Tim here, officially taking over the Film Experience animation beat to share with everybody some news: the final list of 19 features submitted for consideration for the Best Animated Feature Film Academy Award has been announced. There's no guarantee that all 19 will end up qualifying - The Smurfs 2 is on the list, and there seems little reason to assume that it won't follow its predecessor in being disqualified - but as long as 16 make the final cut, we can look forward to 5 nominees in the category. Meaning that every animated feature released in the United States will have a 1 in 3.8 of receiving an Oscar nomination, which are not the most appropriate odds of receiving a prestigious, internationally prominent award.
We'll spend more time in the weeks to come going over all of these titles individually, but I thought it would be a good time to do some immediate sorting. Rather than just dumping the list on y'all, I decided to break it down into groups based on where the film came from and what its prospects might be going forward.
American studio releases with a good chance for a nomination
The Croods (DreamWorks Animation)
Despicable Me 2 (Illumination Entertainment)
Frozen (Walt Disney Animation Studios) - based on the recent wave of warm reviews, it's looking like the biggest lock of them all
Monsters University (Pixar Animation Studios)
American studio releases with little or no chance for a nomination
Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 (Sony Pictures Animation)
Epic (Blue Sky Studios)
Free Birds (Reel FX Creative Studios, dist. by Relativity Media)
Planes (DisneyToon Studios)
The Smurfs 2 (Sony Pictures Animation)
Turbo (DreamWorks Animation)
High-profile foreign productions with strong distributor backing
Ernest & Celestine (GKIDS)
A Letter to Momo (GKIDS)
The Wind Rises (Studio Ghibli/Disney)
Foreign productions about which I know nothing
The Fake (South Korean, unknown distributor)
Khumba (dist. by Millennium Entertainment)
The Legend of Sarila (dist. by Phase 4 Films)
O Apóstolo (Spanish, unknown distributor)
Puella Magi Madoka Magica: The Movie - Rebellion (dist. by Aniplex of America)
Rio 2096: A Story of Love and Fury (Brazilian, unknown distributor)
Yahoo attends a Hobbit fan event and discovers that Gandalf has a potty mouth
Movies.com inspired by the return of Chris Hemsworth as "Thor" they must ask "what's the best movie starring a man with long blonde hair?" Duh! It's a tie between the complete filmography of Brad Pitt and The Legolas of the Rings trilogy starring Orlando Bloom's Youth.
Deadline now here's a biopic we weren't expecting: Hair metal band Motley Crue to get the bio (of sorts) from the director of Bad Grandpa.
Atlantic Wire the Emmys weren't enough. Netflix wants an Oscar and scoops up hot documentary The Square (reviewed right here) relabelling it a 'Netflix Original'
In Contention Nebraska in a double bill with Paper Moon for old timey charm? Yes please.
AV Club why Schwarzenegger's Last Action Hero failed 20 years ago and why it needs to be rediscovered
Playbill Sadie Sadie Married Lady! Congratulations to the fabulous Megan Hilty (Smash) who just got hitched.
i09 Benedict Cumberbatch surprises Harrison Ford with a pretty great Chewbacca impression
Awesome Greta Gerwig dances her way through this awesome new video "Afterlife" from Arcade Fire, directed by Spike Jonze
This review was originally published in Nathaniel's column at Towleroad
"Silence = Death" was a particularly genius political slogan for AIDS activists in the 1980s. Potently succinct, righteously angry, and, best of all, both literally and spiritually true. The conversations it prompted about systemic gay oppression, political complacency, the importance of frank sexual discussion, and gay liberation -- particularly in regards to the fight against HIV and AIDS -- surely saved countless lives. But isn't it a curious thing that HIV/AIDS in the arts and entertainments still remains so tied to gay-only narratives of roughly a ten year window from the early 80s through the early 90s? Time to tell new stories from fresh perspectives? Enter DALLAS BUYERS CLUB, one of the first AIDS dramas (that I can recall at least) that is not about the gay community.
Matthew McConaughey stars as Ron Woodroff, a hard-living homophobe electrician. When we first meet him he's having a drug-fueled three way with two women behind the scenes at the rodeo. While we're watching him getting it on, he's watching a man getting gored at the rodeo. This opening sequence arguably shoves the entirely less useful 'Sex = Death' argument in your face, but the film quickly finds its footing as an involving drama about a man who doesn't know what's knocked him out and also is too damn stubborn to stay down.
Alexa here, weighing in with some curios for TFE's Vivien Leigh Centennial Celebration. It seems unbelievable that Vivien made only 19 films, with her face leaving such an indelible mark on the cinema landscape. And, oh (as Kendra's book celebrates), that face! I think only Cate Blanchett can today approximate the expressive prisms that were Vivien's eyes. With that in mind, here are some lovelies that celebrate her cinema career.