Tag Archives: Oscar

Unforgiven

Originally titled Whore’s Gold, Clint Eastwood’s Oscar-winning western exposes the psychosis, bigotry and misogyny at the heart of the genre’s mythology.

Notorious

Forget Vertigo. Alfred Hitchcock’s greatest film is Notorious. With his usual McGuffin, he wrapped a paranoid love story inside an espionage thriller about genocide.

A Separation

Asghar Farhadi’s Oscar-winning divorce drama delivers a story that is specific to a particular time and place yet also manages to resonate on a universal level.

Midnight Cowboy

Released to mixed reviews in 1969, Midnight Cowboy is a landmark film that examines the then toxic topics of male identity, intimacy, sexuality and trauma.

Cast Away

Superficially, Cast Away asks whether modern man can survive alone on a desert island. But Robert Zemeckis’ best film is really about destiny vs. free will.

The Right Stuff

Tom Wolfe’s superb account about the early days of NASA’s space program needed filmmakers who shared a daring similar to the maverick pilots.

Cinema Paradiso

Nostalgia originally had nothing to do with the past but rather a desire to return home. Cinema Paradiso resonates with the feeling that cinema is your home.

Saving Private Ryan

Released to ecstatic reviews in 1998, Spielberg’s film soon suffered a backlash. Far more complex than first thought, 21 years on it has finally come of age.

Das Boot

How did Wolfgang Petersen manage to get audiences to care about a bunch of Nazi sailors trying to destroy the British fleet in the North Atlantic?

Arrival

No matter how cinematic, all films are nothing more than a form of writing that borrows from other forms of writing. Which is why Arrival comes in code.

Last Tango in Paris

There are several good reasons to watch Bernardo Bertolucci’s controversial Last Tango in Paris, but not all of them make for palatable viewing.

Waltz with Bashir

Ari Folman’s animated documentary is different from many other films about trauma. But it is only in its final moments that it reveal its most telling truth.

Hidden

Michael Haneke asks audiences difficult questions yet never provides easy answers. When he calls his film Hidden, can we expect anything different?

Gravity

For a film that requires so many special effects in order to create the feeling of weightlessness, how did Alfonso Cuarón still keep Gravity so grounded?

Roma

Alfonso Cuarón has long flirted with the neorealist style. His latest masterpiece, Roma illustrates cinema is not about what you show, but how you show it.

The Lives of Others

An examination of life in East Germany under the the terrifying control of the Stasi, The Lives of Others frustrated survivors of the totalitarian regime.

The Diary of a Chambermaid (1964)

Of the four adaptations of Octave Mirbeau’s controversial novel, Luis Buñuel’s version is by far the most faithful… and radical.

Gladiator

Going into production, Gladiator had nothing near a finished script yet one simple change to the start of the story turned it into the greatest opera ever filmed.

Cold War

Despite its title, Cold War is not an espionage thriller. Instead, Pawel Pawlikowski loosely based it on his parents’ lives. But it’s not a biopic either. So what is it?

Edward Scissorhands

Ever wondered where snow comes from? That and all manner of other wonders – and horrors – are uncovered in Tim Burton’s classic fantasy.

No Country for Old Men

While Cormac McCarthy’s acclaimed novel broke genre convention, the Coens’ adaptation is a study in audiovisual chaos.

The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford

This western opened new frontiers for the genre; celebrity and post-traumatic stress disorder.

Mishima: A Life in Four Chapters

Films about writers are tricky propositions but you can roughly divide the genre into two eras; pre- and post-Mishima.

There Will Be Blood

Many audiences complain that Daniel Plainview is unlikable. But where is it written that characters have to be likeable? Characters only have to be interesting.

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