Are There Any Women Here? – Diversity in the 2020 Oscar Nominations

It’s almost a cliché to write a thinkpiece about the lack of diversity in the latest set of Oscar nominations. Every year, The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences congratulates the best films that English-speaking cis-het white men produced in the preceding year, and also some of the bad ones too. Oh, and they’ll also throw in a meagre handful of films made by women, people of color, etc. The slate of nominees for the upcoming 2020 Academy Awards is exceptionally representative of this feet-dragging approach to representation and inclusivity. 

Reyna’s Top 10 of 2019

2019 was an eventful year for me, I grew so much as a person and found an outlet to express my writing and thoughts about film as a whole. This isn’t a definitive list by any means but a list of the films that have had the biggest impact on me personally. I have a lot to say about some of these so let’s get started, shall we?

Recap: Golden Globes Nominations

Awards season is upon us! Many nominees and winners from multiple critics organizations have already been decided and on December 9th the nominees for the 77th Golden Globe Awards were announced. No huge surprises, maybe a few snubs, and a huge presence of films and tv shows from streaming services. Netflix received an impressive 35 nominations across 21 categories, including two prime contenders for Best Motion Picture - Drama. Unfortunately, something that seems to be an ongoing trend with the Golden Globes is their inability to recognize female filmmakers.

ITOL Top 50 Films of the Decade, Entry No. 23: Hustlers

In "Hustlers", dancer and den mama Ramona (Jennifer Lopez) posits that New York City—the whole country, really—is one big strip club. “You got people tossing the money, and people doing the dance,” she says.

Writer-director Lorene Scafaria ("The Meddler", "Seeking a Friend for the End of the World") never loses sight of who’s doing what throughout this entertaining crime caper, bringing a decidedly female gaze to the world of strip clubs and sex workers that feels fresh because we’ve seen so little of it.

Clowns vs. Strippers: How Joker and Hustlers each pay tribute to the films of Martin Scorsese

People like to say that original movies are in short supply these days, swallowed up by the onslaught of comic book films, remakes/reboots, and live-action adaptations of 80s cartoons based on toys. Whilst there is truth to this observation, its conclusions are flawed. Not only have some incredibly bold and unique recent films come from pre-existing IP like "The Lego Movie", "Mad Max: Fury Road" and "Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse", but so-called “original” films are often just as guilty of recycling and retrofitting the concepts of the past.

Quentin Tarantino and Edgar Wright have made their entire careers out of essentially crafting extended tributes to their childhood favourites, communicating their own perspectives and ideas through the lens of pulp genre cinema.

Review: Hustlers

Some get hustled, and some know how to hustle, but for the leading ladies of this film, they fall under both brackets as Lorene Scafaria captures the true story behind Jessica Presser’s “The Hustlers at Scores.” Effortlessly crafting the vivaciously strong female cast members, Scafaria was able to create a beautiful relationship between Ramona (Jennifer Lopez) and Destiny (Constance Wu), showcasing the power, toxicity and trust within female relationships; but underneath it all, "Hustlers" is a film about the platonic and undying love between the two leading women.

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