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Entries in Roger Deakins (21)

Wednesday
Jan082014

It's Lucky Number Seven for the ASC

Jose here. As if this year wasn’t already complicated enough in terms of finding "the one" frontrunner (don't get me wrong, I'm not complaining!), now the American Society of Cinematographers has gone and made matters worse (in a totally beautiful way) by having their first three-way tie in history which led to a whopping seven nominees for their Outstanding Achievement in Cinematography in a Theatrical Release Award. Joining usual suspects 12 Years a Slave, Gravity and Inside Llewyn Davis were much less “obvious” choices including The Grandmaster (which our friend Michael has been championing) and Prisoners (which is kinda obvious...) and for those who think this means a snub for American Hustle should remember that none of Russell's movies have ever been nominated for a cinematography award by either ASC or AMPAS. 

The full list of nominees:

• Sean Bobbitt, for 12 Years a Slave
• Barry Ackroyd, for Captain Phillips
• Philippe Le Sourd for The Grandmaster
• Emmanuel Lubezki, for Gravity
• Bruno Delbonnel, for Inside Llewyn Davis
• Phedon Papamichael, for Nebraska
• Roger Deakins, for Prisoners

So far, Gravity and Inside Llewyn Davis have been racking up the critics awards in this category, so it’s interesting to see what an actual guild has to say. We could say that five of these will be our Oscar nominees, especially since the ASC and Oscar rarely agree in their nominees or awards (in 27 years only 10 ASC winners have gone on to win the Oscar).

TRIVIA and more after the jump!

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Thursday
Oct312013

Unbroken Jolie

Did you ever see Angelina Jolie's directorial debut In the Land of Blood and Honey? I myself missed it, given it's blink and you'll miss it release (there are a handful of movies each year that feel like they didn't come out that, in fact, did.... Oscar qualifying shadiness is usually to blame). It received middling reviews but will she have more success with her follow up Unbroken? I hope so. I'm always wishing her well since she's one of the Earth's greatest celebrities.

The first photos from the set have emerged and in this one, it looks like she's remaking Kon-Tiki the water is so very blue and the man in the raft is so very blonde.

But actually the film is about  US airman and former Olympian Louis Zamperini (played by young Brit star Jack O'Connell with whom I am unfamiliar. Anyone?) and his World War II adventures in the Pacific where he crash-landed before eventually doing time as a prisoner of war. The film which could well serve as a breakthrough for its trio of young actors also features Domnhall Gleeson (you know him) and gorgeous soap star Finn Wittrock who will also be in Darren Aronofsky's Noah next year so he's going to be so soggy and pruney in 2014. Acting while wet!  The legendary Roger Deakins is behind the camera.

Empire promises...

it will also have sharks. Lots and lots of sharks. 

Hmmm.

I'd rather watch Angelina punch them than direct them. 

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Monday
Sep232013

Review: Prisoners

This review originally appeared in my column at Towleroad

Thanksgiving in movies is usually overstuffed with dysfunction and hostility. Who can digest from all the bile at home? That's not the case in PRISONERS, the new dramatic thriller from undersung Canadian director Denis Villeneuve (Incendies), which is more retrograde in its approach with the family unit as something sacred and continually under attack. Despite the occassional interjection of ominous music (shut up Jóhannsson... there's plenty of time for your score later!) and an initially drab grey color palette, things seem realistically jovial at this get together.

The Dovers (Hugh Jackman + Maria Bello) are celebrating the holiday at the home of the Birches (Terrence Howard + Viola Davis) just down the street -- close enough to walk -- as they clearly do every year (or perhaps they trade off). The parents are realistically both amused and vaguely annoyed by their children, attentive but 'don't bother me' tired. It's only when the film leaves the homes of the Dovers or Birches that there's trouble brewing... somethings just off. Why did the movie open with a father/son hunting trip? Why is that strange RV parked on the road? Where did Anna's (Hugh's daughter) red emergency whistle go? Are Joy and Anna back yet? The two youngest children just went back to the Dovers to grab that red emergency whistle they wanted to p... OHMYGODwhere are Joy and Anna?

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Friday
Feb222013

Final Oscar Predictions

This article has been cross-posted at Towleroad

Yesterday on Kathy Griffin's new show she began with an Oscar monologue and brought out a gold trunks-clad model with his hair cropped tight and his body sprayed gold. I'll let it slide that he wasn't actually bald but he stood with his legs spread far apart and his hands behind his back. 

Had he never seen an Oscar statue before?

UR DOING IT WRONG! 

As you may have guessed I hold the Oscars sacred. You might call it my religion. I've been watching them since I was a little kid and as an adult I have spend an inordinate amount of time obsessing over them and even made something of a career out of it. [A struggle!]  But never before in my life have I had such a hard time predicting the winners.

Oh sure, Argo will win Best Picture and Daniel Day-Lewis who many of us first fell in love with as a blonde gay punk working in that Beautiful Laundrette will win for becoming President Lincoln but elsewhere in Oscar's 24 Categories there's an awful lot of room for pundits to embarrass themselves this year!

Best Director, for one, is baffling. The tech prizes look like a very bloody battle between at least three pictures (Anna Karenina, Skyfall & Life of Pi). And so on. AFTER THE JUMP my Oscar predictions. If I get everything wrong please forget we ever spoke of this! 

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Friday
Feb082013

Dear AMPAS... Love, Team Experience

With the final Oscar voting commencing today -- can we still say "ballots going out" when this season has been so dramatically electronic? -- I asked Team Experience to write very brief notes to Oscar voters.

I'll start us off...

❝Dear AMPAS, Two Words: Emmanuelle Riva. Respect your elders and wish her a happy 86th birthday on February 24th (your 85th!). In your 85 years you've had plenty of impossible dreamgirls like Lawrence, rapidly ascending versatile stars like Jessica, and resilient fierce mamas like Naomi. But you've never given the prize to anyone like Emmanuelle. Do your own Best Actress legacy proud by switching it up and proving you're still free thinkers in your 80s! 
Yours always, for better & worse, Nathaniel

pleas for The Master, Zero Dark Thirty, Moonrise Kingdom and more after the jump...

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Sunday
Nov182012

Is Skyfall's Oscar Buzz Real or Just Really Convincing Hype?

Though each new James Bond film lands with a media frenzy of sorts, Skyfall's box-office crushing tour of the Globe has even come with Oscar buzz. As an Oscar pundit, at first I felt I needed to do my killjoy duty and remind Bond-fans that the Academy has never been eager to have a martini with Bond, no matter how he orders it. But lately I've begun to wonder if, should the hype not subside much, the world's favorite super spy might finally win a nomination or two again. Two nominations would be a major win for Team Skyfall though the current hype would have you perceive that as a disappointing haul since it suggests that multiple nods and even a Best Picture citation are just around the corner. 

It's this overreaching by fans and the more excitable pundits that keeps forcing me back into Killjoy Corner. But let me repeat: a Best Picture nomination is not happening; Ten spots is not Twenty. And Bond Films aren't even close to the top of Oscar's Favorite Franchises heap anyway. Even with the fast Oscar-dream fade of The Dark Knight Rises and the artistically suspect decision to make The Hobbit into three films, history suggests that AMPAS is more likely to join Bruce Wayne or Gollum in the shadows again than James Bond. 

I should explain with facts (after the jump) before they go out of style again...

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