Awards Watch Archive for December, 2005

311 Feature Films Vie for 2005 Oscar®

Beverly Hills, CA — Three hundred eleven feature films will compete for the Academy Award® for Best Picture of 2005, it has been announced by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Marking a 16.5% increase from 2004, the 2005 total of eligible features marks the first time in 32 years that as many…

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Academy Announces Visual Effects Competitors

Beverly Hills, CA — The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences today announced the seven films in consideration for Achievement in Visual Effects for the 78th Academy Awards®. The films are listed below in alphabetical order: “Batman Begins” “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” “The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe”…

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42 Songs Compete for 78th Oscar®

Beverly Hills, CA — The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences today announced that 42 original songs from eligible feature-length motion pictures are being considered for the 78th Academy Awards®. The original songs, along with the motion picture, are listed below in alphabetical order: “Along the River” from “End of the Spear” “Angels Talk”…

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Golden Globe Nods

Best Picture Drama Brokeback Mountain The Constant Gardener Good Night, and Good Luck A History of Violence Match Point Best Picture, Musical/Comedy Mrs. Henderson Presents Pride Prejudice The Producers Squid and Whale Walk the Line Best Director Woody Allen, Match Point George Clooney, Good Night, and Good Luck Peter Jackson, King Kong Ang Lee, Brokeback…

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Harry Potter Arrives

They actually tried to deliver the film last Thursday… but what is of interest is that the 154 mminute movie showed up on two discs, not one.

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BFCA Nominations

It’s that kind of year… Anything can happen. BEST PICTURE Brokeback Mountain Capote Cinderella Man The Constant Gardener Crash Good Night, and Good Luck. King Kong Memoirs of a Geisha Munich Walk the Line BEST ACTOR Russell Crowe – “Cinderella Man” Philip Seymour Hoffman – “Capote” Terrence Howard – “Hustle & Flow” Heath Ledger –…

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NYT’s David Brooks Complains That Munich Doesn’t Embrace The Notion Of A Black & White Evil

Op-Ed Columnist What ‘Munich’ Left Out By DAVID BROOKS Published: December 11, 2005 Every generation of Americans casts Israel in its own morality tale. For a time, Israel was the plucky underdog fighting for survival against larger foes. Now, as Steven Spielberg rolls out the publicity campaign for his new movie, “Munich,” we see the…

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Madagascar Nominated for People’s Choice Award

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NBR Delays: The Press Release

Tuesday, December 06, 2005 Dear Journalists, Editors, Marketing and Publicity representatives — Due to an incomplete eligibility mailing to the National Board of Review screening committee, and in fairness to all eligible films, filmmakers and actors, the NBR is postponing its Awards announcement until Monday morning, December 12th. In consideration of the incomplete nature of…

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Fistbiscuit Returns!

Hmmmm… Cinderella Man DVD tagline… “The odds were against him… his comeback was incredible… and the story is true.” Oscar nominee Seabiscuit‘s ad theme… “The horse is too small, the jockey too big, the trainer too old, and I’m too dumb to know the difference.”

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Screener Count – Dec 1

Via BFCA – 35 films so far… no Fox, no Sony, and no Universal. Some Academy members have received Walk The Line and In Her Shoes, but not The Family Stone.

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You’d Have To Be Drunk To Vote For…

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Awards Watch

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This is probably going to sound petty, but Martin Scorsese insisting that critics see his film in theaters even though it’s going straight to Netflix and then not screening it in most American cities was a watershed moment for me in this theatrical versus streaming debate.

I completely respect when a filmmaker insists that their movie is meant to be seen in the theater, but the thing is, you got to actually make it possible to see it in the theater. Some movies may be too small for that, and that’s totally OK.

When your movie is largely financed by a streaming service and is going to appear on that streaming service instantly, I don’t really see the point of pretending that it’s a theatrical film. It just seems like we are needlessly indulging some kind of personal fantasy.

I don’t think that making a feature film length production that is going to go straight to a video platform is some sort of “step down.“ I really don’t. Theatrical exhibition as we know it is dying off anyway, for a variety of reasons.

I should clarify myself because this thread is already being misconstrued — I’m talking about how the movie is screened in advance. If it’s going straight to Netflix, why the ritual of demanding people see it in the theater?

There used to be a category that everyone recognized called “TV movie” or “made for television movie” and even though a lot of filmmakers considered that déclassé, it seems to me that probably 90% of feature films fit that description now.

Atlantis has mostly sunk into the ocean, only a few tower spires remain above the waterline, and I’m increasingly at peace with that, because it seems to be what the industry and much of the audience wants. We live in an age of convenience and information control.

Only a very elite group of filmmakers is still allowed to make movies “for theaters“ and actually have them seen and judged that way on a wide scale. Even platform releasing seems to be somewhat endangered. It can’t be fought. It has to be accepted.

9. Addendum: I’ve been informed that it wasn’t Scorsese who requested that the Bob Dylan documentary only be screened for critics in theaters, but a Netflix representative indicated the opposite to me, so I just don’t know what to believe.

It’s actually OK if your film is not eligible for an Oscar — we have a thing called the Emmys. A lot of this anxiety is just a holdover from the days when television was considered culturally inferior to theatrical feature films. Everybody needs to just get over it.

In another 10 to 20 years they’re probably going to merge the Emmys in the Oscars into one program anyway, maybe they’ll call it the Contentys.

“One of the fun things about seeing the new Quentin Tarantino film three months early in Cannes (did I mention this?) is that I know exactly why it’s going to make some people furious, and thus I have time to steel myself for the takes.

Back in July 2017, when it was revealed that Tarantino’s next project was connected to the Manson Family murders, it was condemned in some quarters as an insulting and exploitative stunt. We usually require at least a fig-leaf of compassion for the victims in true-crime adaptations, and even Tarantino partisans like myself – I don’t think he’s made a bad film yet – found ourselves wondering how he might square his more outré stylistic impulses with the depiction of a real mass murder in which five people and one unborn child lost their lives.

After all, it’s one thing to slice off with gusto a fictional policeman’s ear; it’s quite another to linger over the gory details of a massacre that took place within living memory, and which still carries a dread historical significance.

In her essay The White Album, Joan Didion wrote: “Many people I know in Los Angeles believe that the Sixties ended abruptly on August 9, 1969, ended at the exact moment when word of the murders on Cielo Drive traveled like brushfire through the community, and in a sense this is true.”

Early in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, as Leonardo DiCaprio and Brad Pitt’s characters drive up the hill towards Leo’s bachelor pad, the camera cranes up gently to reveal a street sign: Cielo Drive. Tarantino understands how charged that name is; he can hear the Molotov cocktails clinking as he shoulders the crate.

As you may have read in the reviews from Cannes, much of the film is taken up with following DiCaprio and Pitt’s characters – a fading TV actor and his long-serving stunt double – as they amusingly go about their lives in Los Angeles, while Margot Robbie’s Sharon Tate is a relatively minor presence. But the spectre of the murders is just over the horizon, and when the night of the 9th finally arrives, you feel the mood in the cinema shift.

No spoilers whatsoever about what transpires on screen. But in the audience, as it became clear how Tarantino was going to handle this extraordinarily loaded moment, the room soured and split, like a pan of cream left too long on the hob. I craned in, amazed, but felt the person beside me recoil in either dismay or disgust.

Two weeks on, I’m convinced that the scene is the boldest and most graphically violent of Tarantino’s career – I had to shield my eyes at one point, found myself involuntarily groaning “oh no” at another – and a dead cert for the most controversial. People will be outraged by it, and with good reason. But in a strange and brilliant way, it takes Didion’s death-of-the-Sixties observation and pushes it through a hellfire-hot catharsis.

Hollywood summoned up this horror, the film seems to be saying, and now it’s Hollywood’s turn to exorcise it. I can’t wait until the release in August, when we can finally talk about why.

~ Robbie Collin