Our 10 favorite Oscar nominations: 3 – 1. ‘Cold War’ – Best Cinematography, Director and Foreign Language Film

3. 2. 1.  ‘Cold War’ – Best Cinematography (Lukasz Kal), Director (Pawel Pawlikowski) and Foreign Language Film – Pawel Pawlikowski’s “Cold War” is AHFW’s #1 movie of 2018, so we are thrilled that a film about Zula (Joanna Kulig) and Wiktor’s (Tomasz Kot) passionate but troubled relationship earned three Oscar nominations.   Of course, we also think that it should garner Best Picture, Score and Original Song, but hey, we’re happy that a black and white Polish film captured Best Cinematography and Director, no matter what the language. Here’s our review: “Cold…

Our 10 favorite Oscar nominations: 4. ‘Free Solo’ – Best Documentary

4. “Free Solo” – Best Documentary – The most stressful movie experience of the year!  Alex Honnold attempts to climb El Captain – a 3,000 foot granite wall in Yosemite National Park – without a rope and directors Jimmy Chin and Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi capture his incomprehensible expedition every step of the way (pardon the pun).  Someone trying to free solo a cliff like El Cap has be to wired differently than most, and the film presents Honnold’s quirky habits, like eating his meals from a frying pan and spatula,…

Don’t fight it, ‘Fighting with My Family’ is a good movie

“Fighting with My Family” – Some people want to be rock ‘n’ roll singers, and others hope to be cowboys.  For proof, just look back at Bon Scott’s wish in AC/DC’s “Rock ‘n’ Roll Singer” (1975) and Boys Don’t Cry’s declaration in “I Wanna Be a Cowboy” (1986).  Other folks dream of becoming ballerinas, center fielders, quarterbacks, teachers, doctors, or astronauts. For Saraya-Jade Bevis (Florence Pugh), she wants to be a WWE wrestler.  Actually, her dad Ricky (Nick Frost), mom Julia (Lena Headey) and brother Zak (Jack Lowden) all have…

Our 10 favorite Oscar nominations: 5. Glenn Close – Best Actress

5. Glenn Close – Best Actress – Look back at any decade since 1979, and Meryl Streep could be called America’s Most Celebrated Actress.  Streep collected 21 Oscar nominations and nabbed three wins over her career, so it is difficult to make a case for another actress to topple this aforementioned, fictional acting title.  In the 1980’s alone, Streep collected seven Oscar nominations and two Best Actress wins for “Kramer vs. Kramer” (1979) and “Sophie’s Choice” (1982), but if she is the most decorated actress from the 80’s, Glenn Close…

Our 10 favorite Oscar nominations: 6. Christian Bale – Best Actor

6.  Christian Bale – Best Actor – Look, Bale transforms physically and seemingly spiritually into former U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney during Adam McKay’s 2-hour 12-minute wild biopic, and it will be a travesty if anyone else wins Best Actor Oscar.  Sorry Rami Malek. Image credits: Annapurna Pictures; Trailer credits: IGN

Our 10 favorite Oscar nominations: 7. ‘Vice’ – Best Picture

7. “Vice” – Best Picture – The Academy only nominated two of AHFW’s Top 10 films, as “Roma” and “Vice” are AHFW’s #3 and #6 films of 2018, respectively.   Of course, “Roma” seemed like an easy nomination, but Adam McKay’s “Vice” split audiences, so we are especially happy that the Academy included this wild biopic as a Best Picture contender. Christian Bale transforms physically and seemingly spiritually into former U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney in a film that entertains, informs and horrifies.  McKay employs his similar snappy, wise-cracking style of…

Our 10 favorite Oscar nominations: 8. Paul Schrader – Best Screenplay

8.  Paul Schrader – Best Screenplay for “First Reformed” – Writer/director Paul Schrader wrote “Taxi Driver” (1976), “American Gigolo” (1980), “Raging Bull” (1980), “The Mosquito Coast” (1986), and “The Last Temptation of Christ” (1988), so a screenplay Oscar nomination for the man is way overdue.  The Academy finally recognized Schrader for his written work  about a reverend (Ethan Hawke) preaching sermons to a small congregation in rows of white pews, while black outlooks fill his soul in “First Reformed”. The film asks big questions within a small Upstate New York…

Our 10 favorite Oscar nominations: 9. (tie) Mahershala Ali and Viggo Mortensen

Hollywood’s biggest night arrives on Sunday, Feb. 24.  The Academy Awards!  AHFW is excited to see who wins the coveted statues, but rather than focus on who was not nominated, we wanted to proudly proclaim our Top 10 favorite Oscar nominations.   Now, come the 24th, and they don’t win, well, then we’ll have problems.  Haha. 9. (tie) Best Supporting Actor Mahershala Ali and Best Actor Viggo Mortensen – Mortensen has never been funnier, and Mahershala Ali delivers a nuanced performance and is out of this world on the piano in…

‘Never Look Away’ compels us to keep watching

“Never Look Away” – “Hardly anyone likes photos of themselves, but everyone’s supposed to like a painting.” – Kurt Barnert (Tom Schilling) “Everything is connected.” – Elisabeth May (Saskia Rosendahl) Writer/director Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck’s feature film “The Lives of Others” (2006) weaves such an absorbing, layered conflict into 1980s East Germany’s acknowledged intrusive culture so well, it topped Guillermo del Toro’s best film “Pan’s Labyrinth” (2006) that year and won the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar in 2007.  Yes, “The Lives of Others” is that good! After Donnersmarck’s Johnny…

10 Bad-relationship Movies: 1. ‘Fatal Attraction’

1. “Fatal Attraction” (1987) –  Don’t cheat.  Don’t cheat on your spouse.  Don’t cheat on your spouse, or you’ll find a bunny in a pot.  That was the message delivered to every married man in 1987 in the wild psychological thriller “Fatal Attraction”.  When Dan (Michael Douglas), a married man, has a one-night fling with Alex (Glenn Close), he thought their “relationship” would only last one night, but she wanted more.  Alex becomes relentless which threatens Dan’s insulated world with his daughter and beautiful wife Beth (Anne Archer). In Dan…