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Best Actress -- Who will be nominated?
Davis? Blunt? Adams? Chastain?

"I'm glad everyone is cheering Fences on, but I feel that people are overestimating its Oscar potential. The furor reminds me of when people were going ga-ga for August: Osage County. " - Jes

"Davis  in Fences. I saw it on Broadway ... it is a true blue supporting role." - Charlie G

"I really hope it's Amy Adams year, only because some of her stans are so insufferable and will never shut up if she loses again. " - Laura

 

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Entries in precursor awards (217)

Wednesday
Jan062016

BAFTA Preview: Who might surprise Friday?

Here's Murtada with many questions about this year's possible BAFTA nominations.

The first indication that the BAFTA nominations are upon us - besides Awards announcements every two seconds - is the nominations for the Rising Star Award. This year’s crop include two 2015 British breakthroughs in Bel Powley (Diary of A Teenage Girl) and Taron Egerton (Kingsman), two stars of major blockbusters in John Boyega (Star Wars:The Force Awakens) and Dakota Johnson (50 Shades of Grey) and one Oscar front runner in Brie Larson (Room). Their usual eclectic mix for this voted by the public award. Vote now if you are a UK resident.

But more importantly let's look at what Friday morning may bring by examining some trends from the last few years of BAFTA and what they could mean after the jump......

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
Jan062016

WGA Nominations - Amy Schumer Twice Over and More... 

Don't cry Sadness -- you weren't eligible. You can still dream of OscarOf the guild nominations each year the Writer's Guild, which should be the most fascinating to we writers, is often the least. That's no mark on their taste but on their guilds bizarre exclusionary practices. More than any other guild they eliminated many cherished films each year for "not a member" reasons. So it's worth noting that "snubs" are not ever snubs so much as "probably weren't eligible." situations. And when you really love a film that wasn't nominated you can just tell yourself that even if it isn't true. Why trouble yourself?

If you're just joining us, we previously interviewed Phyllis Nagy who is nominated today for her Patricia Highsmith adaptation Carol. We'll also be sharing an interview with the nominated screenwriter of Spotlight sometime soon. Amy Schumer is the big winner this year nominated for both TV and Film efforts. You can see the WGA nominees in 3 film categories, and 25 other categories (television/newmedia/radio) after the jump...

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Jan052016

Surprises Abound for the PGA Nominations

Chris here. In addition to the Art Directors Guild earlier in the morning, today the Producers Guild of America announced their feature film nominations, and we have some surprises.

The omissions included Carol (take a breath, everyone) and Room, both also left out from the ADG nominations. We may be passionate fans of Carol around these parts, but the miss here is a sign that our pony still has to capitalize on its momentum to continue in the race. Room on the other hand is a tiny, non-American produced film that was probably overestimated to show up in a group that has leaned populist enough nominate the likes of Star Trek and Skyfall.

Speaking of blockbuster candidates, The Force Awakens also missed out here. While thought to potentially upset here, the franchise's Oscar hopes can now likely be put to bed for major categories. Here are our nominees:

The Darryl F. Zanuck Award for Outstanding Motion Picture

  • The Big Short
  • Bridge of Spies
  • Brooklyn
  • Ex Machina
  • Mad Max: Fury Road
  • The Martian
  • The Revenant
  • Sicario
  • Spotlight
  • Straight Outta Compton

The biggest surprises are Ex Machina and Sicario, also surprising at the ADG - are you sensing a trend? While they are not major Best Picture threats for the Oscar race, their place here shows passionate support brewing and certainly raises their profile. Straight Outta Compton, whose ensemble was recognized by SAG, is one of the bigger financial successes here and a nice nod to Universal's outstanding year at the box office.

Check after the jump for who got the biggest boost...

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Jan052016

The Confusing Art Directors Guild Nominations. Is "Crimson Peak" Period? Where is "Carol"?

Coco here, ready to talk about the Art Directors Guild and their wacky nominations. 

Usually we reserve the term category fraud for when lead performances are nominated in less competitive supporting categories, but the Art Directors Guild suggests we expand the definition. The Guild divides its film categories into period, fantasy, and contemporary, which makes senses. But this year's nominations suggest the division between the three categories are rather arbitrary. (The Film Experience is on the record saying that categories only matter if you follow the rules, so maybe the ADG should read this piece by our beloved Nathaniel.)

Anyway, here are the nominations:

Production Design (Period Film)
Bridge of Spies - Adam Stockhausen
Crimson Peak - Thomas Sanders
The Danish Girl - Eve Stewart
The Revenant - Jack Fisk
Trumbo - Mark Rickner 

Thomas Sanders's gothic sets are gorgeous, but Crimson Peak is a movie about ghosts. The production design is not historically accurate either unless gigantic bleeding houses used to actually exist in the real world. How is this not in "fantasy"?

The question one everyone's mind has to be "Where is Carol?" Judy Becker's designs are not only richly detailed, but they're integral in a film that's all about its precise visuals. It's worth remembering, though painful: Todd Haynes previous 50s masterpiece, Far From Heaven, did not get an Art Direction nomination from this guild or from the Oscars (!!!). 

Meanwhile, Trumbo continues its inexplicable love affair with awards voters.

More surprises and category confusions after the jump.

Click to read more ...

Monday
Jan042016

ACE Noms Ignore Spotlight, Love Joy. What is Happening? 

The ACE Eddie Nominations are out and as usual there are some real head-scratchers. The guild nominations that precede Oscar noms tend to throw something or other for a loop in terms of perceptions of what the industry loves. Or perhaps it's less complicated than we always assume and it's merely that those who vote on awards just don't see that many movies. Guild types are often more busy making movies than watching them after all.

One head scratcher: I'm not sure how we've ended up in a world where Joy, David O. Russell's latest ode to Jennifer Lawrence, is nominated for its editing. I don't mean to pick on the picture as I actually think it's far better than its reviews imply and am happy to have company with Nick and Jose on this; it seems fairly obvious that the nation's film critics are working through their David O. Russell issues now that he's made a woman's picture. But for all of Joy's underdiscussed strengths the editing is not one of them. This is no mark against any of its four editors who've done great work in the past but it's fairly obvious that they're struggling with a film that is so multi-toned and multi-authored and possibly unfinished and trying to make the most of its competing impulses and weird detours. The picture struggles to find its rhythm throughout. 

But let's not pick on Joy because people have been way too mean to it. The nominees and more thoughts are after the jump. 

Click to read more ...

Sunday
Jan032016

National Society of Film Critics: Love for Spotlight, Carol, Creed....

The last important critics awards have been announced and in the week of Oscar nomination voting too. Though they went with many of the names that have previously mentioned at other stops, they made one particularly welcome new call in Michael B Jordan as Best Actor? But are Oscar voters still looking for suggestions? When you've got a field as potentially anemic as this year's Best Actor race where no one seems all that enthused about the very famous probabilities, dig a little deeper. It can only help! The NSFC, formed in 1966 and the third most important US critics group outside of NYFCC and LAFCA (yes some members overlap since "National" includes multiple cities) spread the wealth. Only Spotlight and Carol took more than one prize. 

The winners and runners up are after the jump...

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
Dec302015

Oscar Ballots Out Today. Three Simple FYCs for Voters.

Let the Oscar balloting begin. The image we use to illustrate is envelopes because they're pretty but they're also analog when even as ancient an institution as Oscar -- he's 88 years old now! -- has gone digital. Academy members can start nominating their favorites TODAY.  I won't barrage AMPAS members with requests other than these three wishes:

1. Please ignore precursors. Surprise us! 
The precursor bodies make terrible mistakes in trying to predict you (SAG & Critics Choice in particular this year are just a mess of lazy "what will the Academy vote for?" impulses rather than a searching for what constitutes great work which should always be the only concern). Two fine movies off the top of our heads that nobody expects you to vote for this year but why the hell shouldn't you? Sicario and Tangerine. People also seem to agree that you won't get behind stories about women but we know you have it in you. The public is enjoying reliving 1977 because of Star Wars: The Force Awakens but remember in 1977 how 80% of your Best Picture lineup was about women? Good times! I mean, why shouldn't you vote for something as gentle, resonant, and well modulated as Brooklyn, for example?

2. FYC: Remember that love stories require two leads. 
Rooney Mara and Cate Blanchett are a beautiful team in Carol - so don't separate them in two different categories. Think of the classic screen couples (Gone With the Wind, The Way We Were, Titanic, It Happened One NightCasablanca, Coming Home, etcetera). In none of those romantic dramas do people pretend one movie star is "supporting" the other movie star. Be reasonable and put an end to greedy campaign strategies that make the very notion of awards seem crassly opportunist when the conversation should be edifying and fun; "Best" is a beautiful word! And love stories are love stories are love stories whether the couple is straight or LGBT. (See also: The Danish Girl)

3. Most ≠ Best
This isn't just about the acting categories but how about a deserved nod here or there that you could never call "Most" but could definitely argue "Best".  Three examples of many: The Production Design of Room (a top notch technical achievement but also emotionally intelligent and a true creative challenge); The Visual Effects of Ex Machina (there's no grand setpieces, sure, but damn if these fx aren't a master class and hugely impressive in comparison to the typical CGI shenanigans of blockbusters like Jurassic World); and the Original Score of Steve Jobs (unusual, contemporary, and creatively retro too).

HAPPY VOTING EVERYONE!