nhyckebd5bvyrj9swz5nb2kftixxonqflk0lz0hffc6cdslqxgbfhv3jbmfolywd

What You Missed in January/February ’15

The highlight of my 2015 was giving a speech at the Smithsonian on the Oscars, but I did a little writing, too. In January and February, I reviewed some terrific independent films and shared my thoughts on the real star of Birdman, negative campaigns in Hollywood, the political controversy over American Sniper, and the feminism…

FILE: Neil Patrick Harris To Host 2015 Academy Awards

The Oscars are Terrible, But We Should Still Celebrate Them

The Oscars are dead, right? Criticizing the ceremony has been national sport for years, but the vitriol seemed particularly fierce this time around. It seems that everything that could have gone wrong went wrong. Critics hated the telecast and Neil Patrick Harris’s stale hosting job; pundits railed against the winners who introduced politics into their…

The_Rewrite

An Awful “Rewrite” Tries to Kill the Rom-Com

Twenty years ago, Valentine’s Day at the movies would have been very different. A sexually explicit drama about young lovers who engage in BDSM play would have mustered a niche release, probably straight-to-DVD or late night on HBO following an episode of Real Sex. Meanwhile, an innocuous rom-com starring Hugh Grant would have opened on…

selma_american_sniper_a_l

Cinema in the Age of Stupidity

Although cinema holds many useful purposes in modern society, perhaps its most important function is its ability to generate empathy, and ultimately, to foster social change. In the last century, film has played a vital role in shaping important social movements, from In the Heat of the Night to Philadelphia and beyond. Now, film’s utility…

Johnny-Depp-as-Charlie-Mortdecai-570x294

Note to Hollywood: Johnny Depp is Not a Movie Star

So Mortdecai had a predictably god-awful opening weekend. We could have seen that coming, as the marketing campaign seemed to be predicated entirely on people wanting to see a Johnny Depp movie. Is there any evidence that people do in fact want that? Or to put it another way: In the wake of Johnny Depp’s…

ungeahnte-kraefte-scarlett-johansson-als-lucy-

What You Missed in 2014

Can you handle one more Top 10 list? Instead of a list of my favorite movies of 2014 (which you can find here), these are my favorite articles of the year – written by me. I hope you have enjoyed reading my work this year. Thank you for reading, sharing, and thinking about my writing.…