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How I Did: My Prediction Tally

January 24, 2012 Leave a comment

Before I start my endless rant about how much these Oscar nominations have ruined my day, any potentially my life (it’s still too soon), I’ll just give a brief rundown of how I did. Sort of good in some places, really bad in others. I’ll try to put a cap on my emotions, as well, and save that for my reactions so we can move this along.

Yet, I cannot stop myself from asking if we could just bring on next year, please? NOW…

BEST PICTURE: 7/9 + 1st alternate (not bad)
Had I only bumped “The Tree of Life” up above “Bridesmaids” in my rankings, I’d have one more, but I won’t cheat and say that I saw it coming. And really, at this point in the game, who really saw “Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close”? I feel like the Academy had their own private, sick, inside joke going on with that one.

BEST DIRECTOR – 4/5 + 1st alternate (I’ll take it, but damn it!)
Lying in bed last night, all I could think of was how I knew I was wrong not to predict Malick. You can ask my girlfriend, because I was pretty sure I was thinking aloud and she kept telling me to shut up.

BEST ACTOR – 4/5 (I’ll take it)
Demien Bechir’s surprise nomination is less of a sting since I am very proud of myself for staying out on a limb with that Gary Oldman prediction. Kudos to myself and everyone else who did the same.

BEST ACTRESS – 4/5 + 1st alternate (I guess I’ll take it)
The other thing that I was fumbling with in my mind, last night, was Rooney Mara. She was just too exciting of a performance for the Academy to pass up. Certainly didn’t expect her to oust Swinton, though. Brutal.

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR – 4/5 (I’ll take it, but wow)
Once again, I don’t think anybody saw Max von Sydow coming, at least not at this point in the game. Very proud to have stuck with Jonah Hill. I always had an inkling suspicion that the lack of a SAG nomination for Albert Brooks was going to kill him, but never really believed that the Academy would go that far.

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS – 4/5 + 2nd alternate (I’ll take it)
I knew that Shailene Woodley would fall off, but didn’t figure on the Academy giving the full cold shoulder to “Shame.” No accounting for taste, I guess. McTeer takes the spot.

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY – 4/5 (I’ll take it…grrr)
The roughest category to predict, this year, so I think I came out all right. I could really kick myself in the ear for not predicting one of my favorite scripts from 2011, “Margin Call.”

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY – 3/5 + 1st alternate (could have done better)
I wrestled a lot with “Tinker, Tailor” taking out “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo,” but didn’t quite make it there. Certainly thought that “Hugo”‘s screenplay would drop before “The Help.”

BEST ANIMATED FEATURE – 2/5 (ashamed of myself)
All right. This category is a holy mess. I think I have to give props to Kris Tapley and Guy Lodge at In Contention for sticking to their guns on “Adventures of Tintin” not being considered animated due to its motion capture status. The rest of this…what a pile of unpredictability.

BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM – 5/5 (take a bow)
Ha. Who knew that the branch I’d nail would be one of the Academy’s most unpredictable. Pat on the back for me.

BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE – 2/5 + 1st alternate (could have done better)
You know, while I’m not a fan of my overall performance in this category, I really have to give myself props for being one of the only prognosticators around predicting “If a Tree Falls.” A true dark horse that I nailed. And let’s be real, the absence of “Project Nim” is the most surprising snub of the morning.

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY – 5/5 (take a bow)
All right, I once again have to give it up for me. Not as difficult of a category, but I knew that the AMPAS wouldn’t give Janusz the cold shoulder like the ASC did.

BEST EDITING – 4/5 + 1st alternate (I’ll take it)
Agh! So close. It looks like “The Descendants” campaign to not get hit by the editing jinx paid off. At least this proves that “War Horse” will not win Best Picture.

BEST ART DIRECTION – 3/5 (could have done better)
Some surprises here. It seems the snub of “War Horse” from the ADG didn’t mean anything, after all. The one and only below-the-line nom for “Midnight in Paris.”

BEST COSTUME DESIGN – 3/5 + 1st and 2nd alternates (could have done better)
Wow, my alternates reigned supreme in this category. Quite shocked about “The Help” missing, here. The most colorful of the bunch. They really seem to have gone for drab, this year.

BEST SOUND MIXING – 3/5 + 1st alternate (could have done better)
After all the sound guilds crowning “Super 8” their king, it runs up completely empty. Ain’t that a bitch?

BEST SOUND EDITING – 3/5 + 2nd alternate (could have done better)
A lot of diversity from the above column on display. Sure is a good thing they upped their nomination count…so they can look exactly like their older brother.

BEST VISUAL EFFECTS – 4/5 (I’ll take it)
“Captain America”…(sigh)…I don’t want to talk about it. Damn you, David Cohen of Variety. At least “The Tree of Life” didn’t make it and making me look like the biggest fool for not predicting it. For that, I’m happy with how I did, here.

BEST MAKEUP – 2/3 + 2nd alternate (I will take it)
Knew those first two would make it in, but very surprised that “The Artist” juggernaut missed here, and that the monster that is “Hugo” didn’t take its place.

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE – 3/5 + 1st and 2nd alternates (could have done better)
Wow. Had I just stuck with my gut and switched around my alternates, I’d be a happy man in this category. Too bad. Looks like John Williams is going to cancel himself out again. Guess he can blame Steven Spielberg and his multi-movie years.

BEST ORIGINAL SONG – 0/2
You know what, we’re not even going to do this. Go jump off of a bridge, AMPAS Song Branch. You’re a disgrace to movies and life, itself.

And I was going to try and keep emotion out of it.

Well, my total tally of just predictions alone turned out to be: 73/104, which puts me at about 70%.

If you count my 1st alternates as a 1/2 correct choice and 2nd alternates as 1/4, my total is: 78.75, making my average 76%.

If we just discount the bullshit Original Song category, all together, which we should: 73/102, and that’s 72%.

Granted, I’m not really allowed to do those last two options, but damn it, I should. Last year, I ended up with just over 75%, so this year is definitely a bit of a dip in my professional status. Oh well. Shake it off. Next time you hear from me, I will likely be venting my head off. If you’re just waking up, go back to sleep. It’s not worth it.

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The Visual Effects Society Nominates…

January 9, 2012 Leave a comment

I won’t spend a lot of time on this, being that we already have the Academy’s shortlist down to ten names. In case you missed the news, the following films are still in the running for the Best Visual Effects Oscar.

“Captain America: The First Avenger”

“Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2″

“Hugo”

“Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol”

“Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides”

“Real Steel”

“Rise of the Planet of the Apes”

“Transformers: Dark of the Moon”

“The Tree of Life”

“X-Men: First Class”

This list of nominees from the VES, doesn’t really change or sway much. The frontrunners all managed to pick up a slew of nominations. “Transformers” and “Harry Potter” led the way with five apiece. “Rise of the Planet of the Apes” wasn’t far behind with four and “Hugo” picked up the rear with three. One unusual facet of these noms is the complete exclusion of “The Tree of Life,” which many believed to be that fifth slot with the Oscars. Also snubbed were “X-Men: First Class” and “Real Steel,” while “Captain America” and “Thor,” while already kicked off the Academy’s list, managed multiple nominations.

Perhaps the most notable detail that I can see is the complete snubbage of J.J. Abrams’ “Super 8”. Now I know that the film is not on the Academy’s shortlist for this award, but I can remember back to a time when many thought that this film would clean up in the tech categories. Here it doesn’t even merit a single mention. We’ll have to wait for the MPSE and the CAS, but now I’m wondering if the film might be banned from the Kodak entirely.

See the full list of nominees after the cut:

Outstanding Visual Effects in a Visual Effects-Driven Feature
“Captain America: The First Avenger”
“Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2”
“Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides”
“Rise of the Planet of the Apes”
“Transformers: Dark of the Moon”

Michael Shannon Gets Incredibly Adorable

January 5, 2012 Leave a comment

Okay, it took me a while getting around to watching this, but thank god I finally did. As many of you may or may not know, Michael Shannon is one of the finest actors currently blossoming in Hollywood. He previously received a surprise Oscar nomination for Sam Mendes’ “Revolutionary Road” and is currently in the running for his second for his astonishing performance in this year’s psychological mind-screw “Take Shelter.” Currently, he’s fighting with Leonardo DiCaprio, Michael Fassbender and Gary Oldman for the final spot.

Now, I’m currently on the fence for whether I want that to happen, for he’s dueling with some stiff competition. However, this video may just put me over the edge. I’d like to see Jean Dujardin attempt to be this ridiculously adorable, adorable of course being the first word that comes to mind when one thinks of Michael Shannon. If you can’t see the satire in what I just said, then you need to go on Netflix and start watching some of his films. On top of that, you can check out the video, below:

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Back Into the Fray…

January 4, 2012 Leave a comment

Alright, it’s certainly no secret that I’ve been on quite a hiatus from The Edge of the Frame over the last two weeks. I’m sorry to say that I don’t even have a good excuse, aside from just having a lot going on. Obviously Christmas, New Year’s Eve and both of their aftermaths have taken their toll on my schedule. As some of you know, my birthday also happened to fall in the last few weeks (congratulations to me for making it to a quarter of a century) which also brought about it’s own string of festivities. Perhaps the most time-consuming and unfortunately debilitating event of recent times was my grueling bout with food poisoning, that kept me all but bed-ridden for nearly a week. Allow me to thank Peking Chinese Kitchen on Belmont for that. You definitely lost a return customer with that one.

Anyway, now that my schedule is relatively clear and my digestive system is back to normal, I think it’s about time to get back down to business. The last post I made was to close out the biggest week in the awards season with the Golden Globe nominations. And while not many more hugely substantial announcements have occurred since, the shape of this year’s race has shifted a little bit. Let’s dive in.

Well, while other things have changed here and there, the overall frontrunner has not moved much. “The Artist” positioned itself in the lead about a month ago and it really hasn’t lost any ground. “The Tree of Life” has certainly picked up a lot of steam on the critics circuit, but no film has come close to matching the strong silent type in terms of genuine devotion, from critics and audiences alike. It also has a fresh taste spinning for it that virtually no other film made this year can lay claim to.

So what film this year still has the potential to upset the current trajectory? The answer, unfortunately is nothing. Several films have earned themselves a late surge with some unexpected critical love, such as the above-mentioned “The Tree of Life,” as well as “Drive,” yet both films are still just fighting for nominations. As far as the other juggernauts go, “War Horse” just hasn’t been able to break past its own sappiness to overcome it’s largely mediocre status. “The Descendants,” meanwhile, seemingly peaked too early and lost a lot of its buzz by the time awards started rolling in. It will still likely pick up an Oscar or two, but its original status as a Best Picture hopeful is fading.

Perhaps the only two films that stand anywhere near a fighting chance are “Hugo” and “The Help.” While just about no one (aside from myself) can stop drooling their praise all over Martin Scorsese and what he has done with this 3D endeavor, the film does suffer greatly from completely missing out in the SAG nominations. Say what you want, but the performers contingent of the Academy nearly doubles any other and their opinion weighs in greatly, here. And one film’s bane is another’s best friend, for “The Help” has the SAG deep in it’s pocket. This unlikely little film-that-could has surprisingly become “The Artist”‘s biggest competition, provided it keeps up a solid guild run (which certainly seems probable with it’s PGA nomination). Perhaps its biggest detractor is the lack of a well-known director. Yet, if Tate Taylor is able to surprise us all with a DGA nomination next week, it’s star will just keep rising.

Obviously, the biggest surprise of the last month has been the emergence of “Bridesmaids” as a contender for a Best Picture nomination. I’d wager any money that, back in May, you could count on both hands how many people thought that this was a plausible scenario for a film that features one woman going number two in a bathroom sink, while another squats in the middle of the street. Albeit, that is arguably the funniest scene of any film this year and I would not be at all disappointed if the film ended up on the shortlist. Yet, it’s bordering on mystifying that the Academy has reached that point. If “Bridesmaids” scores a nomination with the WGA, tomorrow, it will have one from all four guilds, and you can count on only one hand the amount of films that have done that this year.

I won’t go into the acting categories just yet, but will hopefully address those individually at a later date. However, I will be following this up with a new complete set of predictions by tomorrow. Stay tuned.

Art Directors Guild Announces Nominees

January 4, 2012 1 comment

Following quickly on the heels of the Producers Guild, the first of the technical achievement societies was announced late last night. Every year, for 16 years running, the Art Directors Guild honors films that exemplify excellence in art direction and production design. A few years ago, they had bumped their number of nominees up to 15 features to fill three categories: Period Film, Fantasy Film and Contemporary Film.

The nominees were as follows:

EXCELLENCE IN PRODUCTION DESIGN FOR A PERIOD FILM
“Annonymous”
“The Artist”
“The Help”
“Hugo”
“Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy”

EXCELLENCE IN PRODUCTION DESIGN FOR A FANTASY FILM
“The Adventures of Tintin”
“Captain America: The First Avenger”
“Cowboys and Aliens”
“Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows: Part II”
“Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides”

EXCELLENCE IN PRODUCTION DESIGN FOR A CONTEMPORARY FILM
“Bridesmaids”
“The Descendants”
“Drive”
“Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close”
“The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo”

When looking at the Period nominees, the elephant in the room is undoubtedly the absence of a major Best Picture contender: “War Horse.” The lavish countrysides and muddy trenches were thought to be all but a shoo-in for this nomination. Perhaps the film is not as strong as we all thought. It was replaced by Roland Emmerich’s Shakespeare expose, “Annonymous,” which apparently has chops, I’m just not sure how much anyone actually takes it seriously. The winner here is “Hugo” in a landslide. Even a harsh critic of the film such as myself has to admit that the meticulous detail put into recreating early twentieth century Paris is completely awards-worthy. Nearly every shot contains something impressive to gaze at. The potential spoiler is “The Artist,” which, if it does succeed, will prove how unstoppable it really is.

The Fantasy selection is probably one of the weakest I’ve seen in years. “Harry Potter” will take this one down in a walk. Perhaps the only other film with a fighting chance is “Tintin,” which I’m still not entirely sure what it’s doing here. Is seems weird for an animated film to show up in a nomination pretty much designated for live-action work. To be honest, I don’t think anyone in Hollywood has a clue how to classify this film anymore. Regardless, this is “Potter”‘s award, and will likely be the only thing to give “Hugo” a run for its money at the Oscars.

The choices in Contemporary this year were really quite appalling to me. Some fantastic work went completely unmentioned last night. Most notably is that of Coen Brothers collaborator Jess Gonchor’s work in “Moneyball.” The drab detail at play in the clubhouses, locker rooms and residences is completely mention-worthy. Perhaps the most unforgivable snub, however, is “Hanna.” While, the film could arguably be considered a Fantasy film, the sets largely define an imaginative and whimsical kind of contemporary thriller that should have been better-noticed. Anyway, the winner here is really a toss-up and may depend on which film has the most support in general. I am very happy to see “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” show up, though. The gathering support of the film may lead to a well-deserved, though unexpected, Best Picture nomination.

15 Finalists for Best Visual Effects Category

December 9, 2011 Leave a comment

Just as it did with Best Documentary, and likely will do for Best Makeup, the Academy has shortlisted a selection of 15 finalists that will go on to compete for nominations in the Best Visual Effects category. Unlike last year, in which this category was gift-wrapped for “Inception” from the moment the flick appeared in theaters, 2011 features an assortment of talent that will likely produce some actual competition for the gold.

The following films are on the VFX shortlist:

“Captain America: The First Avenger”
“Cowboys & Aliens”
“Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2″
“Hugo”
“Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol”
“Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides”
“Real Steel”
“Rise of the Planet of the Apes”
“Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows”
“Sucker Punch”
“Super 8″
“Thor”
“Transformers: Dark of the Moon”
“The Tree of Life”
“X-Men: First Class”

While the field is more competitive this year, it’s difficult not to give frontrunner status to “Rise of the Planet of the Apes.” Not only did the quality of the film itself utterly drive over everyone’s expectations, but the visual effects are quite astounding. While most buzz around this film is directed towards Andy Serkis’ fine performance, folks can’t forget that he was only half responsible for the character of Ceasar. If the VFX hadn’t been spot on, the film never would have been held in such high esteem.

Perhaps “Apes” biggest competition comes from a duo of films that I have chosen to call the attack of the “H”s, if only for my own amusement. The Harry Potter franchise has already been nominated in this category twice before (while many probably believe that number should be greater). There might be a bit of overdue status surrounding “Deathly Hollows: Part 2” and many voters may find this the best place to honor it. Mostly because the film’s other competitive category of Art Direction will likely get taken down by the other “H” that is Martin Scorsese’s “Hugo.” The 3D effect-ridden world of said film may sway voters towards a win, but people may see through the CGI and remember only the design of it all.

 

One film that I finally viewed recently and really hope makes a splash here is “X-Men: First Class” only the mutant effects, but practically everything featured in the film’s final thirty minutes is more than deserving of a nomination. It will have a tough time outing any of the category’s big guns, though.

From this list, I’d say that the field will probably look something like this:

1. “Rise of the Planet of the Apes”
2. “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows: Part 2”
3. “Hugo”
4. “Transformers: Dark of the Moon”
5. “Super 8”

Alt 1: “X-Men:  First Class”
Alt 2: “Real Steel”

New “War Horse” Trailer and Poster

October 5, 2011 Leave a comment

Over the summer, everyone questioned what I said when I declared that what we had seen of Steven Spielberg’s “War Horse” was only a teaser and there would surely be more to come. Well, here I stand on my own high horse with a new trailer for the upcoming film. Unfortunately, the new trailer doesn’t really seem to do much more than rearrange and expand on a lot of the footage shown in the last preview.

Many pundits, at the moment, are calling this film the frontrunner for Best Picture. While it definitely has a boatload of nominations in line, I would not put it at the front of the gate. The Oscars seem to enjoy Spielberg most at his grittiest, and this appears to be perhaps one of the most sentimental ventures he has ever made. One thing’s for sure about the film, however. It looks absolutely gorgeous. If all plays out, one award we can definitely say that “War Horse” is leading the field in is Best Cinematography. Should it win, my favorite active DP, Janusz Kaminski, would have three Oscars on his mantel, putting him among a group you could count on one hand, including Robert Surtees and the great Conrad L. Hall.

Recently, Dreamworks bumped up the release date to Christmas day. This now puts it within four days of “The Adventures of Tin Tin”‘s official opening. Mr. Spielberg does love to face off against himself. Not that he has anything to lose, really. Both films are sure to gross well over the 100 million mark. Combined with the success of “Super 8,” “Transformers 3,” “Terra Nova,” and all coupled with his reception of the David O’Selznick award from the Producers Guild, this will be a pretty good year for one of Hollywood’s greatest sons. And “Lincoln” hasn’t even started shooting yet.

Check out the new trailer, below: