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Entries in Hugo (18)

Monday
Dec052011

DC Critics Love Movies About Movies... And Dogs

This year marked the 10th anniversary for the Washington DC Area Film Critics Association. What a mouthful their name is. Henceforth WAFCA which omits the DC part but they like it that way.  In their very first year they picked an odd duck for Best Picture by way of the Stiff With Prestige Adaptation Road to Perdition but since then they've hewed much closer to Oscar, only giving two top prizes to films that weren't eventually Best Picture nominees or winners (Eternal Sunshine and United 93). This year they went crazy for movies about movies... with dogs.

DC Film Critics are Dog People. The Artist and Hugo win big.

Let me be clear... In no way does my happy photoshopping imply that President Obama is a member of WAFCA though the Obamas are dog friendly. It's just me thinking 'bout DC and the movies.

Here are the WAFCA prizes...

Film The Artist
Director Martin Scorsese, Hugo
Actress Michelle Williams, My Week With Marilyn
Actor George Clooney, The Descendants
Supporting Actress Octavia Spencer, The Help
Supporting Actor Albert Brooks, Drive


Acting Ensemble Bridesmaids
Adapted Screenplay Alexander Payne, Nat Faxon and Jim Rash  The Descendants
Original Screenplay Will Reiser for 50/50
Animated Feature Rango
Documentary Werner Herzog's Cave of Forgotten Dreams 

"Skeletor" is a real healer in Original Screenplay winner 50/50

Foreign Language Film Pedro Almodovar's The Skin I Live In
Art Direction Dante Ferretti and Francesca LoSchiavo for Hugo 
Cinemagotraphy Emmanuel Lubeszki for The Tree of Life
Score Ludovic Bource for The Artist  

The Artist and Hugo are certainly starting the awards season off well. Given that they both opened for the Thanksgiving Holiday does this mean next Thanksgiving we'll see an even larger clusterfuck than this year's insanity?

How long do you think it'll be before one of the critics groups gives the Supporting Actress prize to one or all of the Bridesmaids? Monty didn't totally go for Bridesmaids but then he's not a dog person... er, cat. 

Thursday
Dec012011

NBR Awards. Old Favorites Clint, Clooney & Marty Triumphant Again

Though the NBR finally gave up their "first!" crown -- and without so much as a fight! -- they were true to form in other ways. George Clooney & Clint Eastwood can't even sneeze without 92% of the NBR crowd shouting gezundheit so naturally their films won top ten placements and Clooney's film (The Descendants) won three other prizes, too.

But Martin Scorsese, another previous NBR winner, was the man of the hour. Or the future hour when the banquet takes place since he showed up on the Documentary top five list with George Harrison: Living in the Material World (review) and his film Hugo won both Best Picture and Best Director. A double win for those categories is not common at the NBR. It's true that it happened last year with The Social Network but before that it hadn't happened since 1997 when Curtis Hanson did the trick with LA Confidential.

PICTURE Hugo


(top 10 ...the rest are in alpha order)
• The Artist
• The Descendants
• Drive
• The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo
• Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Pt 2
• The Ides of March
• J. Edgar
(Clint Eastwood hasn't missed their top ten list since Blood Work, 2002)
• The Tree of Life
• War Horse 

FOREIGN FILM A Separation

(top 5 additional foreign films in alpha order)
•13 Assassins
• Elite Squad: The Enemy Within
• Footnote 
• Le Havre
• Point Blank 

DIRECTOR Martin Scorsese, Hugo
ACTRESS Tilda Swinton, We Need To Talk About Kevin
ACTOR George Clooney, The Descendants
SUPPORTING ACTRESS Shailene Woodley, The Descendants
SUPPORTING ACTOR Christopher Plummer, Beginners
BREAKTHROUGH PERFORMANCE Felicity Jones, Like Crazy and Rooney Mara, The Girl With the Dragon Tatoo
DEBUT DIRECTOR JC Chandor, Margin Call
ENSEMBLE The Help

How Elizabeth Olsen in Martha Marcy May Marlene keeps losing these "breakthrough" and "debut" categories is beyond me. And NBR also shunned it even in the top ten indies list. 

many more prizes, top ten indies, and awards history after the jump.

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
Nov232011

Do Movies About Movies Win Oscars?

George Valentin (Jean Dujardin) has had it with the movies in "The Artist"Over at Fandor's Keyframe blog I'll be musing about the Oscar race on a biweekly basis. This week's topic is the unusual abundance of movies about movies in this year's Oscar race from Marilyn Monroe (My Week With Marilyn) to George Melies (Hugo) to Hollywood's seismic sound shift in the late 20s (The Artist). But one thing I didn't dwell on too much in the article (which I hope you'll go and read!) is the lack of Oscars won for movies about movies.

Everyone predicting a win for The Artist (2011) before the nominations are even announced should consider the following list and sobering fact: No movie about movies has ever won Best Picture.

Movies About Movies: How Do They Do With Oscar?
(Best Picture Nominees are in red) 

Janet Gaynor (already an Oscar winner) was nominated again for playing an actress who wins a fictional Oscar in "A Star is Born"1930s
What Price Hollywood (1 nomination. 0 wins)
A Star is Born (7 nominations. 1 win + 1 honorary) 

1940s
Was Hollywood too busy with patriotism to make movies about movies? Or were they still too enamored by live theater to turn their cameras on themselves?

1950s
Sunset Blvd  (11 nominations. 3 wins)
The Bad and the Beautiful (6 nominations. 5 wins)
The Star (1 nomination. 0 wins)
Singin' in the Rain (2 nominations. 0 wins)
A Star is Born (6 nominations. 0 wins)

1960s
Sweet Bird of Youth (3 nominations. 1 win)
8 ½ (5 nominations. 2 wins) 
Inside Daisy Clover (3 nominations. 0 wins)
The Oscar (2 nominations. 0 wins)

1970s
Day For Night (4 nominations. 1 win) 
The Way We Were (6 nominations. 2 wins)
The Day of the Locust (2 nominations. 0 wins)
California Suite (3 nominations. 1 win)
All That Jazz (9 nominations. 4 wins) 

1980s
The Stunt Man (3 nominations. 0 wins)
The Purple Rose of Cairo (1 nomination. 0 wins)
The Kiss of the Spider Woman (4 nominations. 1 win)
Who Framed Roger Rabbit? (6 nominations. 3 wins. 1 special achievement.)
Cinema Paradiso (1 nomination. 1 win) 

Baby Herman (a handful off camera) and Roger Rabbit in Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988)... which would have been a worthy Best Picture contender.

1990s
Postcards from the Edge (2 nominations. 0 wins)
Bugsy (10 nominations. 2 wins)
Barton Fink (3 nominations. 0 wins)
Chaplin (3 nominations. 0 wins)
The Player (3 nominations. 0 wins)
Ed Wood (2 nominations. 2 wins)
Boogie Nights (3 nominations. 0 wins)
Gods and Monsters (3 nominations. 1 win) 

Jude Law as Errol Flynn and Cate Blanchett as Katharine Hepburn in "The Aviator"2000s
Shadow of the Vampire (2 nominations. 0 wins)
Mulholland Dr (1 nomination. 0 wins)
Adaptation (4 nominations. 1 win)
The Aviator (11 nominations. 5 wins)
Tropic Thunder (1 nomination. 0 wins)
Nine (4 nominations. 0 wins)
Inglourious Basterds (8 nominations. 1 win) 

2010s
The Artist (we shall see)
My Week With Marilyn (we shall see)
Hugo (we shall see)

A semi-random selection of movies about movies that Oscar ignored: The Cameraman, Man With a Movie Camera, Sullivan's Travels, Stand-In, Peeping Tom, Contempt, Beware of a Holy Whore, F For Fake, The Last Action Hero, Stardust Memories, Blow Out, The Majestic, Irma Vep, Living in Oblivion, Be Kind Rewind, Guilty by Suspicion, Los Angeles Plays Itself,  etc...

You'd think that Hollywood's High Holy Night, which is one big self-congratulatory spectacle, would embrace movies about movies and they do to a point. But perhaps even Hollywood's notoriously fulsome egos feel sheepish about taking it all the way. Do they fear it would be overkill, the back-patting night of nights morphing into something far more orgiastic, a daisy chain of self regard? 

What are your favorite movies about movies? Do you think The Artist can buck the trends here?


Related: my new keyframe article and a previous roundup on Keyframe "top ten films about filmmaking" which I also had the pleasure of contributing to and which should give you plenty of rental ideas.

Monday
Nov212011

The Family of "Hugo" Cabret

Last night I had the privilege of seeing Hugo a second time at my favorite* NYC theater, the Ziegfeld. It's an enormous "Old Hollywood" feeling place, one of the last of its kind so it couldn't have been a better setting for an all guild screening of a movie that's obsessed with the history of the movies just like Martin Scorsese himself. Let's call him "Papa Scorsese" today since he brought along nearly his entire movie "family" apart from cinematographer Robert Richardson (referred to as "Bob") who Scorsese joked was  'off filming a movie with this new guy called Quentin somebody (?)'

3-time Oscar winners Thelma Schoonmaker and Sandy Powell await their cue © Nathaniel Rogers

Everyone else was there: Legendary art director Dante Ferretti, legendary editor Thelma Schoonmaker, legendary costume designer Sandy Powell... well you get the idea...

NOTES FROM THE EVENT 

Dante Ferretti, Art Direction
His job didn't change much in 3D, he revealed. He joked that the room we're sitting in is 3D. It took him six months to build the sets. He and his team built everything: the station, the glass movie house, even Papa Georges's (Ben Kingsley) apartment. With the look of the film they were attempting to base it not on realistic research but on images from the cinema and French cinema of the period specifically.

Ellen Lewis, Casting
She had not seen The Boy With Stryped Pajamas when the casting search for the lead role of Hugo began in New York, London and Los Angeles simultaneously. Someone sent her the movie and she met with Asa Butterfield the first week she was in London.

She added:

Many times, oddly, in casting children you find the child you're looking for in the first week or the last week. I don't know how to explain why."

They decided to have everyone speak in British accents after casting Asa because they didn't want to alter his voice and he was the first actor cast. 

Visual Effects
The visual effects supervisor -- his name escapes me in. Apologies -- had this to say about George Melies as the originator of special effects?

He didn't have anything to refer to besides his own imagination. Before I started the movie I had only seen Voyage to the Moon and I thought it was okay but then I started to really study his films, like that clip where he throws his head up into the stanza of music. That's genius. I had to play it back three or four times to figure out how he did it. He did this in 1905 so I felt rather small."  

Costume recreations, Scorsese joking about budgets and more after the jump.

Click to read more ...

Monday
Nov072011

Links: Shoot Kristen Wiig, Vote Hugo Cabret, Fire Brett Rattner

Deadline is Hugo a serious Best Picture contender. Industry giants are getting behind it's 3D immersiveness and movie love.
Animation Mag ginger tomcats on the rise and it's not just Puss in Boots. Here comes word of a new animated film called Tailchaser's Song. I suspect we won't see this one till 2013 or 2014 because you know how long animated films take.
Empire another new animated film coming our way soon is Hotel Transylvania with Adam Sandler voicing the count who runs a destination for famous monsters and Miley Cyrus voicing his daughter Mavis. That's what she'll look like to your left.
Rope of Silicon revisits David Fincher's Panic Room (2002). How long has it been since you've seen that one? 

In Contention Spielberg's now talking War Horse but not everyone is happy about the screening strategies thus far.
24 Frames reminds us that Tom Cruise is going to be in a musical. We keep forgetting this one, Rock of Ages
AV Club Ebert Presents... At the Movies may be shuttering this season due to cost.
Terry Richardson just had two women we love in his studio: Dakota Fanning and Kristen Wiig. Which reminds me just got my "consider" copy of Bridesmaids. Yay... so eager to rewatch though it will be weird to watch without the hysterically laughing audience we saw it with in the movie theater.  

hate him
Have you heard the latest on new Oscar director Brett Rattner. As if his bad movies weren't enough reason to object to him. Now he goes and says "Rehearsing is for fags." Really, Brett? He's since apologized but really...? That's the kind of thing the would be director of Wicked should really feel. Big epic musicals, after all, are best when improved (lol)... and calling actors fags? Yikes. Awards Daily thinks AMPAS should fire him and The Film Experience seconds. And we all know how well AMPAS listens to our every suggestion like the time we gave them brilliant notes about all the legends who have never presented Best Picture an... oh wait, never mind. They never listen. Whaddya want bet it's Spielberg, Hanks or Nicholson presenting best picture again this year? (sigh)

Christopher Neimann illustrated his NYC marathon run. small screen
Wow Report It's not enough to make me start watching TV's Once Upon a Time again (it make-a my eyes bleed! it got dumped from the DVR) but get this: Greer Garson's genes are in one of the actor... them's world class genes. Greer Garson Genetic Greatness! I guess we should write about her sometime. We love.

offscreen fun
Paper Mag someone live tweeted live illustrated his whole NYC marathon run. Yowza. That's going the extra mile. Although honestly I thought this was illegal. I thought they had very strict rules about no phones and no tweeting while doing it. They only have a limited number of spots in the marathon each year for eager runners. Every year I go outside and clap for them until I am tired. What, that's exercize for me. All that arm movement. More strenuous than typing.