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Entries in critics awards (26)

Tuesday
Dec092014

Online Film Critics Society Have Got 'Mommy' Issues

Well this is a pleasant surprise!

Glenn here with a look at the slate of nominees that the Online Film Critics Society sent our way today. You can thank me for a smidgen of the rather wonderful list since I am a member. The cynical person that I am assumed group think and the homogeny of the pack would give us the usual suspects, but the OFCS blessedly included some curveballs and left of field choices that should make the AFI and other singularly Oscar-hunting awards bodies look foolish. Let's take a look.

 

BEST PICTURE

  • BOYHOOD
  • THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL
  • IDA
  • THE LEGO MOVIE
  • MOMMY
  • NIGHTCRAWLER
  • SELMA
  • TWO DAYS, ONE NIGHT
  • WHIPLASH
  • UNDER THE SKIN

This being an online critics organisation, they are going to lean a little bit to the "cool" side of things. Having said that, only four of the organisation's nominations for Best Picture are likely going to get correlating Oscar nominees - they could be Boyhood, Grand Budapest, Selma and Whiplash. The rest of the list is spectacularly diverse with three foreign language films, a semi-experimental sci-fi, a creepy genre thriller, and the other meta-superhero flick from 2014. Speaking of which, the omission of Birdman is as surprising as it is delightful. I mean, I like the movie, and certainly much more than Whiplash, but I have no qualms with it missing for the sake of Xavier Dolan's Mommy. Not one bit.

Click to read more ...

Sunday
Dec072014

BSFC, LAFCA, and NYFCO: Their 2014 Winners

My apologies to Boston, Los Angeles and the online contingency of New York City for their shared billing but what can you do? When they all announce on the same weekend they share column space. The DC Film Critics also announced nominations today but in the interest of sanity, TFE only covers actual awards from critics groups, not their nomination rounds (which give performers and films no real juice publicity wise anyway); we have 30+ critics organizations in the US alone so any requested  coverage other than wins for the non-institutions feels ego-driven.

It was another good day for Birdman and Boyhood or "Boyman" as Sasha likes to call it. Particularly Boyhood which no films seem to be able to squirm around for top billing. Grand Budapest Hotel probably came close in L.A., Birdman looked like a distant second in Boston, but NYFCO seemed very committed. Is it now the Oscar frontrunner for Best Picture? It probably always was so yes. 

BOSTON SOCIETY OF FILM CRITICS (BSFC)
The BSFC was formed in 1981 and were once known for scrappy idiosyncratic choices. They were among the first awards group to rubber stamp Steven Soderbergh and David O. Russell (before their prime Oscar years). In the past ten years they've become far more conservative usually awarding their top prize to the Oscar frontrunner or its presumed challenger. Like NYC, Boston now has a second younger "online" group which already announced this year.

Film: Boyhood (runner up: Birdman)
Director: Richard Linklater, Boyhood (runner up: Clint Eastwood, American Sniper)
Actor: Michael Keaton, Birdman (runner up: Timothy Spall, Mr Turner)
Actress: Marion Cotillard, Two Days One Night AND The Immigrant (runner up: Hilary Swank, The Homesman)
Supporting Actor: J.K. Simmons, Whiplash (runner up: Edward Norton, Birdman)
Supporting Actress: Emma Stone, Birdman (runner up: Laura Dern, Wild)
Screenplay [TIE]: Birdman & Boyhood (runner up: Mr Turner)
Cinematography: Emmanuel Lubezki, Birdman (runner up: Dick Pope, Mr Turner)
Editing: Sandra Adair, Boyhood (runner up: Joel Cox & Gary Roach, American Sniper)
Foreign Film: Two Days One Night (runner up: Ida)
Animated Film: The Tale of Princess Kaguya (runner up: The Lego Movie)
New Filmmaker: Dan Gilroy, Nightcrawler (runner up: Gillian Robespierre, Obvious Child)
Documentary: Citizen Four (runner up: Jodorowsky's Dune)
Use of Music: Inherent Vice (runner up: Whiplash)

 

LOS ANGELES FILM CRITICS ASSOCIATION (LAFCA)
Founded in 1975, the LAFCA is one of the twin (coastal) towers of film critics associations alongside NYFCC which announced their prizes on December 1st. Last year the LAFCA had a very hard tie figuring out their prizes and the day ended with ties in three headline categories: Best Picture, Best Actress and Best Supporting Actor. These days they are perhaps best known for daring choices in Best Actress and Best Picture. 

Film Boyhood (runner up: The Grand Budapest Hotel)
Director Richard Linklater, Boyhood (runner up: Wes Anderson, Grand Budapest Hotel)
Actress Patricia Arquette, Boyhood (runner up: Julianne Moore, Still Alice)
Actor Tom Hardy, Locke (runner up: Michael Keaton, Birdman)
Supporting Actress: Agata Kulesza, Ida (runner up: Rene Russo, Nightcrawler)
Supporting Actor: J.K. Simmons, Whiplash (runner up: Edward Norton, Birdman)

New Generation: Ava DuVernay, Selma
Screenplay: Grand Budapest Hotel (runner up: Birdman)
Animated Film: The Tale of Princess Kaguya (runner up: The LEGO Movie)
Foreign Film: Ida (runner up: Winter Sleep)
Documentary: Citizen Four (runner up: Life Itself)
Cinematography: Emmanuel Lubeszki, Birdman (runner up: Dick Pope, Mr Turner)
Editing: Sandra Adair, Boyhood (runner up: Barney Piling, Grand Budapest Hotel)
Score: TIE Jonny Green, Inherent Vice and Mica Levi, Under the Skin
Production Design: Adam Stockhausen, Grand Budapest Hotel (runner up: Ondrej Nekvasil Snowpiercer)
Experimental Film: Walter Reuben, The David Whiting Story
Career Achievement: Gena Rowlands

The LAFCA seem to have bought into their own myth about their iconoclastic Best Actress behavior. They weirdly switched categories for Patricia Arquette from supporting to lead despite backing J.K. Simmons as supporting from his far leadier work as half of a two-hander relationship drama between two men in a film with basically only two major characters.

Agata Kulesza is a worthy fascinating choice but she's really very obviously more of a lead than Patricia Arquette. But what can you do? I suppose you could make a better case for her in supporting than you could for Arquette as a lead but it's all rather baffling. 

 

NEW YORK FILM CRITICS ONLINE
Said to have been formed in 2000 the internet only has records dating back to 2003 for their prizes. They are not to be confused with the ancient and highly important NYFCC which already announced on December 1st and were Boyhood & Immigrant focused this year.

Picture: Boyhood
Director: Richard Linklater, Boyhood
Actress: Marion Cotillard, Two Days One Night
Actor: Eddie Redmayne, The Theory of Everything
Supporting Actor: J.K. Simmons, Whiplash
Supporting Actress: Patricia Arquette, Boyhood
Ensemble Cast: Birdman
Screenplay: Birdman
Cinematography: Birdman
Use of Music: Get On Up
Debut Director: Dan Gilroy, Nightcrawler
Breakthrough: Jack O'Connel for Unbroken AND Starred Up
Documentary: Life Itself
Animated Feature: The LEGO Movie 

Marion Cotillard is perhaps the other big story of the day having won NYFCC, BSFC, and NYFCO already. Her Oscar chances still seem debatable though for a number of reasons including two separate films and the lack of any real campaigning beyond a screener for Two Days One Night.

J.K. Simmons, Richard Linklater, and Citizen Four continues to be steamrollers in Supporting Actor, Director, and Documentary respectively. Meanwhile Birdman marches along as a strong contender for basically everything if not, yet, a dependable film to bank any actual golden statues on. More unfortunately (especially given my change of heart about the film) critics have optioned not to really back Grand Budapest Hotel beyond the category that Oscar would have awarded it any way, Best Screenplay, which is the only category in which Wes Anderson films ever find any traction, sadly, despite often being sheer wonders in terms of Production Design, Costuming and weirdly expressive stylized performances. 

Saturday
Dec062014

Boston Critics Regain Their Mojo: Pierce 'Snow' and 'Skin'

CORRECTION & APOLOGY: I had originally stated these were the winners for the Boston Society of Film Critics, a group with a long fascinating history. Unfortunately, as is all too common these days these prizes are from an upstart critics group from the same city, the Boston Online Film Critics Association*.

The young BOFCA (now in its third year) seem to have issued some sort of challenge to the far more famous BSFC. The BSFC has had a place of honor in critics circles in that, for many years of their history, they seemed less interested in the Oscar race than actually offering an opinion on the best of a given film year which is, we unfortunately need reminding, the entire purpose of critical year-end prizes. In recent years their choices have seemed as Oscar driven as 90% of the critics groups that exist today. So perhaps the younger organization will remind them of their roots in iconoclastic choices?

The new group has taken the entire year into account, and given December the shrug but for two prizes for the Belgian film Two Days One Night (adding another feather in Marion Cotillard's cap after her NYFCC win). 

PICTURE: Snowpiercer
DIRECTOR: Alejandro González Iñárritu, Birdman
ACTRESS: Marion Cotillard, Two Days One Night
ACTOR: Brendan Gleeson, Calvary
SUPPORTING ACTRESS: Tilda Swinton, Snowpiercer
SUPPORTING ACTOR: Edward Norton, Birdman
SCREENPLAY: John Michael McDonagh, Calvary
FOREIGN FILM: Two Days One Night

DOCUMENTARY: Life Itself
ANIMATED FILM: The LEGO Movie
CINEMATOGRAPHY: Birdman 
EDITING: James Herbert & Laura Jennings, Edge of Tomorrow
ORIGINAL SCORE: Mica Levi, Under the Skin

 THE BOSTON ONLINE FILM CRITICS ASSOCIATION NAMES THEIR TEN BEST FILMS OF THE YEAR:

  1. SNOWPIERCER
  2. UNDER THE SKIN
  3. BOYHOOD
  4. ONLY LOVERS LEFT ALIVE
  5. THE BABADOOK
  6. TWO DAYS ONE NIGHT
  7. BIRDMAN
  8. CALVARY
  9. INHERENT VICE
  10. SELMA

 * P.S. Again my apologies. I would not have given this organization and entire post to themselves had I realized they were a new group. The fact remains that no matter how interesting your choices, each city does not need multiple competing critics groups. And the proliferation of so many new groups, correctly or incorrectly, suggests that they are formed by people who cannot get into the pre-existing group. I don't know if this is the case in Boston but with the walls having all but vanished between Print and Online there seems little point in "Online" organizations these days as all former print sources are now online. 

 

Friday
Jan172014

Critics Choice Award Winners & After Party

Quickie post to give you more of an opportunity to discuss the CCMA winners. I salute all those with strong enough multi-tasking skills to both attend and cover events simultaneously. I've just arrived in Park City for the Sundance Film Festival and before I stuff my face, it's catch up time!

Arriving at the CCMAs - Seating Chart?

When I arrived at the Critics Choice Awards last night -- excuse me, last afternoon (awards ceremonies start so early on the West Coast!)-- I had no idea where I'd be seated so I was just goofing in the photo above and pointing randomly to the space as if to say "There! I'm sitting there" Well there was within stumbling over into the American Hustle and 12 Years a Slave tables which were right next to that open walk way to the stage. This is not where I was sitting. You're doing it wrong, Nathaniel! 

THE WINNERS
with commentary 

Click to read more ...

Sunday
Jun102012

"Witches of Eastwick" Week!

Starts now!  Happy 25th Anniversary to The Witches of Eastwick (1987). Normal blogging will run concurrently but we'll pop on over to that supernatural New England town at least once a day this week. We'll discuss the famous vomiting scene, Michelle Pfeiffer's fruitful loins, Cher's sculptures and more. We'll also look for fun Witches-related articles online this week to share. 

But first... FUN FACTS

Title: The Witches of Eastwick (1987)
Director: George Miller of Mad Max fame. He directed every feature in that franchise and will also direct the reboot Mad Max: Fury Road to star Tom Hardy and Charlize Theron.
Release Date: June 12th, 1987
Based on: the novel of the same name by John Updike. I haven't read it but from my understanding it isn't what you'd call a "faithful" adaptation.
Legacy: The Witches of Eastwick has since been adapted into a television series a remarkable three times (only one version went to series, though) as well as a stage musical.
Movie's Running Time: 118 Minutes
Star Billing Hierarchy:

  1. Jack Nicholson
    [TITLE]
  2. Cher
  3. Susan Sarandon
  4. Michelle Pfeiffer
    [CO-STARRING] 
  5. Veronica Cartwright
  6. Richard Jenkins | Keith Jochim [shared title card]
  7. "And Carel Struycken as Fidel"

Switcheroo: Cher's "Alexandra" role was supposed to be Susan Sarandon's and it was given to Cher without Sarandon's knowledge prior to shooting, leaving Sarandon with "Jane" instead. Sarandon was initially angry and coverage at the time suggested a very tense set. Yet Sarandon was the only Eastwick star to work with Miller again; they reteamed 5 years later for Lorenzo's Oil which won Susan her third Best Actress Oscar nomination.
Box Office: The tenth highest grossing film of 1987, just ahead of Dirty Dancing (Nobody puts These witches put Baby in a corner!)  Just below Lethal Weapon. i.e. as popular in its year as, like, Thor or Rise of the Planet of the Apes last year. It's the 2nd biggest hit movie about witches ever behind only The Blair Witch Project (1999).
Box Office Rank For Each Star's Whole Career: Jack's tenth biggest hit, Cher's second biggest hit (Moonstruck in the same year being #1), Sarandon & Pfeiffer's 5th biggest hit.

Are you ready, ladies?"

Oscar attention: 2 nominations for Score (John Williams) and Sound. Cher won the Oscar for Moonstruck released six months later and this movie couldn't have hurt; it was Her Year as they say (two #1 movies and a new platinum comeback album inbetween them titled simply "Cher")
Oscar-less: Only LaPfeiffer is Oscar-less now of the principal quartet.
Acting Kudos: Jack Nicholson took home Best Actor from the twin towers of critics awards: LAFCA and NYFCC (shared with Ironweed for which he was Oscar nominated). Nicholson, Sarandon and Cartwright all won Saturn Award nominations, too. Oddly there was zero attention from the Golden Globes despite the film being a hit prestige all star Comedy aimed at adult audiences.

Name your favorite personal "fact" about this movie in the comments. When did you first see it?

Friday
Jan202012

Link Crumbs Trail

Mike Myers Oscar BuzzLinks. I Know These People Edition
<-- This Had Oscar buzz is a new tumblr from Joe Reid. I was totally giggling gawking at it earlier. It's all true! It's all true!
Pajiba Joanna on Michael Fassbender Penis Expert
Do Dump or Marry is but one of me pal JA's great features on My New Plaid Pants but I particularly enjoyed the latest all ladies 9 to 5 edition. 
Critical Condition looks at five stars who squandered their goodwill.
Nicks Flick Picks have you been following Nick's Best Actress Birthday party? It's amazing. Next up Patricia Neal and Geena Davis 
In Contention Kris Tapley is a Sundance Virgin. Virgin!
Slant Kurt interviews Steven Soderbergh 

Awards, Special Interest Edition 
The NAACP has released their Image Award nominees and Awards Daily is pleased to see the Cicely Tyson mention in supporting actress. That's all well and good as she was quite touching in the movie but it seems utterly bizarre to have FIVE actresses nominated from The Help for acting prizes and no sign of Jessica Chastain. It's Viola, Octavia, Cicely, Emma... and Bryce!?! Pariah, which is finally in theaters, also did very well in their nominations. Congratulations to the nominees especially Regina King who was nominated for Southland... so underrated. 

Team "Help" when the Oscar buzz was but a whisper at their world premiere.

And though I forgot to mention it a few days back, the Gay and Lesbian Entertainment Critics Association (aka GALECA) gave both of their best film prizes --the standard best film plus the best gay film prize -- to Andrew Haigh's Weekend. Michael Fassbender won the "We're Wilde About You Rising Star Award". We Were Here, a documentary about the early years of the AIDS crisis in San Francisco, took their Best Documentary honors. It's also an Oscar finalist this year.

Overseas the London Film Critics Circle took their cue from Nathaniel (kidding) splitting their prizes between his two favorite films of the year The Artist (Picture, Director) and A Separation (Screenplay, Foreign Film, Supporting Actress). And back here in the States the Iowa Film Critics yearned for Hawaiian vacations with The Descendantszzzs