Awards Update

Academy Invites 271 New Members

Academy Invites 271 New Members, Including John Sloss, Megan Ellison, Eddie Vedder, Jennifer Lee, Jean-Claude Carrière, Chantal Akerman, Larry Gross, Olivier Assayas, Claire Denis, Hayao Miyazaki, Sally Hawkins, Josh Hutcherson, Jason Statham, Mads Mikkelsen, Lupita Nyong’o, Chris Rock, Kerry Barden, Billy Hopkins, Sean Bobbitt, Masanobu Takayanagi, Philippe Le Sourd, William Chang Suk Ping, David Magdael, Beatrix Aruna Pasztor, Hany Abu-Assad, Jay…

Read the full article » No Comments »

48 Weeks To Oscar: Reviewing The 2014 Oscar Show

The best thing I can say about this year’s Oscar show is that there isn’t a whole lot to say. Ellen was good. Someone on Twitter found exactly the right note… it was like a sleepover. The only real downside is that only about a dozen people in the room were really included. Meryl Streep and Brad Pitt were at the center of it all. Kevin Spacey was the camera hog who found a way into every picture. Lupita Nyong’o's brother was the kid from another school who found a way to fit in. Ellen didn’t dance. Smart.

Read the full article » 14 Comments »

20W2O: Rebooting The Independent Spirit Awards

There was nothing really wrong with the show yesterday. But with due respect to some lovely moments with some lovely talent, to call the show “vanilla” would be an insult to vanilla. Really, the show jumped the shark over three years, 2008 – 2010…

Read the full article » 1 Comment »

20 Weeks To Oscar: 3 Days To Go

There’s no real sport to making Oscar picks. The star athletes have, in most cases, completed their work over a year ago. The others, including the director, have been done with the work of creation for at least 4 months. Nothing will change between this last Tuesday and Sunday evening.

Read the full article » 5 Comments »

Gurus o’ Gold: Time To Open Envelopes

In their final look at the Oscars, picking only a winner in each category, The Gurus are unanimous on 12 of 24 awards and the only categories without at least a two-thirds majority are Picture, Film Editing, and Live Action Short. Based on the Gurus vote, 12 Years A Slave would win Best Picture and 2 other Oscars, while Gravity would lead in wins for the evening, taking home 6 Oscars. And Dallas Buyers Club would have the third highest Oscar count on the night. In a year where people are talking about a limited field, Gurus voting says that the Top 8 categories would go to 5 different movies. Statisticians, start your spreadsheets.

Read the full article » 7 Comments »

Gurus o’ Gold: Top 3

This week, The Gurus offer their Top 3 in 13 Oscar categories.

Only 2 of the categories are still highly competitive in the Guru voting, however, given the chance to vote on fewer than 3 in each category if they felt it was a lock, very few Gurus chose to step up to that in very few categories.

Read the full article » 2 Comments »

20W2O: 12 Days To Go – Season of Pudding

I have to say, I am pretty agnostic at this point. I have my favorites, but I know that a very good film will win Best Picture, great performances will win the acting categories, and so on. I can foresee very few opportunities for me to really feel that anyone is going to win an Oscar this year leaving me feeling like the result was bad.

Read the full article » 10 Comments »

Gurus o’ Gold: If We Could Sway The Academy

After opining on the Best Picture race (which isn’t changing much in order, but is getting tighter & tighter), The Gurus offer their personal feelings about The Race. If they could sway Academy members to vote for as many as 5 nominees to win the gold, these are the ones they would choose.

Read the full article » No Comments »

Gurus o’ Gold: Frontrunners & Potential Upsetters

This week, The Gurus offer their weekly look at the Top Ten and then, a look at the category frontrunners and potential upsets. Cate Blanchett, Jared Leto, Lupita Nyong’o, Frozen, and the screenplay of 12 Years A Slave are the five clear frontrunners, with all 15 Gurus voting for them. The most competitive categories, by this measure, are Original Screenplay… and Best Picture.

Read the full article » 1 Comment »

20W2O: What The Oscars Should Learn From This Super Bowl

The Oscars benefit from and have long benefited from what the Super Bowl does. It is an institution. Like all live events (and ironically, like opening a movie), no one knows what the content of the show is going to be. All they know is that they want to participate in that event. They want to have fun. They want to go, “ooooo.” They want to get ticked off. They want Jen Lawrence to trip going up the stairs but to be the world’s biggest movie star once she gets to the podium.

Read the full article » 8 Comments »

20W2O: 10 Best Picture Nominees – Part 2, Call & Response

This column was inspired by some smart people arguing that, somehow, the expansion to as many as 10 Best Picture nominees is a failure and worse, is dragging down the entire Oscar franchise. I disagree.

Read the full article » 8 Comments »

20W2O: 10 Best Picture Nominees – Part 1, Why It’s Good

Was there something to complain about here? Did we all want to see Winter’s Bone kicked to the curb? Was Inception not worthy? The Kids Are All Right? If 500,000 more people see Philomena, Dallas Buyer’s Club, Her, or Nebraska because they were Best Picture nominees, viva la system! These are terrific films that are not easy to market. I just don’t see how it’s not a win for everyone.

Read the full article » 8 Comments »

Gurus o’ Gold: A Week Since Nominations (2 of 2)

Page 1 of 2

Read the full article » 2 Comments »

Gurus o’ Gold: A Week Since Nominations (1 of 2)

One week after nominations, the Gurus go through all the categories (except for shorts) again. And while most of the changes are shifts among the runners up, the big shake-up is at the top of the Best Picture chart, as 12 Years A Slave retakes the top slot and American Hustle falls all the way to…

Page 1 | Page 2

Read the full article » 2 Comments »

PGA Awards Tied Up Over Gravity And 12 Years A Slave

PGA Awards Tied Up Over Gravity And 12 Years A Slave

Read the full article » No Comments »

Gurus o’ Gold: Nomination Day (Page 2 of 2)

Page 1 of 2

Read the full article » 1 Comment »

20 Weeks To Oscar: Nominations Morning

The Oscar nominations are in and the big surprise is… no real surprise.

Yes, there are people with expectations and disappointments and preferences all over the place. But I think by the end of December, everyone kind of knew what this year looked like… lots of good candidates and not a whole lot of sure bets.

Read the full article » 35 Comments »

Complete List Of 86th Academy Award Nominations

Best motion picture of the year “American Hustle” “Captain Phillips” “Dallas Buyers Club” “Gravity” “Her” “Nebraska” “Philomena” “12 Years a Slave” “The Wolf of Wall Street” Performance by an actor in a leading role Christian Bale, “American Hustle” Bruce Dern, “Nebraska” Leonardo DiCaprio, “The Wolf of Wall Street” Chiwetel Ejiofor, “12 Years a Slave” Matthew…

Read the full article » 3 Comments »

Gurus o’ Gold: Last Stand Before Nominations

The Gurus are back from vacation, just in time to preview the nominations and to shout out about potential surprises – good and bad – on Thursday morning. Moving up the charts are American Hustle, The Wolf of Wall Street, and Dallas Buyers Club. Perhaps in trouble, that Out of Africa duo, Meryl Streep & Robert Redford.

Read the full article » 9 Comments »

20W2O: The Morning After Pillory

This is the field of play on which we who cover the awards season now toil. We are a part of The Machine. I am part of The Machine. And The Machine could not care less about legitimacy or honor or respect for the work being celebrated. The Machine just grinds on, growing annually, fed by ambition and dreams and even real passion, until it’s too big to seriously examine, whether you are NBC News or The New York Times or some blogger idiot (or some blogger genius). The Machine abides.

Read the full article » No Comments »

Quote Unquotesee all »

“I am just grateful I am still around. I would love to be Steven Soderbergh, but I am lucky to be Joe Swanberg. Actors want to work with me, people want to give me money, and my nightmare scenario remains: Getting in bed with a studio, spending years on a movie, and it turns out horrible, but now I’m rich.”

Actually, by Hollywood standards, you’re right, I said. That is unambitious.

“It is, and yet, if you can go to bed happy at night, doing what you want, isn’t that ambition for a lifetime?”
~ Swanberg On Swanberg By Borelli

“In retrospect, nothing of that kind surprised me about Philip, because his intuition was luminous from the instant you met him. So was his intelligence. A lot of actors act intelligent, but Philip was the real thing: a shining, artistic polymath with an intelligence that came at you like a pair of headlights and enveloped you from the moment he grabbed your hand, put a huge arm round your neck and shoved a cheek against yours; or if the mood took him, hugged you to him like a big, pudgy schoolboy, then stood and beamed at you while he took stock of the effect.”
John le Carré on Philip Seymour Hoffman