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Entries in Oscars (12) (288)

Friday
Nov302012

Visual Effects Finalists: Superheroes Rule, Subtlety Drools

Yesterday the finalists for Oscar's Visual Effects prize were announced. In the end there will be five nominees but for the next month ten films can dream of winning the nomination before the great culling on January 10th, 2013. Once again we see a preference for computer generated imagery with only Skyfall and The Dark Knight Rises as obvious examples of films which tried mightily to rely on in-camera practical effects and stunt work. At a recent "Evening With Christopher Nolan" here in NYC (more soon) Nolan revealed his preference for in camera work with computers relegated to touch up work. 

Did you know that that infamous collapsing football field that led into the seige of Gotham was actually, in part, a collapsing football field (!) and not a figment of a computer artists imagination!? 

Snubs: Generally speaking you can expect the more subtle fx work to be shut out each and every year. This is why Skyfall probably won't be nominated in the end. But my eyes were instantly drawn to the absence of Looper which is a shame, since it's most effectsy sequences, like that finale in the cornfield, were weirdly hypnotic and even the tiny touches like the frequent telekinetics were unfussy and unshowy but totally served the film. Plus, it's a good film which is more than can often be said about nominees in this category. It's also strange, at least in a multi-year context, to see The Impossible miss the finals when Hereafter's less impressive tsunami (in a less impressive film at that) went on to actually be nominated. More traditionally nominatable CG heavy movies shown the door were Battleship, Men in Black III, and Dark Shadows.

Which 50% of the films still standing will prevail? 

still hanging. I hate this film more and more in retrospect.

  • The Amazing Spider-Man
  • The Avengers
  • Cloud Atlas
  • The Dark Knight Rises
  • The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
  • John Carter
  • Life of Pi
  • Prometheus
  • Skyfall
  • Snow White and the Huntsman

Your guess work in the comments, please.

Thursday
Nov292012

Busy Busy. What Are You Busy Thinking About?

Kerry Washington interview forthcoming!I apologize for my radio silence. I've been busy preparing for interviews (4 exciting ones this weekend) and updating Oscar charts (director, picture, actor, actress, supporting actor, supporting actress) and otherwise terribly occupied with only half terribly interesting things (like Oscar campaign events). Regular blog posting speed recommences this weekend.

What have you been doing... and which movies can't you stop thinking about?

Thursday
Nov292012

Actress Battles: Jessica vs. Jennifer, Quvenzhané vs. History

In a rather beautiful turn of events, both Les Misérables and Zero Dark Thirty arrived to implications of raves (ah, pointless Les Miz embargo) and actual ones (ZDT had no embargo) and though neither are opening until Santa's elves are deep into overtime, they've made the forthcoming Oscar race much more exciting. What we have are real competitions in multiple categories. At least for now; precursor prizes have a way of flattening out the drama if they arrive at consensus too quickly. We've already discussed Les Miz's first screening and the Hugh vs. Daniel Best Actor race.

But while you're waiting for my Zero Dark Thirty review, let's discuss the confusing Best Actress race.

This particular shot is the second half of one of my favorite cuts of the year... from the screen she's watching to this face.

BEST ACTRESS
What's the confusion, you may be asking. Yes, Jennifer Lawrence is still the frontrunner for Silver Linings Playbook and yes Jessica Chastain will be nominated for anchoring Zero Dark Thirty with single-minded determination. More...

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
Nov282012

Roundtables Galore. Tarantino to Retire?

The annual Actress Roundtable (pt 1 & pt 2) is the only member of THR's delightful tradition of one hour conversations that I can carve out time to cover in full but since the Directors video has arrived, you should watch it!

Quentin Tarantino's threat of retiring is very annoying. He hasn't been prolific enough to earn retirement. If he is ever going to retire I pray he does it in the Steven Soderbergh all bark and no bite kind of way. I'm not counting but I think Soderbergh has already made as many movies as Tarantino has ever made SINCE he announced his retirement.

I also love Tarantino's comments about editing his writing. I don't mean to single Tarantino out in the conversation but he is a chatty one.

Are all of these men draws for you when they're the name behind the movie? Who do you wish had been included and who would you boot out to make room for them? For me I'm wishing Kathryn Bigelow and

After the jump, in case you missed them, the Actors and Writers Roundtable

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Nov272012

"Silver Linings" & "Moonrise" Lead Spirit Nominations

Continuing with the trend of star-laden "indies" of reasonable means dominating the once far more independent Spirit Awards, expectant future Best Picture nominee Silver Linings Playbook and Wes Anderson's adorable Oscar longshot Moonrise Kingdom led the pack of nominees with five citations each. In the shoe-stringier side of the equation films like Beasts of the Southern Wild, Middle of Nowhere, and Keep the Lights On also made strong showings. Since three mainstream / big studio efforts are expected to dominate the Oscars (that's Les Miz, Argo, & Lincoln if you've been sleeping for a month) this year, no film need worry about the Spirit curse ...wherein you score big here the day before the Oscars only to collapse at the big Hollywood event that you had hopes of also ruling.
Can "Beasts" win the Spirit Award?
Full list of nominees and commentary on each category after the jump

Click to read more ...