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Posts Tagged ‘Billy Wilder’

Wednesday April 9th, 2014

Talking Movies, Episode 2: ‘The Lost Weekend,’ ‘The Best Years of Our Lives’ and ‘Gentleman’s Agreement’

By Mark Pinkert

For the second episode of Talking Movies, we watched three Academy Award Best Pictures from the post-war 1940s. How do these compare with the anguished noir films of the same era? How were the directors of these films themselves influenced by the war? How did cinematic technique and performance communicate important social messages? Listen to a discussion of these questions and many more in Episode 2 of Talking Movies.

~ Talking Movies is a podcast series covering classic films from the 20th century. In this episode, our guest co-host is Scott Feinberg, the lead awards analyst for The Hollywood Reporter and the founder/editor-in-chief of ScottFeinberg.com.

Listen to the podcast…

Tuesday December 31st, 2013

David O. Russell’s Hot Streak

By Mark Pinkert

If David O. Russell gets nominated for Best Director this year, he will have accomplished something that Martin Scorsese, Woody Allen, Alfred Hitchcock, Francis Ford Coppola and many other great directors have not–that is, to earn three Best Director nominations in the span of only four years. In fact, only eleven other directors have been on comparable hot streaks in Academy Award history, and only one of those streaks (by Clint Eastwood) has occurred after 1960. (See below for reference.)

This is not a comparison of overall quality or career prolificity (not many can bout with Scorsese, Allen, Hitchcock and Coppola in those categories), but merely a tribute to Russell’s ultra-concentrated efforts in the past four years and a recognition of the difficulty of this feat. It’s also a relevant because it might shed some light on previous Oscar trends and on what we can expect at the 86th Oscars.

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Tuesday April 3rd, 2012

Film Society of Lincoln Center Fetes French Screen Legend Catherine Deneuve

By Scott Feinberg

On Monday evening, as part of a moving tribute at Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall, the Film Society of Lincoln Center bestowed its 39th annual Charlie Chaplin Award for Lifetime Achievement to French screen legend Catherine Deneuve. Previous recipients of the honor include Alfred Hitchcock, Billy Wilder, Laurence Olivier, Federico Fellini, Elizabeth Taylor, Bette Davis, James Stewart, Robert Altman, Martin Scorsese, Diane Keaton, Tom Hanks, Meryl Streep and, last year, Sidney Poitier.

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Thursday January 5th, 2012

Oscars: Will Michelle Williams Triumph for Channeling Marilyn?

By Sean O’Connell

In Simon Curtis’s “My Week With Marilyn,” we get to see a contemporary icon playing a Hollywood legend.

Michelle Williams, a two-time Oscar nominee, slips effortlessly into the massive shoes of Marilyn Monroe in the prime of her acting career – right before she filmed Billy Wilder’s “Some Like It Hot.” We can virtually predict Oscar nomination number three when the nominations come out on Jan. 24.

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Saturday May 7th, 2011


On Monday evening, following a moving tribute at Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall, the Film Society of Lincoln Center bestowed its 38th annual Charlie Chaplin Award for Lifetime Achievement to one of the last great male stars of Hollywood’s Golden Age — a trailblazer unlike any other — Sidney Poitier. The actor, who is now 84 and retired from acting, rarely leaves the friendly confines of Beverly Hills, but made the trip across the country to New York to personally collect this high honor. (Previous recipients include Alfred Hitchcock, Billy Wilder, Laurence Olivier, Federico Fellini, Elizabeth Taylor, Bette Davis, James Stewart, Robert Altman, Martin Scorsese, Diane Keaton, Tom Hanks, and Meryl Streep.)

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Wednesday October 6th, 2010


  • The Playlist: Kevin Jagernauth reports that the organizers of the Academy Awards are exploring the possibility of moving up the 2012 ceremony to January as part of “a continuing effort to boost flagging viewership.” It would, however, face “considerable competition from the last weeks of the NFL season” and “the window to get out screeners” would become very condensed (which has prompted discussion about a secure Web site through which members could instantly access films online).
  • CNN: Larry King announces that he will devote the full hour of tonight’s “Larry King Live” to the new film “Conviction,” another huge coup for the folks at Fox Searchlight. Guests will include the film’s director Tony Goldwyn; stars Hilary Swank, Sam Rockwell, and Minnie Driver; and real-life inspirations Betty Anne Waters, Abra Rice, and Barry Scheck. Also appearing will be 12 individuals from across the country who were convicted of crimes they did not commit, and who were eventually exonerated thanks to the efforts of The Innocence Project.
  • IFC News: Allison Willmore offers a great rebuttal to Rebecca Davis O’Brien’s complaints about the portrayal of women in “The Social Network,” asserting that the film doesn’t have a problem with women, but rather its characters do. “It’s a story about guys,” she writes. “Desperate, socially inept guys. It’s a cinematic sausage fest!”
  • In Contention: Kris Tapley, who has championed Peter Weir’s “The Way Back” since seeing it at Telluride, is pleased to report that the newly-formed shingle Wrekin Hill Entertainment, in partnership with Newmarket Films, will provide the film with a one-week Oscar qualifying run in December prior to releasing in in select theaters on January 21, 2011.
  • Los Angeles Times: Patrick Goldstein describes “The Social Network” as “an old-fashioned writer’s picture, a quintessential Aaron Sorkin story crammed full of dazzling dialogue, audacious characters and a rich smorgasbord of moral issues worthy of prolonged debate,” and argues that the reason there are so few other films like it is because television is now a much more welcoming medium for writers. Sorkin concurs, telling Goldstein, “If Herman Mankiewicz, Billy Wilder, Preston Sturges, and Budd Schulberg were alive today, they’d be writing on TV.”
  • Los Angeles Times: Steven Zeitchik recounts “The Social Network” screenwriter Aaron Sorkin’s controversial remarks on the debut episode of CNN’s “Parker Spitzer” — “Sarah Palin is an idiot… a remarkably, stunningly, jaw-droppingly incompetent, mean woman… the Democrats have moved to the center, but the Republicans have moved into a mental institution”  — and wonders if it will impact the film’s performance  at the box-office.
  • TV Hunter: Hunter Walker learns that the cable network FX has purchased the broadcast rights to two recently released films, “The Social Network” and “Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps,” adding them to a stable of recent acquisitions that also includes “The A-Team,” “Date Night,” “The Karate Kid,” and “Salt.”
  • The New Republic: Lawrence Lessig, a Harvard law professor, calls “The Social Network” a “deeply, deeply flawed film,” but his gripe actually seems to be more with the shortcomings of the American legal system and the things that the film does not address than with the film itself.

Photo: Minnie Driver and Hilary Swank in “Conviction.” Credit: Fox Searchlight.