Awards Watch Archive for October, 2013

20W2O: Choking On The Tea Leaves

In the last week, there have been a series of attacks on the box office potential of 12 Years A Slave, which is “dirty tricks”-speak for “there is something less than great about this movie about the black people you have no responsibility for to which They are trying to force you to give a Best Picture Oscar.” These two stories ran, by the way, on the front page of the Los Angeles Times, the day before the film’s first expansion to 123 screens, and then in the New York Times, two days after the film’s first expansion.

Read the full article » 6 Comments »

David Simon On 12 Years A Slave

“It marks the first time in history that our entertainment industry has managed to stare directly at slavery and maintain that gaze.” David Simon On 12 Years A Slave

Read the full article »

Picturing The Many Hats Of Matthew McConaughey

Picturing The Many Hats Of Matthew McConaughey

Read the full article »

Trailering The Wolf Of Wall Street For Christmas Delight

Oh, It’s A Comedy: Trailering The Wolf Of Wall Street For Christmas Delight

Read the full article »

Awards Season Bonuses Set For Dallas Buyers Club Players

Awards Season Bonuses Set For Dallas Buyers Club Players

Read the full article »

20W2O: LA Times A1 Piece On 12 Years A Slave Could Be A Hit Job By An Awards Rival

This story is a textbook example of how to give a hard backhand slap to a movie that someone sees as having vulnerabilities. None of the Oscar Whisperers out there could have asked for anything better, short of a series of stories that people had actually gotten ill or had to run out of the theater to avoid the horrors of this film. It’s a marketing story! Why would that be bad?

Read the full article » 10 Comments »

20 Weeks To Oscar: Late October And Still No True Frontrunner

Truth is, We have usually set the field pretty effectively by mid-November. 80%-plus of nominees are pretty well guessed at by then. So then it gets even weirder, as We fight over the last 20% and attempt to “win” by guessing the winners before anyone else. Every minor shift gets overemphasized because it – how dare it! – surprises Us. What started as somewhat rational prognostication turns personal… and sometimes ugly. And the people who have jobs trying to convince Us of this or that get sharper edged, which is often misconstrued as “dirty tricks,” but outside of the bubble is just called “publicity.”

Read the full article » 5 Comments »

The Persistent Mystery Of Solomon Northup’s Later Years

The Persistent Mystery Of Solomon Northup’s Later Years

Read the full article »

Brad Pitt Naysays Those Who Challenge His Casting In 12 Years A Slave

Brad Pitt Naysays Those Who Challenge His Casting In 12 Years A Slave

Read the full article »

Consultant Henry Louis Gates Jr. Fact-Checks 12 Years A Slave

Consultant Henry Louis Gates Jr. Fact-Checks 12 Years A Slave

Read the full article »

Austerlitz On “The Tangled History Of The Slavery Film”

Austerlitz On “The Tangled History Of The Slavery Film”

Read the full article »

Barnes Offers Theory Walt Disney Co. Is Breaking Barriers By Depicting Walt Disney As A Flawed Human In Saving Mr. Banks

Barnes Offers Theory Walt Disney Co. Is Breaking Barriers By Depicting Walt Disney As A Flawed Human In Saving Mr. Banks

Read the full article »

Steve McQueen Video-Anatomizes A Scene From 12 Years A Slave

Steve McQueen Video-Anatomizes A Scene From 12 Years A Slave

Read the full article »

Gurus o’ Gold: Post New York Film Festival

This week, in our last pre-November rankings, The Gurus are looking at the Best Picture race, split into films that have been widely seen by the industry (in theatrical release, wide screenings or at festivals) and those that have not.

Read the full article » 4 Comments »

Julia Louis-Dreyfus As “National Treasure”

Julia Louis-Dreyfus As “National Treasure”

Read the full article »

Hoberman On Gravity And “Drowning In The Digital Abyss”

“Genuinely experimental, blatantly predicated on the formal possibilities of film, Gravity is a movie in a tradition that includes Intolerance, Napoleon, Olympia, and The Birds, as well as its most obvious precursor, 2001. Call it blockbuster modernism.” Hoberman On Gravity

Read the full article »

Introducing Barkhad Abdi

Introducing Barkhad Abdi

Read the full article »

“Blackwater At Sea: The Legacy Of Captain Phillips”

“Blackwater At Sea: The Legacy Of Captain Phillips“

Read the full article »

“Gravity is not a “hopeful”: It’s in, because while huge grosses, rapturous reviews, two well-liked movie stars, a respected director from another country, nerdgasms all over Twitter, and bar-raising visuals are not, in themselves, guaranteed roads to an Oscar nomination, the combination of them certainly is.”

“Gravity is not a “hopeful”: It’s in, because while huge grosses, rapturous reviews, two well-liked movie stars, a respected director from another country, nerdgasms all over Twitter, and bar-raising visuals are not, in themselves, guaranteed roads to an Oscar nomination, the combination of them certainly is.”

Read the full article »

Yes, That “Space Suspense In 3D” Gravity Is Not A Documentary

Yes, That “Space Suspense In 3D” Gravity Is Not A Documentary

Read the full article »

Awards Watch

Quote Unquotesee all »

“The word I have fallen in love with lately is ‘Hellenic.’ Greek in its mythology. So while everyone is skewing towards the YouTube generation, here we are making two-and-a-half-hour movies and trying to buck the system. It’s become clear to me that we are never going to be a perfect fit with Hollywood; we will always be the renegade Texans running around trying to stir the pot. Really it’s not provocation for the sake of being provocative, but trying to make something that people fall in love with and has staying power. I think people are going to remember Dragged Across Concrete and these other movies decades from now. I do not believe that they will remember some of the stuff that big Hollywood has put out in the last couple of years. You’ve got to look at the independent space to find the movies that have been really special recently. Even though I don’t share the same world-view as some of my colleagues, I certainly respect the hell out of their movies which are way more fascinating than the stuff coming out of the studio system.”
~ Dallas Sonnier

“My first objective relationship in life was with the camera. I didn’t understand anything but then I realized the camera is my friend. It doesn’t lie to me. It doesn’t manipulate me. It only reports what I’m doing. And therefore, for me to work with a camera and the camera to be directed by an artist, a craftsman, someone who knows what he or she wants, I couldn’t ask for anything more.”
~ Elliot Gould