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 Gemini, Cinephile, Actressexual. Also loves cats. All material herein is written and copyrighted by him, unless otherwise noted. twitter | facebook | pinterest | tumblr | letterboxd


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Cannes Winners

"Marion Cotillard has had a movie in contention for what, the last 4 years or so? She will eventually win the prize, or more likely be head of the jury one day." - Tom

"Looks like Cate and Rooney are now a package deal for Oscars, no?" - John

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Team FYC: 'Nebraska' For Best Original Score

In this series TFE contributors sound off on their favorite fringe contenders. Here's Anne Marie on Mark Orton and the Tin Horns.

Alexander Payne's latest film Nebraska is getting much-deserved acting kudos. Bruce Dern has undoubtedly given a career-topping performance as the muddled and melancholy Woody. However, an unacknowledged but equally fine character is the folk score by Mark Orton. Orton reunited with his band the Tin Horns to play the music for his first feature film score. They mix traditional bluegrass elements like guitar and fiddle with surprises including a dobro and a xylophone. The effect is full Americana with a lot of quirkiness and a little sadness--giving voice to the unvoiced themes in the film.

Like Deborah, I ask that the Academy think small this year. We have the usualy heavy-hitters filling film scores with sound and fury, and soon the Coen Brothers will be releasing that other folk film that's sure to turn attention away from Nebraska. However, Mark Orton's score stands alone.  Like other characters in the film, the score hints at deeper meanings but never falls into the easy cliches and chords of melodrama. With deceptively simple orchestrations and a powerful musical thread throughout, Mark Orton has crafted a beautiful score that feels both familiar and unique.


Interview: Julie Delpy on the ideal way to watch the "Before" trilogy

Julie Delpy speaking in West Hollywood in NovemberStargazing sometimes leads us to believe that we really know the faces who act out our human dramas onscreen. Or that we know the characters they portray as if they were neighbors. It’s a false intimacy and a fantasy, fiction being fiction and strangers being strangers, but sometimes the illusion is too perfect to deny. Such is the case with Julie Delpy and Ethan Hawke as Celine and Jessie in the “Before…”  trilogy. The actors cowrote and costarred in the decades spanning trilogy under the guidance of Director Richard Linklater and the films, perfectly spaced out every nine years, have allowed audiences to age along with them, which has only added to their ephemeral mystique. The films are grounded in reality through their short single day stories and long takes - real life happens one day at a time and without a lot of fussy crosscutting – and the only fantastical element is that every day conversations are rarely this thrilling and this wide ranging and this funny simultaneously for 90 minutes straight without some dud moment or mundane distraction breaking the spell. For that kind of perfection you need miraculous writing and great acting.

Julie Delpy is not, of course, Celine. And though I know this as I settle into our conversation over the telephone I’m temporarily stunned when she, unasked, repeats her trilogy’s most famous line when I bring up the ending to Before Sunset (2004, for which she won a Best Adapted Screenplay nomination though not, tragically, the Best Actress nod she deserved as its companion). She sounds just like Celine… only somehow not...

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41st Annie Award Nominations

Tim here, with a quick bit of news: the International Animated Film Society has announced the nominees for the 41st Annie Awards. Unsurprisingly, it's heavily tilted towards big studio fare, with Despicable Me 2 dominating the list with eleven nominations, Monsters University and Frozen with ten nominations apiece, and The Croods just a breath behind with nine.

In the short categories (Best Animated Special Production, Best Animated Short), three of the films on the Oscar bake-off list made the Annies' cut: British TV special "Room on the Broom", the Canadian "Gloria Victoria", and Disney's tech-heavy new Mickey short, "Get a Horse!"

The full list of nominees is here. For now, I'll leave you with the nominations for Voice Acting, entirely men aside from Wiig. (The corresponding TV category is 100% male)

  • Paul Giamatti as the voice of Chet - Turbo  
  • Terry Crews as the voice of Earl – Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs 2  
  • Kristen Wiig as the voice of Lucy – Despicable Me 2
  • Steve Carell as the voice of Gru – Despicable Me 2  
  • Pierre Coffin as the voice of Minions - Despicable Me 2
  • Billy Crystal as the voice of Mike – Monsters University 
  • Josh Gad as the voice of Olaf - Frozen

And the seven films in contention for Best Animated Feature:

We can probably expect Oscar's list to consist of some combination of four or five of these.


Blue Days... To Come

1 Day until... Today Blue Caprice competes for two Gotham Film Awards 
1 Day until... NYFCC, the oldest film critics organization (not to be confused with NYFCO, a much newer upstart) kicks off critics prize season and we get our first clue as to whether Cate Blanchett's Blue Jasmine is a steamroller (Dec 3rd)
2 Days until... NBR announces kicking off the not-critics-but-we-also-give-prizes prize season (Dec 4th)
5 Days until... Blue is the Warmest Color wins (?) the European Film Awards (Dec 7th)
6 Days until... Adele Exarchopoulus wins Best Actress at LAFCA for Blue is the Warmest Color. What? They always go foreign at LAFCA in that category (Dec 8th)
10 Days until... The Golden Globes make like Blue Balls... but how Blue? Nominations for Blue Jasmine are a given but Warmest Color could win nods, too. (Dec 12th)

All of this  might make our Oscar Chart Updates - currently in progress look instantly out of date

41 Days until... Cate wins the Golden Globe (Jan 12th)
45 Days until... until Blue Jasmine is nominated for [HOW MANY?] Oscars and Cate wins the Best Actress "Critics Choice" Awards (Jan 16th) 
47 Days until... Cate Blanchett wins SAG (Jan 18th) 
50 Days until... until Blue Jasmine hits DVD/Blu-Ray (Jan 21st)
60 Days until... Blue is the Warmest Color wins [HOW MANY?] César nominations in Paris (Jan 31st) 
89 Days until... all three Blue titles compete for Spirit Awards in Santa Monica (March 1st)
90 Days until... Cate Blanchett wins her second Oscar (March 2nd) 


Team FYC: Keith Stanfield, Best Supporting Actor

In this series Film Experience contributors sound off (individually) on their favorite fringe awards contenders. Here's Matthew Eng on Keith Stanfield from "Short Term 12" (who was recently Spirit nominated)

Chief among the achievements of Destin Cretton’s Short Term 12 is an early, two-minute scene in which Keith Stanfield’s Marcus, a sullen, soft-voiced, 18-year-old intake on the verge of being released from the film’s titular foster care facility, shares a self-penned rap with Mason (John Gallagher Jr.), one of the center’s supervisors. What unfolds remains, still, the single most heartbreaking moment I’ve seen onscreen this year, as Marcus launches into an unforgiving tirade against the abusive mother who raised him, that soon transitions into a harrowing lament about the unwavering, angering pain of being born into a broken life.

Look into my eyes so you know what it’s like
To live a life not knowing what a normal life’s like”

It's unshakable, shattering stuff, further enhanced by the beautifully-felt efforts of Stanfield, who wrote the rap himself and whose striking, breakout turn remains one of the year's most egregiously undersung performances. It’s easy to imagine all the ways in which the “Young Actor Playing a Troubled Youth in a Social Drama”-model could potentially go wrong: sometimes, steadfast commitment to the “troubled” aspect threatens to render the character one-note; other times, it’s as if the performer has chosen to play the shameless summoner of unmitigated audience sympathy, rather than an actual character. Instead of falling into either of these traps, Stanfield commits whole-heartedly to unveiling each and every complicated layer of Marcus without ever seeming bent on becoming something akin to the underdog worth rooting for. Stanfield is brilliant at navigating and detailing the character’s rocky emotional landscape and prickly persona, whether he’s snapping at Rami Malek’s “new guy” Nate over a dim comment about “underprivileged kids,” rushing to hostile extremes with Kevin Rodriguez’s antagonistic Luis, or allowing his lanky frame to buckle under the weight of suppressed emotional anguish during an impromptu haircut. Marcus’ surly toughness, deep-concealed heartache, and quiet introversion may be his foremost traits, but it’s to Stanfield’s credit that we also get to glimpse a softer, breezier, and funnier side of Marcus, as when he playfully converses with his housemates or cheekily exposes two counselors’ semi-secret relationship via rap.

That Cretton ultimately leads Marcus to something of a narrative dead-end is an unfortunate outcome, albeit one that in no way diminishes the impact of Stanfield’s concentrated and compelling work throughout Short Term 12. He fully and frequently grounds the movie, rooting it in remarkable truthfulness and bold emotionality, helping us locate the beautiful, gently-beating heart that sits firmly at its center.

Previously on Team FYC


Podcast: Spirited Spirit Discussion

In this week's episode,  Nick channels that THR Hollywood Actress Roundtable (previously live-blogged) and Nathaniel, Katey, and Joe join in but eventually it comes around to this week's topic: Spirit Award nominations.

We haven't seen all the films but the best thing about the Spirit Awards is advocacy for smaller titles you might not be familiar with. Are they shirking that privilege and responsibility with the focus on so many future Oscar nominees in the last few years? The discussion includes but is not limited to: Inside Llewyn Davis, Afternoon Delight, Mud, Upstream Color, Frances Ha, Fruitvale Station, All is Lost, Computer Chess, Short Term 12, Blue Caprice, and Spring Breakers.

You can listen at the bottom of the post or download it on iTunes. Join in the conversation in the comments.

Spirit Awards Nomination Chat