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Entries in Zero Dark Thirty (23)

Tuesday
Jan072014

DGA Howls for Scorsese, Russell and Three First-Timers

The Directors Guild of America, more commonly referred to as simply DGA, have announced their nominees for the film year, and the expected nominees prevailed… with the possible exception of the final slot, alphabetically and most in doubt, which went to Martin Scorsese for his controversial satire.

The nominees are…


  • Alfonso Cuaron, Gravity (first time DGA nominee)
  • Paul Greengrass, Captain Philllips (first time DGA nominee)
  • Steve McQueen, 12 Years a Slave (first time DGA nominee)
  • David O. Russell, American Hustle (second DGA nomination though curiously not honored in 2012 when Silver Linings Playbook was all the rage)
  • Martin Scorsese, The Wolf of Wall Street (12th DGA honor*)

In the past DGA nominees were literally the surest indication of which five movies would be nominated for Oscar’s Best Picture, even moreso than accurate bellweathers of what would happen in the director race itself. But since the upheavals in Academy voting since 2009, it’s tough to say what they mean anymore since Best Picture nominations are so much easier to come by. But whatever it means it is certainly not good news for the Coen brothers (Inside Llewyn Davis), Alexander Payne (Nebraska), or Spike Jonze (Her) all of whom have been nominated by the DGA in previous years.

In the past four years (2009-2012) of the DGA nominations 15 of 20 of their selections went on to be Oscar nominated in the same category with 2012 being famously divisive between the two awards groups – only 2 of the DGA’s choices made it to the Oscar lineup in a real surprise shake-up. But despite those disagreements only 1 of the DGA’s 20 selections in the past four years did NOT receive a Best Picture nomination (David Fincher’s The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo which won five Oscar nominations and 1 actual statue) so all five of these movies are likely to be Best Picture nominated

… yes, even The Wolf of Wall Street despite the defensive game it’s been playing the media. The Wolf of Wall Street’s current situation has been compared to Zero Dark Thirty’s last year (both here and elsewhere) and Zero Dark Thirty, like Dragon Tattoo, went on to five Oscar nominations and 1 win. So smart money…and by smart money I mean “people who believe in crazy coincidences of Oscar numerology” should expect 5 nominations and one win for Wolf, though not in Best Director and maybe not in Best Picture. In short: we know not a damn thing about how this will play out!

* It’s worth noting that Martin Scorsese is a beloved icon to the Directors Guild of America, having won television, narrative feature, and documentary honors. They’ve been slightly more generous with him over the years than Oscar has. As with Oscar he’s only won their top prize once (also for The Departed) but they’ve given him a lifetime achievement prize as well as nominating him for two pictures that Oscar did not recognize him for: Taxi Driver and The Age of Innocence. The only time the Oscars recognized him when the DGA didn’t was for The Last Tempation of Christ.

Monday
Mar182013

Likability

Hello, lovelies. Beau here, hoping you all have had a fantastic weekend. Whether that involved arguing over the season finale of Girls, shielding your eyes from Halle Berry’s hair in The Call, or just readying yourselves for the onslaught of leprechauns and green colored ale that is St. Patrick's Day, I hope it’s been an enjoyable one before heading back into the work week.

A lot has been said about Lena Dunham and Girls. I don’t have a strong desire at this point to rehash the plot details and synopses of the past episode or the entire season for that matter (though I did that for the finale of season one). But, for myself, being an avid viewer of Girls and eagerly anticipating the next step in Ms. Dunham’s career, the most discomforting element of all the criticism and controversy surrounding the show is that there is particular attention being paid to the characters "likability".

This concern isn’t strictly limited to Dunham or Girls. The "unlikable!" charge has been levied at multiple television programs and films these past couple of years, as though whether or not you liked the primary set of characters, or the supporting ones, dictated whether or not the work as a whole was working or not.

HUH?

Regan. Eve. Maya.

I remember being pretty put off, frankly, this past summer when several online pundits and reviewers were slandering Leslye Headland’s Bachelorette for this very reason. more...

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Mar122013

The Link and I

tumblr screenshots without pausing of Zero Dark Thirty's hallway showdown scene
MNPP on responsibility in film criticism and Michel Gondry's The We And I 
Unreality the Han Solo in carbonite business card case. I keep wondering if Patrick Bateman would love this
Pajiba sounds off on the official poster for Mad Men Season 6, which features an illustration of Don Draper looking at... himself? in passing.  I cannot cannot wait. You?
Antagony... follows up that best oscar wins list with its evil twin counterpart: worst oscar wins

the greatest sitcom?
I've been really impressed with Vulture's #sitcomsmackdown which has made all sort of insightful points about the state of the situation comedy throughout the past quarter century, even if I wish Vulture had been more clear about how much rewatching they've asked their selected writers to do. Glenn at Stale Popcorn sounds off on the uproar that greeted Sex & The City's win over 30 Rock. But, as Glenn points out, if you read the actual original essay the writer clearly loves both series and makes really salient engaging points about why she chose Sex as the winner. But alas, people don't read. They just choose sides and fight. I'm thankful I don't have to choose the ultimate winner from the past 30 years but many of the shows battling it out for the top slot would make my top 10.

weird coincidence
So this week while instant-watch surfing a few films I'd seen before, which I do on occasion to refresh my memory, I watched a few scenes from both Head On (1998) and from Trainspotting (1996). Both films were critical hits and bold in-your-face indies about hard-living young men. The two films served as major launching pad for two exciting actors (Alex Dimitriades and Ewan McGregor, respectively) though their careers didn't exactly turn out the same. And then yesterday while link surfing, I chance upon a piece about how hard it is for men to turn 40 that featured Alex Dimitriades and the news that Danny Boyle still wants to do a Trainspotting sequel and that, finally, Ewan McGregor may say yes. The article suggests that one hurdle has always been residual director/star strangement dating back to the days when Boyle threw his young start-up muse (Ewan had also been with him for his debut Shallow Grave) overboard for Leonardo DiCaprio on The Beach? I felt like the internet was reading my mind! 

Monday
Feb182013

Interview: Alexandre Desplat on Composing for "Argo" & "Zero Dark Thirty"

Matt here! Knowing my music background, Nathaniel asked me to speak with Alexandre Desplat for his fifth Oscar nomination. Desplat has composed scores for over 100 films including Fantastic Mr. Fox, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, The King’s Speech, and The Tree of Life. This year alone, he wrote for Moonrise Kingdom, Rust and Bone, Rise of the Guardians, Zero Dark Thirty, and earned his latest Academy Award nomination for his work on Argo.

Desplat conducting his Rise of the Guardians score

Not only is Desplat impossibly prolific but he produces music of unprecedented diversity. Who could have guessed that the same man behind the jaunty storybook sounds of Fantastic Mr. Fox also wrote the cloudy chords at the end of Zero Dark Thirty? [more...]

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
Feb132013

Links of Future Past Right Now

IndieWire Lars von Trier's Nymphomaniac won't be ready for Cannes
E! the real life Navy SEAL who shot bin Laden gets all movie critic like, loving Jessica Chastain but taking some issues with Zero Dark Thirty
Erik Lundegaard has a neat interactive chart where you can rank the Best Picture winners from all Oscar years
Pajiba on Lena Dunham fat-shaming and the already famous new episode of Girls
Vulture power rankings of the Friday Night Lights cast post series finale 


In Contention Kris Tapley launches his well regarded annual top ten shots column
TMZ Vivienne Jolie-Pitt gets her first movie role. She'll play the toddler Sleeping Beauty in Maleficent opposite her scary mom
MNPP do dump or marry: Matthias Schoenaerts, Guillame Canet and Jean Dujardin
Broadway Blog fun multipart piece on Broadway's best love songs from Les Misérables through Avenue Q
Gawker loves Madonna's instagram account and so do I
AMPAS last year I did a piece for Slate on the hierarchy of thank-yous in Oscar acceptance speeches that I was super proud of. The research took me so long I made negative money an hour on the piece but now Oscar has gone and done the work for me, unfortunately after the fact, by archiving acceptance speeches. Can't wait to investigate this archive when I have more time.

one of my all time favorite comic book issues. I still remember buying this when it appearedEmpire RIP Oscar nominated editor Gerry Hambling who was 86.
Playbill Les Misérables will hit DVD on March 22nd. Tom Hooper will do commentary. 

Finally...
Cinema Blend Bryan Singer hasn't decided if Storm and Nightcrawler will be in X-Men: Days of Future Past. Alan Cumming told me he'd revisit the character if asked but can we please replace Storm? Since it's a time travel story why not give Angela Bassett the chance she deserved all along as a now older Storm? The cast list currently mixes X-Men First Class alums with previous X-Men franchise actors. Confirmed to appear: Ellen Page (Kitty Pryde), Patrick Stewart & James McAvoy (Professor Xavier), Ian McKellen & Michael Fassbender (Magneto), Hugh Jackman (Wolverine), Anna Paquin (Rogue), and Sean Ashmore (Iceman), Jennifer Lawrence (Mystique), Nicholas Hoult (The Beast), and Rose Byrne (Moira McTaggert)

Who do you hope joins this mashup X-Men team or are you done with that franchise?