The Oscar nominations are out, and in spite of the fact that Hallelujah, Nope, RRR and Decision to Leave, Dolly De Leon, Viola Davis, Paul Dano, and Danielle Deadwyler were inexplicably excluded, at least Brian Tyree Henry and Judd Hirsch were honored. Anyway, it’s time for our Umpteenth Annual Laemmle Oscar Contest! If you, dear moviegoer, can accurately predict how the members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences will vote in all 23 categories, (or close to it), you will win movie passes good at all Laemmle venues! The 95th Academy Awards take place on Sunday, March 12 and we’ll announce the winners soon afterwards. Good luck!
And the Top Ten Customer-Chosen films of 2022, in order from 1 to 10, are [drum roll]:
- Everything Everywhere All at Once
- The Banshees of Inisherin
- The Fabelmans
- Top Gun: Maverick
- Triangle of Sadness
- Decision to Leave
It’s a terrific list, arguably better than the one AMPAS announced this week, which excluded RRR, Nope, Aftersun and Decision to Leave. Films 2-4 and 9, hyperlinked for your convenience, are still in theaters!
Keep those Top Ten contest entries coming. You have until this Sunday, January 22 to give it some thought and enter here. So far, unsurprisingly, it looks like many Laemmle moviegoers are kvelling about Everything Everywhere All at Once, Top Gun: Maverick, and RRR. We’ll have final results next week. You can read Greg Laemmle’s list and leading American film critics’ lists if you need inspiration. Personally, my favorite is Jordan Peele’s spectacular Nope. No doubt my reaction was influenced by the fact that I saw it in a packed, sold-out theater on opening night, because movies are better in theaters!
Have you caught up on the 2022 movies you wanted to see? Regardless, it’s time to submit your Top Ten lists. Tell us which films you liked best here and you’ll be entered into a raffle for free Laemmle gift cards! If you need inspiration, here’s Greg Laemmle on the state of arthouse moviegoing and his favorite features of the last year, with some thoughts about each:
“At some level, the best that can be said is that at least we were open for all twelve months of the year. And after 2020 and 2021, that was a positive. But given that the year both started and ended with Omicron surges, the movie exhibition sector is still not in a post-Covid environment.
Happy New Year! We’re welcoming 2023 with five powerful titles in our long-running Culture Vulture series: The Super 8 Years; Children of the Mist; Filmmakers for the Prosecution screening with Nuremberg: Its Lesson for Today; and Geographies of Solitude.
The Super 8 Years, January 23 & 24: One of France’s most respected contemporary writers, 2022 Nobel Prize laureate Annie Ernaux’s intimate and autobiographical body of work captures the inner lives of women alongside societal and cultural changes in France from the 1960s onwards. A natural extension of her literary work in its form and content, The Super 8 Years shows the pastimes, lifestyle and aspirations of a social class in post-1960s France through the lens of the Ernaux family archive. Read Manohla Dargis’ rave review in the New York Times: “The film’s images have faded, but the memories they’ve stirred up are vivid and full of feeling…short, potent, quietly elegiac.”
Children of the Mist, January 30 & 31: In a village hidden in the mist-shrouded Northwest Vietnamese mountains resides an indigenous Hmong community, home to 12-year-old Di, part of the first generation of her people with access to formal education. A free spirit, Di happily recounts her experiences to Vietnamese filmmaker Diễm Hà Lệ, who planted herself within Di’s family over the course of three years to document this unique coming of age. “Diem’s intimate access and sensitive approach, together with editor Swann Dubus’ keen eye for texture and detail, make for a compelling and eye-opening drama.” ~ Nikki Baughan, Screen Daily
Filmmakers for the Prosecution screening with Nuremberg: Its Lesson for Today, February 6 & 7: Filmmakers: Near the end of WWII, filmmaker John Ford, head of the Field Photographic Branch of the OSS, assigns the Schulberg brothers to carry out a special mission: track down German footage and photographs of Nazi atrocities in order to convict the leaders scheduled to stand trial. Nuremberg: One of the greatest courtroom dramas in history, the film shows how prosecutors built their case against Nazi war criminals using their own films and records. “Haunting and vivid. What this documentary shows is how a vital and indispensable principle of humanity was restored.” [on Nuremberg] – A. O. Scott, New York Times
Geographies of Solitude, February 13 & 14: An immersion into the rich ecosystem of Sable Island, a remote sliver of land in the Northwest Atlantic, the film follows Zoe Lucas, a naturalist and environmentalist who has lived there for over 40 years collecting, cleaning and documenting marine litter that persistently washes up on the island’s shores. Shot on 16mm and created using eco-friendly filmmaking techniques, Geographies of Solitude is a playful and reverent collaboration with the natural world filled with arresting images and made with an activist spirit. “A work of art.” – Marc Glassman, POV Magazine “A beguiling and poetic film.” – Wendy Ide, Screen Daily
Tickets for all the films are now on sale. Couple changes: west side Culture Vulture screenings are now at the Monica Film Center instead of the Royal and the Monday screenings will start at 7 PM instead of 7:30 PM. Also screening at our Glendale and Santa Clarita theaters.
We all like a good Top Ten list. They’re fun to make, entertaining to read, and amusing to argue over. In 2003 I included Love, Actually on my Top Ten list and an erudite film critic friend practically did a spit take he was so shocked I would put such an admittedly middlebrow entertainment among my other choices, which were more esoteric and in line with his tastes. But, hey! Enjoy the art you enjoy and don’t be ashamed of it.
This is a roundabout way of saying we’ll be collecting your Top Ten lists the first week of 2023. We’ll include the entry form in that week’s newsletter and, assuming he catches up on the buzzy films he hasn’t seen yet, Greg Laemmle’s Top Ten list. By submitting your list you’ll be entered into a raffle for free Laemmle gift cards!
For inspiration, here are some Top Ten lists the nation’s leading film critics have submitted and — good news! — many of the titles — No Bears, One Fine Morning, EO, and Return to Seoul — are either now playing or coming soon so you can see them as they were meant to be seen, theatrically. They are hyperlinked below.
- The Fabelmans
- The Batman
- Holy Spider
- Whitney Houston: I Wanna Dance with Somebody
- Turn Every Page: The Adventures of Robert Caro and Robert Gottlieb
- 13: The Musical
- Saint Omer
- Good Luck to You, Leo Grande
- The Batman
- After Yang
- The Whale
- You Won’t Be Alone
If you’re not yet caught up with some of the standout art films of 2022, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association announced its nominations for the 80th Golden Globe awards, they’re a handy to do list. The Banshees of Inisherin (now playing at the NoHo with a return engagement starting Friday at the Monica Film Center and Town Center) received the most nods, with eight, including Best Film (Musical or Comedy), Best Director and Screenplay for Martin McDonagh, and acting nominations for Colin Farrell, Brendan Gleeson, Kerry Condon and Barry Keoghan.
Triangle of Sadness (now playing at the Monicas with a return engagement in Glendale slated for December 23) earned Best Film (Musical or Comedy) and Best Supporting Actress for Dolly De Leon. Todd Field and Cate Blanchett were honored for TÁR with Best Film (Drama), Screenplay and Actress (Drama) nominations. We’re currently playing TÁR in Santa Monica. Now in its eighth week at the Laemmle Glendale, Decision to Leave (South Korea) got a Best non-English language film nomination. Now in its fourth week, we have The Menu (Best Actor and Actress – Musical or Comedy nods for Ralph Fiennes and Anya Taylor-Joy) Claremont, Glendale and Santa Monica. We open Sam Mendes’ Empire of Light this Friday at the NoHo, Newhall, Claremont, Town Center, Glendale and Monica Film Center. Olivia Colman got a Best Actress (Drama) nomination for her role.
Finally, we have films by three of the five nominees for Best Actor (Drama) coming soon: Brendan Fraser in The Whale (starts December 21 at the NoHo and January 20 at the Claremont, Newhall and Town Center; Hugh Jackman in The Son (starts January 20 at the Claremont, Newhall, NoHo, Glendale, Town Center and Royal; and Bill Nighy in Living (December 23 at the Royal and January 13 at the Newhall, Claremont, Glendale, and Town Center.