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Entries in Best Picture (89)

Monday
Jan272014

Happy Birthday Amadeus!

Today is the 258th birthday of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. Of course he didn't live to see 258 (unless there's a vampire Mozart creeping around), dying an ignoble pauper's burial death at 35 despite a lifetime's worth of legendary brilliant compositions already behind him. Remember how great Amadeus (1984) was back when the biopic genre still produced huge quality epics? Remember when The Academy understood that movies could have two leads of the same gender? [More...]

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Sunday
Jan262014

Cuarón Takes DGA

In non-surprising awards news Alfonso Cuarón has won the Directors Guild of America prize for his long-in-the-making sci-fi epic Gravity. Though I've long been predicting him to win the Oscar, the Best Picture race still seems competitive. It's insane that 12 Years a Slave, a magnificent film and a historically significant drama in several ways, isn't steamrolling but it isn't. My guess is that even if Gravity sweeps the craft categories, Best Picture will be a nail biter down to the last envelope opening. The most famous 'dominated the Oscars but still lost Best Picture' year is, of course, 1972. Cabaret won 8 Oscars but The Godfather beat it in two of the top 8 categories Adapted Screenplay & the big kahuna Best Picture. The end result: they were both winners. Cabaret took home a lot of Oscars and has the impressive distinction of being the biggest winner among all Best Picture losers. (There are some who think that 2002 was heading toward a similar outcome had The Pianist had another month to gain momentum on Chicago) 

Will we see another split year? No predominantly black film has ever won Best Picture which is depressing and bad news for 12 Years a Slave but no sci-fi film has won either which isn't exactly points in Gravity's favor. 12 Years has to convince voters who are resisting it to see the picture (if you ask me, AMPAS voters who won't watch all the Best Picture nominees each year before voting really ought to have their memberships revoked) and it needs to find a second wind with the media who have a predictable way of turning on frontrunners each year. I fear a Brokeback Mountain situation where the less evolved voters just won't give a seminal work its due because of the subject matter. Am I too pessimistic?

Gravity has the potentially easier task in that it only needs to convince voters that it isn't lightweight and that it won't age poorly (I'm not convinced on the latter). And, since it hasn't truly been the frontrunner at any point, it doesn't have much backlash to conquer. I'm leaning toward predicting Gravity to just (nearly) sweep the whole thing.

Wednesday
Jan222014

With Six You Get Linkroll

Jeremy Cowart tales from a stunning photoshoot starring actor John Schneider
Policy Mic 7 reasons why Frozen is the most progressive Disney movie 
Grantland Mark Harris on "The Nolan Effect" and how the expanded Best Picture field is actually shrinking the number of movies deemed Oscar Worthy. Statistically, it's getting worse each year. I co-sign all of this.
YouTube Cate Blanchett's awesome SAG press room performance - she even sings the Beatles
Huffington Post Amy Adams does Wicked's "Defying Gravity" at karaoke 
Deadline Quentin Tarantino very upset about the leaking of his Hateful Eight screenplay. Who knows, though? Maybe we're all winners here since did he really need to do another violent ensemble guys western so soon after Django?  

Thursday
Jan162014

Oscar Nominations. They're Finally Here!

Refresh your screens for periodic updates. Some of the type if funky on this page but I copied and pasted from Oscar's site so whatever they had in their coding travelled. 

And the nominees are...

BEST PICTURE

  • American Hustle
    Charles Roven, Richard Suckle, Megan Ellison and Jonathan Gordon, Producers
  • Captain Phillips
    Scott Rudin, Dana Brunetti and Michael De Luca, Producers
  • Dallas Buyers club
    Robbie Brenner and Rachel Winter, Producers
  • Gravity
    Alfonso Cuarón and David Heyman, Producers
  • Her
    Megan Ellison, Spike Jonze and Vincent Landay, Producers
  • Nebraska
    Albert Berger and Ron Yerxa, Producers
  • Philomena
    Gabrielle Tana, Steve Coogan and Tracey Seaward, Producers
  • 12 Years a Slave
    Brad Pitt, Dede Gardner, Jeremy Kleiner, Steve McQueen and Anthony Katagas, Producers
  • The Wolf of Wall street
    Nominees to be determined

Instant Reaction: a perfect score for me again in terms of predictions (I thought they might end with Philomena but if 9 then Her) but I really wish they'd just go back to 10 or, even better, 5. 9 is a stupid number. As per usual the Best Picture nominees really dominated all awardage with a total of 61 nominations between them.

More...

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Wednesday
Jan082014

Will Eight Be Enough? BAFTA & Best Picture Predix

If you haven't been to the Oscar charts as of late, know that the final predictions will be up Monday night come rain or shine (Sunday is too crowded - Golden Globes Day and after that yours truly is off to LA and Sundance for festivities). The Best Picture chart, though, which I've just updated, might stay as is.  

I am currently predicting 8 nominations for Best Picture though the number can annoyingly vary from as little as 5 and as many as 10 (note: we've only seen 9 since the voting process changed). But the way I see it in my crystal ball, which goes from foggy to crystal clear from year to year (win some you lose some), it'll shake out like so:

LOCKS / NOMINATION LEADERS:
12 Years a Slave, American Hustle, Gravity
IF WE STOPPED AT FIVE: Nebraska, Capt Phillips
BUT WE DON'T, SO: Wolf of..., Dallas Buyers Club
AND ALSO Philomena 

BAFTA nominations, which hit while we were sleeping, have not significantly shaken up our perceptions of the race as they can very occasionally do. Philomena's strong showing at an awards show originally meant to honor British film (which has since devolved into: Oscars Cross-Atlantic Edition) is not unexpected but I also don't think it unmeaningful. [more...]

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