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Entries in Best Picture (99)

Friday
Feb282014

2 Days Til Oscar. Final Oscar Predictions

This article originally appeared in my column at Towleroad and is reprinted here (albeit slightly altered for the TFE crowd) with their permission

Gravity will win how many Oscars? The most at any rate.

Oscar Weekend is upon us! Those damn Olympics forced it into March so it already feels like its running late and pushing back the local news broadcast yet further into the AM hours. And it hasn't even started yet! But soon Ellen Degeneres will be dancing down the aisles and we'll be on our way. [Before we get there make sure to like TFE on facebook so you don't forget about us during the spring/summer. We hit it all year round!]

I've been an Oscar blogger for over ten years (yikes) and usually predicting the winners in the high profile categories is easy; it's about getting out of your own way since it's easy to overthink it and create scenarios which aren't likely to happen. This year is more volatile than usual, though, with Gravity, 12 Years a Slave, and American Hustle all displaying strength after strength during "precursor season" but meeting plenty of resistance, too, on their awards path. Anything might happen in Best Picture, which is not something you can usually say going into the big night. It'll be a groundbreaking night almost any way it turns out with a first in Best Director (first Hispanic winner or first black winner) and a first in Picture (first sci-fi winner or first film that's totally about black people) 

Oscar never presents the categories in the exact same order from year to year, but let's take these in the order the envelopes opened last year just as an outline on which to hang our predictions after the jump... 

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
Feb262014

Burning Questions: Is '12 Years a Slave' Really Too Rough For Oscar?

Michael Cusumano here. Oscar balloting closed 24 hours ago and this final crunch before Oscar night has me pondering the gap between pre-Fall buzz and the reality heading into the big ceremony.

If the breathless predictions about 12 Years a Slave that sounded out of Toronto last September were to be believed there should have been zero suspense left in the Best Picture race long ago. Like The King’s Speech before it, McQueen’s film appeared to be such a direct hit to the Academy’s sweet spot that many called the race then and there. So what happened? 12 Years may still emerge victorious but why isn’t it rolling over the competition like a Sherman Tank? 

The popular theory is that 12 Years is turning off the more squeamish voters with its unsparing physical and emotional violence. These voters are supposedly fleeing to the comforts of Gravity, which is nerve-shredding but in the unthreatening context of an action-thriller. This seems logical enough but I wonder if it's too easy an answer.

Is 12 Years a Slave really too rough for awards voters? Or is something larger at play?

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
Feb262014

"Nominations for Everyone!" - Saturn Awards

I maintain that a lot of "special interest" awards bodies would instantly be more respectable if they'd limit their number of nominations in a category. The Saturn Awards, who've been handing out prizes for sci-fi/fantasy/horror films for 40 years now, are one such group. When you narrow your field of eligibility -- as all special interest awards bodies must to still fit within their special interest boundaries -- why then should your nominee list be larger than the standard model (that'd be Oscar. pay attention). Despite what seems like a neverending barrage of pictures released that are catering to the comic-con community, there are actually less movies like that than those that are eligible for other prizes which only have "release date" as criteria. And yet the Saturn Awards feel the need to have six-seven nominees in all the acting categories and multiple Best Picture awards. If you combine all of their Best Film categories, they have 34 Best Picture nominees! though Gravity and The Hobbit: The Smaugening are the nomination leaders.

It must be so insulting for any picture that was not nominated... though I can't think of any that weren't offhand. Hundreds of nominations with brief grumpy commentary are after the jump. 

Best Comic-to-Film Motion Picture:
“Iron Man 3″
“Man of Steel”
“Thor: The Dark World”
“The Wolverine”

The only snubbee I can think of here is Blue is the Warmest Color but those lesbians have no superpowers beyond very limber bodies and the ability to eat huge amounts of food without gaining a pound. 

30 more Best Picture nods after the jump...


Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Feb252014

Curio: And The Nominees Are

Alexa here with your weekly art appreciation post. This being Oscar week, all the alternative poster designs for the nominated films are making the rounds: see the nominated films posterized as Legos, or as one-liners!  I prefer a less gimmicky, graphic-artist-inspired approach myself.  Unlike last year, the Oscar site does not feature alternative poster designs; I do wish the Academy would follow the lead of the BAFTAs on this.  

To fill the void here are my favorite designs for each of the nominated films.  Happy Oscars everyone! 

 

 

Click to read more ...

Saturday
Feb222014

Best Pictures for Home Viewing

all links in this article go to my favorite post about the movie in question

For those of you who live too far from major markets  to see everything before the Oscars, or who love watching a movie over and over and over again, you won't have to wait too long to fulfill every viewing impulse you have for this year's batch of Oscar nominees. Almost every single Oscar nominee will be on DVD and BluRay by the end of March except of course for the handful that don't have to follow the normal rules of release like foreign film and animation: Omar, Ernest & Celestine, The Wind RisesThe Missing Picture which have just started their theatrical runs or are coming soon. There's no word yet on late arrival The Invisible Woman, nominated for costume design. The only Best Picture that hasn't announced a BluRay release date is Spike Jonze's Her which is slightly surprising since its competitors, which are mostly still going stronger at the box office, have. 

Coming Tuesday!
Best Picture nominees Gravity & Nebraska hit stores the day Oscar voting ends. So they won't be able to tout any of their potential wins on their jackets

Already Available. Will you have seen them all by March 2nd?
Best Picture nominees: Captain Phillips & Dallas Buyer's ClubScreenplay nominees: Blue Jasmine & Before MidnightAnimated Features, Visual Effects and Craft nominees are often available before the other shortlists since they're less reliant on Christmas releases to win gold. So you can already get: The Great Gatsby, All is LostStar Trek Into Darkness,  Iron Man 3, Despicable Me 2, The Lone Ranger, The CroodsPlus: the grim thriller Prisoners, about child abduction nominated for Best Cinematography, and Denmark's Foreign Film nominee The Hunt starring Mads Mikkelsen as a man accused, and thus presumed guilty, of child abuse which is suddenly and uncomfortably extra topical. 

Coming in March

March 4th
Best Picture nominees 12 Years a Slave &  Philomena plus costume & cinematography eye candy kung fu in Wong Kar Wai's The Grandmaster 

March 11th
Two musically-focused nominees: Inside Llewyn Davis, nominated for Sound Mixing, and The Broken Circle Breakdown Belgium's Best Foreign Language Film nominee is a cancer drama but it's also one of the best performance musicals of recent years; moving bluegrass family drama. I don't plan on buying either movie but my god the music. Gimme the soundtracks!

March 18th

Best Picture nominee American Hustle plus two Best Original Song features Mandela and Frozen. I find the Disney behemoth's home video date surprising. It's still in the box office top five. You can make money on home video forever but theatricla revenue comes just once (until the next technological breakthrough for which you can retrofit it and rerelease) so why cut off that money? 

All the Best Pictures will be on blue ray by March 25th (except Her)

March 25th
A cushion-your-ass double feature. Got a free five & half hours? Best Picture The Wolf of Wall Street (180 minutes) and Best Foreign Film The Great Beauty (142 minutes) arrive on the same day. 

April 7th
That's the day you get the three fire breathers: Smaug from The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug and Violet and Barbara Weston (Meryl & Julia) in August: Osage County.

CHECK OUT THE OSCAR CHARTS 
And make sure to vote for your favorite Picture, Actor, Supporting Actor and the like.

Friday
Feb212014

9 Days Til Oscar. Should 9 Times Nominated "12 Years" Worry?

Steve McQueen's 12 Years a Slave, once the Oscar frontrunner and perhaps still, has nine nominations. As we move into the final days of voting (ballots are due on Tuesday the 25th), how many of its categories can it win? I'm thinking about 12 Years again today due to Harvey Weinstein's awful potshot at it over at Deadline where he suggested that Quentin Tarantino's Django Unchained was better at covering slavery.

I liked 12 Years A Slave, but Quentin covered a lot of that ground first, and dealt with violence, slavery and oppression, shining a light on the American holocaust, as he called it.

Oy!

I'll flesh out some of the following thoughts in the "final predictions" article a week from now but until then, let's discuss it's upcoming Oscar battles... 

Click to read more ...

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