75th Venice Film Festival releases strong slate of Award hopefuls

So many potentially great films are set to premiere at the 75th annual Venice Film Festival. It was announced in February that Guillermo del Toro will be the jury president. His film “The Shape of Water” won Oscars for Best Picture and Best Director last year, but before that it was awarded the coveted Golden Lion by the festival’s jury.

Our future Best Picture winner may be among the list, lead by one of our most predicted films: “First Man” directed by Damien Chazelle (La La Land, Whiplash).

Other festivals openers include: Downsizing, Everest, Birdman, Gravity, The Reluctant Fundamentalist, The Ides of March, and Black Swan. So as you can see, “opening film” doesn’t mean much from an award-prognostication standpoint.

Anyway, here’s that list:

Beach Bum (Harmony Korine)
Destroyer (Karyn Kasuma)
Death and Life of John F. Donovan (Xavier Dolan)
Domino (Brian de Palma)
First Man (Damien Chazelle)
The Favourite (Yorgos Lanthimos)
High Life (Claire Denis)
Maya (Mia Hansen-Love)
The Nightingale (Jennifer Kent)
Non-Fiction (Olivier Assayas)
Norway (Paul Greengrass)
Old Man and the Gun (David Lowery)
Other Side of the Wind
Outlaw King (David Mackenzie)
Peterloo (Mike Leigh)
Radegund (Terrence Malick)
Roma (Alfonso Cuaron)
Share (Pippa Bianco)
Sisters Brothers (Jacques Audiard)
Star is Born (Bradley Cooper)
Wendy (Benh Zeitlin)
Widows (Steve McQueen)

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The beautiful cringie-ness of Crazy Ex-Girlfriend

As I binged Crazy Ex-Girlfriend I would feel a mix of emotions – from laughter to cringe, from cringe to cringe, from cringe to awe (love the musical numbers) and then back to laughter and cringe.

It’s a ridiculous show with a ridiculous premise that bathes itself in over-reactive and exaggerated characters – it’s really good.

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The divisiveness of all “Roseanne” and the responsibility of being a public figure

Roseanne Barr tweeted something disgusting and racist and ABC prompty cancelled her revival sitcom.

Okay, now that you’re caught up…

To some people (actually most people unfortunately) politics is more about faith than it is about facts.

Roseanne Barr was never the kind of person to shy away from giving her political opinion, no matter how controversial or atypical to left-leaning Hollywood.

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“13 Reasons Why” Season 1 worked. Season 2 was always a bad idea.

13 Reasons Why season one was solid.

There were ebbs and flows throughout the season, but overall it was a strong mystery with a satisfying, yet devastating conclusion.

Everything comes together. Without questionable cliffhangers it would’ve been a strong mini-series and critics agree.

Katherine Langford earned a well-deserved Golden Globe nomination and the critics landed on an admirable 76.

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Last Man on Earth fan theory: Tandy is the last man on Earth

It was announced yesterday that, in an attempt to be less humorous and all-around good, Fox has cancelled “Last Man on Earth,” “Brooklyn Nine-Nine,” and “The Mick.”

“Brooklyn Nine-Nine” is a fan favorite and the fanbase has been shouting. It’s all but guranteed that the cop show will return, maybe on Hulu.

Then there’s “Last Man on Earth,” a show with a strong first season that delves into low-budget slapstick and giddiness as it moves on through its four seasons.

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Modern Cult Classics: Selma

Ava DuVernay’s “Selma” had a completely botched Oscar campaign. With a late, limited release date accompanied by poor advertising the film only managed to receive 2 Oscar nominations – Best Picture and Original Song.

Even though it’d win the ladder, the lack of nominations for it and “Beasts of No Nation” contributed to the “OscarsSoWhite” backlash when all four acting categories failed to nominate a person of color.

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Handmaid’s Tale and Westworld in danger of becoming repetitive

Take “Game of Thrones” as a quality example. Yes, last season sucked, but the show has always done its own thing – been a commentary on the unpredictability of chaos of war.

“Handmaid’s Tale” has given itself the burden of political commentary. In a sense, it needs to become effective art. The unfortunate side effect to commentary is that serial art (like television) needs to change – it must be broad.

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Lacking confidence in Damien Chazelle’s “First Man”

Are you excited? It’s going to be an action film!

Boston Globe had a write-up which quoted “First Man” screenwriter Josh Singer.

Here’s an excerpt:

Singer, who won, along with Tom McCarthy, the Academy Award for best original screenplay for “Spotlight,” is emphatic that “First Man” is not a biopic. First and foremost, he says, it’s an action film. That’s what Chazelle, the Rhode Island native who won the best director Oscar for “La La Land,” wanted so that’s what Singer delivered.

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Is Dwayne Johnson a good actor?

I think so.

I never understood the judgment of actors when their quality of performance 95% of the time is dictated by the director and the written material they’re given.

Obviously it’s unlikey we’ll see Mr. Johnson wielding a gold statue anytime soon. “Fighting with my Family” directed by Stephen Merchant seems to have Globe prospects though.

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