Awards Watch Archive for October, 2006

Best Screenplay Chart

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY Writer(s) – Film Comment Little Miss Sunshine One of the rare locks already locked Babel Fighting the Timeses’ smear pieces…. but should get there… writers will support Guillermo, who also happens to deserve it The Queen Should walk in with the movie World Trade Center Pushing helps get a very smart script…

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Best Actress Chart

BEST ACTRESS Actress – Film Comment Helen Mirren – The Queen The frontrunner Meryl Streep – The Devil Wears Prada Does she take the gold when people tire of Mirren’s brilliant restraint and melt under the giddy fun of Streep’s Wicked Witch of Couture? Judi Dench – Notes On A Scandal The restraint of a…

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Best Actor Chart

BEST ACTOR Actor – Film Comment Will Smith – The Pursuit of Happyness Comedian does drama George Clooney – The Good German Oscar’s favorite! Forrest Whitaker – The Last King Of Scotland Should be in supporting Peter O’Toole – Venus I have my doubts, but the attention is heated Leonardo DiCaprio – The Departed Looking…

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Best Director Chart

BEST DIRECTOR Director – Film Comment Martin Scorsese – The Departed Will he finally win for his most commercial work? Steven Soderbergh – The Good German Either he’s a major threat or fall out completely Bill Condon – Dreamgirls Book it. Stephen Frears – The Queen Great filmmaker… Best Pic nom film Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu…

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Best Picture Chart

BEST PICTURE Picture – Studio Comment Dreamgirls 85% hasn’t been seen… but the 15% suggests a great deal of strength The Departed Could easily be the only $100 million grosser amongst the nominees The Queen Firming up with a lot of opposition… no time for laurel resting though Little Miss Sunshine Searchlight seems to have…

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Week Three – 122 Days to Go Channel #2

Can you smell it? Come on, take a good, deep whiff… There. See. It’s the smell of shit. Get used to it. Because we’re going deep into it. If the first weeks of The Awards Season has offered us anything, it is a pretty good sense that the media, especially Big Media, has come to…

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Best Screenplay Chart

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY Writer(s) – Film Comment World Trade Center Babel The Queen Little Miss Sunshine Volver Borat The Good Shepherd Stranger Than Fiction Catch A Fire United 93 Goya’s Ghosts Home of the Brave Bobby BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY Writer(s) – Film Comment Little Children Dreamgirls Running With Scissors Flags of Our Fathers The History…

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Best Actress Chart

BEST ACTRESS Actress – Film Comment Dame Helen Mirren – The Queen Hers to lose. Kate Winslet – Little Children Her career best… now someone has to be told Meryl Streep – The Devil Wears Prada Great, great work… she has already gotten the award of revival as an opener Dame Judi Dench – Notes…

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Best Actor Chart

BEST ACTOR Actor – Film Comment Will Smith – The Pursuit of Happyness The world’s one surviving superstar George Clooney – The Good German Now in the Oscar groove Forrest Whitaker – The Last King Of Scotland Might have peaked too early Peter O’Toole – Venus Media coronation might be stopped by pity instead of…

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Best Director Chart

BEST DIRECTOR Director – Film Comment Martin Scorsese – The Departed Feeling it Steven Soderbergh – The Good German Getting more interesting Bill Condon – Dreamgirls Certainly Stephen Frears – The Queen Frears being in the category with Scorsese and Soderbergh is a strong statement on diverse filmmakers Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu – Babel Flexing Oliver…

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Best Picture Chart

BEST PICTURE Picture – Studio Comment Dreamgirls The Queens… the trailer lands in theaters today The Good German Soderbergh’s film has finally got a trailer… and it looks both classical and political in a way that may be reasonably construed as modern The Queen Ads are being switched up… looking stronger Little Miss Sunshine Unless…

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Week Two – 129 DAYS TO GO Hope Floats

It’s always fascinating how much hope there is at this time of year. Paramount has already delivered all but Dreamgirls within the industry, yet you can have a conversation about whether they can get four nominations or whether they will get two. Sony has already delivered all but The Pursuit of Happyness within the industry,…

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Best Screenplay Chart

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY Writer(s) – Film Comment The Queen Fine Little Miss Sunshine Fun Babel Fierce World Trade Center Familial Volver Fantastico The Prestige Borat The Good Shepherd Stranger Than Fiction Catch A Fire United 93 Home of the Brave BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY Writer(s) – Film Comment Thank You For Smoking I surprised myself by…

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Best Actress Chart

BEST ACTRESS Actress – Film Comment Dame Helen Mirren – The Queen Hers to lose. Kate Winslet – Little Children Her career best… now someone has to be told Meryl Streep – The Devil Wears Prada Great, great work… she has already gotten the award of revival as an opener Dame Judi Dench – Notes…

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Best Actor Chart

BEST ACTOR Actor – Film Comment Forrest Whitaker – The Last King Of Scotland In this slot by default. Really a supporting performance. Vulnerable. Peter O’Toole – Venus He’s a bit sad in a role that should be a joy, but perhaps they want to fete him Will Smith – The Pursuit of Happyness A…

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Best Director Chart

BEST DIRECTOR Director – Film Comment Martin Scorsese – The Departed This may actually be the year… but stop talking about it… shhhh Steven Soderbergh – The Good German The adventure of black & white Bill Condon – Dreamgirls Need to see it as his movie Stephen Frears – The Queen Elegant work, underrated by…

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Best Picture Chart

BEST PICTURE Picture – Studio Comment Dreamgirls Can it be beat? The Good German Has Soderbergh got the shocker of the season up his sleeve? No one at WB seems to have an opinion The Queen A fine film with a winning performance… but they need to avoid the Walk The Line problem. The Departed…

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136 DAYS TO GO Ready… Steady… Gold Cat Gold!

It’s gonna be a funky year… Think about it … Do you remember the last time the Best Picture frontrunner, which is clearly Dreamgirls now that Flags of our Fathers stumbled on exposure to the media (even if the trades and others are still barking up that flagpole), was expected to sport two Best Supporting…

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8 Doc Shorts Short-Listed for 2006 Oscars®

Beverly Hills, CA — The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences today announced that the field of Documentary Short Subject entries has narrowed to eight films, from which three to five will earn Academy Award® nominations. The eight films are listed below in alphabetical order: “The Blood of Yingzhou District” “Dear Talula” “The Diary…

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Academy Board Votes to Establish Makeup Branch

Beverly Hills, CA – Makeup artists and hairstylists who are members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences have been granted branch status by the Academy’s Board of Governors, Academy President Sid Ganis announced today. Branch status will permit the roughly 120 makeup artists and hairstylists who are currently members-at-large to elect one…

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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