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Entries in Zero Dark Thirty (23)

Thursday
Dec062012

The Modern Bias in Best Cinematography.

Jose here. When the New York Film Critics began announcing their awards yesterday the biggest shock, for me, came early on as they decided to award Greig Fraser with Best Cinematography for Zero Dark Thirty. Don't get me wrong. I have absolutely nothing against Mr. Fraser and up to that moment I hadn't even seen the movie (I did later and ZOMG!). Anyway, what surprised me the most is that a contemporary movie had been recognized for an award that usually goes to period or fantasy movies. It's as if awards bodies don't feel that modern life is "pretty" enough to give it a photographic award. 

Yet the fact that people assume that "best" cinematography instantly means "prettiest" cinematography might be the greatest mistake in a category whose winners sometimes defy all logic...

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
Dec052012

It's ZDT for the NBR

And things were looking so super extra competitive this year! Just a few days ago Les Miz, Argo, Lincoln, and Zero Dark Thirty all seemed to be on somewhat equal footing and to a lesser extent Beasts of the Southern Wild, Silver Linings Playbook, and Life of Pi had all received enough warmish embraces from critics, audiences and  Oscared corners of the showbiz culture that we could look forward to a real competition once the Oscar nominations were announced on January 10th. But with the one-two-zero-dark punch of the New York Film Critics Circle and the National Board of Review, the Oscar race suddenly looks a bit less like a clusterfuck and a ltitle more like a done deal. Zero Dark Thirty, Kathryn Bigelow's engrossing account of the hunt for Osama Bin Laden, is suddenly apparently way out front.The NBR generally attempts to spread the wealth but not so this year since they gave ZDT three of their top prizes (Pic, Director, Actress)

Will enough critics groups and precursors disagree or is this just one of those years that seemed competitive and then suddenly wasn't... like, oh, so many years in the past!

Winners and discussion after the jump

Click to read more ...

Monday
Dec032012

NYFCC Loves Sally & Matthew & Zero Dark Thirty

The New York Film Critics Circle, the oldest critics organizations founded in 1935 has 35 members. Joshua Rothkopf of Time Out New York is the current chair and today they announced their winners, with a strong showing for Zero Dark Thirty and Lincoln. Will the other groups to come talk back or merely parrot their choices? And on and on until Oscar.

♫ ladies of Tampa... New York City ♪

FILM Zero Dark Thirty
DIRECTOR Kathryn Bigelow for Zero Dark Thirty
ACTRESS Rachel Weisz, The Deep Blue Sea
ACTOR Daniel Day Lewis, Lincoln
SUPPORTING ACTRESS Sally Field, Lincoln
SUPPORTING ACTOR Matthew McConaughey for Bernie & Magic Mike
ANIMATED FILM Frankenweenie
DOCUMENTARY The Central Park Five
FOREIGN FILM Amour
FIRST FILM David France for How to Survive a Plague 
SCREENPLAY Tony Kushner for Lincoln
CINEMATOGRAPHY Greig Fraser for Zero Dark Thirty 

Do you approve of their choices? (Other than Zero Dark Thirty which you probably haven't seen yet.)

I understand the appeal of giving people awards for multiple films in a stealler year but I'm not sure what Matthew McConaughey did in Bernie in particular to merit diluting his Magic Mike performances with a share. This seems highly uneccesary. The most surprising choice (thus far) is Sally Field, an obvious Oscar hopeful but I didn't expect the critics orgs to rally for her... unless it's one of those years where they're just sticking close to the Oscar buzz titles.

Friday
Nov302012

SAG Award for Best Cast: Predictions & Wish List

Amir here, to write about one of my favourite awards of the season: the SAG award for "Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture". I say "favourite" because, in principle, I love the notion of awarding actors who work together as a group to make a film tick. In my ideal world, the best cast award is more about collective achievements than multiple individual ones but over the years, SAG’s top award has sadly become synonymous with Best Picture. Genuine ensemble pieces have often been ignored in favour of Oscar’s best picture frontrunners or films with the highest number of nominees in other SAG categories. Yet, despite my disappointment, I can’t stop obsessing over this award or detach myself.

Who will follow the cast of The Help to a SAG cast win?

This year is bound to be a similar affair, with the three frontrunning Oscar films all poised to win SAG nods in this category. Nonetheless, let’s look at what will get nominated and what should

Les Misérables
I have yet to see Les Misérables, but the rapturous response from this week’s screenings (Nathaniel was at the first one) suggests that we will collectively forgive Hooper for stealing The Social Network’s thunder once we finally lay eyes on his newest film. (Though, I'll still begrudge The King’s Speech for winning the SAG "cast" award two years ago. Two great performances and one default “supporting wife” nominee don't merit a best cast prize, especially in the presence of The Kids Are Alright and The Fighter.)

More hopefuls after the jump...

Click to read more ...

Saturday
Oct132012

Yes, No, Maybe So: "Zero Dark Thirty"

Time and the finite nature of it is an essential ingredient in all suspense films. So I need to get myself on the clock when it comes to Zero Dark Thirty. I was shocked at how quickly we knew of its existence post Hurt Locker but then... it never seemed to come. It still feels like something off in the very distant future set in the very recent past. But it actually opens in 66 days. Tick tock.

Let's break down the trailer...

YES

  • At the very least it'll make an interesting comparison point to Showtime's "Homeland".
  • Jessica Chastain gets her first high profile lead role!
  • Joel Edgerton
  • That hot soldier with the glow stick
  • I've been with director Kathryn Bigelow since Near Dark and I'm not going anywhere. I tend to love her work. And even when I don't, it's interesting.
  • It looks far more beautiful, visually, than The Hurt Locker... which wasn't really going for beauty but there's so many frameable stills in the trailer and a rangier color palette. In short: I'm glad it's not Hurt Locker 2. As much as I love The Hurt Locker it requires no sequel.

    MORE AFTER THE JUMP

Click to read more ...

Saturday
Jun162012

and I can't fight this linking anymore... I've forgotten what I started fighting for ♪ ♫ 

Vulture the best grimaces and grins from Mad Men season 5. Good stuff
Tim Robey interviews the great Danish actor Mads Mikkelsen on his very busy career (Thor 2, Hannibal TV series, A Royal Affair and more...)
Liz Smith on the Friar's Club roast of Tom Cruise (opening quote via Alec Baldwin) 
EW Jeremy Jordan (Broadway's Newsies and Bonnie & Clyde) joins the cast of Smash. They're really shuffling players for Season 2. Which still won't solve the problem of treating Megan Hilty like she's not the Starriest of Stars on the show. (sigh)
Hollywood and Fine "why I love/hate Rock of Ages" point of view from former rock critic. 

Stale Popcorn on Yentl "Barbra I can hear you". I also like this movie, haters begone.
Movies.com Here's the actor who's playing Osama Bin Laden in Kathryn Bigelow's Zero Dark Thirty 
Pop Watch Prometheus deleted scene still. Who is "the engineer" talking with? 
The Mary Sue on the trials and tribulations of superhero costumes
My New Plaid Pants does the only sensible thing and screencaps the red band Magic Mike trailer. Even with all the goodness inherent in such an effort my favorite thing is this comment from a reader named "Paco":

I am starting a petition to have this movie remade every year, with a rotating cast of actors.

Pass that petition right over. Reboot With Depantsing!

Appropos of nothing, it's Sam Hargraves, Chris Evans stunt double!Finally, the Thought Catalog has "The Life of Someone Who Didn't Like The Avengers"  Funny read.

You didn’t hate it, but you wanted to like it more, and you knew that thinking it “wasn’t terrible” wouldn’t be good enough. Like that time that you saw The Dark Knight and pointed out the badly-choreographed fight scenes to your friend who proceeded to have a hissy fit in the theater lobby...

It does get lonely out there if you don't like a universally beloved thing (like me with Forrest Gump/Braveheart. OMG I hate those movies). I never shared this tidbit from my family time away from the blog a few weeks back but my sister didn't like The Avengers at all. Sadly she didn't say why. It's so hard talking movies in depth with my family. They never explain themselves. Perhaps that's one of the reasons I talk out into the void via The Film Experience? 

Tuesday
Apr032012

April Foolish Predictions: Best Picture

Every year in the first week of April we try to mentally project ourselves forward several months. This is not easy to do due to the pesky problem of films being so much different on screen than they are "on paper". Drama is Oscar's favorite category and the year has already produced two hit dramas in The Grey and The Hunger Games, one a surprise the other a bonafide phenomenon but they're both essentially genre movies so that's one strike against them. And they'll be old news when voting occurs. Strike two.

We're projecting forward anyway.

The Oscar race doesn't actually begin until summer's end anyway when media and pundit types (guilty!) get all respective about 'the year thus far'. At that point box office and critical heat will hopefully combine for one or two of the blockbusters or sleepers and give us our first real contenders. Fans who never forgave the Academy for leaving The Dark Knight out of the 2008 Best Picture field will surely hope that the magic strikes again for The Dark Knight Rises but I personally can't see it happening. It would have to surpass that film, I think, and even if it does it won't have the unrepeatable tragic connections that elevated the reception of the earlier film. Since I'm doubtful that that could possibly happen and don't particularly think Oscar should feel guilty about that omission (I'm much more pissed that WALL•E missed the list that year) I'd rather dream about an Oscar bid for a certain wild-haired princess. Can Pixar regain their "do no wrong" magic with Brave or did that era run out of gas [*cough Cars 2*] or will Merida strike a bullseye? Sorry to mix metaphors but archery is so hot this year (see also: The Avengers and The Hunger Games).

Late year curiousity and prediction battles after the jump

Click to read more ...

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