Awards Watch Archive for November, 2008

November 26

Ben Button pushes past Slumdog… and the Gurus pock some underdog contenders, lead by Richard Jenkins in The Visitor.

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Best Screenplay Chart

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY Writer(s) – Film Comment Vicky Cristina Barcelona Milk – Rachel Getting Married – The Wrestler – Happy Go Lucky – – Che – W. – Gran Torino – Australia – Seven Pounds Changling – BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY Writer(s) – Film Comment Slumdog Millionaire – The Curious Case of Benjamin Button – Doubt…

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Best Actress Chart

BEST ACTRESS Actress – Film Comment Meryl Streep – Doubt Cate Blanchett – Benjamin Button Anne Hathaway – Rachel Getting Married Kristin Scott Thomas – I’ve Loved You So Long Kate Winslet – The Reader Kate Winslet – Revolutionary Road Nicole Kidman – Australia Sally Hawkins – Happy-Go-Lucky Michelle Williams – Wendy & Lucy Angelina…

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Best Actor Chart

BEST ACTOR Actor – Film Comment Sean Penn – Milk Frank Langella – Frost/Nixon Mickey Rourke – The Wrestler Brad Pitt – Benjamin Button Benicio Del Toro – Che Hugh Jackman – Australia Josh Brolin – W. Richard Jenkins – The Visitor Will Smith – Seven Pounds Leonardo DiCaprio – Revolutionary Road Ralph Fiennes –…

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Best Director Chart

BEST DIRECTOR Director – Film Comment David Fincher – The Curious Case of Benjamin Button Danny Boyle – Slumdog Millionaire Gus Van Sant – Milk Ron Howard – Frost/Nixon Baz Luhrmann – Australia Christopher Nolan – The Dark Knight Steven Soderbergh – Che Jonathan Demme – Rachel Getting Married Clint Eastwood – Gran Torino Mike…

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Best Picture Chart

BEST PICTURE Picture Studio Director Stars Comment The Frontrunners (in alphabetical order – the mostly unseen) Nov 19 Slumdog Millionaire FxSch Boyle Patel Pinto Muscled Dec 19 The Curious Case of Benjamin Button Par Fincher Pitt Some have seen it (not playing in Amsterdam), but verdict is still positive, but blurry Nov 26 Milk Focus…

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15 Weeks To Go, As The Season Turns

Last time we checked in on The Season, everyone was waiting for the last few films to grace us with their presence. And they have… and still… an odd silence… critics not sure just how far to stick their necks… But the ongoing theme of the entire season remains… that was okay/not bad/pretty good… This…

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November 19

In the first Gurus chart in the heat of the season, Slumdog tries to hold off Benjamin Button, the Supporting races seem locked in, and the battle for Best Actor goes 3 ways.

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Best Screenplay Chart

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY Writer(s) – Film Comment Rachel Getting Married – Milk – The Wrestler – Vicky Cristina Barcelona Happy Go Lucky – – Gran Torino – Australia – Seven Pounds W. – Changling – BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY Writer(s) – Film Comment Slumdog Millionaire – The Curious Case of Benjamin Button – Doubt – Frost/Nixon…

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Best Actress Chart

BEST ACTRESS Actress – Film Comment Meryl Streep – Doubt Cate Blanchett – Benjamin Button Anne Hathaway – Rachel Getting Married Kristin Scott Thomas – I’ve Loved You So Long Kate Winslet – The Reader Kate Winslet – Revolutionary Road Nicole Kidman – Australia Sally Hawkins – Happy-Go-Lucky Michelle Williams – Wendy & Lucy Angelina…

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Best Actor Chart

BEST ACTOR Actor – Film Comment Sean Penn – Milk Frank Langella – Frost/Nixon Mickey Rourke – The Wrestler Brad Pitt – Benjamin Button Benicio Del Toro – Che Hugh Jackman – Australia Josh Brolin – W. Leonardo DiCaprio – Revolutionary Road Richard Jenkins – The Visitor Will Smith – Seven Pounds Ralph Fiennes –…

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Best Director Chart

BEST DIRECTOR Director – Film Comment David Fincher – The Curious Case of Benjamin Button Danny Boyle – Slumdog Millionaire Gus Van Sant – Milk Ron Howard – Frost/Nixon Baz Luhrmann – Australia Christopher Nolan – The Dark Knight Steven Soderbergh – Che Jonathan Demme – Rachel Getting Married Clint Eastwood – Gran Torino Mike…

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16 Weeks To Go, High & Low

Around 12 years ago, Harry and Moriarty said, “Mr. Valenti, tear down that wall.” For the movie business, this was every bit as revolutionary – and maybe more so – than the Berlin Wall finally being pulled down. From the very beginning, the movie industry was about creating illusion, including the mythologies of the studio…

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Best Picture Chart

BEST PICTURE Picture Studio Director Stars Comment The Frontrunners (in alphabetical order – the mostly unseen) Nov 19 Slumdog Millionaire FxSch Boyle Patel Pinto Dec 19 The Curious Case of Benjamin Button Par Fincher Pitt Nov 26 Milk Focus Van Sant Penn Brolin Dec 5 Frost/Nixon U Howard Langella Sheen Nov 26 Australia Fox Luhrmann…

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Best Screenplay Chart

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY Writer(s) – Film Comment Rachel Getting Married – Milk – The Wrestler – Vicky Cristina Barcelona Happy Go Lucky – – Gran Torino – Defiance – Australia – Seven Pounds W. – Changling – BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY Writer(s) – Film Comment Slumdog Millionaire – The Curious Case of Benjamin Button – Doubt…

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Best Actress Chart

BEST ACTRESS Actress – Film Comment Meryl Streep – Doubt The queen Cate Blanchett – Benjamin Button The princess Anne Hathaway – Rachel Getting Married The next gen Kristin Scott Thomas – I’ve Loved You So Long The euro Kate Winslet – The Reader The great one… Kate Winslet – Revolutionary Road … who is…

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Best Actor Chart

BEST ACTOR Actor – Film Comment Sean Penn – Milk By this time next week, it will be clear. Frank Langella – Frost/Nixon Sock it to him? Mickey Rourke – The Wrestler Headlock. Brad Pitt – Benjamin Button Makes sense Hugh Jackman – Australia The only hero hero on tap. Benicio Del Toro – Che…

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Best Director Chart

BEST DIRECTOR Director – Film Comment David Fincher – The Curious Case of Benjamin Button Danny Boyle – Slumdog Millionaire Gus Van Sant – Milk Ron Howard – Frost/Nixon Baz Luhrmann – Australia Clint Eastwood – Gran Torino Christopher Nolan – The Dark Knight Steven Soderbergh – Che Jonathan Demme – Rachel Getting Married Stephen…

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Best Picture Chart

BEST PICTURE Picture Studio Director Stars Comment The Frontrunners (in alphabetical order – the mostly unseen) Nov 19 Slumdog Millionaire FxSch Boyle The Feel Good Movie-Movie Nov 26 Milk Focus Van Sant Penn Brolin Turns out not to be “just” a gay issue film, but a classic underdog biopic Dec 19 The Curious Case of…

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17 Weeks To Go, Four Months Suddenly Seems Like A Short Race

And now… awards season begins in earnest. Tick, tick, tick, tick… the last load of films will all be rolled out for media and awards voters within the next 4 weeks. And really, we’re down to five films already. Four of the “Five To Watch” are Oscar Insider movies. Two Kate Winslets (5 noms), one…

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Awards Watch

Quote Unquotesee all »

What do you make of the criticism directed at the film that the biopic genre or format is intrinsically bourgeois? That’s the most crazy criticism. That’s an excuse for not engaging with the content of the movie. Film critics sometimes, you know, can be very lazy.

Come on, formal criticism is valuable too. But I’m amazed when this is the thing they put in front of the discourse. My situation is that I’m dealing with a highly explosive subject, a taboo subject that nobody wants to deal with.

Karl Marx? Yes, this is the first film ever in the Western world about Marx. And I managed to make an almost mainstream film out of it. You want me at the same time to play the artist and do a risky film about the way my camera moves and the way I edit? No, it’s complicated enough! The artistic challenge — and it took me ten years with Pascal to write this story — was the writing. That was the most difficult part. We were making a film about the evolution of an idea, which is impossible. To be able to have political discourse in a scene, and you can follow it, and it’s not simplified, and it’s historically true. This is the accomplishment. So when someone criticizes the formal aspects without seeing that first, for me, it’s laziness or ignorance. There’s an incapacity to deal with what’s on the table. I make political films about today, I’m not making a biopic to make a biopic. I don’t believe in being an artist just to be an artist. And by the way, this film cost $9 million. I dare anyone in the United States to make this film for $9 million.
Raoul Peck on The Young Karl Marx

“The Motion Picture Academy, at considerable expense and with great efficiency, runs all the nominated pictures at its own theater, showing each picture twice, once in the afternoon, once in the evening. A nominated picture is one in connection with which any kind of work is nominated for an award, not necessarily acting, directing, or writing; it may be a purely technical matter such as set-dressing or sound work. This running of pictures has the object of permitting the voters to look at films which they may happen to have missed or to have partly forgotten. It is an attempt to make them realize that pictures released early in the year, and since overlaid with several thicknesses of battered celluloid, are still in the running and that consideration of only those released a short time before the end of the year is not quite just.

“The effort is largely a waste. The people with votes don’t go to these showings. They send their relatives, friends, or servants. They have had enough of looking at pictures, and the voices of destiny are by no means inaudible in the Hollywood air. They have a brassy tone, but they are more than distinct.”All this is good democracy of a sort. We elect Congressmen and Presidents in much the same way, so why not actors, cameramen, writers, and all rest of the people who have to do with the making of pictures? If we permit noise, ballyhoo, and theater to influence us in the selection of the people who are to run the country, why should we object to the same methods in the selection of meritorious achievements in the film business? If we can huckster a President into the White House, why cannot we huckster the agonized Miss Joan Crawford or the hard and beautiful Miss Olivia de Havilland into possession of one of those golden statuettes which express the motion picture industry’s frantic desire to kiss itself on the back of its neck? The only answer I can think of is that the motion picture is an art. I say this with a very small voice. It is an inconsiderable statement and has a hard time not sounding a little ludicrous. Nevertheless it is a fact, not in the least diminished by the further facts that its ethos is so far pretty low and that its techniques are dominated by some pretty awful people.

“If you think most motion pictures are bad, which they are (including the foreign), find out from some initiate how they are made, and you will be astonished that any of them could be good. Making a fine motion picture is like painting “The Laughing Cavalier” in Macy’s basement, with a floorwalker to mix your colors for you. Of course most motion pictures are bad. Why wouldn’t they be?”
~ Raymond Chandler, “Oscar Night In Hollywood,” 1948