Awards Update

20 Weeks To Oscar: The Race & Race – Part 3: All Fixed

This has been an unpleasant week. And yet, there should be unrestrained celebration amongst all Academy members and all believers in efforts to seek greater (and ultimately achieve) racial and gender diversity in all film industry organizations, including The Academy.

So what is the problem?

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Gurus o’ Gold: The Week After Nominations

Things seem to be firming up in the top 8 categories. The Gurus offer their Top 2 in each of the categories, except for Picture. (Also worth noting – voting was done before nominee Rampling made her statements about race and Oscar.)

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

The Gurus (well, most of us) are back with our insta-take on where the Oscar nominees will fall. If The Gurus are right, it looks like The Revenant and Mad Max: Fury Road will be battling it out for the most wins, while another film wins the big prize.

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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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Gurus o’ Gold: Down To The Nomination Wire…

For a very confused season, things seem to be coming into focus, at least for the Gurus. Opinions are firming up on 8 Best Picture candidates. The Big Short is the big mover, rising to contention in a number of categories and even the top slot for Adapted Screenplay. Carol has suffered from a lack of guild nominations. And only one category seems wide open, even for the 5-slot… Supporting Actress. But will it all change again?

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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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Gurus o’ Gold: You Better Vote Good For Goodness Sake

The Gurus are ready for a well-deserved break. But before they go, they seem to be close to settling their minds about some things. Best Picture seems to be down to a firm 9 titles. The acting races seem to be settling in (though watch out for that Best Supporting Actor race… it could bite you.) And the Gurus expect voters to step up and see a few titles they may have missed before they vote.

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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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Gurus o’ Gold: What Underdogs Are Still Barking?

The Gurus offer a wildly shaken Best Picture chart, with only a single film holding the same position as last week. So then, which are the underdogs that still have a chance of getting in as we close in on the Oscar nomination voting? It’s a long, interesting list.

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Reacting to the Golden Globes

Thank you to the Hollywood Foreign Press Association for recognizing “See You Again” with a nomination for Best Original Song.  We aimed to write something that truly honored the legacy of Paul Walker and are humbled it has touched so many people. – Wiz Khalifa and Charlie Puth I was eating breakfast at home in L.A….

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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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Gurus o’ Gold: It’s Getting Hot In Here

The Gurus go Top 6, Picture, Director, and all four Acting categories (voted pre-SAG noms). For the first time this season, there is a lot of movement on the charts.

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Gurus o’ Gold: Critics Week

This week, The Gurus take their guesses at 6 of the winners and runners-up for the critics awards from NY Film Critics Circle and LA Film Critics Association, as well as offering their weekend Best Picture chart.

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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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Quote Unquotesee all »

“There are critics who see their job as to be on the side of the artist, or in a state of imaginative sympathy or alliance with the artist. I think it’s important for a critic to be populist in the sense that we’re on the side of the public. I think one of the reasons is, frankly, capitalism. Whether you’re talking about restaurants or you’re talking about movies, you’re talking about large-scale commercial enterprises that are trying to sell themselves and market themselves and publicize themselves. A critic is, in a way, offering consumer advice. I think it’s very, very important in a time where everything is commercialized, commodified, and branded, where advertising is constantly bleeding into other forms of discourse, for there to be an independent voice kind of speaking to—and to some extent on behalf of—the public.”
~ A. O. Scott On One Role Of The Critic

“Every night, we’d sit and talk for a long, long time and talk about the process and I knew he was very, very intrigued about what could be happening. Then of course, one of the fascinating things he told me about was how he had readers who were reading for him that never knew it was Stanley Kubrick. So if he heard of a novel, he would send it out to people. I think he did it through newspaper ads at the time. And he would send it out to people and ask for a kind of synopsis or a critique of the novel. And he would read those. And it was done anonymously. But he said there were housewives and there were barristers and all sorts of people doing that. And I thought, yeah, that’s a really good way to open up the possibilities. Because otherwise, you’re randomly looking, walking through a bookstore or an airport. I said, “How many people are doing this?” It was about 30 people.”
~ George Miller’s Conversations With Kubrick