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Entries in Film Bitch Awards (54)

Thursday
Feb142013

10 Days 'til Oscar: Score, Song, & Sound

We're in the final crunch now. Oscar voters have to make their final decisions by Tuesday February 19th (with the winners announced Sunday February 24th) so I'm throwing up my own nominees (which I like to announce before the Oscar nominations even. Oy) so you can see my film bitch award picks for the best in the various aural categories here. But while we're on the subject of sound, a film craft I always vow to learn more about and then forget to educate myself, let's make some early Oscar predictions.

BEST SCORE
Naturally I prefer my nominees to Oscars. Unlike many pundits, I knew that the Beasts of the Southern Wild score didn't have a prayer since Oscar's music branch is notoriously exclusive. In addition to their resistance to new composers they also don't really cotton to directors muscling in on their territory, so step away from the sheet music Benh Zeitlin, Benh Zeitlin. (Even an Oscar God as Revered as Clint Eastwood hasn't been able to do it.) Nevertheless Oscar voters and I do have a bit of overlap here as we all swooned for Dario Marianelli's work on Anna Karenina and Mychael Danna's evocative score for Life of Pi. I'd be pleased if either of them won the category. As for the other nominees, I never quite understand the mandatory nature of John Williams nominations. He's certainly created some classic scores over the years but I swear if he just whistled a few bars on a soundtrack he'd be nominated. I also still don't get the Argo score being nominated since Desplat wrote about five film scores this year and they're ALL better than his decent but surprisingly generic work on Ben Affleck's well regarded thriller. A nomination for Zero Dark Thirty would've been so preferrable.

Should Win: Dario Marianelli, Anna Karenina
Will Win: Mychael Danna, Life of Pi. (Even though the music branch is loathe to welcome new blood once they do, they don't tend to have issues with them actually winning the gold.)
Possible Spoiler: Despite Williams' endless nominations, Oscar voters don't seem to be sentimental about giving him a final (and sixth) statue, so I'm guessing Danna's only potential loss comes from Argo-Mania. Alexandre Desplate still hasn't won an Oscar which is starting to seem crazy. 

SONG
Though Oscar and I don't have much overlap -- look, I know Joyful Noise is a crap movie but Dolly Parton writes beautiful movie songs and still doesn't have an Oscar --  I really love the Oscar nominees anyway. All of 'em! It was a good year for original movie songs. I'm looking forward to the performances (should we get them... and it seems like we will).

007 Skyfall - Opening Credits (Best Quality Yet) from Gunnar Lien on Vimeo.

Should Win: Skyfall
Will Win: Skyfall (the night's biggest lock?)
Possible Spoiler: Skyfall... in case they decide to give Adele two Oscars just to see if she pisses herself laughing. 

SOUND EDITING & SOUND MIXING
Oscar likes exceptionally loud movies in the sound categories from the following genres: sci-fi, war, musicals. Which is why you rarely see fragile sounding haunted dramas like, say, The Deep Blue Sea, or fascinating soundscapes like Cosmopolis or artful indies like Beasts of the Southern Wild in the mix. So the weirdest nominee from their choices might be Lincoln which is not particularly loud or showy in terms of sound. I think they missed the boat in ignoring Prometheus in both sound categories this year... but the studio didn't really campaign so there's that. The sound categories can be difficult to predict since who knows what actors make of "sound", you know? And they make up the biggest voting block for winners. Greg P. Russell has been nominated 16 times without winning and he's up again for Sound Mixing on Skyfall. If enough voters become aware of his Oscarless plight, I can't see him losing for such a well loved widely seen film. But are they aware?

watery films are often popular in sound categories

Should Win (Mixing/Editing): abstain... I'm still thinking about this
Will Win (Mixing/Editing): Skyfall & Life of Pi... wild guesswork. They do sometimes split those prizes... and these two films might be in tough battle after tough battle for the entire first half of the ceremony in the craft categories.
Possible Spoiler (Mixing/Editing): Les Misérables & Skyfall

What are you rooting for soundwise with Oscar and what do you think of the film bitch award nominees

Wednesday
Feb132013

Best Supporting Actor: Oscar's Ballot & Mine.

I haven't been shy about my disappointment with this year's Best Supporting Actor Oscar Ballot, a lineup lacking in narrative oomph (which shouldn't be a factor in judging "best" but still makes Oscar way less fun to follow when he eschews it for old favorites) and missing several electric, fresh, film elevating and moving performances in favor of merely solid work from Oscar winners in popular films. I'm all in for Tommy Lee Jones winning since he's the only nominee Oscar & I agree is worthy to hold a place in this particular shortlist. [While we're on the subject of votes, you should cast yours in the poll]

Will he win? That's another matter entirely. I'd wager he still has the lead by virtue of a very long one (since November when he took it from Matthew McConaughey... who never really had it *sniffle* in the first place) even if the precursors have never quite settled on a frontrunner and even if his no-show at SAG didn't exactly help his cause. Christoph Waltz's BAFTA win for his leading role in Django Unchained (which might more accurately be called Schultz Unchains Django Who Only Takes Over the Film-Carrying Duties For the Final ½ Hour of a 2½ hour Film) suggest that the tide has shifted but in the end with Argo and Silver Linings Playbook campaigns both fighting so hard in the final weeks for wins, I'm not so sure that votes won't still be all over the place in this category, letting Tommy take turn two at the podium.

More after the jump...

Click to read more ...

Monday
Feb112013

Supporting Actress, My Ballot

With Oscar barrelling towards us (at last) I have no choice but to wrap up my own awards. I don't know where I'll find the time but forward into film bitch awardage...

there's an anchor of grief under those voluminous dresses pulling her down

My Best Supporting Actress Starter Kit, about 20 actresses long, was quite a lot different than the one we heard about all pre-season. For starters Helen Hunt and Ann Dowd, who Oscar season dubbed "supporting", were leading stars for me (Hunt's designation is entirely debatable, Dowd's is not). I am, as ever, more impressed with stylized genre-friendly work than awards bodies, particularly Oscar, ever are. I think Eva Green in a movie that wasn't much good (Dark Shadows), Gina Gershon and Nicole Kidman in movies that might accurately be called "trashy" (Killer Joe and The Paperboy) were all running circles around more respectable names like Maggie Smith or Amy Adams that kept cropping up in "Best of" lists. And though surprise Oscar nominee Jacki Weaver did make my top 12 for her homey egg-shell peace-making in Silver Linings Playbooks, my personal vote for Doing the Most With The Least this year would go to Olivia Munn in Magic Mike... though I didn't go quite so far as to nominate her.

That's all just preface - the point being that I debate this with myself (and with you in the comments) all year long. In the end while Oscar chose an entirely respectable list (save for the exclusion of the incomparable Nicole Kidman which I shall forever deem indefensible) my list has only two women in common with theirs. I had to make room for Diane Kruger (Farewell My Queen) and Lorraine Toussaint (Middle of Nowhere), too.

MY NOMINEES AND WHY I CHOSE THEM

As always I welcome respectful disagreements, fan mail and counterpoint lists. In Actressland many five-top opinions are welcome in "Best" lists.

Tuesday
Feb052013

Film Bitch Awards Best Supporting Actress Prizes (2000-2011)

I'll announce 2012's nominees the second the write-ups are done (working on them this week). But until then another listy flashblack to year's past here at The Film Experience. My opinions have changed somewhat over the years (as many opinions should if we continue to evolve) and perhaps I'll detail which changes those were in the future but mostly I like to think of Awards, both mine and other people's as time capsules of What We Valued At That Moment.

So here you go... 

Nominees in Alpha Order
Sally Field, Lincoln
Anne Hathaway, Les Misérables
Nicole Kidman, The Paperboy 
Diane Kruger, Farewell My Queen
Lorraine Toussaint, Middle of Nowhere
write ups here 

Gold: Vanessa Redgrave, Coriolanus
Silver: Sarah Bayet, A Separation
Bronze: Carey Mulligan, Shame
Also Nominated
Jessica Chastain, The Help
Melissa McCarthy, Bridesmaids

Gold: Jacki Weaver, Animal Kingdom
Silver: Melissa Leo, The Fighter
Bronze: Amy Adams, The Fighter
Also Nominated
Kimberly Elise, For Colored Girls
Olivia Williams, The Ghost Writer

 
Gold: Mo'Nique, Precious
Silver: Vera Farmiga, Up in the Air
Bronze: Marion Cotillard, Nine
Also Nominated
Samantha Morton, The Messenger
Rosamund Pike, An Education

*I believe this is my longest run of Oscar agreement as to winners in any category... throughout time. They went three consecutive years (2007-2009) making brilliant choices for wins in this category.


Gold: Penelope Cruz, Vicky Cristina Barcelona
Silver: Rosemarie DeWitt, Rachel Getting Married
Bronze: Viola Davis, Doubt
Also Nominated
Samantha Morton, Synecdoche New York
Marisa Tomei, The Wrestler


Gold: Tilda Swinton, Michael Clayton
Silver: Imelda Staunton, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
Bronze: Cate Blanchett, I'm Not There
Also Nominated
Charlotte Gainsbourg, I'm Not There
Marisa Tomei, Before the Devil Knows You're Dead

Gold: Emily Blunt, The Devil Wears Prada
Silver: Fiona Shaw, The Black Dahlia
Bronze: Meryl Streep, A Prairie Home Companion
Also Nominated
Adriana Barraza, Babel
Mira Kirshner, The Black Dahlia

Gold: Maria Bello, A History of Violence
Silver: Michelle Williams, Brokeback Mountain
Bronze: Maggie Gyllenhaal, Happy Endings
Also Nominated
Amy Adams, Junebug
Ziyi Zhang, 2046

Gold: Virginia Madsen, Sideways
Silver: Cate Blanchett, The Aviator
Bronze: Daryl Hannah, Kill Bill, Vol. 2
Also Nominated
Patricia Clarkson, Dogville
Natalie Portman, Garden State

Gold: Holly Hunter, thirteen
Silver: Miranda Richardson, Spider
Bronze: Catherine O'Hara, A Mighty Wind
Also Nominated
Shohreh Aghdashloo, House of Sand and Fog
Patricia Clarkson, The Station Agent

Gold: Michelle Pfeiffer, White Oleander
Silver: Catherine Zeta-Jones, Chicago
Bronze: Meryl Streep, Adaptation
Also Nominated
Patricia Clarkson, Far From Heaven
Bebe Neuwirth, Tadpole

Gold: Kate Winslet, Iris
Silver: Marisa Tomei, In the Bedroom
Bronze: Helen Mirren, Gosford Park
Also Nominated
Frances McDormand, The Man Who Wasn't There
Maggie Smith, Gosford Park

Gold: Catherine Deneuve, Dancer in the Dark
Silver: Samantha Morton, Jesus' Son
Bronze: Kirsten Dunst, The Virgin Suicides
Also Nominated
Kate Hudson, Almost Famous
Frances McDormand, Almost Famous/Wonder Boys

Do you remember these performances fondly?
Do you remember your choices over the past decade?


Monday
Jan282013

Film Bitch Awards Best Picture Prizes (2000-2012)

Appropros of nothing other than to whet your appetite for more Film Bitch Awards announcements, this site's long running awards (I agonize over my snail's pace as much as any of you!) I thought I'd share all of Best Picture winners to date. [If you're just looking for Oscar stuff and clicked over, here's your current Best Picture race and Oscar related articles for the current competition. ] I'm mostly pleased with my choices in retrospect though I would make a couple of switcheroos. You'll notice that in the time I've been publishing my lists for the world I've only ever twice agreed with Oscar's final pic on Best Picture (2003, 2009) though I sort of count 2007 as agreement by virtue of coin-toss almostness. My motto with controlling disappointments with Oscar is to just be grateful if a couple of my favorites get nominated and be thrilled if something in my top ten wins the industry's top prize.

* I will eventually republish the now missing top ten articles - I have them on the hard drive.

Gold: Beasts of the Southern Wild 
Silver: Amour
Bronze: Magic Mike
Also Nominated: Moonrise Kingdom, Les Misérables
Top Ten Article

Gold: A Separation
Silver: The Artist
Bronze: Drive 
Also Nominated: Beginners, Weekend
Top Ten Article

Gold: I Am Love
Silver: The Social Network
Bronze: The Kids Are All Right
Also Nominated: Blue Valentine, Black Swan

Top Ten Article

Gold: The Hurt Locker
Silver: Hunger
Bronze: Bright Star
Also Nominated: Precious, Avatar
Top Ten Article No Longer Online

Gold: Rachel Getting Married
Silver: The Class
Bronze: WALL•E
Also Nominated: Reprise, The Wrestler
Top Ten Article No Longer Online

Gold: There Will Be Blood
Silver: No Country For Old Men
Bronze: Once
Also Nominated: 4 Months 3 Weeks and 2 Days, Ratatouille
Top Ten Article No Longer Online

Gold: Marie Antoinette
Silver: Volver
Bronze: Shortbus
Also Nominated: Children of Men, The Fountain
Top Ten Article No Longer Online

Gold: Brokeback Mountain
Silver: A History of Violence
Bronze: Pride & Prejudice
Also Nominated: Caché, Me and You and Everyone We Know
Top Ten Article No Longer Online

Gold: Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
Silver: Spider-Man 2
Bronze: Vera Drake
Also Nominated: Before Sunset, Sideways
Top Ten Article No Longer Online

Gold: LotR: The Return of the King
Silver: Kill Bill, Vol. 1
Bronze: Lost in Translation
Also Nominated: Raising Victor Vargas, thirteen
Top Ten Article No Longer Online

Gold: Far From Heaven
Silver: Y Tu Mama Tambien
Bronze: Talk to Her
Also Nominated: LotR: The Two Towers, 25th Hour
Top Ten Article No Longer Online

Gold: Moulin Rouge!
Silver: LotR: The Fellowship of the Ring
Bronze: In the Mood for Love
Also Nominated: Mulholland Drive, Hedwig and the Angry Inch
Top Ten Article No Longer Online

Gold: Dancer in the Dark
Silver: Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon
Bronze: Requiem for a Dream
Also Nominated: Erin Brockovich, Beau Travail
Top Ten Article No Longer Online

 

 

Sunday
Jan202013

10 Years Ago, This Weekend, "The Hours" Won Best Picture at the Globes

Nicole Kidman was having a pretty great night. 

Meryl won for "Adaptation" and Nicole won for "The Hours"

Hanging' out on all sorts of red carpets with Meryl Streep usually helps in that regard. If you can't share scenes with her at least have her on your team by way of a shared movie.

Our 10th Anniversary Celebration of The Hours

We hope you enjoyed this look back. I imagine The Film Experience would be more popular if it stuck to current movie news all the time like every other site but I cannot live without my retro celebrations. I'm greedy. I need films from all eras in my movie diet. 

This next part is for Hours and Film Experience Obsessives only...

Click to read more ...

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