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Entries in Original Song (69)

Saturday
Nov092013

Oscar's Songwriters Have a Difficult Task in 2013

Glenn here and it's the weekend, which means there is no better time to discuss Oscar's original song category (er, right?). Much like that other much-maligned category, animated feature, The Academy's songwriting branch somehow need to come up with five nominees even if there aren't enough worthy contenders. Last year's introduction of a guaranteed five nominees produced "Academy Award Nominee Ted!", although it did allow for the beautiful song from Chasing Ice (performed by ScarJo!) to come to our attention so maybe it's not such a bad thing after all? I strongly believe that this is their penance for not nominating "You Haven't Seen the Last of Me" from Burlesque a few years back. Diane Warren's music branch voodoo doll works in mysterious ways, folks.

At least one song we can all be pretty confident about is "Let It Go" from Disney's Frozen. Apparently the studio will only be submitting this one song from the film despite a wide roster of contenders. They're going for the win it would seem and, at least at this stage, unless reception to the film isn't particularly positive it's probably the best bet for the win based purely on history. The video below isn't the best, but it's all we've got at the moment that isn't a Demi Lovato pop version. 

The Butler, The Great Gatsby, Belgian bluegrass and Tom Cruise after the jump!

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
Oct022013

7 Notes on Revised Oscar Charts

Hey y'all... I've been hard at work this week updating all the charts. Yep, every. single. one. So herewith ten notes for suggested comment fodder. 

Mystery Meat
American Hustle and Saving Mr Banks are the Oscar Bait Unknowns... unless you assume that Wolf of Wall Street will be finished in time. All have, to my knowledge, not been screened for even long lead critics. Most pundits, armchair or otherwise, believe in Hustle wholeheartedly (one assumes due to David O. Russell's recent track record) and are suspicious of Banks (one assumes because of the dangers of Disney-on-Disney hagiography but maybe also because movies-about-movies aren't always Hugos; sometimes they're Hitchcocks). So far I'm not expecting a lot of The Secret Life of Walter Mitty but maybe that's a stealth masterpiece about to blow us all away. Which of the unseens are you hoping deserves space in the Best Picture race?

 All Over The World
The foreign film charts are so much work and every site now covers this category that I once had a stranglehold on. I wonder if they're worth the time anymore (?) but I do love my subtitled pictures. We currently have 69 official submissions and only two have what you might call a truly high profile (Hong Kong's The Grandmaster, and Iran's The Past) though I'm not at all sure that they're the strongest candidates this year. Take a look at the charts from Afghanistan to Italy and Japan to Venezuela! Which films are you most curious about and do you like the influx of variety here? The world is giving us animated films, documentaries, horror films, romances, you name it, in addition to the usual heaping helpings of war dramas, biopics, and childhood journeys. If you follow this race closely you should know that Team Experience is on it: Tim saw Egypt's entry, Jose took in the Czech Republic submission, and I reviewed the Romanian and Iranian entries and Glenn and I both loved the Cambodian entry though we haven't written about it yet. More to come.

The Coronation March
I understand that with Best Actress there's a lot of "It's Sandy vs. Cate" hoopla in online forums at the moments. Bullock is in very good shape for a nomination, true (I'm just being slightly contrarian to leave her out at the moment though I don't think she's anywhere close to 'lock' status yet) but I'd be very shocked if she ever gained enough momentum for a second win. A) it's not that kind of role since there's no "bait" beyond sad tears B) she's not that kind of actor to win a second unless competition is weak or the role is super bait C) Oscar has never in 85 years indicated a deep well of goodwill for actors working auteur pieces or actors in science fiction films. So unless Amy Adams is our stealth champion, I think Cate will be sweeping for months ala The Queen... and lord knows she is one.

Sell Yourself
Oscar campaigns can make a huge difference for movies and performers that aren't slam dunks. Armies of publicists and awards strategists are already working on their maneuvers though we won't see it till it happens. The films I personally think need smart campaigns the most are those in wide open categories (like animation) or those that will get zilch if they don't have one, either because they're perceived as "small" or because they're in the middle ground of praised but not rapturously so or they're well liked but there's no automatic "in". I'm thinking of films like Prisoners, Short Term 12, Dallas Buyers Club, Inside Llewyn Davis, Frances Ha, Labor Day, Blue is the Warmest Color, maybe even The Great Gatsby and Rush (the latter two I'm currently predicting to win the double edged sword prize aka the "most nominations without a corresponding Best Picture nod"). I realize it's a diverse lot but my point is they could all score anywhere from nuthin' to three or four nods, depending how well they play the game and whether they can condition AMPAS to think of them quite naturally when it comes time to ballot.  

• Sound and Fury
We've seen in the past that there's only so much room for blockbusters in the visual and sound categories if big showy prestige dramas have the wow elements and necessary "size" (think Gravity and Captain Phillips and maybe even Gatsby to a limited degree). When Tony Stark suits up the visual effects voters ALWAYS respond but the sound guys have only thrilled to his particular blast offs once. With Superman and various Kryptonians wreaking such loud havoc this year could the Man of Steel steal tech nods from the Man of Iron... or maybe they're both shut out and World War Z rises? Oscar doesn't really go for zombie films but there's a first time for everything right and maybe a couple of tech elements could be honored?

• Dress You Up
I can't believe we've come this far into the film year and I haven't waxed rhapsodic about Best Costume Design. I will rectify that soon including an interview with one of the true legends of the category. One of the things I've always liked about the costume designers is that they don't always stay in lock-step with Best Picture so it's anyone's guess. There are a lot of candidates worth considering including Lee Daniels' The Butler (crocheted disco suits!), Dallas Buyer's Club (80s trans glamour and redneck Texas), period finery versus humble wool in 12 Years a Slave, the sexpot disco glam of American Hustle... I could go on. One thing I'm curious about is Trish Summerville for Hunger Games: Catching Fire. People loved her work on The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo and though the original Capitol costumes (by a different designer) didn't win a nomination they did get a lot of media attention. How will these fare in comparison? 

• Sing-Along?
Will no one speak out or care about the Original Song category? It still seems entirely bereft of nominatable tunes... hey, if that's what it takes to get Short Term 12 nominated for something than that's what it takes. If we were nominating Best Song Performance we'd be singing a different tune entirely because, hello, Black Nativity divas and Oscar Isaac and Oscar Isaac and Oscar Isaac because good god his voice in Inside Llewyn Davis! I didn't love the movie beyond the cat but his voice is just golden. 

CHECK OUT THE CHARTS AND COME BACK AND DISCUSS!
PICTURE | DIRECTOR | ACTRESS | ACTOR | SUPPORTING ACTRESS | SUPPORTING ACTOR | SCREENPLAYS | VISUALS | SOUND | ANIMATION | FOREIGN FILMS
Suggestions on how to improve the charts are welcome

 

Saturday
Sep212013

Link Hunter

Variety mourns film criticism wondering if Roger Ebert was the last critic who really mattered
Cinema Blend talks "narrative" in Oscar campaigns and what they might mean for the futures of Gravity and 12 Years a Slave
Pop Matters Matt Mazur elaborates on his comments from the last Supporting Actress Smackdown
Antagony & Ecstasy another rave review for Short Term 12, beautifully written by one of the web's best film critics. (This is why I hired him, yknow)


i09 in today's stupid remake news Neil Marshall who once directed a movie as good as The Descent is going to remake the clever Norwegian film Troll Hunter. Despite the fact that Trolls are kind of, you know, Scandinavian in nature in their appeal/fictional dominance. 
Awards Daily Sasha thinks its crazy to doubt a nomination for Sandra Bullock in Gravity. Maybe I am crazy but I'm kind of doubting it. Not wholly mind you... she's definitely in the running. But Oscar's acting branch does not like scifi and have only gone there a couple of  times really in lead (Sigourney Weaver in Aliens and Jeff Bridges in Starman spring to mind). But it could be that my feelings about the averageness of her performance are getting in the way. All that said, I do think it's strange to suggest that Oscar WANTS to reward women over 40 for being successful. On what basis is this a thing since they're always going for 20somethings when they could reward older women?
/Film Michael B Jordan, Saorsie Ronan, and David Oyelowo all being talked up for the next Star Wars movie 
Empire the first official picture from the tank-centric war film Fury starring Brad Pitt. I used to think that one day I'd grow out of Brad Pitt but it hasn't happened. And shan't. I just love him. 
Playbill Kristin Chenoweth to play Jennifer Lopez' best friend in the thriller The Boy Next Door about a woman (Lopez) who falls for her teen son's friend. I love me some Cheno but that is bizarre casting + genre weirdness, right? 

Today's Must Listens
Here's Lee Daniels talking about being gay and black in Hollywood... and in life. When asked which is harder in Hollywood he replies:

 I don’t know what to say to that. I want to answer that question to you but I have to be very honest with you that I’m afraid to answer that question because, uh, and I have to stay like Cecil and stay silent because I want to work."

 

Finally can we talk about BEST ORIGINAL SONG for a minute? I've been remiss as per usual in thinking through this category. IndieWire is pushing this rap number from Short Term 12, which is one of the film's key moments narratively and also emotionally courtesy of a pretty great performance from Keith Stanfield who also co-wrote the song with the director.

Until they abolish the category as some have argued they should, it's worth trying to suss out. But which songs will be eligible? Let's make a list in the comments while I'm updating my Oscar charts.

Thursday
Aug292013

Best Shot: Butch & Sundance & Their Girl

It figures. I try to throw a curveball in our often actress-centric blogging by choosing a guy's guy movie, a buddy Western for Hit Me With Your Best Shot and the most frequent face that pops up in your choices is the momentary it girl of the late 60s Katharine Ross. In Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969) she plays the school teacher Etta Place, essentially "the girl" of the narrative (and not much more complex a role than that) and twice over, too, since she's shacked up with The Sundance Kid (Robert Redford) but also in 'what if?' love with Butch Cassidy (Paul Newman) as evidenced in the Oscar-winning "Raindrops Keep Fallin On My Head" interlude early in the film. Redford & Newman? Lucky girl.

Which leads me to this very scientific poll for TFE readers (as suggested by forever1267 in the comments). Butch and Sundance are a pair in the movie but unlike Katharine Ross you can only have one. Make your choice based on '69 only!  

 


Now that that's out of our systems, let's choose a best shot. And good God (God = Conrad L Hall) there was much to choose from)

Click to read more ...

Sunday
Jul212013

Team Experience: (More) Emmy Reactions

Now that we've had a few days to process the Emmy award nominations, do we have any outrage left over?Though we’re a film site, it’s unwise to ignore proclaimed golden age of television we’re living in -- even if the arguments that TV is greater than film is wholly suspect --  especially when so many movie stars keep on crossing over. So we surveyed Team Experience with the following questions:

  • win you're most rooting for?
  • most baffling nomination?
  • most compelling category?
  • better luck next year?
  • which Oscar-winning actress?

Which Oscar Winner Are Your Rooting For For Emmy: Helen, Jane, Jessica, Maggie or Melissa?

Read our collective responses and answer the same questions after the jump. No small screen coverage is complete without your comments, TV being so communal.

Click to read more ...

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