‘Alone Yet Not Alone’ and the Racial Tone-Deafness of Conservative America

It’s arguably one of the strangest entertainment stories of the year so far, and, depending on who you ask, can easily be spun a number of different ways.It’s either a classic David-and-Goliath tale cut tragically short when David had his chance taken away at the last second, or it’s a tale of an insidious subculture mercifully stopped short of infiltrating the mainstream. The press is, of course, spinning it both ways.Here’s what we know for sure: when the Academy Awards were announced, … [Read more...]

The Moviegoer: Oscars 2012 Preview

Each week in The Moviegoer, Nick Olson examines new and upcoming films.On Sunday night, they will roll out the red carpet for the 2012 Oscar ceremony. I want to share some predictions, hopes, and regrets for all of the major categories. Then, at the end of the preview, I'll share my favorite ten movies from 2011.Best Supporting ActorNominees: Kenneth Branagh (My Week With Marilyn); Jonah Hill (Moneyball); Nick Nolte (Warrior); Christopher Plummer (Beginners); Max von Sydow (Extremely Loud … [Read more...]

Of Oscar Nominees and Disgruntled Critics

The seven days following the announcement of Oscar nominations should be designated "Disgruntled Critics Week." I confess, I often count myself among the soured when it comes to considering what was (and wasn't) nominated by the Academy. After finally seeing all of 2011's "Best Picture" nominees, I can say I have some problems. I don't want to unjustly belittle, though. It's not all bad by any stretch. Among the nine "Best Picture" nominees, one is my favorite film of the year (The Tree of L … [Read more...]

The Moviegoer: What's Oscar Nostalgic For?

After finally seeing The Artist (Hazanavicius, 2011), I admit that my first thought was “that’s the frontrunner for 2011’s best film?” I feel sorry for Hazanavicius’ film in a way. Perhaps if it had not been saddled with so much buzz, expectation, and praise, I could have appreciated the film for what it was: a charming but flawed work that doesn’t take anything too seriously. Filled with nostalgia for silent films, The Artist has plenty of pleasant moments and wonderful images. But, for most of … [Read more...]