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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Tsangari: With my next film, White Knuckles, it comes with a budget — it’s going to be a huge new world for me. As always when I enter into a new thing, don’t you wonder how it’s going to be and how much of yourself you are going to have to sacrifice? The ballet of all of this. I’m already imaging the choreography — not of the camera, but the choreography of actually bringing it to life. It is as fascinating as the shooting itself. I find the producing as exciting as the directing. The one informs the other. There is this producer-director hat that I constantly wear. I’ve been thinking about these early auteurs, like Howard Hawks and John Ford and Preston Sturges—all of these guys basically were hired by the studio, and I doubt they had final cut, and somehow they had films that now we can say they had their signatures.  There are different ways of being creative within the parameters and limitations of production. The only thing you cannot negotiate is stupidity.
Filmmaker: And unfortunately, there is an abundance of that in the world.
Tsangari: This is the only big risk: stupidity. Everything else is completely worked out in the end.
~ Chevalier‘s Rachel Athina Tsangari

“The middle-range movies that I was doing have largely either stopped being made, or they’ve moved to television, now that television is a go-to medium for directors who can’t get work in theatricals, because there are so few theatricals being made. But also with the new miniseries concept, you can tell a long story in detail without having to cram it all into 90 minutes. You don’t have to cut the characters and take out the secondary people. You can actually put them all on a big canvas. And it is a big canvas, because people have bigger screens now, so there’s no aesthetic difference between the way you shoot a movie and the way you shoot a TV show.

“Which is all for the good. But what’s happened in the interim is that theatrical movies being a spectacle business are now either giant blockbuster movies that run three hours—even superhero movies run three hours, they used to run like 58 minutes!—and the others, which are dysfunctional family independent movies or the slob comedy or the kiddie movie, and those are all low-budget. So the middle ground of movies that were about things, they’re just gone. Or else they’re on HBO. Like the Bryan Cranston LBJ movie, which years ago would’ve been made for theaters.

“You’ve got people like Paul Schrader and Walter Hill who can’t get their movies theatrically distributed because there’s no market for it. So they end up going to VOD, and VOD is a model from which no one makes any money, because most of the time, as soon as they get on the site, they’re pirated. So the whole model of the system right now is completely broken. And whether or not anybody’s going to try to fix, or if it even can be fixed, I don’t know. But it’s certainly not the same business that I got into in the ’70s.”
~ Joe Dante

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