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We all know that Alfonso Cuaron's "Gravity" will win this award, but let's pretend we don't know that. The Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences has released the 10 movies shortlisted for Visual Effects Oscar. Besides "Gravity," it's also fitting that Peter Jackson's sequel "The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug" was included.
But "The Lone Reanger" really? Okay, there are two eye-popping train sequences there, and perhaps, Johnny Depp's hairpiece is considered a visual effect! Ha!
The Visual Effects branch will whittle down the list on January 9, and we'll find out the final nominees on January 16th when the Oscar noms are revealed.
Here's the complete list:
"World War Z" »
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has shortlisted 10 movies for VFX Oscar consideration for the 86th Academy Awards, headed by Alfonso Cuaron's blockbuster "Gravity" and "The Desolation of Smaug," the second in Peter Jackson's popular "Hobbit" trilogy. Joining them are Guillermo del Toro's robot mash-up, "Pacific Rim," J.J. Abrams' "Star Trek" sequel, "Into Darkness," and three dystopian sci-fi adventures: "Elysium," "World War Z," and "Oblivion." There was also room for two Marvel superhero stalwarts: "Iron Man 3" and "Thor: The Dark World." The biggest surprise inclusion? "The Lone Ranger" flop that nonetheless featured two spectacular train fights. But left out of the running were Ron Howard's low-budget "Rush," which seamlessly integrated archival footage with riveting new racing action (not enough CG?); the under-performing "Ender's Game" (whose more conventional zero-gravity paled in comparison to "Gravity's" innovative approach); Zack Snyder's »
- Bill Desowitz
The Oscar race for Best Visual Effects is underway. Ten films have made the cut with the Academy's Visual Effects Branch Executive Committee. Now, all visual effects branch members will have the opportunity to view 10-minute excerpts from these shortlisted works on Jan. 9 to determine the five films that make the Oscar ballot. Even though this category used to belong to summer blockbusters, nine of the last 13 Visual Effects Oscars have gone to a Best Picture nominee, including the last five in a row: "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button," "Avatar," "Inception," "Hugo," and "Life of Pi." That is great news for "Gravity," Alfonso Cuaron's technologically audacious thriller about astronauts stranded in Earth's orbit. It is the overwhelming frontrunner in this race. Among the other nine films still in contention are two surprises: critical and box office bomb&n »
In the year of survival, sound has taken on supreme importance as an authentic, driving narrative force, and with the advent of Dolby Atmos, the theatrical experience has never been more immersive. "Gravity," "All Is Lost," "Captain Phillips," "Oblivion," "Rush," and "12 Years a Slave" are among the standouts in space, at sea, in a post-apocalyptic wasteland, on the dangerous Formula 1 track, and in physical/spiritual imprisonment. "Gravity," the obvious frontrunner, contains the most complex spatial direction in recent memory, thanks to the work of supervising sound editor/sound designer Glenn Freemantle and re-recording mixer Skip Lievsay, among others. Like everything else, director Alfonso Cuaron wanted to utilize the science of space; therefore, voices and other sounds constantly change in relation to Sandra Bullock. And the sounds in space are based on vibration, which influenced Steven Price's eerie score as well. It was tailor-made for Atmos surround. "Space sound can't. »
- Bill Desowitz
This story first appeared in the Dec. 13 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. The Hitmakers Directing a genuine blockbuster doesn't automatically secure awards laurels -- in fact, it can be an obstacle in a season that lavishes praise on "little movies." Still, as both James Cameron (Titanic) and Peter Jackson (The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King) have demonstrated, commercial success can go hand in hand with a directing Oscar. At this point, the box-office champ among 2013's awards hopefuls is Alfonso Cuaron's Gravity. The 3D space odyssey has gone into orbit at theaters around
- Gregg Kilday
The precursor awards are underway and I waited until seeing the likes of American Hustle, Saving Mr. Banks and Love Survivor before rushing to update my predictions once again. That said, after the Gotham Awards, New York Film Critics Awards, and National Board of Review announcing their favorites it's time to start offering some updates as the only major Oscar player I have yet to see is Martin Scorsese's The Wolf of Wall Street, but even that we have some advance buzz concerning and even more is on the way as additional New York and Los Angeles critics will be seeing it over the weekend. Now for today's action where I'll be updating all the major categories from Best Picture to Best Animation over the course of the day. First off, we'll begin with Best Picture and Best Director, which are detailed below along with links to browse my complete, »
- Brad Brevet
The Hunger Games: Catching Fire has topped the UK box office for a second week.
Francis Lawrence's sequel made a total of £5.5 million ($9m) in its second week of release in the UK, surpassing all of the weekend's new releases.
Animated comedy Free Birds was the highest-grossing new entry in third place with £1 million ($1.7 million), behind Alfonso Cuarón's Gravity, which retained the number 2 spot in its fourth week on release.
The Sandra Bullock-starring sci-fi has now taken more than £22 million ($36.8 million) in the UK alone, making it the ninth highest-grossing film of the year overall.
Disney's biographical drama Saving Mr Banks and Sony's Carrie remake debuted at fourth and fifth spot with £795,615 ($1.3 million) and £662,625 ($1 million) respectively.
The UK box office top ten in full:
1. (1) The Hunger Games: Catching Fire »
Rotten Tomatoes editor-in-chief Matt Atchity predicts "Saving Mr. Banks" will win Best Picture and Supporting Actor (Tom Hanks). However, he expects "Gravity" to take home a leading six Oscars: Director (Alfonso Cuaron), Cinematography, Editing, Sound Editing, Sound Mixing and Visual Effects. In his predictions just entered at Gold Derby, he also forecasts performers from four different films will claim the acting awards: leads Cate Blanchett ("Blue Jasmine") and Chiwetel Ejiofor ("12 Years a Slave") and featured players Hanks and Oprah Winfrey ("The Butler"). Atchity joins Christopher Rosen (Huffington Post) in backing the bid by "Banks" for the top prize. Seventeen of our 25 Experts expect "12 Years a Slave" to prevail while four favor "Gravity." See Atchity's full predix here. And see how his rankings compare to other Experts her »
While "12 Years a Slave" maintains a solid lead over "Gravity" among our 25 Experts predicting Best Picture (17 - 4), its helmer -- Steve McQueen -- has lost his lead over Alfonso Cuaron in the race for Best Director despite winning over the New York Film Critics Circle. Ten Experts now back the bid by McQueen while 15 are supporting Cuaron. That is a jump from just one week ago when the score was 13 to 10 in McQueen's favor. McQueen's odds of winning have dropped to 23/10 from 9 to 4 while Cuaron's have risen from 23/10 to 19/10. Team Cuaron: Thelma Adams (Yahoo), Matt Atchity (Rotten Tomatoes), Edward Douglas (Comingsoon), Scott Feinberg (Hollywood Reporter), Michael Hogan (Vanity Fair), Dave Karger (Fandango), Tariq Khan (Fox News), Scott Mantz (Access Hollywood), Tom O'Neil (Gold Derby), Kevin Polowy »
It’s not easy making a great movie, but it’s even harder making a great trailer. Like all advertising, movie trailers have evolved in the last few decades to become a genuine pop culture event. An effective trailer can do wonders for a film, especially for a film that doesn’t come with a built-in audience. There’s no faster way to create buzz than with a good trailer, and a well made trailer can turn a movie from a first-time director starring a bunch of then-unknowns into the most-buzzed about movie for weeks. Meanwhile a poor trailer can doom a movie right from the start. Every year there are but a few trailers that, independent of the film they’re promoting, capture everyone’s full attention. Here are the trailers of 2013 that were able to do that best.
Please note: This is Ricky’s list. Deepayan’s list will follow next week. »
Mexican director Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu is "eyeing his first big tentpole feature," as Variety reports, I can't help but wonder what good will come of it. Yes, Rudyard Kipling's public domain classic "The Jungle Book" is one of the great pieces of globally accessible literature, the original fodder for the 1967 Disney animated classic starring Mowgli and the Wolf pack that raised him from a baby in the jungle along with the panther Bagheera and Baloo the bear. Shere-Khan is his Tiger nemesis. And Warners is no doubt crunching "Life of Pi"'s global numbers. Meanwhile Disney has approached Jon Favreau to possibly direct their live action "Jungle Book” movie. But "The Jungle Book" also spawned a cheesy 1994 Stephen Sommers movie starring Jason Lee. Yes, Gonzalez Inarritu's buddy Alfonso Cuaron worked well with “Harry Potter” scribe Steve Kloves, who is producing from Callie Kloves' script, on Warners' blockbuster "Harry »
- Anne Thompson
Away from the controversy over whether the International Press Society members actually saw Wolf Of Wall Street before voting (hello tick box theory…), this year’s Satellite Award noms read as little more than the Ips’ Oscar predictions – give or take an extra three or four names in each category for comfort. Naturally resulting in a very uninteresting list, 12 Years A Slave leads the pack with ten nominations, followed narrowly by Gravity and American Hustle’s eight.
With strong turnouts in the acting categories, it’s surprising to see Lee Daniels’ The Butler, Dallas Buyers Club and Nebraska not contending for the big prize, and the Ips will surely find themselves in the minority for omitting Will Forte for his turn in the latter, even if it is rewarded for Best Ensemble. Though not appearing in the acting, directing or Best Picture categories, Fruitvale Station is still very much a focal point, »
- Emma Thrower
The Writers Guild of America has remained tough on qualifying scripts for its screenplay awards, excluding more than a dozen high-profile scripts, including John Ridley’s screenplay for “12 Years a Slave.”
The guild’s restrictions — far more rigorous than other guilds — require that scripts be produced under WGA jurisdiction or under a collective bargaining agreement in Canada, Ireland, New Zealand or the U.K. The WGA had no immediate comment on the exclusions, but the restrictions on eligibility are a longstanding practice at the guild.
Other notable screenplays excluded include Peter Morgan’s screenplay for “Rush”; Ryan Coogler’s script for “Frutivale Station”; “Philomena,” written by Steve Coogan and Jeff Pope and “Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom,” penned by William Nicholson.
Voting to determine the WGA’s nominees launched Tuesday on 95 eligible screenplays — 41 in the adapted category and 54 in the original category. The guild’s restrictions also require that the »
- Dave McNary
‘The Wind Rises’ and more Nyfcc 2013 winners (image: Hayao Miyazaki ‘The Wind Rises’) (See previous post: "Cate Blanchett, cross-dresser Jared Leto: 2013 New York Film Critics’ Movie Stars.") Hayao Miyazaki’s The Wind Rises, a major blockbuster in Japan ($119.51 million according to Box Office Mojo) despite — or perhaps because of — a right-wing backlash against the film’s anti-war stance, was the New York Film Critics Circle’s Best Animated Feature of 2013. The Wind Rises beat better known U.S.-made fare such as Disney’s Frozen, currently in theaters. Miyazaki has vowed that he has retired from filmmaking; if true, The Wind Rises will be his last film. Via its Touchstone Pictures banner, Walt Disney Studios will be releasing The Wind Rises on February 21, 2014, in North America. Now, how could a 2014 movie (in the U.S.) get a 2013 award from the Nyfcc, better known for honoring movies a year (The Lives of Others »
- Andre Soares
On Tuesday, the New York Film Critics Circle went with "American Hustle" for Best Picture over the heavily-favored "12 Years a Slave." Will this David O. Russell period piece win over the National Board of Review on Wednesday (Dec. 4) as well? As of now, "12 Years a Slave" is still widely expected to be named Best Picture by this New York based group. Indeed, three of our four Experts, six of our seven Editors, 20 of our Top 24 Users from last year and 70% of All Users are predicting it to prevail. That gives it overwhelming odds of 2 to 5, far ahead of "Gravity," which has the backing of one Expert, two of the Top 24 and 20% of All Users. However, "Gravity" helmer Alfonso Cuaron is tipped to take Best Director over Steve McQueen ("12 Years a Slave") who won with the Gotham critics on Tuesday. Three Experts, eight Editors, 14 of the Top 24 and 60% of All Users back Cuaron. »
It may only be November, but the starter pistol has already fired and the Oscars race is well and truly under way. We've already seen a host of films - from Gravity to Captain Phillips - released in cinemas, but many more are on their way looking to leave their impression on Academy Awards voters.
Digital Spy looks at 15 films competing for golden statues below...
Paul Greengrass and Tom Hanks's bracing hijacking drama Captain Phillips left audiences on the edge of their seats and threw its leading man right into the mix for the Best Actor race. Greengrass bagged a directing nomination back in 2007 for United 93, so expect him to be in the race.
12 Years a Slave
Alfonso Cuaron's science fiction blockbuster Gravity holds firm at the top of the charts for a second straight week, although Benny Chan's The White Storm opens strong. Rank Title Origin 25/11 - 01/12 (Us$M) Total (Us$M) Screening days 1 Gravity USA $22.74 $58.77 13 2 The White Storm Hk/China $12.94 $12.94 3 3 The Hunger Games：Catching Fire USA $11.10 $24.18 11 4 Epic USA $3.65 $3.65 3 5 Control China $3.26 $6.80 10 6 Thor: The Dark World USA $2.13 $55.01 24 7 Escape Plan USA $1.78 $40.76 28 8 Red 2 USA $0.46 $8.98 17 9 Voyage Extraordinaire China $0.16 $0.16 3 10 My Boyfriends China $0.09 $1.22 17 Gravity has been a colossal success around the world, and proves China is no exception....
[Read the whole post on twitchfilm.com...]
We've entered December, so it's time for everyone to start putting their Top 10 lists together. A potential contender, The Wolf of Wall Street, only screened this past weekend, and so it probably wasn't considered for Sight & Sound, Empire, and Cahiers Du Cinema's Top 10 Films of 2013 lists. As Adam has pointed out in his Oscar Beat column, the awards race is currently between 12 Years a Slave and Gravity, but these critical publications have come down firmly on the side of Alfonso Cuaron's outer-space thriller. It hit #1 for Empire, #2 for Sight & Sound, and #4 for Cahiers Du Cinema. On the flip side, 12 Years a Slave is nowhere to be found (Correction: It turns out 12 Years hasn't been released in Europe, so that probably explains its absence). Also worth noting: Blue Is the Warmest Color and A Touch of Sin were on Cahiers' and Sight & Sound's lists, and Lincoln, which opened in Europe this year, »
- Matt Goldberg
The International Press Academy has unveiled its voluminous nominations for its 18th annual Satellite Awards. The film noms cover the gamut of possibilities with a slightly foreign bias, but the frontrunners here are strong contenders in the Oscar race as well. By my count, Fox Searchlight's "12 Years a Slave" leads with ten nominations, followed by Alfonso Cuaron's "Gravity" and David O. Russell's "American Hustle" with eight, Working Title's and Ron Howard's "Rush" with seven (mostly in technical categories) and Disney UK/Australian pickup "Saving Mr. Banks" and the Coens' "Inside Llewyn Davis" with six. Woody Allen's "Blue Jasmine," Martin Scorsese's "Wolf of Wall Street," and Paul Greengrass's "Captain Phillips" scored five and Robert Redford-starrer "All is Lost," four. The ceremony will be held on March 9, 2014, in L.A. The film nominations are below. Motion PICTURES1. Actress in a Motion Picture Name Title of »
- Anne Thompson
Screen Film Summit: Understanding the differences between platforms is key to unlocking the potential of a converging world, attendees at Screen’s Film Summit at the BFI Southbank heard today (Dec 2).
A panel on convergence discussed the huge amount of creative potential in the multi-platform arena, but underlined the fact that the appeal of different platforms to audiences had to be fully understood to make projects really work across diverse platforms.
“The promise of convergence is that we can create these storyworlds,” said Film 4.0 commissioning executive Anna Higgs.
Higgs highlighted the strategy taken by Film 4.0 to the multi-platform release of Ben Wheatley’s A Field In England earlier this year which looked to understand the attraction — and differences — of different platforms.
“Thinking about them all as the same pipe to put the same content is dangerous,” she explained.
The problems posed by the range of terms used to describe the arena was also said to be unhelpful »
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