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Entries in Birdman (45)

Friday
Mar012019

Blueprints: Standout sequences in Original Screenplay winners

by Jorge Molina

Last Sunday, in a ceremony filled with joyful surprises, heartbreaking disappointments, and Emma Stone’s shocked tearsGreen Book won Best Original Screenplay.  Instead of driving into Peter Farrelly, Brian Currie and Nick Vallelonga’s screenplay, let’s take a look at the last ten years of winners of Best Original Screenplay (2008-2017), and a standout sequence in each. Because somehow Viggo Mortensen folding a pizza in half and Mahershala Ali learning how to eat fried chicken are now among their peers.

The King's Speech, Django Unchained, Her, Birdman and more are after the jump...

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
Feb202019

4 days until Oscars. More trivia fun.

Four is today's magic number so let's share some Oscar trivia.

Makeup prosthetics for Christian Bale as Dick Cheney (photo from Aida Dombr instagram)

IS ANYONE UP FOR A POSSIBLE FOURTH COMPETITIVE WIN THIS YEAR? 
Why yes, we're so glad you asked. In addition to the previously discussed costume designer Sandy Powell (The Favourite might make it four for that genius), Makeup artist Greg Cannom, who previously won Oscars for The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Mrs Doubtfire and Bram Stoker's Dracula, might well win his fourth for giving Christian Bale that realistic looking Cheney bald cap and thick neck in Vice. If Cannom wins he becomes the second most awarded makeup artist of all time (after category king Rick Baker -- who appears to have retired? -- who took the Oscar an incredible 7 times). Now, technically, Cannom is already the second most awarded makeup artist but he's currently holding that honor in a tie with another three time winner Ve Neill (she won for Beetlejuice and Ed Wood, as well as Mrs Doubtfire alongside Cannom). Interestingly enough both Cannom and Ve Neill each won Makeup Guild awards this past weekend for Vice and A Star is Born respectively. 

Katharine Hepburn is the only person to ever win 4 acting Oscars... 

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Saturday
Mar112017

358 Days Until Oscar. Moonlight was short, as Best Pictures go. 

Gone With the Wind is not remotely the longest movie to ever win an Oscar (O.J. Made in America just beat previously record holder in that regard, Russia's foreign film winner War & Peace, by pretending to be a "movie" when it was actually a TV miniseries). But Gone With the Wind remains, at 3 hrs & 58 minutes, the longest Best Picture winner. We published the list of running times of the Best Picture winners a few years back but since then the Academy has naturally added a few movies to this list so it was time to update.

The last three winners have all, thankfully, been comparatively succinct in their storytelling and all of them under the "average" in length for a Best Picture. Can we hope that running times will come back down again since they've been growing over the years? Moonlight, our latest champ, is the 15th shortest film to ever win Best Picture. You can pack a lot of greatness into 111 minutes as we hope future filmmakers will realize when they study Barry Jenkins amazing movie in film schools. 

Here are all 90 Best Picture winners from longest to shortest. The new entries in bold...

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Friday
Sep182015

Victoria's single take is incredible, but it's not "better" than Birdman's

Sebastian here, not at TIFF, but now taking your donations to get me there next year...

Frederick Lau and Laia Costa in VICTORIA

Ever since its premiere at the Berlinale earlier this year, Sebastian Schipper's Victoria has been compared to Alejandro González Iñárritu's Birdman. The US poster even leads with a quote from Variety's Guy Lodge: "Fly away, Birdman — there’s a new one-shot wonder in town."

Victoria was shot in one take, which lead many to compare it (usually favorable) to the Best Picture winner. It's an odd comparison to make, though, since Iñárritu's film wasn't shot in one take, and never pretended to be, either. (The fact that Douglas Crise and Stephen Mirrione weren't even nominated for Best Editing is one of the stranger oversights in The Academy's recent history.)

Both films share in their production an elaborate, fairly - though not entirely - unique effort with a high degree of difficulty to pull off. But so does Boyhood. Or Mad Max: Fury Road, for that matter. That doesn't mean they're doing the same thing, and it certainly doesn't mean that one of them is "better" at it than the others.

As tempting as it may be for some to use Victoria's impressive technical achievement to get in one more jab at the much (and in this writer's view unfairly) maligned Oscar winner, it really doesn't do either of them justice.

VICTORIA had its North American premiere at TIFF this week and is being rolled out to US theaters next month, starting with New York and Los Angeles on October 10. Full release schedule here.

Sunday
Mar292015

Film Bitch Awards ~The Medals Ceremony

Can we take a moment to appreciate that I finished the awards this year?!? A momentous recovery given that this most popular feature has slid in follow-thru without true wrap-ups the past two years. Self sabotage is a wicked trait. It shouldn't come as a surprise that Birdman and Under the Skin led the nominations with 15 and 11 respectively since they were my two favorites of the year. The biggest surprises are surely Gone Girl's 11 nominations and the piddly nomination counts for two of top ten films (Love is Strange and Mommy - how did I do so wrong by them?) but these things don't always work out as expected when you concentrate on individual elements within collective achievements. Some movies are just greater than the sum of any one part and other movies have a hundred excellent parts but not quite a genius whole.

On to the ceremony. Please to imagine the title themes from the corresponding films blaring as their medalists take their places. The tunes you'll hear most often are:

 

Overall - films with the biggest trophy hauls
Under the Skin (5 gold medals, 2 silver, 2 bronze)
Birdman (4 gold medals, 5 silvers, 1 bronze)
The Grand Budapest Hotel  (4 gold medals, 2 silver)

...which is a funny coincidence because they happen to be the exact three medalists from the Original Score category, if not in quite that order!

 Gone Girl just misses the final podium with 3 gold medals, 2 silver, and 2 bronze... quite a showing for a film that only made it to #17 in my favorites of the year. I've been wondering ever since I published the top ten list if I should've had that Fincher/Flynn collaboration on it. I put on the DVD in the other day to check on one detail and ended up watching the whole thing. Again. So now it's also the movie I've seen the most times from 2014. Meanwhile  Boyhood, my bronze medalist in Best Picture, didn't have a huge trophy haul in the end, just 4 medals: 1 gold, 1 silver, and 2 bronze. Two films that did well in medals despite low nomination counts were Begin Again and The Boxtrolls. See all the medals (indicated by gold, silver, and bronze star icons) on the Film Bitch Awards charts

-Oscar Correlatives
Picture, Director, Screenplays, Animation
All Four Acting Categories
Visuals
Sound and Music (and Oscar Correspondent Stats)

- Extra Fun Categories

Special Acting-Related Categories
Character Awards (Heroes, Divas, etcetera)
Best Individual Scenes (and Overall Stats) 

And with that we close out the 2014 Film Year! Finally. Whew. What an exhilarating ride it was. This is when we shout "AGAIN!" like a giddy child and line up to do it all over again albeit with a different set of films.

Saturday
Feb282015

Birdman Post-Mortem

BEST PICTURE | BEST DIRECTOR | BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY | BEST CINEMATOGRAPHYWe're nearly a week out from Birdman's big win and as we close out 2014 coverage (I'm hurrying backstage with our awards and the podcast Sunday night is our Oscar finale) I'm feeling more and more satisfied with the way everything panned out. Oh sure the Julianne Moore Coronation kept my mood up but there were other things to cherish.

Share the wealth years are usually more satisfying not to mention more representative of a film year and all the Best Pictures took a statue (or more) home. And with Boyhood winning so many prizes on the way to Oscar, well that labor of love got plentiful rewards too. I know those awards weren't the Oscar but what's the point of having all of these awards if they all go to the same things. We should celebrate the teensy tiny bit of diversity of wins when they happen.

My delight in Birdman's win is, of course, in direct opposition to what seems to be the majority of critics, which is odd since the film had strong reviews originally. The internet was downright furious when it took Best Picture but when isn't the internet furious, you know?

Depression, navel-gazing and recommended reads after the jump...

Click to read more ...