20 Weeks to Oscar
It wasn’t complex. It wasn’t full of surprises. And nothing in its nature has suggested any real change at The Academy or inside The Industry.
The Academy is still old and white. Young people still tend to spark what is new about the industry. But the process of “becoming” for non-actors tends not to be an overnight event.Read the full article »
Here is a key stat about winning Best Picture: Since the expansion to 5+ Best Picture nominees, no film that has won Best Picture has been better than #3 on the list of domestic box office grossers amongst the nominees.Read the full article »
The phenomenon of Moonlight was on full display at the Telluride Film Festival. Audiences were not only screaming and standing on their feet when the movie ended, but many walked the intimate streets of Telliride in a kind of shock, rocked to their core. Men and women. Straight and gay. Some were black… but it is Telluride and well… most were not.Read the full article »
How can anyone claim that a musical that opens with scores of people getting out of their cars to dance and sing on the freeway is “easy” “obvious” or “made for Oscar voters?” If audiences didn’t fall in love with that 5 minutes, the whole picture probably goes down. That is a massive risk.Read the full article »
This has been, perhaps, the most boring Oscar season in modern history.
But the other truth is, this has been a great award season for movies. Everyone has their personal preferences, but man, what a high quality line-up of product for awards this year. High and low.Read the full article »
I believe there are 4 kinds of Best Picture wins.
My problem with The Corridor is that the period has become desperate and grabby. The smartest and the most simplistic players are stuck playing the same game… using fake awards events (high and low) and all forms of screening/dining contraptions and terrible hackneyed advertorial that not even ad buyers expect to be read.Read the full article »
The illusion of free will that is foisted on Phase I becomes much more real in Phase II. Because the power of narrowing choices actually shifts to the Academy voters and away from the media and the consultants.Read the full article »
The other three “black” films? Fences was good enough for its two big stars of color to be nominated. Loving was good enough for its two likely Oscar nominees to be nominated. Hidden Figures was good enough for its Oscar-winning star to be nominated along with, uh, Best Score.Read the full article »
Taking a little air out of the balloon is always a pleasure. But when you become self-mocking, the brand is being damaged… at least when the brand is the 800-pound gorilla in the category. And Oscar is that.Read the full article »
You know it’s already over, right?
No, I’m not saying we know who is going to win Oscars this year. We don’t. But we know who is realistically in the running, and who is not.
To use a sports metaphor, we are in the playoffs. But teams still have to play the games.Read the full article »
Oscar punditry reads a lot like the months and months and months of expertise voiced on cable TV and via print/online media for 18 months leading to the November 8 absurdity of a Trump election. And the voices after the results settled in last night reminded me so much of the post-Oscar (and often, pre-Oscar) whining.Read the full article »
I should have written a column last week… but this season is turning into a beautiful bore. And by that I mean that there is some truly wonderful, exceptional work out there and on the way out… and many categories are wide open in terms of exactly who will be nominated… but those excited fish are swimming in a very small barrel.Read the full article »
By this time next week, the only unseen contenders in the race will be Allied, Collateral Beauty, Hidden Figures, Fences, Passengers, and Silence. And I expect, sight unseen, three of those six titles to be nominated for Best Picture. This is not an insignificant group.Read the full article »
So… seven films got Best Picture nominations after festival launches last year… launched from seven different festivals.
In other words… there is no awards magic to any of these festivals (though they all have their own magic). What works is what works. Period. Exclamation point!Read the full article »
The market will out. One of the little-discussed reactions to the new instant-information era is the downgrading of many of our favorite (for some, least favorite) parts of the movie year, festivals and award shows. Sundance is a true market festival in the United States and as such has become a consistent launchpad for awards…Read the full article »
A lot of things are unfolding at once in the Nate Parker-The Birth Of A Nation story. Once emotions are stirred, it’s understandably hard to sort them out. Some would say that you shouldn’t have to sort them out. But for better or worse, that’s how my mind works.Read the full article »
As usual, at this point in the year, the pickings for Oscar already seem light. Lots of presumably good movies. But how much Oscar bait is there in the ocean, really? Let’s just dive in. My first Top 10… in which I feel strongly about the nominations bets on only 3 of these titles. The deck could…Read the full article »
This show was 85% of the way to being the kind of show that builds the loyal audience and can then build on that audience. Big congratulations to Reggie Hudlin and David Hill. They did it right… or at least are on the right track.Read the full article »
A couple of Gurus have last minute changes to their picks. And the entire rundown in every category is here.Read the full article »