Tag Archives: Damien Chazelle

First Man (2018) Movie Review

Damien Chazelle’s follow up to the highly successful and almost Best Picture winner La La Land is a biopic about the first man who walked on the moon, Neil Armstrong (played here by Ryan Gosling). Sounds like a conventional route to go down after directing two films that broke the contemporary Hollywood mold. But leave it to Chazelle to take a unique approach to the conventional.


Armstrong is a pensive man. On the surface, emotionally slight. Rarely speaking more than he needs to, he relies more on Continue reading First Man (2018) Movie Review

Academy Awards Predictions 2017 – Best Director

Here’s what you hear every year about the Best Director Academy Awards category when it comes to Oscar pools: Best Director and Best Picture always go to the same film.

This is true to an extent, yes. Then again…2016, 2013, 2006…

So, on that note, will the clear favorite for Best Picture repeat with Best Director?


Best Director:

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2017 Academy Awards Nomination Predictions – Best Director

I like how the 2017 Best Director Oscar race is shaping up. It is quite interesting in terms of which directors have been getting attention thus far. There are some surprises, I think, which leaves the Oscar race more open than it initially seemed to be.


Best Director

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La La Land (2016) Movie Review

The opening number of La La Land, the new musical from Whiplash director Damien Chazelle, is the appropriate first impression of Los Angeles: a gridlocked freeway of cars sitting idle. Only, instead of the frustration and cynicism that would arise from this situation, people burst into hopeful song and dance among the stalled cars. In a rush of agile choreography, a rainbow color scheme, and immense depth staging, a flurry of people dance on hoods and sing of the wonder of Hollywood sunshine.


At the culmination of this tune, we are introduced to Mia (Emma Stone), another hopeful going over audition sides in her car as she waits, and Sebastian (Ryan Gosling), who honks aggressively at her when she refuses to move once the congestion breaks up.

With the first few scenes, La La Land presents itself as a

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2017 Golden Globe Predictions – Best Director

How do you judge the merits of a director? Is it the attention to visual compositions, or is that something you look for in a director of photography? Is it the quality of the acting performances, or does that rest on the cast’s shoulders? Is it the creation of a beautiful story, or is that the screenwriter’s business?

It’s the overall vision, whatever that means. Predicting Best Director sometimes feels like predicting Best Picture, and that is why the two awards often (but not always) go to the same film. So what do we do with an awards ceremony that honors two films and nominates five directors? Well, let’s see…


Best Director

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2017 Oscar Movie Season Preview

The first weekend of September 2016 has brought us two major disappointments (The Disappointments Room and When the Bough Breaks) and one movie with some early Oscar buzz. Clint Eastwood’s biopic Sully is earning attention, particularly for Tom Hanks’ usual strong performance. With Summer behind us and the mediocre lot of September ahead, I feel the need to look a few months down the line at some movies that promise to be some of the best of the year.

Oscar-nominated movies can come around at any time during the calendar year. We will more than likely see Continue reading 2017 Oscar Movie Season Preview

10 Cloverfield Lane (2016) Movie Review

Michelle (Mary Elizabeth Winstead), in the process of leaving her boyfriend, suddenly becomes party to a car wreck. She awakens in a concrete room chained to the wall. An effectively desperate Winstead struggles just to reach her phone in a tense scene that culminates in the menacing introduction of Michelle’s captor Howard (John Goodman).


This early standoff between Winstead and Goodman is fascinating, although it would have played better with Continue reading 10 Cloverfield Lane (2016) Movie Review