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 »

“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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