1. Check out WHYY's coverage of the Oscar Nominated films (Fresh Air interviews on second half of the page) including Emma Thompson, Joaquin Phoenix, Bruce Dern, Alexander Payne (Dir. Nebraska), the Coen Brothers (Dir. Inside Llewyn Davis), Robert Redford and David O. Russell (Dir. American Hustle).

  2. academy awards

    oscars

    whyy

  1. Check out the Best Actress gowns over the years… Wishing  Katharine Hepburn went in 1934—and every other year she won—so we could’ve seen what she wore [awesome pantsuit?]
infographic via mediarundigital View in High-Res

    Check out the Best Actress gowns over the years… Wishing  Katharine Hepburn went in 1934—and every other year she won—so we could’ve seen what she wore [awesome pantsuit?]

    infographic via mediarundigital

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    dresses

    academy awards

    infographic

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    hollywood

  1. Tomorrow: Oscar-winning Director Alexander Payne (Nebraska, Sideways, The Descendants) speaks to Terry Gross about working nonprofessional actors, his love of silent films, and shooting the most expensive scene in Nebraska. View in High-Res

    Tomorrow: Oscar-winning Director Alexander Payne (Nebraska, Sideways, The Descendants) speaks to Terry Gross about working nonprofessional actors, his love of silent films, and shooting the most expensive scene in Nebraska.

  2. fresh air

    alexander payne

    director

    nebraska

    Oscars

    the descendants

  1. Billy Crystal speaks on Fresh Air today about what it takes to host the Oscars (which he has hosted 9 times, more than anyone except for Bob Hope):

I love doing it because I love the danger of it and you have to come through and think on your feet. That’s why that show, no matter who hosts it, it really should be a fast-thinking comedian who is really quick on their feet that can handle situations that happen, or somebody with that kind of mentality that can capitalize on something.


Hear the full [hilarious] interview, read an excerpt from his memoir “Still Foolin’ ‘Em,” or hear it with an audiobook clip HERE.

photo via Oscars.com View in High-Res

    Billy Crystal speaks on Fresh Air today about what it takes to host the Oscars (which he has hosted 9 times, more than anyone except for Bob Hope):

    I love doing it because I love the danger of it and you have to come through and think on your feet. That’s why that show, no matter who hosts it, it really should be a fast-thinking comedian who is really quick on their feet that can handle situations that happen, or somebody with that kind of mentality that can capitalize on something.

    Hear the full [hilarious] interview, read an excerpt from his memoir “Still Foolin’ ‘Em,” or hear it with an audiobook clip HERE.

    photo via Oscars.com

  2. fresh air

    interview

    billy crystal

    oscars

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  1. Sure the Toronto International Film Festival closed a few weeks ago with 12 Years A Slave winning the Audience Award (FYI, that Audience Award isn’t always an indication that a film will do well, but recent recipients include Best Picture Oscar winners The King’s Speech and Slumdog Millionaire and last year’s Silver Linings Playbook).  But the films that showed there are slowly but surely making their way to theaters near you and will continue to do so well into 2014.  Fresh Air Producers Ann Marie Baldonado and Lauren Krenzel have some final thoughts on some films you may want to look out for.

12 Years a Slave (pictured above)I say believe the hype. This film about a free black man (Chiwetel Eijofor) who gets kidnapped and forced into slavery is incredibly difficult to watch, but is so incredibly worth it.  You see families callously separated, slaves beaten to death or near death, and the quiet, outrageous indignities slaves had to endure on Southern plantations in the 1840s and 50s.  During the official TIFF press conference for the film, director Steve McQueen said he wanted to make a movie about slavery because he “wanted to see images from that particular past, (he) wanted to experience it through images.”  This visual artist turned feature film director expertly takes us through scenes that are long, in a way too long, forcing viewers to deal with the brutality of what they are watching.  At times you are floored, you flinch or shut your eyes, you may cry, but you have to deal with the images.  McQueen’s choices are careful, deliberate, political.  Yes, it’s a difficult 2 plus hours to sit through, but if 12 Years a Slave is a film that is trying to honestly address slavery, shouldn’t it be?  (Also stars Michael Fassbender, Benedict Cumberbatch, Sara Paulson and newcomer Lupita Nyong’o.  Release date: October 18th) –  Ann Marie Baldonado
Enough Said
As Nicole Holofcener said during the Q & A after the premiere of Enough Said, this is the film of hers that “actually has a plot.”  Julia Louis-Dreyfus stars as a divorced masseuse who starts to date a middle-aged man, only to find out she’s also unknowingly befriended his ex-wife who begins listing all of his irritating faults.  It’s a comedy of manners and the performances sparkle.  Louis-Dreyfus uses her considerable comedic skills to portray a flawed woman you can enjoy.  The rest of the cast is also great—-with Toni Collette as a refreshingly honest friend and Catherine Keener as the poetess ex-wife.  But it’s bittersweet to see James Gandolfini here in one of his last roles.  His presence is so keen and natural and intelligent, you’re left feeling slightly bereft at the end of this adult comedy. (In theaters now) –Lauren Krenzel
Dallas Buyers Club
This is the movie Matthew McConaughey lost all of that weight for.  Sure, dramatically transforming your physical appearance for an acting role is the equivalent of donning a sandwich board that says “Reward me with an Oscar nomination”, but I say you have to hand it to McConaughey; in this film he also managed to strap on the acting chops we all kind of knew that he had ( right?).  The film is based on the true story of Ron Woodroff, a straight electrician/rodeo cowboy who contracted HIV in 1986.  He denies that he has the “gay disease” for as long as he can, then finally starts looking for treatment.  After getting frustrated with the lack of drugs available to treat HIV/AIDS patients, he starts smuggling cutting edge treatments into the US from all over the world.  At first, he treats himself, but then begins selling the drugs out of a motel room.  He consequently becomes a lifeline for the mostly gay population suffering with the disease, giving his clients the treatments the FDA is too slow to approve.  Also looking completely skeletal is  Jared Leto, who plays a pre-op transsexual who becomes Woodroff’s unlikely business partner and friend.   Leto may also be getting some Oscar attention for his work.  The film loses a little narrative steam as it goes on, but it’s matter-of-fact style and extremely strong performances can’t be denied. (Release date: November 1st)- AMB
Only Lovers Left Alive
This latest film by veteran filmmaker Jim Jarmusch could easily be dismissed as just another vampire project. But this one lingers in the mind long after, with great visuals, grinding, dark music and the luminous Tilda Swinton—who could very well be an actual vampire.  Here, she is centuries-old and lives in present-day Tangiers but travels to Detroit to help her depressed, underground musician, vampire husband, played by Tom Hiddleston.  Mia Wasikowska, Anton Yelchin and John Hurt show up to complicate the plot and in the end, the film becomes an oddly humorous and poetic meditation on eternal life and a very long marriage.  (Release date: TBA)- LK
The Lunchbox
A few years ago, Mumbai and New York City based director Ritesh Batra was working on a short documentary about the century-old practice of delivering homemade lunches to the offices of Mumbai; couriers pick up lunch containers from homes in surrounding towns and through an elaborate system that utilizes bicycles, trains, color coding, and symbols, those boxes somehow find their way to the right desks in the right office buildings, then find their way back to the right homes after lunch.  That exposure inspired Batra to write the screenplay for The Lunchbox, a film that charmed film festival audiences in Cannes before doing so in Toronto (I think this film could have been a serious contender for the Audience Prize, had its second public screening not been upended by print problems).  A stay-at-home mother (Nimrat Kaur) fears she is losing touch with her husband who is working longer hours.  In attempt to get him to notice her again, she pours a lot of love and effort into the lunches she prepares for him (try not to see this film on an empty stomach).  The usually fool proof lunch delivery system fails when her culinary masterpieces are wrongfully delivered to a grumpy widower who is about to retire, played by Irrfan Khan.  The lonely wife and lonely office worker start writing notes to each other, delivered in the lunchbox, and begin to find the connection they have both been longing for.  This is a great first feature by Batra.  He finds beauty and interest in Mumbai’s cramped train cars and non descript office buildings— not an easy feat— though perhaps his best directorial move was casting Kahn as his leading man.  Here again Kahn displays his ability to impart all of his characters, no matter how taciturn, with an interior life.  Inevitably, you can see it in his eyes, a certain longing and regret that is always compelling.  Hopefully the news this week that India did not chose The Lunchbox as its Oscar submission this year (and Batra’s vocal reaction against it) won’t stop people from finding this film.   (Release date: TBA)- AMBBad Words Here is a piece of trivia.  Jason Bateman became the Directors Guild of America’s youngest-ever director when he helmed a few episodes of his show The Hogan Family when he was eighteen.  Now over 20 years later, he has finally directed a feature film.  Why did he choose Bad Words to be his first feature?  He says it was partly due to the fact that the dark, “Blacklist” screenplay was close to his own sense of humor, and partly because “the size and the scope of the film” was something he felt he could take on.  He is right that there is something to be said for not biting off more than you can chew, and he does just that.  This great, tight little comedy kept me laughing throughout, with lines and bits that were just. plain. wrong.  Bateman plays 40-year-old Guy Trilby, a misanthrope who after finding a loophole in the national spelling bee guidelines, decides he is going to compete and take every pre-pubescent kid down.  He verbally abuses the children.  He uses their insecurities— about their bodies, their nerdiness, their parents—against them, shaking  their confidence, disrupting the careful way they attack each word they need to spell.  He does befriend one competitor, Chaitanya, a naive Indian-American boy played by relative newcomer Rohan Chand (who at 9 is about the age Bateman was when he started acting).  One sequence where Guy takes Chaitanya out for a night on the town, complete with ice cream, car chases, pranks on cops, drinking, and an interaction with a prostitute, left the Toronto crowd howling.  Sounds wrong, right?  That’s what makes it funny.  I say with Bad Words, our love affair with Bateman’s portrayal of morally questionable men continues.  Focus features just announced this week that the film will make it to theaters early next year. (Also stars Allison Janney, Kathryn Hahn, and Phillip Baker Hall.  Release date: March 21st, 2014)

Even though we saw 15 movies each, we still managed to miss a few that caused lots of excitement and bidding wars at the festival:  The F Word, starring soon-to-be Fresh Air guest Daniel Radcliffe, Zoe Kazan, and Adam Driver;  Can a Song Save Your Life, starring Keira Knightly and Mark Ruffalo, directed by John Carney who directed Once, and All is By My Side, directed by John Ridley, starring Andre Benjamin aka Andre 3000 of Outkast as a young Jimmy Hendrix.  Ann Marie saw sections of this film and found Benjamin’s turn as Hendrix to be kind of extraordinary. (Release dates to be announced) View in High-Res

    Sure the Toronto International Film Festival closed a few weeks ago with 12 Years A Slave winning the Audience Award (FYI, that Audience Award isn’t always an indication that a film will do well, but recent recipients include Best Picture Oscar winners The King’s Speech and Slumdog Millionaire and last year’s Silver Linings Playbook).  But the films that showed there are slowly but surely making their way to theaters near you and will continue to do so well into 2014.  Fresh Air Producers Ann Marie Baldonado and Lauren Krenzel have some final thoughts on some films you may want to look out for.



    12 Years a Slave (pictured above)

    I say believe the hype. This film about a free black man (Chiwetel Eijofor) who gets kidnapped and forced into slavery is incredibly difficult to watch, but is so incredibly worth it.  You see families callously separated, slaves beaten to death or near death, and the quiet, outrageous indignities slaves had to endure on Southern plantations in the 1840s and 50s.  During the official TIFF press conference for the film, director Steve McQueen said he wanted to make a movie about slavery because he “wanted to see images from that particular past, (he) wanted to experience it through images.”  This visual artist turned feature film director expertly takes us through scenes that are long, in a way too long, forcing viewers to deal with the brutality of what they are watching.  At times you are floored, you flinch or shut your eyes, you may cry, but you have to deal with the images.  McQueen’s choices are careful, deliberate, political.  Yes, it’s a difficult 2 plus hours to sit through, but if 12 Years a Slave is a film that is trying to honestly address slavery, shouldn’t it be?  (Also stars Michael Fassbender, Benedict Cumberbatch, Sara Paulson and newcomer Lupita Nyong’o.  Release date: October 18th) – Ann Marie Baldonado


    Enough Said


    As Nicole Holofcener said during the Q & A after the premiere of Enough Said, this is the film of hers that “actually has a plot.”  Julia Louis-Dreyfus stars as a divorced masseuse who starts to date a middle-aged man, only to find out she’s also unknowingly befriended his ex-wife who begins listing all of his irritating faults.  It’s a comedy of manners and the performances sparkle.  Louis-Dreyfus uses her considerable comedic skills to portray a flawed woman you can enjoy.  The rest of the cast is also great—-with Toni Collette as a refreshingly honest friend and Catherine Keener as the poetess ex-wife.  But it’s bittersweet to see James Gandolfini here in one of his last roles.  His presence is so keen and natural and intelligent, you’re left feeling slightly bereft at the end of this adult comedy. (In theaters now) –Lauren Krenzel


    Dallas Buyers Club


    This is the movie Matthew McConaughey lost all of that weight for.  Sure, dramatically transforming your physical appearance for an acting role is the equivalent of donning a sandwich board that says “Reward me with an Oscar nomination”, but I say you have to hand it to McConaughey; in this film he also managed to strap on the acting chops we all kind of knew that he had ( right?).  The film is based on the true story of Ron Woodroff, a straight electrician/rodeo cowboy who contracted HIV in 1986.  He denies that he has the “gay disease” for as long as he can, then finally starts looking for treatment.  After getting frustrated with the lack of drugs available to treat HIV/AIDS patients, he starts smuggling cutting edge treatments into the US from all over the world.  At first, he treats himself, but then begins selling the drugs out of a motel room.  He consequently becomes a lifeline for the mostly gay population suffering with the disease, giving his clients the treatments the FDA is too slow to approve.  Also looking completely skeletal is  Jared Leto, who plays a pre-op transsexual who becomes Woodroff’s unlikely business partner and friend.   Leto may also be getting some Oscar attention for his work.  The film loses a little narrative steam as it goes on, but it’s matter-of-fact style and extremely strong performances can’t be denied. (Release date: November 1st)- AMB


    Only Lovers Left Alive


    This latest film by veteran filmmaker Jim Jarmusch could easily be dismissed as just another vampire project. But this one lingers in the mind long after, with great visuals, grinding, dark music and the luminous Tilda Swinton—who could very well be an actual vampire.  Here, she is centuries-old and lives in present-day Tangiers but travels to Detroit to help her depressed, underground musician, vampire husband, played by Tom Hiddleston.  Mia Wasikowska, Anton Yelchin and John Hurt show up to complicate the plot and in the end, the film becomes an oddly humorous and poetic meditation on eternal life and a very long marriage.  (Release date: TBA)- LK


    The Lunchbox

    A few years ago, Mumbai and New York City based director Ritesh Batra was working on a short documentary about the century-old practice of delivering homemade lunches to the offices of Mumbai; couriers pick up lunch containers from homes in surrounding towns and through an elaborate system that utilizes bicycles, trains, color coding, and symbols, those boxes somehow find their way to the right desks in the right office buildings, then find their way back to the right homes after lunch.  That exposure inspired Batra to write the screenplay for The Lunchbox, a film that charmed film festival audiences in Cannes before doing so in Toronto (I think this film could have been a serious contender for the Audience Prize, had its second public screening not been upended by print problems).  A stay-at-home mother (Nimrat Kaur) fears she is losing touch with her husband who is working longer hours.  In attempt to get him to notice her again, she pours a lot of love and effort into the lunches she prepares for him (try not to see this film on an empty stomach).  The usually fool proof lunch delivery system fails when her culinary masterpieces are wrongfully delivered to a grumpy widower who is about to retire, played by Irrfan Khan.  The lonely wife and lonely office worker start writing notes to each other, delivered in the lunchbox, and begin to find the connection they have both been longing for.  This is a great first feature by Batra.  He finds beauty and interest in Mumbai’s cramped train cars and non descript office buildings— not an easy feat— though perhaps his best directorial move was casting Kahn as his leading man.  Here again Kahn displays his ability to impart all of his characters, no matter how taciturn, with an interior life.  Inevitably, you can see it in his eyes, a certain longing and regret that is always compelling.  Hopefully the news this week that India did not chose The Lunchbox as its Oscar submission this year (and Batra’s vocal reaction against it) won’t stop people from finding this film.   (Release date: TBA)- AMB


    Bad Words

    Here is a piece of trivia.  Jason Bateman became the Directors Guild of America’s youngest-ever director when he helmed a few episodes of his show The Hogan Family when he was eighteen.  Now over 20 years later, he has finally directed a feature film.  Why did he choose Bad Words to be his first feature?  He says it was partly due to the fact that the dark, “Blacklist” screenplay was close to his own sense of humor, and partly because “the size and the scope of the film” was something he felt he could take on.  He is right that there is something to be said for not biting off more than you can chew, and he does just that.  This great, tight little comedy kept me laughing throughout, with lines and bits that were just. plain. wrong.  Bateman plays 40-year-old Guy Trilby, a misanthrope who after finding a loophole in the national spelling bee guidelines, decides he is going to compete and take every pre-pubescent kid down.  He verbally abuses the children.  He uses their insecurities— about their bodies, their nerdiness, their parents—against them, shaking  their confidence, disrupting the careful way they attack each word they need to spell.  He does befriend one competitor, Chaitanya, a naive Indian-American boy played by relative newcomer Rohan Chand (who at 9 is about the age Bateman was when he started acting).  One sequence where Guy takes Chaitanya out for a night on the town, complete with ice cream, car chases, pranks on cops, drinking, and an interaction with a prostitute, left the Toronto crowd howling.  Sounds wrong, right?  That’s what makes it funny.  I say with Bad Words, our love affair with Bateman’s portrayal of morally questionable men continues.  Focus features just announced this week that the film will make it to theaters early next year. (Also stars Allison Janney, Kathryn Hahn, and Phillip Baker Hall.  Release date: March 21st, 2014)



    Even though we saw 15 movies each, we still managed to miss a few that caused lots of excitement and bidding wars at the festival:  The F Word, starring soon-to-be Fresh Air guest Daniel Radcliffe, Zoe Kazan, and Adam Driver;  Can a Song Save Your Life, starring Keira Knightly and Mark Ruffalo, directed by John Carney who directed Once, and All is By My Side, directed by John Ridley, starring Andre Benjamin aka Andre 3000 of Outkast as a young Jimmy Hendrix.  Ann Marie saw sections of this film and found Benjamin’s turn as Hendrix to be kind of extraordinary. (Release dates to be announced)

  2. fresh air

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    enough said

    the lunchbox

    bad words

    only lovers left alive

    dallas buyers club

    Oscars

    film

  1. Wes Anderson talks to Terry Gross about making Moonrise Kingdom:

I remember the emotion of feeling like I was falling in love at that age, and how powerful it was and sudden and inexplicable,” he says. “And nothing happened in my case, but I think it’s a fantasy I would have had at that age — would have envisioned. … These two characters are hit by a thunderbolt and determined to act on it.”

    Wes Anderson talks to Terry Gross about making Moonrise Kingdom:

    I remember the emotion of feeling like I was falling in love at that age, and how powerful it was and sudden and inexplicable,” he says. “And nothing happened in my case, but I think it’s a fantasy I would have had at that age — would have envisioned. … These two characters are hit by a thunderbolt and determined to act on it.”

  2. Fresh Air

    Interviews

    Wes Anderson

    Moonrise Kingdom

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  1. Posted on 10 January, 2013

    388 notes | Permalink

    Reblogged from nprmusic

    nprmusic:

    Congratulations to Adele on her Oscar nomination for “Skyfall”! Here she is performing a stripped-down set at the Tiny Desk.

  2. Adele

    Oscars

    Tiny Desk

  1. NPR Best Picture Cheat Sheet

    NPR Best Picture Cheat Sheet

  2. best picture

    oscars

    npr

  1. Best Directors on Fresh Air
Alexander Payne, The Descendants Michel Hazanavicius, The ArtistMartin Scorsese, HugoWoody Allen, Midnight in Paris Terrence Malick, Tree of Life View in High-Res

    Best Directors on Fresh Air


    Alexander Payne, The Descendants
    Michel Hazanavicius, The Artist
    Martin Scorsese, Hugo
    Woody Allen, Midnight in Paris
    Terrence Malick, Tree of Life

  2. oscars

    academy awards

    best director

    woody allen

    alexander payne

    martin scorsese

  1. David Edelstein’s Reviews of Best Picture Nominees
Best Picture
War Horse The ArtistMoneyballThe DescendantsThe Tree of LifeMidnight in ParisThe HelpHugoExtremely Loud & Incredibly Close View in High-Res

    David Edelstein’s Reviews of Best Picture Nominees

    Best Picture

    War Horse
    The Artist
    Moneyball
    The Descendants
    The Tree of Life
    Midnight in Paris
    The Help
    Hugo
    Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close

  2. academy awards

    oscars

    best picture

    david edelstein

  1. Music for your Afternoon: To arrive at our final playlist, Texas Public Radio asked — on air and via Facebook and Twitter — for listeners to tell us their favorite movie music and let us know why they love it. From the outset, it became clear that the Oscar winners each year were not always the most beloved songs and scores. Where would we be without Ennio Morricone’s beautiful melody for The Mission, John Williams’ rousing “Raiders March” or Kermit the Frog singing “The Rainbow Connection”?

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  1. Everything You Wanted To Know About Every Single Best Picture Nominee (But Were Afraid To Ask) View in High-Res

    Everything You Wanted To Know About Every Single Best Picture Nominee (But Were Afraid To Ask)

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    best picture 2011

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  1. A Best Picture Cheat Sheet: Everything You Need To Know About the 10 Nominees View in High-Res

    A Best Picture Cheat Sheet: Everything You Need To Know About the 10 Nominees

  2. oscars

    best picture

    npr

  1. Documentary (Feature) on Fresh Air
 “Exit through the Gift Shop” David Edelstein review 
 “Gasland” Filmmaker Josh Fox
 “Inside Job” Director Charles Ferguson (on ATC)
 “Restrepo” David Edelstein review 
 “Waste Land” Artist Vik Muniz (on ATC) View in High-Res

    Documentary (Feature) on Fresh Air


    “Exit through the Gift Shop” David Edelstein review


    “Gasland” Filmmaker Josh Fox


    “Inside Job” Director Charles Ferguson (on ATC)


    “Restrepo” David Edelstein review


    “Waste Land” Artist Vik Muniz (on ATC)

  2. exit through the gift shop

    gasland

    waste land

    restrepo

    documentary

    oscars

    academy award

    inside job

  1. Best Pictures on Fresh Air

    Best Picture

    • Black Swan Natalie Portman Vince Cassel David Edelstein Review

    • The Fighter Melissa Leo Mark Wahlberg and David O. Russell David Edelstein Review

    • Inception David Edelstein review

    • The Kids Are All Right Lisa Cholodenko David Edelstein Review

    • The King’s Speech Tom Hooper

    • 127 Hours James Franco David Edelstein Review

    • The Social Network Justin Timberlake David Edelstein review

    • Toy Story 3 Lee Unkrich and Mike Arndt David Edelstein Review

    • True Grit Coen Brothers David Edelstein Review

    • Winter’s Bone Debra Granik and Daniel Woodrell David Edelstein Review

  2. oscars

    fresh air