Awards Watch Archive for December, 2015

8 Weeks To Oscar: Pretending We Know

Expect surprises on nomination morning… even if the biggest surprise ends up being that there are no surprises at all.

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Gurus o’ Gold: You Better Vote Good For Goodness Sake

The Gurus are ready for a well-deserved break. But before they go, they seem to be close to settling their minds about some things. Best Picture seems to be down to a firm 9 titles. The acting races seem to be settling in (though watch out for that Best Supporting Actor race… it could bite you.) And the Gurus expect voters to step up and see a few titles they may have missed before they vote.

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10 Weeks To Oscar: Work It!

What movies seem like they are playing above their station this season? Room? Brooklyn? Spotlight? What do they share?

Hustle.

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Gurus o’ Gold: What Underdogs Are Still Barking?

The Gurus offer a wildly shaken Best Picture chart, with only a single film holding the same position as last week. So then, which are the underdogs that still have a chance of getting in as we close in on the Oscar nomination voting? It’s a long, interesting list.

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7 FEATURES ADVANCE IN RACE FOR MAKEUP AND HAIRSTYLING OSCAR

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences today announced that seven films remain in competition in the Makeup and Hairstyling category for the 88th Academy Awards®. The films are listed below in alphabetical order: “Black Mass” “Concussion” “Legend” “Mad Max: Fury Road” “Mr. Holmes” “The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed out the Window and Disappeared”…

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305 Features Qualify For Oscar

Three hundred five feature films are eligible for the 2015 Academy Awards®, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced today. To be eligible for 88th Academy Awards consideration, feature films must open in a commercial motion picture theater in Los Angeles County by midnight, December 31, and begin a minimum run of seven…

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Reacting to the Golden Globes

Thank you to the Hollywood Foreign Press Association for recognizing “See You Again” with a nomination for Best Original Song.  We aimed to write something that truly honored the legacy of Paul Walker and are humbled it has touched so many people. – Wiz Khalifa and Charlie Puth I was eating breakfast at home in L.A….

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11 Weeks To Oscar: Control Freak’s Lament

Candidates for awards are both artists and salesmen. The media covering the season is both a source of perspective and a source of myopia. The studios chasing awards are driven by both ego-driven vanity and earnest pride in the work to which they are parent.

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SAG Nominees React

This film has been such a wonderful and personal journey. I think it hits so close to home for many people, making the incredible response so special.  I’m honored to be nominated by SAG not only because they are my peers, but also because I’m overwhelmed to be recognized alongside actors whose work I admire…

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Gurus o’ Gold: It’s Getting Hot In Here

The Gurus go Top 6, Picture, Director, and all four Acting categories (voted pre-SAG noms). For the first time this season, there is a lot of movement on the charts.

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SAG Nominates…

Nominations Announced for the 22nd Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards® ————————————————————————————————————– Ceremony will be Simulcast Live on Saturday, January 30, 2016 on TNT and TBS at 8 p.m. (ET)/5 p.m. (PT) LOS ANGELES (Dec. 9, 2015) – Nominees for the 22nd Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards® for outstanding individual, cast and ensemble performances in film…

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THE BOSTON ONLINE FILM CRITICS ASSOCIATION ANNOUNCES FOURTH ANNUAL AWARDS

THE BOSTON ONLINE FILM CRITICS ASSOCIATION ANNOUNCES FOURTH ANNUAL AWARDS December 5, 2015 (Boston, MA) -The Boston Online Film Critics Association have chosen their winners for 2015. Awards were selected via a system of online voting and announced on their website at www.bofca.com. After spirited and competitive voting, the recipients of the Fourth Annual BOFCA…

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Gurus o’ Gold: Critics Week

This week, The Gurus take their guesses at 6 of the winners and runners-up for the critics awards from NY Film Critics Circle and LA Film Critics Association, as well as offering their weekend Best Picture chart.

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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