Oscar Predictions

My predictions are in the Herald. Click here for the guesses.

Hard to go against the predicting consensus for Slumdog Millionaire, which means it’s yet another year of Oscar embarrassment. But this is nothing new.

One other link: the restored version of Lola Montes (playing, gloriously, in Seattle this week at SIFF Cinema) leads to some thoughts on that film and the golden age of foreign films in the U.S. I talk to KUOW’s Jeannie Yandel here.

A Slumdog Twilight Tale (Weekly Links)

Movies I reviewed this week for the Herald. Kind of a strange moment when I find myself favoring a teenybopper vampire movie over an anointed Danny Boyle darling, and a Jean-Claude Van Damme picture is really interesting.

xmastale1Twilight.

Slumdog Millionaire.

Bolt.

JCVD.

A Christmas Tale.

Days and Clouds.

Obscene.

Fuel.

And I talk to KUOW-FM’s Jeannie Yandel about Twilight and Slumdog; the movie part begins at 31:00: here.

Movie Diary 11/1/2008

Catching up on movies watched the last few days.

The Romance of Astrea and Celadon (Eric Rohmer, 2007). One of those old man’s movies where everything seems without art and completely essential. (full review 11/7)

Slumdog Millionaire (Danny Boyle, 2008). Whatever you think of this movie (adapted from a novel), surely it is among the zaniest plots ever put on film: the horrors of life refracted through an episode of “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire.” (full review 11/21)

The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (Robert Wiene, 1919). With live violin/piano work by Gunter Buchwald, a fitting sort of split-personality musical experience. And the film is still a rich commentary on lots of things, including the relationship of filmmaker and audience.

JCVD (Mabrouk El Mechri, 2008). I liked it, but when Seagal sees this he’s coming after Jean-Claude Van Damme. (full review 11/21)

The Invisible Man Returns (Joe May, 1940). Part of a Halloween triple-bill — and a perfectly decent B-movie, with Vincent Price unseen for most of the picture.

The Raven (Lew Landers, 1935). A Lugosi-Karloff vehicle that doesn’t need considerable childhood affection (although I have that for it) to qualify as a spiffy little horror show. Among other things, it’s awfully well-shot for a second-tier studio and a third-tier director, and leading lady Irene Ware is an appealing star-who-never-was.

Curse of the Werewolf (Terence Fisher, 1961). Somewhat slow and nonsensical, but it has a weirdly high number of memorable things in it, and Oliver Reed is a true rough beast.