When this movie came out in 2016 it was the final film directed by a woman who was going to receive a wide release. It opened opposite Fantastic Beasts, and as you can imagine it did not do all that well. It didn’t do poorly – grossing $18mil on a $9mil budget is nothing to sneeze at, but it’s also not great for a movie that opened in over 2000 theaters. It was originally scheduled for a September release, but was moved to November (possibly to help its awards chances), which I think hurt its chance to become a sleeper hit (we have so few of those these days). I had a twitter chain about the film go viral, which led to me guesting on the Filmspotting podcast, where I talked about the film, as well as my ever-growing list of films about teenager girls directed by women. (There’s a larger conversation to be had about how the conversation around Ladybird was all on how few films about teenage girls are about women when a) this film had literally been released a year earlier and b) my list is over 200 films as of writing this). I was a big fan of Hailee Steinfeld from her turn in True Grit, so I was really excited that she was finally going to get a big launch film (if only it had pushed her into the stratosphere like Easy A did for Emma Stone!)
Bill Murray: Is that you say hello where you come from?
Columbus: Oh, my God. Oh, my God, I can’t believe I shot Bill Murray.
Tallahassee: Mr. Murray?
Bill Murray: I’m just Bill, I think, now.
Bill Murray: Yeah?
Tallahassee: I don’t think we’re gonna be able to stitch this.
Bill Murray: Ah. That’s still tender.
Tallahassee: You think you might pull through?
Bill Murray: No.
Columbus: If it means anything now, I am so sorry. It was just instinctive.
Bill Murray: It was my bad. I was never a very good practical joker.
Little Rock: So do you have any regrets?
Bill Murray: “Garfield,” maybe.
Larry Flynt: You know, politicians and demagogues like to say that sexually explicit material corrupts the youth of our country. And yet they lie, cheat and start unholy wars. [beat] Look at them, they like to call themselves warriors; they’re sheep in a herd. I think the real obscenity comes from raising our youth to believe that sex is bad and ugly and dirty. And yet, it is heroic to go spill guts and blood in the most ghastly manner – in the name of humanity. With all the taboos attached to sex, it’s no wonder we have the problems we have. It’s no wonder we’re angry and violent and genocidal. But ask yourself the question: what is more obscene – sex or war?
Malick was one of the most acclaimed directors in the 1970s, with two highly acclaimed dramas – 1973’s Badlands and 1978’s Days of Heaven. He then disappeared for nearly twenty years before production of The Thin Red Line started. The result is an astounding WWII ensemble based on the novel of the same name by James Jones (who’s other book, From Here To Eternity was turned into a film in 1953 and won 8 Oscars). There is a version of The Thin Red Line from 1964 that I’m told is more true to the book; I’ve yet to see it. I also don’t really care if it’s more true to the book because I love what Malick did with this story. This film is one of my Top Ten Films of All Time. It was nominated for 7 Oscars in 1998 although it didn’t win a single award. It was up against Saving Private Ryan, Shakespeare In Love, Elizabeth and Life Is Beautiful.
The Academy Award nominations will be announced at 5:30AM PST tomorrow, February 2nd. I’ve got predictions for 10 of the 24 categories. I’m also going to supply some alternates. I love being able to predict what the nominations will be, but at the same time, it would be nice for some surprises to sneak in there too!
- (500) Days of Summer
- An Education
- District 9
- The Hangover
- The Hurt Locker
- Inglourious Basterds
- Star Trek
- Up In The Air
(Alternates: Up, Invictus, A Serious Man)