Monthly Archives: January 2013

Those Oscar Missed: Best Picture

YARDS OF GRAPEVINE | Movies, TV, Oscars & S'more


Best Picture has been a troubling category in the last few years.  I remember being pissed off when 2006’s Babel got nominated.  While it’s a good movie, it had no business being nominated over Pan’s Labyrinth and Children of Men.  After the controversy in 2008 when The Dark Knight DIDN’T get a Best Picture nod, the Academy expanded the field from five to ten nominees (besides The Dark Knight, the slot occupied by The Reader could’ve been occupied by Wall-E or The Wrestler).  Then last year, the Academy changed the rule from ten nominees to up-to-ten nominees (for instance, there could be six, seven, eight, or even nine Best Picture nominees).  I would also like to point out that, in a cruel twist of irony, The Dark Knight Rises was completely snubbed in all categories (including Best Picture) when the latest Oscar nominations…

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Top Twenty Football Films

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I have to admit that while I am a bit of a football fan, I am not a rabid football fan.  My becoming a football fan is an interesting evolution that occurred over the last 15 years; I went from … Continue reading


DP/30: David France Returns To Sundance

David France, director of the Oscar-nominated documentary How To Survive A Plague, returned to the Sundance Film Festival this year, where his film had been nominated for a Grand Jury Prize last year.  His film documents the struggle of AIDS … Continue reading

Those Oscar Missed: Best Director

YARDS OF GRAPEVINE | Movies, TV, Oscars & S'more

Stanley Kubrick Behind the Camera - H 2012


A director is vital to the making of a movie.  The director is responsible for getting the best possible performances from the actors.  The director is responsible for bringing his/her vision to life through his/her collaborations with the director of photography, writer(s), production designer, makeup designer, costume designer, and all of the other departments (unless he/she is simply a work-for-hire director brought in by the producers to just direct the actors, but even in that scenario a good director should still have some kind of vision for the film).  Every now and then, a director that turns in an extraordinary work gets snubbed by the Academy on the day the nominations are announced.  It didn’t take me very long to find five major snubs.

One major snub is Alfred Hitchcock for 1958’s Vertigo.  Hitchcock’s tale of tragic love and obsession became one of the…

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DP/30: The Sound of ‘Django Unchained’ Part Two

Quentin Tarantino’s latest film Django Unchained is currently playing in theaters to critical and box office success, and recently won two Golden Globes (Best Screenplay and Best Supporting Actor) and received five Academy Award nominations (Best Sound Editing, Best Cinematography, … Continue reading


SAG Foundation: Jessica Chastain On ‘Zero Dark Thirty’

Academy Award-winning director Kathryn Bigelow follows up 2008’s The Hurt Locker with Zero Dark Thirty, which is currently playing in theaters to critical and box office success.  The film stars Jessica Chastain as Maya, a CIA operative who’s obsessed with hunting … Continue reading


Trumbo (2007)

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The first time I encountered the name Dalton Trumbo was in the credits for a little 1960 Stanley Kubrick movie called Spartacus.  All I knew was that Trumbo had written an excellent script for that film, but I was not … Continue reading