“Earn This” (#59)

The 1999 Oscars telecast is the most memorable of my youth. Whoopi Goldberg wearing a royal frock and whiteface to portray Queen Elizabeth, a delighted Roberto Benigni leaping onto the seats after winning his first Oscar, Gwyneth Paltrow’s tearful acceptance speech in that pink dress, the Elia Kazan controversy, the Celine Dion backwards tuxedo controversy […]

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An Indisputable Ranking Of Every Steven Spielberg Movie, From Fine To Phenomenal

Steven Spielberg is the most popular, successful, and recognizable filmmaker of all time. He has more films in the AFI 100 than any other director. Adjusted for inflation, four films he directed are in the top 25 highest-grossing of all time (five if you give him credit for Jurassic World). His worldwide grosses are almost […]

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Border Line: International Relations Get Tense In ‘Bridge Of Spies’ & ‘Sicario’

We’ve heard many times that the so-called “War on Drugs” really is an actual war. Traffic, a Best Picture nominee from way back in 2000, remains the cinematic authority on the topic, and probably had more influence on the aesthetic of modern movies than almost any other film. Nowadays, plenty of dramas and thriller look […]

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Boy Meets World Trade Center: Extremely Bad & Incredibly Nominated

(Films discussed in this post: Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close, Rango, Submarine.) This year’s most surprising Best Picture nominee was Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close. Not a total shocker, mind you — it stars previous winners Tom Hanks and Sandra Bullock, and is directed by Academy-friendly Stephen Daldry (The Hours, The Reader), so it has […]

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