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The 15 "Edgiest" Oscar Best Picture Nominees

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • February 19, 2014 3:39 PM
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  • 29 Comments
Edgy Best Picture oscar nominees
“Ugh, the Academy, so conservative” goes the cliché, as bloggers and pundits the movie world over take a moment to roll their eyes and sigh before diving back in to beaver away on one of a million pieces about this year’s nominations, the pros and cons, the good picks, the bad picks, the odds, the ends (hey, we’ve done a few ourselves with more on the way!) But while that knee-jerk stance is an easy one to adopt (and also comfortable—setting the speaker above the choices in question by virtue of the fact that they’re not challenging enough, not cinephile-y enough, too MOR, too bland), it doesn’t take account of those times when we’ve been surprised by the august body. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, which does absolutely skew older-white-male in its demographics (as does the film industry, folks) has, on occasion given us pause—nominating a film which, in content or execution, might seem to be light years away from its wheelhouse: explicit in its treatment of sexuality, or extreme in its violence or just wholly different to our idea of an “Oscar movie.”

5 Things You Might Not Know About 'Deliverance,' Released 40 Years Ago Today

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • July 30, 2012 1:11 PM
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  • 2 Comments
For a film just entering its fifth decade, "Deliverance" still maintains a real power to horrify. Based on James Dickey's poetic novel, and adapted by the writer himself, it follows four friends (Burt Reynolds, Jon Voight, Ned Beatty and Ronny Cox) who go for a canoeing trip together in the Georgia wilderness, only to come into terrifying conflict with some inbred locals. And that plotline taps into very primal fears -- man vs. nature, town vs. country -- and perhaps most memorably, it preys on masculinity, thanks to film's unforgetabble rape sequence.

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