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The 85th Academy Awards Nominations

January 10, 2013 Leave a comment

BEST PICTURE
“Amour”
“Argo”
“Beasts of the Southern Wild”
“Django Unchained”
“Les Miserables”
“Life of Pi”
“Lincoln”
“Silver Linings Playbook”
“Zero Dark Thirty”

BEST DIRECTOR
Michael Haneke – “Amour”
Ang Lee – “Life of Pi”
David O’Russell – “Silver Linings Playbook”
Steven Spielberg – “Lincoln”
Behn Zeitlin – “Beasts of the Southern Wild”

BEST ACTOR IN A LEADING ROLE
Bradley Cooper – “Silver Linings Playbook”
Daniel Day-Lewis – “Lincoln”
Hugh Jackman – “Les Miserables”
Joaquin Phoenix – “The Master”
Denzel Washington – “Flight”

BEST ACTRESS IN A LEADING ROLE
Jessica Chastain – “Zero Dark Thirty”
Jennifer Lawrence – “Silver Linings Playbook”
Emmanuelle Riva – “Amour”
Quvenzhane Wallis – “Beasts of the Southern Wild”
Naomi Watts – “The Impossible”

BEST ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE
Alan Arkin – “Argo”
Robert De Niro – “Silver Linings Playbook”
Philip Seymour Hoffman – “The Master”
Tommy Lee Jones – “Lincoln”
Christoph Waltz – “Django Unchained”

BEST ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE
Amy Adams – “The Master”
Sally Field – “Lincoln”
Anne Hathaway – “Les Misérables”
Helen Hunt – “The Sessions”
Jacki Weaver – “Silver Linings Playbook”

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY
“Argo”
“Beasts of the Southern Wild”
“Life of Pi”
“Lincoln”
“Silver Linings Playbook”

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
“Amour”
“Django Unchained”
“Flight”
“Moonrise Kingdom”
“Zero Dark Thirty”

BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM
“Amour” – Austria
“Kon-Tiki” – Norway
“No” – Chile
“A Royal Affair” – Denmark
“War Witch” – Canada

BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE
“5 Broken Cameras”
“The Gatekeepers”
“How to Survive a Plague”
“The Invisible War”
“Searching for Sugar Man”

BEST ANIMATED FEATURE
“Brave”
“Frankenweenie”
“ParaNorman”
“The Pirates! Band of Misfits”
“Wreck-It Ralph”

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY
“Anna Karenina”
“Django Unchained”
“Life of Pi”
“Lincoln”
“Skyfall”

BEST EDITING
“Argo”
“Life of Pi”
“Lincoln”
“Silver Linings Playbook”
“Zero Dark Thirty”

BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN
“Anna Karenina”
“The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey”
“Les Misérables”
“Life of Pi”
“Lincoln”

BEST COSTUME DESIGN
“Anna Karenina”
“Les Misérables”
“Lincoln”
“Mirror Mirror”
“Snow White and the Huntsman”

BEST SOUND MIXING
“Argo”
“Les Misérables”
“Life of Pi”
“Lincoln”
“Skyfall”

BEST SOUND EDITING
“Argo”
“Django Unchained”
“Life of Pi”
“Skyfall”
“Zero Dark Thirty”

BEST VISUAL EFFECTS
“The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey”
“Life of Pi”
“Marvel’s The Avengers”
“Prometheus”
“Snow White and the Huntsman”

BEST MAKE-UP AND HAIRSTYLING
“Hitchcock”
“The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey”
“Les Misérables”

BEST ORIGINAL SONG
“Before My Time” from “Chasing Ice”
“Everybody Needs A Best Friend” from “Ted”
“Pi’s Lullaby” from “Life of Pi”
“Skyfall” from “Skyfall”
“Suddenly” from “Les Misérables”

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE
“Anna Karenina”
“Argo”
“Life of Pi”
“Lincoln”
“Skyfall”

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Final Predictions for the 85th Academy Awards

January 10, 2013 Leave a comment

oscars_nominations_final_predictions

With the clock ticking, unfortunately, there’s not much time for discussion or justification. I’m just going to have to spit these out and see what happens in a matter of hours. Enjoy, and don’t forget to check back to see the results in the morning.

BEST PICTURE

1. “Zero Dark Thirty”
2. “Lincoln”
3. “Argo”
4. “Les Miserables”
5. “Silver Linings Playbook”
6. “Life of Pi”
7. “Moonrise Kingdom”
8. “Beasts of the Southern Wild”
9. “Skyfall”
10. “Amour”

Alt 1: Django Unchained
Alt 2: “The Master”

(NOTE: Again, Best Picture could end up being anywhere between 5 and 10 nominees, so in this case, you can use the ideology of “if there are five…if there are six…etc”)

BEST DIRECTOR

1. Kathryn Bigelow – “Zero Dark Thirty”
2. Steven Spielberg – “Lincoln”
3. Ben Affleck – “Argo”
4. Ang Lee – “Life of Pi”
5. Tom Hooper” – “Les Miserables”

Alt 1: Michael Haneke – “Amour
Alt 2: Quentin Tarantino – “Django Unchained”

BEST LEADING ACTOR

1. Daniel Day-Lewis – “Lincoln”
2. Denzel Washington – “Flight”
3. Hugh Jackman – “Les Miserables”
4. John Hawkes – “The Sessions”
5. Joaquin Phoenix – “The Master”

Alt 1: Bradley Cooper – “Silver Linings Playbook”
Alt 2: Richard Gere – “Arbitrage”

BEST LEADING ACTRESS

1. Jennifer Lawrence – “Silver Linings Playbook”
2. Jessica Chastain – “Zero Dark Thirty”
3. Marion Cotillard – “Rust and Bone”
4. Naomi Watts – “The Impossible”
5. Emmanuelle Riva – “Amour”

Alt 1: Quevenzhane Wallis – “Beasts of the Southern Wild”
Alt 2: Helen Mirren – “Hitchcock”

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR

1. Tommy Lee Jones – “Lincoln”
2. Philip Seymour Hoffman – “The Master”
3. Robert De Niro – “Silver Linings Playbook”
4. Alan Arkin – “Argo”
5. Leonardo DiCaprio – “Django Unchained”

Alt 1: Matthew McConaughey – “Magic Mike”
Alt 2: Christoph Waltz” – “Django Unchained”

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS

1. Anne Hathaway – “Les Miserables”
2. Sally Field – “Lincoln”
3. Helen Hunt – “The Sessions”
4. Amy Adams – “The Master”
5. Ann Dowd – “Compliance”

Alt 1: Nicole Kidman – “The Paperboy”
Alt 2: Judi Dench – “The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel”

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY

1. “Lincoln”
2. “Argo”
3. “Silver Linings Playbook”
4. “Beasts of the Southern Wild”
5. “Life of Pi”

Alt 1: “The Perks of Being a Wallflower”
Alt 2: “The Sessions”

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY

1. “Zero Dark Thirty”
2. “Moonrise Kingdom”
3. “The Master”
4. “Amour”
5. “Looper”

Alt 1: “Django Unchained”
Alt 2: “Middle of Nowhere”

BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE

1. “The Gatekeepers”
2. “The Invisible War”
3. “Searching for Sugar Man”
4. “The House I Live In”
5. “Mea Maxima Culpa: Silence in the House of God”

Alt 1: “How to Survive a Plague”
Alt 2: “5 Broken Cameras”

BEST ANIMATED FEATURE

1. “Brave”
2. “Frankenweenie”
3. “Wreck It Ralph”
4. “Paranorman”
5. “Rise of the Guardians”

Alt 1: “The Painting”
Alt 2: “Zarafa”

BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM

1. “Amour”
2. “The Intouchables”
3. “War Witch”
4. “A Royal Affair”
5. “No”

Alt 1: “Sister”
Alt 2: “Kon Tiki”

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY

1. “Life of Pi”
2. “Skyfall”
3. “Lincoln”
4. “The Master”
5. “Les Miserables”

Alt 1: “Zero Dark Thirty”
Alt 2: “Anna Karenina”

BEST EDITING

1. “Zero Dark Thirty”
2. “Argo”
3. “Skyfall”
4. “Lincoln”
5. “Les Miserables”

Alt 1: “Silver Linings Playbook”
Alt 2: “Life of Pi”

BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN

1. “Les Miserables”
2. “Lincoln”
3. “Anna Karenina”
4. “The Master”
5. “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey”

Alt 1: “Cloud Atlas”
Alt 2: “The Dark Knight Rises”

BEST COSTUME DESIGN

1. “Lincoln”
2. “Les Miserables”
3. “Anna Karenina”
4. “Django Unchained”
5. “Mirror Mirror”

Alt 1: “A Royal Affair”
Alt 2: “Snow White and the Huntsman”

BEST SOUND MIXING

1. “Les Miserables”
2. “Skyfall”
3. “Zero Dark Thirty”
4. “The Avengers”
5. “The Dark Knight Rises”

Alt 1: “Lincoln”
Alt 2: “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey”

BEST SOUND EFFECTS EDITING

1. “Skyfall”
2. “The Dark Knight Rises”
3. “The Avengers”
4. “Les Miserables”
5. “Django Unchained”

Alt 1: “Zero Dark Thirty”
Alt 2: “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey”

BEST VISUAL EFFECTS

1. “Life of Pi”
2. “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey”
3. “The Avengers”
4. “Prometheus”
5. “The Dark Knight Rises”

Alt 1: “Cloud Atlas”
Alt 2: “John Carter”

BEST MAKEUP EFFECTS

1. “Lincoln”
2. “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey”
3. “Les Miserables”

Alt 1: “Men in Black 3″
Alt 2: “Looper”

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE

1. “Life of Pi”
2. “Lincoln”
3. “Argo”
4. “Anna Karenina”
5. “Beasts of the Southern Wild”

Alt 1: “The Master”
Alt 2: “Zero Dark Thirty”

BEST ORIGINAL SONG

1. “Skyfall” – “Skyfall”
2. “Suddenly” – “Les Miserables”
3. “Learn Me Right” – “Brave”
4. “Still Alive” – “Paul Williams Still Alive”
5. “Ancora Qui” – “Django Unchained”

Alt 1: “From Here to the Moon and Back” – “Joyful Noise”
Alt 2: “Song of the Lonely Mountain” – “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey”

Updated 2013 Oscar Predictions – 12/29

December 30, 2012 Leave a comment

lincoln_oscar_predictions

It’s less than two weeks left until the big morning comes, but with everything that’s happened thus far, I thought it would be a good time to re-assess things. Obviously, “Zero Dark Thirty” has largely positioned itself at the head of the pack and Daniel Day Lewis is lined up for another coronation. However, many of the major categories still seem much more open then normal.

In the next two weeks, the guilds will really start to have their say. Throughout the last decade or so, these union groups nominations have very tight links to the eventual nominations. On the other hand, this year will be a unique one. For the first time, the DGA nominations won’t be announced until after Oscar ballots are due in. Therefore, this year, the DGA, which was always believed to have a large impact on not only Best Director, but the Best Picture category as well. Or perhaps this year will prove that theory wrong, in the event that we see the two organizations line-up without any connection proves that they really do think alike. We shall see.

Here’s my latest round of predictions for the 85th Academy Awards:

BEST PICTURE

1. “Zero Dark Thirty”
2. “Lincoln”
3. “Argo”
4. “Les Miserables”
5. “Silver Linings Playbook”
6. “Moonrise Kingdom”
7. “Life of Pi”
8. “Amour”
9. “The Master”
10. “Beasts of the Southern Wild”

Alt 1: Django Unchained
Alt 2: “Skyfall”

BEST DIRECTOR

1. Kathryn Bigelow – “Zero Dark Thirty”
2. Steven Spielberg – “Lincoln”
3. Ben Affleck – “Argo”
4. Tom Hooper – “Les Miserables”
5. David O’Russell – “Silver Linings Playbook”

Alt 1: Ang Lee – “Life of Pi”
Alt 2: Michael Haneke – “Amour”

BEST LEADING ACTOR

1. Daniel Day-Lewis – “Lincoln”
2. Denzel Washington – “Flight”
3. Hugh Jackman – “Les Miserables”
4. John Hawkes – “The Sessions”
5. Joaquin Phoenix – “The Master”

Alt 1: Bradley Cooper – “Silver Linings Playbook”
Alt 2: Richard Gere – “Arbitrage”

BEST LEADING ACTRESS

1. Jennifer Lawrence – “Silver Linings Playbook”
2. Jessica Chastain – “Zero Dark Thirty”
3. Marion Cotillard – “Rust and Bone”
4. Naomi Watts – “The Impossible”
5. Emmanuelle Riva – “Amour”

Alt 1: Quevenzhane Wallis – “Beasts of the Southern Wild”
Alt 2: Rachel Weisz – “The Deep Blue Sea”

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR

1. Tommy Lee Jones – “Lincoln”
2. Philip Seymour Hoffman – “The Master”
3. Robert De Niro – “Silver Linings Playbook”
4. Alan Arkin – “Argo”
5. Leonardo DiCaprio – “Django Unchained”

Alt 1: Matthew McConaughey – “Magic Mike”
Alt 2: Eddie Redmayne – “Les Miserables”

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS

1. Anne Hathaway – “Les Miserables”
2. Sally Field – “Lincoln”
3. Helen Hunt – “The Sessions”
4. Amy Adams – “The Master”
5. Ann Dowd – “Compliance”

Alt 1: Nicole Kidman – “The Paperboy”
Alt 2: Judi Dench – “The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel”

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY

1. “Lincoln”
2. “Argo”
3. “Silver Linings Playbook”
4. “Beasts of the Southern Wild”
5. “Life of Pi”

Alt 1: “The Sessions”
Alt 2: “The Perks of Being a Wallflower”

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY

1. “Zero Dark Thirty”
2. “The Master”
3. “Moonrise Kingdom”
4. “Amour”
5. “Looper”

Alt 1: “Django Unchained”
Alt 2: “Seven Psychopaths”

BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE

1. “The Gatekeepers”
2. “The Invisible War”
3. “Searching for Sugar Man”
4. “The House I Live In”
5. “Mea Maxima Culpa: Silence in the House of God”

Alt 1: “How to Survive a Plague”
Alt 2: “Bully”

BEST ANIMATED FEATURE

1. “Brave”
2. “Frankenweenie”
3. “Wreck It Ralph”
4. “Paranorman”
5. “Rise of the Guardians”

Alt 1: “The Painting”
Alt 2: “Zarafa”

BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM

1. “Amour”
2. “The Intouchables”
3. “A Royal Affair”
4. “War Witch”
5. “Sister”

Alt 1: “No”
Alt 2: “Kon Tiki”

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY

1. “Life of Pi”
2. “The Master”
3. “Skyfall”
4. “Lincoln”
5. “Zero Dark Thirty”

Alt 1: “Les Miserables”
Alt 2: “Django Unchained”

BEST EDITING

1. “Zero Dark Thirty”
2. “Argo”
3. “Lincoln”
4. “Skyfall”
5. “Les Miserables”

Alt 1: “Silver Linings Playbook”
Alt 2: “LIfe of Pi”

BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN

1. “Les Miserables”
2. “Lincoln”
3. “Anna Karenina”
4. “The Master”
5. “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey”

Alt 1: “Cloud Atlas”
Alt 2: “Moonrise Kingdom”

BEST COSTUME DESIGN

1. “Lincoln”
2. “Les Miserables”
3. “Anna Karenina”
4. “Mirror Mirror”
5. “Django Unchained”

Alt 1: “A Royal Affair”
Alt 2: “Snow White and the Huntsman”

BEST SOUND MIXING

1. “Les Miserables”
2. “Skyfall”
3. “The Dark Knight Rises”
4. “The Avengers”
5. “Zero Dark Thirty”

Alt 1: “Django Unchained”
Alt 2: “Life of Pi”

BEST SOUND EFFECTS EDITING

1. “Skyfall”
2. “The Dark Knight Rises”
3. “The Avengers”
4. “Les Miserables”
5. “Django Unchained”

Alt 1: “Zero Dark Thirty”
Alt 2: “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey”

BEST VISUAL EFFECTS

1. “Life of Pi”
2. “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey”
3. “The Avengers”
4. “Prometheus”
5. “The Dark Knight Rises”

Alt 1: “Cloud Atlas”
Alt 2: “John Carter”

BEST MAKEUP EFFECTS

1. “Lincoln”
2. “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey”
3. “Les Miserables”

Alt 1: “Looper”
Alt 2: “Men in Black 3”

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE

1. “Life of Pi”
2. “Lincoln”
3. “Argo”
4. “Anna Karenina”
5. “Beasts of the Southern Wild”

Alt 1: “The Master”
Alt 2: “Skyfall”

BEST ORIGINAL SONG

1. “Skyfall” – “Skyfall”
2. “Suddenly” – “Les Miserables”
3. “Learn Me Right” – “Brave”
4. “Still Alive” – “Paul Williams Still Alive”
5. “Ancora Qui” – “Django Unchained”

Alt 1: “From Here to the Moon and Back” – “Joyful Noise”
Alt 2: “Still Dream” – “Rise of the Guardians”

 

NOMINATIONS TALLY

12 – “Lincoln”
11 – “Les Miserables”
7 – “The Master”
7 – “Zero Dark Thirty”
6 – “Argo”
5 – “Life of Pi”
5 – “Silver Linings Playbook”
5 – “Skyfall”
4 – “Amour”
4 – “Django Unchained”
3 – “Anna Karenina”
3 – “The Avengers”
3 – “Beasts of the Southern Wild”
3 – “The Dark Knight Rises”
3 – “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey”
2 – “Brave”
2 – “Moonrise Kingdom”
2 – “The Sessions”

“Zero Dark Thirty” Takes the National Board of Review

December 5, 2012 Leave a comment

bradley_cooper_national_board_of_review

Two for two, and while the excitement is building, the tension is unfortunately fading fast. To be quite honest, I’m not sure if I can take another year of monogamous critical love for a single movie. Yes, it’s true, “The Social Network”‘s unstoppable sweep in 2010 was a memorable time in my life (though not every year does a film move and amaze me to the quite same extent), the same routine every year can make this whole thing we do a bit of a bore.

Nevertheless, it’d be unwise to start closing the book on this year’s Oscars. If you look at films like “Sideways,” “Brokeback Mountain” or “The Social Network,” every critics award in the book could prove useless come the big night. It ain’t over till it’s over.

Aside from the top honor, “Zero Dark Thirty” helmer Kathryn Bigelow grabbed her second Best Director award of the week. Jessica Chastain proved that she is a noticeable force in the film by taking down Best Actress. The rest of the awards actually displayed a nice sense of originality. Bradley Cooper managed to beat out the all-but-coronated Daniel Day Lewis in Best Actor. Meanwhile, Leonardo DiCaprio takes what will hopefully be his first of many Best Supporting Actor victories. Despite not yet seeing the film, I’m very much pulling for this to be his year. Rian Johnson took a surprise victory in Best Original Screenplay for “Looper,” while David O’Russell won for his adapted work in “Silver Linings Playbook.”

Ann_Dowd_Compliance

Without a doubt, the most interesting and inspired award of the night was Ann Dowd being named Best Supporting Actress for her brilliantly realistic portrayal in “Compliance.” Those that have seen the film (which isn’t many, admittedly) know that Ann absolutely owns the screen. You cannot take your eyes off of her and she’ll make you pay for it with plenty of memorable, yet absolutely cringe-inducing, scenes. I can only hope that awards like this might have chance of carrying her all the way, much like Jackie Weaver for “Animal Kingdom.”

The Top Ten List is much to be expected, with mentions for “Argo,” “Lincoln,” “Beasts of the Southern Wild,” “Silver Linings Playbook” and “Les Miserables.” Chalk up another unbearably depressing day for Paul Thomas Anderson’s “The Master.” The film that had supposedly championed critics has yet to win a single award on their behalf and missed out on even reaching the NBR’s top ten, while finding films like “Promised Land” and “The Perks of Being a Wallflower” in its place. It still has a chance to make a stand in Los Angeles this weekend, but if it fails to even show up there, it might be time to count it out of the Best Picture race, entirely. Disappointing, to say the least.

See the full list of winners after the jump and remember to keep checking back for further updates, opinions and analysis:

Read more…

2013 Oscar Predictions: “Just when I thought I was out…”

November 26, 2012 Leave a comment

“…they pull me back in.”  That’s right folks. It has now been nearly nine months since my last official post on The Edge of the Frame and I am severely out of practice. The close of last year’s Oscar season ironically coincided with my being hired into full time employment. Spending nine hours a day composing upwards of seventy-five emails and compiling online data have made coming home and getting behind a computer screen a not-so-welcoming scenario. A couple of hours of  “The X-Files” on Netflix or “The Sopranos” on DVD have become a much more viable way to close out an evening. All of this partnered with a summer of fantasy baseball and my engagement to the woman I love have left comparably little time for my beloved little website.

However, as it turns out, old habits die hard. I’ve been watching the Oscars religiously for fifteen years and been dipping my toe into prognostication for the last seven. There’s no way I can sit this one out. There’s a lot of work to be done. Working full time has more or less hindered my rate of viewing new releases. I’ve got a schedule of about 36 films to see, both on Netflix and in theaters, over the next three months. However, with the first of the critics’ awards just around the corner, things are about to get very busy. Even before everything is seen and done, it’s about time that I offer a bit of perspective on how this year’s race is going to play out.

Some of the year’s biggest contenders have retained their position at the head of the race (“Les Miserables,” “Lincoln,”), practically since they were originally announced. Others have taken a hefty fall from grace (“The Master,” “The Dark Knight Rises”). A few projects have sprung up from out of the blue to become bonafide Best Picture threats (“The Silver Linings Playbook,” “Beasts of the Southern Wild,”), while a couple that have barely been seen at all remain a mystery to many (“Zero Dark Thirty,” “Django Unchained”).

However, it’s never too early (or too late, in my case) to start putting the pieces together and assembling a picture of how the board will look almost exactly three months to the date. Listed below are my predictions for the 85th Annual Academy Award nominations. They’re ranked by the chances of each film (or individual) getting nominated. Winning does not come into play here. As complicated as it is, sometimes a person could have a lot easier a path getting nominated for an Oscar, then they ever would of winning. Ask Peter O’Toole if you need more info…

Enjoy, and remember that this whole chalkboard might be completely erased and scribbled down again, a month from now:

BEST PICTURE

1. “Argo”
2. “Lincoln”
3. “Les Miserables”
4. “Silver Linings Playbook”
5. “Zero Dark Thirty”
6. “The Master”
7. “Beasts of the Southern Wild”
8. “Moonrise Kingdom”
9. “Life of Pi”
10. “The Sessions”

Alt 1: “Django Unchained”
Alt 2: “Amour”
Alt 3: “Flight”

Read more…

And the Wheels Started Turning…

December 3, 2011 2 comments

Okay. Take a second. Deep breath…there we go. It’s been a bit of a big week with a lot to take in. However, this is just the opening salvo, and some much heavier ones are soon to come. However, in the last several days, we’ve had two extremely influential critics groups weigh in along with nominations announced by one of the more prestigious awards bodies in the country. So, while the jigsaw puzzle is far from complete, we’re getting a glimpse of the outline through the forming edges.

Let’s start with the antsiest of the lot, who just couldn’t wait their turn in line. The New York Film Critics Circle, being about as bigheaded as a group of big apple critics could be, pushed their awards announcement up by about two weeks. This was in an attempt to better influence the Oscars and separate themselves from the other critics. In case there was a critical darling such as “The Social Network” of yesteryear, they at least wanted to make it seem as though it were their idea. This has, honestly, put a rotten taste in the mouth of the whole awards season. The circle defied convention and tradition, forced movies to hurry their final touches in order to be screened in time, didn’t care to take a moment’s pause to reflect on their decisions and in the end made some really safe and traditional decisions from a group that usually champions the edgy and bold. I really must say…for shame.

For their high honors, the NYFCC went with “The Artist,” the silent film with a heart of gold. I definitely am looking forward to catching this one, though not quite as much as others. Director Michael Hazanavicius also took home high honors. By the time that Best Picture rolled in, I was hoping that “Moneyball” would pull through, after it had already won Best Actor for Brad Pitt and Best Screenplay for Aaron Sorkin and Steven Zallian. “Tree of Life” also had a pretty big day, winning Best Cinematography, sharing in Brad Pitt’s Best Actor award and Best Supporting Actress for Jessica Chastain (who also won for “Take Shelter” and “The Help”).

The other two acting awards were picked up by Albert Brooks for “Drive” and Meryl Streep for “The Iron Lady.” I’m straight-up not wild about Brooks who gives a couple of great scenes in only a good performance. Not worthy of any high accolades. As far as Meryl Streep is concerned, I’m on the fence. Whenever La Streep is once again up for her third Oscar, I just can’t decide whether I want it or not. As weird as it sounds, she is more due for an Oscar than practically any other actress, being that she is widely considered to be the greatest living performer and yet hasn’t won gold in nearly thirty years. However, when it comes to critics, Meryl is the safest choice that can be made. It’d be nicer to see some hutzpah with a choice like Tilda Swinton or Olivia Colman.

“The Descendants” turned out to be S.O.L., a surprise considering that Alexander Payne’s previous film, “Sideways,” swept this particular group, taking awards for Best Picture, Actor, Supporting Actress and Screenplay. George Clooney especially had a bad day, even missing out on a Best Actor nomination from the Spirits. However, he and the film lucked out that the National Board of Review voted differently, so much that it would seem they from a different planet (when really they’re centered out of the same city).

Here, Payne’s festival favorite came up big, taking down the awards for Best Actor (Clooney), Best Supporting Actress (Shailene Woodley) and Best Adapted Screenplay. Sadly, the prizes for Picture and Director went to “Hugo.” While it’s nice to see a wrench thrown in the works, this choice baffles me based on merit. Personally, the immensity of critical love for this film, in general, blows my mind. Pretty and heartwarming, but low on entertainment, conflict and drama. Christopher Plummer received Best Supporting Actor for his career-best performance in “Beginners,” hopefully asserting himself as the man to beat. And where NYFCC dropped the ball, the usually straight-as-an-arrow NBR chose the dicey performance of Tilda Swinton in “We Need to Talk About Kevin” for their Best Lead Actress. God, I can’t wait to see that film.

Quite strangely, the three big winners from the NYFCC went home almost completely empty-handed. “The Tree of Life” and “The Artist” only received spots on the NBR’s top ten, while “Moneyball” disturbingly did not even make that cut. However, they weren’t the unluckiest films of the day. “Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy” failed to receive even a single nomination from anyone. If it continues to fly under the radar with critics, it will need a massive push from the guilds to stay alive.

Also, there’s “Martha Marcy May Marlene.” The big hit at Sundance failed to even make the NBR’s top ten independent films and received only a pair of acting nominations from the Independent Spirits, an organization many would have thought the film would have championed. It has a giant hole to climb out of if it wants to stay in any kind of Oscar contention. Personally, I’m not too bummed. A great concept that failed to achieve an emotional surge and tries so hard for subtlety, but often comes off as light-handed. I do hope that Elizabeth Olsen is able to pick up some steam for her deeply nuanced performance.

So, barring any surprise announcements from critics, we’re being given a bit of a lull for the next eight days. However, starting on Sunday, December 11th, it’s going to be difficult to find a busier week. Kicking off with honors from the Los Angeles and Boston Film Critics, we’ll then be receiving nominations from the Screen Actors Guild, the Broadcast Film Critics and Golden Globes, one day after another. Until then, I’ll be reporting anything I can and probably re-evaluating my current Oscar predictions. Stay tuned.

NEW “Tree of Life” Poster

March 28, 2011 Leave a comment

Wow. This film either has to be god’s gift to mankind, or it shall be the biggest disappointment in recent cinematic history. I don’t think any film aside from “Inception” has gained such a heavy base of anticipation among bloggers, fanboys and cinephiles, in general.

They seem to be putting a lot of emphasis on the visual images of the film (which are honestly quite gorgeous). Highly respected cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki could be looking at his fifth Oscar nomination, or perhaps even a win. Nothing will ever offset the snub of his loss for “Children of Men,” however, so a reward is irrelevant in my eyes.

One has to wonder whether or not the story is going to come anywhere near close enough to measuring up to the film’s brilliant eye candy. One has to wonder how a film that contains both Brad Pitt as an abusive, overbearing father and dinosaurs make it into the same screenplay. Yes, that’s right. I said dinosaurs. I remember hearing the rumors years ago, which I didn’t truly believe until I noticed the center square on the poster, fourth from the bottom. That looks quite a bit to me, and a lot of other people on the web, like a dinosaur standing the middle of some kind of river. Also, the top left corner appears to feature some kind of asteroid impact, that one could only guess is the rock that killed off life on Earth sixty-five million years ago.

Will this movie make any kind of discernible sense, or will it be a big visual mess of a film. I’m ready for just about anything at this point, and I hope you all are, too.

Check out the full poster after the cut:

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