Oscar Bait

  • Suffragette
    I will watch anything with Meryl Streep in it. I will watch anything with Carey Mulligan in it. This movie has both: Streep plays real life British suffragette Emmeline Pankhurst, who is here to inspire the fictional Maud Watts, played by Mulligan, to become a leader in the movement. A movie made by women for women—we need more of 'em. Out October 23 
  • Trumbo
    Bryan Cranston plays Dalton Trumbo, a screenwriter blacklisted by the House Un-American Affairs Committee working with Hollywood studio heads from working during the 1940s. The film depicts Trumbo’s efforts to break the blacklist by working under assumed names; he would be awarded two posthumous Oscars for The Brave One and Roman Holiday after it was revealed he wrote these during this period using different pseudonyms. Get to know this title well, because Hollywood loves to vote for itself at the Oscars. Out November 26
  • The Danish Girl
    Tom Hooper, the Best Director winner for 2010’s The King’s Speech, directs Eddie Redmayne, 2014 Oscar winner for portraying Steven Hawking in The Theory of Everything, as Lili Elbe, one of the first known cases of a transgender woman receiving sexual reassignment surgery. Yes, having a straight dude play a transgender woman is certainly not the best representation of an oppressed community.  But if we want Hollywood to get better at making movies like this, we should be encouraging studios to keep telling these stories while teaching filmmakers how to not fuck it up. Practice makes perfect.  Out November 27  

Blockbusters

  • Spectre 
    Daniel Craig is back for his fourth turn as James Bond, with director Sam Mendes (2013’s Skyfall) also returning. S.P.E.C.T.R.E., an evil crime syndicate rebooted from the earlier films, is the movie’s Big Bad and headed by Franz Oberhauser (Christoph Waltz). I sympathize with the feminist critique of the James Bond franchise – the movies are misogynistic and wax nostalgic for a (more) patriarchal era and culture. If you can turn your brain off for 2 hours (I’m a sucker for these movies, so I can), they’re pretty fun. Out November 6
  • The Hunger Games Mockingjay Part 2
    This will be the biggest movie of the year and everyone knows it, so instead of regurgitating information you already know, I want to ask one thing: am I going to be disappointed by this movie? Maybe. But we all know you'll be there anyway. Out November 21
  • Star Wars – The Force Awakens 
    Just for funsies, I tried re-watching the prequel trilogy last week. Two things to look forward to: Lawrence Kasdan, who co-wrote The Empire Strikes Back, is a cowriter here as well; the cast, featuring John Boyega, Lupita Nyong’o, Oscar Isaac, Christina Chong, Maisie Richardson-Sellers, and Iko Uwais, includes an impressive amount of non-white people. Out December 18

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It’s the start of a new fall semester, which, thankfully, also means we finally get to go watch some actually good movies. Now is the time that festival films are hitting wide distribution. Fall means that #winteriscoming and so you should drown your sorrows in a hot chocolate at The Rave after class. So here we go: three movies that might get Oscar noms, three popcorn-munching giant blockbusters and three very big movies that’ll ride box office success to awards season glory.  

Oscar Bait

  • Suffragette
    I will watch anything with Meryl Streep in it. I will watch anything with Carey Mulligan in it. This movie has both: Streep plays real life British suffragette Emmeline Pankhurst, who is here to inspire the fictional Maud Watts, played by Mulligan, to become a leader in the movement. A movie made by women for women—we need more of 'em. Out October 23 
  • Trumbo
    Bryan Cranston plays Dalton Trumbo, a screenwriter blacklisted by the House Un-American Affairs Committee working with Hollywood studio heads from working during the 1940s. The film depicts Trumbo’s efforts to break the blacklist by working under assumed names; he would be awarded two posthumous Oscars for The Brave One and Roman Holiday after it was revealed he wrote these during this period using different pseudonyms. Get to know this title well, because Hollywood loves to vote for itself at the Oscars. Out November 26
  • The Danish Girl
    Tom Hooper, the Best Director winner for 2010’s The King’s Speech, directs Eddie Redmayne, 2014 Oscar winner for portraying Steven Hawking in The Theory of Everything, as Lili Elbe, one of the first known cases of a transgender woman receiving sexual reassignment surgery. Yes, having a straight dude play a transgender woman is certainly not the best representation of an oppressed community.  But if we want Hollywood to get better at making movies like this, we should be encouraging studios to keep telling these stories while teaching filmmakers how to not fuck it up. Practice makes perfect.  Out November 27  

Blockbusters

  • Spectre 
    Daniel Craig is back for his fourth turn as James Bond, with director Sam Mendes (2013’s Skyfall) also returning. S.P.E.C.T.R.E., an evil crime syndicate rebooted from the earlier films, is the movie’s Big Bad and headed by Franz Oberhauser (Christoph Waltz). I sympathize with the feminist critique of the James Bond franchise – the movies are misogynistic and wax nostalgic for a (more) patriarchal era and culture. If you can turn your brain off for 2 hours (I’m a sucker for these movies, so I can), they’re pretty fun. Out November 6
  • The Hunger Games Mockingjay Part 2
    This will be the biggest movie of the year and everyone knows it, so instead of regurgitating information you already know, I want to ask one thing: am I going to be disappointed by this movie? Maybe. But we all know you'll be there anyway. Out November 21
  • Star Wars – The Force Awakens 
    Just for funsies, I tried re-watching the prequel trilogy last week. Two things to look forward to: Lawrence Kasdan, who co-wrote The Empire Strikes Back, is a cowriter here as well; the cast, featuring John Boyega, Lupita Nyong’o, Oscar Isaac, Christina Chong, Maisie Richardson-Sellers, and Iko Uwais, includes an impressive amount of non-white people. Out December 18


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