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Entries in precursor awards (193)

Monday
Jan052015

Art Director's Guild Nominations Stay Focused on the Best Picture Conversation

The Art Director's Guild have named the most well designed and carefully decorated movies of the year. How well do you think they did in terms of Best? This is as good a time as any to tell you that we've begun our annual Film Bitch Awards, now in their (gulp) 15th year so you can see my preferred ballot there.

The guild which represents 2300 industry people like Production Designers, Art Directors, Set Designers, Model Makers and Artists of various kinds (Scenic, Title, Matte, etcetera) voted for the following 15 films, most of which are firmly entrenched in the Best Picture discussion indicated that they didn't watch too many screeners before voting. 

Did Inherent Vice's elaborate last supper joke win it this nomination? Or was it the whorehouse?

Period Film
INHERENT VICE - David Crank
THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL -Adam Stockhausen
THE IMITATION GAME -Maria Djurkovic 
THE THEORY OF EVERYTHING -John Paul Kelly
UNBROKEN - Jon Hutman 

But what about?: Mr Turner which is more challenging and fascinating and epic in its production scope than most of these nominees; The Homesman which is more memorably designed than some of these; I probably like Unbroken more than a lot of critics but I'm not sure it's more worthy of a WW II recreation notice here than, say, Fury? In short, they've been listening to the Best Picture conversation.

More Nominations & Commentary after the jump

Click to read more ...

Saturday
Jan032015

National Society of Film Critics Swings French for 2014

The NSFC has announced its "Best" and we have another treat for glum Marion Cotillard. She may have been fired from her job in Two Days One Night but the world's critics would love her to be gainfully employed for years to come.

The NSFC is composed of "many of the country’s most distinguished movie critics" and were once the third holy in the critical trinity (with NYFCC and LAFCA) before the days when every single city in the nation was naming their best a development which has significantly dulled the power of critics awards altogether... or  at least confused what it is about critics awards that anyone pays attention to anymore.

The most interesting thing is that though this critics society has "National" in its name, the members were just not that into American films this year. They've crossed the Atlantic for their major prizes handing Jean-Luc Godard's 3D experiment Goodbye to Language the year's best film (in a narrow one point victory over Boyhood), Marion Cotillard wins Best Actress (by a huge margin for her Belgian feature with the Dardenne brothers as well as The Immigrant). The other mild statement this weekend is two prizes for the British Mike Leigh film Mr Turner with wins in Best Actor and Cinematography.

This last burst of recognition for Timothy Spall (interviewed right here) in a very tight Best Actor race and for Marion Cotillard who remains a longshot for Best Actress since the precursors roundly favored the exact same five women (Julianne, Reese, Felicity, Jennifer, Rosamund) keeps things exciting. At least a little bit. If AMPAS is still asking for recommendations at all, mind you. Still, we know of at least one über famous Academy member who is rooting for Marion. 

 

 

Thanks, Jane! 

Otherwise the NSFC prizes were the standard winners you've seen everywhere else: Linklater, Simmons, Arquette, Citizenfour, and Budapest for Screenplay. All this agreement has been bizarre for such a rich film year but what can you do? (If you're interest in voting data, I've included it after the jump... and you can also visit their official site here.)

Click to read more ...

Friday
Jan022015

The Editor's Guild Chooses...

The ACE "Eddie" nominations have been announced and though you can't glean everything from the American Cinema Editors guild's choices -- Oscar has only five nominees for best film editing and the Eddies have 17 divvied up into four separate subcategories of features -- some reveals are happening.

The first reveal is that the editors have only just begun to watch the movies of 2014 since almost every serious awards hopeful that just came out is accounted for (save, oddly, Selma & A Most Violent Year). Yes, even  Into the Woods and Inherent Vice, which are two of the surprises. On the dramatic American Sniper and Nightcrawler are the surprises. The latter in particular really seems to be gathering momentum in these final weeks making my Gyllenhaal actor prediction, which I so worried was wishful thinking, feel like a safer than expected call.

FEATURE FILMS

Best Edited Feature Film (Dramatic)
"American Sniper" (Joel Cox, ACE & Gary Roach, ACE)
"Boyhood" (Sandra Adair, ACE)
"Gone Girl" (Kirk Baxter, ACE)
"The Imitation Game" (William Goldenberg, ACE)
"Nightcrawler" (John Gilroy, ACE)
"Whiplash" (Tom Cross, ACE)

One might include Gone Girl among the surprises, given that it's on the Best Picture bubble, except to note that whoever is editing for David Fincher has a good chance of collecting trophies. That's how it works and not undeservedly; his films are always gripping and tight even when they're long and a lot of that has to do with the editing rhthyms. Of these nominees I think the safest for Oscar nods are Boyhood, The Imitation Game and Whiplash

More nominees and commentary after the jump...

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Dec232014

Best Actress Battles: Felicity vs. Reese?

With the internet strenuously erecting a ring in which Julianne and Jennifer can mud wrestle, let's look at two or three other imaginary Best Actress Battles. First up is the "I'm just happy to be nominated" tussle.

"consider EVERYTHING" ??? Greedy!

Felicity vs. Reese
Reese Witherspoon looked like a major force in the Best Actress race when Wild first premiered in September as the wandering self-redemptive Cheryl Strayed. Sadly the year-end party hasn't thrown much confetti her way. To date, she has won just one (maybe two?) small regional critics prizes. I blame the lack of awards on three things: the movie wasn't released in the fall where its contemplative moods would not have been in direct opposition to the bustling holidays surrounding it; Reese has already had her Oscar coronation which often kills future prospects for actresses; and, finally, the "Reeseurgence" never caught on in quite the way the McConaughissance did in its year, partially because there was no Magic Mike pop culture hit kicking the movement off in the first place a year prior.

Since her Oscar win Reese has been divorced, remarried, had a third child, and made a dozen more movies.So the Southern Belle finds herself in the odd company of Felicity Jones (Theory of Everything). Jones is about as diametrically opposed to Reese in terms of celebrity persona and acting style as you can get. Both the Nashville spark plug and the demure English flower are consistent figures in shortlists (the trifecta: SAG, BFCA, Globes) but neither appear to have generated the excitement that leads to #1 ballot placements. Though it should be noted that Oscar pundits, myself included, make far too much of preferential ballot systems since every year Oscar lineups are peppered with people and movies that are extraordinarly difficult to imagine as #1 favorites.

Do these two beautiful women have hidden reserves of campaign power and industry support to draw upon still?  Are either of them in danger of not hearing their names read out on January 15th?

HAVE YOU: Liked us on Facebook? Followed Nathaniel on Twitter? Tis the Season
PREVIOUSLY: BEST ACTRESS BATTLES: JULI vs. JEN
RELATED: ACTRESS Chart & All Current Oscar Predictions

Thursday
Dec182014

Boyhood Trophies. Nightcrawler Sweeps. Plus: A Bunch of Oscar Chart Updates

Pro Boyhood. Meh on Gone GirlAs you have undoubtedly heard by now even President Barack Obama has boarded the Boyhood train, declaring it the best of the year... that he has seen (it might surprise you to hear that presidents don't have a lot of time for moviegoing). FLOTUS, who helped hand out the Oscar for Best Picture to Argo if you'll recall, offers up no "Best" opinion to People Magazine but randomly shares that she didn't think Gone Girl was all that and preferred the book.

Where were we? Oh yes. Regional critics groups are feeling a tiny bit friskier than usual. No, they really are. Oh sure there is a lot of hive mind action happening (Boyhood, Arquette, J.K., Citizen Four etcetera) but it's not quite as lockstep as it has been in recent years.

Since we last spoke a few more cities have weighed in and it's semi-interesting at least to see a range of Best Actress choices (Reese & Rosamund) and how about San Diego's total unblinking obsession with Nightcrawler?

Lou Bloom must have given them the hard sell. Lou Bloom got that job. [More...]

Click to read more ...

Monday
Dec152014

"Critics Choice" Flies With Keaton, Checks Into the Grand Budapest & Stands with Jolie, Unbroken

(We interrupt your Missi experience this morning to bring you more awards news. Missi returns this afternoon for two final posts.) 


If you missed my predictions and would like to mock them, they were here. The Critics Choice which will be broadcast live on A&E this year from the Iconic Hollywood Palladium (a new home and venue) on January 15th at 9 PM EST / 6 PM PST. I shall try and attend again. If I can get a better table. What? Travel expenses must be justified!

BEST PICTURE
Birdman - leading with 13 nominations
Boyhood - 8 nominations
Gone Girl - 6 nominations
Grand Budapest Hotel - second place with 11 nominations. wow
The Imitation Game - 6 nominations
Nightcrawler - 3 nominations
Selma - 5 nominations
Theory of Everything - 5 nominations
Unbroken - 4 nominations
Whiplash - 4 nominations

I suspected (aka predicted) that we'd see Unbroken and Gone Girl resurface in the conversation here. In fact the only prediction I got wrong was I didn't foresee Nightcrawler happening, fearing that the AFI love for American Sniper was significant. I think Boyhood will probably win in the end (especially given the weird halfhearted "comedy" section of the awards pulling votes away from Birdman) but good on Birdman for that astounding level of support.

I was really hoping for one non-Oscary thing though. I thought Under the Skin might have an outside chance for a shocker (and yes I voted for it).

JAKE GETS THE JOB and more after the jump...

Click to read more ...