Manuel Betancourt

'Film' Posts

American Hustle, or How “You’re nothing to me until you’re everything.”

American Hustle

Directed by: David O. Russell Written by: Eric Warren Singer & David O. Russell Starring: Christian Bale, Amy Adams, Jennifer Lawrence, Bradley Cooper, Jeremy Renner, Michael Peña, Elisabeth Röhm & Louis C.K

Oscar Nominations: 10 Best Picture, Directing (David O. Russell), Actor in a Leading Role (Christian Bale,) Actor in a Supporting Role (Bradley Cooper), Actress in a ...

Paperman (2012), or How Disney’s award-winning short is gorgeous

As promised to my students of 209:02, here is my entry in our Hit Me With Your Best Shot inspired class activity on Disney’s Paperman (2012):

My favorite shot from this gorgeous short.

This shot sums up everything I love about this short; the wait it plays with light and depths, the pop of red lipstick, ...

Nebraska, or How “what a whore!”


Directed by: Alexander Payne Written by: Bob Nelson Starring: Bruce Dern, June Squibb & Will Forte.

Oscar Nominations: 6 Best Picture, Directing (Alexander Payne), Actor in a Leading Role (Bruce Dern), Actress in a Supporting Role (June Squibb), Writing – Original Screenplay (Bob Nelson), Cinematography

“Pretty” black and white cinematography. A “gosh, old white people are hoot, aren’t ...

Top 5 Films, by request or How actresses are my thing

I’m currently teaching an Introduction to Multimedia Composition course on Cinema Appreciation in the Digital Age and for one of our class exercises on tweeting (and the forced minimalism of Twitter-length reviews) was to write-up our Top 5 favorite films. When asked for my own, and how I would present it beyond merely writing them ...

Philomena, or How “I didn’t see that coming. Not in a million years!”


Directed by: Stephen Frears Written by: Steve Coogan & Jeff Pope Starring: Judi Dench, Steve Coogan, Mare Winningham & Sean Mahon.

Oscar Nominations: 4 Best Picture, Actress in a Leading Role (Judi Dench), Writing – Adapted Screenplay (Steve Coogan & Jeff Pope)

“I didn’t see that coming. Not in a million years!”

It’s ...

Her, or How love is “kind of like a form of socially acceptable insanity”


Written & Directed by: Spike Jonze Starring: Joaquin Phoenix, Scarlett Johansson, Amy Adams, Rooney Mara & Chris Pratt.

5 Oscar Nominations Best Picture, Writing – Original Screenplay (Spike Jonze), Music (Original Score), Music (Original Song), Production Design

“I think anybody who falls in love is a freak. It’s a crazy thing to do. It’s kind of ...

Gravity, or How “sit back, enjoy the ride, you gotta plant both your feet on the ground and start living life”


Directed by: Alfonso Cuarón Written by: Alfonso and Jonás Cuarón Starring: Sandra Bullock & George Clooney

Oscar Nominations: 10 Best Picture, Best Director (Alfonso Cuarón), Best Actress (Sandra Bullock), Best Production Design, Best Editing, Best Cinematography, Best Visual Effects, Best Sound Editing, Best Sound Editing & Best Original Score.

“Sit back, ...

Dallas Buyers Club, or How “You know what? You don’t deserve my money, you homophobic asshole”

Dallas Buyers Club

Directed by: Jean-Marc Vallé Written by: Craig Borten & Melisa Wallack Starring: Matthew McConaughey, Jared Leto, Jennifer Garner & ??

Dallas Buyers Club 6 Oscar Nominations Best Picture, Actor in a Leading Role (Matthew McConaughey), Actor in a Supporting Role (Jared Leto),Writing -Original Screenplay (Craig Borten & Melisa Wallack), Film Editing, Makeup and Hairstyling

“You know what? ...

Julia Roberts, or How I wonder which Julia you are… [Updated]

Originally posted in February 2010 and re-posted now to coincide with my review’s of Julia’s newest film, August: Osage County and the resurgence of those “Which [blank] are you?” quizzes (I can’t seem to escape them lately on Facebook!) This all started from me feeling too much like Julianne Potter lately, and then my friend saying he was ...

August: Osage County, or How “Eat the fish, bitch!”

August: Osage County

Directed by: John Wells Written by: Tracy Letts Starring: Meryl Streep, Julia Roberts, Margo Martindale, Julianne Nicholson, Juliette Lewis, Chris Cooper, Benedict Cumberbatch, Ewan McGregor, Abigail Breslin.

Oscar Nominations: 2 Best Actress (Meryl Streep) & Best Supporting Actress (Julia Roberts)

Tracy Letts’s screenplay (adapted from his infinitely superior Pulitzer Prize ...

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