Posts Tagged ‘meryl streep’

The 4th Annual Edgy Award Nominations

January 28, 2015 Leave a comment

4th Edgy Collage Final

That’s right, I’ve returned again from the ashes to shower all of you with my cinematic opinions. For what reason? I suppose that’s ultimately up for you all to decide. For me, the cinematic process exists on three levels: people make films, people watch films and, finally, people discuss films. I’m here to plant my flag in the discussion, for that’s the only way that a film  lives beyond the first two steps.

With the announcement of this year’s Academy Award nominations, I am compelled to throw my hat in the ring and let you all know of where they went wrong and, occasionally, strike gold. But most of all, I can’t help but get a metaphysical high from this; taking all of my cinematic conquests that I’ve spent my hard-earned money seeing, and lining them up in neat, organized columns. Maybe as a child, I spent too much time organizing my action figures and baseball cards, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. And given that I made my first “Top 100 Films” list when I was 11, I don’t think it could have turned out differently.

Now, as much as I can’t wait to dig into 2014, and all of its brightest points, I’ve still got a lot to see in the next 4 weeks. Meanwhile, due to a few too many unfortunate stints by my wife’s side in the hospital last winter (she’s fine, now, don’t worry), the 4th Annual Edgy Awards never had a chance to come to pass. Since you can’t have a 5th without the 4th, I’ll spend a bit more time covering my bases for this year and will offer a up a little blast from the past. We’ll get back to 2014 by the time the Oscars roll through, but for now, the year that was lost can now be found.

To remind everyone, while these are the “4th” Edgy Awards, I keep records going back to the 1940s. So while nominees’ records might not be published, they exist, nonetheless. Meanwhile, their nomination and win counts are restricted to the category they are nominated in (with the exception of all acting and music awards).

Here are the 2013 Nominations for the 4th Annual Edgy Awards:



featured in “All is Lost”
Music and Lyrics by Alex Ebert (1st nom)

The Moon Song
featured in “Her”
Music and Lyrics by Karen O (1st nom)

Please Please Mr. Kennedy
featured in “Inside Llewyn Davis”
Music and Lyrics by T Bone Burnett (3rd nom, 1 win – “The Weary Kind” in “Crazy Heart”), George Cromarty (1st nom), Ed Rush (1st nom) and Justin Timberlake (1st nom)

featured in “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire”
Music and Lyrics by Of Monsters and Men (1st nom)

Young and Beautiful
featured in “The Great Gatsby”
Music and Lana Del Ray (1st nom)



12 Years a Slave
Hans Zimmer (8th nom, 3 wins – “Gladiator,” “The Thin Red Line” and “Rain Man”)

Steven Price (1st nom)

Arcade Fire (2nd nom)

The Place Beyond the Pines
Mike Patton (1st nom)

Clint Mansell (3rd nom, 1 win – “Moon)



12 Years a Slave
Nikki I. Brown (2nd nom) and Nick London (1st nom)

American Hustle
Lori McCoy-Bell (1st nom) and Evelyn Noraz (1st nom)

Dallas Buyers Club
Melanie Deforrest (1st nom) and Robin Mathews (2nd nom)

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire
Ve Neill (10th nom, 3 wins – “Mrs. Doubtfire,” “Batman Returns” and “Beetlejuice”)

Donald Mowat (1st nom)



All is Lost
Colin Davies (1st nom) and Bob Munroe (2nd nom)

Neil Corbould (5th nom, 1 win – “Inception”), Chris Lawrence (1st nom) David Shirk (1st nom) and Timothy Webber (4th nom)

Eric Barba (4th nom, 1 win – “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button) and Bjorn Mayer (1st nom)

Pacific Rim
Lindy DeQuattro (1st nom), Hal T. Hickell (4th nom, 1 win – “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest”), John Knoll (8th nom, 2 wins – “Avatar” and “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest”)

 Star Trek: Into Darkness
Burt Dalton (4th nom, 1 win – “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button”), Ben Grossman (3rd nom), Robert Guyett (6th nom), Paul Tubach (1st nom)



Captain Phillips
Oliver Tarney (2nd nom, 1 win – “United 93”)

Glenn Freemantle (1st nom)

Al Nelson (1st nom)

Star Trek: Into Darkness
Ben Burtt (11th nom, 6 wins – “Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade,” “Star Wars: Return of the Jedi,” “E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial,” “Raiders of the Lost Ark,” “Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back” and “Star Wars: A New Hope”) and Matthew Wood (6th nom)

World War Z
Nigel Stone (1st nom) and Ethan van der Ryn (7th nom, 2 wins – “LOTR: The Two Towers” and “Transformers: Dark of the Moon”)



Captain Phillips
Chris Burdon (3rd nom), Chris Munro (5th nom, 1 win – “Black Hawk Down”), Mike Prestwood Smith (3rd nom) and Mark Taylor (1st nom)

Niv Adiri (1st nom), Christopher Benstead (1st nom), Skip Lievsay (3rd nom) and Chris Munro (5th nom, 1 win – “Black Hawk Down”)

Inside Llewyn Davis
Peter F. Kurland (3rd nom), Skip Lievsay (3rd nom) Greg Orloff (3rd nom)

 Star Trek: Into Darkness
Peter J. Devlin (5th nom), Will Files (3rd nom, 1 win – “Cloverfield”) and Andy Nelson (22nd nom, 5 wins – “Les Miserables,” “Cloverfield,” “Munich,” “Saving Private Ryan” and L.A. Confidential”)

James Bolt (1st nom), Chuck Michael (1st nom) and John Morris (1st nom)



12 Years a Slave
Patricia Norris (6th nom, 3 wins – “The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford,” “The Elephant Man” and “Days of Heaven”)

Caroline Harris (1st nom)

American Hustle
Michael Wilkinson (1st nom)

The Great Gatsby
Catherine Martin (2nd nom, 1 win – “Moulin Rouge”)

Oz: The Great and Powerful
Gary Jones (2nd nom)



12 Years a Slave
Alice Baker (1st nom) and Adam Stockhausen (2nd nom)

The Conjuring
Julie Berghoff (1st nom) and Sophie Neudorfer (1st nom)

Andy Nicholson (1st nom), Rosie Goodwin (2nd nom) and Joanne Woollard (2nd nom)

The Great Gatsby
Catherine Martin (3rd nom, 2 wins – “Moulin Rouge” and “Romeo and Juliet”) and Beverley Dunn (1st nom)

K.K. Barrett (2nd Nom) and Gene Serdana (1st nom)



12 Years a Slave
Joe Walker (2nd nom)

Captain Phillips
Christopher Rouse (3rd nom, 1 win – “United 93”)

Alfonso Cuaron (2nd nom) and Mark Sanger (1st nom)

Inside Llewyn Davis
Joel and Ethan Coen (3rd nom, 1 win – “Fargo”)

The Place Beyond the Pines
Jim Helton (1st nom) and Ron Patane (1st nom)



12 Years a Slave
Sean Bobbitt (3rd nom)

Emmanuel Lubezki
 (4th nom, 2 wins – “The Tree of Life” and “Children of Men”)

Inside Llewyn Davis
Bruno Delbonnel (4th nom, 1 win – “A Very Long Engagement”)

The Place Beyond the Pines
Sean Bobbitt 
(3rd nom)

Roger Deakins (13th nom, 4 wins – “O Brother, Where Art Thou?,” “Fargo,” “The Shawshank Redemption” and “Barton Fink”)



20 Feet from Stardom
Gil Friesen (1st nom), Morgan Neville (1st nom), Caitrin Rogers (1st nom)

The Act of Killing
Joshua Oppenheimer (1st nom)

Gabriela Cowperthwaite (1st nom)

Room 237
Rodney Ascher (1st nom)

Stories We Tell
Sarah Polley (1st nom)



12 Years a Slave
John Ridley (2nd nom)

Before Midnight
Julie Delpy (1st nom), Ethan Hawke (1st nom) and Richard Linklater (4th nom)

Captain Phillips
Billy Ray (1st nom)

Steve Coogan (1st nom) and Jeff Pope (1st nom)

The Wolf of Wall Street
Terrence Winter  (1st nom)



Spike Jonze (1st nom)

Inside Llewyn Davis
Joel and Ethan Coen (8th nom, 3 wins – “No Country for Old Men,” “Fargo” and “Barton Fink”)

Jeff Nichols (1st nom)

The Place Beyond the Pines
Derek Cianfrance (2nd nom) Ben Coccio (1st nom) and Darius Marder (1st nom)

Short Term 12
Destin Daniel Cretton (1st nom)



12 Years a Slave
Benedict Cumberbatch, Paul Dano, Garret Dillahunt, Chiwetel Ejiofer, Michael Fassbender, Paul Giamatti, Lupita Nyong’o, Adepero Oduye, Sarah Paulson, Brad Pitt, Alfre Woodard

American Hustle”
Amy Adams, Christian Bale, Louis C.K., Bradley Cooper, Robert De Niro, Jennifer Lawrence, Alessandro Nivola, Michael Pena, Jeremy Renner, Said Taghmaoui, Shea Whigham

August: Osage County
Abigail Breslin, Chris Cooper, Benedict Cumberbatch, Margo Martindale, Ewan McGregor, Dermot Mulroney, Julianne Nicholoson, Julia Roberts, Sam Shepard, Meryl Streep, Misty Upham

The Place Beyond the Pines
Rose Byrne, Emory Cohen, Bradley Cooper, Dane DeHaan, Ryan Gosling, Bruce Greenwood, Ray Liotta, Ben Mendelsohn, Eva Mendes,

Maria Bello, Paul Dano, David Dastmalchian, Viola Davis, Wayne Duvall, Jake Gyllenhaal, Terrence Howard, Hugh Jackman, Melissa Leo, Dylan Minette



sally hawkins edgy

Sally Hawkins – “Blue Jasmine”
(2nd nom, 1 win – “Happy-Go-Lucky”)

jennifer lawrence edgy

Jennifer Lawrence – “American Hustle”
(3rd nom)

lupita nyongo edgy

Lupita Nyong’0 – “12 Years a Slave”
(1st nom)

julia roberts edgy

Julia Roberts – “August: Osage County”
(3rd nom)

june squibb edgy

June Squibb – “Nebraska”
(1st nom)



Barkhad Adbi in Columbia Pictures' "Captain Phillips," starring Tom Hanks.

Barkhad Abdi – “Captain Phillips”
(1st nom)

bradley cooper edgy

Bradley Cooper – “American Hustle”
(1st nom)

michael fassbender edgy

Michael Fassbender – “12 Years a Slave”
(2nd nom)

james franco edgy

James Franco – “Spring Breakers”
(2nd nom)

jared leto edgy

Jared Leto – “Dallas Buyers Club”
(1st nom)



cate blanchett blue jasmine

Cate Blanchett – “Blue Jasmine”
(5th nom, 2 win – “I’m Not There” and “Elizabeth”)

sandra bullock edgy

Sandra Bullock – “Gravity”
(1st nom)

julie delpy edgy

Julie Delpy – “Before Midnight”
(3rd nom)

brie larson edgy

Brie Larson – “Short Term 12”
(1st nom)

meryl streep edgy

Meryl Streep – “August: Osage County”
(14th nom – 6 wins – “Adaptation,” “A Cry in the Dark,” “Sophie’s Choice,” “The French Lieutenant’s Woman,” “Kramer vs. Kramer” and “The Deer Hunter”)



leonardo dicaprio edgy

Leonardo DiCaprio – “The Wolf of Wall Street”
(7th nom, 1 win – “The Aviator”)

chiwetel ejiofer edgy

Chiwetel Ejiofer – “12 Years a Slave”
(1st nom)

tom hanks edgy

Tom Hanks – “Captain Phillips”
(8th nom – 1 win – “Cast Away”)

oscar isaac edgy

Oscar Isaac – “Inside Llewyn Davis”
(1st nom)

michael shannon edgy

Michael Shannon – “The Iceman”
(3rd nom)



coen brothers edgy

Joel and Ethan Coen – “Inside Llewyn Davis”
(6th nom, 1 win – “Fargo”)

alfonso cuaron edgy

Alfonso Cuaron – “Gravity”
(3rd nom)

paul greengrass edgy

Paul Greengrass – “Captain Phillips”
(3rd nom, 1 win – “United 93”)

steve mcqueen edgy

Steve McQueen – “12 Years a Slave”
(2nd nom)

 denis villeneuve edgy

Denis Villeneuve – “Prisoners”
(1st nom)



12 Years a Slave
Dede Gardner (2nd nomination), Jeremy Kleiner (1st nom), Steve McQueen (1st nom) and Brad Pitt (4th nom, 1 win – “Moneyball”)

The Act of Killing
Jeremy Oppenheimer (1st nom) and Signe Byrne Sorenson (1st nom)

Captain Phillips
Dana Brunetti (2nd nom, 1 win – “The Social Network”), Michael De Luca (3rd nom, 2nd win – “Moneyball” and “The Social Network”) and Scott Rudin (11th nom, 1 win – “The Social Network”)

Alfonso Cuaron (3rd nom) and David Heyman (2nd nom)

Megan Ellison (3rd nom), Spike Jonze (1st nom) and Vincent Landay (2nd nom, 1 win – “Adaptation”)

 Inside Llewyn Davis
Joel and Ethan Coen (3rd nom) and Scott Rudin (11th nom, 1 win – “The Social Network”)

The Place Beyond the Pines
Lynette Howell (3rd nom), Sidney Kimmel (1st nom), Alex Orlovsky (3rd nom) and James Patricof (3rd nom)

Kira Davis (1st nom), Broderick Johnson (1st nom) and Andrew Kosove (1st nom)

Short Term 12
Joshua Astrachan (1st nom), Ron Najor (1st nom) and Maren Olson (1st nom)

The Wolf of Wall Street
Leonardo DiCaprio (1st nom), Emma Tillinger Koskoff (1st nom), Joey McFarland (1st nom) and Martin Scorsese (1st nom)



“12 Years a Slave” – 13 nominations
“Gravity” – 10 nominations
“Captain Phillips” – 8 nominations
“Inside Llewyn Davis” – 8 nominations
“The Place Beyond the Pines” – 6 nominations
“American Hustle” – 5 nominations
“Her” – 5 nominations
“Prisoners” – 5 nominations
“August: Osage County” – 3 nominations
“The Great Gatsby” – 3 nominations
“Short Term 12” – 3 nominations
“Star Trek: Into Darkness” – 3 nominations
“The Wolf of Wall Street” – 3 nominations

Read more…

The 84th Oscars: Aftermath and Postgame Coverage

March 1, 2012 2 comments

As I watched the telecast of Sunday’s awards, going over the mixture of predictably safe choices, three words kept circling through my head, like scrolling text on the side of a blimp: BUSINESS AS USUAL. It’s been known for a while that the French silent film “The Artist” was scheduled to take home many of the top awards including Best Picture and Best Director. However, what was not expected was that the sweep would be split between it and Martin Scorsese’s family film (I feel like my hatred towards it spawns mostly from having to join those four words together), “Hugo,” which matched “The Artist’s” total of five wins. In simplest terms, I’d describe these wins as safe, mundane and boring, but honestly, what else is new? Read more…

2012 Academy Awards Luncheon

February 8, 2012 Leave a comment

The annual Oscar nominees luncheon is a longstanding tradition. The awards body extends an invitation to every single recipient of a nomination of this year’s event and awards them…well, there is no award. It’s kind of a pat on the back, honor to be nominated type of thing with some free food and a photo-op. All in all, this event really serves no purpose other than placating tradition.

However, as meaningless as this luncheon is, I always get a kick out of this annual photograph. There’s something kind of nostalgic and eye-catching about seeing all of the nominees lined up, middle school yearbook-style. It also gives you the chance to brush up on your “who’s who?” of Hollywood power, including the ones that you don’t regularly see on the screen. There also exists little moments in these things that make me smile. There’s old friends Marty and Spielberg standing side-by-side on the top right. Seventeen-time legend Meryl Streep alongside the up-and-comer Rooney Mara (apparently she doesn’t smile when someone says cheese, and I love her for it) at the top left. Nick Nolte looking like a sunburned Santa Clause and that the guy doing the Gollum impression in the second row.

Enjoy this year’s edition of the “Where’s Waldo?” Oscar spread.

Click the image to resize:

2012 Academy Award Nominations!

January 24, 2012 Leave a comment

And away we go…

“The Artist”
“The Descendants”
“Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close”
“The Help”
“Midnight in Paris”
“The Tree of Life”
“War Horse”

Woody Allen – “Midnight in Paris”
Michael Hazanavicius – “The Artist”
Terrence Malick – “The Tree of Life”
Alexander Payne – “The Descendants”
Martin Scorsese – “Hugo”

Demien Bechir – “A Better Life”
George Clooney – “The Descendants”
Jean Dujardin – “The Artist”
Gary Oldman – “Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy”
Brad Pitt – “Moneyball”

Glenn Close – “Albert Nobbs”
Viola Davis – “The Help”
Rooney Mara – “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo”
Meryl Streep – “The Iron Lady”
Michelle Williams – “My Week with Marilyn”

Kenneth Branagh – “My Week with Marilyn”
Jonah Hill – “Moneyball”
Nick Nolte – “Warrior”
Christopher Plummer – “Beginners”
Max von Sydow – “Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close”

Bérénice Bejo – “The Artist”
Jessica Chastain – “The Help”
Melissa McCarthy – “Bridesmaids”
Janet McTeer – “Albert Nobbs”
Octavia Spencer – “The Help”

“The Artist” by Michel Hazanavicius
“Bridesmaids” by Annie Mumolo & Kristen Wiig
“Margin Call” by J.C. Chandor
“Midnight in Paris” by Woody Allen
“A Separation” by Asghar Farhadi

“The Descendants” by Alexander Payne and Nat Faxon & Jim Rash
“Hugo” by John Logan
“The Ides of March” by George Clooney & Grant Heslov and Beau Willimon
“Moneyball” by Steven Zaillian and Aaron Sorkin Story by Stan Chervin
“Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy” by Bridget O’Connor & Peter Straughan

“A Cat in Paris”
“Chico & Rita”
“Kung Fu Panda 2”
“Puss in Boots”

“Bullhead” Belgium
“Footnote” Israel
“In Darkness” Poland
“Monsieur Lazhar” Canada
“A Separation” Iran

“Hell and Back Again”
“If a Tree Falls: A Story of the Earth Liberation Front”
“Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory”

“The Artist” – Guillaume Schiffman
“The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” – Jeff Cronenweth
“Hugo” – Robert Richardson
“The Tree of Life” – Emmanuel Lubezki
“War Horse” – Janusz Kaminski

“The Artist” – Anne-Sophie Bion and Michel Hazanavicius
“The Descendants” – Kevin Tent
“The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” – Kirk Baxter and Angus Wall
“Hugo” – Thelma Schoonmaker
“Moneyball” – Christopher Tellefsen

“The Artist” – Production Design: Laurence Bennett; Set Decoration: Robert Gould
“Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2” – Production Design: Stuart Craig; Set Decoration: Stephenie McMillan
“Hugo” – Production Design: Dante Ferretti; Set Decoration: Francesca Lo Schiavo
“Midnight in Paris” – Production Design: Anne Seibel; Set Decoration: Hélène Dubreuil
“War Horse” – Production Design: Rick Carter; Set Decoration: Lee Sandales

“Anonymous” – Lisy Christl
“The Artist” – Mark Bridges
“Hugo” – Sandy Powell
“Jane Eyre” – Michael O’Connor
“W.E.” – Arianne Phillips

“The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” – David Parker, Michael Semanick, Ren Klyce and Bo Persson
“Hugo” – Tom Fleischman and John Midgley
“Moneyball” – Deb Adair, Ron Bochar, Dave Giammarco and Ed Novick
“Transformers: Dark of the Moon” – Greg P. Russell, Gary Summers, Jeffrey J. Haboush and Peter J. Devlin
“War Horse” – Gary Rydstrom, Andy Nelson, Tom Johnson and Stuart Wilson

“Drive” – Lon Bender and Victor Ray Ennis
“The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” – Ren Klyce
“Hugo” – Philip Stockton and Eugene Gearty
“Transformers: Dark of the Moon” – Ethan Van der Ryn and Erik Aadahl
“War Horse” – Richard Hymns and Gary Rydstrom

“Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2” – Tim Burke, David Vickery, Greg Butler and John Richardson
“Hugo” – Rob Legato, Joss Williams, Ben Grossman and Alex Henning
“Real Steel” – Erik Nash, John Rosengrant, Dan Taylor and Swen Gillberg
“Rise of the Planet of the Apes” – Joe Letteri, Dan Lemmon, R. Christopher White and Daniel Barrett
“Transformers: Dark of the Moon” – Scott Farrar, Scott Benza, Matthew Butler and John Frazier

“Albert Nobbs” – Martial Corneville, Lynn Johnston and Matthew W. Mungle
“Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2” – Edouard F. Henriques, Gregory Funk and Yolanda Toussieng
“The Iron Lady” – Mark Coulier and J. Roy Helland

“The Adventures of Tintin” – John Williams
“The Artist” – Ludovic Bource
“Hugo” – Howard Shore
“Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy” – Alberto Iglesias
“War Horse” – John Williams

“Man or Muppet” from “The Muppets” – Music and Lyric by Bret McKenzie
“Real in Rio” from “Rio” – Music by Sergio Mendes and Carlinhos Brown Lyric by Siedah Garrett

“Pentecost” – Peter McDonald and Eimear O’Kane
“Raju” – Max Zähle and Stefan Gieren
“The Shore” – Terry George and Oorlagh George
“Time Freak” – Andrew Bowler and Gigi Causey
“Tuba Atlantic” – Hallvar Witzø

“Dimanche/Sunday” – Patrick Doyon
“The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore” – William Joyce and Brandon Oldenburg
“La Luna” – Enrico Casarosa
“A Morning Stroll” – Grant Orchard and Sue Goffe
“Wild Life” – Amanda Forbis and Wendy Tilby

“The Barber of Birmingham: Foot Soldier of the Civil Rights Movement” – Robin Fryday and Gail Dolgin
“God Is the Bigger Elvis” – Rebecca Cammisa and Julie Anderson
“Incident in New Baghdad” – James Spione
“Saving Face” – Daniel Junge and Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy
“The Tsunami and the Cherry Blossom” – Lucy Walker and Kira Carstensen

There you have it, folks. My fiery reactions to come shortly, after I blow off some steam.

It Hath Come: My Final 2012 Oscar Nomination Predictions

January 23, 2012 Leave a comment

The time is here. Unbelievable. I woke up this morning with such a sense of elation, pride and sheer terror. As I believe I had stated at this point, last January, I find this point in the race to be more nerve-racking and exciting than that fateful day in February. This is when, in my mind, the true winners are announced. I know it’s a savage cliche in this industry, but to be real, I truly believe that it is an honor just to be nominated. Especially when people like Harvey Weinstein exist in the world. If you are able to squeeze out a nomination without that “The Weinstein Company” in your opening credits, then I say “Bravo” to you, sir or madam. Besides, when you look at history, ninety percent of the time, it’s the films that don’t win that get remembered so much more. I’d say that those films are far better company to keep.

Well, I’ll take this time, beforehand, to address any sudden change or surge that has occurred since my last batch of nominations. The big one, indeed came after the announcement of the BAFTA nominations and “Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy,” suddenly became a legitimate contender. Granted, I do not believe (though some seem to) that it will receive the same level of recognition (11 nominations. Whew.), but I am fully expecting it to pop up in a few categories. In fact, perhaps my biggest “out-on-a-limb” prediction is Gary Oldman snagging his first career mention. I mean in reality, who cares what the Globes say and the SAG nominations are from a random sampling, so who knows how many of them have even heard of Oldman or understand his plight. I believe that, at this point, members of the Academy’s acting branch know that it’s about damn time to give this legendary actor his due. Plus, the British contingent of the Academy may help push him over the edge.

If you had asked any prognosticator two months ago if they believed that, on the day before nominations, “War Horse” would be on the bubble, they’d have said the chances were slim. Yet, here we are. If it hadn’t been for that Producers Guild nomination, which at this point, almost seems strange, this film would be considered completely out of contention. Lacking any kind of mention from the DGA, the SAG, the WGA or the ASC, the film’s chances have dropped through the floor. Many believe that “Bridesmaids” has a better chance, at this point.

Speaking of “Bridesmaids,” I’ll address its status along with a few other “on-the-bubble” films. Many are hoping and believing that this will be the first Judd Apatow production to make the shortlist. Yet, despite all of its guild nominations, I think it will fail to make the cut. The Academy’s balloting procedures, which require a large number of #1 votes, will prevent it. Now it seems that “The Tree of Life” should be able to excel by those standards, due to the fervent passion of its followers, However, I believe that this film has seen its day with the critics, but will not register as well with the industry. The fate of “Drive” will follow along a similar path, despite a push from the BAFTAs. In a world where there was still an assured number of ten nominees, one or all of these might sneak in, but not this year.

Well, on to those nomination predictions. Won’t be able to say that again until, well, the day after this year’s Oscars. Once again, these are ranked by chance of getting nominated. If I put a film or individual at the number one spot, that does not necessarily mean I think it will win. That’s a whole different ballpark.

Here comes the part that’s hardest: double crossing my fingers. For someone in my position who has two loves, predicting the Oscars and loving films, this day is a double-edged sword. As much as I want my own favorites to somehow work their way into the categories, in many cases, I’m predicting against them. Therefore, no matter what happens, I’ll be feeling a twinge of sadness. But as Sasha Stone, one of the best analysts of the Oscar race and my personal idol says, “The trick is not minding.”

Here goes nothing:


1. “The Artist”
2. “Hugo”
3. “The Descendants”
4. “The Help”
5. “Midnight in Paris”
6. “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo”
7. “Moneyball

8. “War Horse” (if there are eight)
9. “Bridesmaids” (if there are nine)
10. “The Tree of Life” (if there are ten)

Alt 1: “Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy”
Alt 2: “Drive”

Read more…

69th Annual Golden Globe Winners

January 15, 2012 Leave a comment

Listed below are the winners of this year’s Golden Globe Awards.



BEST PICTURE: DRAMA: “The Descendants”


BEST DIRECTOR: Martin Scorsese – “Hugo”

BEST ACTOR in a DRAMA: George Clooney – “The Descendants”

BEST ACTRESS in a DRAMA: Meryl Streep – “The Help”

BEST ACTOR in a MUSICAL or COMEDY: Jean Dujardin – “The Artist”

BEST ACTRESS in a MUSICAL or COMEDY: Michelle Williams – “My Week with Marilyn”

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR: Christopher Plummer – “Beginners”

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS: Octavia Spencer – “The Help”

BEST SCREENPLAY: Woody Allen – “Midnight in Paris”


BEST ANIMATED FEATURE FILM: “The Adventures of Tintin”

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE: Ludovic Bource – “The Artist”

BEST ORIGINAL SONG: “Masterpiece” by Madonna – “W.E.”



BEST TV ACTOR in a DRAMA SERIES: Kelsey Grammer – “Boss”

BEST TV ACTRESS in a DRAMA SERIES: Claire Danes – “Homeland”


BEST TV ACTOR in a MINI-SERIES or MOVIE: Idris Elba – “Luther”

BEST TV ACTRESS in a MINI-SERIES or MOVIE: Kate Winslet – “Mildred Pierce”


BEST TV ACTOR in a COMEDY SERIES: Matt LeBlanc – “Episodes”

BEST TV ACTRESS in a COMEDY SERIES: Laura Dern – “Enlightened”

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR in TELEVISION: Peter Dinklage – “Game of Thrones”

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS in TELEVISION: Jessica Lange – “American Horror Story”

My SAG Predictions

December 14, 2011 Leave a comment

Well, I thought it’d be nice to actually do some predicting amidst all of this reporting. After all, the game of Oscar prognostication is all about what’s going to win, not what should win (if only wishing made it so). Therefore, I thought I’d offer up some quick guesses as to what’s going to make the cut tomorrow.

I’ve written a few thoughts down with after each category, as well:




1. George Clooney – “The Descendants”
2. Brad Pitt – “Moneyball”
3. Jean Dujardin – “The Artist”
4. Leonardo DiCaprio – “J. Edgar”
5. Gary Oldman – “Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy”

Alt 1: Michael Fassbender – “Shame”
Alt 2: Woody Harrelson – “Rampart”


The first three are all but locks. It’s true that “J. Edgar” has not raised a lot of popularity (for legitimate reasons), yet the performance has often been singled out and has enough support to have achieved a BFCA nomination, so I’ll stick with it. I know that I’m going out on quite a limb by not putting Fassbender on there, but I’m just not sure “Shame” will have as much industry-support as it does with critics and festivals. Meanwhile, I think that Oldman’s chances are stronger here than anywhere else. He’s getting into his elder years and is more than overdue for recognition, two qualities that SAG usually jumps on. Also, they’re the only major awards body to have nominated him before (Best Supporting Actor, “The Contender”). Plus his popularity and respect among the acting community is pretty indisputable. If he’s going to make a stand in this race, I think it will be here.




1. Meryl Streep – “The Iron Lady”
2. Viola Davis – “The Help”
3. Michelle Williams – “My Week with Marilyn”
4. Glenn Close – “Albert Nobbs”
5. Tilda Swinton – “We Need to Talk About Kevin”

Alt 1: Charlize Theron – “Young Adult”
Alt 2: Rooney Mara – “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo”

Once again, I’d say that the first three are pretty much locked in. Glenn Close’s campaign has been heading downhill, yet here, her “due” status will have a much bigger effect. Tilda Swinton should be a sure thing here, but it’s not a perfect world. Though, I think she’s the only other contender with enough clout to make it onto the shortlist. Olsen and Mara are definitely still in the running, but the SAG isn’t as partial to youth and sex appeal as the AMPAS are.




1. Albert Brooks – “Drive”
2. Christopher Plummer – “Beginners”
3. Kenneth Branagh – “My Week with Marilyn”
4. Nick Nolte – “Warrior”
5. Andy Serkis – “Rise of the Planet of the Apes”

Alt 1: Max von Sydow – “Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close”
Alt 2: Patton Oswalt – “Young Adult”

This category is definitely the biggest question mark of them all. Brooks and Plummer are practically written in ink already, and Branagh (while not yet awarded, this year) fits a good pedigree and is very likely. However, those last two spots are a mystery. All the major candidates have some serious detractors. Von Sydow, in particular, is impossible to read because his performance is so shrouded in mystery to the general public. He’s locked in review embargo hell. I’ll go with Nolte just because he’s got a great “comeback kid” story. Finally, I’m going to foolishly predict Serkis in believing that the campaign and mentality really are working and that his nomination will come as more of a statement than an honor.




1. Octavia Spencer – “The Help”
2. Shailene Woodley – “The Descendants”
3. Melissa McCarthy – “Bridesmaids”
4. Vanessa Redgrave – “Coriolanus”
5. Jessica Chastain – “The Help”

Alt 1: Berenice Bejo – “The Artist”
Alt 2: Carey Mulligan – “Shame”

Pretty much the only lock in this category, as of now, is Octavia Spencer. She’s probably also the only acting candidate who’s close to having her name stenciled onto a golden statue in February, but that’s neither here nor there. Shailene is a good bet for this group loves to usually throw some love to at least one newly risen star. Melissa McCarthy is also riding on more buzz then nearly all these candidates combined, so she’s definitely close to being in. Redgrave’s film is on the opposite side of the buzz scale, but it’s been a while since this goddess of acting has set foot on a red carpet, and more then a few people are excited for that return. Finally, I am hesitantly putting Chastain in that final spot, however, I’m definitely wary about her many, many performances canceling each other out and making way for the silent film star or sex addict’s sister.




1. “The Descendants”
2. “The Help”
3. “The Artist”
4. “Bridesmaids”
5. “The Ides of March”

Alt 1: “Midnight in Paris”
Alt 2: “Hugo”

No matter what happens, tomorrow is going to quite a coup for “The Help.” It’s guaranteed three nominations, with a chance at a fourth. Same goes to “The Descendants” which has a nomination, here, pretty sewn up. “The Artist” isn’t a true ensemble piece, but is so ahead of the pack that it will be difficult to miss a nomination in any major category. While “Bridesmaids” isn’t in big contention for any Best Picture awards, the film has been given more Ensemble Cast citations then practically any other film, so if the SAG has a sense of humor, they’ll probably throw it a bone. And perhaps my ballsiest pick of the night will be “The Ides of March.” True, the film’s steam has all but been extinguished, but it’s hard for anyone to deny the pure talent in this cast. I believe the voters will recognize it as well.

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.