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Entries in Skyfall (24)

Thursday
Feb142013

10 Days 'til Oscar: Score, Song, & Sound

We're in the final crunch now. Oscar voters have to make their final decisions by Tuesday February 19th (with the winners announced Sunday February 24th) so I'm throwing up my own nominees (which I like to announce before the Oscar nominations even. Oy) so you can see my film bitch award picks for the best in the various aural categories here. But while we're on the subject of sound, a film craft I always vow to learn more about and then forget to educate myself, let's make some early Oscar predictions.

BEST SCORE
Naturally I prefer my nominees to Oscars. Unlike many pundits, I knew that the Beasts of the Southern Wild score didn't have a prayer since Oscar's music branch is notoriously exclusive. In addition to their resistance to new composers they also don't really cotton to directors muscling in on their territory, so step away from the sheet music Benh Zeitlin, Benh Zeitlin. (Even an Oscar God as Revered as Clint Eastwood hasn't been able to do it.) Nevertheless Oscar voters and I do have a bit of overlap here as we all swooned for Dario Marianelli's work on Anna Karenina and Mychael Danna's evocative score for Life of Pi. I'd be pleased if either of them won the category. As for the other nominees, I never quite understand the mandatory nature of John Williams nominations. He's certainly created some classic scores over the years but I swear if he just whistled a few bars on a soundtrack he'd be nominated. I also still don't get the Argo score being nominated since Desplat wrote about five film scores this year and they're ALL better than his decent but surprisingly generic work on Ben Affleck's well regarded thriller. A nomination for Zero Dark Thirty would've been so preferrable.

Should Win: Dario Marianelli, Anna Karenina
Will Win: Mychael Danna, Life of Pi. (Even though the music branch is loathe to welcome new blood once they do, they don't tend to have issues with them actually winning the gold.)
Possible Spoiler: Despite Williams' endless nominations, Oscar voters don't seem to be sentimental about giving him a final (and sixth) statue, so I'm guessing Danna's only potential loss comes from Argo-Mania. Alexandre Desplate still hasn't won an Oscar which is starting to seem crazy. 

SONG
Though Oscar and I don't have much overlap -- look, I know Joyful Noise is a crap movie but Dolly Parton writes beautiful movie songs and still doesn't have an Oscar --  I really love the Oscar nominees anyway. All of 'em! It was a good year for original movie songs. I'm looking forward to the performances (should we get them... and it seems like we will).

007 Skyfall - Opening Credits (Best Quality Yet) from Gunnar Lien on Vimeo.

Should Win: Skyfall
Will Win: Skyfall (the night's biggest lock?)
Possible Spoiler: Skyfall... in case they decide to give Adele two Oscars just to see if she pisses herself laughing. 

SOUND EDITING & SOUND MIXING
Oscar likes exceptionally loud movies in the sound categories from the following genres: sci-fi, war, musicals. Which is why you rarely see fragile sounding haunted dramas like, say, The Deep Blue Sea, or fascinating soundscapes like Cosmopolis or artful indies like Beasts of the Southern Wild in the mix. So the weirdest nominee from their choices might be Lincoln which is not particularly loud or showy in terms of sound. I think they missed the boat in ignoring Prometheus in both sound categories this year... but the studio didn't really campaign so there's that. The sound categories can be difficult to predict since who knows what actors make of "sound", you know? And they make up the biggest voting block for winners. Greg P. Russell has been nominated 16 times without winning and he's up again for Sound Mixing on Skyfall. If enough voters become aware of his Oscarless plight, I can't see him losing for such a well loved widely seen film. But are they aware?

watery films are often popular in sound categories

Should Win (Mixing/Editing): abstain... I'm still thinking about this
Will Win (Mixing/Editing): Skyfall & Life of Pi... wild guesswork. They do sometimes split those prizes... and these two films might be in tough battle after tough battle for the entire first half of the ceremony in the craft categories.
Possible Spoiler (Mixing/Editing): Les Misérables & Skyfall

What are you rooting for soundwise with Oscar and what do you think of the film bitch award nominees

Thursday
Jan242013

Which musical performances will we see at the Oscars?

Though the Academy has officially announced that Adele will be singing "Skyfall" (her first time performing it live) on Hollywood's High Holy Night, we still don't technically know if there will be Best Original Song performances as there often used to be on Oscar night. The Academy had previously announced a 50th anniversary celebration of the James Bond franchise and it's probable that Adele's soulful warbling will be folded into that, whether or not the whole category is represented. We also don't know if she'll be singing before or after her Oscar win*.

There's also been rumors that some permutation of the Les Misérables cast will be performing live but unless they're doing a choral version of "Suddenly", that doesn't necessarily equate to Best Original Song performances either since a cast performance sounds more like a "One Day More" type situation.

But, if you ask me, they'd be crazy not to just have five Original Song performances this year since that'd give you the opportunity to have four superstars on stage at various points: Scarlett Johansson ("Before My Time"), Adele ("Skyfall"), Norah Jones ("Everyone Needs a Best Friend") and Hugh Jackman ("Suddenly") plus a gorgeous little outreach for a little world music ("Pi's Lullaby") on the side.

I know that people think the Best Original Song category is silly but if you look back through the history of the Oscars it has often provided great water-cooler moments or at least tuneful bathroom breaks. 

*the night's biggest lock?

Thursday
Jan242013

Link-Link

Chris Sanders unused storyboards from the new animated film The Croods 
In Contention which Sundance films have Oscar potential?
CHUD What's next for David Fincher? Gone Girl or 20,000 Leagues or...
John August ooh listen here. A whole podcast on the wonderful Raiders of the Lost Ark
Empire Rosario Dawson nabs another female lead role. This time it's Queen of the Night from Atom Egoyan. To what do we owe this sudden upswing in her career? We want to thank whoever/whatever is responsible.

Awards Daily a trippy poster for Danny Boyle's Trance starring James McAvoy and Rosario Dawson
Studio Briefing 39 minutes of Cloud Atlas cut for its Chinese release. Maybe if it were 39 minutes shorter I might not have... no, never mind. Let's not go there again!
Coming Soon The Marvel Studios tv series "S.H.I.E.L.D." has begun filming
Gothamist wonders if TV's "The Carrie Diaries" (i.e. Sex & The City: the Prequel) is getting 1980s NYC all wrong
Bleeding Cool posters for 47 Ronin with Keanu Reeves getting the whitewashed leading Japanese samurai role (fwiw: Keanu has some Asian ancestry so this is kind of like the Johnny Depp as Tonto thing)
MNPP Everyone's favorite moment in Skyfall 

... or maybe you have a different one?


Finally... Have you seen this amazement? 

Wednesday
Jan092013

BAFTA ♥ Lincoln (But Not Spielberg)

So much happening and I was seized by offsite emergencies. Apologies. In the wee hours of the morning here in the States... we'll call it "last night",  BAFTA announced their nominations and went wild for all six of the top presumed Best Picture Oscar nominees. The biggest surprise inclusion in the British Academy's list has to be the Best Actor nomination for Ben Affleck in Argo (in place of the usual suspect John Hawkes from The Sessions... though Denzel Washington was also absent since The Master was well represented in the acting categories). BAFTA's devotion to their fellow countrymen is a factor each year -- it's no surprise to see Skyfall with 8 nominations because BAFTA loves Bond (Casino Royale had 9 nominations in 2006!. But this 'Brits first!' thing is also grossly exaggerated by the media since it's hardly an infallible formula. Supporting Actress hopeful Maggie Smith is noticeably absent - note the one nomination "British film" for The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel. And though Anna Karenina rebounded in awards season with several nominations here, Keira Knightley was not rescued from its train tracks in Best Actress where Helen Mirren held on to her default Best Actress bid --- will she do the same tomorrow with Oscar?.

The biggest oddity of the day? Steven Spielberg's Lincoln led the pack with 10 nominations but Steven Spielberg himself was not nominated for directing it. It's totally deja vu -- t'was nearly the exact Oscar nomination fate of The Color Purple (1985) with 11 nods but none for the man in the director's chair!

Full nomination list after the jump.

Click to read more ...

Monday
Jan072013

Best of 2012: Nathaniel's Honorable Mentions

We're reached the End of Watch. No, not the movie of that title though we'll soon get to it. But the invisible line I have to draw on my movie calendar between Now and Then. I've squeezed more screenings in this past month than I probably should have for a clear head but I must finally cut myself off. Now is the time to take stock and share favorites. The Film Bitch Awards have begun with my choices for Best Screenplays now posted. "But, wait, where's the top ten?" you ask. We're getting there. But first we start right here...

Have I Told You Lately That I Love You? (In No Particular Order)
No movie seemed more in my personal wheelhouse this year that Joe Wright's sumptuous ANNA KARENINA but in truth it divided me. lots more movie-lovin' after the jump...

Click to read more ...