Movies & TV

A Comparative Look at the 2015 Movie Awards Season

academy awardLast Thursday, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced the nominations for the 87th Academy Awards. Honoring achievements in film, the Oscars are highly anticipated by Hollywood and movie goers alike. This announcement was the last for the movie awards season, coming after nomination announcements for the British Academy Film Awards (BAFTA Awards), the Critics Choice Awards, and the various guild awards (Screen Actors Guild, Producers Guild, and Directors Guild).

Every year, I find it interesting to compare the lists of nominees in the major categories at these awards shows. Sometimes the nominations are strikingly similar (as with this year’s nominees for lead actress and supporting actor), and sometimes they are completely different (as with this year’s nominees for best film and best director). Below, I have listed all the nominees for film, director and the four major acting awards, along with the awards for which they were nominated. 

Never Too Late

In only a month, it will be Valentine’s Day, a time when our thoughts turn to love.  While most movies and TV series concentrate on young people finding that special someone, there have been the occasional looks at folks a little bit older.  Sometimes the characters are widowed or divorced.  Sometimes they are past lovers who are reunited.  And sometimes they are lonely people who have finally fou

2014: A Movie Retrospective

box office signThe New Year is a time not only for looking ahead and setting goals for the upcoming year, but for reflecting on the year left behind. Since January at the movie theater generally tends to be much quieter, I usually spend part of it evaluating my movie experiences from the year before.

Last year at the movies was fairly typical. It was full of the movies we have all come to expect: superhero movies, movies based on popular books, animated offerings, comedies, action thrillers, and Oscar favorites. Big budget action movies ruled the box office, but there were plenty of quieter, more contemplative films for those who weren’t attracted to the spectacle.

Below I have listed the top ten movies at the domestic box office in 2014, as well as my own list of favorite movies. There is some crossover, because I admit to loving the blockbusters as well as the independent films. Did your favorite movie of 2014 make either list? If these kinds of movies just aren’t your cup of tea, stay tuned for our awards season coverage, starting in the next couple of weeks!

In Memoriam 2014

During this past year, we lost so many talented people in entertainment.  Several I’ve already covered.  But there were others worthy of mention.

While I have an extensive list below, there are certain people I’d like to draw special attention to.
 

Serial: With Season One Over, What’s Next?

for serial listenersI, along with many other Serial podcast listeners, downloaded the final episode of Season One this morning with excitement…and a feeling of loss.  This story has captivated me and I’m still not sure I’m ready to let go, even after listening to the final episode (Okay, I listened to it twice.

Christmastime in the City – and the Small Town

When it comes to the Christmas holidays, everyone has their likes and dislikes for how to spend the time.  We all have our own traditions and expectations.  And those preferences extend to where we like to be for the celebrations.
 

A Made-for-TV Christmas

christmas sceneI love Christmas! As the song says, “it’s the most wonderful time of the year” and I’m not one to argue. With brightly colored lights and decorations everywhere, familiar Christmas carols playing on the radio, and sugary treats baking in the oven, Christmas is a feast for the senses.

As a child, I grew up in a household that embraced everything about Christmas. We had many wonderful holiday traditions, but my favorites all involved watching Christmas movies together. Each year, we would watch all of the classic Christmas movies like White Christmas and Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. I still love those movies and watch them every year, but recently, I have added a few new movies to my seasonal viewing: made-for-TV Christmas movies.

Creative Minds: P.D. James (1920-2014) and Mike Nichols (1931-2014)

The last few weeks have seen the passing of great talents behind the scenes of movies and television. 

A Holiday for Feasting

thanksgiving feastLast night, I finally had a chance to watch Chef, a movie I had missed in theaters this past summer despite my best intentions otherwise. In this movie, Jon Favreau plays a chef who, after receiving a scathing review from a powerful food blogger, opens a food truck and drives it across the country, stopping in food-famous cities along the way. A thoughtful, well-acted film about reigniting creative passions and rekindling family relationships, Chef also offers countless scenes filled with mouth-watering regional foods.

With Thanksgiving in less than a week, movies about food feel particularly appropriate. Although the holiday is ostensibly about spending time with loved ones and giving thanks for what we have, no Thanksgiving celebration is complete without a proper feast. Whether the feast includes traditional Thanksgiving dishes or more exotic fare, the food is what brings families and friends together in celebration.

Sight Unseen...

The Big Bang Theory lost cast member Carol Ann Susi this week.  She’s not one of the seven actors we usually see onscreen, but her absence will be greatly felt.  Susi played Debbie Wolowitz, the mother of character Howard Wolowitz.  We never saw her face, but

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