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Uh Huh, it's "Her" for the Nbr
6 hours ago
The National Board of Review didn't even split their Picture/Director prizes. They're all in for Spike Jonze's Her melancholy sci-fi tinged meditation on romance starring a man (Joaquin Phoenix) and his operating system (Scarlett Johansson). Because I love variety, I'm thrilled to report that only three major prizes (except animated, first feature and documentary) went the same way as the Nyfcc yesterday, though the groups are not exactly correlative in anyway apart from happening within 24 hours of each other. Complete list of winners after the jump...
Best Film: Her
- NATHANIEL R
Team Top Ten: Oscar's Greatest Losers (Actor Edition)
8 hours ago
Al Pacino won his Oscar on his eighth nomination. He deserved it more the other seven times!Amir here, back with another monthly team poll. Back in May, we had a look at the Best Actress Oscars and picked what we thought were the greatest losers in history. Since we all love symmetry, it’s only fair to give the losing gentlemen their chance to shine. And it's also quite topical in December 2013. This year's Best Actor race has so many worthy choices that the losers are inevitably worth celebrating in advance.
This was an incredibly arduous task. Though we may all have our regular disagreements with AMPAS, there’s no denying the wealth of talent on display in their record of movie history. These are some of the most iconic performances in film history and to narrow them down to just ten is a fool’s errand. List-making always is! »
- Amir S.
Team Fyc: The Conjuring for Best Production Design
20 hours ago
Let's face it: The Academy doesn't, as a rule, like horror films. Even when they're done well. But James Wan's The Conjuring is one we hope they'll honor, especially in the below-the-line categories. The technical elements are all exceptionally well-done, but the production design in particular is damn near flawless. For starters, take a look at that Annabelle doll. Creepy, right? But also totally believable as a toy that a girl might have loved as a child in the 40s or 50s and kept with her as a young adult in the 60s.
The whole film is stuffed with smart design like that. Production Designer Julie Berghoff, Art Director Geoffrey S. Grimsman, and Set Decorator Sophie Neufdorfer built the Perron house used in the film from the »
Nyfcc Runners Up?
22 hours ago
Redford's nearest rivals, Chiwetel Ejiofor & Oscar Isaac, were tied at a distant second at the NYFCCUnlike some Oscar-obsessed blogs, I don't really see much of value in sharing "runners up" from various critics orgs (running up is not winning and you can't use it as promotion unless the fine print is really really small.)
But, since Nyfcc is the first and the oldest critics group, and surprised with 3 prizes for American Hustle we're not yet sick of critics prizes (that happens in about... 12 days? 7 or 8 if everyone goes samey-samey) why not talk their runners up: Lou Lumenick at the New York Post shared how the voting went down and it looks like the "almosts" went like so... Picture (12 Years a Slave lost in a squeaker), Director and Actress (David O. Russell and Amy Adams so the American Hustle voting block was strong in the final rounds. Were they true fans »
- NATHANIEL R
Oscar's Docs Down to 15
3 December 2013 4:07 PM, PST
We will be taking a closer look at each of the 15 contenders for Best Documentary soon, but for now let's look at the films that Oscar's doc branch decided to shortlist from that gargantuan list of 151 contenders. All of the titles are rather high profile with a few left field contenders for fun. I was surprised to not see the likes of A River Changes Course, Let the Fire Burn (the only Ida nominee which didn't make it), At Berkeley, Call me Kuchu, and my personal favourite, The Missing Picture, but this looks like a fairly well representative list of films from what has arguably been one of the strongest years ever for documentaries.
The 15 contenders are:
The Act of Killing The Armstrong Lie Blackfish The Crash Reel Cutie and the Boxer Dirty Wars First Cousin: Once Removed God Loves Uganda (Reviewed) Life According to Sam Pussy Riot: A Punk Prayer (Reviewed) Stories We Tell, »
- Glenn Dunks
Do the Nyfcc Hustle
3 December 2013 3:27 PM, PST
The New York Film Critics Circle, the oldest such organization in the country, provided us with a surprise bang this morning. Like Jennifer Lawrence playing with her "science oven" in American Hustle their announcement leaves visible scorch marks, as if awards season has just blasted off like a rocket.
Whether or not these prizes have a lasting impact is yet to be determined. Some will say that the one-two punch of the Gotham Awards and Nyfcc not awarding 12 Years a Slave with their best feature is a sign. But it may well just be a coincidence and could even be good for the film; it's better to be a wildly special underdog than a frontrunner with heavy baggage when you have three whole months left to carry oneself across the finish line.
Picture American Hustle
Director Steve McQueen, 12 Years a Slave
- NATHANIEL R
Curio: Holiday Snail Mail
3 December 2013 1:00 PM, PST
Alexa here. I did my part today to keep the Usps in business by sending out an armload of holiday cards. So for those who also take the time to send a greeting through the mail, and who aren't making personal greeting card appearances à la Andrew Lincoln, here are some of the more clever film-themed greetings available that don't involve Clark Griswold or Ralphie.
Die Hard, The Shining, Holly Golightly and more after the jump...
Tis the season for John McClane. Avilable here. »
Inside Llewyn's Gotham Awards
3 December 2013 6:30 AM, PST
It was a mix of oft rewarded icons (The Coens) and breakthrough leading movie roles from former awesome TV ensemble players (Jordan & Larson) for the Gotham Awards last night in NYC. 12 Years a Slave, which led nominations (not that that means much at the Gothams with so few categories), went home emptyhanded. No, not even for Lupita Nyong'o in Breakthrough! Bad luck or a sign that people respect but don't love the slavery drama? I don't personally understand this since it's a great film and great films are easy to love but though I'm a Gothamite, I'm not a Gotham voter. And full disclosure: I'm also cool on the Coen's chilly musical, apart from the music and the cat both of which are prize-worthy.
guitar > fiddle at the Gothams
Feature: Inside Llewyn Davis
- NATHANIEL R
Team Fyc: 'Nebraska' For Best Original Score
3 December 2013 5:01 AM, PST
In this series Tfe contributors sound off on their favorite fringe contenders. Here's Anne Marie on Mark Orton and the Tin Horns.
Alexander Payne's latest film Nebraska is getting much-deserved acting kudos. Bruce Dern has undoubtedly given a career-topping performance as the muddled and melancholy Woody. However, an unacknowledged but equally fine character is the folk score by Mark Orton. Orton reunited with his band the Tin Horns to play the music for his first feature film score. They mix traditional bluegrass elements like guitar and fiddle with surprises including a dobro and a xylophone. The effect is full Americana with a lot of quirkiness and a little sadness--giving voice to the unvoiced themes in the film.
Like Deborah, I ask that the Academy think small this year. We have the usualy heavy-hitters filling film scores with sound and fury, and soon the Coen Brothers will be releasing that »
- Anne Marie
Interview: Julie Delpy on the ideal way to watch the "Before" trilogy
2 December 2013 4:00 PM, PST
Julie Delpy speaking in West Hollywood in NovemberStargazing sometimes leads us to believe that we really know the faces who act out our human dramas onscreen. Or that we know the characters they portray as if they were neighbors. It’s a false intimacy and a fantasy, fiction being fiction and strangers being strangers, but sometimes the illusion is too perfect to deny. Such is the case with Julie Delpy and Ethan Hawke as Celine and Jessie in the “Before…” trilogy. The actors cowrote and costarred in the decades spanning trilogy under the guidance of Director Richard Linklater and the films, perfectly spaced out every nine years, have allowed audiences to age along with them, which has only added to their ephemeral mystique. The films are grounded in reality through their short single day stories and long takes - real life happens one day at a time and without a »
- NATHANIEL R
41st Annie Award Nominations
2 December 2013 12:42 PM, PST
Tim here, with a quick bit of news: the International Animated Film Society has announced the nominees for the 41st Annie Awards. Unsurprisingly, it's heavily tilted towards big studio fare, with Despicable Me 2 dominating the list with eleven nominations, Monsters University and Frozen with ten nominations apiece, and The Croods just a breath behind with nine.
In the short categories (Best Animated Special Production, Best Animated Short), three of the films on the Oscar bake-off list made the Annies' cut: British TV special "Room on the Broom", the Canadian "Gloria Victoria", and Disney's tech-heavy new Mickey short, "Get a Horse!"
The full list of nominees is here. For now, I'll leave you with the nominations for Voice Acting, entirely men aside from Wiig. (The corresponding TV category is 100% male)
- Tim Brayton
Blue Days... To Come
2 December 2013 10:01 AM, PST
1 Day until... Today Blue Caprice competes for two Gotham Film Awards
1 Day until... Nyfcc, the oldest film critics organization (not to be confused with Nyfco, a much newer upstart) kicks off critics prize season and we get our first clue as to whether Cate Blanchett's Blue Jasmine is a steamroller (Dec 3rd)
2 Days until... Nbr announces kicking off the not-critics-but-we-also-give-prizes prize season (Dec 4th)
5 Days until... Blue is the Warmest Color wins (?) the European Film Awards (Dec 7th)
6 Days until... Adele Exarchopoulus wins Best Actress at Lafca for Blue is the Warmest Color. What? They always go foreign at Lafca in that category (Dec 8th)
10 Days until... The Golden Globes make like Blue Balls... but how Blue? Nominations for Blue Jasmine are a given but Warmest Color could win nods, too. (Dec 12th)
All of this might make our Oscar Chart Updates - currently in progress look instantly out of date
41 Days until. »
- NATHANIEL R
Team Fyc: Keith Stanfield, Best Supporting Actor
2 December 2013 7:00 AM, PST
In this series Film Experience contributors sound off (individually) on their favorite fringe awards contenders. Here's Matthew Eng on Keith Stanfield from "Short Term 12" (who was recently Spirit nominated)
Chief among the achievements of Destin Cretton’s Short Term 12 is an early, two-minute scene in which Keith Stanfield’s Marcus, a sullen, soft-voiced, 18-year-old intake on the verge of being released from the film’s titular foster care facility, shares a self-penned rap with Mason (John Gallagher Jr.), one of the center’s supervisors. What unfolds remains, still, the single most heartbreaking moment I’ve seen onscreen this year, as Marcus launches into an unforgiving tirade against the abusive mother who raised him, that soon transitions into a harrowing lament about the unwavering, angering pain of being born into a broken life.
Look into my eyes so you know what it’s like
To live a life not »
- GUEST CONTRIBUTOR
Podcast: Spirited Spirit Discussion
1 December 2013 7:00 PM, PST
In this week's episode, Nick channels that THR Hollywood Actress Roundtable (previously live-blogged) and Nathaniel, Katey, and Joe join in but eventually it comes around to this week's topic: Spirit Award nominations.
We haven't seen all the films but the best thing about the Spirit Awards is advocacy for smaller titles you might not be familiar with. Are they shirking that privilege and responsibility with the focus on so many future Oscar nominees in the last few years? The discussion includes but is not limited to: Inside Llewyn Davis, Afternoon Delight, Mud, Upstream Color, Frances Ha, Fruitvale Station, All is Lost, Computer Chess, Short Term 12, Blue Caprice, and Spring Breakers.
You can listen at the bottom of the post or download it on iTunes. Join in the conversation in the comments. »
- NATHANIEL R
Box Office: Hollywood Queen Beats Disney Princess
1 December 2013 4:55 PM, PST
Amir here, bringing you Thanksgiving weekend’s box office report.
It’s a testament to the popularity and success of The Hunger Games series that Frozen, in its own right a breaker of multiple records this weekend, could not displace it as the number one film. Catching Fire has banked almost $300m in just ten days, leaving virtually no doubt that it will trump Iron Man 3 as the best selling film of the year. One can only imagine how much a Katniss vs. Tony Stark mash-up film would sell, though I struggle to think of any way in which Jennifer Lawrence is not superior to Robert Downey Jr. at the moment. Frozen, meanwhile, is now firmly positioned as the frontrunner for the animated film Oscar, what with positive reviews, strong word of mouth and incredible sales that guarantee every voter will be tempted to pop this screener in.
- Amir S.