Another week, another assortment of newsworthy film stories. “Nymphomaniac” is pretty much guaranteed to rule the world wide web until its domestic release in March with its careful reveal of new bits of publicity, having unveiled a cheekily naughty new poster for the film. With the year winding down and the best-of lists coming out in full force, Indiewire’s resident critic gives his take on the past year, creating separate lists that touch on male and female performances as well as first features and documentaries. And with the Golden Globe nominations having just been announced late this week, we highlight the surprises in who garnered nods as well as who got snubbed by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association.
Take a look at all of these stories and more below as we take a look at the ten most viewed news, interviews, and features from this week at Indiewire:
1. Shia LaBeouf Examines Charlotte Gainsbourg’s Privates in New, Naughty Poster for Lars von Trier’s ‘Nymphomaniac’
Another week, another bit of savvy promotion for Lars von Trier’s hotly anticipated sexual epic “Nymphomaniac.” This week saw the release of two new posters, one featuring two of the film’s stars — Charlotte Gainsbourg and Shia LaBeouf — in a provocative pose, while the other is… best left open to interpretation.
2. Critic’s Picks: The Top 10 Documentaries Released in 2013 According to Indiewire’s Film Critic
Over half a century since the cinema verite movement, there has been no real consensus on where non-fiction storytelling is headed. To some extent, the term itself restricts discussion of the documentary’s possibilities: Any kind of filmmaking forced to adhere to a set of aesthetic or technical expectations can’t possibly evolve. However, the past year has seen the release of a healthy blend of traditional documentaries and boundary-pushing works that revitalize the medium.
3. Critic’s Picks: The Top 10 Television Shows of 2013
A few critical mea culpas for television in 2013, because you can’t possibly watch everything: While I loved season one of “The Good Wife,” I still haven’t watched beyond that (I know! I know! But it’s on Sunday nights, and those are brutal, small screen-wise). I had to give up on “The Walking Dead” when I came to terms with the fact it was making me hope for the extinction of humanity, and I’m a season behind on both “Justified” (which I’m sorry about) and “Sons of Anarchy” (which I’m not so much).
4. It’s Here! Watch the First Full Trailer for Lars von Trier’s Hotly Anticipated ‘Nymphomaniac’
After months of teasing us via a slew of posters, stills and enticing clips, the marketing team behind Lars von Trier’s hotly anticipated sexual epic “Nymphomaniac” have released the full trailer for the opus. Charlotte Gainsbourg, Stellan Skarsgård, Stacy Martin, Shia LaBeouf, Christian Slater, Jamie Bell, Uma Thurman, Willem Dafoe and more star.
5. Critic’s Picks: The 15 Best Episodes of Television in 2013
Unlike films, television series exist in sometimes long stretches of installments, and they can fluctuate in quality from episode to episode as much as they can from year to year. Even great seasons have low points, and it’s also definitely possible for a show to have a largely unexceptional year marked by one or two instances of greatness — which is why I’ve put together this list of the 15 best episodes of 2013 to balance out my earlier one of its 10 best overall shows.
6. Critic’s Picks: The Top 10 Best Female Lead Performances of 2013 According to Indiewire’s Film Critic
Awards season reduces a lot of people to smiling objects, but actresses experience this dilemma worse than most. No other field places greater pressure on the potential winners with veiled misogyny disguised as expectations of politically correct behavior: If they don’t dress nice and talk pretty, they don’t get a prize. Not for nothing are all the major candidates for the best actress Oscar this year previous winners.
7. Critic’s Picks: The Top 10 Best Male Lead Performances of 2013 According to Indiewire’s Film Critic
The American movie star has been facing a crisis for several years now. It’s been ages since Tom Cruise or Will Smith took on a widely acclaimed role, and box office receipts suggest that few celebrity faces have the power to elevate a movie’s profile on the strength of their screen presence alone. These days, it’s the content that matters more than the people who bring it to life: Genre, subject matter, and other granular details tend to overwhelm discussions about great performances. The male star, that hallowed archetype that sustains the iconic weight of faces ranging from James Dean to John Wayne, has largely become a fossil. Indeed, the only significant male performance this year in which an actor’s recognizable face played into the strength of his role — Robert Redford in “All Is Lost” — focused on the possibility of his imminent death at any moment.
8. Watch: Shia LaBeouf in a Very NSFW Clip From Lars von Trier’s ‘Nymphomaniac’
Lars von Trier, who has refrained from doing press following his 2011 Cannes gaffe, has been teasing his latest work, the two-part sexual epic “Nymphomaniac,” with a lot of ingredients: a sly poster, a mysterious website, and four tantalizing clips. This is a fifth scene hit the web, this one NSFW.
9. The 10 Biggest Surprises of the Golden Globe Nominations
The 71st Annual Golden Globe Award nominations were announced this week, with “American Hustle” and “12 Years a Slave” leading the pack. While that wasn’t particularly surprising, there were definitely a few shockers amidst the rest of the nominees. Here are 10 of note.
10. Critic’s Picks: The Top 5 First Features Released In 2013 According to Indiewire’s Film Critic
My own list of noteworthy debuts includes a couple of familiar names alongside some of the sleeper hits of the festival circuit. They’ve been ranked, but it goes without saying that it’s an inexact science, and every filmmaker represented by these works stands a good chance of producing more work deserving a place on more year-end accolades. I’ve only selected debuts that stand more than anything else because they announce potential above all else (“The Act of Killing,” a brilliant first feature not mentioned here, is much more than that). The placement of certain films here not only singles them out in the present — it points to a couple of promising futures at once.