Welcome to Me

Kristen Wiig: Sexual Warrior

I always bristle when I hear anyone refer to an actor as “brave.” Yes, there are professional risks when Jake Gyllenhall plays a gay cowboy in Brokeback Mountain or former model Charlize Theron goes ugly for Monster. But in the end, these are major movie stars who, whether or not their film succeeds, still live…

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Did Obama Rig the Oscars?

Conspiracy theorists, start your engines. When early front-runner Zero Dark Thirty won but one Oscar on Sunday night, it marked quite a fall from grace. For most of awards season, it was the prohibitive favorite for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actress, and most of the technical awards. Of course, we all know what happened.…

Beasts

What Liberal Critics of “Beasts of the Southern Wild” Get Wrong

Earlier this week, The New Republic published a scathing and moralistic piece by Thomas Hackett about the Oscar-nominated Beasts of the Southern Wild. While he begrudgingly praises the film’s “excitement for the surprising places artful imagery and editing can take us,” he ends up making the rather inflammatory claim that the film is “patronizing and…

TheBay

Revenge of the Chesapeake “Bay”

In the wake of Hurricane Sandy, 2012 may be remembered as the year that we decided to take environmental concerns more seriously. If that is the case, the movies of this year have reflected this change in consciousness. Films as diverse as The Lorax, Beasts of the Southern Wild, and the upcoming Matt Damon vehicle Promised…

Beasts

“Beasts” Sheds Light on Poverty in America

Ending poverty used to be a mainstream element of our national political discourse. The War on Poverty was the central tenet of LBJ’s Great Society. Bobby Kennedy, when running for president, spoke often of the impoverished, as did Bill Clinton, who was able to use his humble upbringing to great political advantage. Of course, more…