Awards Watch Archive for December, 2014

Critics Top Ten Lists: Bob Mondello

NPR 1. Boyhood 2. Birdman 3. The Grand Budapest Hotel 4. Mr. Turner 5. Citizenfour 6. Selma 7. Leviathan 8. Two Days, One Night 9. Force Majeure 10. Love Is Strange

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Critics Top Ten Lists 2014: Kenneth Turan

Los Angeles Times 1. Mr. Turner (at random) American Sniper A Most Violent Year Edge Of Tomorrow Guardians Of The Galaxy Child’s Pose Force Majeure Ida Like Father, Like Son The Lunchbox Foxcatcher The Grand Budapest Hotel The Imitation Game The Theory Of Everything Interstellar Locke

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Critics Top Ten List 2014: David Hudson

Fandor Keyframe 1. Boyhood 2. Goodbye to Language 3. Citizenfour 4. Winter Sleep 5. Phoenix 6. Under the Skin 7. The Grand Budapest Hotel 8. Mr. Turner 9. Journey to the West 10. Beloved Sisters

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Critics Top Ten List 2014: Scott Mendelson

Forbes Nightcrawler (and alphabetical) Beyond The Lights Birdman Edge Of Tomorrow The Fault In Our Stars The Grand Budapest Hotel Guardians Of The Galaxy How To Train Your Dragon 2 John Wick The LEGO Movie Selma Snowpiercer Whiplash

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The Top Ten Lists: There’s Boyhood and Then the Rest of the List

First, there’s Boyhood – still and probably forever – at the top of the chart. In other news, The Lego Movie and Leviathan both crack the top 20.

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Critics Top Ten List 2014: Matthew Lucas

The Dispatch, Lexington, NC 1. THE IMMIGRANT 2. UNDER THE SKIN 3. THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL 4. THE LAST OF THE UNJUST 5. THE TALE OF PRINCESS KAGUYA 6. BOYHOOD 7. GOODBYE TO LANGUAGE 8. TWO DAYS, ONE NIGHT 9. MR. TURNER 10. AMERICAN SNIPER

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Critics Top Ten List 2014: Jami Philbrick

I Am Rogue Birdman Battered Bastards of Baseball Guardians of the Galaxy Nightcrawler Whiplash Captain America: Winter Soldier Inherent Vice Grand Budapest Hotel Only Lovers Left ALive Selma  

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Critics Top Ten List 2014: John Urbancich

Cleveland.com 1. Whiplash 2. Boyhood 3. Locke 4. The Grand Budapest Hotel 5. Calvary 6. Get on Up 7. The Theory of Everything 8. Selma 9. Birdman 10. Life Itself / Glen Campbell: I’ll Be Me

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20 Weeks To Oscar: Oscar Zit Of The Day

Wasn’t it just 48 hours ago that I wrote about the foolishness of reconsidering Selma as a work of art because of what may a legitimate beef on the detail of the film by a witness to a part of the history the film covers? Now we have an eruption from the only participating central subject in Foxcatcher, Mark Schultz. He is angry, angry, angry at Bennett Miller…

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Critics Top Ten Lists 2014: Andrew O’Hehir

Slate 1. Boyhood 2. Leviathan 3. Inherent Vice 4. Winter Sleep 6. The Homesman 7. Under the Skin 8. Snowpiercer 9. The Grand Budapest Hotel 10. The Immigrant 11. A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night 12. 20,000 Days on Earth

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Critics Top Ten List 2014: Erik Davis

Movies.com 1. Whiplash 2. Boyhood 3. Nightcrawler 4. The Grand Budapest Hotel 5. The Lego Movie 6. Birdman 7. Selma 8. Wild 9. Top Five 10. Edge of Tomorrow

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Critics Top Ten List 2014: Peter Labuza

The Film Stage 1. Jealousy 2. Goodbye to Language 3. Two Days, One Night 4. The Grand Budapest Hotel 5. Listen Up Philip 6. John Wick 7. Manakamana 8. Boyhood 9. The Immigrant / Inherent Vice / Jersey Boys 10. Abuse of Weakness

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Critics Top Ten List 2014: Michael Phillips

Chicago Tribune 1. Boyhood 2. The Grand Budapest Hotel3 3. Winter Sleep 4. Whiplash 5. The Lego Movie 6. Listen Up Philip 7. Force Majeure 8. Mr. Turner 9. Dear White People 10. Heaven Knows What

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Critics Top Ten List 2014: Tim Grierson

Deadspin 1. Boyhood 2. The Overnighters 3. Under the Skin 4. The Unknown Known 5. Mr. Turner 6. Foxcatcher 7. Night Moves 8. The Grand Budapest Hotel 9. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes 10. Manuscripts Don’t Burn

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Critics Top Ten List 2014: Will Leitch

Deadspin 1. Boyhood 2. A Most Wanted Man 3. Stand Clear of the Closing Doors 4. Under the Skin 5. Birdman 6. Whiplash 7. American Sniper 8. The Raid 2 9. Gone Girl 10. Only Lovers Left Alive

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Critics Top Ten List 2014 Todd McCarthy

THR 1. LEVIATHAN 2. ONLY LOVERS LEFT ALIVE 3. BIRDMAN 5. BOYHOOD 6. FOXCATCHER 7. WILD TALES 8. A MOST VIOLENT YEAR 9. SELMA 10. THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL

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Critics Top Ten List 2014 Borys Kit

THR 1. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes 2. Guardians of the Galaxy 3. Snowpiercer 4. The Lego Movie 5. Captain America: The Winter Soldier 6. How to Train Your Dragon 2 7. The Raid 2 8. Edge of Tomorrow/X-Men: Days of Future Past 9. The Guest 10. Jodorowsky’s Dune

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Critics Top Ten List 2014: Al Alexander

The Patriot Ledger 1. BOYHOOD 2. WHIPLASH 3. LEVIATHAN 4. TWO DAYS, ONE NIGHT 5. THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL 6. LIFE ITSELF 7. THE BABADOOK 8. WE ARE THE BEST! 9. GONE GIRL 10. AMERICAN SNIPER/THE IMITATION GAME

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Critics Top Ten List 2014: Dana Barbuto

The Patriot-Ledger 1. AMERICAN SNIPER 2. BOYHOOD 3. GONE GIRL 4. MR. TURNER and THE IMITATION GAME 5. A MOST VIOLENT YEAR 6. GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY 7. SELMA 8. THE LEGO MOVIE 9. BIRDMAN 10. LOCKE and THE DROP

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Critics Top Ten List 2014: Sean Means

Salt Lake Tribune 1. Selma 2. Boyhood 3. Birdman 4. The LEGO Movie 5. The Grand Budapest Hotel 6. Obvious Child 7. Snowpiercer 8. Edge of Tomorrow 9. Gone Girl 10. The Overnighters

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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