washington lobbyists.  Chastain's character is headhunted by a rival firm to take on a new gun background check bill.  There is nothing altruistic in her character.  She likes a challenge and is  ruthless and unliked by her colleagues.  Whereas Michael Douglas' Gordon Gekko exuded a certain amount of devilish charm and allowed the viewer to like his villain this is not the case with Chastain.  Toward the end of the film when it looks like opposing forces are going to destroy her I slipped into her corner but it was quite late by then.

The script is quite dense and provides ample twists and turns.  I found some of the dialogue a bit too cryptic to follow at times.  John Lithgow and Sam Waterston are quite good as is Chuck Shamata, a Canadian character actor who has been around forever who kicks the film off by looking for a lobbyist that will improve the image of guns with women.  This one is certainly worth a look.

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The Secret Life of Pets (2016) is a new animated film that delivers as advertised on the box but I saw it last night and I've already forgotten over half of it.  It is a re-tread of Toy Story.  A fraternity of pets instead of toys get together when the owners are away and break out into human chatter.  One pet is threatened by a new arrival who appears to be hijacking the owner's affection, a big shaggy dog instead of Buzz Lightyear.

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allied11.jpg

I was at the premiere of the new Robert Zemeckis film Allied last night at the Odeon Leicester Square.  I couldn't believe how young Brad Pitt looked for a 53 year-old, damn him.  The film was glossy and well made as one would expect but try as I did to like it it just didn't work.

As advertised it is a throwback to the romantic adventure WWII films of yesteryear.  In fact a good portion of the film takes place in Casablanca.  But this spy saga is far too long and the more it drags the more one is aware how sappy and silly it is despite Pitt and Cotillard doing their very best.  The premise may have sounded good in the pitch session but I felt it was one of those that paints you into a corner with no real room to move.  It's either going to be this or that so why wait another 90 minutes to find out.

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"American Honey" and "Moonlight" were the co-leaders in Film Independent Spirit Awards nominations, which were announced on Tuesday.  The films received six nominations each, followed by "Manchester by the Sea" with five and "Jackie" with four. 

 

All four pictures were nominated for Best Feature, along with "Chronic."

 

The Film Independent Spirit Awards traditionally are revealed the day before the annual Academy Awards ceremony. The 32nd Spirit Awards event will be held on Saturday, February 25, 2017.

 

Directed by Andrea Arnold, the British filmmaker whose live-action short "Wasp" won a 2004 Oscar, "American Honey" stars newcomer Sasha Lane as an aimless teen who runs off with a group of magazine salesmen. The film also features Shia LaBeouf and Riley Keough, the granddaughter of Elvis Presley. 

 

 

"Moonlight," directed by Barry Jenkins ("Medicine for Melancholy"), is a story in three parts about the life and hard times of a black protagonist named Chiron. The character is played as a child by Alex Hibbert, as a teenager by Ashton Sanders and as a young adult by Trevante Rhodes. The drama also stars André Holland, Naomie Harris, Mahershala Ali and singer Janelle Monáe.

 

The cast of "Moonlight" will receive the Robert Altman Award at the Spirit Awards in February.

 

 

 

http://www.usatoday.com/story/life/movies/2016/11/22/94284140/

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"Manchester by the Sea" is the third picture directed by the playwright and screenwriter Kenneth Lonergan, who received a 2000 Best Original Screenplay nomination for his debut film "You Can Count On Me." His new film, set in Manchester-by-the-Sea, Massachusetts, stars Casey Affleck as a ne'er-do-well Boston-area apartment janitor who returns to his hometown after a family tragedy. He attempts to bond with his teen nephew, played by Lucas Hedges ("Moonrise Kingdom"). The drama also stars Michelle Williams, Kyle Chandler, Gretchen Mol, Tate Donovan and Matthew Broderick.

 

 

 

In "Jackie," Academy Award winner Natalie Portman ("Black Swan") portrays Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy (1929-1994) during and after her years as First Lady of the United States. Directed by the Chilean filmmaker Pablo Larrain ("Tony Manero"), the biopic focuses on Mrs. Kennedy's post-assassination interview with journalist Theodore H. White for LIFE magazine in which she revealed JFK's fondness for the Broadway cast album of "Camelot." 

 

The film also stars Greta Gerwig (as Mrs. Kennedy's longtime friend and social secretary Nancy Tuckerman), Peter Sarsgaard (as Robert F. Kennedy), Billy Crudup (as White) and Caspar Phillipson (as President Kennedy).

 

 

 

http://variety.com/2016/film/news/independent-spirit-awards-snubs-and-surprises-1201925016/

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"Chronic," directed by the Mexican filmmaker Michel Franco ("After Lucia"), stars British actor Tim Roth, a Quentin Tarantino favorite. He stars as a caregiver who works with terminally ill patients. One of his charges is an elderly gentleman played by the actor/playwright Michael Cristofer, author of the 1977 Pulitzer Prize-winning drama "The Shadow Box." 

 

Also starring in the drama are Bitsie Tulloch, David Dastmalchian, Tate Ellington ("Quantico"), Claire van der Boom, Maribeth Monroe, Robin Bartlett, and Sarah Sutherland.
 
At the 2015 Cannes Film Festival, Franco received the Best Screenplay award for this film.
 
 
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The Producers Guild of America has nominated five documentary films for theatrical awards, including Ezra Edelman's acclaimed 464-minute documentary about the American football hero-turned-murder suspect O.J. Simpson. Titled "O.J.: Made in America," Edelman's film was shown in theaters and presented on television as a five-part series on ESPN and ABC.

 

 

 

The other documentaries nominated by the PGA:

  • "Dancer"-- An examination of the life and career of the Ukrainian ballet dancer Sergei Polunin.
  • "The Eagle Huntress" -- The story of a 13-year-old girl from Asia's Altai Mountains striving to become the first female in many generations of her family to hunt with fierce golden eagles. 
  • "Life, Animated" -- The tale of an autistic man who develops reading and communication skills with the help of Disney movies.
  • "Tower" -- An animated look back at the deadly August 1966 shootings by a lone sniper on the campus of the University of Texas in Austin. 

The PGA Awards will be presented on Jan. 28, 2017 at the Beverly Hilton in Los Angeles.

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I'm probably a bit jaded from seeing so many movies but I thought A United Kingdom (2016) was a bit dull.  It is based on the true story of Ruth Williams, a white working class woman in London (Rosamund Pike) who marries the black heir to the Botswana throne, Seretse Khama (David Oyelowo) and the prejudices that they face.  My wife quite enjoyed it but I found it a bit one-note and not particularly fresh.  It's music score was bit derivative of John Barry's Out of Africa which I found annoying and it did not have that film's exciting shots of Africa.  David Oyelowo is quite good.

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Thanksgiving night we saw Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them. Probably not recommended to those who hate the Harry Potter films.

 

Harry Potter fans will probably like it. Not on a par with the first four Potter movies, but pretty close in quality to the others. Lots of entertaining CGI beasts. Eddie Redmayne and Katherine Waterston are charming as the leads. Carmen Ejojo, who plays the president of the American magical congress, has very striking looks.

 

The dialogue is not always easy to understand, and the film is probably twenty minutes too long, a statement which could safely be made about 90% of the movies made today. I thought the movie was fun, although it had trouble getting around to a stopping point.

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Rules Don't Apply (2016) is Warren Beatty's first film in 15 years.  He is very good as the aged scatterbrained eccentric, Howard Hughes and the film itself is quite fun when it focuses on him.  But that is where the kudos end for me.  On the whole, it is quite a mess.  The story is told from the point of view of one of Hughes' naive beautiful young contract players (Lily Collins) and her driver (Alden Ehrenreich).  Both are underwhelming.  Ehrenreich, who does much better in his supporting part in Hail Caesar! is a poor man's Leonardo Di Caprio in this film.  Rules has the feel of a film that had a very long shoot and ended up with a six hour rough cut.  I don't know if this is the case.  But its rhythm is very odd.  it spends ages on scenes that are not quite that interesting then skips over many others in a frantic hurry.  It has four credited film editors.  If the story had been told from Howard Hughes' perspective I think it would have been much better.  Did Beatty not have the confidence to do this?  He wrote the screenplay.  The music score is the worst I have heard in years.  If nothing else one can play spot the star as there are many good actors making cameo appearances.  But again, some of this left me wondering what was left on the cutting room floor.  Was Paul Sorvino really only in long shots and given just one quick line of dialogue?

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This is not a review of the film, but of the trailer which I saw in the cinema last night.  Life, Animated (2016) is the "heartwarming" tale of an autistic boy who learns to communicate with the world through the dialogue in Walt Disney's animated films.  Apologies to parents with autistic kids but I found this a jaw-dropping gag worthy self-parody.  I don't think I could stomach the entire film.

 

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It's not a jovial sing-along bus ride to Manchester by the Sea (2016) but the journey is still worthwhile.   Casey Affleck plays a morose apartment janitor who is just going through the paces when he is reluctantly called back to his home town upon the death of his brother and must now accept guardianship of his teenage nephew.  The skeletons in his rather difficult closet eventually reveal themselves.  It's a good story, Affleck is very good as is Michelle Williams as his ex-wife.  Another standout is Lucas Hedges who plays the nephew.  I wouldn't be surprised to see him appear in many supporting awards lists though he really is a co-lead.  Writer/Director, Kenneth Lonergan depicts living in the Massachusetts sea-side area very well.  I worked not too far from there many years ago and it felt like a flashback.

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"Moonlight," a drama about the life and hard times of a poor, gay black man, won four Gotham Independent Film Awards Monday night as the 2016-2017 awards season kicked off. The ceremony, hosted by actor-comedian Keegan-Michael Key, was held in downtown Manhattan.

 

Directed by Barry Jenkins ("Medicine for Melancholy"), "Moonlight" won Gothams for Best Feature (Jenkins and producers Adele Romanski, Dede Gardner and Jeremy Kleiner), Best Screenplay (Jenkins and Tarell Alvin McCraney), a Special Jury Award for Ensemble Performance (presented to the movie's cast) and the Audience Award.

 

The movie is a three-part tale in which three different actors appear as the key character, Chiron. He is played as a child by Alex Hibbert, as a teenager by Ashton Sanders and as a young adult by Trevante Rhodes. The drama also stars André Holland, Naomie Harris, Mahershala Ali and singer Janelle Monáe.

 

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Alex Hibbert plays the protagonist Chiron as a child in the drama "Moonlight"

 

Casey Affleck received Best Actor honors for his performance in Kenneth Lonergan's drama "Manchester by the Sea." In a review of the film published last week, movie critic Ty Burr of The Boston Globe declared that the younger sibling of actor Ben Affleck "comes finally and fully out of his brother’s shadow and into his own" in the 2016 picture.

 

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Casey Affleck stars as a man returning to his hometown in "Manchester by the Sea"

 

The distinguished French star Isabelle Huppert (pronounced ooh-PAIR) was named Best Actress for her leading role in the European thriller "Elle," directed by Dutch filmmaker Paul Verhoeven ("RoboCop," "Basic Instinct," "Starship Troopers").

 

Huppert's win -- for her portrait of a woman who seeks to avenge her rape by an unknown assailant -- could be the start of something big for her. Now 63, she has appeared in more than 100 films since her screen debut in 1971. She has won two Best Actress awards at the Cannes Film Festival (for 1979's "Violette Nozière" and 2001's "The Piano Teacher"). She also has earned 15 César Award nominations for her work in French films (only Gérard Depardieu has received more nods with 17). She won Best Actress honors for her performance in Claude Chabrol's "La Cérémonie" (1995). But she has never been nominated for an Academy Award.

 

Huppert has appeared in a handful of American films, including "Heaven's Gate" (1980) and "I ♥ Huckabees" (2004).

 

 

 

The Best Documentary Gotham went to "O.J.: Made in America," Ezra Edelman's acclaimed 464-minute documentary about the American football hero-turned-murder suspect O.J. Simpson. The film aired in theaters and on ESPN and ABC.

 

http://www.indiewire.com/2016/11/gotham-awards-2016-complete-winners-list-1201750221/

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The National Board of Review today selected Kenneth Lonergan's contemporary drama "Manchester by the Sea" as its Best Picture of 2016. Set in Manchester-by-the-Sea, Massachusetts, the film stars Casey Affleck as a ne'er-do-well Boston-area apartment janitor who returns to his hometown after a family tragedy. He attempts to bond with his teen nephew, played by Lucas Hedges ("Moonrise Kingdom"). The drama also stars Michelle Williams, Kyle Chandler, Gretchen Mol, Tate Donovan and Matthew Broderick. 

 

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Williams and Affleck play reunited exes in the contemporary drama "Manchester by the Sea"

 

Other awards were issued in the following categories: 

  • Best Director: Barry Jenkins, "Moonlight"
  • Best Actor: Affleck, "Manchester by the Sea"
  • Best Actress: Amy Adams, "Arrival"
  • Best Supporting Actor: Jeff Bridges, "Hell or High Water"
  • Best Supporting Actress: Naomie Harris, "Moonlight"
  • Best Original Screenplay: Lonergan, "Manchester by the Sea"
  • Best Adapted Screenplay: Martin Scorsese and Jay_Cocks, "Silence"
  • Best Animated Feature: "Kubo and the Two Strings"
  • Breakthrough Performance (Male): Hedges, "Manchester by the Sea"
  • Breakthrough Performance (Female): Royalty Hightower, "The Fits"
  • Best Directorial Debut: Trey Edward Shults, "Krisha"
  • Best Foreign Language Film: "The Salesman"
  • Best Documentary: "O.J.: Made in America"
  • Best Ensemble: "Hidden Figures"
  • Spotlight Award: The creative collaboration of Peter Berg and Mark Wahlberg ("Patriots Day")
  • NBR Freedom of Expression Award: "Cameraperson"

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Royalty Hightower plays a preteen boxing hopeful in "The Fits"

 

The NBR, which has been around for 107 years, is an organization of film enthusiasts, filmmakers, professionals, academics and students of varying ages and backgrounds.

 

The 2016 awards will be presented at a ceremony in New York City on Wednesday, January 4, 2017.

 

http://www.usatoday.com/story/life/movies/2016/11/29/manchester-sea-tops-national-board-review-awards/94617684/

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In addition to the Best Film of the Year honors for "Manchester by the Sea," the National Board of Review selected these motion pictures as Top Films:
  • "Arrival"
  • "Hacksaw Ridge"
  • "Hail, Caesar!"
  • "Hell or High Water"
  • "Hidden Figures"
  • "La La Land"
  • "Moonlight"
  • "Patriots Day"
  • "Silence"
  • "Sully"

Based on the 1966 novel by Japanese author Shūsaku Endō (1923-1996), Martin Scorsese's "Silence" is set in the Land of the Rising Sun during the 17th century. The film stars Andrew Garfield as a Portuguese missionary who searches for his Jesuit mentor (played by Liam Neeson). Adam Driver co-stars as a fellow Jesuit who accompanies Garfield's character on the dangerous mission. 

 

 

 

Other categories:

 

Top 5 Foreign Language Films:

  • "Elle"
  • "The Handmaiden"
  • "Julieta"
  • "Land of Mine"
  • "Neruda"

 

Top 5 Documentaries:

  • "De Palma"
  • "The Eagle Huntress"
  • "Gleason"
  • "Life, Animated"
  • "Miss Sharon Jones!"

The honor for Barbara Kopple's documentary about the acclaimed soul singer Jones was issued 11 days after the veteran performer's death from cancer at the age of 60.

 

 

 

Top 10 Independent Films:

  • "20th Century Women"
  • "Captain Fantastic"
  • "Creative Control"
  • "Eye in the Sky"
  • "The Fits"
  • "Green Room"
  • "Hello, My Name Is Doris"
  • "Krisha"
  • "Morris from America"
  • "Sing Street"
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Just worth remembering, the National Board of Review hasn't actually picked a best picture winner since 2008.  Only five nominees were on its 2015 list, and only four on 2014.

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Ridley Scott to get Lifetime Achievement Award from DGA 

 

I just watched Annabel's: A String of Naked Lightbulbs, Ridley Scott's excellent BBC documentary about the posh British nightclub. 

 

 

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I just watched Annabel's: A String of Naked Lightbulbs, Ridley Scott's excellent BBC documentary about the posh British nightclub. 

 

 

I consider Sir Ridley's 1977 debut feature film, "The Duellists," to be one of the best-looking pictures ever made. Many of the scenes in the movie resemble paintings. Derived from Joseph Conrad's 1908 tale "The Duel: A Military Story" (also known as "The Point of Honor"), the film stars Harvey Keitel and Keith Carradine as early 19th-century French army officers involved in a long-standing feud. 

 

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Keitel and Carradine

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Hell or High Water (2016) is a ho-hum affair.  For what is essentially a cat and mouse film there is no tension whatsoever between the cops and the robbers.  They seem to be living on different planets for almost the whole film.  Jeff Bridges and his partner who is nearing retirement (ah oh, don't tell me) are very laid back Texas Rangers operating on the philosophy that the crooks will eventually come to them.  Dull.  But director, Mackenzie does pick some great rural gun-loving Texas locations.

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Janelle Monáe is having a very good week -- and not only because she's celebrating her 31st birthday on Thursday.

 

You've probably seen the Atlanta-based singer and fashion maven headlining energetic television commercials for Pepsi or CoverGirl (among several products she endorses). But the six-time Grammy Award nominee has been making quite a splash in her first ventures into the screen trade.

 


 

Monáe made her feature film debut as an actress in "Moonlight," Barry Jenkins' acclaimed coming-of-age drama about a gay black youth in Miami during the 1980s. The picture is an early Oscar contender, and its cast has received special citations from the Film Independent Spirit Awards and the Gotham Independent Film Awards.

 

In "Moonlight," Monáe appears as Teresa, who becomes a surrogate mother for the troubled lead character named Chiron (played at different stages by Alex Hibbert, Ashton Sanders and Trevante Rhodes).

 

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Monáe plays a mother figure in the acclaimed film "Moonlight"

 

She plays quite a different character in her second film, "Hidden Figures," which will be released on a limited basis beginning Christmas Day. Based on Margot Lee Shetterly’s book "Hidden Figures: The Story of the African American Women Who Helped Win the Space Race," the movie features Monáe, Taraji P. Henson and Oscar winner Octavia Spencer as NASA mathematicians in the 1960s.

 

Directed by Theodore Melfi, the film also stars Kevin Costner, Kirsten Dunst, Jim Parsons and Mahershala Ali.

 


 

On Tuesday, the National Board of Review announced it will present its Best Ensemble award to the movie's cast.

 

Henson's character, Dr. Katherine Johnson, was an unsung heroine of American history for many years. Now 98 years old, she received the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President Obama last year. She was portrayed earlier this week by Nadine Ellis in an episode of the NBC sci-fi series "Timeless."

 

"We were flabbergasted," Monáe declared recently to Billboard magazine. "These women were so important, but when it was time to tell the story, their male counterparts took credit. Who hid this from us?"

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