13 items from 2015
Perhaps the most subjective genre in cinema, the same comedy can cause one viewer to have tears of laughter and another to not crack a smile. So, while knowing there can be no definitive list of the finest in the genre, the Writers Guild of America attempted to narrow down the 101 funniest screenplays. Noting the distinction from the best in the genre, these 101 films should simply produce the most laughs.
Topping the list is Woody Allen‘s Best Picture-winning Annie Hall, a choice difficult to argue with. Rounding out the top five were Some Like it Hot, Groundhog Day, Airplane! and Tootsie, while films from the Coens, Stanley Kubrick, Wes Anderson, and Edgar Wright were also mentioned. There are also some genuine head-scratching inclusions, including The Hangover at 30, and, as much as I enjoy the film, Bridesmaids nearly making the top 15, but overall, if one is looking to brighten their mood, »
- Jordan Raup
“Annie Hall” has been named the funniest screenplay in voting by the members of the Writers Guild of America.
The script by Woody Allen and Marshall Brickman topped “Some Like it Hot,” “Groundhog Day,” “Airplane!” and “Tootsie,” which make up the rest of the top five. “Young Frankenstein,” “Dr. Strangelove,” “Blazing Saddles,” “Monty Python and the Holy Grail” and “National Lampoon’s Animal House” rounded out the top 10.
The awards for the 101 funniest screenplays were announced at the Arclight Cinerama Dome in Hollywood at the conclusion of two hours of panel discussions and clips, hosted by Rob Reiner. He noted that his “This Is Spinal Tap” script had finished at the No. 11 spot — a coincidence that recalled the “go to 11” amplifier joke in the film.
- Dave McNary
At the 87th Academy Awards earlier this year, Michael Keaton was many prognosticator’s best actor front-runner for his performance in director Alejandro Iñárritu‘s Birdman. The legendary actor had a career resurgence in the role of Riggan Thomson (much needed after nearly a decade between major film roles) and the film’s subject matter of artistry and stage production/film making, both of which have been recipes for Oscar success for past performers. However, the award that night went to 33-year old British actor Eddie Redmayne for his role as physicist Stephen Hawking in The Theory of Everything.
This year, Keaton again finds himself in a film surrounded by Oscar buzz, Spotlight, which centers on the investigation by Boston Globe journalists into the Catholic Church child molestation scandal. Keaton’s performance has garnered much positive attention and may likely lead to a second nomination for the 64-year old actor. »
- Patrick Shanley
“It isn’t here, you must have dreamed you put it there. Are you suggesting that this is a knife I hold in my hand? Have you gone mad, my husband?”
Gaslight plays at The Hi-Pointe Theater (1005 McCausland Ave., St. Louis, Mo 63117) September 19th at 10:30am as part of their Classic Film Series
Greetings again from the darkness! Husbands were surely disliked in the 1940’s, at least by writers of movies! There is no shortage of films depicting the villainous husband targeting the unsuspecting and defenseless wife. A couple years prior to Gaslight we had Suspcion, and a couple years after, we had Notorious. The latter also features Ingrid Bergman who won her first Oscar for Gaslight, one of the more atmospheric of the psychological thrillers.
- Tom Stockman
Raymond Massey ca. 1940. Raymond Massey movies: From Lincoln to Boris Karloff Though hardly remembered today, the Toronto-born Raymond Massey was a top supporting player – and sometime lead – in both British and American movies from the early '30s all the way to the early '60s. During that period, Massey was featured in nearly 50 films. Turner Classic Movies generally selects the same old MGM / Rko / Warner Bros. stars for its annual “Summer Under the Stars” series. For that reason, it's great to see someone like Raymond Massey – who was with Warners in the '40s – be the focus of a whole day: Sat., Aug. 8, '15. (See TCM's Raymond Massey movie schedule further below.) Admittedly, despite his prestige – his stage credits included the title role in the short-lived 1931 Broadway production of Hamlet – the quality of Massey's performances varied wildly. Sometimes he could be quite effective; most of the time, however, he was an unabashed scenery chewer, »
- Andre Soares
Katharine Hepburn movies. Katharine Hepburn movies: Woman in drag, in love, in danger In case you're suffering from insomnia, you might want to spend your night and early morning watching Turner Classic Movies' "Summer Under the Stars" series. Four-time Best Actress Academy Award winner Katharine Hepburn is TCM's star today, Aug. 7, '15. (See TCM's Katharine Hepburn movie schedule further below.) Whether you find Hepburn's voice as melodious as a singing nightingale or as grating as nails on a chalkboard, you may want to check out the 1933 version of Little Women. Directed by George Cukor, this cozy – and more than a bit schmaltzy – version of Louisa May Alcott's novel was a major box office success, helping to solidify Hepburn's Hollywood stardom the year after her film debut opposite John Barrymore and David Manners in Cukor's A Bill of Divorcement. They don't make 'em like they used to Also, the 1933 Little Women »
- Andre Soares
This year's Tribeca Film Festival is paying a special tribute to Frank Sinatra, with Sinatra at 100: Film & Music, a centennial celebration honoring his film career. As part of the event, there will be an April 21 screening of On The Town (1949) with High Society (1956) and Some Came Running (1958) being shown April 24. Among the three films, the 1958 feature, one of the greatest of all American movies, is of particular interest, especially when it comes to the dual nature of Sinatra the man, the actor, the screen persona, and the very films that frequently drew his talent. As a remake of The Philadelphia Story (1940), High Society depicts the humorous romantic frivolity of upper crust socialites. Some Came Running is something entirely different. This is “low society.” In Some Came Running, those on the margins, those who make up society's lower rungs, those are the more earnest, the more recognizable, and the more interesting. »
- Jeremy Carr
Love – or at least sweat-soaked Bdsm – is in the air this week on the Guardian film show. Guest host Simon Hattenstone indulges in bondage and badinage with critics Peter Bradshaw and Andrew Pulver as they discuss Sam Taylor-Johnson's adaptation of El James's Fifty Shades of Grey; Alfred Molina and John Lithgow as a long-term couple beset by catastrophe in Love is Strange; Kim Longinotto's petting documentary Love is All; and London-set gangster yarn Snow in Paradise
• Turn on the audio version
• Join our film team, live, for an Oscars special on 19 February at the Brixton Ritzy
• Why you should watch The Philadelphia Story this week Continue reading »
- Peter Bradshaw, Andrew Pulver, Simon Hattenstone, Paul Frankl and Ben Kape
However stagily preposterous, George Cukor’s 1940 movie The Philadelphia Story, now rereleased, is also utterly beguiling, funny and romantic; it is based on the same stage play, by Philip Barry, as the 1956 musical High Society. This is the most famous example of the intriguing and now defunct prewar genre of “comedy of remarriage”, the subject of an equally interesting study by film theorist Stanley Cavell called Pursuits Of Happiness. It features three stars from the studio era who are the aristocrats, or deities, of the Hollywood golden age: Cary Grant, Katharine Hepburn and James Stewart. Part of the fascination in watching this movie again is savouring those three extraordinary voices, highly imitable but entirely unique. Hepburn is the statuesque heiress Tracy Lord, »
- Peter Bradshaw
The Philadelphia Story, 1940.
Directed by George Cukor.
Set to remarry, Tracy Lord (Hepburn) has to contend with her ex-husband (Cary Grant) and a reporter on the snoop (James Stewart) as she tries to go through with her upper-class wedding – with their intention to spoil it.
Romance is in the air. The arrow of cupid has struck and, as Robson and Jerome covered, this Saturday night is at the movies. You may believe a Subway and Titanic is a romantic night in. I would argue it’s not*. In fact, an alternative is to head down to the BFI and watch a re-mastered copy of The Philadelphia Story. Not only will this extraordinary comedy give you a superior sense of cinematic taste, but it also features the genius pairing of Cary Grant and Jimmy Stewart – and that’s in addition to the feisty Katharine Hepburn, »
- Simon Columb
Catherine Shoard recommends The Philadelphia Story, George Cukor's 1940 screwball romantic comedy starring Katharine Hepburn, James Stewart and Cary Grant. Tracy Lord (Hepburn) finds herself torn between her ex-husband and a newspaper reporter on the eve of her wedding to a businessman
• The Philadelphia Story is rereleased in the UK this Friday, just in time for Valentine's Day
- Catherine Shoard and Paul Frankl
★★★★★ Time has been favourable to The Philadelphia Story (1940). Even as a septuagenarian, it still sizzles and simmers in fine form. Dubbed a "comedy of remarriage", it is now being played in all its rom-com glory at the British Film Institute as part of a season focusing on the films of Katharine Hepburn. This film in particular has become a pillar of the romantic comedy genre, the film by which most others of it kind are measured - and it reignited Hepburn's career after a string of financial flops. Having acquired the rights to the story, she was able to guide the production per her wishes and, in doing so, position herself for a winning comeback at the box office.
- CineVue UK
It’s December. And you know what that means? It means for every popcorn blockbuster, we get about three Oscar bait movies that are made solely to appease that body of somewhat stodgy Academy voters. Don’t get me wrong – a good portion of the Best Picture winners in history are still some of the greatest films ever made – “The Godfather” (Parts I and II), “Schindler’s List,” etc. But what about those historically good movies that got the nomination, but didn’t take home the prize? What about those popular movies that carried fan support, but lost out to a smaller, most of the time better, film? Well, here they are. This list focuses on those films that may or may not have been produced as Oscar bait, but earned the recognition of “Best Picture nominee,” only to walk away without the big prize. As usual, not in order of worst to best. »
- Joshua Gaul
13 items from 2015
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