Finally in. The much awaited Oscar Nominations! Take a look at the list below and let me know what you think. Do you agree with the Academy? Did they leave out anything you absolutely wanted to see on this list? Is it better or worse than other years or about on par? Just let me know what your thoughts are, I am very curious. The official Oscar Ceremony will take place March 2nd, 2014 at the Dolby Theater in Hollywood. Ellen DeGeneres will be hosting the show, so it should be good. Continue reading
Since it’s a bit early for a top ten of favorite films (still waiting for some possibly great films to be released), I thought I’d start the yearly retrospective with a list of favorite posters. I haven’t seen all the films on this list, so I don’t know if some of these are actually good. Also, that’s not really important. This is about film posters, so it’s about who created the coolest artwork to prompt their picture. Film posters are usually a big part of what gets me excited for a film. Since I try to stay away from trailers as much as possible, most of the times I prefer “static” marketing like stills and posters. Continue reading
Italy is the country that has won more foreign language films than any other in the world, 13 wins so far. The peninsula is second, after France, when it comes to nominations – 27 total, against 36 – I guess we have a better chances of winning. Unfortunately most of this Oscar gold was won when Vittorio De Sica and Federico Fellini were making movies. Today, Giuseppe Tornatore is our biggest chance of winning the coveted statue, and he did so back in 1989 with Nuovo Cinema Paradiso. Since Tornatore’s newest film, The Best Offer, doesn’t qualify as a foreign language film this year Paolo Sorrentino will represent our country with The Great Beauty (La grande bellezza).
The Great Beauty was chosen over Viva la libertà (Roberto Andò), Miele (Valeria Golino), Razza bastarda (Alessando Gassmann), Salvo (Antonio Piazza & Fabio Grassadonia), Viaggio sola (Maria Sole Tognazzi) and Midway tra la vita e la morte (John Real). Having not seen those I can’t say if that was the best move, but considering how much I enjoyed The Great Beauty I am pretty satisfied with this outcome. As I’ve mentioned in my review, Sorrentino’s film is very reminiscent of Federico Fellini’s La Dolce Vita and Toni Servillo’s performance alone is Oscar-worthy. Since La Dolce Vita was never even nominated for an Oscar and the Academy has a tendency to make up for things like this, at the very least it was a smart “political” move. Also as mentioned Fellini’s films are the ones that won Italy the most awards (La strada, Nights of Cabiria, 8½ and Amarcord).
Italy hasn’t been nominated for Best Foreign Language Film since 2005, when Christina Comencini’s Don’t Tell (La bestia nel cuore) was considered. As for actual wins it’s been since 1998 when Roberto Benigni’s Life is Beautiful (La vita è bella) managed to win. Like Sorrentino himself said, when asked about how he felt about the news: “It’s going to be very difficult, I know, but we’ll do anything it takes to make it to the Oscar ceremony”. As a fellow Italian, a fan of his film and someone who loves to watch the Oscars I wish him all the luck in the world and hope that the Weinstein Company doesn’t have a film they’re promoting. La Grande Bellezza will hit American theaters November 2013 and critics are already calling it “a metaphor for Italian decline”. In other words: It’s awesome, go see it!
Jep Gambardella (Toni Servillo) is a journalist playboy drifting through Rome’s glamorous nightlife. At the age of 65 he is still partying like when he was 26 and first arrived to the Italian capital. The only book he wrote, L’apparato umano, is considered somewhat of a literary masterpiece, but he hasn’t produced anything noteworthy ever since. Jep knows a lot of people, important people, people who matter, and of course everyone knows him. When he arrived to Rome he wanted to become king of the party scene, and he did, but somehow he is not satisfied with the way his life has turned out, his love life in particular. The only girl he ever truly cared for left him and married someone else. When he finds out that she died, he is crushed. He starts reflecting on his life, Rome and all kinds of existentialist problems, but first he needs to party! Continue reading