The Georgia Film Academy, the University of Georgia and Pinewood Forest, the Fayetteville community next to Pinewood Atlanta Studios, are partnering to create the state’s first M.F.A. program in film, television and digital media. The two-year program — the first year on campus, the second at the studio — is expected to attract recent graduates as well as those who’ve worked in the industry and want new challenges.
Applications for the six-semester session will be accepted through February 15 (go to mfafilm.uga.edu). According to the Motion Picture Association, Georgia is home to nearly 46,000 film and TV industry jobs. In fiscal 2019, which ended June 30, the Georgia Department of Economic Development said the state had hosted 391 projects that contributed $9.2 billion to the economy.
Parasite, The Irishman top Atlanta critics’ best-of-2019 list
For a third consecutive year, the Atlanta Film Critics Circle has named its favorite movies of the year. The Circle’s 26 members write for local, regional and global websites, magazines, blogs and newspapers. In addition to its list of film favorites, Circle members named winners for acting, technical work and special awards. Note that the Golden Globe Awards air at 6 p.m. January 5 on NBC. Its 10 favorite films, in order:
1) Parasite. South Korean writer/director Bong Joon Ho’s thriller is both comedy and drama. Ki-taek and his family — all unemployed — take a peculiar interest in the wealthy and glamorous Park family, ingratiating themselves and getting entangled in an unexpected incident. Parasite has Golden Globe nominations for best foreign-language film and for its screenplay and direction. Look for Parasite eventually on Amazon Prime.
2) The Irishman. Director Martin Scorcese’s mournful 3.5-hour epic caps a mob-based quartet of films that includes Mean Streets, GoodFellas and Casino. It’s the culmination and epitaph for all of them. Among its cast: Robert De Niro, Joe Pesci and Al Pacino. The mob drama had a short commercial run to qualify for Oscar consideration. See it now on Netflix.
3) Marriage Story. Writer/director Noah Baumbach takes an incisive and compassionate look at a marriage that’s falling apart and a family that’s staying together. Adam Driver and Scarlett Johansson lead the cast. Marriage Story has six Golden Globe nominations — for best motion picture/drama, leading actors Driver and Johansson, supporting actor Laura Dern, Baumbach’s screenplay and Randy Newman’s original score. See it now on Amazon Prime.
4) Once Upon a Time . . . in Hollywood. Writer/director Quentin Tarantino’s comedy drama follows a faded TV actor and his stunt double as they pursue fame and success in 1969 Los Angeles, in the final days of Hollywood’s Golden Age. Leonard DiCaprio, Brad Pitt and Margot Robbie lead the cast. Once Upon a Time has five Golden Globe nominations — for motion picture/musical or comedy, Tarantino’s screenplay and direction and lead actors DiCaprio and Pitt.
5) 1917. Director Sam Mendes’ World War I drama sends two British privates on an impossible mission: deliver a message deep in enemy territory that will stop 1,600 men — and one of the private’s brothers — from walking into a trap. 1917 has Golden Globe nominations for best motion picture/drama, Mendes’ direction and Thomas Newman’s original score.
6) Little Women. Writer/director Greta Gerwig updates Louisa May Alcott’s novel without losing its essence, mostly by giving more screen time to Jo’s sisters. Saoirse Ronan, as Jo, leads a cast that features Florence Pugh, Eliza Scanlen and Emma Watson as the March sisters, Laura Dern as Marmee and Meryl Streep as Aunt March. Ronan (as Jo) and Alexandre Desplat’s original score are nominated for Golden Globes. Look for it eventually on Prime Video.
7) Uncut Gems. Directors Benny Safdie and Josh Safdie’s dramatic crime comedy follows a charismatic New York City jeweler who makes a series of high-stakes bets that could lead to a windfall but require that he carry out a high-wire act balancing business, family and adversaries at every turn. Adam Sandler leads a cast that includes Eric Bogosian and Idina Menzel. In theaters December 25.
8) Knives Out. Writer/director Rian Johnson’s dramatic crime comedy sends a detective to investigate the death of an eccentric, combative family’s patriarch. Among its cast: Toni Collette, Daniel Craig, Jamie Lee Curtis and Christopher Plummer. Look for it on Amazon Prime.
9) Pain and Glory. In this drama, writer/director Pedro Almodóvar follows a film director reflecting on his life choices as his past and present crash down around him. Antonio Banderas leads the cast. The film has two Golden Globe nominations, for best foreign-language film and leading actor Banderas.
10) Apollo 11. Director Tom Douglas Miller’s documentary revisits the moon landing by astronauts Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins. See it on Amazon Prime.
In individual honors, the Circle cited Adam Driver (Marriage Story) and Renée Zellweger (Judy) as best lead actors; Brad Pitt (Once Upon a Time . . . in Hollywood) and Laura Dern (Marriage Story) as best supporting actors; The Irishman for best ensemble; Apollo 11 as best documentary; Bong Joon Ho (Parasite) as best director; Joon Ho and Jin Won Han (Parasite) for best screenplay; South Korea’s Parasite as best international film; Toy Story 4 as best animated film; Roger Deakins (1917) for best cinematography; Thomas Newman (1917) for best original score; and special breakout performances from Kelvin Harrison Jr. (Luce) and Olivia Wilde (Booksmart).