Oscars Sunday 2017: The Best Pictures

Friends, we have made it to Oscar Sunday – the Super Bowl of the Berglund household and the event we love and love to hate and hate to love. We will be rooting for our favorites and will inevitably be crushed by the choices of the Academy, but it will be a fun ride no matter what. Get ready for Jimmy Kimmel’s dry humor, overpriced dresses, awkward interviews, anti-Trump acceptance speeches (yaaaas!), and La La Land … Continue reading

Oscars Eve 2017: The Best of Directors

I have heard people ask why picks for best direction do not always directly align with the best films. After all, if directors are in charge of overseeing and fostering the final product, why wouldn’t a director be assessed solely on the basis of that final product? It is a good question with a complicated answer. The reality is that film is not like other artistic mediums – like theater, it is a collaborative art form that succeeds … Continue reading

The Tenth Day of Oscar 2017: The Best of Leading Actresses

For the second year in a row, the leading ladies have a far deeper roster of stellar performances than the men. We were remiss to leave out a handful of memorable performances – namely Kate Beckinsale (Love & Friendship), Anya Taylor-Joy (The Witch), Hailee Steinfeld (The Edge of Seventeen), and Sally Field (Hello, My Name is Doris). So who did we include? Find out by scrolling through the videos clips below from our Oscar picks and favorite leading … Continue reading

The Ninth Day of Oscar 2017: The Best of Leading Actors

Iconic leading men have transformed from the suave gentlemen of the Hollywood studio era to an eclectic mix of personalities able to capture a diverse range of emotion and complexity. This year’s nominees contain only one traditional heartthrob (hello, Mr. Gosling) while being filled with flawed figures. We like this trend, but did we agree with the Academy’s choices? Find out by scrolling through the videos clips below from our Oscar picks and favorite leading male performances … Continue reading

The Eighth Day of Oscar 2017: The Best of Supporting Actresses

Something that may or may not mean anything – every supporting actress nominee this year plays the role of a mother, while none of the nominated supporting actors played a father. Interestingly, looking back at previous years, there is no trend to this. Hey, give us a break, we have to write something here as an intro. Scroll through the videos below for clips from our Oscar picks and favorite supporting female performances from the … Continue reading

The Seventh Day of Oscar 2017: The Best of Supporting Actors

While not always true, supporting roles are many times the most interesting in a film, as actors tend to be given more flexibility and choice in such parts. Sometimes this is because there isn’t a lot of meat on the bones script-wise and other times it is because a role is broadly written and needs to be punched up, as is the case with many villain types. Still other times, roles are essentially leading roles with a lot … Continue reading

The Sixth Day of Oscar 2017: The Best of Original Screenplays

To get an original script produced is a feat in itself, requiring not only talent and hard work, but the ability to market a work to gain funding and studio buy-in. For this reason, nothing impresses me more than those who succeed as screenwriters creating original works as it requires true determination and artistic confidence. With that in mind, it is no surprise stories written for the screen tend to be the most cinematically interesting, as … Continue reading

The Fifth Day of Oscar 2017: The Best of Adapted Screenplays

What makes a great screen adaptation? Is it the feat of taking difficult source material and capturing its spirit for the screen or the creativity to add to and change the source material to make it something new? Something in between? Okay, that’s a trick question. The answer will vary depending on the viewer, especially if they are familiar with the original text, but regardless of how a film relates to its source material, a … Continue reading

The Fourth Day of Oscar 2017: The Best of Cinematography

In addition to overseeing all camera and lighting operations, the job of a cinematographer is to choose the appropriate cameras, lenses, stocks, frame rates, and post-production effects to achieve a director’s vision. Depending on the demands of a director, some cinematographers will have more say than others in the look of a film, but every skilled cinematography must know the technical skills involved in achieving a certain look. The greats will go a step further … Continue reading

The Third Day of Oscar 2017: The Best of Editing

Technically speaking, film editing involves how the shots of a film are arranged and joined together, but such a simple definition would be a disservice to the artists working within this craft. While it is relatively easy to understand film language enough to make a coherent film, great film editing involves a deep knowledge of how viewers interact with the screen. By working closely with a director, editors can support a film’s themes and moods … Continue reading