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Dreamworks Animation Pt 2: The Fall

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Entries in SAG (49)

Tuesday
Jan272015

Red Carpet Lineup: The 21st Annual SAG Awards

Greetings, fashion followers and actress admirers! Anne Marie and Margaret here with the Screen Actors Guild Awards edition of Red Carpet Lineup. We're carrying on without Nathaniel this time, since he's over at Sundance walking some red carpets of his own.

Anne Marie:  Last night held few surprises awards-wise, but the red carpet looks were as wide-ranging as Tatiana Maslany's clones in Orphan Black. Without further ado, let's talk fashion!

Margaret: Color-wise, it was a subdued red carpet, so let's start with some of the ladies in black and white: our queen Viola (VIOLAAAAAA), it-girl Emma Stone, the Supreme Sarah Paulson, and proud "complicated woman" Maggie Gyllenhaal. Which neutral getup is your favorite?

Anne Marie:  VIOLAAAAAA! Damn, she looked good. She sounded good, too. That speech was wonderful, and almost made me forgive How To Get Away With Murder for its grievous faults. Sarah Paulson, queen of my heart and the master of photobombs, is also rocking that black and white dress. I don't, as a general rule, like two-piece separate dresses like this, but she is... dare I say... bewitching. (Groan all you like but it's true.)

Margaret: I have to say, all four of these ladies' makeup artists deserve a serious bonus. Their faces look magnificent.

Anne Marie: True. Although, what the heck is going on with Emma Stone's dress? She looks like she's wearing an oversized suit jacket with a gauze skirt stapled on.

Margaret: Perhaps it's an avant-garde nod to her Birdman role, an abstracted fashion cape?

Anne Marie:  Sort of a Lois-Lane-by-way-of-Morticia-Addams kind of thing?

Margaret: Sure looks like it. If I'm honest, I hope her people pull her something twice as kooky for the Oscars. Liven things up a smidge.

Anne Marie: Any final thoughts on our first 4 ladies in white-and-black?

Margaret: Just that Maggie Gyllenhaal's cleavage keyhole amuses me, and that I'm almost sorry that Frances McDormand beat her last night because after the glorious stoneface Ms. McDormand produced after losing at the Golden Globes, I can't help but mourn for the gifs that might have been.

Now, on to our second lineup, the theme of which is WINNERS. 

Maternity couture, OITNB, and casting ideas for a gritty Little Mermaid reboot after the jump...

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Sunday
Jan252015

SAG Open Thread

I wish I had the energy and window of time to live-blog the SAG Awards but I'm not really catching the full thing, peeking at them inbetween Sundance stuff. I apologize for not planning properly to get you live blogged coverage in my absence but did you enjoy the show?

Feature Films
Lifetime Achievement The Unsinkable Debbie Reynolds  
Supporting Actress Patricia Arquette, Boyhood
Supporting Actor J.K. Simmons, Whiplash
Lead Actress Julianne Moore, Still Alice
Lead Actor Eddie Redmayne, Theory of Everything
Ensemble Birdman


Television
Actress in a Movie or Miniseries Frances McDormand, Olive Kitteridge 
Actress in a Drama Series Viola Davis, How To Get Away With Murder 
Actor in a Drama Series Kevin Spacey, House of Cards
Ensemble in a Drama Series Downton Abbey  
Actor in a Comedy Series William H Macy, Shameless
Actress in a Comedy Series Uzo Aduba, Orange Is the New Black
Ensemble in a Comedy Series Orange is the New Black 

 

Sunday
Jan252015

SAG Predictions. Got any crazy ones?

I'm betting it continues to be a big weekend for Birdman on account of actors playing actors in a movie about acting (not to mention that the ensemble IS truly worthy) but I could be wrong. The temptation to wield your guild's top award as a defacto Best Picture prize -- even though none of the guilds are meant to be awarding that but their own craft instead -- has often proven a strong lure. Boyhood is easier to love so perhaps they'll hand the prize to just four people: Patricia Arquette, Ethan Hawke, Ellar Coltrane and Lorelei Linklater. Otherwise I feel little fear in predicting Keaton, Moore, Arquette and Simmons as the winners. Same as it ever was. That said if Eddie Redmayne is the viable Oscar threat I think he is, things could shift here in Best Actor to put him firmly in first place. After all SAG did go really above and beyond for Theory nominating this three-hander (for all intents and purposes) for the Ensemble prize.

It's worth noting that nominating committees are different than general voting bodies. They are much smaller and more peculiar and they vote much earlier. The conversation about Redmayne's movie has been drowned out recently by discussions about every other Best Picture nominee outside of maybe Whiplash

Saturday
Dec202014

Critical Consensus: Boyhood or Birdman?

Birdman and Boyhood continue to split regional trophies. This round tips in Birdman's favor for a change though. I'm becoming more and more curious to see who SAG selects as "Outstanding Cast". Will they opt for the heartfelt dedication of 4 actors who spent a few weeks each year for over a decade making the same intimate masterpiece, or will they go with a very exciting movie that's about acting to a significant degree with the lively interactions of movie stars pretending to be theater stars who are actually acting together in frame in a way you rarely see in the movies but see all the time in theater where this is no camera and editing to distract you.

It's a tough predictive call though my vote goes to Birdman because there's far more acting with each other (and more consistency in the quality of each performance) something that is pure pleasure if you're a lover of the art of acting as interacting.

Results and commentary from Florida, Las Vegas, Utah and St Louis after the jump...

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Sunday
Dec142014

SAG & Globe Reader Questions. Podcast Answers! 

Last week's tidal wave of precursor buzz - most notably the Screen Actors Guild and Golden Globe nominations have everyone talking possible Oscar nominations. Those nominations are still one month away if you can believe it which gives us plenty of time to keep theorizing.

You asked a lot of questions. So Nathaniel, Nick and Katey answered them in this week's podcast!

How this one goes...
00:01 BFCA Ballot Buyer's Remorse. How many times did Katey vote for The Hundred-Foot Journey?
03:00 Is Jennifer Aniston going to happen?
05:15 Robert Duvall and/or Selma's Supporting Bids 
10:00 Humble Brag Jake Gyllenhaal Party
15:15 "What were they thinking?" & potential surprises
22:00 Julianne Moore's frontrunner status  
27:45 Boyhood's performances & Budapest's momentum
32:25 Rewatchability. Does it matter? Should it?
37:00 Miscellaneous Last thoughts
40:10 Julianne Moore Stinger 

You can listen at the bottom of the post or download from iTunes tomorrow. Continue the conversation in the comments. Hopefully though we answered your initial questions we raised even more talking points... 

Precursor Questions. Podcast Answer

Wednesday
Dec102014

How to be SAG Snubbed Even When You're Nominated

As is our annual tradition we like to peruse the credits of the SAG Ensemble nods to see who got left out despite their film's nomination. The Film Experience started this kind of analysis ten years ago when The Aviator had some really dumb exclusions and inclusions but lots of other sites now cover the injustice. We never get credit for starting this line of Norma Rae righteous anger but, that said, at least a lot of people have it now.

Did SAG think her face looked like she'd licked a homelessman's ass?

If you aren't familiar SAG uses a system whereby only actors with solitary title cards are official nominees for the Cast category. This means if you are famous in a bit part and have a good agent you are more likely to be an official nominee than the unknown who delivered a better performance in possibly a much larger role than yours but had to share his or her card. There are occasionally exceptions to this rule; no actors in Woody Allen films get their own title cards, so in those cases SAG uses the first roll call title card but not the second and we see this solution with Birdman this year which does not give its cast separate billings.

What this means is that sometimes the person giving the single best performance in a film, like Corey Stoll in Midnight in Paris a few years back gets the snub because they weren't famous enough even though they undoubtedly contributed to the nomination happening in the first place. Stoll is now famous enough to get his own title card which he can thank Midnight in Paris and all the things it led to (like House of Cards) for but at the time, despite inarguably contributing to the nomination appeal, he was left out. 

It's really an unfortunate system that a union like SAG should consider revamping: it essentially awards the rich and powerful and demeans the little guy which is kind of a union no-no, you know? So let's look at who's nominated (officially) and who's not from the nominated casts. Though, as I've often been reminded by those defending SAG, it is worth noting that the non-nominate nominees (errrr) still get some kind of 'congrats' citation from SAG and something to put on their resume and nobody really balks when they fudge the officialness and declare themselves a best cast nominee!

BEST CAST NOMINATIONS
(Listed in order of billing. This year proves to be far less egregious than past years in terms of thoughtless shunnings. But it's a tradition at The Film Experience so we'll soldier on through it)

BIRDMAN
Michael Keaton, Zach Galifanakis, Edward Norton, Andrea Riseborough, Amy Ryan, Emma Stone, Naomi Watts [They all share an end-credit title card - like how woody allen films do it, with only Keaton interrupting the alphabetization] 

Who got the boot:  Lindsay Duncan, Merrit Wever, and Jeremy Shamos share the second actor credits page. The Emmy winning Wever, of Nurse Jackie fame, is blink and you'll miss her as the stage manager so it's no great loss in terms of a citation but surely Lindsay Duncan, who is rather key to the narrative as the much-discussed fearsome critic "Tabitha," should have been the exception to the rule and among the nominees. I believe Shamos plays the "terrible" actor that Mike Shiner (Norton) replaces in the play within the movie. Bill Camp (the crazy homeless man!) and Damion Young are the only other actors with a shared credit card.

BOYHOOD
Patricia Arquette, Eller Coltrane, Lorelei Linklater, "and" Ethan Hawke [title cards end credits] 

Only "grandma" is left out of Boyhood's blood relative nominees

Who got the boot: Though this seems somewhat fair given the 12 years that the immediate fictional family put into the project, there are a few other players who stuck around a year or three or four with highlighted roles. So you could complain (though I'm never in the mood for complaining when it comes to this gift of a movie) about the lack of Libby Vallari (Grandma) especially. There's also Barbara Chisolm as the mom's protective generous friend (Carol) or either of mom's drunk later husbands Marco Perella (as Professor Welbrock) or Brad Hawkins (as Jim)

GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL
Ralph Fiennes, F Murray Abraham, Mathieu Almaric, Adrien Brody, Willem Dafoe, Jeff Goldblum, Harvey Keitel, Jude Law, Bill Murray, Edward Norton, Saoirse Ronan, Jason Schwartzmann, Lea Seydoux, Tilda Swinton, Tom Willinson, Owen Wilkinson, and  "Introducing" Tony Revolori

Grand Budapest has an insanely large cast so it makes sense that not everyone can be included. Sorry, prison gang!

Who got the boot: With the largest cast nominated, 17 players, all the important players as well as a few famous cameos are accounted for. So no complaints. Of those not "officially" included my votes for most memorable would go to Giselda Volodi as Serge's doomed club-footed sister and Florian Lukas as "Pinky" in the jail. Others might miss the cameos by the "The Society of the Crossed Keys" Wes Anderson regulars Bob Balaban, Wally Wolodarski and Waris Ahluwalia share that title card. 

THE IMITATION GAME
Benedict Cumberbatch, Keira Knightley, Matthew Goode, Rory Kinnear, Allen Leech, Matthew Beard, "with" Charles Dance, "and" Mark Strong [title cards after prologue]

Who got the boot: Among the government corralled code-breaking teams James Northcote (who was also in Nymphomaniac and Belle this year) as "Jack Good" is left out, as are the young actors Alex Lawther and Jack Bannon who play Alan Turing and his mate Christopher in their boys school youth. And I might be a teeny tiny bit annoyed to see Tuppence Middleton left out since I loved her scene(s?) as "Helen" - and because she gifted Turing and Team with their scripted 'Eureka!' moment with all her flirtatious you know? But overall the nomination here is inclusive enough.

THEORY OF EVERYTHING 
Eddie Redmayne, Felicity Jones, Charlie Cox, Emily Watson, Simon McBurney, "and" David Thewlis.  [title cards end credits]

Harry Lloyd was Best Friend to Hawking, but doesn't get to enjoy the awards spoils

Who got the boot: The only principal cast members who got title cards but were left our are Maxine Peake and Harry Lloyd who had to share a card. This is a shame. Both Lloyd and Peake have major roles as Hawking's speech therapist of sorts and his best friend respectively so this is disappointing. Those are certainly much bigger parts and more impressive performances than, say, Emily Watson whose role Nick famously and hilariously summarized in our podcast as

You haven't met me. You should go to church. Bye!" 

 

What did you think of the SAG Cast Nominations, readers? Which films were you upset to see left out and which film are you rooting for for the win? 

Wednesday
Dec102014

SAG Noms: Surprises, Snubs, Sexism, Stunts

The nominations were announced live here (by Eva Longoria and Ansel Elgort) and on TBS & TNT. My wrong predictions were back here.

Though I have many pet peeves about the way the actors guild decides and divvies up its honor, here's one that's wildly underdiscussed online and I don't think it's at all insignificant or petty. Each year they refuse to alphabetize correctly, always listing Male Actor categories BEFORE Female Actor categories. That might make sense at the Oscars since "Actor" does comes before "Actress" in the alphabet if not in our hearts, but "Female" does not  come AFTER "Male" when you alphabetize and yet SAG always lists the men first. Highly sexist if you ask me though they are obviously super self-righteous about not calling women "Actresses". Go figure. 

If you don't think this is sexist consider this subliminal perhaps subconscious related value judgement: Drama is always listed before Comedy in their press releases though that's also not alphabetically justified. 

So The Film Experience always course-corrects for SAG by listing female actors first. Of course we do that with the Oscars too which is alphabetically incorrect since we use "Actress" but in our case it isn't a subliminal but a purposeful value judgement. Duh! Women are better than men. 

NOMINATIONS & COMMENTARY (ALL CATEGORIES) ARE AFTER THE JUMP

MOVIES

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