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Entries in Grand Budapest Hotel (44)

Sunday
Mar292015

Film Bitch Awards ~The Medals Ceremony

Can we take a moment to appreciate that I finished the awards this year?!? A momentous recovery given that this most popular feature has slid in follow-thru without true wrap-ups the past two years. Self sabotage is a wicked trait. It shouldn't come as a surprise that Birdman and Under the Skin led the nominations with 15 and 11 respectively since they were my two favorites of the year. The biggest surprises are surely Gone Girl's 11 nominations and the piddly nomination counts for two of top ten films (Love is Strange and Mommy - how did I do so wrong by them?) but these things don't always work out as expected when you concentrate on individual elements within collective achievements. Some movies are just greater than the sum of any one part and other movies have a hundred excellent parts but not quite a genius whole.

On to the ceremony. Please to imagine the title themes from the corresponding films blaring as their medalists take their places. The tunes you'll hear most often are:

 

Overall - films with the biggest trophy hauls
Under the Skin (5 gold medals, 2 silver, 2 bronze)
Birdman (4 gold medals, 5 silvers, 1 bronze)
The Grand Budapest Hotel  (4 gold medals, 2 silver)

...which is a funny coincidence because they happen to be the exact three medalists from the Original Score category, if not in quite that order!

 Gone Girl just misses the final podium with 3 gold medals, 2 silver, and 2 bronze... quite a showing for a film that only made it to #17 in my favorites of the year. I've been wondering ever since I published the top ten list if I should've had that Fincher/Flynn collaboration on it. I put on the DVD in the other day to check on one detail and ended up watching the whole thing. Again. So now it's also the movie I've seen the most times from 2014. Meanwhile  Boyhood, my bronze medalist in Best Picture, didn't have a huge trophy haul in the end, just 4 medals: 1 gold, 1 silver, and 2 bronze. Two films that did well in medals despite low nomination counts were Begin Again and The Boxtrolls. See all the medals (indicated by gold, silver, and bronze star icons) on the Film Bitch Awards charts

-Oscar Correlatives
Picture, Director, Screenplays, Animation
All Four Acting Categories
Visuals
Sound and Music (and Oscar Correspondent Stats)

- Extra Fun Categories

Special Acting-Related Categories
Character Awards (Heroes, Divas, etcetera)
Best Individual Scenes (and Overall Stats) 

And with that we close out the 2014 Film Year! Finally. Whew. What an exhilarating ride it was. This is when we shout "AGAIN!" like a giddy child and line up to do it all over again albeit with a different set of films.

Tuesday
Feb242015

Curio: Oscar Snacks 2015

Alexa here. I knew early on that my annual Oscar pig-out this year would feature the pastry at the center of Wes Anderson's latest. Not only because it was probably my favorite film this year, but because Wes kindly supplied detailed instructions for making the Courtesan au Chocolat.  A literal invitation to create my own Wes Anderson diorama!  I had to try.  

 

 

It was all fun and games until the assembly, when the mini towers toppled like dominoes. Damn you, Wes! 

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
Feb182015

Let's Talk Costume Design

Manuel here to talk costume design, one of my favorite Oscar categories. Today’s detour into this category comes courtesy of this very cool “Oscar by the numbers” infographic MTV came up with which makes the bold statement that “Zero” is “the number of oscar nominations for women behind the scenes.” I’m sure they were hoping to point out the absence of women like Gillian Flynn (in Adapted Screenplay) and Ava Duvernay (in Directing) but isn’t it horribly misleading? You don’t have to go far to see Oprah Winfrey & Dede Gardner (Selma), Cathleen Sutherland (Boyhood) and Helen Estabrook (Whiplash) nominated in the Best Picture category, but you’re mostly also ignoring the women nominated in Production Design, Make up and Hairstyling and, of course, Costume Design. Aren’t these women working “behind the scenes”? This last category is to my mathematically challenged mind (and I’d have to double check the shorts categories to be sure), the only one outside of the actress nominations where we see an overabundance of female nominees.

And so, I wanted to highlight the work of the five costume designers nominated this year. If there’s one thing to be said about the increasingly PR-driven world of Oscar campaigning is the careful attention to the crafts categories as showcases for those working “below the line” as one would say. And so here are sketches (with accompanying links of where to read more about these designers and their work) from the five nominated films...

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Feb172015

Podcast Pt 1: Joe, Nick and Nathaniel's Oscar Predictions

Nick, Nathaniel and Joe get together -- no Katey this week, sorry kids -- to make our final predictions and let our conversations wander (as we do). Joe reveals a very messy ballot, Nick brings up The Judge goddamn it (!), and Nathaniel watches Matthew McConaughey commercials.

Pt 1 Oscar Prediction Finale
41 minutes
00:01 Scores. Do they realizes that Alexandre Desplat hasn't won?
05:14 Song. A disagreement about "Lost Stars" and which version will Adam Levine perform?
11:53 Sound Mixing & Sound Editing. Drums (Whiplash / Birdman) vs. Bullets (American Sniper / Unbroken) and some "what is this doing here?" theories
18:00 Documentary. Is Citizen Four locked up or could we see a surprise?
20:00 Animated Feature. More disagreements!
23:35 Visual Effects. How to we even predict this category? Film love? Technological Breakthroughs? The one that stands out?
28:00 Makeup & Old Age makeup done right for a change
30:33 Foreign Film: Ida trumps
36:00 Film Editing: we discuss Structure / Rhthyms / Agendas 

Supplemental Material for this Podcast:
Tomm Moore interview on Song of the Sea
An interview with Hans Zimmer
Oscar Charts & Final Predictions
Nathaniel's Tilda-Specific Makeup & Hair Ballot

Please to enjoy and continue the golden conversation in the comments. You can listen at the bottom of the post or download from iTunes starting tomorrow.  

Oscar Prediction Finale Pt. 1

Friday
Feb132015

Best Make-Up & Hairstyling: Freaks, Schnozz, or Old Lady?

They use to disqualify movies from this Oscar if they used too much computer enhancement (see The Hours) and always wanted their makeup effects practical (like American Werewolf in London). But nowadays computer enhancements seem to be a non-issue (see several recent winners and one of this year's nominees Guardians of the Galaxy). There are four indisputable truths about this relatively young category and this Oscar branch and they are like so:

• They love old age makeup
• They worship werewolves and love fantastically weird creatures, but hate zombies
• Hairstyling was recently added to the official category name but usually the wig heavy movies lose to films that are more prosthetically-focused
• There should be five nominees like every other category since literally every live-action film employs makeup and hair. Not every film requires visual effects or original songs or even original scores and those categories all have 5 nominees.

The Nominees:

Foxcatcher - Bill Corso & Dennis Liddiard
Grand Budapest Hotel - Frances Hannon & Mark Coulier
Guardians of the Galaxy - Elizabeth Yianni-Georgiou & David White

Corso and Coulier previously won Oscars (for Lemony Snicket and The Iron Lady respectively)  but the other four nominated artists are Oscarless. All three nominated films have a lot going for them but Foxcatcher would be a longshot since the recreation of existing people's looks via wig, hair and prosthetic enhancements generally has to settle for a nomination. But will they go with Guardians or Grand Budapest? It's tough to say. Guardians is well-loved -- I even talked to a voter who had it at #1 on his Best Picture ballot during the nomination round -- and very showy what with its rainbow of skin colors (blue, green, red you name it) and sci-fi hairdos and scarring. It wouldn't surprise me to see it win. But Grand Budapest Hotel has just about everything they love in this category: old age prosthetics, elaborate hair, memorable hideousness. And who can forget Tilda Swinton's glaucoma-plagued eyes, silver wigs, and old lady liver spots?

Will Win: Grand Budapest Hotel
Could Win: Guardians of the Galaxy
Should Win: Grand Budapest Hotel 

My ballot for this category (Hint: I'm thinking of renaming it "The Tilda Swinton Styling" Award)

Wednesday
Feb112015

Wes Anderson on 'Budapest', Fellini and Revisiting Max Fisher.

Jose here. Last week I attended a screening of The Grand Budapest Hotel followed by a Q&A with director Wes Anderson. Self-aware and adorably humorous he shared anecdotes about the making of the film, and also discussed his influences. Here are some of the most interesting tidbits.

Click to read more ...