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The Quick Take for January 17, 2014

Streaming Picks

Catch up on a couple of award-nominated films on Netflix: Frances Ha, the story of an ambitious young dancer in New York (Brett McCracken's review), and The Act of Killing, a highly-acclaimed documentary about the military overthrow of the Indonesian government in 1965 (named on Nick Olson's 2013 picks list). If you're looking for a family classic, seasons three through six of the television series Leave it to Beaver are available. And if you're in the mood for a musical, try West Side Story.

Critics Roundup

Everyone is comparing the Golden Globe winners with the Oscar nominees, which were announced yesterday. Brooks Barnes and Michael Cieply said in the New York Times that "some awards analysts marveled that [Golden Globe] voters actually seemed to nominate the year's most worthy films and performances." But they perceptively note that the Globe winners "do not predict much" about the Academy Awards.

And indeed, after the Oscar nominees were announced, headlines calling out the Academy's "snubs" abound. Kyle Buchanan writes for Vulture that Saving Mr. Banks and Inside Llewyn Davis were "virtually shut out": "neither one of these once-expected nominees made it into the Best Picture Race." (You can read Kenneth Morefield's review of Saving Mr. Bankshere and Alissa Wilkinson's review of Llewyn Davishere.) Richard Brody, in his film blog for the New Yorker, agrees with Buchanan, saying Oscar Isaac's performance in Llewyn Davis was "the birth of a major actor," suggesting Isaac deserved a Best Actor nomination. Another film we reviewed, Short Term 12, was excluded, leading Brody to observe, "Academy ...

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The Quick Take for January 17, 2014
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