Awards Update

Gurus o’ Gold: Our Best Guess… Our Final Guess

The Academy’s votes are in. And now, The Gurus have spoken as well.

Ten categories have unanimous votes, including 5 of the Top 8. Another five categories have 11 or 12 of the 13 Guru votes. That would suggest a pretty boring evening, with the big unknowns being short films, Costume Design, and Sound. But it has been a season of surprises… so stay close to the TV on Sunday night.

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9 Days To Oscar: Is That All There Is?

Is there anything left to mine this Oscar season?

I really like the group of movies this year… but I am paying very close attention and I can’t find anything to get excited about at this point. If people I like win, I will be happy.

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Gurus o’ Gold: Battleground Categories Top 3!!!

The Gurus were asked to pick their Top 3 in the 8 Battleground Categories. Only one pick to win has changed… but it’s a big one.

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3 Weeks To Oscar: Exposing The Wizard

Stop me if you’ve heard this…

How is it that the person with their finger on the nuclear button, and some group of producers who get to take home the coolest swag in Hollywood, are on the same short-term-memory track?

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Gurus o’ Gold: 2 Days Before Voting Begins

This week, the Gurus voted in every category for everyone they thought had a chance of winning. This led to some very interesting numbers, including one mad movie with 6 wins, besting everyone in the field by 3. And two categories where everyone is in agreement that there’s no potential upset.

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Gurus o’ Gold: 9 Days Until Voting Begins

The Gurus storm into February looking at the “Top 8″ categories, plus Feature Documentary and Cinematography. Appropriate to this still-unsettled season, The Gurus currently foresee 7 different movies winning those Top 8 prizes, with only the Best Picture leader grabbing 2 of these 8.

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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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Quote Unquotesee all »

Tsangari: With my next film, White Knuckles, it comes with a budget — it’s going to be a huge new world for me. As always when I enter into a new thing, don’t you wonder how it’s going to be and how much of yourself you are going to have to sacrifice? The ballet of all of this. I’m already imaging the choreography — not of the camera, but the choreography of actually bringing it to life. It is as fascinating as the shooting itself. I find the producing as exciting as the directing. The one informs the other. There is this producer-director hat that I constantly wear. I’ve been thinking about these early auteurs, like Howard Hawks and John Ford and Preston Sturges—all of these guys basically were hired by the studio, and I doubt they had final cut, and somehow they had films that now we can say they had their signatures.  There are different ways of being creative within the parameters and limitations of production. The only thing you cannot negotiate is stupidity.
Filmmaker: And unfortunately, there is an abundance of that in the world.
Tsangari: This is the only big risk: stupidity. Everything else is completely worked out in the end.
~ Chevalier‘s Rachel Athina Tsangari

“The middle-range movies that I was doing have largely either stopped being made, or they’ve moved to television, now that television is a go-to medium for directors who can’t get work in theatricals, because there are so few theatricals being made. But also with the new miniseries concept, you can tell a long story in detail without having to cram it all into 90 minutes. You don’t have to cut the characters and take out the secondary people. You can actually put them all on a big canvas. And it is a big canvas, because people have bigger screens now, so there’s no aesthetic difference between the way you shoot a movie and the way you shoot a TV show.

“Which is all for the good. But what’s happened in the interim is that theatrical movies being a spectacle business are now either giant blockbuster movies that run three hours—even superhero movies run three hours, they used to run like 58 minutes!—and the others, which are dysfunctional family independent movies or the slob comedy or the kiddie movie, and those are all low-budget. So the middle ground of movies that were about things, they’re just gone. Or else they’re on HBO. Like the Bryan Cranston LBJ movie, which years ago would’ve been made for theaters.

“You’ve got people like Paul Schrader and Walter Hill who can’t get their movies theatrically distributed because there’s no market for it. So they end up going to VOD, and VOD is a model from which no one makes any money, because most of the time, as soon as they get on the site, they’re pirated. So the whole model of the system right now is completely broken. And whether or not anybody’s going to try to fix, or if it even can be fixed, I don’t know. But it’s certainly not the same business that I got into in the ’70s.”
~ Joe Dante

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