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Entries in Hell or High Water (8)

Thursday
Jan052017

Art Director's Guild Nominations

The Art Director's Guild can give us a taste of what's to come for Oscar but that's the reductive way of looking at it. By having multiple categories they give us a much better sense of what these craftsmen thought of the work done in any given film year... or at least told us which screeners they caught up with. Instead of 5 annual nominees like the Oscars, they have 15. Or in this year's case 16 titles (there was a tie in "period film").

MIDNIGHT IN PARIS won a surprise Academy nomination for Production Design (without an ADG nomination). Might CAFE SOCIETY (which *has* an ADG nomination) make the Oscar list despite a current low profile?

Which will go on to Oscar? (I'll have to rethink our chart which has four films which didn't score with the ADG in the top ten though one of them, The Handmaiden, still feels possible as a nomination since foreign films don't generally show up at guild awards before their Oscar nods) Oscar eventual lineup is remarkably similar from year to year in terms of how it pulls from the ADG nominations. For example, here is this decade thus far: 

2015: Oscar chose 3 from ADG's period pieces, 1 each from their contemporary and fantasy selections
2014: Oscar chose 2 from ADG's period pieces, 2 film from fantasy, none from contemporary. They filled the remaining spot with a film ADG had not selected (Mr Turner)
2013: Oscar chose 3 from ADG's period pieces, 1 each from their contemporary and fantasy selections
2012: Oscar chose 3 from ADG's period pieces, 2 from fantasy, none from contemporary.
2011: Oscar chose 2 from ADG's period pieces, 1 from fantasy, none from contemporary, and 2 films the ADG had not selected (Midnight in Paris & War Horse)
2010: Oscar chose 2 from ADG's period pieces, 3 from fantasy, none from contemporary.

The safest bet is that they'll do the same as usual this year with a 3,1,1 split for ADG's Period, Fantasy, and Contemporary fields. All the nominations are after the jump...

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
Dec212016

On Loss and Letting Go in 2016

Year in Review. Every afternoon, a new wrap-up. Today Steven Fenton on grief at the movies... 

The loss of a parent is one of life’s great tragedies. As long as humans have been telling stories, they have reflected on the trauma of this loss. It’s one of few facets of life that almost every person will experience. So it’s no surprise that we, as a society, have explored this grief across generations and media, from ancient epics to pop songs. We’ve turned the subject over in our hearts and minds, examining it from every angle. The threat of losing a parent is a concept and anxiety we’re actually raised with --children are introduced to countless stories featuring orphaned heroes who find strength in their loss, and transform their pain into triumph.

2016 was a tumultuous year for many of us, and our on screen avatars suffered as well. My mother passed away in January, and shortly after that, I watched as House of Cards’ Claire Underwood and Veep’s Selena Meyer lost their mothers in remarkably similar ways (played to very different effect)...

Click to read more ...

Monday
Dec122016

We ♥︎ the San Diego Film Critics Society

I want to make out with every member of the San Diego Film Critics Society right now. Why? It's not for their individual choices, no, though some of them are good. It's for this simple fact: they looked at the entire film year and not just movies that are just now hitting theaters. And, my friends, that is EXACTLY what film critics are not only supposed to do but best suited to do. The publicity teams and Oscar campaigns are already on the job of reminding people about which movies are coming out. Critics should notice more than what's being shoved at them minutes before they vote. 

Hell or High Water is their big winner but other pre-November releases in their mix include Aquarius, The Nice Guys, Love & Friendship and more. Good work San Diego! You can see the full list after the jump...  

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
Dec072016

Podcast: Critics Awards, Elle, Hacksaw Ridge, More...

This week a bifurcated podcast. In the first half Nick, Joe, and Nathaniel continue their discussion of Elle. Then Katey joins us to talk about the recent surge of critics awards. 

Index (42 minutes)
00:01 A little more on Elle, Huppert, and provocateur auteurs
13:00 Bleed For This, The Fighter, Hidden Figures
19:20 Katey joins us & Nick goes to New Zealand
23:00 Critic prizes, Critics Choice Nomination, NBR, the lack of transparency, and Mel Gibson's Hacksaw Ridge
40:00 A bit on Hell or High Water

You can listen to the podcast here at the bottom of the post or download from iTunes. Continue the conversations in the comments. On the next podcast: Manchester by the Sea and Reader Questions Answered! 

Critics Award Rush...

Saturday
Dec032016

Amusing Film Tweets o' the Week

many more after the jump...

 

Click to read more ...

Monday
Nov282016

The Furniture: Porches and Nostalgia in Hell or High Water

"The Furniture" is our weekly series on Production Design. Here's Daniel Walber...

The Old West has been dead since well before the dawn of cinema, and so the best Westerns are parables of a way of life in decline. Yet despite the history, there are plenty for whom the mythology of the cowboy and the outlaw isn’t extinct. That’s why the Western has lived on, well after the death of even the oldest Americans who could remember those days. It’s also what drives films like Hell or High Water, which use symbols to chronicle the last days of the Old West’s cultural descendants.

It takes place in a nearly empty West Texas, now being picked over by banks. Taylor Sheridan’s script is insistent in its reminders of this context. “No wonder my kids won’t do this shit for a living,” says an anonymous cattle rancher fleeing an encroaching fire. “The days of robbing banks and trying to live to spend the money - long gone,” says an anonymous old man in a burger joint.

This is why the surface tension between the criminal brothers (Ben Foster and Chris Pine) and the aging Texas Ranger (Jeff Bridges) is a red herring...

Click to read more ...

Friday
Nov252016

Acting Chart Updates. Four Questions

Next week everything either begins to change or starts solidifying as the precursors begin. Woohoo, it's awards season! So ALL the Oscar charts were updated this week with the biggest gains this time going to Hell or High Water which wasn't just a momentary pleasure in the summer but a film people are still talking about - witness the Gotham and Spirit acting nods for Jeff Bridges and Ben Foster respectively.

have we been overestimating Michelle Williams in Manchester by the Sea? If she slips from the shortlist, who rises up?

BEST ACTRESS & BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
These categories are looking the most settled with 5 women in each chugging along smoothly toward the precursor glory. In fact apart from Oscar looking toward its default darlings (Meryl Streep and Amy Adams, who both did very fine work this year) it looks like Emma, Annette, Ruth, Isabelle, and Natalie all have reason to be hopeful. The same is true in Supporting Actress where five women (Viola, Naomie, Nicole, Michelle, Greta) have much more heat than others but they'll still have to fend off surging adorables like Molly Shannon in Other People and Octavia Spencer in Hidden Figures

Q1: If Meryl or Amy place in the leading shortlist, which one of them and who gets the boot?
Q2: If voters promote Viola Davis to lead (where she totally belongs given that Fences is essentially a family/marital drama) who benefits in supporting and who suffers in lead? Imagine the chaos!

How many nods can Hell or High Water manage? We're predicting 5 at the moment.

BEST ACTOR & BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
These two categories are much more volatile because the men haven't generated half as much conversation this year.

Q3: Might we see BOTH Jeff Bridges and Ben Foster in supporting for Hell or High Water since people love that film so much?  A dual nod in Best Supporting Actor hasn't happened since Bugsy in 1991?
Q4: Do you expect something like 2011 when underdogs like Demian Bichir and Gary Oldman rose up to take nominations that people initially assumed would go to Leonardo DiCaprio and Michael Fassbender? And if so are Tom Hanks and Ryan Gosling pushed out and for whom?

ALL OSCAR CHARTS ARE UPDATED HERE