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Entries in Zero Dark Thirty (23)

Wednesday
Dec192012

10 More Critics Prizes: "Argo" & "The Master" Fight For "Zero Dark" Scraps

I haven't done the math but why count with my fingers when The Wrap is a born calculator and reveals that as the critics prizes have shaken down Zero Dark Thirty leads the race with 8 while Argo is in second for Best Picture prizes with half as many triumphs thus far. The Master is the only other film that's managed multiple "Best Film" gongs (3) in this thankfully divided year. Licking the crumbs off the critics awards plate we have Amour, Life of Pi, Lincoln, Silver Linings Playbook and... Safety Not Guaranteed? Well, ok, Indiana! You go your own way.

Zero Dark Thirty, Argo, and The Master are the critics win leaders

Les Misérables is the only film from Oscar's presumed big five that hasn't managed a Best Picture win from a critics group though it's surprising to realize that Lincoln hasn't done much better in terms of taking the top prize. Another casualty is Beasts of the Southern Wild. That gloriously original moving indie has recovered from its first weeks in the precursors where it couldn't win "first film" or "breakthrough performer" prizes with the unexpected strength of How to Survive a Plague and Middle of Nowhere blocking its pathway with critics or at the Gothams respectively. It's won a few things here and there. But I'd argue it's the biggest casualty of the critics weeks since it hasn't managed even one Best Picture win. It deserved and needed them so it's no surprise that it's outsider shot at a Best Picture nomination which once seemed totally doable now looks like a true long shot.

Supporting Actor Disappointments and more after the jump...

Click to read more ...

Monday
Dec172012

Life of Link

GQ John Smedley's Ian McLean has really good taste. Check out his shoutouts to Michael Fassbender and Cate Blanchett
Stale Popcorn Jean Valjean and Fantine strike a pose 
In Contention on the various screenplays that are ineligible for the WGA and can't therefore get the Oscar bump. As usual there are a lot of them rendering the WGA fairly ineffective as both a predictive precursor and as a competitive prize since it's dealing with so few of the year's movies!

Cinema Blend Alicia Vikander (A Royal Affair, Anna Karenina) is a starlet in demand now. Once you've seen both of those movies, you'll demand her too!
Jean-Pierre Jeunet shares his storyboards from Life of Pi back when Fox was considering him to direct it years and years ago. Interesting inside glimpse of filmmakers grappling with movies they didn't make.
NPR on the hunt for Bin Laden and the accuracy of Zero Dark Thirty. Was it really a woman at the center?

"I think it's a literary device. It's not inaccurate, but it's not wholly accurate," says writer Peter Bergen, who himself has spent many years tracking bin Laden. 

Movie|Line turns out that a very disturbing NC-17ish scene towards the end of Django Unchained (MILD SPOILER: Django is hung upside down completely naked and receives two malevolent visitors) was even more cruel in an earlier cut --  Samuel L Jackson says his character burned Foxx's nipples off.
Celebuzz celebrates the shortest male stars from Jason Statham to Daniel Radcliffe in an infographic
Fox Searchlight you can pretend you're an awards voter by downloading FYC booklets! 

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 ...