10 items from 2016
I’ve never been a young parent who suddenly fell in love with my same-gendered best friend, but boy if Lovesong didn’t nail what it felt like to be in my early twenties. This is a film all about the difficulty to say what you truly want to say, and the distance that crops up between people as a result of that prideful fear. It’s a fear of both rejection and acceptance, what Joni Mitchell was talking about when she warned against expressing honest feeling in “Both Sides Now.” A “no” could end everything between you and this one other person. A “yes” could end everything between you and everyone else.
Sarah (Riley Keough) and Mindy (Jena Malone) are around 23 when we meet them. Sarah already has a young daughter, but her husband, Dean (Cary Joji Fukunaga) is away for months on end for business. She’s lonely »
- Scott Nye
Tender and haunting, So Yong Kim’s Lovesong is a carefully observed, nuanced character study beautifully written, directed and edited. Much of the action, like in her pervious features In Between Days, Treeless Mountain and For Ellen occurs at the edge of the frame. Exploring the bounds of motherhood, childhood and maturity, Lovesong is an impressive and observant feature in which Kim allows the relationships the breathing room they require for authenticity.
Riley Keough stars as Sarah, a young mother who married too young. The director’s own daughters Jessie Ok Gray and Sky Ok Gray, play daughter Jessie at ages 3 and 6, respectively. Lonely and transplanted to the suburbs from the city by her absent husband Dean (played by filmmaker Cary Joji Fukunaga in a Skype cameo), she finds herself on the edge of depression. An old college friend Mindy (Jena Malone) re-enters her life and the three go on »
- John Fink
Sundance alum So Yong Kim returns to Park City with a quiet, evocative look at the intimacies and intricacies of female friendship. Sarah (Riley Keough) and Mindy (Jena Malone) make the sort of mismatched pair young women sort themselves into in their early 20s, as if to balance each other out, each seeing the other as a compliment to their own lack. By the time they meet up at the beginning of "Lovesong," they're living wildly different adult lives, but the pull between them is stronger than ever. Read More: The 30 Most Anticipated Films Of The Sundance Film Festival Sarah is a young married mother whose husband (Cary Joji Fukunaga) can barely be bothered to Skype during his constant traveling; she's left to her own devices in their big house in the suburbs, with her spirited three-year-old daughter Jessie (So Yong Kim's daughter, Jessie Gray) as her only companion. »
- Jenni Miller
Conceived in the same delicate minor key as her earlier films (“In Between Days,” “Treeless Mountain” and “For Ellen”), So Yong Kim’s fourth feature dances nervously but gracefully around a love that not only dares not speak its name, but can barely even figure itself out. Anchored by Riley Keough’s lovely, wistful performance as a mom in her 20s who gets back in touch with an old childhood bestie (a sharp Jena Malone), “Lovesong” makes a virtue of restraint as it traces a complex emotional history in two parts, and innumerable (and sometimes quite literal) shades of gray. The result may not significantly broaden the audience for Kim’s subdued, perceptive work but nevertheless stands as her most accessible feature to date, and deserves a listen from discerning arthouse distributors.
Recently seen in a very different role as Capable, the aptly named, ginger-haired female escapee in “Mad Max: Fury Road, »
- Justin Chang
After months of festival screenings, schmoozing luncheons, and lesser award shows, this year's Oscar season finally got real and cut the dead weight this morning when the Academy Awards announced the final roster of nominees. As is always the case, there were a number of pleasant surprises (congrats on that Best Visual Effects nod, Ex Machina!).
And, naturally, there were a much larger number of devastating omissions, as dreams were dashed and the toilets into which studios sunk their campaign dollars were finally flushed. Some of the snubs were probably deserved, »
The nominees for the 2016 Academy Awards are out, and one of the bigger snubs is Beasts of No Nation. The Cary Joji Fukunaga film, which features Idris Elba as an African warlord, did not receive a single nomination at the Oscars, despite the fact that Elba was previously nominated for his role at this year’s Gloden Globes.
Beasts of No Nation was acclaimed by critics and audiences alike, and it has been thought of as an Oscar contender since its release. Why, then, did Elba miss out? There are a lot of potential explanations, some of them racially-charged, but on a non-political level, Beasts of No Nation may have been snubbed because of its unconventional release. The prestige drama was distributed by Netflix, and as a result, it didn’t see a wide theatrical release. It is certainly feasible that Beasts of No Nation’s limited run hurt its »
- Sam Gutelle
After some shocking oversights with last weekend's Golden Globes contenders and some surprising nods from the Screen Actors Guild, the big day has arrived: the Academy Award nominations are in! As usual, some of the year's frontrunners and favorites of critics and moviegoers alike didn't wake up to congratulatory messages. Most notably, no actors of color were tapped in the individual acting categories - the second year in a row. From Johnny Depp to Straight Outta Compton, here's who and what was left out in the cold for the Oscars, which airs on Feb. 28. Jacob Tremblay for Best Supporting ActorThe »
- Lindsay Kimble
The American Society of Cinematographers announced Wednesday nominees for the org’s Spotlight Award. They are Adam Arkapaw for “Macbeth,” Mátyás Erdély for “Son of Saul” and Cary Joji Fukunaga for “Beasts of No Nation.”
The Spotlight Award was inaugurated in 2014 to recognize outstanding cinematography in features and documentaries that are screened at festivals, internationally or in limited theatrical release. Essentially it was a measure to expand the reach of the annual Asc nominations to unsung contenders, not unlike the Directors Guild of America’s decision this year to inaugurate a first-time director category.
For the Spotlight Award, Asc members submit entries for consideration that are then brought before a Blue Ribbon panel to determine nominees. All active members may vote to select the winner.
“Each nominated film evokes intense emotions through its cinematography,” said Asc Awards chairman Daryn Okada. “Their commitment to the visual narrative of their stories and »
- Kristopher Tapley
The American Society of Cinematographers has nominated the cinematographers of “Son of Saul,” “Beasts of No Nation” and “Macbeth” for the Asc’s 2016 Spotlight Award, which goes to films that screened at film festivals or in limited release. Mátyás Erdély received the Spotlight Award nomination for “Son of Saul,” Adam Akapaw for “Macbeth” and Cary Joji Fukunaga for “Beasts of No Nation,” which Fukunaga also directed. Asc members submit films for consideration for the Spotlight Award, and a blue-ribbon panel chooses the nominees. Also Read: Powerhouse American Society of Cinematographers Nominations Include 'Carol,' 'The Revenant' and 'Sicario' The Spotlight Award was first handed. »
- Steve Pond
In this exclusive new featurette, "Beasts of No Nation" director Cary Joji Fukunaga, Golden Globe-nominated star Idris Elba, and the film's producers explain how they transformed Uzodinma Iweala's novel about a child soldier in West Africa into an honest, realistic cinematic portrait. The film, which Netflix picked up for $12 million, also received nominations for Best Ensemble and Best Supporting Actor Elba from SAG, and five Indie Spirit nominations: Best Feature, Best Director, Best Supporting Male, Best Male Lead (child actor Abraham Attah) and Best Cinematography (Fukunaga). Watch: "How Cary Fukunaga Traveled to the Heart of Darkness with 'Beasts of No Nation' (Exclusive Video)" As Fukunaga notes, he pushed himself to traverse new terrain in "Beasts of No Nation": "I wanted to try things I hadn't tried before, in terms of shutter angles and handheld work, to give me the aesthetic that I wanted," he says. He also pushed his producers. »
- Matt Brennan
10 items from 2016
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