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Entries in Best Picture (173)

Monday
Jan182016

'Critics Choice' Winners List & Oscar-Calling Post-Mortem

the night doubled as a live tribute to Amy SchumerDespite the disdain many members of the media, including some within the BFCA, seem to hold for the HFPA, the organization that runs the Golden Globes, everyone seems to want to be them. The Critics Choice Awards, now in their 21st year, have had trouble emerging from that institution's shadow.

Though the CCMAs had seemed to be on a slight upswing around the turn of the decade (the Meryl Streep years of Doubt and Julie & Julia seemed to go well in terms of media interest, comparatively at least), things have been since trending downward and went truly haywire this year.  In addition to the "never take us seriously!" self-sabotage to change a nominee lineup after nominations had been announced, there are the strange impulses that can only come from not trusting the voting body such as the need to give Amy Schumer a special prize in the year when she's already going to win a normal prize.

Meanwhile the continued expansion of categories over the past several years has created a clusterf*** that requires that very few of them be televised live. Which is a pity because if they were they might be worth discussing. Mad Max Fury Road won 9 prizes but it didn't even remotely emerge from the night feeling like a big winner since only one of the nine was televised! [More...]

Click to read more ...

Sunday
Jan172016

Podcast: Which way will Best Picture & Best Director go? 

Joe, Nick, Katey and Nathaniel gather themselves for their first post-Oscar nomination discussion of the new year. Today, directors, pictures, and a discussion of Oscar's diversity problem. Please join in the conversation in the comments.

40 minutes 
00:01 Intro & Phoenix (for no apparent reason)
02:25 Bridge of Spies and Oscar tastes
04:30 Straight Outta Compton, Creed and Oscar's Diversification Initiatives
18:00 Cinematography and insular Oscar clubs
25:00 Mad Max vs The Martian vs The Revenant... is that good news for Spotlight?  
30;00 The Big Short, Screenplays, Precursors and Early Signs
33:00 Ridley Scott. Who gets Best Director now?

Related Reading For Context:
Joe's 20 Actors of Color List
Nathaniel's #OscarsSoWhite Article
Ridley Scott on "Little Gold Men"
The Revenant's Production Design & Costume Design 
Best Picture Chart 

You can listen to the podcast here at the bottom of the post or download from iTunes soon

Oscar Nomination Reactions - Picture/Director

Sunday
Jan172016

Box Office: Post Nomination Bump and Faulty Marketing Hooks

Ride Along 2, the umpteenth consecutive hit for the inarguably bankable Kevin Hart (and to a lesser extent Michael Bay's latest explosion filled thriller) serves as our monthly reminder --as if we needed one -- that the bulk of moviegoers would rather watch shoot-em-ups than Oscar nominated films. But congrats to Kevin Hart. He's on his fifth year of consistently big opening weekends now. If he's not one of the highest paid stars out there he needs to find new representation.

Meanwhile in alternate universe Oscar land: The Revenant showed amazing legs in its second wide release weekend, suggesting that Leonardo DiCaprio has yet another gargantuan hit on his hands. Leading the Oscar nominations surely didn't hurt. [More after the jump...

Click to read more ...

Saturday
Jan162016

Best Picture Chart Fun: Rankings, Nomination Formulas, Stats, Etc...

We love who what we love. And one of the things we love is Stats. And Charts! Oh god do we ever    charts. Why don't you marry them then? Okay. I will. Call city hall. I'll throw a veil over my laptop for the big day.

The new charts are now walking down their virtual aisles to you. First up Best Picture. If you smoosh them all together you have a 131 minute violent R rated drama in which a captive mother tells her son the fantastical story of a grizzly fur trapper and a lovely Irish lass who attempt to survive on a harsh inhospitable planet called Mars where a raving band of warboys pursues them relentlessly... but we never hear how the story ends because suddenly a  lawyer negtotiates the mom & son's release and a crack team of Boston journalists swoops in to investigate just what the hell happened and why no one knew about this story until now. 

But that's just a synopsis.

Click to the chart to see how these movies got nominated, how would we rank or compare them and trivia. It was fun working the angles on this charts so please take a look and consider your own rankings in the comments. 

Housekeeping Note: You'll notice the reader poll is no longer part of the Oscar charts. Since we lost our favorite poll site Twiigs... we have yet to find a suitable easy to access poll site that works well for embedding without interrupting the site in question or being ugly or forcing you to leave the site (you'll notice their fun absence on other former poll loving sites like Fug Girls - why is it so hard to find a good poll site?). But I'll keep an eye out and hope some new service emerges. 

Friday
Jan152016

"Perhaps Margot Robbie in a Bubble Bath Could Explain This One To Me"

Now that we've had 24 hours to process the Oscar nominations I polled Team Experience for one last Oscar Nomination reaction roundup. Which nomination did each of our contributors find most mystifying? Here are their answers which amused me so I hope you feel the same. 

Please bear in mind that these items do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the management. We each have our pet peeves and our "achievements" we just can't with. Share your headscratchers with us in the comments. What's still antagonizing you this morning a full 24 hours after getting used to it as an "Academy Award Nominee" 

Individual targets after the jump...

Click to read more ...

Thursday
Jan142016

New Oscar Records. An Evolving List

Refresh your screen for updates as we add to the list. If you suspect you've seen a statistic worth shouting about, put it in the comments.

Records Broken This Year

Jennifer Jones (Duel in the Sun, age 27) vs Jennifer Lawrence (Joy, age 25)Jennifer Lawrence (who is 25 years old) breaks Jennifer Jones's record of quickest actor to 4 nominations. Jones had held that record -- she accomplished 4 nominations by the age of 27 -- since 1947. But no more. And how is this for a freaky detail about this record. As Joe Reid points out both of these Jennifers had a powerful "David O" in their corner, Russell for Lawrence and Selznick for Jones.

John Williams, the Meryl Streep of Original Scores, broke his tie with the long dead composer Alfred E Newman (1900-1970)  to score a 44th nominations for Original Score. He's won 5 times (not a record). This is his 50th nomination in total since he's also been nominated for Original Song.

Sylvester Stallone has broken the obscure record of  longest stretch between acting nods for playing the same character for Rocky (1976) and Creed (2015). The previous record holder was Paul Newman between The Hustler (1961) and The Color of Money (1986). Other actors who've done this double whammy character trick are Cate Blanchett for Elizabeth, Bing Crosby for Father O'Malley, Al Pacino for Michael Corleone and Peter O'Toole for Henry II.

• This is reportedly the only time in history that all 5 Original Song nominees have been their films only nomination. It's also reportedly the most nominations ever amassed by Australians though I don't have confirmation on what the number is.or what the previous record that was broken is. 


Carol becomes the Most Nominated Film in the modern expanded Best Picture field era to not receive an Oscar nomination for Best Picture. The previous record was a three way tie between The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo (2011), Skyfall (2012) and Foxcatcher (2014) which each received 5 nominations but were not included in Best Picture.

[Aside: The all time record holder, from back when there were only 5 Best Picture nominees and more room for this sort of "achievement" in not-quite-making-it, is They Shoot Horses Don't They (1969) -- which is the most amazing movie you MUST see it --  which received 9 nominations but no Best Picture bid. Of these four other pictures, all but Foxcatcher won at least one Oscar. So we'll see on Carol.]

2015 Specific Records

Tom Hardy and Domnhall Gleeson are the most ubiquitous faces from the Best Picture lineup. Each actor appears in two nominees; Hardy headlines Mad Max: Fury Road and is nominated as supporting actor in The Revenant; Gleeson has supporting roles in Brooklyn and The Revenant. TFE crush Billy Magnussen also appears in two Best Picture nominees (Bridge of Spies and The Big Short) albeit in small roles.

Sandy Powell (Costume Design for Carol & Cinderella) and Andy Nelson (Sound Mixing for The Force Awakens and Bridge of Spies) are the only double nominees in a single category this year. Powell and Nelson already have 3 and 2 Oscars respectively.

• Four of the five Best Director nominees are enjoying an additional nomination:  George Miller and Alejandro G Inarittu  are both nominated for producing (Best Picture). Tom McCarthy and Adam McKay are also nominated in Screenplay.

• Most Nominated Person in the running again this year: John Williams on his 50th nomination (he's won five time)

• Most Nominated Person this year who has never won: Thomas Newman (Score) and Roger Deakins (Cinematography). They're both on their unlucky 13th nomination. Newman comes from a big family of musicians and composers. His father Alfred Newman was nominated 45 times (second only to John Williams for composing) and won 9 Oscars. His brother David was nominated once. His cousin Randy Newman was nominated 20 times winning twice (both times in "Original Song" for Pixar movies) His uncle Emil was nominated once and there are more of them still out there... 

Climbing The Ranks

Neither Russell or Inarritu are there yet but they're both quickly climbing the ranks for 'Directors who've had the most Best Picture nominees' and 'Directors who've directed the most nominated performances.' They both have exactly 3 Best Picture nominated films on their resumes now. One more for either of them and they're up there with the likes of Clint Eastwood and Elia Kazan and Alfred Hitchcock (who are all --- with many other men -- tied for 19th place of most Best Picture nominees). It'll be easier for them to climb that chart than it was for others due to the expansion of the Best Picture field. 

Steven Spielberg is currently #2 of all time for 'Directors who've had the most Best Picture nominees' Bridge of Spies gives him his 11th Best Picture nominee. Two more and Spielberg will tie the all time leader William Wyler who directed 13 Best Picture nominees in his career. Spielberg isn't a strong factor in the 'Directors who've guided the most Oscar nominated performances' with 11 such examples in his long career but Russell and Inarritu are skyrocketing up that same chart. This year's nominations give Russell his 11th (tied with Spielberg now despite a much shorter career) and Inarritu his 10th. The only two living directors who are in the top ten in that regard are Martin Scorsese (22 performances, 3rd place of all time after William Wyler and Elia Kazan), Woody Allen (18 performances, 6th place of all time after those three plus George Cukor and Fred Zinneman). 

Oops

• This one comes from Tim. Star Wars: The Force Awakens is the first film post Gone with the Wind (1939) to hold record for highest grossing film in the history of the U.S. box office that has not received a Best Picture nomination to go along with its cash haul. The others to hold that status at given points were (though box office statistics pre modern era are always somewhat debatable were) The Ten Commandments, The Sound of Music, Jaws, Star Wars, E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial, Titanic, and Avatar. It's worth noting that Star Wars: The Force Awakens is the first sequel in that list which could account for it being the first to not win the nomination.

Wednesday
Jan132016

Who will be nominated for Best Picture? Our Final Predictions.

The wisest thing to do in Oscar prediction in most years is a holistic approach. Start with Best Picture and let everything flow outward from that. Many technical or acting nominations throughout Oscar history are headscratchers unless you notice that their housing film was up for the big prize. People love what they love and they love blindly. Or, well, that's not right. That's... ungenerous. I don't think anyone is willfully myopic  -- which is why diversity in Academy membership is so important -- it's just that we all have our limitations and our fields of vision can be narrowed by any number of things including time spent looking at options.

If there were still only five. Oscar.... so manly!

For my own awards -- which statistically always include more movies than Oscars field each year -- this is probably because I see more movies and I probably fuss over my ballot more than 90% of Academy voters. They're inside the raging storm (and as some of them have told me over the years they either see movies very early before they're out in the world or well after the fact depending on their connection to the filmmakers studios and demands of current projects) while we're outside the storm looking at it and able to consider it from more vantage points. Of course that always brings the danger of overthinking it, the #1 easiest trap for pundits. "Guilty!" I shout, knowing myself

How many of these pictures will also be nominated? Last year we had 8 nominees in total.

Best Picture is unusually competitive this year and it's been a  clogged up mess. The sudden lurching away from critical darlings  Carol & Mad Mad Fury Road -- no secret at all that they're my two favorite films of the year -- that some pundits were predicting to lead the nomination tallies as recently as a week or two ago, toward more traditional Oscar Bait like The Revenant and The Big Short (read: heavily masculine, more traditional in form and message) has been a bit disheartening. I go on about this and the gender bias of Best Picture in my intermittent column at Towleroad. I am hopeful that Carol will be nominated still but it's no sure thing. I expect Carol and Room and Brooklyn are in the same 'could go either way' boat .. and together with longer shots Sicario and Inside Out -- well it's hard to miss that these are all extremely well reviewed films with female leads. So why are none of them sure things? Oscar might me walking into an #OscarsSoMale situation tomorrow morning. But we'll cross our fingers and hope voters realized during balloting that women are 50% of the human race and their stories aren't any less important and when they're told so gorgeously it'd be a real shame to pass them over. 

UPDATED CHARTS: PICTURE | DIRECTOR | ACTOR | SUPPORTING ACTORALL SOUND CATEGORIES 

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