Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Oscar Talk: Into December

January 10, Oscar Nominations. 

I don’t know about you, but I get pretty excited about this season mainly because I’m really excited about the films I’ll be watching in the big screen. There are so many, they all seem to come at the same time, I don’t know how to handle it and I especially struggle about the ones I should see and the ones I should skip. I already had my anxiety dreams, one the night before Argo, I dreamed I would be late to the theater, I dreamed I couldn’t find the room and once in the room I couldn’t see the film properly and so on. I also had another one, more like a nightmare, about Anna Karenina; I was watching the film, someone behind me starts screaming which is just her crying and somehow I end up in a cult. I remember I also had a dream before I watched Pride and Prejudice. Sometimes I even create the entire films in my dreams. Anyway, this is the exact period of the season when, if you are interested in, there’s always something new, there’s always someone’s top ten list, awards nominations these and these days, critics awards these and these days, screeners and Q & A’s after, parties. I have to remind the readers that my position in all of this is of an outsider visionary. And obviously, I’ve been behind it, technically speaking, because I’m well in the middle of the action. So what I’ll be doing next is to wrap up the latest events. Don’t even know where to start, so I’m just going to say things randomly. 

Talking about theaters earlier, it reminded me of when I was leaving the theater after seeing Killing Them Softly and I was then faced with the poster of Lincoln and Django Unchained, then I also remembered Zero Dark Thirty, The Master and other films. There are interesting coincidences this season, there always are, but this year it seems that the biggest theme is American history, it usually is American based, but this year it is necessarily American. About the question of politics behind the awards, the fact is that it is always political, at the end of the day choices tend to be pretty political.
Here’s something interesting too, it seems that this is one hell of a great year, to the point of films like Looper, End of Watch, both great quality films, won’t even get considered for a nomination for Best Picture, whereas last year, films like War Horse, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, which I think wasn’t an accomplished piece (I really didn’t enjoyed it), made it to the list. Because the majority of the films seem to be accomplished, to me it might get to be an unpredictable year, even if there are at least three or four strong films at the top, it will be an interesting competition. The same situation will be for documentary and animated films.

Here are the fifteen documentaries standing for the ultimate Oscar nomination in January:
"Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry," Never Sorry LLC
"Bully," The Bully Project LLC
"Chasing Ice," Exposure
"Detropia," Loki Films
"Ethel," Moxie Firecracker Films
"5 Broken Cameras," Guy DVD Films
"The Gatekeepers," Les Films du Poisson, Dror Moreh Productions, Cinephi
"The House I Live In," Charlotte Street Films, LLC
"How to Survive a Plague," How to Survive a Plague LLC
"The Imposter," Imposter Pictures Ltd.
"The Invisible War," Chain Camera Pictures
"Mea Maxima Culpa: Silence in the House of God," Jigsaw Productions in association with Wider Film Projects and Below the Radar Films
"Searching for Sugar Man," Red Box Films
"This Is Not a Film," Wide Management
"The Waiting Room," Open’hood, Inc.

Left out but equally if not greater documentaries of the year:
“The Central Park Five”, “West of Memphis”, “Marley”, “Queen of Versailles”, “The Island President”, “Samsara”, “Women with Cows”, “The Act of Killing” and there are more, obviously. 

Here are the Annie Awards Nominees:
Best Animated Feature:

"Hotel Transylvania"
"Rise of the Guardians"
"The Pirates! Band of Misfits"
"The Rabbi's Cat"
"Wreck-It Ralph"

Here is the short list of films for Visual Effects:
The Amazing Spider-Man
The Avengers
Cloud Atlas
The Dark Knight Rises
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
John Carter
Life of Pi
Snow White and the Huntsman

Left out: The Impossible, Looper.


European Film Awards
European Film of the Year: "Amour"
European Director of the Year: Michael Haneke, "Amour"
European Actress of the Year: Emmanuelle Riva, "Amour"
European Actor of the Year: Jean-Louis Trintignant, "Amour"
European Screenwriter of the Year: Thomas Vinterberg, "The Hunt"

This year's European Film "Amour" will likely be the Best Foreign Language Picture at the Oscars (?), which is nothing but a coincidence.

Best Ensemble Cast:
Your Sister's Sister
The Gotham Awards are an indie driven institution that awarded some of the year's best indies and gave other honorary tributes to Marion Cotillard, Matt Damon, David O. Russell, Jeff Skoll. It takes place in New York.

Audience Award: Artifact (Documentary) 

Breakthrough Actor: Emayatzy Corinealdi, for Middle of Nowhere.
Breakthrough Director: Benh Zeitlin.
Best Film: Moonrise Kingdom.
Best Documentary: How to Survive a Plague.

Independent Spirit Awards
Here's the complete list:

Best Feature:
"Beasts of the Southern Wild"
"Keep the Lights On"
"Moonrise Kingdom"
"The Silver Lining Playbook"

Beast Actor:
Jack Black, "Bernie"
Bradley Cooper, "Silver Linings Playbook"
John Hawkes, "The Sessions"
Thure Lindhardt, "Keep the Lights On"
Matthew McConaughey, "Killer Joe"
Wendell Pierce, "Four"

Best Actress:
Linda Cardellini, "Return"
Emayatzy Corinealdi, "Middle of Nowhere"
Jennifer Lawrence, "Silver Linings Playbook"
Quvenzhané Wallis, "Beasts of the Southern Wild"
Mary Elizabeth Winstead, "Smashed"

Our Children's star Emilie Dequenne.

Here's the Satellite Awards Nominations, with an interesting mix:

Best Actress:
Laura Birn, "Purge"
Jessica Chastain, "Zero Dark Thirty"
Emilie Dequenne, "Our Children"
Keira Knightley, "Anna Karenina"
Jennifer Lawrence, "Silver Linings Playbook"
Laura Linney, "Hyde Park On Hudson"
Emmanuelle Riva, "Amour"

Q &A's and other talks
Here's the video.

Q & A after the first screening of Zero Dark Thirty.
Pictures from Sasha Stone.

Zero Dark Thirty, Les Misérables, Django Unchained and Promised Land were already seen. The first two films I mentioned were absolutely loved, Tarantino's film will probably be an overall positive mix but I don't know much about awards, Promised Land, the most recent reviewed film is getting mixed if not negative attention, unlikely to be an Oscar contender.

The State of the Race:

Best Picture
The five easily in: 
Zero Dark Thirty
Les Misérables
Silver Lining Playbook

Then: Moonrise Kingdom; Life of Pi; The Beasts of the Southern Wild; The Master; Django Unchained.

Daniel Day-Lewis might (will) become the first Actor to win three Oscars for Best Actor in a Leading Role.

Leading Actress battle: Jessica Chastain vs. Jennifer Lawrence vs. Quvenzhané Wallis vs. Emmanuelle Riva.
Here's the thing: I have this feeling that neither Jennifer nor Jessica will get the Oscar, it's a strange feeling but I'm not seeing it, there's nothing to do with them deserving the award or not, it's just their history I guess. Jennifer is a young girl, in a romantic film. Jessica is also a great actress and already proved her versatility, being one of the most promising american actresses of today, but would they give it to her? I hope I'm totally wrong. Another thing about this category is that besides the first three girls I mentioned, there are a lot of other actresses that might get in and I wouldn't be surprised if the award went to a complete outsider. It's either that or it is just really Jessica vs Jennifer, with Jessica coming stronger every day. I wouldn't mind if they would both win; the hell, let all the others be nominated, I wouldn't mind to see that either!

Getting relevant steam:
Middle of Nowhere by Ava DuVernay.
With Indie Spirit nominations for three actors and a lot of talk for Original Screenplay!
Emayatzy Corinealdi for Best Actress.

Anne Hathway for Best Supporting Actress: It is official, she is totally in the race, if she didn't already won it. I hope there's still a surprise at the category, it wouldn't be fair because there are other really good performances, like Sally Field's and Helen Hunt's.

About the Ceremony: Producers are saying that there will be a few changes, they are studying previous ceremonies and thinking of new ways to translate the film history into the ceremony. In my perspective then, they should just repeat Hugh Jackman's year...let's not get nostalgic here!
Also, Tina Fey was apparently asked to host the Oscars but Golden Globes got it first! There's always next year, but now they won't do it because she hosted Golden Globes the previous year. There's always the other year.

Time Magazine named Cloud Atlas the worst film of the year. I think that's a bit harsh.

Best Film: "Zero Dark Thirty"
Best Director: Kathryn Bigelow, "Zero Dark Thirty"
Best Screenplay: Tony Kushner, "Lincoln"
Best Actress: Rachel Weisz, "The Deep Blue Sea"
Best Actor: Daniel Day-Lewis, "Lincoln"
Best Supporting Actress: Sally Field, "Lincoln"
Best Supporting Actor: Matthew McConaughey, "Bernie" and "Magic Mike"
Best Cinematography: Greig Fraser, "Zero Dark Thirty"
Best Non-Fiction Film: "The Central Park Five"

Best Animated Film: "Frankenweenie"

Best Foreign Language Film: "Amour"
Best First Film: David France, "How to Survive a Plague"

Best Film: "Zero Dark Thirty"
Best Director: Kathryn Bigelow, "Zero Dark Thirty"
Best Original Screenplay: Rian Johnson, "Looper"

Best Adapted Screenplay: David O. Russell, "Silver Lining Playbook"
Best Actress: Jessica Chastain, "Zero Dark Thirty"
Best Actor: Bradley Cooper, "Silver Lining Playbook"
Best Supporting Actress: Ann Dowd, "Compliance"
Best Supporting Actor: Leonardo DiCaprio, "Django Unchained"
Best Animated Feature: Wreck-it Ralph
Special Achievement In Filmmaking: Ben Affleck, Argo
Breakthrough Actor: Tom Holland, The Impossible
Breakthrough Actress: Quvenzhané Wallis,  Beasts Of The Southern Wild
Best Directorial Debut: Benh Zeitlin, Beasts Of The Southern Wild
Best Foreign Language Film:  Amour
Best Documentary: Searching For Sugar Man
William K. Everson Film History Award: 50 Years Of Bond Films
Best Ensemble: Les Misérables
Spotlight Award: John Goodman (Argo, Flight, Paranorman, Trouble With The Curve)
Nbr Freedom Of Expression Award: Central Park Five
Nbr Freedom Of Expression Award: Promised Land

Top Films
(in Alphabetical Order)
Beasts Of The Southern Wild
Django Unchained
Les Misérables
The Perks Of Being A Wallflower
Promised Land
Silver Linings Playbook
Top 5 Foreign Language Films
(in Alphabetical Order)

The Intouchables
The Kid With A Bike
War Witch
Top 5 Documentaries
(in Alphabetical Order)

Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry
The Gatekeepers
The Invisible War
Only The Young
Top 10 Independent Films
(in Alphabetical Order)

End Of Watch
Hello I Must Be Going
Little Birds
Moonrise Kingdom
On The Road
Sleepwalk With Me

To finish this post, I'll give you some important dates:
12/7 -Los Angeles Film Critics Association
12/9 -New York Film Critics Online
12/9 - Boston Society of Film Critics
12/11 Broadcast Film Critics Association "Critics Choice" Nominations
12/12 Screen Actors Guild Awards Nominations
12/13 Golden Globe Nominations - In a week!!
1/8 Directors Guild Award Nominations (Feature Films)
1/10 Critics Choice Awards
1/13 Golden Globe Awards

1/26 Producers Guild Awards
1/27 SAG Awards
2/2 Directors Guild Awards
2/23 Independent Spirit Awards
2/24 Academy Awards

Screeners, from Hollywood Elsewhere's Jeff Wells.

I’m sure I had a lot of other things to mention but right now that’s what’s in my mind. I will end this post how I started, I am really anxious to see the films and that’s what I’ll be focusing now. So have a pleasant end of year and enjoy the films. Bye.

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