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Entries in Jennifer Lawrence (82)

Sunday
Dec082013

Podcast: Philomena Catching Fire

This week NickNathaniel, Katey, and Joe discuss the blockbuster Philomena and that little arthouse indie The Hunger Games: Catching Fire. Spoilers you might want to avoid for Philomena are here (32:00-32:20 / 35:00-35:30).

Some questions that need your answers in the comments:  Is Jennifer Lawrence better as Katniss than in her Oscar roles? Would The Hunger Games be better as a TV series? What is going on in the Hemsworth family gene pool? Is Philomena at 98 minutes too padded or too short or, paradoxically, both? And how many nominations can it hope for having conquered the auntie demographic?

You can listen here or download the conversation on iTunes

Philomena: Catching Fire

Saturday
Dec072013

Who will LAFCA choose tomorrow?

The LAFCA (Los Angeles Film Critics Association) is inarguably an important critics prize in terms of influence and reach to AMPAS. Why? The answer is three fold. First, geography. Second, they're an institution having handed out prizes since 1975 (Dog Day Afternoon + One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest was their inaugural best picture decision and their last tie ever for the top prize) Third, they don't stray too far from Oscar's own aesthetics which surely makes them more accessible to voters. In short they're more likely to gently nudge voters than shout bold statements at them.  In their 38 year history to date they've only given their Best Film prize to movies that didn't end up competing for Best Picture 7 times.

Only LAFCA Winners Not To Enjoy Oscar "Best Pic" Nods
Brazil (1985)
Little Dorritt (1988)
Do The Right Thing (1989)
Leaving Las Vegas (1995, surely in the dread 6th position w/ Oscar)
About Schmidt (2002)
American Splendor (2003)
WALL•E (2008) 

Trivia: As a general rule they love the films of Alexander Payne so Nebraska will win something tomorrow but a fourth best picture win for a filmmaker who has only made six features will surely feel extravagant to them. They also love subtitled performances in Best Actress (9 wins over their 37 years... which I think you'll agree is a lot) so this is Adèle Exarchopoulus (Blue is...) or Paulina Garcia's (Gloria) best shot to turn acting branch heads.

Repeat Winners? Last year LAFCA honored both Amy Adams (The Master) and Jennifer Lawrence (Silver Linings Playbook). And -- look at that -- they're now co-stars in American Hustle, the film that won the NYFCC prize earlier this week. If that's too much of a do-over for LAFCA but they're still feeling member-of-the-club generous, Michael Fassbender, Joaquin Phoenix and Alexander Payne are all recent winners who could theoretically triumph again.

Amy Adams and Jennifer Lawrence were celebrated at their awards gala in Jan 2013

What and who do you think they'll go for tomorrow?
The Boston Society of Film Critics (which I'd personally rank as 4th on the scale of important critics prizes, ahead of Chicago merely because they're less fussy and puffed-up "nominations first!" procrastinators about it) also announces tomorrow.

Tuesday
Dec032013

Do the NYFCC Hustle

The New York Film Critics Circle, the oldest such organization in the country, provided us with a surprise bang this morning. Like Jennifer Lawrence playing with her "science oven" in American Hustle their announcement leaves visible scorch marks, as if awards season has just blasted off like a rocket. 

Whether or not these prizes have a lasting impact is yet to be determined. Some will say that the one-two punch of the Gotham Awards and  NYFCC not awarding 12 Years a Slave with their best feature is a sign. But it may well just be a coincidence and could even be good for the film; it's better to be a wildly special underdog than a frontrunner with heavy baggage when you have three whole months left to carry oneself across the finish line. 

Picture American Hustle
Director Steve McQueen, 12 Years a Slave
Actress Cate Blanchett, Blue Jasmine
Actor Robert Redford, All is Lost
Supporting Actress Jennifer Lawrence, American Hustle
Supporting Actor Jared Leto, Dallas Buyer’s Club

Critics prizes, even the once holy trinity (NYFCC, LAFCA, and NSFC) don't mean as much as the internet likes to pretend. With roughly 30 other critics organizations handing out prizes each year now, and those same critics groups often behaving like Oscar pundits instead of critics, I'd argue that the value of critics prizes has greatly depreciated from market saturation and loss of identity. The thing that constitutes bragging rights these days seems to be domination (who can win the most?) rather than key victories. 

Screenplay American Hustle
Foreign Film Blue is the Warmest Color
Animated Film Hayao Miyazaki’s The Wind Rises
Non Fiction Film Sarah Polley’s Stories We Tell
First Film Ryan Coogler’s Fruitvale Station
Cinematography Bruno Delbonnel for Inside Llewyn Davis
Special Award Frederick Wiseman, documentarian

Do you think they did the "special award" for Frederick Wiseman solely because they didn't give him best documentary for At Berkeley? And, referencing the most recent podcast, am I the only person who isn't wild for the cinematography in Inside Llewyn Davis?

For what it's worth, American Hustle (which is under critical embargo until tomorrow), is very entertaining and also very fresh in the minds of voters having been screened just this past weekend. And Jennifer Lawrence is also very fresh (and entertaining) in it. 

[More on their voting and runners up here]

Friday
Nov292013

Linkboy

MTV News hilarious bit w/ Julia Roberts and Josh Horowitz talking Jennifer Lawrence
Juan Luis Garcia writes an open letter to Spike Lee about Oldboy poster designs that are being used without the designer's permission. Horrifying story of freelancer abuse
Gawker collected the key floats and Roker silliness for Thanksgiving Day Parade ICYMI 
Variety Evan Rachel Wood vs the MPAA over a recent sex scene 

List Mania
Gurus of Gold we list nominations we'd be thankful for and update our charts
THR Feinberg's Forecast. It's exhausting to read all the stuff that happened this week. Once campaigning starts it's just impossible to keep up, right?
The Playlist on the Breakout directors of 2013 from Destin Cretton (Short Term 12) to Sebastian Lelio (Gloria)
Variety also reviewed the week from Jean Claude Van Damme's epic split stunt to Frozen on your phone
Vulture all the times Peeta messes up in Hunger Games: Catching Fire. LOL. Get it together, Josh Hutcherson! 

Monday
Nov252013

Review: Hunger Games Catches Wispy Fire

This review originally appeared in my column at Towleroad

Their clothes ignite but does the movie?

The Hunger Games is not without its charms. Which is a very strange thing to say about a beloved bloody genre franchise about children murdering each other... but then *I'm* not the one suggesting it become a family theme park or inspire a cosmetics line. (Both very sensible and in no way inappropriate spinoffs!) At the very least, as these things go, it is infinitely preferrable to the Twilight Saga. They're the immensely popular twin (non-identical) poster girls for the increasingly crowded subgenre of YA dystopian fantasies in which a mopey teen passively navigates treacherous waters (and woods) and love triangles with death looming all around her. Both series trade on grand suicidal gestures ('I'll die of depression/eat the poison berries, if I can't have my man... I swear!') but at least The Hunger Games is self aware. It performs these defiant adolescent gestures with a sly and stately sense of morbid theatricality instead of self-pitying angst and is generally smart enough to express ambivalence about its content beyond the binaries of Team This Boyfriend vs Team That Boyfriend.

Miley's guards capture Liam on the lamBut, yes, when we return to the deadly adventures of Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) for HUNGER GAMES: CATCHING FIRE she is flip-flopping between Boyfriends.

If you need a refresher it's like this: Katniss and Peeta (Josh Hutcherson) were co-victors of the last Hunger Games, a futuristic take on gladiator battles of ancient history. [more]

Click to read more ...

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