339 – Still Alice (2014)

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We spoke about the prevalence of the “prestige picture” when The Imitation Game was released. That trend will only continue as we move through December. More and more “Academy Award-worthy performances” will see the light of day. The latest is Julianne Moore’s starring turn in Still Alice, a role that almost certainly guarantees her a nomination for Best Actress.

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338 – Magnolia (1999)

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I’m officially at the halfway mark of my Paul Thomas Anderson retrospective. This one is a real treat, as at this point – without rewatching three of his newer films – Magnolia is my favorite PTA film. I was first introduced to it a few years ago, and it kind of kicked my cinephilia into high gear. Magnolia is a treat to watch every time; there is always a new detail or theme or storyline to examine. And my latest viewing was no exception.

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329 – Boogie Nights (1997)

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We are less than a month away from the release of Inherent Vice and I am only on the second film in my Paul Thomas Anderson retrospective. My prospects for completing the project are not looking great, but I shall continue on anyway. The good news is that Boogie Nights is the last PTA movie that I had not seen previously, so I have now watched each of his films at least once. Boogie Nights was released only one year after Hard Eight, Anderson’s debut, but his artistic progression is so great that you might be forgiven for guessing something more like ten years had passed.

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327 – The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 (2014)

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2012’s The Hunger Games can be seen as patient zero when considering the current epidemic of dystopian young adult novel adaptations (Divergent, The Giver, The Maze Runner), and while it has established the cinematic language for these types of films, it’s taking its cues as a franchise from other sources. Like the Harry Potter series and “The Twilight Saga” (ugh, what a name) before it, Lionsgate has opted to split the final book in Suzanne Collins’s trilogy, Mockingjay, into two films. And thus we have The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1. A film with everything you could ever want: letters, a numeral, a colon, and a dash.

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