The Square

Oscar Predictions 2014: Documentary

Documentaries deserve their own category, not jut in order to spotlight nonfiction films additionally but also separately, because they aren’t easily pit against narrative works. Yet while it’s fair to say it’s too difficult to weigh something like 20 Feet From Stardom or The Act of Killing against Gravity or 12 Years a Slave, it’s just as difficult to weigh this year’s nominees for Best Documentary – Feature against one another. It’s one of the few years in which every contender is an exceptional and unique work in this area of filmmaking and not two of them is alike in any way. One may be the most enjoyable of the five, another the most important. Another is the most creative with the art of documentary storytelling, and another is the most necessary at capturing history in the making, another the most moving in telling of a history already made. Let’s give them all an Oscar! Obviously that’s not possible, and so we’re left with a race that’s not easy to predict. To do so, we must look at not only how these nominees are doing with other honors and audiences leading up to the Academy Awards, but we have to consider how they might be campaigned for as well as how they’ll be voted on. I’ve tried to do my best in that regard. Keep reading for a look at all five nominees for Best Documentary – Feature along with my predicted winner in red… READ MORE AT NONFICS


Dallas Buyers Club Movie

All we need now is for Shia Labeouf to streak across the stage of the Dolby Theatre during the 2014 Academy Awards, copying Robert Opel’s famous stunt of 40 years ago as a bold bit of promotion for Lars von Trier’s Nymphomaniac, to make this year’s event possibly the most controversy-laden of all time. Or throw in an honorary Oscar for Roman Polanski, give another special tribute to Elia Kazan or give Best Picture to a Frank Capra film. Let Michael Moore on stage to criticize Obama, Sacheen Littlefeather to protest The Lone Ranger‘s nomination and have Rob Lowe back to ruin his resurrected career by dancing this time with all of the Disney princesses. Actually, we’re probably pretty set with controversies for the 86th Academy Awards show, which will be held only three weeks from now. From a nominee’s disqualification to the usual issues with documentary contenders, from complaints about a specific drama’s depiction of and its actors’ sensitivity to the LGBT population to problems with one of the Academy’s most recognized filmmakers, we might be in store for some extra picketing or contentious remarks or any number of other surprises on March 2nd. Let’s look at what we’ve got so far in the controversy basket below. 



It’s too bad I already recommended The Running Man this month (for post-Ender’s Game viewing), because even more than the first Hunger Games movie it really fits well with the new second installment, Catching Fire. But that’s okay, you can still add that to this week’s bunch of movies to see. I just won’t include it below. The same goes for Battle Royale, the most obvious movie to highlight for being similar to this franchise, though that one does make more sense as something to recommend after the first movie. Should Battle Royale II: Requiem take its place now that we’re talking about The Hunger Games 2? I haven’t seen it and hear it’s really terrible and it doesn’t seem to coincide plot-wise, so no. Instead I’ve got 12 other movies better worth your time as you wait for the first part of Mockingjay to hit theaters and continue the abruptly halted narrative of the Hunger Games story. As usual, the list will probably involve some spoilers if you haven’t seen Catching Fire.  


Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. and Legendary Pictures

While it’s not yet certain what the future of movie exhibition is going to look like, what’s more than certain is that it’s not going to continue looking the way it has for decades for very much longer. There’s currently a battle being waged over how movie fans are going to be able to watch the newest products being produced by studios, and it’s a battle that’s being fought on multiple fronts—whether by theater screen, by phone, or by set top box, the war to acquire the loyalty of our eyes and our ears is on. The two parties who have been making the most noise lately are the theater owners who have ran the various venues where we’ve spent our whole lives to this point watching the latest that Hollywood has to offer, and Netflix, whose digitally delivered, all-you-can-eat subscription model of movie consumption has already destroyed the concept of the video store and is looking to set its sights on the movie theaters next. Recently, Netflix CCO Ted Sarandos has been making a lot of noise about exhibition windows, which are the agreements that let theater chains exclusively exhibit all of the new studio releases for a certain amount of months before they can hit the various home video platforms. These exclusive deals are in large part what keeps the theater system financially viable, they’re a big way that studios are able to maximize profits on each of their releases, and Sarandos believes that they’re the biggest obstacle […]


teaser counselor

We’ve got people behaving badly for Ridley Scott, two young ladies sharing a tempestuous romance, Johnny Knoxville doing some terrible things in old-age makeup, Al Pacino hunting down Oscar Wilde, and a dozen other films fighting for your love. It’s another big week for releases (and Javier Bardem’s hair) so here’s your trailer-ized guide to what’s coming out:



Join us each week as Rob Hunter takes a look at new DVD releases and gives his highly unqualified opinion as to which titles are worth BUYing, which are better off as RENTals, and which should be AVOIDed at all costs. And remember, these listings and category placements are meant as informational conversation starters only. But you can still tell Hunter how wrong he is in the comment section below. The only titles worth Buying this week aren’t even movies, they’re a TV show and a documentary, but there are a couple flicks worth a Rental including Dorian Gray, Seven Days, and The Square. And then there’s Squeal. See all of this week’s relevant DVD releases after the jump…



With The Square, freshman director Nash Edgerton has made an excellent film that follows the much-loved Murphy’s Law “anything that can go wrong, will go wrong.” Our Jack Giroux sat down with him for a lengthy chat about everything that went into creating one of the best films of the year so far.



The Square is the story of a man and a woman (Ray and Carla) who are desperately in love. I say desperately because although their passions are fiery and their love formidable, they are both married to other people. I’m sure you can imagine the relationships at play here…



This week, on a very special episode of Reject Radio, Rob Hunter and I delve deep into the pressing questions facing the Catholic Church Movie-Making Industry.



Foreign Objects travels the world of international cinema each week to look for films worth visiting. So renew your passport, get your shots, and brush up on the local age of legal consent, this week we’re heading to… Australia!

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published: 01.31.2015
published: 01.30.2015
published: 01.30.2015
published: 01.29.2015

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