I don’t have a great track record of watching all the Oscar nominated films in a year. I have friends who make it a mission to see every nominated film, but I usually only manage to see a couple here and there. For reference, I’ve seen six of last year’s 10 Best Picture nominees (and Nightmare Alley I only saw recently, rather than when it was in its nomination period), three of 2020’s seven, six of nine in 2019, and five of 2018’s eight (six if you count half-watching Green Book on someone else’s screen on a flight, which is probably the maximum amount of attention you really need to pay to Green Book). The most recent year for which I’ve seen all the Best Picture nominees was 2008 (which is also the year before they expanded the maximum from five to 10).
But this year, when I realized that just in the course of general moviegoing, I had seen six of the 10 Best Picture nominees, I decided to try and watch the whole slate. As of last night I’ve seen all 10 nominees, and although I won’t be watching the ceremony tonight (because staying up until four a.m. for what will inevitably be many cringeworthy jokes about The SlapTM isn’t my idea of a good time), here is my ranking and thoughts on the list:
Continue reading “Best Picture 2023: My Oscar Thoughts & Ranking” →
Move over, true crime. One of the biggest trends in recent years is the rewatch podcast. Revisit your favourite television shows — from The Office to The Sopranos — episode by episode with a few cast members (sometimes leads, sometimes supporting actors) and a host of guest interviews.
They’re a fun way to feel nostalgia about some old faves that are no longer airing (or early seasons of an extremely long-running show, as is the case with the It’s Always Sunny Podcast), but of course, not all are created equal. As someone who listens to probably way too many of these rewatch pods, I’ve noticed some things that make for a good show.
Continue reading “What makes a good rewatch podcast?” →
There are three lights now.
I”m just back from seeing the magnificent An Cailín Ciúin a second time. I first watched it when it was released and came briefly to cinemas last year, and when it returned in recent weeks on the heels of a well-deserved Oscar nomination for Best International Film, I was eager to see it again.
And as I watched this tender, heartbreaking, lovely film about a vulnerable, neglected girl from a large family who is sent away for the summer to a childless couple where she begins to blossom under their love and care, I kept thinking about the beauty of a quiet story.
Continue reading “An Cailín Ciúin and the beauty of a quiet story” →
In my opinion, 2022 was a fantastic year for horror. With excellent horror films of every type being released in cinemas and on streaming, from the artistic and beautiful to the gory and intense, from creative new takes on stale franchises to innovative, out-of-the-box concepts, there was always something new and frightening to watch. It was a great year for horror literature as well, with terrifying anthologies, spooky stories of all sorts, and classics told in fresh and exciting ways.
If you’re looking to bring the scares in 2023, here are my favourite horror films from 2022 and my favourite horror books read in 2022 (some old and some new):
Best horror films of 2022 (Follow me on Letterboxd!)
Bones and All, dir. Luca Guadagnino
Who would have thought a film about cannibalism could be so tender (pun not intended)? This delicate, haunting, horrifying film was not only my favourite horror film of the year, but one of my favourites of any genre. As outsiders from society, finding solace in each other as they satisfy their urges (the story can be read as a both queer allegory and one of addiction,), this film is all about contrast. The central couple’s intimacy with each other contrasts with the wide open landscapes of the cinematography and setting. The soundwork contrasts the gnashing, gnawing sharpness of their actions with the quietness of the solitude around them. And the contrast between the final two shots are as emotional as they are gutting.
Continue reading “Best Horror of 2022” →
Hi hello long time no write. It’s been a busy year, but the truth is that I just haven’t made time for this blog. That’s going to change in 2023 though — I’m changing jobs, and at the job I’ve just left (as of today) I was writing three blog posts a week. I figure I should be able to translate into at least one post per week over here, and I’m going to stick to that resolution no matter what. And of course, I’ll start off with my favourite books I read last year.
One thing I’ll start by saying is that there are a few major faves missing from this list. It was such a good year for horror that I’m going to be doing a separate post on my favourite horror reads of the year next week or thereabouts. So stay tuned for that and some great spooky reads, and in the meantime read on for my favourite books from non-horror genres that I read in 2022.
You can always follow me on Goodreads to see what I’m reading throughout the year!
The best books I read in 2022 (published in 2022)
Sea of Tranquility by Emily St. John Mandel
I absolutely loved Station Eleven but then was a bit cold on The Glass Hotel, so when Emily St. John Mandel’s next book was released in 2022 I was incredibly curious but mildly hesitant. I needn’t have worried, because Sea of Tranquility turned out to be one of my favourite novels of the year. For a story with a vast setting, spanning galaxies and millennia, it is close and intimate, a thoughtful work of speculative fiction that offers a puzzle where, over the course of the story, each piece is put delicately, carefully, poetically into place.
Continue reading “My favourite books of 2022” →
The Women’s Prize for Fiction is my favourite literary prize. I almost always enjoy any one of the shortlisted books or winners that I read. After making my way through all of the previous winners, last year I read all of the shortlisted books for 2021, and I’ve done the same again this year.
It’s an extremely strong field this year, with three books in particular that I would consider very worthy if they should win — but you couldn’t really go wrong with any of them. The Women’s Prize announces its winner this week (June 15), and I’ll definitely be looking forward to see which of these novels takes home the top honour.
Below is my ranking and reviews of all six of the shortlisted nominees:
Continue reading “Women’s Prize 2022 Shortlist, Ranked & Reviewed” →