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Entries in NBR (7)

Wednesday
Dec042013

Uh Huh, it's "Her" for the NBR 

 

The National Board of Review didn't even split their Picture/Director prizes. They're all in for Spike Jonze's Her melancholy sci-fi tinged meditation on romance starring a man (Joaquin Phoenix) and his operating system (Scarlett Johansson). Because I love variety, I'm thrilled to report that only three major prizes (except animated, first feature and documentary) went the same way as the NYFCC yesterday, though the groups are not exactly correlative in anyway apart from happening within 24 hours of each other. Complete list of winners after the jump...

Best Film: Her
Best Director: Spike Jonze (Her)

Click to read more ...

Friday
Dec072012

Interview: Ann Dowd on "Compliance" and Oscar Buzz

Ann Dowd loves the word "delicious". She describes her children this way and actors she admires, too ("Annette Bening! She's delicious and such a good actress"). And what word could possibly be a better fit to fully convey the joy of this moment in her career?

When the tiny indie Compliance debuted to surprisingly robust critical conversation this past August, Ann Dowd won the kind of reviews that Oscar dreams are made of... even from critics who didn't like the film. Her superbly layered work as "Sandra", the prickly overwhelmed fast food manager at the center of the ethically disturbing drama lingers in the memory. Proof of that is a recent well deserved nomination at the Spirit Awards. I spoke to her a few hours after the announcement of her biggest prize yet, The Best Supporting Actress Award from the National Board of Review.

NATHANIEL: Congratulations on winning the NBR Prize!

ANN DOWD: Thank you so much. I have to say I'm beside myself. Really happy.

Have you seen Ann Dowd's riveting work in Compliance yet?

NATHANIEL: Does all of this attention feel like "It's about time!"?

[Oscar buzz, Freaks and Geeks, and red carpet panic after the jump...]

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
Dec052012

It's ZDT for the NBR

And things were looking so super extra competitive this year! Just a few days ago Les Miz, Argo, Lincoln, and Zero Dark Thirty all seemed to be on somewhat equal footing and to a lesser extent Beasts of the Southern Wild, Silver Linings Playbook, and Life of Pi had all received enough warmish embraces from critics, audiences and  Oscared corners of the showbiz culture that we could look forward to a real competition once the Oscar nominations were announced on January 10th. But with the one-two-zero-dark punch of the New York Film Critics Circle and the National Board of Review, the Oscar race suddenly looks a bit less like a clusterfuck and a ltitle more like a done deal. Zero Dark Thirty, Kathryn Bigelow's engrossing account of the hunt for Osama Bin Laden, is suddenly apparently way out front.The NBR generally attempts to spread the wealth but not so this year since they gave ZDT three of their top prizes (Pic, Director, Actress)

Will enough critics groups and precursors disagree or is this just one of those years that seemed competitive and then suddenly wasn't... like, oh, so many years in the past!

Winners and discussion after the jump

Click to read more ...

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 ...

Monday
Nov212011

"baby, you are going to miss that link"

Please tell me how to feel about the proposed Before Sunset (2004) sequel. I don't mean to shirk my duties as an "opinion maker" *snort* but sometimes I just don't have one. A definitive opinion, I mean. See, when the magical Sunset was first announced it sounded like an iffy idea at best and a terrible idea at worst chasing such a fleeting wisp of enchantment like Before Sunrise (1995), one that purposely left the future up to our collective or, rather, individual imagination.

But then Before Sunset arrived and it turned out that a second encounter with Jesse and Celine was not just a good idea, but a great one. It was as if the stars and the Richard Linklater, the writer/director, had not just matured nine years in the interim but that they're maturity combined had tripled that depth of their real time spell-casting. What an incredible film. But if a third film were to triple the depth and power of the second, we would have to count it among the greatest films of all time and what are the chances of that happening? 

Do you want to know what happened to Jesse & Celine or are you more than content to imagine for yourself what came after the fade out?

Links!
fourfour "the diva chain" love it. 
The Playlist awww, damnit. No The Fly sequel for David Cronenberg after all.
AV Club on the new muppet "Walter".  
Rope of Silicon talks to Michel Hazanavicius on Tati, Chaplin and The Artist. Can you believe he's never seen The Thin Man?!
The Wrap Weird News Of Day Alert: Rocky is being musicalized. I've always thought there was great crossover between boxing fetishists and musical theater lovers... uhhhh
The Awl Mary & Natasha are all "!!!!!" on all things The Twilight Saga Breaking Dawn Part 1 "I CANNOT EVEN" myself but maybe not in the same way. 

Finally... Hollywood Elsewhere reveals a big "No" on Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close screenings for NBR and NYFCC awards voters. Stephen Daldry's latest just won't be ready by their crazy-early deadlines (November 28th and 29th respectively) It is a bit ridiculous that people are trying to vote on "best of the year" in November. But, then again, it's kind of ridiculous that so many movies don't want to show themselves until December. Lots of magazines have deadlines for "best of year" pieces that have always required long lead looks. November expectations for December offerings are nothing new behind the scenes.

Thursday
Jan132011

Red Carpet NBR

When The Beautiful People start collecting awards it's... heaven. It's only later when the same people have collected dozens of the same titles that we start getting bored. "And the Winner Is... The Most Recent Winner!"

"Mattie Ross", Michelle, Coppola Jr and Lesley Manville

Jessica Lange, Mrs Ben Affleck, Blake Lively

 

 

 

From the looks of the NBR evening -- minus the black dresses which never ever go out of awards style -- a certain color family was in. Something in the burgundy, fuschia, purples spectrum your next red carpet?

It's an homage to ___________ [Complete the Sentence in the comments]. You know you want to!

Wednesday
Jan122011

Jacki Weaver "Grinning Like a Cheshire Cat"

Exclusive Interview
Before Animal Kingdom, the Australian crime drama which Jacki Weaver so memorably inhabits as den mother Janine "Smurf" Cody, she was unknown to many American moviegoers including myself. The last time I see her onscreen, perusing a few key scenes from the film prior to the interview, she's training those enormous unblinking peepers on good cop Guy Pearce. They're in a sterile grocery store but the conversation is anything but; the words are loaded and coded. Her stare is equal parts dare, gloating and faux sweetness. "I hope you catch the killers," she tells him, with disingenuous grandmotherly concern, both of them fully aware of who is getting away with murder and why.

In person, what can you expect: An evil granny? A diva actress? A regular woman? When we sit at the Regency for a half hour chat over coffee, Smurf departs leaving only Jacki the "Oscar Hopeful" (more on that in a bit).

try "Greatness" - get that Oscar nom, Jacki!

"I should rewatch it," she tells me when I mention my pre-interview visual cram session with her movie. She's seen Animal Kingdom four times but not recently. She remembers the plot details and her co-stars frequently. She's quick to praise Ben Mendelsohn's "amazing" work. (He plays her son Pope, the only character more unsettling than Smurf.) But when it comes to her own part, the famous dialogue is escaping her. "They keep quoting lines that I said" she says "I have no recollection of them at all. It's been two years since we shot the movie. I've been in six different plays since then so's the slate has been a bit wiped clean."

Why hasn't she watched it recently?

Jacki: I find it quite distressing. It's really heart in the throat stuff. Even though I know what's going to happen.

Nathaniel: Was it disturbing to shoot?

Jacki: It wasn't at the time, no. It was more exhilarating than distressing because I felt we were doing such good work and it had a ring of authenticity about it all the way.

Nathaniel: I know you do a lot of theater and Animal Kingdom actually reminded me a little of a stage play. It's very cinematic but he's [David Michôd, the director] often using medium shots, which I loved, and showing you the crucial interplay between the actors. Do you think of stage and movie acting differently?

Jacki: I think of them the same way. In movies, you have the luxury of being able to whisper [Laughter].

Coffee has arrived and we chat for a bit about filmmaking. Jackie says "I love a good editor" [don't all smart actors?] and shares with me a bit of Oscar trivia that I hadn't connected: Animal Kingdom's editor Luke Dolan was up for an Oscar just last year for the short film "Miracle Fish". "He's just turned 30," she says, marvelling. "That's impressive." While she's on the subject of fresh careers we naturally drift over to her director. He's a fully formed talent already, I think, and this is only his first feature.

Nathaniel: I met with Michôd this summer when the movie came out. He called you a "National Treasure."

Jacki: [Laughter] I'm more of a national relic, i think. I've been around so long. I keep telling people that I think Australians think of me as a comfortable old piece of furniture that they're not quite ready to throw out yet.

Nathaniel: You've been in the industry a long time.

Jacki: 48 years.

Nathaniel: Have you seen it all or this year special? I mean, if i tried to list all your honors from the movie I think we'd be here for hours.

Jacki: I've lost count. I'm totally overwhelmed.

Nathaniel: When you were filming it, did you ever think...

Jacki: No! [Sensing the awards question coming.] Well, you never do...

AFTER THE JUMP... Jacki on awards buzz, "Smurf" character choices, loving Cate Blanchett, kissing Sullivan Stapleton, and her brief scenes in Aussie classic Picnic at Hanging Rock (1975).

Click to read more ...