20 Weeks to Oscar

20 Weeks To Oscar: The Most Shocking Event Of The Week!!!!

The Answers

Clint Eastwood.
Bradley Cooper.
Alexandre Desplat.
Foxcatcher.
The LEGO Movie.
Life Itself.

The Question…

What are six Oscar occurrences today that are legitimately more surprising than Selma “only” getting a Best Picture nod?

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20 Weeks To Oscar: Screenermania!

An industry in which a $2.4 million buy-in ($900,000 before you are nominated for anything) just for DVDs—before ads, books, promo items, appearance costs, etc,—to be considered “serious” about receiving awards is a problem.

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20 Weeks To Oscar: The Trouble With Endings (spoilers)

This piece deals with the end of three Oscar Best Picture candidates, reveling the ending of American Sniper, The Imitation Game, and Unbroken. DO NOT PROCEED is you haven’t seen the films or do not want to know the endings… you have been warned!

SPOILER ALERT!!!

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20 Weeks To Oscar: SNUB!

A snub is a smile turned upside down. That’s the First thing that always hits me when people scream, “SNUB!.” In order for some potential nominee who didn’t get nominated to be snubbed, someone who did get nominated has to have been undeserving in the eyes of the screamer(s). Second thing I think of is…

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20 Weeks To Oscar: How To Get Nominated

I’m starting this piece with less than an hour to go in the Oscar voting. And my advice (this is the cheap stuff… if I ever became an awards consultant, my advice would be way more valuable than this) is different for Phase II. But here goes… a list. I hate lists. But it feels like the right format here…

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20 Weeks To Oscar: In A Holding Pattern

There will be plenty to do for the next week, as we wait for the only nominations that the industry actually cares about. The Critics Choice Awards… Golden Globes… in some ways, these are really the start of the award season for real people. Neither group is particularly legit and neither will have more than a very, very minor influence on the ultimate Oscar winners. More, these televised awards tend to continue the process the settling.

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20 Weeks To Oscar: Sexism and Racism and Awards Voting, Oh My! (2015 Edition)

This morning’s PGA vote is as unsurprising as unsurprising can be. To begin with, there is nothing included that is out of the box that has been defined for months. American Sniper has built a lot of heat over the holidays. Nightcrawler has been gaining heat for a while already. And Foxcatcher has been expected by most prognosticators since Cannes, pushed into “unexpected” status only in the last few weeks.

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20 Weeks To Oscar: The Soft Settling

This is the time of year when I usually write a story about what Bill Condon coined, “The Great Settling.” What that means, essentially, is that Academy voters have now had a chance to watch their DVDs, go to their screenings, hear some whispers, be fed a bunch of narratives, and get advertised to endlessly for a month and the pieces of the puzzle start to fall into place.

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20 Weeks To Oscar: Another Oscar Zit

Walter Keane’s daughter from his first marriage, Susan, believes her dad’s story. And she built a website.

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20 Weeks To Oscar: Oscar Zit Of The Day

Wasn’t it just 48 hours ago that I wrote about the foolishness of reconsidering Selma as a work of art because of what may a legitimate beef on the detail of the film by a witness to a part of the history the film covers? Now we have an eruption from the only participating central subject in Foxcatcher, Mark Schultz. He is angry, angry, angry at Bennett Miller…

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20 Weeks To Oscar: History Is Written By…

I don’t care whether Selma is a work of precise historical accuracy. I do care how it makes me and other audiences feel, how it makes us think, what it has to say. This is just as true of The Interview and American Sniper and Foxcatcher and The Imitation Game and The Theory of Everything and Unbroken and Big Eyes and The Penguins of Madagascar.

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20 Weeks To Oscar: Box Office

After The Hurt Locker won with less than $15 million in the box office till… after The Artist won with $32 million… And even 12 Years A Slave at $50 million and 4 well-respected contenders over $100 million… does “a wasted vote” exist anymore?

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20 Weeks To Oscar: The Trouble With Biopics

We’re close to an all-biopic Oscar season. Maybe that’s why it’s such a blur right now. The Imitation Game, The Theory of Everything, Selma, Unbroken, Foxcatcher, Mr. Turner, Big Eyes, and American Sniper are all specifically biopics. Boyhood and Birdman are fiction, but have major biographical elements driving them. Lots of bios.

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20 Weeks To Oscar: First Major Event

Guild nominations are rarely outside of the well-established box. It takes a series of those events in coordination to change the game. Critics awards… lovely. But enjoy them for what they are, because they may not match nominations, much less winners.

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20 Weeks To Oscar – The Ides Of November

It’s still early. And it’s so late! There are a few titles floating out there, waiting for their moment in the spotlight. But it’s getting awfully late to make a first impression.

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20 Weeks To Oscar: A Thin Line Between Love & Hate

When people start answering questions under the protection of anonymity (“isn’t identified for lack of wanting to be seen taking a position on this in the New York Times because there is only downside from being quoted in a story like this”)… well, professional spinners is gonna spin. And professional reporters are, it seems, going to take a side when they don’t have truly firm facts.

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20 Weeks To Oscar: Sell Short

In the real world, where studios are just selling movies with massive marketing campaigns, the marketing windows have shrunk in recent years. Big TV buys can wait for 3 weeks out if the awareness has been pumped up via publicity for the months and months before. Have Oscar campaigners taken this lesson to heart? Are the early September festivals just an awareness play, followed by a 6-to-8 week window of lingering, and then the real campaign in the course of just a few weeks?

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20 Weeks To Oscar: Surveying The Board

Interstellar lands this week.

That leaves Unbroken, The Gambler, Selma, American Sniper, A Most Violent Year, Into The Woods, Big Eyes, and Exodus: Gods & Men

That’s a lot of movies, given an already pretty narrow field.

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Quote Unquotesee all »

“Almodóvar–the first name is almost unnecessary–is a genius, is a flower, is a guiding light: the last, best son of Buñuel and so much more than that. His screenplays, which he directs with passion and fine care, have taught us about the exteriors of his native land and the interiors of our own hearts. From the early, manic experimental Super-8 work to the breakthrough Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown, his titles are as evocative as most people’s screenplays. Yet for all their antic energy, Almodóvar’s films are deeply spiritual: watching his disturbing, mysterious, heart-rending Talk to Her is to understand, perhaps for the first time, the full meaning of grace. An Almodóvar screenplay is a running leap off a Gaudi balcony, it flips, soars, ascends, careens, tumbles, falls – always landing, astonishingly and astonished, on its feet.”
~ Howard A. Rodman, Announcing Almodóvar’s Jean Renoir Award

“I got a feeling I am going to win in the long run, but I want to be part of the zeitgeist, too. I want to support young girls who are in their 20s now and tell them: You’re not just imagining things. It’s tough. Everything that a guy says once, you have to say five times. Girls now are also faced with different problems. I’ve been guilty of one thing: After being the only girl in bands for 10 years, I learned—the hard way—that if I was going to get my ideas through, I was going to have to pretend that they—men—had the ideas. I became really good at this and I don’t even notice it myself. I don’t really have an ego. I’m not that bothered. I just want the whole thing to be good. And I’m not saying one bad thing about the guys who were with me in the bands, because they’re all amazing and creative, and they’re doing incredible things now. But I come from a generation where that was the only way to get things done. So I have to play stupid and just do everything with five times the amount of energy, and then it will come through.”
~ Björk to Jessica Hopper at Pitchfork