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12 Years A Slave: Of Human Bondage

by Ethan Alter October 18, 2013 12:41 pm
12 Years A Slave: Of Human Bondage

12 Years a Slave may be the first time that writer/director Steve McQueen has dramatized the slave trade as it was practiced in pre-Civil War America, but it's far from his first movie about the concept of slavery. Both of his previous films revolve around characters that are bound to metaphorical -- if not necessarily literal -- masters and suffered pain and torment in the course of their enslavement. McQueen's debut feature, Hunger, is a portrait of imprisoned Irish Republican Army volunteer Bobby Sands (played by the filmmaker's regular muse, Michael Fassbender) who starves his body in service of the higher ideals preached by his cause. The director followed that up with Shame, in which Fassbender plays a well-heeled New York businessman whose daily routine is dictated by his various addictions. Both films also depict their characters' predicaments with a bracing lack of sentimentality and overt moralizing, qualities that are similarly instrumental to the success of 12 Years, which may not be McQueen's best movie overall (I'm still a big booster of the undervalued Shame), but nevertheless remains an exceptional piece of art that brings this period in American history to life in a horrifyingly -- but necessarily so -- vivid way.

Oscars 2013: The Oscar-Nominated Animated Shorts

We judge this year's crop of the animated shorts that are up for Oscar.

Oscars 2013: The Oscar Nominated Live-Action Shorts

by Ethan Alter January 31, 2013 6:00 am
Oscars 2013: The Oscar Nominated Live-Action Shorts

We break down the nominees for live action short.

Oscars 2013: Our Gut Reaction to the Nominations

by Ethan Alter January 10, 2013 10:26 am
Oscars 2013: Our Gut Reaction to the Nominations

We reflect on the just-announced 2013 Oscar nominations. Sorry DC Nation... Marvel Studios has kicked your butt one more time.

New York Film Critics Online 2011 Awards Results

by Ethan Alter December 12, 2011 12:27 pm
New York Film Critics Online 2011 Awards Results

Television Without Pity is a voting member of the New York Film Critics Online, an organization of New York-based online critics, which convened yesterday to hand out their annual awards honoring the best in film for 2011. The silent-film homage The Artist proved to be the big winner, going home with three awards, including Best Picture and Best Director. (We weren't alone in giving that film top honors -- The Artist has also been named Best Picture by the New York Film Critics Circle, Boston Society of Film Critics and the Washington D.C. Area Film Critics. It's also currently the closest to what resembles a frontrunner for the Best Picture Oscar.) NYFCO departed from the mainstream consensus with two less expected picks -- Michael Shannon was named Best Actor for his searing work in Take Shelter, while Joe Cornish picked up Debut Director honors for his terrific alien invasion movie, Attack the Block. For a full list of winners, along with links to our original coverage of those films, click below.

I Want My DVD: Tuesday, March 9, 2010

by Zach Oat March 9, 2010 6:00 am
I Want My DVD: Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Now that we've celebrated the Oscar nominees this past Sunday, it's time to go buy them! Two Best Picture candidates finally come out today, and they make the rest of the week's releases look like a sea of mediocrity in comparison.

Oscar Coverage Round-Up!

by Zach Oat February 23, 2009 9:40 am
Oscar Coverage Round-Up!

Last night, the TWoP staff were busy little beavers, building damns (and other mild cuss words) to create the snarkiest coverage of the Oscars to be found on the Internet. Not only did we Liveblog the entire event, commenting on each and every moment of the show worth noting, we also have a guide to the Best and Worst Moments! Fashion your thing? Or maybe just making fun of what people are wearing? Then check out our gallery of the Best and Worst Fashions of the night! It's breathtakingly judgmental and resplendent! And, of course, to simply see who won everything without the snark, click here.

Academy Award Winners

by Angel Cohn February 22, 2009 8:46 pm
Academy Award Winners

Have something better to do with the next 12 hours of your life and can't be bothered watching the Oscars? Can't say as we blame you. Keep checking here as we'll update the winners as they happen.

Winners:
Best Picture - Slumdog Millionaire
Best Actor - Sean Penn in Milk
Best Actress - Kate Winslet in The Reader
Director -- Danny Boyle for Slumdog Millionaire
Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role - Heath Ledger in Dark Knight
Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role -- Penélope Cruz in Vicky Cristina Barcelona
Best Foreign Film -- Departures (Japan)
Original Song -- "Jai Ho" -- Slumdog Millionaire
Original Score -- Slumdog Millionaire
Filming Editing -- Slumdog Millionaire
Sound Mixing -- Slumdog Millionaire
Sound Editing - Dark Knight
Outstanding Visual Effects -- The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Best Documentary Feature -- Man on Wire
Best Documentary Short Subject -- Smile Pinki
Best Short Film (Live Action) -- Spielzeugland (Toyland)
Achievement in Cinematography -- Slumdog Millionaire, Anthony Dod Mantle
Achievement in Makeup -- The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Achievement in Costume Design -- The Duchess
Art Direction -- The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Best Animated Short Film -- La Maison de Petits Cubes
Best Animated Feature Film of the Year -- WALL-E
Original Screenplay -- Milk, Written by Dustin Lance Black
Adapted Screenplay -- Slumdog Millionaire, Screenplay by Simon Beaufoy
Ten Ways Mickey Rourke's Life Will Change If He Wins the Oscar

After nearly two decades spent in B-movies, thankless roles and boxing rings, Mickey Rourke is once again being praised for his acting, and he stands on the brink of winning the most prestigious acting award in the land -- the Academy Award for Best Actor. If he wins, it's a total game-changer, and his life and career have the potential to improve dramatically. We've thought about it, and come up with a list of ways that Rourke's life will change once he's holding that little gold statue in his hands.

Benjamin Button: The Reality Show? Hells Yes!

by Lauren Gitlin February 4, 2009 4:06 pm
Benjamin Button: The Reality Show? Hells Yes! Earlier today I read that the producers of award darling Slumdog Millionaire have decided to be extra classy, milking the success of the critically lauded film to create a reality show loosely based on the Oscar-nominated movie. Described as a tweaked take on the popular series Secret Millionaire, the brilliantly titled show Secret Slumdog Millionaire will send a bunch of wealthy people into the slums of Mumbai in an effort to help poor people (and assuage rich white guilt or something). Sounds like a brilliant plan! Why not piggyback one crap, potentially exploitative idea on to a relatively good one for maximum stupidity? I've decided to do the same thing, taking ten other films up for Oscars this year and coming up with reality show pitches based on their premises. I better get an executive producing credit for these gems.

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