20 Weeks to Oscar

20 Weeks To Oscar: The Race & Race – Part 2: Four Suggestions To “Fix” The Academy

This is where we are… the third season in the last six without a “black” film or black actor nominated. That was background… here is the foreground. Three small but perhaps important suggestions about how to “fix” the problem at The Academy. And then one last suggestion that I think may actually be the most actionable and helpful of the lot.

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20 Weeks To Oscar: The Race & Race – Part 1: Expectations

This is the first of a series examining the issue of Race and The Academy Of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences. It follows a Gurus o’ Gold special edition that charted the history of the Gurus voting for Best Picture over the course of the season.

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Nomination Reactions

“I am sitting in a coffee shop with my mum and just found out I have an Oscar nomination. Feeling very overwhelmed and just can’t believe it. Better pick out a gown.” – Sam Smith “I am in London and just heard the good news! We gave it our all on this film and this…

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20 Weeks To Oscar: Nomination Morning

This morning is what has been missing from this season so far… this was, in an instant, The Great Settling… which usually occurs in mid-December or so. Or as a director once said (it’s been attributed to so many), they didn’t finish Oscar nominations, they took them away. Another week or two and they could have changed again (by 10% – 20%… not completely).

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6 Weeks To Oscar: Parsing, Peak Award Season, and The Alleged Seven

We have all allowed the award season to become a gaping, hungry maw that leads to… the starting line. Which is insane, when you think about it. If we are at Peak Award Season Bullshit, let’s all get out the GPSes and plan a course for a change. The movies deserve it.

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8 Weeks To Oscar: Pretending We Know

Expect surprises on nomination morning… even if the biggest surprise ends up being that there are no surprises at all.

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10 Weeks To Oscar: Work It!

What movies seem like they are playing above their station this season? Room? Brooklyn? Spotlight? What do they share?

Hustle.

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11 Weeks To Oscar: Control Freak’s Lament

Candidates for awards are both artists and salesmen. The media covering the season is both a source of perspective and a source of myopia. The studios chasing awards are driven by both ego-driven vanity and earnest pride in the work to which they are parent.

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20W2O: 14 Weeks to Oscar

No matter how many times we go around this track, it gets weird at some point. It’s not like there is a bag of tricks and all you need to do for your film to get where you want is to repeat the same tricks… which is not to say that the same tricks don’t get endlessly repeated. But the subtle difference between a strategic choice that works and one that doesn’t is almost agonizing.

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15 Weeks To Oscar: The Tightest, Most Open Acting Races Ever?

This season, i have tried to stay out of the predicting circus tent as much as possible. Individual situations are individual stories. Gurus o’ Gold is Gurus o’ Gold. But with The Revenant debuting widely on Monday, The H8ful Eight rolling out already, and Joy to land sometimes after Thanksgiving, we’re almost there. And I guess it’s time for me to jump in with both feet.

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16 Weeks To Oscar: What Works

Three potential field-changers – The Revenant, Joy, and The H8ful Eight – loom out there, largely unseen. But even their stories are already written in many ways, waiting for rewrites as exposure to the light changes things to whatever degree it does.

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18 Weeks To Oscar: Why The Martian Is Currently The Movie To Beat

As I look down the barrel at this season, aiming at Best Picture, it is looking more and more like 2000 or 2006, when the Best Picture statue ended up going to the big, well-made, not terribly shocking, but very entertaining movie over a series of films that critics and “serious film people” liked better. Those two winners were Gladiator and The Departed.

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19 Weeks To Oscar: Season of Less

There were a lot of questions about the role of the festivals when Venice, Telluride, and Toronto didn’t offer the award explosion that media has been hyping into a frenzy for the last few years. In the lull between the end of the New York Film Festival and the Jolie-Pitt-driven opening night of AFI, it’s clear that there is more writing about awards, earlier in the season than ever… but a lot less to write about.

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20 Weeks To Oscar: 20 Weeks To Go

Oh, the lists are flying fast & furious now. It’s open season again. Many possibilities.

In honor of everyone and their brothers (all absolute experts, make no mistake), I will throw some stuff at the wall today, as we are now 20 Weeks To Oscar.

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23 Weeks To Oscar: The Less Things Change

An amazing thing happened at the festivals this last couple weeks…

Nothing.

Okay, perhaps nothing is an exaggeration.

But mostly, nothing.

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26 Weeks To Oscar: Resetting The Field For The Very First Time

It’s early in the awards season… movies come and go. Where do things lay for the Best Picture competitors after Toronto announced its line-up this week?

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30 Weeks To Oscar: Trailer Parade (20 Currently Available)

Here are all the trailers currently available – some domestic, some international, one just a clip – for films from the broad contenders list published Monday.

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30 Weeks To Oscar: Setting The Field

So our big list is already at 14. Let’s take it to 25 with titles with serious awards potential from major Oscar-playing distributors…

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Quote Unquotesee all »

“I’m a governor in the Academy, so I cannot talk freely. We have meetings that are sometimes filled with disputes, but everything stays in the room. But I can tell you that this is a full industry issue. The Oscar nominations are for achievements at the top of someone’s career. It’s less an Academy issue than an employer issue. Employers have to hire with diversity for people to do content that can become choices for Academy members to nominate. I dispute the notion Academy members vote by race or gender. The choices presented to Academy voters are the choices presented by the industry, which elected which movies to make and which people to hire. The real change has to occur at the base. It’s a huge issue.”
~ Michael Mann On Diversity

“Jonas Mekas spoke a lot about ‘necessity’ last night at the Film Society. “Why do anything if it’s not needed,” he asked at one point. Mekas said that he created a publication, wrote for the Village Voice, founded an archive, because it was necessary.

“Somebody had to do it,” the 93 year old Mekas said, standing during the entire hourlong Q&A. He also spoke to the notion of curation: “If I see something I like, I don’t really enjoy it unless I can share it with others.”
~ Jonas Mekas, via Eugene Hernandez