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The 1st Annual Edgy Award Nominations

February 17, 2011 1 comment

I have now been watching the Oscars, consecutively, for the last fourteen years. I love it. Even when I end up screaming at the television and throwing chairs around the room, I love the experience. Oscar night is like the Super Bowl, the World Series and Christmas all rolled into one night. However, if there’s one thing I enjoy more than watching the biggest awards of the year, it’s choosing my own.

I’ve been picking my own personal nominees and winners since before I can remember. Obviously, these particular honors don’t get as much attention as the actual Academy Awards, but they’ve always been amusing to me. Now, my awards not only get a home, but a name, as well. Welcome to the 1st Annual Edgy Award Nominations. They include all of the usual categories that the AMPAS offer. The final presentation will also contain a few other awards that tickle my fancy. Below, the nominees are listed in alphabetical order, not preferential. Expect my decision on the final winners some time next week. Hope that everyone enjoys them.

NOTE: Even though these are the first “published” Edgy Awards, I do have a solid, written record of them going back to 1940. Therefore, I’ve included a feature of noting how many nominations and wins that each individual has received from me in the past. This gives some extra input as to my own tastes in the nominees, how they’ve surprised me or continue to impress me. The connotations refer, however to how many mentions each person has had in each individual category, aside from all the acting categories included together. Once again, enjoy!

BEST ORIGINAL SONG

“Bred and Buttered”
featured in “Winter’s Bone”
Music and Lyrics by John Hawkes (1st Nom)

“If I Rise”
featured in “127 Hours”
Music by A.R. Rahman (3rd Nom)
Lyrics by Dido and Rollo Armstrong (1st Nom)

“Shine”
featured in “Waiting for Superman”
Music and Lyrics by John Legend (1st Nom)

“We Belong Together”
featured in “Toy Story 3”
Music and Lyrics by Randy Newman (3rd Nom)

 

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My Top Ten List – 2010

February 15, 2011 1 comment

Last year, I can remember the huge uproar against the AMPAS extending the amount of Best Picture nominees to ten. I can also remember, that through it all, I was one of this notion’s strongest supporters. I recognize the faults in the logic. It allows for lesser films that have no business being considered one of the year’s best to fight their way in due to endless campaigning and the votes of stupid people. This flaw took shape last year in the form of “The Blind Side” getting nominated for Best Picture.

However, the upsides of the expansion are far greater. It gives the field a more diverse look, for one. It’s nice to see films from a wide range of directors and collaborators. If allows also a mix of both intelligent box office hits and scrappy indy favorites. More than anything else, however, is that five films is just two few to sum up a year in cinema. Had the Academy enacted this ruling ten years ago, one would look back on certain films and think it a crime had they not been nominated, which they haven’t. Imagine a world if films like “The Wrestler,” “The Dark Knight,” “WALL-E,” “Into the Wild,” “Once,” “The Diving Bell and the Butterfly,” “United 93,” “Little Children,” “Children of Men” and “Pan’s Labyrinth” could have been Best Picture nominees, and that’s only the last five years.

It must be for that reason that critics, for over fifty years, have been issuing top ten lists of their favorite films, rather than top five lists. It’s about that time, therefore, for The Edge of the Frame to release its own list for the 2010 year. I have now seen sixty films from 2010, which is low for me and not quite an respectable amount. Over the years, I’m sure that this list will change a spot or two as I see more, but for now, I believe that I’ve seen an acceptable sum to create an adequate list.

This has been a good year for film, but not really a great one. Out of sixty films, I gave only two films “A” grades. The year has had its high points and low points. For instance, it has been a great year for lead acting performances, but a rotten year for cinematography. For sure, I will always remember 2010 as the year that the Oscars snubbed its nose at great film and went home to their comfort zones. More than anything else, however, 2010 has been the year of the documentary. Never have I seen a year in cinema in which so many documentaries have captured my interest, let alone made it into my top ten.

As always there are a few stragglers that, even though they don’t qualify for my top ten, they still deserve an honorable mention. Therefore, this next selection of films are all very good, but just not good enough. They may be packed with amazing moments, but there’s also one too many flaws that have kept them down. So without further adieu, here are the films that just didn’t quite make it:

THE RUNNERS-UP


“127 Hours”

Directed by Danny Boyle
Written by Danny Boyle and Simon Beaufoy

Click HERE to see the rest of the list

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My Top Ten Trailers of 2010

December 23, 2010 Leave a comment

So, it’s been a while since I’ve made my last list, aside from the unveiling of the Mitchell List. My last compilation was the Top Ten Movie Monsters of all time, which was a reasonable hit for the site. Now, it’s time for the second edition: The Top Ten Trailers of 2010.

I love movie trailers. I know that some people can’t stand them and even refuse to watch them, but I believe that they can be one of the most enjoyable aspects of going to the movies, as long as their made well. It’s always, actually, been a semi-dream job of mine to edit trailers, because there’s really nothing more fun.

In order to be phenomenal, a trailer must have many of the same qualifications of a great film. It has to have stellar pacing, it must give proper introduction to the film’s character’s and plot. However, unlike a film, it cannot give too much away of the plot and has to leave something exciting for the ticket price. It usually doesn’t hurt to have a decent choice of music, too.

The following are a selection of my favorite trailers that encompass all of these aspects. This includes trailers only for films released during the 2010 year, or else “Battle: Los Angeles” would most certainly be here. Without, further ado, here are the five runners-up:

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Chicago Film Critics Pick “The Social Network”

December 20, 2010 Leave a comment

So, some nice news from the home front. It’s just been announced that my town of Chicago has picked “The Social Network” as its number one film of the year. I can now rest easy.

Aside from that, however, I’m afraid that these awards are really kind of boring. Nice to see “Exit Through the Gift Shop” getting a consistent amount of love. Hopefully, it will gain enough traction to at least make it to a nomination for Best Documentary. Hailee Steinfeld is really starting to rack in the awards, as well, though I don’t think she has much of a chance. The Academy loves to nominate child actors, but only once in a blue moon do they actually hand over the gold to them.

Aside from the possible backlash that might be headed it’s way, I still see absolutely no boredom or regret over this unprecedented domination of the awards season. As I’ve said since the first time I saw it, this is one of the best films I’ve ever seen. It is nearly flawless, down to the last detail. I also don’t think there has ever been a film that better defines my generation. I don’t think that we’re likely to see a film this good come along for some time.

Check out the continuing tally of “The Social Network”‘s critical wins and nominations here.

I have the full list of winners after the jump or you can read the official press release from the CFCA.

Best Picture
“Black Swan”
“Inception”
“The King’s Speech”
“The Social Network”
“Winter’s Bone”

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Weinstein Wins Battle with MPAA

December 8, 2010 Leave a comment

As previously reported, the Derek Cianfrance’s independent feature “Blue Valentine” starring Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams was issued an NC-17 rating by the MPAA about a month ago. Many believed that the rating was completely unwarranted, given what has been released in other films that have been given R Ratings, instead. One of those protestors was the film’s producer, Hollywood heavyweight, Harvey Weinstein. He immediately assembled a team of lawyers to appeal the rating before the film screened for wider audiences.

This just in from Nikki Finke’s Deadline.com. “Blue Valentine” has prevailed in that legal battle. Mike Fleming reports:

The MPAA has overturned the NC-17 rating on the Derek Cianfrance-directed Blue Valentine. The film will be given an R rating after Harvey Weinstein personally argued his position in today’s hearing. That clears up all kinds of potential problems that awaited the film had it been released with that rating or unrated. The rating was given for a sex scene between a married couple played by Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams as their relationship disintegrates. I’m told the appeal board’s decision was unanimous.

This is absolutely great news for the film, not only with audiences, but with the Academy. It’s not very often that an NC-17 film makes it into the Oscar race without an appealed lower rating. Normally, films have to edit themselves down to receive an OK from the ratings board. “Blue Valentine”‘s battle has been won outright, without cutting a scene. Bravo, Harvey. I’m almost beginning to forgive you for whoring “The Reader” into the Best Picture nominations over “The Dark Knight.”

Golden Satellite Nominations

December 1, 2010 Leave a comment

This year’s Golden Satellite nominees have just been announced, and really…who could care less?

For those who don’t know what the Sats are, they are an award system given by the International Press Academy, a group of journalists from around the world who, sorry, really don’t know what they’re talking about. Wow, sounds kind of like the Golden Globes. Their awards are usually the most vague, broad nominations that can possibly be imagined, and this year is no different. I guess they do give an idea about what the awards season is going to be like, but really just reinforce what we already knew. They also jump the gun, before seeing everything. For Instance, you won’t see “True Grit” on here at all.

Anyway here goes. One thing’s for sure, “Inception” certainly isn’t going away any time soon. See the full list of nominations after the jump.

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2011 Spirit Awards: My Thoughts

December 1, 2010 Leave a comment

The “Winter’s Bone” love definitely does not meet a front on this blog. The film is an incredibly solid piece that has a great sense of its characters and its setting, with a tense story and fantastic acting. While I haven’t seen half of the field of Best Feature nominees, at this point, I would have no problem with it taking home the win.

It was kind of obvious that certain films would do well here. “The Kids Are All Right” is this year’s quirky, off-beat, crowd-pleasing Sundance hit. It seems to be tradition in recent years (Little Miss Sunshine, Juno, Slumdog Millionaire). An independent film like that can’t help but get noticed here. Same thing for “Rabbit Hole.” Even though it somehow missed out on a Best Feature nomination (to “Greenberg,” of all things), John Cameron Mitchell has done a lot for independent film in the last decade and has an excellent track record with the Spirits. Therefore, I’m not surprised it got nominations for Kidman, Eckhart (who might have more to offer in this movie than I thought), Screenplay, and Mitchell for Director.

Now, on to that which baffles me. The “Greenberg” love. Isn’t it a little bit too pedestrian to hold such stature here, or does it just seem that way because of Ben Stiller? Because it managed to beat out films the likes of “Rabbit Hole,” “Tiny Furniture,” “Never Let Me Go” and, by God, “Blue Valentine?”

Speaking of “Blue Valentine,” where the hell is it? I’ve heard nothing but amazing things about this film, its stars and its makers. That it’s going to turn the world of cinema on its heels. If it was going to excel anywhere, I would imagine it be here. Yet, all it manages is a one nomination for Best Actress? Where in the world is Ryan Gosling?

Meanwhile, Bill Murray gets a nomination for a fairly average turn, while Robert Duvall is passed over in a performance that’s been talked about for going on two years now. Also, “Jack Goes Boating” gets 3 nominations, yet it seems that they went out of their way to avoid nominating the film’s director and star, Philip Seymour Hoffman. Strange times.

My predictions for the wins (3 months before the win so probably incorrect):

BEST FEATURE
Winter’s Bone

BEST DIRECTOR
Debra Granik – Winter’s Bone

BEST SCREENPLAY
The Kids Are All Right

BEST FIRST FEATURE
Jack Goes Boating

BEST FIRST SCREENPLAY
Tiny Furniture

JOHN CASSAVETES AWARD
Daddy Longlegs

BEST ACTRESS
Jennifer Lawrence – Winter’s Bone

BEST ACTOR
James Franco – 127 Hours

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Allison Janney – Life During Wartime

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
John Hawkes – Winter’s Bone

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY
Black Swan

BEST DOCUMENTARY
Exit Through the Gift Shop

BEST FOREIGN FILM
The King’s Speech