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Awards Update

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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48 Weeks To Oscar: Academy In Crisis(?)

The grass always seems greener on the other side. But it is not always the case. In the case of The Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences, it is a sad story of insecurity, fear, oversized yet easily bruised ego, and a lack of perspective on itself.

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51 Weeks To Oscar

The Academy is acting like a supermodel who is deeply worried that her boyfriend is going to leave because she has a zit. And the answer is, men do leave supermodels. And that insecurity haunts the most beautiful and the most plain. But when you are going out there for the show, if people start noticing you are insecure, your career is over. When you are in public, you need to be all in, turned on, rocking the world because you “know” you have what everyone else wants.

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20 Weeks To Oscar… 3 Days Left

The irony of this moment is that with almost nothing left to say, the world’s media suddenly feels compelled to say EVERYTHING all at once.

Here’s the deal, as concisely as I can offer it…

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Gurus o’ Gold: The Final Vote – Every Category (2 of 2)

Page 1 Page 1 Pre-Venice/Telluride/Toronto Best Picture Field Post-Venice/Telluride/Toronto Best Picture Field After New York… Just Before Selma & American Sniper Just After Selma & American Sniper Gurus o’ Gold: A Week From Thanksgiving, aka Screener Time Thanksgiving Week The Rise of Selma Gurus o’ Gold-n-Globes) The Top 8 Categories Heading Into The Holiday Break…

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Gurus o’ Gold: The Final Vote – Every Category (1 of 2)

In the final vote of the season, The Gurus project only three changes in category leaders. They also envision The Grand Budapest Hotel winning the most Oscars, but not Best Picture. Boyhood will be the second most awarded with three. And two each for Birdman and American Sniper.

Are they right? The answers are coming on Sunday…

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20 Weeks To Oscar: One Week Left

So the question… is it the failure of the system that there isn’t more clarity… or the genius?

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Gurus o’ Gold: 6 Days Of Voting Left

It’s almost time for the party. The Gurus’ Best Picture chart features just one film moving up.

In addition, The Gurus offer which name they would not be surprised to hear on Oscar night when conventional wisdom says otherwise. And in that category, the is one clear standout.

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20 Weeks To Oscar: What We Talk About When We Talk About Best Picture

The die is likely already cast, even if all the votes are not. My experience of talking to voters is that those who are waiting are trying to see the short film selections and perhaps a doc or foreign language film, not hedging on Best Picture.

But what that answer is… I can make a list… I make a list every week… but do I know? I must admit, I have never felt this far from knowing this far into the season in 17 years of doing this.

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Gurus o’ Gold: Final Voting Starts This Week (2 of 2)

Page 1 of 2 Page 1 of 2 Pre-Venice/Telluride/Toronto Best Picture Field Post-Venice/Telluride/Toronto Best Picture Field After New York… Just Before Selma & American Sniper Just After Selma & American Sniper Gurus o’ Gold: A Week From Thanksgiving, aka Screener Time Thanksgiving Week The Rise of Selma Gurus o’ Gold-n-Globes) The Top 8 Categories Heading…

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Gurus o’ Gold: Final Voting Starts This Week (1 of 2)

The Gurus go the whole 22 (excluding shorts) as The Academy voting is about to begin. There is a lot of movement, though the projected winner has only changed in 2 categories since Nomination Day.

Part 2 is here

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20 Weeks To Oscar: Is The Door Wide Open Again?

Could the Academy’s bizarre preferential balloting system be the defining issue in coming to a Best Picture winner this year?

And let me note again, before going any further, that the existence of the preferential ballot system at The Academy is IDIOTIC and I will forever believe that this was a bad joke foisted on The Academy by an exiting Bruce Davis.

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20 Weeks To Oscar: It’s Gettin’ Hot In Here

There are a lot of theories out there about how to read the tea leaves this season. But for me, the truth is that I have never seen anything quite like it.

PGA and SAG, Birdman. Globes, Boyhood and The Grand Budapest Hotel. LAFCA and NYFCC, Boyhood. Coming up in short order… DGA, BAFTA, WGA.

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Gurus o’ Gold: A Week After Nominations… Any Changes?

The Gurus update their Best Picture picks and answer this question: Has the leader in any of the other categories changed, in your view, over the last week?

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20 Weeks To Oscar: Ragin’

I don’t know that I have seen anything like this before. It’s kind of about Oscar season. It’s mostly not. But Oscar has yelled “pull” and now everyone is shooting at the clay pigeons. And the bullets are flying from every direction.

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

The Gurus have voted on the slotting of 22 categories (no shorts yet) after today’s nominations. And if you listen to the Gurus today, 14 of those awards will be split pretty evenly between Boyhood, Birdman, and The Grand Budapest Hotel.

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

Page 1 of 2 Pre-Venice/Telluride/Toronto Best Picture Field Post-Venice/Telluride/Toronto Best Picture Field After New York… Just Before Selma & American Sniper Just After Selma & American Sniper Gurus o’ Gold: A Week From Thanksgiving, aka Screener Time Thanksgiving Week The Rise of Selma Gurus o’ Gold-n-Globes) The Top 8 Categories Heading Into The Holiday Break…

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Quote Unquotesee all »

“The core fear is what can happen to you, personally. Your body. That’s what horror films deal with, precisely. We are a very thin skin wrapped around a pumping heart and guts. At any given moment it can come down to that, be it diseases, or somebody’s assault, or war, or a car wreck. You could be reduced to the simple laws of physics and your body’s vulnerability. The edged weapon is the penultimate weapon to disclose that reality to you.”
~ Wes Craven, 1996, promoting Scream

MAMET
Well, that, to me, is always the trick of dramaturgy; theoretically, perfectly, what one wants to do is put the protagonist and the audience in exactly the same position. The main question in drama, the way I was taught, is always what does the protagonist want. That’s what drama is. It comes down to that. It’s not about theme, it’s not about ideas, it’s not about setting, but what the protagonist wants. What gives rise to the drama, what is the precipitating event, and how, at the end of the play, do we see that event culminated? Do we see the protagonist’s wishes fulfilled or absolutely frustrated? That’s the structure of drama. You break it down into three acts.

INTERVIEWER
Does this explain why your plays have so little exposition?

MAMET
Yes. People only speak to get something. If I say, Let me tell you a few things about myself, already your defenses go up; you go, Look, I wonder what he wants from me, because no one ever speaks except to obtain an objective. That’s the only reason anyone ever opens their mouth, onstage or offstage. They may use a language that seems revealing, but if so, it’s just coincidence, because what they’re trying to do is accomplish an objective… The question is where does the dramatist have to lead you? Answer: the place where he or she thinks the audience needs to be led. But what does the character think? Does the character need to convey that information? If the answer is no, then you’d better cut it out, because you aren’t putting the audience in the same position with the protagonist. You’re saying, in effect, Let’s stop the play. That’s what the narration is doing—stopping the play… It’s action, as Aristotle said. That’s all that it is—exactly what the person does. It’s not what they “think,” because we don’t know what they think. It’s not what they say. It’s what they do, what they’re physically trying to accomplish on the stage. Which is exactly the same way we understand a person’s character in life—not by what they say, but by what they do. Say someone came up to you and said, I’m glad to be your neighbor because I’m a very honest man. That’s my character. I’m honest, I like to do things, I’m forthright, I like to be clear about everything, I like to be concise. Well, you really don’t know anything about that guy’s character. Or the person is onstage, and the playwright has him or her make those same claims in several subtle or not-so-subtle ways, the audience will say, Oh yes, I understand their character now; now I understand that they are a character. But in fact you don’t understand anything. You just understand that they’re jabbering to try to convince you of something.
~ David Mamet

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