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Entries in Grand Budapest Hotel (34)

Thursday
Jan152015

Why Wes, Why Now?

Michael C here. Wes Anderson’s films haven’t been ignored by awards season in the past, so much as they have been relegated to flitting around the edges. His films have received three total Oscar nods, two for Original Screenplay for Royal Tenenbaums and Moonrise Kingdom and one animated film nod for Mr. Fox. His most high profile wins have been a Gotham Award for Best Film for Moonrise and two Indie Spirit wins for Rushmore for Best Director and for Best Supporting Actor for Bill Murray who is in nearly all of his films.

Wes & Tilda on the set

Now that has all changed with Grand Budapest Hotel. No longer the strange side dish, Anderson’s nostalgic remembrance of a Europe that never quite existed has just finished a rampage through the precursors that culminated with Anderson’s first DGA nomination. Over the past few weeks buzz for Budapest grew steadily from “It might pick up a few nods” to “It looks like a lock for a Best Picture slot” to “Hey, it just might snatch the screenplay Oscar away from Birdman”. And today, incredibly, it LEADS the Oscar nominations with nine (tied with Birdman)

For those of us who have been on board with Anderson since the 90’s and have grown used to Anderson being underappreciated it’s hard not to wonder what exactly has changed. Why did Wes break through now when his films have been as good or better in the past? 

Five theories after the jump...

Click to read more ...

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?

If you would like to receive email notifications of changes to the site, charts, other can't-miss news, click envelope to sign up. We won't inundate you. Once a week max!


Friday
Jan092015

BAFTA Nominations: "Grand Budapest" is "...Everything"

Despite having an industry filled to the brim with talent, the British Academy of Film and Television Awards regularly prefers American films these days and this year would be no exception but for the two behemoth Brit biopics that have been doing spectacularly well all season on the other side of the Atlantic: The Imitation Game (suspiciously deemed "American" for AFI) and The Theory of Everything. Unsurprisingly they're nominated for both of BAFTA's top prizes, "Film" and "British Film," the latter of which amounts to the kiddie table I suppose even though it shouldn't -- this being the British Academy -- since those films rarely score as many nominations at home as their American counterparts do. It's actually amusing in a perverse way when you consider the theory that AMPAS here at home is obsessed with British actors and considers anything they do "prestige."

BAFTA was notably stingy to Mike Leigh's Mr. Turner in all but the below line categories (no actor nomination for Spall or British film citation), but found room for our beloved Pride in a few places as well as the thrilling '71. The latter, starring Jack O'Connell who is dropped directly into the center of The Troubles for one violent night (that is not a spoiler -- that's just the very minimalist plot), hasn't opened in the States yet but it's an armrest gripper so be prepared. 

In the final tallies the two nomination leaders were The Grand Budapest Hotel (11) and The Theory of Everything and Birdman tied for second (10). Titles that did pretty well considering how quiet their buzz is at home were Interstellar (4) and Big Eyes (2). Completely shut-out: Unbroken. What happened to:  A Most Violent Year and Selma? They also received zero nominations but unless they received qualifying releases -- some believe Selma did and they got screeners but that's hard for me to believe until I see official BAFTA.ORG proof since Selma didn't even send screener to American guilds -- they would not have been eligible as they haven't yet opened in the UK.  

A full list of nominations with comments is after the jump.  You can check out if, in the words of Unbroken's Jack O'Connell, you fancy it.

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
Jan072015

CDG Nominations: The Theory of Wild Budapest Hotels of the Galaxy

The Costume Guild Nominees have been announced. It's worth noting, always, with guilds that their memberships are much broader than their correlative branch within the Academy. Neverthless they often stick closely to whichever movies are being talked up for Best Picture, regardless of their guild-specific merits. Note some of the nominations below.

Excellence in Contemporary Film
Birdman - Albert Wolsky
Boyhood - Kari Perkins
Gone Girl - Trish Summerville
Interstellar - Mary Zophres
Wild – Melissa Bruning

Albert Wolsky is a legend and Trish Summerville has been killing it lately so no complaints there. But the contemporary categories, as with all guilds, are where you can see how distracted people get with their feelings for the movie at hand and not with the [insert field]. My point is this: These are five strong movies but did they even consider, say, Mommy, Only Lovers Left Alive, Neighbors, Begin Again, 22 Jump Street, or Lucy? And if they didn't, shouldn't they have? (At least they didn't nominate Sniper's fatigues or Gyllenhaal's baggy shirts in keeping with the other guilds lockstep devotion to those pictures.)

PERIOD / FANTASY / AND TV NOMINEES AFTER THE JUMP...

Click to read more ...

Monday
Jan052015

Art Director's Guild Nominations Stay Focused on the Best Picture Conversation

The Art Director's Guild have named the most well designed and carefully decorated movies of the year. How well do you think they did in terms of Best? This is as good a time as any to tell you that we've begun our annual Film Bitch Awards, now in their (gulp) 15th year so you can see my preferred ballot there.

The guild which represents 2300 industry people like Production Designers, Art Directors, Set Designers, Model Makers and Artists of various kinds (Scenic, Title, Matte, etcetera) voted for the following 15 films, most of which are firmly entrenched in the Best Picture discussion indicated that they didn't watch too many screeners before voting. 

Did Inherent Vice's elaborate last supper joke win it this nomination? Or was it the whorehouse?

Period Film
INHERENT VICE - David Crank
THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL -Adam Stockhausen
THE IMITATION GAME -Maria Djurkovic 
THE THEORY OF EVERYTHING -John Paul Kelly
UNBROKEN - Jon Hutman 

But what about?: Mr Turner which is more challenging and fascinating and epic in its production scope than most of these nominees; The Homesman which is more memorably designed than some of these; I probably like Unbroken more than a lot of critics but I'm not sure it's more worthy of a WW II recreation notice here than, say, Fury? In short, they've been listening to the Best Picture conversation.

More Nominations & Commentary after the jump

Click to read more ...

Saturday
Jan032015

Best of the Year Pt. 1: Double the Swedes & Triple the Tilda

With love for last year's cinema.

2015 has a lot to live up to. This past year delivered amazing films from fresh-voiced directors, a good number of them female for a change, and it also came through, unexpectedly, with a surprising spread of high quality empathetic and diverse LGBT cinema. But even if you're stuck in multiplex-only towns, the mainstream also delivered with sneaky overachieving surprises in genres as oft-lazy as superheroes, horror, animation, giant monsters, and crime thrillers. When it came time to draw up my lists I had 30 pictures I really wanted to celebrate. Thirty! 

So let's briefly sum up (alphabetically) the films that just missed the top 20


The Boxtrolls - Laika's boldly grotesque superbly-voiced Victorian fable. 
Godzilla - Smartly reimagined not as reboot but myth returned. The paratroopers. Gah!
Edge of Tomorrow - Emily Blunt's 'full metal bitch' isn't easy to forget. Neither is the film's gleeful rapid fire anarchy in treating Tom Cruise as South Park might. "You killed Tom Cruise!" Repeat ∞
Happy Christmas - No budget? No problem. Just write a warm funny script, film it in your home and hire famous actor friends. Joe Swanberg is living the Cassavettes dream only seems much happier about it.
The LEGO Movie - Excessively clever and fun. But in truth I'd rather it win a Clio than an Oscar.
A Most Violent Year - a slow simmer but Jessica Chastain is at full boil
Nightcrawler - Jake & Rene's bring out each other's best but their character's worst in this amoral nightmare. Great dialogue but man do those laughs curdle.
Two Days One Night - Belgium's Oscar submission is simple in narrative if not in complexity of feeling but Marion Cotillard is impossibly good / real / Oscar worthy
The Way He Looks - In a simply fantastic year for queer cinema (thank god - it's been a while) this was the sweetest offering, a coming of age pic about a blind teenager and his two best friends
Wild Tales - A raucously entertaining Argentinian anthology produced by Pedro Almodóvar and directed with skill and wicked invention by Damian Szifron. If you can, see it with a group of friends (comedies are always best that way). I'm already sad I didn't include it in the top 20!

So here we are. Twenty may feel like an indulgent number to settle on for this 2014 countdown party but it comes down to this. No matter how many times I adjusted my "tippity top" movies list I couldn't live without these twenty. They were the ones that refused to budge, that defined the year for me, that demanded top ten placement, refuting the laws of math. To sum up: This cinephile had a great year in the dark. If you were positive I loved it and you don't see it in the top 20, it's tied for 21st! 

The film year is not drawing to a close just yet -- we keep celebrating through Oscar night. But the calendar year is a wrap so here is part one of my favorites roundup starting with a Tilda Swinton double feature...

Click to read more ...