Awards Watch Archive for November, 2011

Michael Shannon Is Not Trying To Exorcise Any Demons

Michael Shannon Is Not Trying To Exorcise Any Demons

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Gurus o’ Gold: November 29, 2011

The Gurus start this week with three questions about the award season itself, primarily about the early awards and nominations coming out in November.

Then it’s on to Best Picture, where Hugo is the big mover, and Supporting Actress & Actor, which hasn’t changed much at the top in the last month… but for which the field keeps narrowing.

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15 Weeks To Oscar: Now There’s A Race

War Horse is for real. It’s a true epic and an instant classic.

The Artist is a real joy. Undeniable. Surprising. An epic pleasure.

It will be interesting to see how this starts to play out… and whether either of the last entries into the race can change the game, perhaps as the movie that wins on a split between two more classically styled films.

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Gurus o’ Gold: November 22, 2011

As we head into the holiday weekend, The Gurus offer their weekly Best Picture projections.

And this week, the unlikely nominations for which each guru would be thankful. And which choice is being hoped from by 5 of the 14 Gurus? Take a look.

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“How Marty Scorsese risked it all and lived to risk again in Hollywood”

“How Marty Scorsese risked it all and lived to risk again in Hollywood” great photo

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The Story Of Kaui Hart Hemmings, Whose Novel Inspired The Descendants

The Story Of Kaui Hart Hemmings, Whose Novel Inspired The Descendants

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“The Dreams Of Martin Scorsese”

For Marty’s 69th Birthday, “The Dreams Of Martin Scorsese”

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Gurus o’ Gold: November 15, 2011

There’s not a lot of movement in the slotting of the Best Picture chart this week, though there is incremental movement all over the place.

Directors are back… though Mr. Eastwood is no longer on the chart.

And The Gurus take on Original & Adapted Screenplay for the first time this season, with 2 comedies not on top of the BP charts landing firmly in the writing Top 10.

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O’Neil Gelds His Derby With Slideshow Of Movie Deaths Of Gay Characters

“Gay roles can win Oscars, but only if portrayed by straight people who die hideous deaths.” O’Neil Gelds His Derby With Slideshow Of Movie Deaths Of Gay Characters

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17 Weeks To Oscar: Safe/Unsafe

This is shaping up to be one of the most interesting award seasons in memory… Or not. We saw it this week, as we went from the relatively unsafe choice of Brett Ratner as a producer of the Oscar telecast and Eddie Murphy as his host to Brian “I’ll be taking over the Gil Cates…

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Billy Crystal Set For Ninth Oscar Song-And-Dance

Billy Crystal Set For Ninth Oscar Song-And-Dance

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Gurus o’ Gold: November 8, 2011

First, welcome our newest Guru, the esteemed journalist and writer, Mark Harris.

This week, buzz titles from two of our best working directors, J Edgar and Hugo, rolled out for the media. How will this affect Best Picture and Best Actor? Also, with The Academy announcing their short list of 15 for Best Animated Feature, The Gurus take on the category, looking for 5 potential nominees.

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Oscars To Be More Than A Vilanch Of Comedy, Hiring SNL, “Curb,” Oceans And Rush Hour Writers

Oscars To Be More Than A Vilanch Of Comedy, Hiring SNL, “Curb,” Oceans And Rush Hour Writers

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From Apes To Fox And Back Again: Studio Sets Andy Serkis Push For Best Supporting Simian

From Apes To Fox And Back Again: Studio Sets Andy Serkis Push For Best Supporting Simian

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Melancholia Leads European Film Awards Noms With 8

Melancholia Leads European Film Awards Noms With 8

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Oscar Inks 18 Animated Features For 2011 Consideration

Oscar Inks 18 Animated Features For 2011 Consideration

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Martha Marcy May Marlene Combine Signs First-Look With Fox Searchlight

Martha Marcy May Marlene Combine Signs First-Look With Fox Searchlight

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18 Weeks To Oscar: Stepping Back

It’s strange being in the tumble cycle of all of this. It’s like standing in front of a giant buffet of some truly exceptional ingredients and flavors, but feeling forced to consume everything we want in a couple of hours. Do you take a single bite of everything or choose a protein or focus on one course over the others?

People complain about Oscar obsession amongst media. But there is this functionality of getting through the season. It’s not that we’re (all) obsessed… it’s that there is so much to consume. It’s an impossible goal as well as being sadly reductive.

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Gurus o’ Gold: November 1, 2011

The Gurus are back for their weekly look at the awards races.

As they do every week, they start with Best Picture. And this week, Actor, Actress, Supporting Actor, Supporting Actress, and Best Director to boot.

The top of a lot of these lists will look very familiar this week. But as the next couple of weeks progress, a clearer shape to the season should emerge.

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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