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  1. Today
  2. I wanted to go back to this thread after coming home from watching Todd Haynes' latest, Dark Waters. Interesting how, 24 years later, he's making a film about a company that has literally made our environment unsafe with its ubiquitous products. Through his lens in his newest film, countless household and office objects (water fountains, toddler toys, frying pans) are given an ominous vibe.
  3. For Best Documentaries, some that might get neglected include Exit Music, Los Reyes, Hail Satan? (I'll say it again, deserves serious consideration for Ecumenical Jury, too), Kifaru, The Cave, Who Will Write Our History Similarly, Best Foreign Films: La Belle Epoque, Synonyms, Les Miserables, Zombi Child, Beanpole I haven't been following predictions for English language films, but I hope Lupita Nyong'o gets an Oscar nod for Us, and Jennifer Lopez for Hustlers. And in a fair world, Dark Water and Hearts and Bones would be getting more attention as excellent features.
  4. Yesterday
  5. I know it doesn't officially release in the US until next week, but I'm still surprised that someone here hasn't seen A Hidden Life and seconded it. I will nominate The Two Popes, a film which surprised me with its humor and emotional complexity. I'm not sure how well the characterizations match the actual real-life people, but Pryce and Hopkins both give excellent performances, and there are all sorts of interesting political and religious conversations to be had about the film. A divine bromance.
  6. A/an (exhausted, indifferent, conflicted?) second for Dark Waters, a film which is as relentlessly depressing as any I have seen since Beasts of No Nation. Yes, I will say that I second it not in spite of its grimness but largely because of it. Maybe there is an essay in here, maybe not, but I don't think it was a coincidence that I was listening to Brene Brown on audiotape on the way home and she was talking about despair. Excepting a half-hearted populist coda at the end, this flirted with being the legal thriller equivalent of On The Beach or First Reformed. As I waited...and waited...and waited...for it to turn triumphal in the last act, I started to think that maybe its greatness is that it channels an age that has given up a belief that anything can or will save us and thus forces us to think about how our lives might have meaning in such an era, whether its apocalyptic fears are real or manufactured.
  7. Actually I meant for other groups. I realized over the years that the EJ is just about the only group for which I've ever had "discussion." There seems to be some (antiquated?) idea in the blogosphere that lobbying is gauche or wrong. (Perhaps this originated with the Oscars?). I was also somewhat discouraged last year that all three of the groups I voted had finalists and lists that were nearly indistinguishable. I'm not saying be different for the sake of being different, but part of the joy of this job is just bringing attention to things that you think deserve it. I'm not sure why, but JM didn't do it for me. Perhaps it was because I saw it at a film festival and had serious movie fatigue. Perhaps it is because it seemed so designed to win awards. It felt like a collection of trailer moments rather than a fully realized narrative. That said, I saw the film among a largely African-American audience, and the energy was palpable.
  8. Last week
  9. For documentaries, I would prioritize FOR SAMA and ONE CHILD NATION, if you haven't already seen them, Ken.
  10. I can say for sure that my personal top four films of the decade, in order, are The Tree of Life First Reformed Silence Certified Copy It's been several years since I've watched enough films during their year of release to make a meaningful end of year list, but I can definitely make an end of decade list, and I will give this some more thought.
  11. It occurred me as I read your post that I wasn't sure if you were asking specifically for EJ screening recommendations, or more broadly for local critics-group voting consideration. I think it's the latter, but just in case it's the former - and you may have discussed this in the dedicated EJ thread, although I didn't see any mention there when using the search engine - you might want to prioritize Just Mercy. I see that Peter has a thread on the film with just an initial post. As I mentioned to a friend on Twitter, it's a film that doesn't do much for me cinematically, but which doesn't need to do anything more than point a camera at its excellent performers and let them do their thing - their "thing" being bringing to life one of the most Christian-drenched storylines I've seen in a mainstream release in recent memory. It's primarily, I think, a polemical film about the death penalty, and that might alienate some viewers who aren't opposed to the death penalty (I'm not opposed, FWIW). But from its opening moments, it's clear that some of its characters - those imprisoned and those not - have church backgrounds, and Christian faith/practice comes to the fore at key moments. It's sometimes subtle, but it's also hard to overlook/ignore. I appreciated that, as well as the (to me) shocking statistics about wrongful convictions among those on death row. I've seen the film twice in the past week - I didn't plan to, but my wife wanted to see it and decided to watch it again. I'm glad I gave it a second look. The film's strengths grew; its weaknesses faded (but didn't disappear).
  12. That's a great story, thanks for sharing.
  13. Apparently this show is going to rest on the exact intersection of clever and stupid, considering the way in which its twist might have already been figured out by...reading the promotional material.
  14. Not my story, but one a metalhead at AudioFeed 2019 shared with me: he went to a Deicide concert in the 90's (when Deicide were still rly insane), and he was wearing a Living Sacrifice shirt (a Christian industrial metal band). He went to Glen Benton (the frontman) and asked him to sign his record, but Glen Benton recognized the guy's shirt as a Christian band and was, like, actually upset: "Why are you even here? You know we worship Satan, right?" The guy's response: "That's your problem!" Glen signed his record!
  15. Thanks Christian. You are the second person in several hours who has recommended I Lost My Body, so I will definitely check that out.
  16. For Best Animated Film, give “I Lost My Body” a look. I also am a fan of the look of “Alita: Battle Angel,” but I have no idea if the way they made that film qualifies as a special effect, animation or something else.
  17. @dodgyboffin - I'll second Honeyland. I served on the Critics Choice Doc Nominating Committee and this one got tons of love. The narrative (and the visual way it was told) was magnificent. Key explorations of relationships (beyond individuals), life's struggles(and fragile balance), persistence of mission and focus (even in the midst of potentially destructive change) - What a wonderful slice of cinema. - NTMII
  18. I'd like to nominate Honeyland, which I've been chewing on for a few months now. It just won Best Nonfiction Film from 2019 from the New York Critics Circle. A Macedonian beekeeper and her mother find themselves with unexpected neighbors when a refugee family moves into their village. The resulting friction raises questions about appropriate give-and-take in social situations, and about cultivating relationships in community and with nature, especially when those relationships prove difficult. The material flows into the spiritual with the ever-present background humming of the bees.
  19. Thanks Evan! If anyone catches discrepancies or films I've missed, please don't hesitate to mention it so I can keep the nominees list updated and correct.
  20. Looking over the nominated films list, I see that Light from Light hasn't been seconded, so second. I also think Wild Nights with Emily deserves consideration, so second that too. And Joel, Once Upon a Time ... In Hollywood was seconded back on the first page of this thread; that's not reflected on the list.
  21. Andrew

    The Lighthouse

    That's an interesting take that makes sense to me.
  22. My Top 67 Films of the Decade. Here is the top 10: The Tree of Life The Kid with a Bike Moonrise Kingdom First Reformed A Separation Two Days, One Night Upstream Color Leave No Trace Paterson Mad Max: Fury Road
  23. My list is pretty basic, but I gotta do me. John Carter just barely didn’t make the cut. EDIT: Looking over Evan's list and I can't believe I left out The Assassin. Definitely top 20.
  24. I'm somewhat disappointed that this doesn't seem to be based on the Gore Vidal book of the same name.
  25. Was Inception only ten years ago? Weird what time does...
  26. I made this for Letterboxd a few weeks ago: https://letterboxd.com/evan_c/list/favorite-films-of-this-decade/ Although I've since seen some 2019 films that would make the cut, so I probably should update it.
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