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Wednesday, February 22, 2017

89th Oscars: Best Actress

The nominees are:

Isabelle Huppert, Elle

Role: Michele Leblanc, a woman who is raped and, due to a negative experience with police in her childhood, opts not to report the crime and instead takes matters into her own hands, becoming fascinated with her assailant in the process.

Oscar History: first nomination

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

89th Oscars: Best Actor

The nominees are:

Casey Affleck, Manchester By the Sea

Role: Lee Chandler, a man still grappling with the tragedy of his past when he's called upon to become the guardian of his teenage nephew after the death of his brother.

Oscar History: 1 previous nomination for Best Supporting Actor for The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford

Monday, February 20, 2017

89th Oscars: Best Supporting Actress

The nominees are:

Viola Davis, Fences

Role: Rose Maxson, a wife and mother who believes that she's living a happy life with her husband, only to have the rug pulled out from under her, leaving her trying to pick up the pieces of her shattered world.

Oscar History: 2 previous nominations for Best Supporting Actress for Doubt (2008) and Best Actress for The Help (2011)

Sunday, February 19, 2017

89th Oscars: Best Supporting Actor

The nominees are:

Mahershala Ali, Moonlight

Role: Juan, a man who takes the film's protagonist under his wing and becomes his father figure, but whose occupation as a drug dealer has contributed to the hostile and unstable home environment that makes him suffer so much.

Oscar History: first nomination

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Review: 20th Century Women (2016)

* * * *

Director: Mike Mills
Starring: Annette Bening, Greta Gerwig, Elle Fanning, Lucas Jade Zumann

Annette, you were robbed. You too, Greta. 20th Century Women opened right at the very end of 2016 for an Oscar qualifying run (playing in just 4 theaters from December 28th to January 5th, and then expanding to a few hundred theaters in January) and I can't help but wish that instead of doing that, the distributor had held it back for a mid-year release this year. With a last minute qualifying run, 20th Century Women never really stood a chance (though it did manage to net one Oscar nomination, for writer/director Mike Mills for Best Original Screenplay). It's too small, too intimate, to be able to make an impact with that kind of release. It's the kind of film that needs a chance to marinate a bit and build an audience, not unlike Mills' previous film, Beginners, which received a June release and for which Christopher Plummer won an Oscar. But art is ultimately its own reward, and though it doesn't have a chance to walk away with the slew of awards it richly deserves, 20th Century Women will nevertheless go down as one of 2016's finest films.