February came and went so fast I feel like I have whiplash and I fear the bulk of 2021 will follow suit. Thankfully, there’ll always be movies to distract from the abyss that is time. Along with watching far too many films in February, I also started a column at Moviefone called Female Filmmaker In Focus which you can read here and I wrote about the movie parallels in the videos for The Weeknd’s After Hours which you can read here. As always, you can see everything I watched plus a breakdown by decade after the cut.
Lately I’ve become more and more frustrated with the various “best ever” lists that have been released because they rarely feature films by women, or if they do it’s usually one or two films. I think this is more a reflection of those who are polled for these kinds of lists, as well as a compounding of history on itself. For so long films by men have made up the bulk of the film canon and I think people are afraid to add new films to these revered lists. I also think many people haven’t seen very many films by women, or if they have it’s always the same handful of films. In an attempt to create a better, more inclusive list of great films by women, I polled over 500 critics, filmmakers, bloggers, historians, professors and casual film viewers, asking them to tell me what films directed (or co-directed) by women are essential viewing. Some people only responded with as little as five votes, others submitted hundreds of films. In the end, I received over 7,000 votes for 1,100+ different films. After tallying up this data, with ties factored in, I then had a list of 103 essential films directed by women.
Justin: Okay, so how do you know it’s bin Laden? ‘Cause the truth is, we’ve been on this op before. It was ’07, and it wasn’t bin Laden, and we lost a couple of guys.
Maya: Totally understand. Bin Laden uses a courier, to interact with the outside world. By locating the courier, we’ve located bin Laden.
Patrick: That’s really the intel. That’s it?
Maya: Quite frankly, I didn’t even want to use you guys, with your dip and velcro and all your gear bullshit. I wanted to drop a bomb. But people didn’t believe in this lead enough to drop a bomb. So they’re using you guys as canaries. And, in theory, if bin Laden isn’t there, you can sneak away and no one will be the wiser. But bin Laden is there. And you’re going to kill him for me.
Best Film: ZERO DARK THIRTY
Best Director: Kathryn Bigelow, ZERO DARK THIRTY
Best Actor: Bradley Cooper, SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK
Best Actress: Jessica Chastain, ZERO DARK THIRTY
Best Supporting Actor: Leonardo DiCaprio, DJANGO UNCHAINED
Best Supporting Actress: Ann Dowd, COMPLIANCE
Best Original Screenplay: Rian Johnson, LOOPER
Best Adapted Screenplay: David O. Russell, SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK
Best Animated Feature: WRECK-IT RALPH
Special Achievement in Filmmaking: Ben Affleck, ARGO
Breakthrough Actor: Tom Holland, THE IMPOSSIBLE
Breakthrough Actress: Quvenzhané Wallis, BEASTS OF THE SOUTHERN WILD
Best Directorial Debut: Benh Zeitlin, BEASTS OF THE SOUTHERN WILD
Best Foreign Language Film: AMOUR
Best Documentary: SEARCHING FOR SUGARMAN
William K. Everson Film History Award: 50 YEARS OF BOND FILMS
Best Ensemble: LES MISÉRABLES
Spotlight Award: John Goodman (ARGO, FLIGHT, PARANORMAN, TROUBLE WITH THE CURVE)
NBR Freedom of Expression Award: CENTRAL PARK FIVE
NBR Freedom of Expression Award: PROMISED LAND
(in alphabetical order)
BEASTS OF THE SOUTHERN WILD
THE PERKS OF BEING A WALLFLOWER
SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK
Top 5 Foreign Language Films
(In Alphabetical Order)
THE KID WITH A BIKE
Top 5 Documentaries
(In Alphabetical Order)
AI WEIWEI: NEVER SORRY
THE INVISIBLE WAR
ONLY THE YOUNG
Top 10 Independent Films
(In Alphabetical Order)
END OF WATCH
HELLO I MUST BE GOING
ON THE ROAD
SLEEPWALK WITH ME
Staff Sgt. William James: You love playing with that. You love playing with all your stuffed animals. You love your mommy, your daddy, your nature pajamas. You love everything, don’t you? [beat] Yeah. But you know what, buddy? As you get older, some of the things that you love might not seem so special anymore, you know. Like your jack-in-the-box. Maybe you realize it’s just a piece of tin and a stuffed animal. But the older you get, the fewer things you really love. And by the time you get to my age, maybe it’s only one or two things. [beat] With me I think it’s one.
I ended up getting 18/24 categories right, which is one of my best years of predicting in awhile. For the most part I am very happy with the results of tonight’s ceremony. Really the biggest disappointment for me was Sandy over Meryl. Someday will be Meryl’s day again, I just know it.
But boy was it Kathryn Bigelow’s night. Two Oscars in five minutes and one glass ceiling shattered forever.
Alright you guys, I’m sorry I haven’t updated in awhile, life’s gotten a bit stressful. That being said THE OSCARS are tomorrow. This has been one of the most stressful awards seasons since I started following the Oscars all those years ago. These are my final predictions and, as always, I’ll be live-blogging the show on my tumblr. So here goes nothing.