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Entries in Birdman (46)

Sunday
Jan252015

SAG Predictions. Got any crazy ones?

I'm betting it continues to be a big weekend for Birdman on account of actors playing actors in a movie about acting (not to mention that the ensemble IS truly worthy) but I could be wrong. The temptation to wield your guild's top award as a defacto Best Picture prize -- even though none of the guilds are meant to be awarding that but their own craft instead -- has often proven a strong lure. Boyhood is easier to love so perhaps they'll hand the prize to just four people: Patricia Arquette, Ethan Hawke, Ellar Coltrane and Lorelei Linklater. Otherwise I feel little fear in predicting Keaton, Moore, Arquette and Simmons as the winners. Same as it ever was. That said if Eddie Redmayne is the viable Oscar threat I think he is, things could shift here in Best Actor to put him firmly in first place. After all SAG did go really above and beyond for Theory nominating this three-hander (for all intents and purposes) for the Ensemble prize.

It's worth noting that nominating committees are different than general voting bodies. They are much smaller and more peculiar and they vote much earlier. The conversation about Redmayne's movie has been drowned out recently by discussions about every other Best Picture nominee outside of maybe Whiplash

Sunday
Jan252015

Birdman Surprises at PGA. Is it a Three Way Best Picture Race?

The Film Experience has never loved the complacency of locked up Oscar races, so it is with great pleasure that I share the news (though you probably didn't miss it) that Birdman won the Producers Guild Award tonight. Do we have an actual race for Best Picture? Have you voted as to who should win yet?

This doesn't mean that Boyhood is in trouble, necessarily, but it's a fascinating curveball, especially given that Boyhood was such a feat of producing; Imagine bankrolling and shepherding a small scale but dozen yaer experiment when you had no idea how it would turn out or if it would work at all?!

As you know from my top ten list I do slightly prefer Birdman to Boyhood but let's forget about Oscar's unfortunate "side-taking" for a minute and face facts: either of those films would make thrilling, atypical and totally deserving Best Picture winners.

More...

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Friday
Jan162015

Up Close at the 20th Annual "Critics Choice" Awards

Goddess with regular person. But at least he's in a brand new expensive suit.Did you want the Critics Choice Movie Awards last night? That accounts for my radio silence. I had the extreme good fortune of sitting at Jessica Chastain's table. No, I couldn't believe it either for which I must thank A24 profusely. It's true The Film Experience has been kinda nuts about their movies here from Spring Breakers to Under the Skin to the already weirdly underappreciated A Most Violent Year (opening in late late December is so hard for movies that are small and aren't directed by Clint Eastwood) but it was still an unbelievably kind gesture.

It turns out though that sitting at a table with some of the honored stars (Jenny Slate, also at the table, took home Best Comedy Actress) that is smack dab in the center (Wild table to the left, Theory of Everything and Unbroken to the right, Selma tables --plural, that's a big cast behind you) is rather terrifying and chaotic. Because I had the back to stage seat, the cameramen were running up to squat or stand hovering over me carrying loads of equipment to point the camera at Jessica and Jenny for reaction shots and for their wins. [More...]

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Thursday
Jan152015

The 87th Academy Awards. Nominations Are Here!

Straight off the bat the happy shockers are Marion Cotillard for Two Days One Night (edging out Jennifer Aniston), Laura Dern for Wild (where many assumed Jessica Chastain would be), the weird surprise is Bennett Miller in Director for Foxcatcher, our first "lone director" nod since the Academy expanded the Best Picture field. In terrible news there were only two nominations (Best Picture & Song) for the grand Selma... which places it in the unfortunate company of Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close and The Blind Side. Yikes! In less horrific but still weird disappointing news: Nightcrawler pulled an Into the Wild by doing really well at the guilds but not so much with Oscar. 

Oscar had a boner for Birdman with many nominations

Grand Budapest Hotel and Birdman led the nominations with 9 honors each (though I correctly predicted Birdman being shut out of film editing so people will say it will have trouble winning now, statistically). You can see the complete nomination chart here. I'll be spending the day updating the individual charts with polls, stats, and whatnot. So Stay tuned! 

I got perfect scores in only four categories this year prediction wise:  Picture, Supporting Actor, Cinematography, and Makeup and Hair... though I'm proud of several individual predictions in my 4/5s categories like seeing The Hobbit's omission in Visual Effects and the love for Mr. Turner in a few places and I'm stunned to have gotten 4/5 in the always tricky sound categories. Unfortunately my very worst stat this year 3/5 came in two headline categories: Best Director and Best Actor! And the headline categories are usually the easiest.

How'd you do on your predictions and what was your happiest and saddest moment?

See also: Five Stage of Grief. Oscar Snubs and Why Wes? Why Now?

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Monday
Jan122015

GALECA Nominations: Pride, Birdman, Transparent, and Mommy

The Gay & Lesbian Entertainment Critics Assocation, which has over 100 members nationwide, and first joined the year end awards jamboree in 2009, have announced their nominations for the year in a slew of categories, not all of them for movies. Full disclosure two members of TFE are members of this organization: Nathaniel and Glenn. You may notice a lone nomination for Under the Skin and love for Mommy both of which we were loud advocates of during voting. We didn't need to shout the praises of Pride because a lot of people were doing it. It's fanbase grows each week which leads me to believe that maybe it should've come out in March like Grand Budapest Hotel, you know?

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Saturday
Jan102015

Who you gonna call? Linkbusters

Vanity Fair Melissa McCarthy and other funny ladies in talks for Ghostbusters reboot. I'm rooting for Jillian Bell myself who is mentioned. Yay.
Buzzfeed a definitive ranking of Disney Prince butts - as great as it sounds though I'd place Prince Phillip higher because my imagination works (I love that former Prince BD Wong even replied to his ranking on Twitter)
Vulture let us all worship Charlize Theron who has demanded (and been given) equal pay to her male co-star for The Huntsman. It's not like people went to the first movie for Hemsworth...Insane. Sexism by the numbers.
The Film Grapevine Birdman and the unexpected virtue of Contrivance
A Socialite Life Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone photobomb someone actually trying to take a photo of them

Slate on why Wes Anderson movies have never been popular with the Academy Awards before (presumably) now. Fairly good reasoning
MNPP Wet Hot American Summer will become a Netflix series and the original cast is all returning
RogerEbert.com on the women in Selma: the unsung heroines of the movement
THR Samuel Goldwyn Jr dies 
Theater Mania The Color Purple is coming back to Broadway (already?) with Jennifer Hudson as Shug 

Good Long Reads
IndieWire great piece on the definitions of patriotism and exceedingly pro-gun messaging of American Sniper. Please do not let this film be nominated for Best Picture. It's just not what we need right now...especially given how many people have been killed by guns lately in the States...and still no gun reform.
Grantland Wesley Morris on Selma. Love this sprawling, provocative review / thinkpiece. I've been totally appalled and confused myself at the way the media has latched on to the Lyndon B Johnson depiction but Morris makes a great point here that helps clarify, for me, the anger and nitpicking:

A quick survey of film history suggests that the depiction of racial themes in America has always been the province of white directors, whether it’s something as spectacularly diabolical as D.W. Griffith’s The Birth of a Nation or the antebellum revenge of Quentin Tarantino’s Django Unchained. These great-man movies tend to reflect the aspirations and identities of the people who make them, which is how so many stories ostensibly about black life wind up with white interpolators. DuVernay understands the fraught, imbalanced legacy a film like this pulls her into, and she’s been as fair as she needs to be. This is not a film that undermines or questions Johnson’s ultimate contributions to the improvement of black life in this country. (It very easily could have mentioned the two decades in Congress he spent opposing civil rights legislation.) Inasmuch as there are villains, they are Wallace, Hoover, and Selma’s sheriff, Jim Clark. But because this isn’t Johnson’s story, those accustomed to seeing the president as hero (or protagonist) ultimately seem dismayed by how little of the president there is here.

The bold is mine, not Morris's. People who are angry about Lyndon B Johnson's depiction really ought to look beyond the myth and think about reality. And once they do, rather than be disappointed, they should be as generous as DuVernay is who depicts him as an imperfect man who makes a great progressive decision which changes history.

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