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The Gurus o’ Gold Oscar Blowout – Part 1

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The Gurus make their final estimations of the field as seen by the Academy… no huge surprises, but Vice tumbled in almost all categories, with a few stray hopes for an editing nod.

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Gurus o’ Gold: At The Start of The Season 2018/19

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The festival season has started and contenders are getting their first screenings. The Gurus take a close squint and the known-knowns and the maybe-knowns in the first charts of the season. Off to the movies! Let the surprises begin!

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Gurus o’ Gold: Final Guesses

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20 Weeks To Oscar: A Week To Go

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Gurus o’ Gold: Top 3

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Gurus o Gold: Counting Down To Oscar Night

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20 Weeks To Oscar: The Big Quiet

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Gurus o’ Gold: Nomination Day (Page 1 of 2)

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Gurus o’ Gold: Nomination Day (Page 2 of 2)

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20 Weeks To Oscar: Nomination Morning

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Gurus o’ Gold: On The Eve of DGA Nominations

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20 Weeks To Oscar: Season of Assumption

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Gurus o’ Gold: The Globes Party On

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Gurus o’ Gold: And The Horses Are In The Gate (And Going On Vacation)…

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Gurus o’ Gold: Precursors Narrow The Field

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Gurus o’ Gold: Now We’ve Seen It All

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20 Weeks To Oscar: Year of the Reconstructed Rom-Com

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Gurus o’ Gold: Thanks

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Gurus o’ Gold: Oscars For The Ages

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20 Weeks To Oscar: Season of a Different Color

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Gurus

“Champagne and Mezcal will run tonight!”
The Nomination Reactions

“Pardon me, but Home Alone has made enough hundreds of millions of dollars by now and solidified enough of a multigenerational fan base to survive the following review: to hell with it.”
Michael J. Phillips Ka-Fooeys A Christmas Chestnut

variety

“We’re excited to have Ricky Gervais back to host the most enjoyable awards show of the season in his own inimitable way. Disarming and surprising, Ricky is ready to honor—and send up—the best work of the year. Fasten your seats belts.”
Globes (And NBC) Submit To Gervais Again

Oscar Winners 2015
Birdman/Iñárritu/Redmayne/Moore/Arquette/Simmons
Birdman – Picture/Director/Screenplay/Cinematography
Grand Budapest – Production Design/Make-up/Costumes/Score
Whiplash – Supporting Actor/Editing/Sound Mixing

American Sniper, Foxcatcher, Nightcrawler In… Selma, Unbroken Out
PGA Nominates 10

hollywoodreporter.com

“This relief does not infringe upon First Amendment rights but maintains a reasonable balance between national security and the fundamental Constitutional protections of Freedom of the Press. No censorship occurs and no public access is restrained. This lawsuit seeks relief against those who profiteer by pretending to be journalists and whistleblowers but in effect are evading the law and betraying their country.”
Retired Naval Officer Files Innovative Lawsuit Against Citizenfour And Its Makers

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This is probably going to sound petty, but Martin Scorsese insisting that critics see his film in theaters even though it’s going straight to Netflix and then not screening it in most American cities was a watershed moment for me in this theatrical versus streaming debate.

I completely respect when a filmmaker insists that their movie is meant to be seen in the theater, but the thing is, you got to actually make it possible to see it in the theater. Some movies may be too small for that, and that’s totally OK.

When your movie is largely financed by a streaming service and is going to appear on that streaming service instantly, I don’t really see the point of pretending that it’s a theatrical film. It just seems like we are needlessly indulging some kind of personal fantasy.

I don’t think that making a feature film length production that is going to go straight to a video platform is some sort of “step down.“ I really don’t. Theatrical exhibition as we know it is dying off anyway, for a variety of reasons.

I should clarify myself because this thread is already being misconstrued — I’m talking about how the movie is screened in advance. If it’s going straight to Netflix, why the ritual of demanding people see it in the theater?

There used to be a category that everyone recognized called “TV movie” or “made for television movie” and even though a lot of filmmakers considered that déclassé, it seems to me that probably 90% of feature films fit that description now.

Atlantis has mostly sunk into the ocean, only a few tower spires remain above the waterline, and I’m increasingly at peace with that, because it seems to be what the industry and much of the audience wants. We live in an age of convenience and information control.

Only a very elite group of filmmakers is still allowed to make movies “for theaters“ and actually have them seen and judged that way on a wide scale. Even platform releasing seems to be somewhat endangered. It can’t be fought. It has to be accepted.

9. Addendum: I’ve been informed that it wasn’t Scorsese who requested that the Bob Dylan documentary only be screened for critics in theaters, but a Netflix representative indicated the opposite to me, so I just don’t know what to believe.

It’s actually OK if your film is not eligible for an Oscar — we have a thing called the Emmys. A lot of this anxiety is just a holdover from the days when television was considered culturally inferior to theatrical feature films. Everybody needs to just get over it.

In another 10 to 20 years they’re probably going to merge the Emmys in the Oscars into one program anyway, maybe they’ll call it the Contentys.

“One of the fun things about seeing the new Quentin Tarantino film three months early in Cannes (did I mention this?) is that I know exactly why it’s going to make some people furious, and thus I have time to steel myself for the takes.

Back in July 2017, when it was revealed that Tarantino’s next project was connected to the Manson Family murders, it was condemned in some quarters as an insulting and exploitative stunt. We usually require at least a fig-leaf of compassion for the victims in true-crime adaptations, and even Tarantino partisans like myself – I don’t think he’s made a bad film yet – found ourselves wondering how he might square his more outré stylistic impulses with the depiction of a real mass murder in which five people and one unborn child lost their lives.

After all, it’s one thing to slice off with gusto a fictional policeman’s ear; it’s quite another to linger over the gory details of a massacre that took place within living memory, and which still carries a dread historical significance.

In her essay The White Album, Joan Didion wrote: “Many people I know in Los Angeles believe that the Sixties ended abruptly on August 9, 1969, ended at the exact moment when word of the murders on Cielo Drive traveled like brushfire through the community, and in a sense this is true.”

Early in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, as Leonardo DiCaprio and Brad Pitt’s characters drive up the hill towards Leo’s bachelor pad, the camera cranes up gently to reveal a street sign: Cielo Drive. Tarantino understands how charged that name is; he can hear the Molotov cocktails clinking as he shoulders the crate.

As you may have read in the reviews from Cannes, much of the film is taken up with following DiCaprio and Pitt’s characters – a fading TV actor and his long-serving stunt double – as they amusingly go about their lives in Los Angeles, while Margot Robbie’s Sharon Tate is a relatively minor presence. But the spectre of the murders is just over the horizon, and when the night of the 9th finally arrives, you feel the mood in the cinema shift.

No spoilers whatsoever about what transpires on screen. But in the audience, as it became clear how Tarantino was going to handle this extraordinarily loaded moment, the room soured and split, like a pan of cream left too long on the hob. I craned in, amazed, but felt the person beside me recoil in either dismay or disgust.

Two weeks on, I’m convinced that the scene is the boldest and most graphically violent of Tarantino’s career – I had to shield my eyes at one point, found myself involuntarily groaning “oh no” at another – and a dead cert for the most controversial. People will be outraged by it, and with good reason. But in a strange and brilliant way, it takes Didion’s death-of-the-Sixties observation and pushes it through a hellfire-hot catharsis.

Hollywood summoned up this horror, the film seems to be saying, and now it’s Hollywood’s turn to exorcise it. I can’t wait until the release in August, when we can finally talk about why.

~ Robbie Collin