20 Weeks to Oscar
Does it make you feel good about the industry? Is it likely to embarrass you in any way? These are the two key mainstreaming questions. The Academy just wasn’t ready for Brokeback Mountain for all the reasons that Brokeback was so important to many people. And honestly, it would be worse off if it came out today, as all the homophobia is still ingrained in people’s hearts, and the issue no longer rallies people (at least in the big cities) as something on the cutting edge.Read the full article »
So what is The Academy Awards show? It is a celebration of film and everything that film means to people. People tune in because it presents itself as the definer of quality (however ridiculous that may seem at times). People are interested in the story behind the story… the glamor… what actors are really like behind the mask of performance. People tune in for the race of it all. And people tune in because they are hoping to be surprised in some exciting way in real time.Read the full article »
The movie about slavery has no Black nominees. The movie about the abolition of slavery has no Black nominees. The movie about Gulf coasters devastated by Katrina has a little girl as its only nominee. And the movie about a young Indian man has 1 Indian nominee, who happened to write lyrics for a song.
I have never felt like racial politics and The Academy Awards go together well. But I also don’t see any step forward in this year’s nominations from any other year.Read the full article »
I would argue – and have forever – that these groups are following the same bouncing ball as everyone else during the award season. There are years when consensus winners are quite close to undeniable. But there are usually 2 to 3 contenders who would not really be shocking winners of awards. Except for the issue of every award as a stepping stone to the next.Read the full article »
While there are people/films out ahead in many categories, they are all still open. And there is now a super-idiot-sized Phase 2 in which the fight can be fought. And fought it will be. The public dissection of Lincoln‘s historic veracity – fair or not – has commenced while you were getting your 7am coffee.Read the full article »
The entire list of nominations is a checkerboard, which speaks to the mess The Academy created with the January 3 date (which subsequently changed to January 4 when The Academy bothered to look at the calendar sometime in December.)
An argument could be made that this is exciting… that the nominations being all over the place, with the exception of Lincoln, makes for a more interesting night. Perhaps.Read the full article »
As of today… as of the parade of opinions once nominations are announced on Thursday… It’s William Goldman Time, baby. No one KNOWS anything. Not yet. (But that won’t keep us all, me included, from spouting off.)Read the full article »
Given where this season is… these nominations are pretty much a non-event. Really, the one thing that turned up here that could move the meter a touch when Oscar voting starts on Monday (and ends in 3 weeks and a day) is Rachel Weisz, who has now been honored here and by NYFCC. But the rest… not really anything outside of the curve as has been laid out for weeks and months.Read the full article »
You hear a lot about “Them” this time of year.
They don’t think this. They don’t think that. They don’t respond well to this, but they love that.
What continues to keep The Academy Awards the dominant award in film is that with nearly 6000 potential voters, there can be no They.Read the full article »
Where are we now in this Oscar race?
Well, this is the moment when all of the serious BP candidates have been shown, voters for other awards are going to start voting next week, and the field is clear and clearly spread.
This is when Awards consultants make their money.Read the full article »
This weekend, Anna Karenina and Silver Linings Playbook arrive in theaters and Lincoln expands. Next week, Life of Pi, Hitchcock and Rust & Bone. And then, in the last two weeks of the year, spread around the holiday, are Amour, This is 40, The Impossible, Not Fade Away, Zero Dark Forty, On The Road, Django Unchained, and Les Miserables.
But who wants it?Read the full article »
Every Oscar season has a lesson… or two. For the last two years (The Artist and The King’s Speech), it’s been “Let the movie do the work… don’t be a stranger, but don’t get in the way of success.” At least, that is the image being projected. The talent was subjected to months of work, meant to feel casual to voters. And charm was required for all of those months. Both movies were sensations at Toronto. Both films were screened generously. Both films had its stars working the room for months. Silver Linings Playbook and Argo were the two closest thing to Toronto sensations this year….Read the full article »
I would love to tell you that I thought there would be as big a surprise in the awards races as, say, Ben Mendelsohn in Killing Them Softly. Great, memorable performance. But that momentum is just not there. But there are some cases that I do think could upset the apple cart as we move through the next six weeks… and in terms of Oscar nominations, that’s about all that’s left, folks, thanks to the bizarre choice by The Academy to institute “early voting” and a harshly short window on all nomination voting of January 3.Read the full article »
I’ve been noticing a trend this award season. There are movies – from the best to not-the-best – that suggest that you’re going to see one movie… and end up seeing something altogether unexpected.
This doesn’t mean that the audience suffers. There is something wonderful about going in one direction and then being pushed somewhere else unexpectedly. The audience has to do some work. They have to be on their toes.Read the full article »
This seems like the beginning of the season. But in reality, we’re already pretty far down the road. By next week at this time, the only legitimately contending movies not widely seen by NY/LA media will be Les Miserables, Django Unchained, Zero Dark Thirty, and Hitchcock. So there may be a performance or two that changes the acting categories. If you want a “The Year Of…” tag, here it is: This is the Year Of The Close Fight.Read the full article »
What is The Academy trying to do by shortening the nomination season by 10 days this year? When I spoke to Ric Robertson about it late this afternoon, his only real argument for the shift was that by announcing the nominations 2 weeks earlier, it would make it easier for members to see the already…Read the full article »
Did You Know?: Six of the last seven Best Picture winners had their North American premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival? And the one that didn’t had its US junket over the last weekend of TIFF that year?
And, of course, six of the seven BP winners before that had nothing to do with TIFF. Things change. So don’t get overly locked into one idea of how these seasons go.Read the full article »
YOU MIGHT BE AN OSCAR ASSHOLE IF… you write about how this filmmaker or that filmmaker was too busy chasing Oscar to make the movie they should have made.
As someone who actually has fairly lengthy conversations with almost every filmmaker who has made an Oscar nominated picture in the last five years or more, I am particularly conscious how stupid and self-serving this notion is.Read the full article »
Voting closes Tuesday… but the die is pretty much cast at this point.
In the 9 days to come, there will be plenty of conversation about the nominees and who should or should not win. But at this moment in the season, I find myself thinking about the ones that got left behind.Read the full article »
When an Academy member, just like any other kid in high school, tells their friends whom they voted for, they want to feel good about defending their choice. Fair or not, Melissa McCarthy is “the one who shit in the sink” this year. They may have laughed their colostomy bags off when they saw the film and most voters feel good about Ms McCarthy getting nominated. But when it comes down to bestowing the gold, shit in the pie in the name of dignity will win out over shit in the sink caused by bad Mexican food every time.Read the full article »