Awards Watch Archive for February, 2007

Best Actor, Best Actress Chart

BEST ACTOR Actor – Film Comment Forrest Whitaker – Last King Of Scotland (GG/Drama) (BFCA) (SAG) Peter O’Toole – Venus Will Smith – The Pursuit of Happyness Ryan Gosling – Half Nelson Leonardo DiCaprio – Blood Diamond BEST ACTRESS Actress – Film Comment Helen Mirren – The Queen (GG/D) (BFCA) (SAG) Meryl Streep – The…

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Best Picture, Best Director, Best Screenplay Charts

BEST PICTURE The Departed (BFCA) The Queen Letters From Iwo Jima (Foreign- GG, BFCA) Little Miss Sunshine (PGA, SAG Ensemble) Babel (GG) Babel (GG) The Departed (BFCA) The Queen Letters From Iwo Jima (Foreign- GG, BFCA) Little Miss Sunshine (PGA, SAG Ensemble) Little Miss Sunshine (PGA, SAG Ensemble) Babel (GG) The Departed (BFCA) The Queen…

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Week Twenty – 3 Days to Go Auld Lang Syne

Phew… Almost there… What’s left to say? It does matter who wins… mostly to those who win. The media efforts to rustle up comprehensive coverage this week are painful enough to me more sad than laughable. Someone mentioned a poll of three Academy members in one outlet. Oy. And so, as it ends, we count…

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Week Nineteen – 10 Days to Go Dead Horse Beating 101

The wrap-up, now ten days away from “the envelope please,” of the 2006/07 season really isn’t about the movies. It’s about the frou-frou. It’s about the media plays that failed, the “Oscar bloggers” who had less to do this year than in most, the flight of the Dartees, the laid-back success at Warner Bros, the…

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Best Actor, Best Actress Charts

BEST ACTOR Actor – Film Comment Forrest Whitaker – Last King Of Scotland (GG/Drama) (BFCA) (SAG) He just keeps rollin’ along Peter O’Toole – Venus Probably not around enough to get the momentum to push out Dada Will Smith – The Pursuit of Happyness A huge hit but no campagning makes Will a losing boy…

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Best Picture, Best Director, Best Screenplay Charts

BEST PICTURE Picture – Studio Comment The Departed (BFCA) vs Babel (GG) vs Little Miss Sunshine (PGA, SAG Ensemble) Most slots curently have two major competitors… this one has three… ask anyone on any day and you will get a different answer or none at all. Letters From Iwo Jima (Foreign- GG, BFCA) Rarely have…

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Best Actor, Best Actress Charts

BEST ACTOR Actor – Film Comment Forrest Whitaker – Last King Of Scotland (GG/Drama) (BFCA) (SAG) Hard to beat with none of the potential competition working for it at all Peter O’Toole – Venus Back in England after one appearance and a standing ovation Will Smith – The Pursuit of Happyness Could be a real…

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Best Picture, Best Director, Best Screenplay Charts

BEST PICTURE Picture – Studio Comment Babel (GG) Love it or hate it… but the “hate its” can’t vote against it, only for something else The Departed (BFCA) The adult’s movie movie of the year…. but it’s still a movie based on an Asian action movie Letters From Iwo Jima (Foreign- GG, BFCA) If it…

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Week Eighteen – 17 Days to Go Driving In Neutral

Oh, we’re getting close. Oh, nothing seems to be changing very much. I am having this weird feeling that the movie no one is talking about is the movie that might shock them all. Explaining it logically, there is one comedy and four dramas. Of the four dramas, the one with the most muscle is…

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Best Actor, Best Actress

BEST ACTOR Actor – Film Comment Forrest Whitaker – Last King Of Scotland (GG/Drama) (BFCA) (SAG) Way out ahead… far enough to trip Peter O’Toole – Venus Due in L.A. on Monday… we’ll see Will Smith – The Pursuit of Happyness Could be a shocker… but not probably available enough Ryan Gosling – Half Nelson…

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Best Picture, Best Director, Best Screenplay Chart

BEST PICTURE Picture – Studio Comment Babel (GG) 22% Letters From Iwo Jima (Foreign- GG, BFCA) 21.5% Little Miss Sunshine (PGA) (SAG Ensemble) 20% The Departed (BFCA) 19% The Queen 17.5% BEST DIRECTOR Director – Film Comment Martin Scorsese – The Departed (GG) (BFCA) (DGA) Would be a stunner if he lost Clint Eastwood –…

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Week Seventeen – 24 Days to Go Tick Tock

What’s the worst thing that could have happened to Little Miss Sunshine? As this week’s trendy pick to win Best Picture, LMS could easily be being set up to take a fall as it reaches the final leg of the race. It’s wondrously amusing to see people who screamed that Crash could never win last…

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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