Skip to main content

What Is Cinema?

The best movies feel as if they’d been born, not made. In a new series of articles and videos, Vanity Fair, in partnership with Rolex, starts a revealing conversation with—and among—filmmakers about their craft, their visions, and the art of paying inspiration forward. Technology and industry trends may change, but the drive to tell stories that mean something, and will last, does not. I think you’ll enjoy listening in.
—Radhika Jones, Vanity Fair Editor in Chief


“That Escalated Quickly”: Inside Anchorman’s Epic Battle Sequence

An excerpt from Saul Austerlitz’s Kind of a Big Deal: How Anchorman Stayed Classy and Became the Most Iconic Comedy of the Twenty-First Century.
Awards Insider Exclusive

Inside All of Us Strangers, Andrew Scott and Paul Mescal’s Metaphysical Love Story

Andrew Haigh’s new film All of Us Strangers parallels a steamy romance between Scott and Mescal with an aching reunion of the dead and the living. Together, they make for an emotional epic.
Awards Insider Exclusive

First Look: Annette Bening Swims Toward the Role of a Lifetime in Nyad

Bening and costar Jodie Foster reveal the intensive training, tight bonding, and mental endurance that their stirring biopic required: “I don’t know how she did it.”
Awards Insider Exclusive

First Look: Paul Mescal and Saoirse Ronan Face a Dangerous Future in Foe

This twisty, apocalyptic marital thriller takes the two Oscar nominees on a wild ride—one that will keep you guessing until the film’s final seconds. We go inside the intense collaboration.
In Memoriam

The Film That Returned William Friedkin to Critical Acclaim

On the occasion of the director’s death, we take a look back at one of his most important works, the 1985 film To Live and Die in LA. In this darkly seductive portrait of Los Angeles in the 1980s, it is impossible to distinguish the lines that divide right and wrong.
Little Gold Men

The Elvis Presley We Didn’t See in Elvis

On this week’s Little Gold Men podcast, a discussion of Priscilla Presley’s memoir, Elvis and Me, and the upcoming Sofia Coppola movie it inspired. 
Awards Insider Exclusive

Watch Phoebe Dynevor and Alden Ehrenreich Go to War in the Breathless Fair Play Trailer

Plus: Writer-director Chloe Domont on her actors’ on-camera explosion, that huge sale to Netflix, and conflicting opinions about her movie.
Little Gold Men

The Two Very Different Versions of Killers of the Flower Moon

The Little Gold Men book club series kicks off with a look at the 2017 book by David Grann, soon to be a film by Martin Scorsese. 

Can You Name the (Great) Movie That Launched Brie Larson, LaKeith Stanfield, Rami Malek, and More?

The now famous cast of Short Term 12, as well as writer-director Destin Daniel Cretton, look back in amazement a decade later.

Red, White & Royal Blue May Be “the Most Expensive Bit of Fan Fiction Ever”

In this VF photo exclusive, director and cowriter Matthew López talks about adapting a beloved queer beach read and getting energy from its impassioned fan base: “I knew that this was a story that I absolutely had to tell.”

Jaws Became a Living Nightmare”: Steven Spielberg's Ultimate Tell-All Interview

“It was made under the worst of conditions,” the filmmaker reveals in a new book. “People versus the eternal sea. The sea won the battle.”
Awards Insider!

Oppenheimer—and, Yes, Barbie—Have a Real Shot at the 2024 Oscars

After a historic weekend at the box office, both Barbenheimer films are primed for strong awards campaigns.
bathroom breaks

Why Are Movies Sooooo Long? An Investigation

Despite groans from audiences and executives alike, new releases seem to keep getting longer. Can anyone make a 90-minute movie anymore? 
Hi, Barbie!

Dreamhouse, Assemble: How Barbie Cast Barbie, Barbie, Barbie (and Ken)

Casting directors Lucy Bevan and Allison Jones sought a very specific quality: “We needed actors who could get the fact that our Barbies only knew pleasant things.”

Barbie Is About as Good as a Barbie Movie Could Ever Be

Greta Gerwig’s film is more than an advertisement, but a little less than a dream.
Awards Insider Exclusive

Rustin First Look: Colman Domingo Is Bayard Rustin, the Man Who Turned MLK’s Dream Into a Reality

The star and director George C. Wolfe shine a spotlight on an unsung civil rights hero: “The more I was living with Bayard, I just became overwhelmed.”
in conversation

Lakota Nation vs. the United States and the Fight for the Black Hills

Directors Jesse Short Bull and Laura Tomaselli on their new documentary, which charts the Lakota quest to return to their most sacred place.
striking back

AI May Kill Us All, but It’ll Never Write a Good Movie

A member of the WGA’s AI working group reflects on screenwriting in the age of artificial intelligence—and explains why now is the time to stand up for human labor.
Old Hollywood Book Club

Beautiful Dreamer: Ali MacGraw’s Semi-Charmed Life

From the outside, MacGraw seemed to float into superstardom—but as she writes in her memoir, that apparently effortless celebrity came at a cost.
We Come to This Place for Magic

Barbie, Bombs, Blockbusters! Box Office Wars Return as a Spectator Sport

Hollywood needs to make $4 billion this summer to be truly in the pink. 
Little Gold Men

Glenn Howerton, Oscar Contender

The It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia star really is that good in BlackBerry, one of the most dynamic films of the year. We go deep with him on hearing early awards chatter—and what it means to him to hear it.
Throw Me the Whip

The Unbelievable True Stories of the Real Indiana Jones

He hated snakes, looked great in a fedora, and had globe-trotting adventures that captivated the world. Roy Chapman Andrews set the template for the world’s most famous (fictional) archaeologist.

The Real Rock Hudson: A Moving New HBO Doc Claims Him as a Gay Icon

Rock Hudson: All That Heaven Allowed examines the star’s closeted career—and the significance of him going public with his AIDS diagnosis.
swan song

John Williams Always Settles the Score

Ahead of Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny, we take stock of the 91-year-old who’s composed countless unforgettable movie themes—and arguably saved classical music in the process.
Little Gold Men

Ian McKellen Made Oscar History in 1999—And Shamefully, No One Else Has Repeated It

A look back at Gods and Monsters, to this day, the only film to earn an Oscar nomination for an openly gay male actor. 
state of the union

The Flash Is the Past; Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse Is the Future

Viewed back-to-back, these dueling multiverse sagas show what’s gone wrong with superhero movies—and how the genre can be saved.

First Look: The Deepest Breath Tells a Heartbreaking True Story About Diving

The documentary about world champion Alessia Zecchini and her coach Stephen Keenan explores loyalty and obsession.

Take Care of Maya Tackles a Thorny, Heartbreaking Medical Mystery

Situations like that of Maya Kowalski—a kid whose chronic illness was just the beginning of her troubles—are “a nationwide pattern,” says doc director Henry Roosevelt.
Why Me?

Diane Keaton Asks Francis Ford Coppola a Question 50+ Years in the Making

Figuring she’s got job security now, the Oscar-winning actress pings her former director over Instagram.
Little Gold Men

Bryan Cranston on Returning to Walter White, Wes Anderson, and More

The Emmy winner talks with Little Gold Men about his Asteroid City role, reprising his Breaking Bad icon, and the mystery project he’s got up next.
Little Gold Men

A Groundbreaking Queer Oscar Winner and Its Very, Very Complicated Legacy

In 1986 William Hurt became the first actor to win an Oscar for playing an openly queer character. Did he start one of the Oscars’ worst trends? 
Tribeca Film Festival

“I Have to Direct This”: 7 Actors Who Took the Camera Into Their Own Hands

A group chat with Tribeca Film Festival standouts David Duchovny, Jennifer Esposito, Hamish Linklater, Chelsea Peretti, Lily Rabe, Michael Shannon, and John Slattery.

Zack Snyder Goes Galactic: Exclusive First Look at Rebel Moon

The Netflix saga was once Snyder’s pitch for a Star Wars movie. Now it’s in a universe all its own.
Awards Insider!

Early Hollywood’s “Joyous Bisexual” and Her Most Daring Onscreen Roles

The Little Gold Men podcast kicks off a series of Pride flashbacks with 1932’s Shanghai Express, starring the inimitable Marlene Dietrich and Anna May Wong.
Year in Review

The Best Movies of 2023, So Far

Vanity Fair chief critic Richard Lawson lists the best movies of 2023 to date, from Past Lives to Scream VI.
Cannes Film Festival

Did an Oscar Winner Premiere at Cannes?

The fest’s best range, from Scorsese’s Native American epic to a mesmerizingly grim Holocaust tale.
Cannes Film Festival

Natalie Portman and Todd Haynes Don’t Want to Be ‘Vampires on People’s Lives’

In Haynes’s May December, Portman plays an actor studying the life of a tabloid sensation.
cannes 2023

Wes Anderson Gets Back to Basics, Beautifully, in Asteroid City

The director’s layered latest is his best film in years.
Awards Insider!

“There’s a Movement”: Inside the Fight to De-gender Awards Shows

Nonbinary actors are withdrawing from consideration. Still more are calling for change. The industry may need to finally start listening.
Cannes 2023

Martin Scorsese Has Never Made a Movie Like Killers of the Flower Moon 

Leonardo DiCaprio, Robert De Niro, and Lily Gladstone anchor a riveting American crime story.
In Conversation

“She’s So F--king Funny”: Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Michaela Watkins’s Sister Act

They first worked together 15 years ago. Now the comic actors play sisters in Nicole Holofcener’s acclaimed movie You Hurt My Feelings
Cannes 2023

13 Cannes Film Festival 2023 Premieres We’ve Got Our Eyes On

Killers of the Flower Moon, Asteroid City, and more of Richard Lawson and Rebecca Ford’s most anticipated titles.
Walking and Talking

Nicole Holofcener Isn’t Holding Back

The director of You Hurt My Feelings gets candid about her new film and life as an artist: “I feel like if I stick to doing what I love or really like, my career’s always in jeopardy.”

Jane Fonda on Marriage, Sex, and Succession—Plus Looking at Herself in the Mirror at 85

The Oscar winner also shares the parenting advice that’ll prevent you from making the mistakes she did, and why she prefers to be single: “I can get much more done when I’m on my own.”
old hollywood book club

The Contrarian: Marlon Brando’s Paradoxical Life  

Troubled, righteous, callous, brilliant: A pair of biographies prove that the iconic actor was impossible to pin down.
Awards Insider!

Jemima Khan’s Had Enough of Fairy Tales

The writer of the rom-com What’s Love Got to Do With It? made a love letter to Pakistan that also questions how anyone finds love in the first place. 

26 Summer Movies to Anticipate in 2023

Whether you want a massive blockbuster or a future Oscar contender, there’s much to choose from in what’s looking like the busiest summer movie season in years.

Dune: Part Two Trailer Reveals Austin Butler’s Dead-Faced Assassin

The Elvis star’s appearance has been closely shrouded, but a new teaser shows his fearsome transformation.
From the Magazine

Suddenly, Stephanie Hsu Is Everywhere

The Oscar nominee on her intense year, her love for Jamie Lee Curtis, and how her next movie, Joy Ride, defies stereotypes.
Little Gold Men

Michael Shannon on Music, the Apocalypse, and Keeping Up With Hollywood

The Oscar nominee goes deep on everything from his Emmy-bound critical darling, George & Tammy, to what lies ahead with The Flash and more.
First Look

Dune: Part Two—An Exclusive First Look at the Saga’s Epic Conclusion

Timothée Chalamet, Zendaya, and director Denis Villeneuve share secrets from the new film and reveal Florence Pugh’s, Austin Butler’s, and Léa Seydoux’s new characters.
We Must, We Must

Are You There, Margaret? The Search for Judy Blume’s Beloved Heroine

How did Abby Ryder Fortson snag the title role in Are You There, God? It’s Me, Margaret? The answer, naturally, involves a bra.
Good Golly

Little Richard: The Riveting Showmanship and Tortured Sexuality That Built Rock and Roll

The director of the new doc Little Richard: I Am Everything on the force of nature who inspired Elvis, The Beatles, Prince, and more.

The Real Renfield: How Dracula Broke Classic Hollywood Star Dwight Frye

As Renfield hits theaters, we remember the actor who first brought the character to life—and how Dracula led to his downfall.
Cannes Film Festival

The Highlights of the 2023 Cannes Film Festival Lineup

From Indiana Jones to a tabloid romance as directed by Todd Haynes. 

Air: The Real Sonny Vaccaro on Matt Damon, Michael Jordan, and Shoe-Biz Heartbreak

Basketball marketing legend Sonny Vaccaro tells VF the real-life story behind Air, and about the message he just received from Michael Jordan’s mother, Deloris.

Amy Irving Is Crossing Delancey

Nearly 35 years after her underappreciated romantic comedy’s release, the Oscar nominee returns to the Lower East Side.
Awards Insider!

Kelly Reichardt Can Laugh at Anything

On this week’s Little Gold Men podcast, the filmmaker behind the art school comedy Showing Up shares why she wanted to focus on the process of art—broken hot water heater included. 
Awards Insider!

Teyana Taylor Can’t Be Stopped Now

Her captivating role in the Sundance-winning drama A Thousand and One gave her the opportunity she’s been waiting for: “to show off what I can do.”
Little Gold Men

Predicting the 2024 Oscar Nominations

Now that Everything Everywhere All at Once has proven there’s no such thing as “too weird” for Oscar, could this be the year for horror, rom-coms, or Barbie?
Awards Insider!

Brooke Shields, Exploited Child Star? The Truth Isn’t Nearly That Simple

Documentary filmmaker Lana Wilson says that in her new film, Pretty Baby: Brooke Shields, she watched a young star grow “from being an object to being a human being.” 
Awards Insider!

Upcoming Movies From Paul Mescal, Michelle Yeoh, and More 2023 Oscar Nominees

Some nominees are already planning to reunite, while others may go dark for another decade—here’s what we know for now. 
Oscars 2023

Where to Watch Every 2023 Oscar-Winning Movie Today

From the best picture champion to the technical winners, almost every 2023 Oscar winner is available to watch right now at home. 
Oscars 2023

Everything Everywhere All at Once Sweeps Oscars 2023, Wins Best Picture

The A24 film that premiered at SXSW almost exactly one year ago won seven total Oscars.
Making a Scene

Pretzels, Sexual Favors, and Shifting Power Dynamics in Triangle of Sadness

Writer-director Ruben Östlund breaks down a pivotal scene that was filmed on an anarchist nudist beach in Greece.
From the Magazine

The Making of Everything Everywhere All at Once’s Rock World

Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert wanted to create the least stimulating universe possible for the emotional fulcrum of their wild, universe-hopping adventure.

Backstage Pass: On Set With Austin Butler, Michelle Yeoh, and More

Go behind the scenes with some of the year’s most celebrated Oscar nominees.
From the Magazine

Lukas Dhont Is Ready for His Close-Up

The 31-year-old Belgian filmmaker tackles the “crisis of connection” among teen boys in his second film, now an international feature Oscar nominee.
Highlight Reel

Tony Kushner on Nearly 2 Decades of Collaboration With Steven Spielberg

The Oscar-nominated screenwriter behind The Fabelmans looks back at crafting stories that often took years to write: “I usually agonize about things.”
From the Magazine

How Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio Survived Decades in the Hollywood Wilderness

Half a decade since he announced his dream Pinocchio project was dead, del Toro is an animated-feature Oscar nominee—because he finally got that unequivocal yes he’d been holding out for.
Little Gold Men

With Pinocchio, Guillermo del Toro Makes a Childhood Dream Come True

The filmmaker’s Oscar-nominated stop-motion film captures his own feelings of “being adrift in the world as an anomaly.”
Awards Insider!

Gustavo Dudamel Offers Lydia Tár the LA Philharmonic

The powerhouse conductor joined the Tár team of Cate Blanchett and Todd Field to go deep on their Oscar-nominated film.
Awards Insider!

Justin Hurwitz Gives Everything to His Movie Scores, and He’s Not Going to Stop

The composer of La La Land and Babylon looks back at his Oscar-nominated work, and what happens when a massive success is followed by something distinctly different. 
Little Gold Men

Jamie Lee Curtis Is “Both Weepy and Giddy” About Her First Oscar Nomination

The Everything Everywhere All at Once star on being haunted by For Your Consideration, embracing being a Hollywood “old mule,” and living up to her parents’ legacy. 
Little Gold Men

All Quiet on the Western Front’s Uphill Climb to Nine Oscar Nominations

Director Edward Berger speaks to Vanity Fair about making his historic German-language war epic.
Sundance First Look

Randall Park’s Long Wait for Shortcomings

The Fresh Off the Boat star makes his directorial debut with the adaptation of a graphic novel, an Asian American story he waited 15 years to tell. 
Awards Insider!

The Images, Colors, and Mind-Boggling Technology of Avatar: The Way of Water

Nearly three decades of collaboration brought director James Cameron and cinematographer Russell Carpenter to the Avatar sequel, which melded brand-new technology with some of the oldest camera tricks in the book. 
play on

John Williams Is Not Retiring on Steven Spielberg

A night spent sharing stories of their 50-year collaboration ended with a promise to make more.
Awards Insider!

Lukas Dhont on Close, Masculinity, and What He Learned From the Criticisms Surrounding Girl

The 31-year-old Belgian director wants to spark conversations with his new film, about a relationship between teenage boy that deteriorates in heartbreaking fashion. 
Awards Insider!

The Most Deceptively Difficult Scene in Top Gun: Maverick

On this week’s Little Gold Men podcast, Joseph Kosinski shares behind-the-scenes stories from the blockbuster that may have just saved Hollywood.
Shot List

The Images of All Quiet on the Western Front: Using Light to Capture the Darkness of War

Director Edward Berger and cinematographer James Friend used flares, snow, and modern techniques to create the war drama’s breathtaking cinematography.
Shot List

The Images of Nope: How Jordan Peele Captured the Impossible

Peele and his DP, Hoyte van Hoytema, go over key shots from their movie, many of which sounded impossible to commit to film—until they actually tried and did it.
Shot List

How Armageddon Time Became a Ghost Story

Director James Gray and cinematographer Darius Khondji look back at key scenes from the intimate drama, based closely on Gray’s childhood and capturing the “slippage of time.”
Awards Insider!

Inside the Visual Effects of Avatar: The Way of Water: “Water Is Both a Blessing and a Curse”

Even with five Oscars between them, Joe Letteri and Richard Baneham had to learn whole new ways of thinking to create the Avatar sequel’s stunning underwater sequences. 
From the Magazine

How the Best Sequences of Top Gun: Maverick Made the Cut

Editor Eddie Hamilton turned a “tidal wave” of aerial footage into gripping—and breathtakingly realistic—action scenes.
Little Gold Men

Todd Field Loves Your Tár Theories

“There’s no wrong way to read the film,” says the writer-director of his story about an  imperious orchestra conductor, played by Cate Blanchett.
From the Magazine

Seeing Visions: Inside the Making of Elvis, Tár, and Bardo

Directors and cinematographers break down some of their most ambitious images.
Shot List

The Images of Everything Everywhere All at Once: Absurdity, Authenticity, and a Lot of Improvisation

“I’m the janitor, if you will,” says cinematographer Larkin Seiple of working with the Daniels. “I’m constantly trying to clean things up that are crazy, and make them feel ordinary.”  
Awards Insider!

Oscar Contender Alice Diop Is Pushing the Boundaries of Global Cinema

The first Black woman ever to represent France in the Oscar race, the Saint Omer filmmaker is changing the game with one of the best films of the year.
Little Gold Men

The Vulnerability of James Gray’s Armageddon Time

“If someone says, ‘I hated that movie,’ it means they hate part of me,” says the director, who captured his complicated youth in his latest film. 
Awards Insider!

The Making of EO: Six Donkeys and a Lot of Luck

How do you get a donkey to cross a perilous bridge? Cast six of them, and hope for the best. 

What Scared Steven Spielberg About The Fabelmans—And How Tony Kushner Pushed Him Past It

The director and the screenwriter look back at their nearly two-decade collaboration, which led them to Spielberg’s most personal film ever.
Awards Insider Exclusive

Inside the Script for Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio: “I Feel Like We Rewrote It a Million Times”

Del Toro and his Emmy-winning cowriter, Patrick McHale, tell Vanity Fair about the toughest scene to write, the character who almost got cut, and the main goal of their acclaimed adaptation.
everything sucks

Noah Segan on  Vampirism, Judaism, Glass Onion, and Eating Cheerios Off the Floor

As the writer-director-star of the upcoming Blood Relatives and a Rian Johnson mainstay, Segan tells VF how his weird upbringing has led to one of film’s most eclectic careers. 
Little Gold Men

With Turning Red, Domee Shi Embraces Weirdness—Even Her Own

The director of Pixar’s animated hit about a Chinese Canadian 13-year-old aims to “celebrate girl nerdiness,” in every form.
Shot List

The Images of The Woman King: A Hollywood Epic, Redefined

Gina Prince-Bythewood and cinematographer Polly Morgan go through seven stunning shots from their historical epic, from the intention behind them to the craft in accomplishing them. 
Shot List

The Images of Decision to Leave: Inside Park Chan-wook’s Noir Masterwork

The director goes deep on six pivotal frames from his new film, which unfurls a spellbinding romantic mystery in the language of old-school film noir.
Awards Insider!

Elegance Bratton Has Arrived

Inside a whirlwind night at the New York Film Festival with the director of The Inspection, who dressed “to look like somebody”—and fit the part.
Awards Insider!

The Inexplicable, Emotional Beauty of Aftersun

Writer-director Charlotte Wells is watching audiences take many different paths to the same conclusion of her extraordinary film: “It feels in some strange way I’ve created a choose your own adventure.”
Awards Insider!

The Truth, Fiction, and Outrage in Netflix’s The Good Nurse

Screenwriter Krysty Wilson-Cairns breaks down her process of retelling the true serial killer story—and shifting focus to the heroine who helped finally bring him to justice.
Little Gold Men

Ruben Östlund Rides the Waves of Triangle of Sadness

The Swedish filmmaker and two-time Palme d’Or winner examines the modern man and the ultrarich in his wild satire set aboard a luxury yacht.