Manuel Betancourt

'Film' Posts

Oscar Challenge 2015: Into the Woods & Whiplash

Into the Woods Best Actress in a Supporting Role Best Production Design Best Costume Design Whiplash Best Picture Best Actor in a Supporting Role Best Writing (Adapted Screenplay) Best Film Editing Best Sound Mixing

“A demanding older figure makes unconscionable demands in this wall-to-wall musically scored parable about parenting.”

If you were to make this as a straight man, you might end up with Whiplash, an ...

Oscar Challenge 2015: Nightcrawler & Wild

Wild Best Actress in a Leading Role Best Actress in a Supporting Role

Nightcrawler Best Writing (Original Screenplay)

An individual on the brink of a near-meltdown, with no prospects (professional or otherwise) embarks on a lonely journey where they find their true calling amidst an increasingly dangerous and threatening world.

Set in the sun-dappled California wilderness, Jean-Marc ...

Oscar Challenge 2015: Gone Girl & Birdman

 

Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) Best Picture Best Director Best Actor in a Leading Role Best Actor in a Supporting Role Best Actress in a Supporting Role Best Writing (Original Screenplay) Best Cinematography Best Sound Editing Best Sound Mixing Gone Girl Best Actress in a Leading Role

To kick off my Oscar Challenge 2015, I figured I could do worse than pit these two auteur takes on ...

Oscar Challenge 2015

For the third year in a row, I’ll be watching and reviewing all the films nominated in the Top 8 categories (Picture, Director, Editing, Acting & Screenplay races). Fortunately for the industry (though unfortunately for me), the number of films represented across these categories is 17 (compare that to merely 12 last year and 14 the ...

2014: The Best in Film

Back when I started blogging in 2007 (A Blog Next Door dot blogspot dot com, if you’re curious), I felt I should include myself in the end of year awards conversation I so cherished and obsessively followed. That’s how the Dorys (Door-ees, get it?) were born. Sadly soon after, graduate school overpowered my blogging passion ...

Gay Men on Screen: A Place for Us

2014 is shaping up to be a banner year for LGBT representation. I may not call it the New Queer Television, for reasons I outlined just a few weeks ago, but it’s still worth pausing on the number of shows and films that feature LGBT characters and storylines. From the seductive allegory of Stranger by the ...

Chastain, Wiig and Knightley or How this a triple feature of starting anew

I have been trying to catch up on my summer indies and as I finished watching Begin Again earlier today, it struck me that the other two films I’d seen these past two weeks (The Skeleton Twins and The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby: Them) could just as easily been titled Begin Again. Each, focused as it is on a pair of ...

Hit Me With Your Best Shot: Suddenly Last Summer (1959): or How the angel of death claims another young queer boy

This article is a contribution to The Film Experience’s Hit Me With Your Best Shot series.

Nathaniel will be happy to know the last time I wrote about Suddenly Last Summer was in October 2007 for his very own Monty Clift blog-a-thon (remember blog-a-thons? They seem like a relic of an online world gone by!). What’s below is ...

Hit Me With Your Best Shot: Under the Skin, or How Glazer’s alien’s tale is a queer one

This article is a contribution to The Film Experience’s Hit Me With Your Best Shot series.

Scarlett Johansson may be carving out for herself the unlikeliest of film niches: the lead in an unpredictable yet seemingly heterosexual romantic sci-fi film that nevertheless works formally and thematically to mine queer desire. I’ve spoken before about ...

Veronica Mars’ “By the Fans” or How can you guess how much Rob Thomas & co. love their fans?

On March 13, 2013, when Rob Thomas and Kristen Bell launched the Kickstarter that would successfully fund the feature version of Veronica Mars, there was hesitation over whether “marshmallows” around the world — the show’s fans who’d been clamoring for more of Thomas’s show — would actually lay money down to see their favorite sassy PI ...

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