Short Film Review: Learning to Skateboard in a Warzone (If You’re a Girl)

When it comes to countries blighted by war, it’s easy to become used to thinking of that nation as simply a warzone. You read about towns being taken, bases being mortared, bridges being destroyed, thinking of the poor civilians losing their lives in a fashion to which you probably can’t relate. You might forget that in between all of this, the people of this warzone nation are going about their daily lives, however strange or bleak this normalcy might be in comparison to your own. BAFTA-winning and Oscar-nominated British documentary short “Learning to Skateboard in a Warzone (If You're a Girl)” reminds you of this routine (or strive for routine) in quick fashion.

Should’ve Been a Contender: Myrna Loy for “Best Years of Our Lives”

 The recent Oscar buzz around Sam Mendes’ “1917” prompted a reviewing of one of the more famous war films of the 1940’s, “Best Years of Our Lives” (1946). Myrna Loy deserved a Best Supporting Actress Oscar for her role in this male dominated film as a much-needed representative of the women who welcomed their men home from WWII. To a lesser extent, Teresa Wright also deserved recognition, but it is Loy who helps tie the stories of three servicemen just returning home together into one powerfully moving story.

Best Actress of the Decade, Entry No.1: Lupita Nyong’o

To celebrate the last decade 2010-2019, we are counting down the best actresses and discussing some of their most notable and memorable performances of the decade. With the help of Film Twitter, the ITOL team has selected 30 actresses. Guest Writer Alexandra Petrache looks back at Lupita Nyong'o and her career over the last decade.

Best Actress of the Decade, Entry No 3: Olivia Colman

To celebrate the last decade 2010-2019, we are counting down the best actresses and discussing some of their most notable and memorable performances of the decade. With the help of Film Twitter, the ITOL team has selected 30 actresses. Writer Joan Amenn writes about Entry No. 3 Olivia Colman and her performance in "The Favourite".

Should’ve Been a Contender: Marielle Heller for “Can You Ever Forgive Me?”

Marielle Heller's "Can You Ever Forgive Me?" is a favourite among the ITOL team, I mean it landed at number 6 on our Top 50 Films of the Decade list for no reason.  And, while Heller made her debut with "The Diary of a Teenage Girl", it is "Can You Ever Forgive Me?" where we see Heller shine as well as prove her capability as a director. It's also worth mentioning that Heller latest film "A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood" is proof that she's not just a one-hit-wonder. It's clear that this is a filmmaker that is here to stay.

Despite garnering positive views and also picking up Oscar nominations for Melissa McCarthy, Richard E. Grant and best-adapted screenplay for Nicole Holofcener and Jeff Whitty, Heller was completely ignored by the Academy for Best Director.

Should’ve Been a Contender: Ava DuVernay For “Selma”

Every year, the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) holds an annual award show honouring the best and boldest in filmmaking. And every year, there is an extensive discourse on who was snubbed or overlooked or incorrectly nominated. I have those opinions each awards season but there is one snub that still gets me: Ava DuVernay.

When her film “Selma” premiered in 2014, it was staggering to see the level of detail put into every aspect of that film. The history, the acting, the cinematography, the set design, and so on. But the direction and momentum of the film rested solely with DuVernay.

Should’ve Been a Contender: Kim Hye-ja for “Mother”

his year as Bong Joon-ho's widely praised film “Parasite” received six nominations from the Academy – including Best Picture and Best Director – but was snubbed entirely from the acting categories, despite the praise the ensemble has received from critics and audiences. Most of Bong Joon-ho's films are driven by large, ensemble casts. But in this “Should’ve Been a Contender” series, I’d like to submit one of his few films carried by one, singular woman at its centre; Kim Hye-ja in the 2009 murder-mystery/drama, “Mother”.

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