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Posts Tagged ‘coen brothers’

FYC Roger Deakins – “True Grit”

February 1, 2011 Leave a comment

So, I’m not the biggest fan of this film. I’m not even sure if Roger Deakins will top my list of Best Cinematography of 2010. One thing’s for sure, however. Roger Deakins is probably one of the top five greatest cinematographers of all time and easily the best DP to never win an Oscar. His career first took off after shooting the independent feature “Sid and Nancy” which also launched Gary Oldman’s career. After taking the role of the Coen Brothers’ official DP, his talents went straight to the top of the list.

On top of his NINE Oscar nominations, including “The Shawshank Redemption,” “Fargo,” “O Brother Where Art Thou,” “No Country for Old Men,” and “The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford” (the first three of which earned him wins from my personal awards), Deakins also did phenomenal work on “Revolutionary Road” “Dead Man Walking” and the visually astounding “Jarhead.” His work has had a truly lasting impact on the contemporary world of cinema, and from a film student’s perspective, there are not many people in today’s film industry who are more admired and revered.

When asked how he felt about receiving the American Society of Cinematographers’ Lifetime Achievement Award this month, he said he was slightly disappointed. He states that he likes to think of his career only halfway over and hopes to still do better work in the future. One can only hope that Roger keeps creating incredible visuals until the day he dies. But in the meantime, can we please just give the man an Oscar, already?

Check out this short video showing Roger Deakins work on the film “True Grit,” for which, if there’s any justice in the world, he will finally bring home a statue for:

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The Nominations – My Thoughts and Reactions

January 25, 2011 Leave a comment

The nail-biting is over, at least for a few weeks. The Oscar nominations are here, and I believe that for the first time in years, my joy outweighs my sorrow. I suppose its appropriate to get into the bad news, first.

One thing’s official. As much as the Academy seems to have the most outrageous hard-on for Stephen Daldry (3 films made, 3 Best Director nods), they seem to have an everlasting grudge against Christopher Nolan as a director (3 DGA noms, no Oscar nods for Director). I just don’t understand what the man has to do to get their recognition. You can’t feel completely bad for him, pulling down two nominations for producer and writer, but are those the types of roles that any great director wants to be remembered for? I’m sure it wasn’t good enough for Stanley Kubrick. Honestly, Christopher Nolan is one of the most talented directors in Hollywood. Who else can take a film with such originality, intelligence, grandeur and finesse and bring in 300 million dollars with it or more. And on top of that, do it twice in three years. Nobody since Steven Spielberg, I’ll tell you that much.

The second-most disturbing snub has got be the exclusion of Andrew Garfield in the Supporting Actor category. Ridiculous. Definitely one of the best performances of the year, Garfield’s portrayal of innocence-lost is the soul of “The Social Network.” Though, while I bemoan the lack of Eduardo Savrin, I simply could not be more thrilled about the inclusion of John Hawkes for his turn in “Winter’s Bone.” People who’ve visited this site often must be aware of my penchant for this particular acting job, and this morning’s news of his inclusion is the crowning jewel of almost a year’s worth of supporting him on my part.

Since I’m ever so thrilled about Hawkes, I can’t blame him for the Garfield snub. Therefore, I’m gonna have to just go ahead and blame Jeremy Renner. I never thought that in one year, I could turn so much on this performer. In “The Hurt Locker” he was phenomenal, truly deserving of a lead actor nomination. Here, he is an average performance in an average film. I don’t think I ever considered him a candidate for my supporting actor picks, not even back in October. I was genuinely shocked and confused when accolades and Oscar talk began surfacing a few months ago. It baffled me then and it truly baffles me now.

At least its consolation that Renner was “The Town”‘s only nomination, missing out on that Best Picture nod that everyone was predicting….well almost everyone ;). The fact that “Winter’s Bone” took its place could not be more gratifying, as well. What a glorious film that more than deserves all of its bestowed nominations.

Let’s look at how some films made out on the whole. “127 Hours” defied pundits with a huge 6 nomination comeback, including yet another double category nomination for A.R. Rahman (Best Original Song, Best Original Score). Meanwhile, maybe the biggest shocker of the day, was “Black Swan” achieving only 5 nominations. For a while now, many people have been projecting Aronofsky’s film to be the potential nomination frontrunner, amassing perhaps ten or twelve. Instead, the film missed out on Supporting Actress (for both of its contenders), Original Screenplay, Art Direction, Costume Design and both Sound categories. I didn’t have it predicted in all of those, but it certainly had potential. Perhaps the biggest crime here is its Sound Effects exclusion. The work done on the sound of pattering feet and flapping feathers was phenomenal.

The worst overall snub of a film had to be Martin Scorsese’s “Shutter Island.” Not an amazing film, by any standards, but certainly one in which at least its technical achievements deserved some recognition. It should have easily made the grade for both Cinematography and Art Direction. Some of the best work of the year. I’m also depressed that Ryan Gosling missed out on a more than deserving nomination for Best Actor in “Blue Valentine.” It’s very nice to see Michelle Williams nominated, but not enough of a consolation. I’m sure that when I see “Biutiful” this weekend, however, Javier Bardem will wow the living shit out of me and I will be able to praise his surprise inclusion.

Let’s move on to some of the brighter aspects of day. The big story in the news is “The King’s Speech” being the nomination leader, but “The Social Network” really did have a pretty damned good day. 8 nominations, tied for the third highest, including four technical nominations, not an easy feat for a contemporary comedy/drama. It’s true that we definitely have ourselves a race now. Yet in terms of the race, “The King’s Speech” may have gained ground, but “The Social Network” hasn’t lost any of its.

One thing that’s really got me happy is the semi-snub of “Alice in Wonderland.” True, it did receive three nominations, yet I call it a snub for the one award it had almost always been not only a lock, but a frontrunner: Best Makeup. It appears that this branch of the Academy really does know the difference between makeup and CGI. Some very interesting choices replaced it, including “Barney’s Version” and “The Way Back.”

Without a doubt, the biggest joy for me, this morning, was seeing the results that the Doc branch rolled out. This has been one of the best years I’ve ever seen for documentary films. Lately, it’s seemed as though the lackluster “Waiting for Superman” was lined up to sweep the Oscar after wins at the BFCA and PGA. However, that belief was certainly swayed when the movie did not even show up among the nominees. The Academy also chose to avoid “The Tillman Story,” a pretentious and jumbled look at the soldier’s tragic story. Instead, among the nominations, are my three favorite documentaries of the year: “Restrepo,” “Inside Job” and the glorious “Exit Through the Gift Shop.” Well done, guys.

My predictions were some of the best of my time doing this gig. out of 109 nominations, I correctly predicted 82. Not bad at all. If you were to ask my girlfriend, I was inches away from predicting Bardem at about 2 o’clock this morning. Oh well. Got to stick to your guns.

This race has gone from being a one trick pony to a cutthroat race to the finish. It is going to be “The Social Network” vs. “The King’s Speech” right to the last note. While, for sure, I have a favorite, it’s refreshing to have a very close race. While last year was a nice David and Goliath battle, looking back, it was always “The Hurt Locker”‘s for the taking. And before that, it was two years of no competition. Now we have a race the likes of “The Departed” vs. “Little Miss Sunshine” or “Million Dollar Baby” vs. “The Aviator.” However, in reality, I don’t think we’ve ever had a race quite like this one before. Should be a good time. Stay tuned.

Broadcast Film Critics Association Nominations

December 13, 2010 Leave a comment

The BFCA is a collection of around 250 film critics from the TV, radio and online outlets. Their awards and nominations are usually quite closely linked with the Academy, something they actually pride themselves on as though they’re predicting the Oscars rather than awarding their favorite choices. However, that being said, the nominations and wins usually create an accurate template for how the Academy Award nominations roughly might look like.

In that respect, it appears that “Black Swan” (which led the noms with 12!!!), “The King’s Speech” and “True Grit” (each with 11 noms) aren’t going away anytime soon. Some might think that “The Social Network” came up short of these with only 8 nominations, but it is still the frontrunner for the win. It only cannot compete in the technical categories like Art Direction and Costume Design, among others. Riding its current wave, it would be one of the biggest upsets in history to not see David Fincher’s work go home with the grand prize, here.

Otherwise, there are virtually no surprises here. Lesley Manville was unfortunately snubbed for a Best Actress nomination. In fact, “Another Year,” which hasn’t been seen in the states much, yet, was left completely out aside from an Original Screenplay nod. Also, “The Town” managed a Best Picture nomination. It has officially positioned itself as the possible pedestrian nomination for Best Picture, an unfortunate side effect of having ten nominees. Surprisingly, it took the slot of “The Kids Are All Right,” a big heavyweight going into January.

Another big surprise was….wait….no, I’m afraid there are no surprises here. Read up, and I’ll try to report something with a little more edge hopefully. The New York Film Critics Circle announces sometime in the next 6 hours.

Full List of Nominations:

BEST PICTURE
“Black Swan”
“The Fighter”
“Inception”
“The King’s Speech”
“127 Hours”
“The Social Network”
“The Town”
“Toy Story 3″
“True Grit”
“Winter’s Bone”

Read more…

Full Length “True Grit” Trailer

October 4, 2010 1 comment

People are going to think that this is actually a “True Grit” FYC site, but trust me it’s not. However, I was very surprised to see a full length trailer for “True Grit” at an early showing of “The Social Network,” especially after the fantastic teaser was released only a few days beforehand. I’m over the mystery, however, because any fears that this film will not be everything that it can be, including an Oscar contender, should now be assuaged:

True Grit Trailer on Yahoo!

I will try to post a good HD copy as soon as it becomes available.

“True Grit” Trailer

September 30, 2010 Leave a comment

So there’s a lot of organizational facets that I plan to get up and running soon. But I’ve got to address the story that has been occupying a large amount of my interest this week, and that is the long-awaited trailer for this winter’s release of “True Grit.” The new film by the ever-busy Coen Brothers is an adaptation of Charles Portis’ classic western (I’ve noticed now that many filmmakers have been avoiding the term “REMAKE” by citing the original source material as much as humanly possible).

This film has been a major contender flying very low under the radar. Until now, the only thing people have had to go on was a screenshot and a few production stills. Now that it has reared its ugly head, I think it’s safe to say that a number of nominations will headed its way this January. One thing in particular that a number of people I know can really cross there fingers for would be a long-deserved Oscar statuette for Roger Deakins, arguably the best director of photography working today. And if the images of this trailer paint an accurate picture as to the look and style of this film, then wishes might just be granted.

Enjoy this collage of visual and thematic splendor:

For better resolution get the hi-def at Apple Trailers:

http://trailers.apple.com/trailers/paramount/truegrit/