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Awards Update

48 Weeks To Oscar: Academy In Crisis(?)

The grass always seems greener on the other side. But it is not always the case. In the case of The Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences, it is a sad story of insecurity, fear, oversized yet easily bruised ego, and a lack of perspective on itself.

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51 Weeks To Oscar

The Academy is acting like a supermodel who is deeply worried that her boyfriend is going to leave because she has a zit. And the answer is, men do leave supermodels. And that insecurity haunts the most beautiful and the most plain. But when you are going out there for the show, if people start noticing you are insecure, your career is over. When you are in public, you need to be all in, turned on, rocking the world because you “know” you have what everyone else wants.

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20 Weeks To Oscar… 3 Days Left

The irony of this moment is that with almost nothing left to say, the world’s media suddenly feels compelled to say EVERYTHING all at once.

Here’s the deal, as concisely as I can offer it…

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Gurus o’ Gold: The Final Vote – Every Category (2 of 2)

Page 1 Page 1 Pre-Venice/Telluride/Toronto Best Picture Field Post-Venice/Telluride/Toronto Best Picture Field After New York… Just Before Selma & American Sniper Just After Selma & American Sniper Gurus o’ Gold: A Week From Thanksgiving, aka Screener Time Thanksgiving Week The Rise of Selma Gurus o’ Gold-n-Globes) The Top 8 Categories Heading Into The Holiday Break…

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Gurus o’ Gold: The Final Vote – Every Category (1 of 2)

In the final vote of the season, The Gurus project only three changes in category leaders. They also envision The Grand Budapest Hotel winning the most Oscars, but not Best Picture. Boyhood will be the second most awarded with three. And two each for Birdman and American Sniper.

Are they right? The answers are coming on Sunday…

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20 Weeks To Oscar: One Week Left

So the question… is it the failure of the system that there isn’t more clarity… or the genius?

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Gurus o’ Gold: 6 Days Of Voting Left

It’s almost time for the party. The Gurus’ Best Picture chart features just one film moving up.

In addition, The Gurus offer which name they would not be surprised to hear on Oscar night when conventional wisdom says otherwise. And in that category, the is one clear standout.

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20 Weeks To Oscar: What We Talk About When We Talk About Best Picture

The die is likely already cast, even if all the votes are not. My experience of talking to voters is that those who are waiting are trying to see the short film selections and perhaps a doc or foreign language film, not hedging on Best Picture.

But what that answer is… I can make a list… I make a list every week… but do I know? I must admit, I have never felt this far from knowing this far into the season in 17 years of doing this.

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Gurus o’ Gold: Final Voting Starts This Week (2 of 2)

Page 1 of 2 Page 1 of 2 Pre-Venice/Telluride/Toronto Best Picture Field Post-Venice/Telluride/Toronto Best Picture Field After New York… Just Before Selma & American Sniper Just After Selma & American Sniper Gurus o’ Gold: A Week From Thanksgiving, aka Screener Time Thanksgiving Week The Rise of Selma Gurus o’ Gold-n-Globes) The Top 8 Categories Heading…

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Gurus o’ Gold: Final Voting Starts This Week (1 of 2)

The Gurus go the whole 22 (excluding shorts) as The Academy voting is about to begin. There is a lot of movement, though the projected winner has only changed in 2 categories since Nomination Day.

Part 2 is here

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20 Weeks To Oscar: Is The Door Wide Open Again?

Could the Academy’s bizarre preferential balloting system be the defining issue in coming to a Best Picture winner this year?

And let me note again, before going any further, that the existence of the preferential ballot system at The Academy is IDIOTIC and I will forever believe that this was a bad joke foisted on The Academy by an exiting Bruce Davis.

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20 Weeks To Oscar: It’s Gettin’ Hot In Here

There are a lot of theories out there about how to read the tea leaves this season. But for me, the truth is that I have never seen anything quite like it.

PGA and SAG, Birdman. Globes, Boyhood and The Grand Budapest Hotel. LAFCA and NYFCC, Boyhood. Coming up in short order… DGA, BAFTA, WGA.

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Gurus o’ Gold: A Week After Nominations… Any Changes?

The Gurus update their Best Picture picks and answer this question: Has the leader in any of the other categories changed, in your view, over the last week?

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20 Weeks To Oscar: Ragin’

I don’t know that I have seen anything like this before. It’s kind of about Oscar season. It’s mostly not. But Oscar has yelled “pull” and now everyone is shooting at the clay pigeons. And the bullets are flying from every direction.

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Gurus o’ Gold: Nomination Day (1 of 2)

The Gurus have voted on the slotting of 22 categories (no shorts yet) after today’s nominations. And if you listen to the Gurus today, 14 of those awards will be split pretty evenly between Boyhood, Birdman, and The Grand Budapest Hotel.

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

Page 1 of 2 Pre-Venice/Telluride/Toronto Best Picture Field Post-Venice/Telluride/Toronto Best Picture Field After New York… Just Before Selma & American Sniper Just After Selma & American Sniper Gurus o’ Gold: A Week From Thanksgiving, aka Screener Time Thanksgiving Week The Rise of Selma Gurus o’ Gold-n-Globes) The Top 8 Categories Heading Into The Holiday Break…

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20 Weeks To Oscar: The Most Shocking Event Of The Week!!!!

The Answers

Clint Eastwood.
Bradley Cooper.
Alexandre Desplat.
Foxcatcher.
The LEGO Movie.
Life Itself.

The Question…

What are six Oscar occurrences today that are legitimately more surprising than Selma “only” getting a Best Picture nod?

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Oscar Nominations: The Nominee Reactions

“Almost exactly a year ago, we were off to Sundance wondering if people would ever see Whiplash. Today is truly beyond our wildest dreams. As Fletcher would say, holy #@^!#@*$!!!”.” –  Helen Estabrook, Jason Blum & David Lancaster, producers of Whiplash ______________ “Humbled, thankful and more than anything, grateful. So, so happy that Alejandro and…

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20 Weeks To Oscar: Screenermania!

An industry in which a $2.4 million buy-in ($900,000 before you are nominated for anything) just for DVDs—before ads, books, promo items, appearance costs, etc,—to be considered “serious” about receiving awards is a problem.

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20 Weeks To Oscar: The Trouble With Endings (spoilers)

This piece deals with the end of three Oscar Best Picture candidates, reveling the ending of American Sniper, The Imitation Game, and Unbroken. DO NOT PROCEED is you haven’t seen the films or do not want to know the endings… you have been warned!

SPOILER ALERT!!!

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Awards Update

Quote Unquotesee all »

“We don’t defy the laws of physics: There are no flying men or cars in this movie. So it made sense to do it old-school: real vehicles and real human beings in the desert. We shot the movie more or less in continuity, because the cars and the characters get really banged up along the way. The biggest benefit of digital technology for me was that the cameras were smaller and much more agile, so you could put them anywhere. We also spent a huge amount of time on spatial awareness—making sure the viewer could follow the action and understand what was happening. There has to be a strong causal connection from one shot to the next, just the same way that in music, there has to be a connection from one note to the next. Otherwise it’s just noise. Too often, if you just cram a lot of stuff into the frame, you get the illusion of a fast pace. But there’s no coherence. It doesn’t flow. It comes off as headbanging music, and it can be exhausting. We storyboarded the movie before we had a script: We had 3,500 boards, which helps the cast and crew understand how everything is going to fit together. Movies are getting faster and faster. The Road Warrior had 1,200 cuts. This one has 2,700 cuts. You have to treat it like a symphony.”
~ George Miller

“I was having issues with my script for It’s All About Love, so I called Ingmar Bergman and we ended up talking about everything but the script. He said, “Well, Festen is a masterpiece, so what are you going to do now?” At that point, I had not decided if I was going to make It’s All About Love, so I answered, “Hmmm, I don’t know. Maybe this, maybe that.” There was just a long pause, and then he said, “You’re fucked.” I said, “Well, how can you know?” “Well, Thomas, you always have to decide your next movie before the movie you’re doing presently opens.” And I said, “Why is that?” “Well, two things can happen. One thing is that you fail, and then you’ll feel scared and humiliated. It’ll get into your head. Second, and even worse, you have success, and then you’ll want more of it, or you’ll want to maintain it. But if you decide on your next film while you’re in the middle of editing, it becomes a very nonchalant choice. And then it’s shorter from the heart to the hand.”
~ Thomas Vinterberg

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