Awards Update

Gurus o’ Gold: Our Final Votes

In this final look at the field before Oscar Sunday, The Gurus bet heavy on La La Land. Also, a long list of categories where The Gurus think upsets are still possible, though the only La La upset with any traction is Huppert over Stone (and still, all voting Gurus went Stone and only 5 consider the upset possible). Plus, the Gurus are still fuzzy on the shorts.

Thanks for joining us for another season. We predict we will see you again in August.

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20 Weeks To Oscar: 4 Days Away…

It wasn’t complex. It wasn’t full of surprises. And nothing in its nature has suggested any real change at The Academy or inside The Industry.

The Academy is still old and white. Young people still tend to spark what is new about the industry. But the process of “becoming” for non-actors tends not to be an overnight event.

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Gurus o’ Gold: Final Voting Has Begun… The Gurus Weigh In

The Gurus offer their Top 2 in every category… except when a Guru feels the win is so locked in that there is no realistic competition. Seven of the categories have unanimous votes (Actress, Supporting Actress, Animation, Documentary, Score, Song, VFX). If The Gurus’ vision is clear, one film will win 9 Oscars on the night. The Gurus will be back one more time, after voting closes.

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20 Weeks To Oscar: Cash & Carrying Gold

Here is a key stat about winning Best Picture: Since the expansion to 5+ Best Picture nominees, no film that has won Best Picture has been better than #3 on the list of domestic box office grossers amongst the nominees.

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Gurus o’ Gold: Pick Your Top Two

This week, the Gurus were asked for their Top 2 picks in every category… unless they thought the winner is a lock. The results were not surprising, although Denzel Washington has moved into a lead and virtual Guru tie with Casey Affleck for Best Actor. Also close: Original Screenplay.

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20 Weeks To Oscar: The Simple Case For Moonlight

The phenomenon of Moonlight was on full display at the Telluride Film Festival. Audiences were not only screaming and standing on their feet when the movie ended, but many walked the intimate streets of Telliride in a kind of shock, rocked to their core. Men and women. Straight and gay. Some were black… but it is Telluride and well… most were not.

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Gurus o’ Gold: First Take At Ranking The Nominees

The Gurus ranked every Oscar category except for the shorts (even Gurus need to catch up with those nominees). And according to the Gurus, La La Land won’t break or tie the record for most wins. The film will have to settle for nine wins. The category in which The Gurus are the most indecisive? Make-up and Hair, with all three nominees ranked within two points of each other.

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20 Weeks To Oscar: The Simple Case FOR La La Land

How can anyone claim that a musical that opens with scores of people getting out of their cars to dance and sing on the freeway is “easy” “obvious” or “made for Oscar voters?” If audiences didn’t fall in love with that 5 minutes, the whole picture probably goes down. That is a massive risk.

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Nomination: Reaction

“I am thrilled! Loved making this film. I would work with Tom anytime, anywhere. Jake and Aaron and Karl made it easy for me. Nice to get some good news in the midst of all the carnage, so to speak.” – Michael Shannon   “I was just lying in bed when I found out. I…

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20 Weeks To Oscar: Right Before The Noms

This has been, perhaps, the most boring Oscar season in modern history.

But the other truth is, this has been a great award season for movies. Everyone has their personal preferences, but man, what a high quality line-up of product for awards this year. High and low.

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Gurus o’ Gold: Last Guesses Before Nominations

The Gurus are making their last group gasp before nominations arrive on Tuesday. (A couple Gurus, stuck in Sundance, may add to the charts.) Not a lot has changed in Best Picture, but some long-expected nominees have been pushed out in Actress. If the Gurus are channeling a true vibe, La La Land will lead the way with 14 nominations, followed by Arrival with 10. Dive in. Every category except for shorts is there this week. And after nominations, The Gurus will return with rankings of the nominees.

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20 Weeks To Oscar: The 4 Kinds Of Best Picture Winners

I believe there are 4 kinds of Best Picture wins.

Big Love.
Big Obligation.
Big Avoidance.
Default.

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Gurus o’ Gold: Let The Ballots Be Filled

In the last pre-Globes Best Picture poll, a lot of stability on top of the Best Picture chart and a lot of instability in the last few potential slots for nomination. Also, The Gurus were asked if they had anything to say about it all at this moment… only 3 decided to speak up.

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Gurus o’ Gold: Doc & Foreign Faves

The Gurus are on vacation, but they left behind their thoughts about the short-list races of Feature Documentary and Foreign Language, offering up their personal preferences about both categories. And as always, Best Picture. Happy New Year to all. Oscar nomination voting starts in less than a week.

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20 Weeks To Oscar: The (Shock) Corridor

My problem with The Corridor is that the period has become desperate and grabby. The smartest and the most simplistic players are stuck playing the same game… using fake awards events (high and low) and all forms of screening/dining contraptions and terrible hackneyed advertorial that not even ad buyers expect to be read.

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Gurus o’ Gold: ChristmaChanukah Time!

The Gurus answer the question on everyone’s mind… what are the best gifts The Academy could give us this holiday season? And, as always, the latest look at Best Picture, where there isn’t a lot of change. Happy Holidays!!!

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20 Weeks To Oscar: The Golden Goose & Those Lovely Eggs

The illusion of free will that is foisted on Phase I becomes much more real in Phase II. Because the power of narrowing choices actually shifts to the Academy voters and away from the media and the consultants.

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Gurus o’ Gold: What Films Are On The Edge & Who Will Win Golden Globes?

The Gurus tighten things up, with only 10 Best Picture picks. They ask, “What films are on the edge of being in or out of Best Picture contention?” Also, in honor of the Golden Globes nominations, The Gurus pick their winners. Only two of eight categories are unanimous, but all but Best Drama have overwhelming leads.

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20 Weeks To Oscar: #GlobesSoWhite

The other three “black” films? Fences was good enough for its two big stars of color to be nominated. Loving was good enough for its two likely Oscar nominees to be nominated. Hidden Figures was good enough for its Oscar-winning star to be nominated along with, uh, Best Score.

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Gurus o’ Gold: Top 8 Categories A Few Days Before The Globes Nominations

Thirteen Best Picture titles have votes from more than half the voting Gurus this week, after all the movies expected to be in play, aside from Passengers, have been seen. That is the field from which 7-10 will get Best Picture nominations. Scorsese’s Silence didn’t rise… but it didn’t fall either. Denis Villeneuve, Andrew Garfield, Isabelle Huppert and Janelle Monáe are on the rise.

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Quote Unquotesee all »

“Let me try and be as direct as I possibly can with you on this. There was no relationship to repair. I didn’t intend for Harvey to buy and release The Immigrant – I thought it was a terrible idea. And I didn’t think he would want the film, and I didn’t think he would like the film. He bought the film without me knowing! He bought it from the equity people who raised the money for me in the States. And I told them it was a terrible idea, but I had no say over the matter. So they sold it to him without my say-so, and with me thinking it was a terrible idea. I was completely correct, but I couldn’t do anything about it. It was not my preference, it was not my choice, I did not want that to happen, I have no relationship with Harvey. So, it’s not like I repaired some relationship, then he screwed me again, and I’m an idiot for trusting him twice! Like I say, you try to distance yourself as much as possible from the immediate response to a movie. With The Immigrant I had final cut. So he knew he couldn’t make me change it. But he applied all the pressure he could, including shelving the film.”
James Gray

“I’m an unusual producer because I control the destiny of a lot of the films I’ve done. Most of them are in perfect states of restoration and preservation and distribution, and I aim to keep them in distribution. HanWay Films, which is my sales company, has a 500-film catalogue, which is looked after and tended like a garden. I’m still looking after my films in the catalogue and trying to get other people to look after their films, which we represent intellectually, to try to keep them alive. A film has to be run through a projector to be alive, unfortunately, and those electric shadows are few and far between now. It’s very hard to go and see films in a movie house. I was always involved with the sales and marketing of my films, right up from The Shout onwards. I’ve had good periods, but I also had a best period because the film business was in its best period then. You couldn’t make The Last Emperor today. You couldn’t make The Sheltering Sky today. You couldn’t make those films anymore as independent films. There are neither the resources nor the vision within the studios to go to them and say, “I want to make a film about China with no stars in it.”Then, twenty years ago, I thought, “OK, I’m going to sell my own films but I don’t want to make it my own sales company.” I wanted it to be for me but I wanted to make it open for every other producer, so they don’t feel that they make a film but I get the focus. So, it’s a company that is my business and I’m involved with running it in a certain way, but I’m not seen as a competitor with other people that use it. It’s used by lots of different producers apart from me. When I want to use it, however, it’s there for me and I suppose I’m planning to continue making all my films to be sold by HanWay. I don’t have to, but I do because it’s in my building and the marketing’s here, and I can do it like that. Often, it sounds like I’m being easy about things, but it’s much more difficult than it sounds. It’s just that I’ve been at it for a long time and there’s lots of fat and security around my business. I know how to make films, but it’s not easy—it’s become a very exacting life.”
~ Producer Jeremy Thomas