Monday, July 25, 2011

Just Six Best Director Nominees from the 1960s Left

With the passing of Michael Cacoyannis at age 89, just six Best Director Oscar nominees from the 1960s are still alive. Cacoyannis was nonimated for 1964s Zorba the Greek.  Only one pre-60s Best Director nominee is still alive: Michael Anderson (Around the World in 80 Days, 1956).  Only one winner is alive from the 1960s- Mike Nichols, who won for The Graduate.

Below is the full list of living '60s nominees and the films they received nominations for in this decade:

Claude Lelouch (b. 1937): A Man and a Woman (1966)
Mike Nichols (b. 1931): Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (1966), *The Graduate (1967)
Norman Jewison (b. 1926): In the Heat of the Night (1967)
Franco Zeffirelli (b. 1923): Romeo and Juliet (1968)
Anthony Harvey (b. 1931): A Lion in Winter (1968)
Costa-Gavras (b. 1933): Z (1969)

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Best of the Year So Far: Midyear 2011

Several years back I realized that I had trouble diferentiating between the movies I liked and the movies I loved from the early part of the year.  Roger Ebert has always suggested that this was true of the Academy and why the Oscars have such "short attention span."  He recommended a midyear ballot to go along with the end-of-the-year ballot combining both to create the nominations list.

For me, I decided a mid-year top 5 usually works.  I wait until July 15, since the first few weeks of January are generally a wash for new releases, and so 7/15 is a little closer to the mid-point.  This year, although I had many "nominees" for the top 5, I found it tough to pick a top 5 (sorry, although it would have been "eligible" I haven't yet seen Harry Potter).

I have thirteen "nominees" for my top 5 this year— just two at the top, i.e. "must see" (Dogtooth and Midnight in Paris).  This years nominees (films I'd seen by 7/15 that made my "must see" and "recommended" categories) include: The Adjustment Bureau, Bridesmaids, Cedar RapidsDogtoothThe Hangover Part II, Just Go With It, Limitless, The Lincoln LawyerMidnight in ParisPaul, Thor, Water for Elephants, and X-Man: First Class.

My top 5 2011 so far (listed alphabetically):
Cedar Rapids
Midnight in Paris
X-Men: First Class