Awards Archive for January, 2009

UNSPOILABLE – The SAG Winners

You know… I am actually thrilled for Slumdog Millionaire, Fox Searchlight, Danny Boyle, et al, and I will soon explain why in greater depth.
But…
It

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PGA

The 3 inevitable Oscar winners also win PGA tonight…
Slumdog, Wall-E, Man on Wire.
Need more be said?

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BAFTA Silliness

Trying to turn BAFTA into a predictor of The Oscars is a fool’s errand… heavy on fool.
That is all.

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The Day After Globes

So… Slumdog wins again.
The real question emerging from last night’s Golden Globes is whether the second smackdown – 1 short of a category sweep at both HFPA and BFCA – means that the other likely Best Picture competitors – Universal, Focus, WB, and Paramount – will stand down with severely decreased budgets for Phase II, which starts with nominations on January 22.
This may not mean much to you as a civilian, but how it translates is much as it translated back in 2006, when Crash just kept pushing, while Brokeback Mountain laid back and assumed the winner’s position after wining the Globes and Crash not even being nominated for Globes, while Capote, Good Night, And Good Luck, and Munich went into “just happy to be invited” mode.
Who won? The one that kept pushing.
That doesn’t mean that this year’s Best Picture Oscar is settled or that it is, in some of these cases, still in real play. But the fight is over if, for instance, the parents at GE decide that the next $30 million spent pushing Frost/Nixon is just too much and that they need to just focus on the commercial play… or if Paramount looks at Benjamin Button being, pleasurably and surprisingly capable of being money maker and choose not to chase Best Picture to the tune of $10 million or $20 million more than just running on fumes would cost, perhaps pushing the whole film back into the red… or if The Dark Knight realizes that Raiders of the Lost Ark and Star Wars didn’t win and that they should be thrilled to deal to be nominated and let Heath’s inevitable win represent… or that Milk is modestly commercial as a movie and Focus needs to keep its finances tight in this marketplace, making a big run at Best Picture too pricey to do and lose when they are so far from the chance of a win.
It’s business over art, yes. But it will also shape the last month of the race.
There are fights to be fought on a smaller scale. Sally Hawkins is the one real surprise at The Globes that could convert at The Oscars. Best Actress is an open race. Harvey Weinstein will have to spend very carefully, but Kate Winslet could well win Supporting Actress for the lead role in The Reader if publicized right. Searchlight will now keep the pressure on for a Mickey win. And the battle for the effects and make-up and design Oscars between Dark Knight and Ben Button will be fierce (you can wave your arm in the air and snap when you read that if you like).
A kinder, gentler award season comes from all this agreement. And I can start really enjoying it again. All from a slumdog.
Of course, the biggest problem is, what will journos have to write about for the next six weeks?

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Globes – Spoiler Space

Use the comments to fight and discuss all you like… uninformed beware!

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Globes – No Spoilers Please

I am going to wait until after 11p pacific time to write much about the Globes.
All I can say is… they got out of their own way.
Insiders, who are often wrong, but rarely this wrong, did not see many of these as the answers. But give it to the foreigners… they know how to get out of the way when they are going to be embarrassed by the next set of awards.
4 major surprises on the night… but only two will have any chance of repeating on Feb 22. Actually, only one when you do the math. And that could actually happen… though it will certainly not be because of the Globes, but because of the oddly unclear category.
Anyway… enough for now…

DGA Nods… As Expected

Milk
The Dark Knight
Frost/Nixon
Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Slumdog Millionaire

Soderbergh screwed.
(Correction for dumb error uncaught: 3:15p)

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DGA Website Note…

… For Those Who Think Oscar Doesn’t Matter To Other Awards Givers
dgalist.jpg

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For The Record…

The Producers Guild of America Producer of the Year Award in Documentary Theatrical Motion Pictures
MAN ON WIRE
Simon Chinn
STANDARD OPERATING PROCEDURE
Julie Bilson Ahlberg
Errol Morris
TROUBLE THE WATER
Carl Deal
Tia Lessin
The Producers Guild of America Producer of the Year Award in Animated Theatrical Motion Pictures
BOLT
Clark Spencer
KUNG FU PANDA
Melissa Cobb
WALL-E
Jim Morris

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PGA Nominates…

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
The Dark Knight
Frost/Nixon
Milk
Slumdog Millionaire

PGA is, as it turns out, a near lock to get 4 of 5 Academy nominees for Best Picture. So as great as it is for all 5 to be nominated, someone has to be nervous and Cynthia Swartz & Scott Rudin have to be a little pleased.
And not much of a history of matching Oscar Best Picture winners….
2008
No Country for Old Men (won)
Juno
Michael Clayton
Le Scaphandre et le papillon
There Will Be Blood
2007
Little Miss Sunshine (won)
Babel
The Departed
Dreamgirls
The Queen
2006
Brokeback Mountain (won)
Capote
Crash
Good Night, and Good Luck.
Walk the Line
2005
The Aviator (won)
Finding Neverland
The Incredibles
Million Dollar Baby
Sideways
AND – With due love and respect to Disney and its minders, the reason why Wall-E is out of the Best Picture race is that they didn’t fight hard enough for it. Another $20 million or so would have done the trick. They got a great start with ads and a big NYT story… and then, left it to voters and their screeners, while The Dark Knight beat the drum from dusk until dawn. The movie is one of the best… and occassionally miracles happen. But Disney felt like it politely withdrew in December. TDK is not a lock, but if one mega-movie is in, it’s that one.

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Quote Unquotesee all »

“Well, actually, of that whole group that I call the post-60s anti-authority auteurs, a lot of them came from television. Peckinpah’s the only one whose television work represents his feature work. I mean, like the only one. Mark Rydell can direct a really good episode of ‘Gunsmoke’ and Michael Ritchie can direct a really good episode of ‘The Big Valley,’ but they don’t necessarily look like The Candidate. But Peckinpah’s stuff, even the scripts he wrote that he didn’t even direct, have a Peckinpah feel – the way I think there’s a Corbucci West – suggest a Peckinpah West. That even in his random episodes that he wrote for ‘Gunsmoke’ – it’s right there.”
~ Quentin Tarantino

“The thought is interrupted by an odd interlude. We are speaking in the side room of Casita, a swish and fairly busy Italian bistro in Aoyama – a district of Tokyo usually so replete with celebrities that they spark minimal fuss. Kojima’s fame, however, exceeds normal limits and adoring staff have worked out who their guest is. He stops mid-sentence and points up towards the speakers, delighted. The soft jazz that had been playing discreetly across the restaurant’s dark, hardwood interior has suddenly been replaced with the theme music from some of Kojima’s hit games. Harry Gregson-Williams’ music is sublime in its context but ‘Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots’ is not, Kojima acknowledges, terribly restauranty. He pauses, adjusting a pair of large, blue-framed glasses of his own design, and returns to the way in which games have not only influenced films, but have also changed the way in which people watch them. “There are stories being told [in cinema] that my generation may find surprising but which the gamer generation doesn’t find weird at all,” he says.
~ Hideo Kojima