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Entries in Boston (5)

Sunday
Dec082013

Boston Chooses 12 Years A Slave, Enough Said?

The Boston Society of Film Critics' (BSFC) very first Best Picture prize went to Martin Scorsese's Raging Bull (1980) and over the next 32 years they've mixed smart off the path choices with future Oscar darlings. In the past decade they seem to have mellowed and mainstreamed and unless you count a tie in 2008 (Wall•E shared the prize with Slumdog), it's been well over a decade since that grabby run when they thought outside the box consistently (1998-2001) when they were giving Best Film prizes to great movies like Out of Sight (2 below the line Oscar nods) Three Kings (0 Oscar attention) and Mullholland Dr (1 Oscar nod) which were obviously not going to play big with the Academy. (During that period they were also making interesting calls in non Oscar-baiting performances so something about the membership must have changed thereafter.

This year they've wrapped their Bostonian arms around native New Yorker Solomon Northrup in a big way giving 12 Years a Slave three top prizes. They were also kind to Nebraska and Enough Said which each won 2 prizes. Full list of winners with commentary after the jump

Click to read more ...

Saturday
Dec072013

Raiders of the Lost Link

Total Film Idina Menzel on the long delayed Wicked movie adaptation
AV Club a Hilarious takedown of Nikki Finke's awful couching of Nelson Mandela's passing (RIP) in movie terms 
Boy Culture Happy birthday Boy Culture. Matt selects his 100 favorite posts from 8 years of blogging
The Onion "Google Streep View Panorama" LOL! (This could not be more appropriate to share at The Film Experience since we're always discussing Meryl Streep's Ubiquity). 

i09 Disney buys Indiana Jones. all the franchises will soon belong to them [insert evil laugh]
Playbill Sutton Foster will lead another TV show. This one is not a musical though... boo.
Playbill but another Broadway diva Alice Ripley will be starring in a film called Sugar which she'll do music for. Yay.
MNPP Which is hotter, Brad Pitt edition
me says
 wishes there were people of color in Frances Ha. I remember people had the same complaint about Girls and Woody Allen films before it. NYC is a very multi-ethnic place but movies and tv are less so
EOnline Mandy Patinkin Holla! He shaved off his beard
Boston Online the upstart critics group in Boston (not to be confused with the 32 year old institution that is the Boston Society of Film Critics) has given nearly 50% of their 2nd annual awards to 12 Years a Slave
Coming Soon Have you heard that Brie Larson and Emilia Clarke are the two finalists for the role of Sarah Connor in a Terminator reboot? Allow me to dry heave a little at the idea of rebooting a series that has already had three lives and whose concept allows for sequels on end without pretending the (great) originals never happened. Ugh!  Normally I'd root for my favorite actresses to get whatever parts they wanted but I'm hoping Brie finds something else instead. She's too good to waste on another tired 'no new ideas' franchise. 

Finally...

FWIW, Martin Scorsese's The Wolf of Wall Street was widely seen by critics on both coasts today, all three hours of it. Some onliners immediately broke the embargo (sigh) but I play the rules. Sure it costs me, but what can you do? I actually like embargos. They give you time to sit with a movie and consider before mouthing off. But it's definitely... um... a talking point. The only thing I'll say for now is that I was so proud of Margot Robbie for shaking off whatever dullness clung to her beauty in "Pan Am" (remember that show?) and really going for it. This is a hungry performance and Hollywood will surely reward her with a buffet of new roles to feast on. The competition for 'Hot Young Actress I Wish I Could Sleep With' critics org prize (commonly known as Best Supporting Actress... but critics can be so transparent) just got stiffer.

Sunday
Dec092012

LAFCA Names "Amour" The Best of the Year. (Plus Boston & NYFCO)

Warning this post will contain no photos of Zero Dark Thirty in protest. It's a film I thoroughly enjoyed but critical sweeps do great injustice to the art of cinema each year. No film or performance has ever been so great as to be the only achievement worth rewarding in its calendar year. The modern age of hive-mindedness also does great injustice to awards season which needs drama as fuel. This is not to say that one shouldn't vote one's mind if a certain sweeper is also your personal favorite but if everyone's personal favorites are always the same we automatically a) need fewer groups trumpeting the collective opinion or b) we need more critics who have idiosyncratic taste to keep the art of the discussion of cinema at its liveliest.

LOS ANGELES
We've already heard from NYC's top critics who gave three awards each to Zero Dark Thirty and Lincoln and today the Los Angeles Film Critics Association, the LA wing of critical-consensus makers get their say. Given that this particular group is something like the Home Team for the bulk of AMPAS members, their votes matter. Stay tuned as voting commences!

FILM Amour (ru: The Master)
DIRECTOR Paul Thomas Anderson for The Master (ru: Kathryn Bigelow for Zero Dark Thirty)
ACTRESS (tie) Jennifer Lawrence Silver Linings Playbook and Emmanuelle Riva Amour 
ACTOR  Joaquin Phoenix The Master (ru: Denis Lavant, Holy Motors)
SUPPORTING ACTRESS  Amy AdamsThe Master (ru: Anne Hathaway, Les Misérables & The Dark Knight Rises)
SUPPORTING ACTOR  Dwight Henry Beasts of the Southern Wild (ru: Christoph Waltz, Django Unchained)
ANIMATED FILM  Frankenweenie (ru: It's Such a Beautiful Day)
DOCUMENTARY The Gatekeepers (ru: Searching for Sugar Man)
FOREIGN FILM  tba tba
NEW GENERATION  tba tba
SCREENPLAY Argo (ru: Silver Linings Playbook)
CINEMATOGRAPHY  Roger Deakins Skyfall (ru: Mihai Malaiare, Jr. The Master)
PRODUCTION DESIGN  David Crank & Jack Fisk The Master (ru: Adam Stockhausen, Moonrise Kingdom)
EDITING Zero Dark Thirty
INDEPENDENT/EXPERIMENTAL Leviathan 
MUSIC SCORE  Dan Romer & Benh Zeitlin Beasts of the Southern Wild (ru: Jonny Greenwood, The Master)

Last Year's LAFCA Winners if you'd like to compare them...

Boston & NYFCO after the jump

Click to read more ...

Saturday
Dec082012

Ruh Roh. Yet Another New Critics Group Predicting the Oscars!

I had a dream that precursor awards would be... so different from Oscar punditryYou know how we're always complaining about there being way too many critics groups? Well now Boston has a second group. The Boston Online Film Critics Association -- not to be confused with the 32 year running Boston Society of Film Critics -- was formed this summer and from the looks of their first prizes they're looking to be seen as an Oscar bellwether (sigh) with their prizes going to all the arguable front runners at the moment: Picture & Director and Actress: Zero Dark Thirty by Kathryn Bigelow starring Jessica Chastain; Actor and Supporting Actor: Daniel Day-Lewis and Tommy Lee Jones in Lincoln; Supporting Actress: Anne Hathway in Les Misérables.

I'd type up the rest but I can't go on! Someone save me from the hive mind. I don't want to be assimilated. Will the LAFCA make interesting choices tomorrow? 

I should probably note for fairness sake that their top ten list is not entirely Oscar predictive: Zero Dark Thirty, Beasts of the Southern Wild, Lincoln, Moonrise Kingdom, Django Unchained Oslo August 31st, Holy Motors, The Master, Argo, Cloud Atlas

Sunday
Dec112011

Boston Society of Film Critics. Beantown Loves... 

would you be so good as to participate in the bean lottery? Please submit your bid for the number of beans in the bottleBeantown critics have assembled today to announce their prizes. LAFCA and the NYFCO critics are also announcing later.

Awful lot of bean vote counting going on today. In Boston's case they're being very leisurely about it. We'll see how quickly the other associations move. I only illustrated with Melancholia's wedding bean lottery because I was just watching it last night and here we are this morning and never mind...

The winners!

PICTURE The Artist (Runner up: Hugo and Margaret)
DIRECTOR Martin Scorsese for Hugo (Runner up: Michel Hazanavicius for The Artist)
ACTRESS Michelle Williams for My Week With Marilyn (Runner up: La Streep. Guess Boston liked their biographies above all else this year) 
ACTOR Brad Pitt for Moneyball (Runners up The Clooney & Fassy)

SUPPORTING ACTRESS Melissa McCarthy for Bridesmaids (runner up: Jeannie Berlin for Margaret
SUPPORTING ACTOR Albert Brooks for Drive (runner up: ???) 
SCREENPLAY Moneyball (runner up: Margaret
CINEMATOGRAPHY Emmanuel Lubezki for The Tree of Life (runner up: Robert Richardson for Hugo)

The Supporting Actress Competition. "That's a lot of energy to deal with!"

There's one or almost one for #TeamMargaret. I wish I'd seen it. Alas. But McCarthy picks up her first critics award for Bridesmaids. Will more follow? The BFSC claims it was a "very competitive category" this year. By which perhaps they mean Jessica Chastain vs. Jessica Chastain vs. Jessica Chastain vs. All of the Bridesmaids perhaps?

I'm wondering if Albert Brooks won in a landslide for Drive. Possibly he did as they didn't announce a runner up. 

DOCUMENTARY Project Nim (runner up: Bill Cunningham New York)
FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM Incendies (runners up: A Separation and Poetry)
ANIMATED FILM Rango
FILM EDITING (in memory of Karen Schmeer) Christian Marclay for The Clock (runner up: Thelma Schoonmaker for Hugo... see previous post)
NEW FILMMAKER (in memory of David Brudnoy) Sean Durkin for Martha Marcy May Marlene (runner up: JC Chandor for Margin Call

At last Durkin beats Chandor to a prize. I knew some group would have to go that way. Both are good films but some have issues with the ambiguity of Durkin's work (see my Fandor contemplation of the problem.)

ENSEMBLE CAST CARNAGE (runner up: Margaret. Poor #TeamMargaret... bridesmaids but never the bride)
USE OF MUSIC IN FILM *tie* DRIVE & THE ARTIST (runner up: The Descendants... which, lol, um... okay. Hawaiian music for Hawaii? Award worthy decision-making right there!)

Boston joins #TeamMargaret. Sort of

They also handed out several local prizes and honors which you can read here. And they made a special plea to Fox Searchlight to start backing Kenneth Lonergan's Margaret. The film kept getting runner up notices. Poor #TeamMargaret ... always the bridesmaids but never the bride. In their words:

The Boston Society of Film Critics expresses its regret that Fox Searchlight refused to distribute screeners of the film "Margaret" and scheduling only a last-minute screening after numerous requests. The film, which received an extremely limited release, was a favorite of many BSFC members and could have won several awards had it been made available for viewing within a reasonable timeframe.  Despite this disadvantage, "Margaret" was a runner up in three of the BSFC’s award categories. We encourage Fox Searchlight not compound this oversight and to make screeners available to the voting body of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and so give the film a fair chance in the upcoming awards competition.