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Entries in critics awards (33)

Monday
Jan182016

'Critics Choice' Winners List & Oscar-Calling Post-Mortem

the night doubled as a live tribute to Amy SchumerDespite the disdain many members of the media, including some within the BFCA, seem to hold for the HFPA, the organization that runs the Golden Globes, everyone seems to want to be them. The Critics Choice Awards, now in their 21st year, have had trouble emerging from that institution's shadow.

Though the CCMAs had seemed to be on a slight upswing around the turn of the decade (the Meryl Streep years of Doubt and Julie & Julia seemed to go well in terms of media interest, comparatively at least), things have been since trending downward and went truly haywire this year.  In addition to the "never take us seriously!" self-sabotage to change a nominee lineup after nominations had been announced, there are the strange impulses that can only come from not trusting the voting body such as the need to give Amy Schumer a special prize in the year when she's already going to win a normal prize.

Meanwhile the continued expansion of categories over the past several years has created a clusterf*** that requires that very few of them be televised live. Which is a pity because if they were they might be worth discussing. Mad Max Fury Road won 9 prizes but it didn't even remotely emerge from the night feeling like a big winner since only one of the nine was televised! [More...]

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Sunday
Jan172016

CCMA Live Blog

08:00 I was going to boycott the show this year because of The Shark Jump Awakens but I'm an addict. Awards shows. Red Carpets... excuse me Blue carpets. So I watch. TJ Miller begins the show with an okay monologue without many jokes. The recurring joke is the physical gag of his "four dancing critics." In comedy theory this is one fo those jokes that gets funnier and funnier as it goes from the sheer commitment and silliness but it's probably too early in the evening (read: everyone is too sober) to pull this off just yet.

Suddenly picturing a team of 4 puppets typing with me. Enjoying the fantasy.

08:03 There are approximately 1000 reaction shots of Matt Damon already. Which is weird since there are so many celebrities to choose from in the house. 

Netflix and Chill. I'd rather HBO Go Down on Someone."

08:05 That's a joke I laughed at. I am only human.

08:07 At some point critics are called "professional sifters"? Which hmmm. Semantic comedy? There's also an aside about Oscar Isaac that I didn't get. Miller also congratulates everyone in the room

All of you are in here. You're in the room. You already did it. you won.

I lost, I guess. I'm not in the room this year. But Kirsten Dunst and Rachel McAdams are. [More after the jump]

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Sunday
Dec062015

LAFCA Winners (Plus: NYFCO Madness)

 With today's announcement of the Los Angeles Film Critics Associations winner the die is set for critics awards. People can argue until pigs fly about whether and how and to what extend critics awards affect Oscar voters but here is a fairly universal consensus among people in the know: these things only matter to the extent they convince voters to attend that particular screening or put that specific screener on top of their to-watch stack. And the two critics groups that voters hear most about and are thus most likely to be influenced by are the two most prestigious coastal giants, LAFCA and NYFCC (who already announced with Carol winning big).

Will Oscar voters take MAD MAX: FURY ROAD seriously or just think "action film"

LAFCA 2015 Winners
Film Spotlight (ru: Mad Max: Fury Road)
Director
George Miller, Mad Max Fury Road (ru: Todd Haynes, Carol)
Actress
Charlotte Rampling, 45 Years (ru: Saoirse Ronan, Brooklyn)
Actor
Michael Fassbender, Steve Jobs (ru: Geza Rohrig, Son of Saul)
Supporting Actress
- Alicia Vikander - Ex Machina (ru: Kristen Stewart, Clouds of Sils Maria)
Supporting Actor
- Michael Shannon, 99 Homes (ru: Mark Rylance, Bridge of Spies) 

More and a very cool bit of trivia after the jump via Joe Reid...

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Sunday
Dec062015

Boston Film Critics choose hometown heroes -- "Spotlight" for Best Picture

Every other year the BSFC chooses the future Oscar winner as their Best Picture. Look at the evidence: 2009 The Hurt Locker; 2010: The Social Network; 2011: The Artist; 2012: Zero Dark Thirty; 2014: 12 Years a Slave; 2015: Boyhood. Before that it's a little bumpier statistically since 2008 saw a tie between Slumdog Millionaire (the eventual Oscar winner and WALL•E, a much more deserving (and braver) choice. But it was only in 2006 with The Departed that they started lining up regularlyt. Before then Boston could often be counted on for more iconoclastic choices like Mulholland Drive, Out of Sight, Three Kings, Trainspotting, Bull Durham, Ran, etcetera. They've been handing out awards since 1980 when Raging Bull won their inaugural Best Picture award.

Here's what they chose this year...

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Saturday
Dec052015

The Link Awakens

Vulture every lightsaber in the Star Wars franchise ranked. Solid rankings actually and I rarely say that about other people's lists ;)
NPR
talks to Harvey Keitel about his role in Youth
Coming Soon
Trainspotting 2 is officially a go. The entire principal cast returns to reprise their roles. Ready for round two of Ewan McGregor as Renton?
i09
Ryan Coogler may follow up Creed behind the cameras of Marvel's Black Panther (2018)

LA Times Directors of Room, Love and Mercy, Brooklyn, Sicario and more discuss nailing crucial scenes
People Sisters "The Farce Awakens". Tina Fey & Amy Poehler are going head to head with Star Wars on December 18th
Interview Magazine talks to Jake Lacy (Carol), our favorite "square" boyfriend at the movies
In Contention Laverne Cox helps with the Tangerine Oscar campaign
Awards Daily the current BFCA scores for several movies. It's always amusing to see how this lines up with their actualy nominations (which arrive on December 14th)
BroadwayCon it's pricey but theater fans are getting their own convention this January. A big list of theater favorites (Alice Ripley, Jonathan Groff, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Kerry Butler, etcetera...) already confirmed as guests
The Tracking Board has a ton of information and downloadable PDFs of 2015's Hit List, the best as yet unproduced specs

Old Queens We Love
Hey we were as surprised as you that they all showed up in the news feed on the same day
THR Kathleen Turner speaks about equal pay in Hollywood and reveals new plans -- a King Lear adaptation starring her. I just died reading that. She is so amazing on stage.
THR two time Oscar winner Glenda Jackson sticks toe back in the acting waters after years of retirement... from acting at least
/Film Barbra Streisand is supposedly going to direct a Catherine the Great movie. I'll believe it when I'm in the theater. She's as bad as Warren Beatty about kicking back at home and occassionally promising to work. It rarely happens!
Vulture Sir Ian McKellen improvised a song for Beauty & The Beast but Bill Condon didn't put it in the movie!
The Stake discovers how funny Carrie Fisher is with an old bit from SNL. That's a good thing about the Star Wars revival since she's a national treasure. Read her books!
Wall Street Journal talks to Carrie Fisher who gives good quote as usual.

Was there ever a point when you thought, ‘I don’t want to do this new movie’?

Never. I’ve been this character for 40 years, why would I not? Because I’m going to be associated with Princess Leia more? There is no “more.” And I’m a female working in show business, where, if you’re famous, you have a career until you’re 45, maybe. Maybe. And that’s about 15 people.

List Mania !
Guardian is doing a top 50 countdown daily... they're almost to the top ten and for US readers they've already covered lots of films you loved from 2014 (Mommy, Birdman, etcetera) some from 2016 (The Lobster) and 2015 goodies like Steve Jobs, Sicario and Tangerine (way way too low at #48)
BOFCA
released their awards and they yelled "what a day. what a lovely day" giving Mad Max Fury Road five prizes. As we stated last season, we're no longer going to follow / write about all the regional critics awards - just the one's that are long running with history. Why? There are nearly 40 of them now and most debuted in the past 10 years. It's too much and only important in the cumulative. But we'll probably link up like this.
Time Magazine recently hired Stephanie Zacharek (good choice, Time) and her top ten list is here: It's topped by Spotlight as so many top ten lists will be and includes both Hollywood triumphs (Creed) and indie sensations (Tangerine). Love what she writes about I'll See You In My Dreams:

How do you know when there are no surprises left in life? The surprise is that…you don’t. In Brett Haley’s gentle but potent comedy, veteran actress Blythe Danner plays a seventy-ish retired schoolteacher, long widowed, whose staid life takes a sharp left when two men appear on the scene almost simultaneously: Pool cleaner Martin Starr is the kind of platonic friend you meet only once in a lifetime; silver fox Sam Elliott is the love interest you never could have planned for.

Must Watch
I shudder when I see mashups like this to think of the man hours in making them. Adele's "Hello" cobbled together from a huge variety of movies...

Wednesday
Dec022015

NYFCC Winners

 The New York Film Critics Circle takes their sweet time each year debating their "bests" and shouldn't we all? Nevertheless it's agony for awards addicts like us, the excruciating wait times that commence between 9 AM EST and continue for hours. With lunch break. If you want to have a laugh at my expense I tried to predict the winners as part of the Gurus of Gold chart this week (update: This year they wrapped up by 1:00 PM though so all is well. The only thing i got right in my predictions was Carol for Film/Director)

A bit of Oscar adjacent history: In the past 20 years of their long long history (they're octogenarians now!) they've selected 4 films that went on to win Best Picture at the Oscars, 11 more that were nominated and 5 that were critical darlings and eventual Oscar players but were shut out of the big race (Leaving Las Vegas, Topsy-Turvy, Mulholland Drive, Far From Heaven, United 93). Which is a long way of saying they have refined if not quite populist taste but they're never too far afield of Oscar's wheelhouse. Do they influence the Oscars? It's tough to say. The Film Experience's position is, generally speaking, that no single critics group influence voters beyond pointing them at films... but the NYFCC and LAFCA are the ones the industry cares most about and are most likely to let in... at least to pique their interest in particular films and performances.

So here we go...

Best Film Carol
Best Director Todd Haynes, Carol

It's worth noting, as Sasha Stone did, that very few directors have ever won Best Director twice at the NYFF. The list includes Martin Scorsese and Kathryn Bigelow and now Haynes. Carol was the big winner of today's announcement taking home 4 prizes.

Best Actress Saoirse Ronan, Brooklyn
Best Actor Michael Keaton, Spotlight
Best Supporting Actress Kristen Stewart, Clouds of Sils Maria
Best Supporting Actor Mark Rylance, Bridge of Spies

But not in acting. That said these are wonderful choices for the prizes, going out of their way to remember Kristen Stewart's amazingly naturalistic engaging work as Binoche's personal assistant in Sils Maria. That performance has already won her a Cesar Award in France but since she's not campaigning things will probably stop here. Saoirse Ronan and Mark Rylance will surely go the distance to a nomination in Best Actress and Supporting Actor and both could well compete for the win... though we'll have to see the whole field before we really get into that.

The strangest thing is to ignore the supporting campaign (a legitimate choice to make everyone supporting in such an ensemble film) for Keaton and give him the Best Actor prize. But he gives the best performance in a film filled with good work so hurrah!


Best Screenplay Carol, adapted by Phyllis Nagy from the Patricia Highsmith novel "The Price of Salt"
Best Cinematography Carol, Edward Lachman

A thousand times yes. The whole team on Carol was doing exquisite work. That's why we asked them all why they were such geniuses. NYFCC are Todd Haynes fans (as all truly outstanding people are) and they gave Far From Heaven 5 awards in 2002.

Best First Film Son of Saul d. László Nemes
Best Animated Film Inside Out (Pixar) d. Pete Docter & Ronnie del Carmen
Best Documentary In Jackson Heights d. Frederick Wiseman
Best Foreign Language Film Timbuktu (Mauritania) d. Abderrahmane Sissako
Special Award William Becker and Janus Films
Special Award Ennio Morricone, composer

Son of Saul looks fairly unstoppable for the Foreign Film Oscar this season so the race to watch is probably the nominations themselves. And whether Son of Saul can expand into other categories... which it wants to. As previously stated in the Documentary Finalist post it's odd that the Academy's documentary branch continues to pass on Frederick Wiseman's documentaries considering that they are routinely greeted with "masterpiece" level reviews; he's never been Oscar nominated.

That's it. On a scale of 1-10 how happy did today's announcement make you?

WE'LL LET CATE BLANCHETT HAVE THE FINAL WORD SINCE CAROL WAS THE BIG WINNER...

 

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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