Posts Tagged ‘Sherlock Holmes’

Wilmington DVD Picks of the Week: Black Swan, Raging Bull, The Complete Sherlock Holmes Collection, Farley Granger

Tuesday, April 5th, 2011

PICK OF THE WEEK: NEW

Black Swan (Also Blu-ray and Digital) (Three and a Half Stars)
U.S.: Darren Aronofsky, 2010 (Fox)

Darren Aronofsky specializes in cinema tales of the brilliantly sick, sickly brilliant. He spins, with white-hot intensity, barmy movie stories of a crazed math genius going nuts on the stock market (in Pi), of a family of lower depths junkies and pill-poppers flipping out together (Hubert Selby Jr‘s Requiem for a Dream), and of a battered, beaten-down over-the-hill old wrestler putting himself through hell for one last fight in a world falling apart around him (The Wrestler).

In his latest movie, the justly hailed but occasionally (understandably) ridiculed dance melodrama Black Swan, this unbraked chronicler of mad lives charts the psychological disintegration of a young, ambitious New York ballerina named Nina Sayers (played by Oscar-winner Natalie Portman with ferocious dedication), who’s been given the dream lead role of the swan princess of Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake at Lincoln Center and promptly — what else in a Darren Aronofsky film? — goes over the edge into some kind of madness: self-mutilation, paranoid fantasies and sexual hysteria.

As we watch, Nina whirls and leaps and goes delusional — and the camera seems to whirl and leap and go delusional along with her, executing wild leaps and dizzying spins, diving and pouncing and peeking over her shoulder, Polanski-like, wherever she goes. The ballet company’s seductive bully of a master choreographer, Thomas Leroy (played with a sneer by French star Vincent Cassell), casts Nina as the lead in Tchaikovsky’s classic ballet, replacing his former prima ballerina, Beth McIntyre (Winona Ryder, creating a self-destructive witch) — he’s simultaneously anointing Nina, and hurling her into hell.

Leroy tells Nina she‘s ideal casting for half the part (the role of the pure white swan) but not the other half (the wicked black swan). And Aronofsky then bombards us with Nina’s fears and desires, in scenes of dreamily voluptuous terror. The ballet studio and stage become arenas of paranoia. So does her home, an art-cluttered Manhattan apartment she shares with her painter mother Erica (Barbara Hershey).

Stricken with panic, Nina tears and rips at her own flesh — and then the cuts are mysteriously healed. She‘s flung into predatory sexual escapades or fantasies, involving Leroy, and also her main rival, Lilly (Mila Kunis), whom Thomas provokingly says is the perfect Black Swan.

As the fantasies (?) rage, Nina becomes ill, is berated by Thomas, attacked by Beth, played for a fool (maybe) by her rival Lilly, bossed by her devoted yet domineering mother. Amidst this accelerating chaos, the beauty and classicism and first night of “Swan Lake” (modernized by Thomas) looms.

These nightmares in Black Swan, concocted by Aronofsky and his co-writers Mark Heyman, Andres Heinz (original story) and John McLaughlin, are genuinely scary. We all know dancers suffer, actors suffer, writers suffer, artists suffer. (Hell, everybody suffers a bit, except maybe, at times, the upper income tax bracket guys. But artists maybe suffer more, because it’s part of their metier.) Yet Portman’s Nina — who sleeps (and, in one memorable scene, masturbates) in a doll-strewn and teddy bear-packed bedroom — goes through such intense anguish that, though possibly self-inflicted, it seems punishment enough for orgies of badness and sin, and not just with Mila Kunis.

How much of this is really happening? We know some it is real, some of it a dream, some of it is fears made flesh. But we can never be too sure which is which. That’s what makes the movie interesting.

Black Swan is not really a horror movie, but it’s more emotionally horrific than many that are. The movie hooks you, rakes the flesh of your imagination. The production design is dreamily swank. The camerawork is mobile and sometimes even frenzied. (Matthew Libatique is the cinematographer.) Cassell, Kunis and Ryder are fine, often riveting — and so, I would argue is Hershey. I was never less than entertained, and I was often more than edgy.

Ballet films sometimes seem to bring out the mad poet in some filmmakers: Ben Hecht’s eerie Specter of the Rose, for example, or Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger’s phantasmagorical operetta-ballet film of Offenbach’s Tales of Hoffman. The most famous (and best) of them all was Powell and Pressburger’s great, colorful, rhapsodically loony The Red Shoes, a touchstoine film for young dancers-to-be, in which Moira Shearer’s Vicky suffered too, though at the hand of the tyrannical Diaghilev-like impresario Lermontov (Anton Walbrook).

Like Red Shoes, Black Swan is a movie that seems to adore art and creativity. It also seems terrified of both, scared silly of the worlds they open up. Just like the magical red ballet shoes that carry Vicky up and over the balustrade and down to the train tracks below, Black Swan’s vision of dance and art is a dangerous one, crazily over the top. But Natalie Portman (who was doubled in some dance scenes) is often wildly impressive. Portman plays with fierce, almost trance-like fervor, letting the nightmares pull her (and us) under.

Anyway, in the end, it’s not art or artistry that drives you crazy, but the way the world ignores and treats some artists. As for the artists themselves, even the mad, selfish ones … They can also be angels, even when their hearts hide some darkness, like Nina‘s. As Black Swan rightly suggests, there’s something else to fear: the demons of ambition and jealousy — and madness — that may dwell within us, always. Waiting. Ready to pounce. To whirl. To dance.

PICK OF THE WEEK: CLASSIC

Raging Bull: 30th Anniversary Edition (Also Blu-ray) (Four Stars)
U. S.: Martin Scorsese, 1980 (MGM/20th Century Fox)

This has been out a while. But I’ve got to review it.

1950s movie lovers had, for one of their touchstones, Elia Kazan‘s On The Waterfront–a great classic film brilliantly written by Budd Schulberg, phenomenally acted by Marlon Brando, as`the slightly punchy fictional ex-boxer Terry Malloy trapped in a brutal labor struggle, memorably supported by fellow actors Eva Marie Saint, Lee J. Cobb, Karl Malden and Rod Steiger.

And 1980s film-lovers had a movie of their own, too. They had Martin Scorsese’s Raging Bull, powerfully written by Paul Schrader and Mardik Martin, unforgettably acted byRobert De Niro as real-life boxer and middle weight champ Jake La Motta trapped in a brutal climb to the championship, terrifically supported by fellow actors Cathy Moriarity, Joe Pesci and Frank Vincent.

These movies are linked, vein to vein, blood to blood, heart to heart. Both were written in the vernacular of the streets: in Raging Bull’s case, such profane and dirty-mouth vernacular, so many “fucks” and “motherfuckers” and “shits,” delivered so off-handedly and almost automatically, that you probably couldn’t have played the show in a regular ‘50s movie theatre without getting arrested. Both movies were shot in black and white — incredible blacks and remarkable whites — by cinematographers Boris Kaufman (“Waterfront”) and Michael Chapman (“Bull”). Both movies had lyrical or booming symphonic/operatic scores, by Leonard Bernstein (West Side Story) for Kazan, and by Pietro Mascagni (Cavalleria Rusticana) for Scorsese.

SPOILER ALERT

Finally, the two movies all but fused into one in the last scene of Raging Bull, the scene where De Niro as the fat, washed up La Motta stares at himself in a dressing room mirror and recites Brando’s famous “Waterfront” speech: “You don’t understand! I coulda had class! I coulda been a contender! I coulda been somebody…instead of a bum which is what I am.” In that scene, De Niro’s La Motta is trying (with some difficulty) to remember his lines, and the legendary speech comes off in an almost expressionless, stumbling monotone: this speech that Brando — as he faced his crooked brother Charlie in the back seat of a Jersey taxicab — filled with so much passion, so much pain and regret, so much humanity

In Raging Bull, we follow Jake La Motta’s life the way La Motta himself told it in his book of the same title: his rise in the city and his battle to become champ, his epochal matches with Sugar Ray Robinson (Johnny Barnes), his ascension (brief, brief) to the middleweight throne, beating Edith Piaf’s lover Marcel Cerdan (Louis Raftis) for the title, and then that last fight with Sugar Ray, where Jake didn’t go down, but lost the title.

END OF SPOILER

We see also his troubled, demon-ridden, violent home life, his almost childish adoration and furious jealousy over his blonde wife Vickie, with her glossy but earthy movie star looks (played by a stunning Cathy Moriarity), and his explosive camaraderie and brainsick fights with his brother Joey (an amazing Joe Pesci). We also see the way everything begins to fall apart for Jake, when he goes crazy with jealousy and puts Joey on the floor and screams “Did you fuck my wife?”

SPOILER ALERT

Terry Malloy was never a contender, but at the end of his story, he won. Jake la Motta was the champion of the world, but at the end of his story, we see him struggling to become a facsimile of Terry the loser at his darkest moment of despair. (“You was my brother, Charley: You should’ve looked after me just a little bit…”)

END OF SPOILER

In the ’50s, most young actors wanted to be a facsimile of Terry too: to be Brando, or to beat Brando, especially in that taxicab scene. In the ’80s, before the decade went all sour and fat and greedy, a lot of them wanted to be De Niro. .(I coulda been somebody…)

And when the decade had passed and a few more years had passed as well, lots of movie people, both critics and filmmakers, decided that Raging Bull — though it had been beaten out for the 1980 Best Picture Oscar by Robert Redford’s good-hearted, well-acted, liberal family drama Ordinary People (while De Niro won Best Actor) — was really the best movie anyone had made during the ’80s, even though it was black and white, and arty, and profane, and about brutal people in a brutal world.

They were right. Raging Bull is the best of the ’80s, and of a few more decades as well. Citizen Kane is the company that Raging Bull keeps. And Casablanca and The Grapes of Wrath and The Treasure of the Sierra Madre and The Godfather Trilogy and Schindler’s List. And, of course, On the Waterfront.

All black and white, except the Godfathers. All movies about the real world, or a world that seems real. All movies that can pummel you in the guts, stun you and tear your heart out.

Why is Raging Bull such a masterpiece among masterpieces? Why is Scorsese a nonpareil director, and De Niro an unmatched actor? (We hear you, Al Pacino.) Why are Terry and Jake two movie characters who live and grow and resonate in our minds as few movie characters ever can or ever will?

It’s not because of the violence and the brutality and the language, though they‘re all a part of the story and they have to be there. They’re done in Raging Bull not just to shock us or give us ugly jolts or show us how streetwise these filmmakers can be, but to reveal to us with lacerating clarity what this world and its people are really like. To show us what they go through: Jake and Vicky and Joey and Sugar Ray and all of the others, even the ones we dislike. “I was blind, but now I see,” is the movie’s last sentence, and it’s written white on black.

That’s what the film gives us most movingly. Not phony uplift. Not schmaltzy sentiment. Not tough guy posturing. Not gutter ranting. But Jake La Motta as Bobby sees him and as Marty sees him: La Motta the champ, a man who was blind, like we all are to some degree, but who now…can see. The man who chases his estranged brother Joey when he sees him in the street after years, and catches him in his arms, and hugs and kisses him with clumsy tenderness (“Charley, Charley…You was my brother…“), and who knows he was wrong, and who asks to see him again, have a drink, talk about things, be a paisano. Be his brother. Forgive him. Christ, forgive him!

Raging Bull. Best of the 1980s. A great movie. A terrible decade. Fuck that decade. You can watch Marty’s and Bobby’s picture again though, and you can see it all so clearly, why it’s great — even though there are people, filmmakers, critics, who dislike this movie still (the language maybe?) or maybe are afraid of it (the violence maybe?) or even disgusted by it (The sex, maybe? These low-life, lower-class guys, maybe?) and who think it’s overrated, that Scorsese is overrated, and that even De Niro is overrated. When I think of that…

You don’t understand, I coulda had class.

You know what? To hell with them.
Extras: Three commentaries by Scorsese, Schrader and others; Documentary Raging Bull: Fight Night; Featurettes; Cathy Moriarity with Johnny Carson on The Tonight Show; Vintage newsreel footage of Jake La Motta in the ring, defending his title.

PICK OF THE WEEK: BOX SET

The Complete Sherlock Holmes Collection (Blu-ray) (Five discs) (Three and a Half Stars)
U. S.: Various directors, 1939-46 (MPI)

None of the many screen acting teams who played master detective Sherlock Holmes and his roommate/chronicler Dr. John Watson ever nailed the parts quite the way Basil Rathbone and Nigel Bruce did — Rathbone, the hawk-faced, eagle-eyed, lean, brilliant and lovably arrogant Holmes; Bruce the chubby, dithering stout-fella sidekick Watson.

One might complain that Bruce was sometimes a little too chubby and dithering. (Did this bumbling, bewildered chap ever really earn a medical decree?) But Bruce’s Watson, though little like the character that Sir Arthur Conan Doyle actually wrote, was the perfect foil for Rathbone’s Holmes. And there will probably never be another Holmes to match Basil‘s, or a team to match them both. Not the admirable Jeremy Brett with David Burke or Edward Hardwicke, not Ronald Howard and H. Marion Crawford. And no, not Robert Downey, Jr. and Jude Law in Guy Ritchie’s recent Sherlock Holmes movie, though it’s an interesting try, and Downey a sometimes ingenious Holmes.

The only competition for Rathbone and Bruce, I think, is a movie team that never was, except in What’s New, Pussycat? That’s Billy Wilder’s provocative first choices for his underrated 1970 The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes, Peter O’Toole as Holmes and Peter Sellers as Watson. (Wilder, of course, feuded with Sellers after Kiss Me Stupid and Sellers’ heart attack and exit, and Jeremy Brett’s buddy Robert Stephens wound up playing the part for Billy, with Colin Blakely as his Watson.)

But I‘d like to see Steve Coogan, Robin Williams or someone from Monty Python doing a schizophrenic Holmes some day , a mad master detective who, after Watson’s seeming murder by Moriarity, takes on both personalities; Watson comes back of course, and Holmes is caught between reality and schizophrenia. Works for me.

Rathbone and Bruce, though: Nobody beats them, as a pure team.

It all started at Twentieth Century Fox in 1939 (that supposed movie year of years), where Rathbone and Bruce appeared together in The Hound of the Baskervilles (Sidney Lanfield, 1939) and The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes (Alfred Werker, 1939). They were both model adaptations. (See below.) But Fox never followed up on plans for a Charlie Chan-style series, especially after both films were blasted in England and by the Doyle estate, and the nonpareil movie Baker Street duo wasn’t reunited until four years later, starting in 1942, and running through 1946, for a lower-budget series at Universal.

The Universal films were almost all directed by Roy William Neill, a silent movie veteran who gives them a strong touch of noir — and, though some critics disagree, I think the series was good all the way to the end. They were all superior B Movies, well-written, well-cast and directed, but with one notable flaw.

The first two Rathbone-Bruces had been period movies, set properly in gaslit, fog-shrouded Victorian London. The later movies, probably in order to let Holmes bring down the curtain with stirring anti-Fascist speeches and tributes to the WW2 Grand Alliance, were all set contemporaneously, in the 40s. That makes them seem anachronistic today, and its really a shame the studios didn’t just continue doing Doyle stories with the perfect pair, in period. (See below.)

Still and all, Rathbone and Bruce remain transcendent, whatever the era they’re plopped into. Rathbone‘s Holmes really does seem smarter than anyone else in the room, including anybody else (say, Professor Moriarity), who might possibly drop by. And Bruce’s priceless fumbling, silly-ass bragging and doggy devotion to Holmes, though hardly According to Doyle, sets Rathbone up, and off, beautifully.

Two from Fox. Twelve from Universal. Fourteen in all. Ah, as Sherlock H. might say, the game’s afoot! In a way, all you really need for a good Sherlock Holmes movie and a good time — elementary, my dear Watson — are Basil Rathbone and Nigel Bruce.

The twelve Universal films are all the painstaking UCLA restorations. (They should have taken more pains over the DVD subtitles though; at one point Samuel Johnson’s very own Watson, James Boswell, is renamed “James Bosvo.”) All of the films star Basil Rathbone as Sherlock Holmes and Nigel Bruce as Dr. John Watson.

Includes: The Hound of the Baskervilles (U.S.: Sidney Lanfield, 1939) Three and a half Stars. This very good-looking adaptation of the most popular of all the Holmes novels, puts us eerily on the foggy moors where a monster (“Mr. Holmes, they were the footprints of a gigantic hound!“) seems to be dogging the Baskerville household (including heir Richard Greene, bride-to-be Wendy Barrie, sinister servant John Carradine and the inevitable Lionel Atwill). Not all that faithful, but it’s a fine introduction and showcase for the series’ Holmes and Watson — and, incidentally for Mary Gordon as their endearing landlady Mrs. Hudson.

The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes (U.S.; Alfred Werker, 1939) Three and a Half Stars. Adapted not from Doyle, but from William Gillette‘s hugely popular play, with Holmes and Watson battling that archest of arch-criminals Professor Moriarity (George Zucco), while trying to save both Ida Lupino and the crown jewel collection. (I’d choose Ida.) In one delicious garden party moment, Holmes, in music hall disguise, sings and dances an Archie Rice-style version of “By the Seaside.”

Sherlock Holmes and The Voice of Terror (U.S.; John Rawlins, 1942) Three Stars. Holmes battles Nazi spies, traitors and the Hitler-loving Voice, this movie’s version of Lord Haw Haw. First of the RKO series, not based on Doyle, but with a top cast: Reginald Denny, Evelyn Ankers, Henry Daniell, Montague Love and Thomas Gomez.

Sherlock Holmes and the Secret Weapon (U.S.; Roy William Neill, 1942) Two and a Half Stars. Holmes baffles Inspector Lestrade (Dennis Hoey) while outwitting Moriarity (Atwill this time) and fighting Nazis. Can Holmes beat Hitler? Elementary, my dear Winston. With Kaaren (sic) Verne and Holmes Herbert.

Sherlock Holmes in Washington (U.S.; Neill, 1943) Two and a Half Stars. One of the sillier, more improbable (but still enjoyable) of the modern Holmeses, finds the intrepid sleuth Sherlock and his bumbling sidekick Watson, tracking spies and microfilm. We sometimes endure a lot for the pleasure of their company. With Henry Daniell, Marjorie Lord and Zucco as Moriarity.

Sherlock Holmes Faces Death (U.S.; Neill, 1943) Three and a Half Stars. One of the Neill series‘ very best. Scary too. Based on the prime Conan Doyle story The Musgrave Ritual, a clever cipher murder mystery, it’s set in a country manor. So — if you ignore the modern references — you can imagine you’re back in gaslit Victorian times with Holmes and Watson. The cast includes Rathbone, Bruce, Halliwell Hobbes, Hoey (as Lestrade) and two later ‘50s TV mainstays: Hillary Brooke (the blonde on The Abbott and Costello Show) and Milburn Stone (Doc on Gunsmoke).

Sherlock Holmes and the Spider Woman (U.S.; Neill, 1944) Three stars. One of the series‘ best villains, Oscar-winner and future black list victim Gale Sondergaard as the smiling, murderous Spider Woman, battling wits and webs with Holmes. A good one, with Hoey as Lestrade.

The Scarlet Claw (U.S.; Neill, 1944) Three and a Half Stars. Often called the best of the Rathbone-Bruce Universal shows, and it probably is, though again it‘s original, rather than Doyle-derived. Holmes and Watson track a seeming werewolf-like monster and a string of bloody murders in foggy Canada. With Miles Mander and Ian Wolfe.

The Pearl of Death (U.S.: Neill, 1944) Three Stars. Holmes and Watson hunt for the Borgia Pearl, which is hidden in one of six busts. Based on Doyle‘s “The Six Napoleons.” With Ankers, Mander, Hoey and Rondo Hatton as “The Creeper.”

The House of Fear (U.S.: Neill, 1945) Three and a Half Stars. A houseful of eccentrics, united in a kind of tontine (whoever survives all the others gets all their insurance) are being picked off one by one, under the very noses of Holmes and Watson. A tense, ingenious variation on “The Five Orange Pips.” With Hoey, Herbert and Paul Cavanagh.

The Woman in Green (U.S.: Neill, 1945) Three Stars. Holmes hunts a serial killer who chops off fingers. Grislier than usual, but Watson is there to relieve the tension. With Daniell, Brooke and Cavanagh.

Pursuit to Algiers (U.S.; Neill, 1945) Two and a Half Stars. Holmes and Watson aboard a sea liner, guarding a royal heir. Far-fetched but fun.

Terror by Night (U.S.; Neill, 1946) Three Stars. Holmes and Watson take the train in the series’ only example of that delicious sub-genre, the railroad thriller. With Hoey and Alan Mowbray.

Dressed to Kill (U.S.; Neill, 1946) Three Stars. Holmes reveals his flirtatious side as he pursues master femme fatale criminal Patricia Morrison, in a plot involving stolen music boxes. Holmes, flirt? This one has several references to “that woman” Irene Adler of the classic Doyle tale, “A Scandal in Bohemia,” some supplied by the perhaps slightly jealous Watson.
The series ends here, partly because World War II had ended. But I think Universal missed a sure thing by not continuing the Adventures, this time transferring Holmes and Watson to their proper Victorian era. There was another problem though: Neill, an underrated director (and also the producer), died in 1946 after following up Terror By Night and Dressed to Kill with Black Angel, a nice little noir from a Cornell Woolrich novel, starring Dan Duryea and Peter Lorre. That’s a big loss. But why couldn’t someone like RKO’s literate Val Lewton have taken over the Holmes series as producer?

Anyway, I loved watching all these movies, some once again, some for the first time, some good, some not so good, but all blessed by Rathbone’s inimitable sardonic, brainy cool, Bruce’s world-class bumbling, and that perfect movie detective team’s unbeatable chemistry. Why did audiences love them, together, so much? It’s easy to see. Holmes was the cerebral superman, Watson the fubsy everyman. We all want to be Holmes, but mostly we’re Watsons, at best. (And that’s not bad.)
Anyway, as Dr. Watson says, in The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, in Nigel Bruce’s grandest moment in the entire series, “Elementary, my dear Holmes.”

Extras: Six commentaries with actress Patricia Morrison and others; Interview with UCLA Film and Television Archive Preservation Officer Robert Gitt; Short sound film of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle; Photo galleries; Theatrical trailers.

Farley Granger Noir on DVD

1. Rope (U.S.: Alfred Hitchcock, 1948) Four Stars. Warners (Also in the Warners box set “Alfred Hitchcock: The Signature Collection.”)

2. They Live By Night (U.S. Nicholas Ray, 1949) Four Stars. Warners (In the Warners Box Set “Film Noir Classic Collection: Volume 4″)

3. Side Street (U.S. Anthony Mann, 1949) Three Stars. Warners (In the Warners Box Set “Film Noir Classic Collection: Volume 4″)

4. Strangers on a Train (U.S.: Alfred Hitchcock, 1951) Four Stars. Warners (Also in the Warners box set “Alfred Hitchcock: The Signature Collection.”)

Weekend Box Office Report — December 5

Sunday, December 5th, 2010

The Warrior’s Weigh

The first weekend of December has the ignominious tradition of being one of the lowest moviegoing periods of the year. This year is no exception with but a single new wide release and holdover titles generally experiencing declines of more than 50%.

The newcomer arrived from the re-constituted Relativity Media with the martial arts actioner The Warrior’s Way. It barely squeaked into the top 10 with an estimated $3 million. Industry trackers hadn’t expected much for the picture but even their estimates were pegged significantly higher at roughly $5 million.

The frame leader was the animated Tangled with an estimated $21.5 million with Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 1 taking the consolation prize with $16.9 million. The rest of the holdovers were indeed the deathly hallows.

However, there were a couple of spectacular exclusive debuts. The controversial and intense drama Black Swan bowed to $1.4 million, which translated into a jaw dropping per engagement average of $76,670. And the left-for-dead black comedy I Love You Phillip Morris hit the target with $109,000 from six locations and an $18,200 average. Also encouraging was the two-screen bow of the ironically titled All Good Things with $37,500.

The rest of the new niche crowd ranged from fair to poor including several new films on the Indian circuit, the independent Night Catches Us and the documentary Bhutto.

All added up, revenues amounted to about $86 million and a 54% drop from the weekend slice of Thanksgiving. It was also off 15% from the 2009 edition when the top new entry was third-ranked Brothers with $9.5 million. The 2009 leader with $20 million was The Blind Side.

Domestic box office should push past $10 billion next weekend and register a slight gain for the year when the dust settles in 26 days. It also unquestionably marks another year of theatrical admission declines; likely between 5% and 7%.

As to award’s contenders, it remains anyone’s game and last week’s announcement of honors from the National Board of Review provided scant indication of what’s to follow from major critical groups or the Hollywood Foreign Press. Apart from James L. Brooks’ How Do You Know, the anticipated upcoming releases have been seen and left prognosticators fumbling to identify leaders in any of the talent categories.

__________________________________________________

Weekend Estimates – December 3-5, 2010

Title Distributor Gross (average) % change * Theaters Cume
Tangled BV 21.5 (5,970) -56% 3603 96.5
Harry Potter & the Deathly Hollows, Part 1* WB 16.9 (4,090) -66% 4125 244.4
Burlesque Sony 6.1 (2,020) -49% 3037 27
Unstoppable Fox 6.1 (1,930) -47% 3152 68.9
Love and Other Drugs Fox 5.7 (2,310) -42% 2458 22.6
Megamind Par 4.9 (1,550) -61% 3173 136.6
Due Date WB 4.2 (1,720) -41% 2450 91
Faster CBS 3.8 (1,550) -55% 2470 18.1
The Warrior’s Way Relativity 3.0 (1,870) NEW 1622 3
The Next Three Days Lionsgate 2.6 (1,150) -45% 2236 18.3
Morning Glory Par 1.7 (760) -56% 2263 29.1
127 Hours Fox Searchlight 1.6 (3,790) -4% 433 6.6
Black Swan Fox Searchlight 1.4 (76,670) NEW 18 1.4
Fair Game Summit 1.0 (2,320) -27% 436 7.3
Red Summit .75 (960) -45% 779 87.2
For Colored Girls … Lionsgate .45 (930) -67% 485 37.3
Lance et compte Seville .43 (4,480) -31% 96 1.3
Skyline Uni/Alliance .42 (730) -63% 578 20.9
The Social Network Sony .41 (1,580) -42% 260 91
The King’s Speech Weinstein Co. .32 (53,000) -10% 6 0.8
Weekend Total ($500,000+ Films) $81.25
% Change (Last Year) -15%
% Change (Last Week) -54%
Also debuting/expanding
I Love You Phillip Morris Roadside .11 (18,200) 6 0.11
Raktacharitra 2 Viva/Happy 94,200 (4,100) 23 0.09
Khelein Hum Jee Jaan Sey Viva 65,300 (960) 68 0.07
Nutcracker 3D FreeStyle 45,700 (1,040) -31% 44 0.14
Made in Dagenham Sony Classics 39,600 (3,600) -37% 11 0.18
All Good Things Magnolia 37,500 (18,750) 2 0.04
Dead Awake New Film 31,400 (570) 55 0.03
Mar Jawan Gur Khake Punjabi 18,800 (6,270) 3 0.02
Night Catches Us Magnolia 12,100 (3,020) 4 0.01
Bhutto First Run 7,800 (3,900) 2 0.01

Domestic Market Share (Jan. 1 – Dec. 2, 2010)

Distributor (releases) Gross Market Share
Warner Bros. (27) 1792.9 18.40%
Paramount (18) 1609.2 16.50%
Fox (18) 1371.7 14.00%
Buena Vista (16) 1252.3 12.80%
Sony (24) 1185.4 12.10%
Universal (18) 797.2 8.20%
Summit (11) 517.9 5.30%
Lionsgate (15) 512.4 5.20%
Fox Searchlight (7) 84.7 0.90%
Overture (7) 81.9 0.80%
Focus (7) 75.2 0.80%
CBS (3) 64.2 0.70%
Weinstein Co. (8) 63.1 0.70%
Sony Classics (22) 58.7 0.60%
MGM (1) 50.4 0.50%
Other * (301) 246.6 2.50%
9763.8 100.00%
* none greater than .04%

Top Global Grossers * (Jan. 1 – Dec. 2, 2010)

Title Distributor Gross
Avatar * Fox 1,955,694,414
Toy Story 3 BV 1,065,128,004
Alice in Wonderland BV 1,024,537,295
Inception WB 840,550,911
Shrek Forever After Par 738,351,966
Twilight: Eclipse Summit 699,325,617
Harry Potter & the Deathly Hallows, Part 1 WB 634,033,738
Iron Man 2 Par 622,718,600
Despicable Me Uni 534,415,944
How to Train Your Dragon Par 495,921,283
Clash of the Titans WB 489,778,913
Sherlock Holmes * WB 367,796,599
The Karate Kid Sony 359,429,551
Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time BV 335,816,141
The Last Airbender Par 319,062,129
Robin Hood Uni 312,207,159
Shutter Island Par 301,977,955
Sex and the City 2 WB 301,158,934
Salt Sony 293,955,694
Resident Evil: Afterlife Sony/Alliance 292,972,689
The Expendables Lionsgate 272,550,235
Grown Ups Sony 271,417,359
Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel Fox 264,341,533
Knight and Day Fox 261,206,060
Percy Jackson & the Olympians Fox 226,497,298
* does not include 2009 box office

Weekend Box Office Report — November 21

Sunday, November 21st, 2010

Harry and the Deathly Swallows … Gulp!

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 1 ascended to an estimated $126.2 million and corralled more than 60% of weekend ticket sales. Comparatively speaking the remaining films in the multiplex had to settle for chump change, including the bow of the thriller The Next Three Days which slotted fifth with $6.7 million.

The session also included the new Bollywood release Guzaarish, which garnered a better than respectable $423,000 at 108 venues. Among the few exclusive bows both the British import Made in Dagenham and France’s White Material were just OK with respective openings of $39,300 and $35,800, each playing on three screens.

It was the biggest opening yet for a Harry Potter film but while the juggernaut provided a big box office boost from last weekend it was insufficient to stave off a decline from 2009.

Expectations were high for the first installment of the last chapter of the Potter franchise. Advance sales and online tracking anticipated a $100 million debut and that number expanded following word of advance Thursday midnight screenings estimated at $24 million. Large format engagements were estimated at $12.4 million and if that number holds up it will be a record.

Internationally the early estimates are roughly $205 million from 54 markets. It includes all-time records in the U.K. and Russia and otherwise just sensational debuts elsewhere. The final, final Potter putter is schedule for July 2011.

On a decidedly downbeat note, The Next Three Days came in well below tracking that suggested a $10 million launch. The film also received a drubbing from critics.

Weekend revenues lurched toward $200 million, which translated into a 64% hike from seven days back. It was however 25% behind the 2009 slate led by the second installment of Twilight (New Moon), which bowed bitingly to $142.8 million with the unexpectedly $34.1 million potency of The Blind Side right behind it.

The contender’s roster failed to see any additional dynamos this weekend and the titles already in the marketplace were finding the Darwinian aspect of the exercise unrelenting. Both Fair Game and 127 Hours added a significant number of playdates with the latter continuing to maintain a hefty $8,330 engagement average. The other surprise in the mix is the continuing stamina of the non-fiction Inside Job that’s racked up $2.2 million to date.

__________________________________________________

Weekend Estimates – November 19-21, 2010

Title Distributor Gross (average) % change * Theaters Cume
Harry Potter & the Deathly Hallows, Part 1* WB 126.2 (30,600) NEW 4125 126.2
Megamind Par 16.2 (4,280) -45% 3779 109.5
Unstoppable Fox 13.0 (4,060) -43% 3207 41.9
Due Date WB 8.9 (2,760) -42% 3229 72.4
The Next Three Days Lionsgate 6.7 (2,590) NEW 2564 6.7
Morning Glory Par 5.2 (2,050) -43% 2544 19.8
Skyline Uni/Alliance 3.4 (1,170) -71% 2883 17.6
Summit 2.4 (1,190) -51% 2034 83.5
For Colored Girls … Lionsgate 2.3 (1,920) -64% 1216 34.5
Fair Game Summit 1.4 (3,730) 41% 386 3.7
Secretariat BV 1.0 (970) -56% 1010 56.4
Paranormal Activity 2 Par .93 (840) -69% 1101 83.6
The Social Network Sony .91 (1,590) -49% 571 89.2
127 Hours Searchlight .90 (8,330) 104% 108 1.9
Saw 3D Lionsgate .82 (1,020) -71% 806 45.3
Jackass 3D Par .72 (1,050) -68% 687 116.1
Life As We Know It WB .52 (930) -50% 558 51.6
Guzaarish UTV .42 (3,910) NEW 108 0.42
The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest Music Box/Alliance .41 (2,180) -22% 188 3.5
Inside Job Sony Classics .37 (1,770) -22% 211 2.2
Weekend Total ($500,000+ Films) $191.50
% Change (Last Year) -25%
% Change (Last Week) 64%
Also debuting/expanding
Today’s Special Reliance 88,400 (1,670) 53 0.09
Made in Dagenham Sony Classics 39,300 (13,100) 3 0.04
White Material IFC 35,800 (11,930) 3 0.04
Queen of the Lot Rainbow 16,400 (2,730) 6 0.02
Copacabana Seville 14,100 (2,010) 7 0.01

Domestic Market Share (Jan. 1 – Nov. 18, 2010)

Distributor (releases) Gross Market Share
Paramount (18) 1555.1 16.80%
Warner Bros. (26) 1538.8 16.70%
Fox (17) 1320.7 14.30%
Buena Vista (15) 1173.4 12.70%
Sony (23) 1160.3 12.60%
Universal (18) 790.4 8.60%
Summit (11) 508.5 5.50%
Lionsgate (14) 490.6 5.30%
Overture (7) 81.7 0.90%
Fox Searchlight (7) 80.3 0.90%
Focus (7) 75.1 0.80%
Weinstein Co. (7) 62.5 0.70%
Sony Classics (21) 57.3 0.60%
MGM (1) 51.2 0.50%
CBS (2) 50 0.50%
Other * (288) 240.7 2.60%
9236.6 100.00%
* none greater than .04%

Top Domestic Grossers * (Jan. 1 – Nov. 18, 2010)

Title Distributor Gross
Avatar * Fox 476,883,415
Toy Story 3 BV 414,681,777
Alice in Wonderland BV 334,191,110
Iron Man 2 Par 312,445,596
Twilight: Eclipse Summit 300,551,386
Inception WB 291,914,445
Despicable Me Uni 248,900,040
Shrek Forever After Par 238,667,087
How to Train Your Dragon Par 218,685,707
The Karate Kid Sony 176,797,997
Clash of the Titans WB 163,214,888
Grown Ups Sony 162,147,232
The Last Airbender Par 131,733,601
Shutter Island Par 128,051,522
The Other Guy Sony 119,256,755
Salt Sony 118,485,665
Jackass 3D Par 115,357,091
Valentine’s Day WB 110,509,442
Sherlock Holmes * WB 106,967,985
Robin Hood Uni 105,425,146
* does not include 2009 box office

Weekend Box Office Report – October 24

Sunday, October 24th, 2010

Back to Paranormal

Paranormal Activity 2 exceeded pundit expectation (though not necessarily fans) with an estimated $41.6 million to lead weekend movie ticket sales. The session’s only other national bow was Hereafter, which shot up to $11.9 million following last weekend’s limited opener.

Niche and regional bows included a solid $212,000 (in Hindi and Telegu versions) bow for the Indian crime saga Rakhtcharitra. Fans won’t have to wait long for its second part conclusion that’s scheduled for late November. Meanwhile up in Canada the Toronto fest curtain raiser Score: A Hockey Musical failed to live up to its name with a discordant $143,000 from 127 rinks.

Exclusives included good though unsensational debuts that included non-fiction Boxing Gym with a $6,100 TKO in its solo bout and Taqwacores — the tale of an Islamic rock band — grossing $5,500 also in a single outing.

Though there was a marginal dip from last weekend’s box office, the frame saw its first uptick from 2009 in a month with industry mavens already predicting expanded revenues through the end of the year.

Critical response to sleeper sensation Paranormal Activity 2 was at best tepid with the more negative reviews viewing it as a cynical rehash of its inspiration. Nonetheless avids were cueing up to provide Thursday midnight shows a record preview for an R-rated film. It lost traction as the weekend proceeded but the fast start was sufficient to speed past tracking that suggested an opening salvo of not much more than $30 million.

Exit polls for both Paranormal Activity 2 and Hereafter were disappointing. The latter film pretty much brought in the anticipated older crowd and filmmaker Clint Eastwood’s films have a history of hanging in for longer than typical runs and much higher multiples than is the industry norm. Still, this yarn could well stray from that trend.

Weekend revenues amassed roughly $130 million in torn ducats. It represented a slight 2% dip from seven days back but the unexpected Paranormal Activity 2 and overall strong holdovers translated into a 13% box office boost from 2009. A year ago the first Paranormal Activity (in its initial wide weekend) led with $21.1 million followed by Saw VI and Where the Wild Things Are with respective tallies of $14.1 million and $14 million.

With the exception of Waiting for “Superman” it’s been a brutal season for Oscar hopefuls trying to set an early footprint on the awards landscape. Granted, very few have received a wholehearted critical embrace, but even by niche standards the likes of Nowhere Boy, You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger and Jack Goes Boating among others have been comparative under-performers when measured against past films that have employed this tactic.

__________________________________________________

Weekend Estimates – October 22-24, 2010

Title Distributor Gross (average) % change * Theaters Cume
Paranormal Activity 2 Par 41.6 (12,930) New 3216 41.6
Jackass 3D Par 21.5 (6,920) -57% 3111 87.1
Red Summit 15.1 (4,620) -31% 3273 43.6
Hereafter WB 11.9 (5,450) 2175 12.2
The Social Network Sony 7.2 (2,450) -31% 2921 72.8
Secretariat BV 6.9 (2,210) -26% 3108 37.3
Life As We Know It WB 6.1 (2,010) -32% 3019 37.5
Legend of the Guardians WB 3.1 (1,390) -26% 2236 50.1
The Town WB 2.7 (1,390) -33% 1918 84.6
Easy A Sony 1.7 (1,050) -35% 1632 54.7
Wal Street: Money Never Sleeps Fox 1.2 (960) -49% 1255 50
My Soul to Take Uni/Alliance 1.0 (600) -68% 1689 13.9
Waiting for “Superman” Par Vantage .76 (2,620) 2% 290 3.7
Alpha and Omega Lionsgate .71 (980) -14% 727 23.5
It’s Kind of a Funny Story Focus .66 (1,180) -46% 560 5.1
Devil Uni .63 (980) -35% 642 32.4
You Again BV .61 (680) -50% 901 24
N Secure FreeStyle .53 (1,190) -55% 445 1.9
Toy Story 3 BV .42 (1,211) -21% 350 413.4
You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger Sony Classics .40 (1,060) 46% 381 1.8
Case 39 Par Vantage .38 (530) -69% 721 12.7
Weekend Total ($500,000+ Films) $123.90
% Change (Last Year) 13%
% Change (Last Week) -2%
Also debuting/expanding
Stone Overture .34 (3,030) 49% 113 0.76
Conviction Fox Searchlight .30 (5,420) 192% 55 0.34
Rakhtcharitra Viva/Happy .21 (6,230) 34 0.21
Nowhere Boy Weinstein Co. .21 (870) -39% 215 0.76
Score: A Hockey Musical Mongrel .14 (1,130) 127 0.14
Jhootha Hi Sahi Viva 64,700 (1,350) 48 0.06
My Girlfriend’s Boyfriend Fiftyfilms 10,300 (5,150) 2 0.01
Boxing Gym Zipporah 6,100 (6,100) 1 0.01
Taqwacores Rumanni 5,500 (5,500) 1 0.01
Inhale IFC 5,600 (2,800) 2 0.01

Domestic Market Share (Jan. 1 – Oct. 21, 2010)

Distributor (releases) Gross Market Share
Warner Bros. (25) 1403.9 16.30%
Paramount (15) 1310.6 15.30%
Fox (16) 1287.9 15.00%
Buena Vista (15) 1144.7 13.30%
Sony (23) 1129.9 13.20%
Universal (17) 771.4 9.00%
Summit (10) 453.6 5.30%
Lionsgate (12) 411.5 4.80%
Overture (7) 79.7 0.90%
Focus (7) 73.2 0.90%
Fox Searchlight (6) 72.7 0.80%
Weinstein Co. (7) 61.6 0.70%
Sony Classics (21) 53.7 0.60%
MGM (1) 50.4 0.60%
CBS (2) 50 0.60%
Other * (271) 226.9 2.70%
8581.7 100.00%
* none greater than .04%

Top Domestic Grossers * (Jan. 1 – Oct. 21, 2010)

Title Distributor Gross
Avatar * Fox 476,726,209
Toy Story 3 BV 413,013,123
Alice in Wonderland BV 334,191,110
Iron Man 2 Par 312,445,596
Twilight: Eclipse Summit 300,531,751
Inception WB 289,881,124
Despicable Me Uni 247,148,995
Shrek Forever After Par 238,667,087
How to Train Your Dragon Par 218,685,707
The Karate Kid Sony 176,797,997
Clash of the Titans WB 163,214,888
Grown Ups Sony 161,942,598
The Last Airbender Par 131,733,601
Shutter Island Par 128,051,522
The Other Guy Sony 118,236,912
Salt Sony 118,229,865
Valentine’s Day WB 110,509,442
Sherlock Holmes * WB 106,967,985
Robin Hood Uni 105,425,146
The Expendables Lions Gate 103,068,524
* does not include 2009 box office

The Girl Who Joined Sherlock Holmes 2, Noomi Rapace

Saturday, September 11th, 2010

The Girl With The Sumatran Rat Tattoo, Noomi Rapace

“This particular modern myth has a central character who could turn out to be irreducible, an axiom of popular culture standing shoulder to shoulder with Sherlock Holmes and James Bond, joining the ranks of heroes who represent an essential, resonant strain of wish-fulfillment.” David Chute’s Convincing Brief That Lisbeth Salander Is Timeless Heroine

Monday, August 16th, 2010

“This particular modern myth has a central character who could turn out to be irreducible, an axiom of popular culture standing shoulder to shoulder with Sherlock Holmes and James Bond, joining the ranks of heroes who represent an essential, resonant strain of wish-fulfillment.”
David Chute‘s Convincing Brief That Lisbeth Salander Is Timeless Heroine

March 5

Friday, March 5th, 2010
……….……………………………
x
1
The Hurt Locker
1
1
2
1
1
1
1
1
2
1
2
1
1
1
1
147
2
Avatar
2
2
1
2
2
2
2
2
1
2
1
2
3
2
2
138
3
Inglourious Basterds
4
5
3
3
3
3
3
3
6
3
3
3
4
3
3
113
4
Up in the Air
3
3
4
4
5
4
5
4
4
4
5
5
2
4
4
106
5
Precious: Based on the Novel “Push” by Sapphire
5
4
5
5
6
6
4
5
5
8
4
4
7
5
5
87
6
Up
6
7
7
6
9
5
7
6
7
5
7
6
5
7
7
68
7
An Education
7
6
6
8
8
8
6
7
8
7
6
7
6
6
8
61
8
The Blind Side
9
10
10
7
4
7
9
10
3
6
10
10
8
10
6
46
9
District 9
8
9
8
9
10
9
8
8
10
9
8
9
9
8
9
34
10
A Serious Man
10
8
9
10
7
10
10
9
9
10
9
8
10
9
10
27

* Greg Ellwood moved Avatar to #1.
* Anne Thompson moved The Blind Side from #7 to #10, A Serious Man from #8 to #9, District 9 from #9 to #8, and Up from #10 to #7.
* Anthony Breznican moved The Hurt Locker from #3 to #1, Avatar from #1 to #2, and Up in the Air from #2 to #3

.

……….……………………………
x
1
Kathryn Bigelow
The Hurt Locker
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
75
2
James Cameron
Avatar
3
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
59
3
Quentin Tarantino
Inglourious Basterds
2
4
3
3
3
3
3
3
4
3
3
3
3
3
3
44
4
Jason Reitman
Up in the Air
4
3
5
5
5
4
4
4
3
4
5
5
4
4
4
27
5
Lee Daniels
Precious: Based on the Novel “Push” by Sapphire
5
5
4
4
4
5
5
5
5
5
4
4
5
5
5
20
………………………………………..
x
1
Jeff Bridges
Crazy Heart
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
75
2
Jeremy Renner
The Hurt Locker
2
2
5
4
2
5
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
3
51
3
George Clooney
Up in the Air
4
3
2
3
3
2
4
3
3
4
4
3
3
3
2
44
4
Colin Firth
A Single Man
3
4
3
2
4
4
3
4
4
3
3
4
4
4
4
37
5
Morgan Freeman
Invictus
5
5
4
5
5
3
5
5
5
5
5
5
5
5
5
18
……………………………………….
x
1
Sandra Bullock
The Blind Side
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
2
2
1
1
1
1
73
2
Meryl Streep
Julie and Julia
3
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
1
1
3
2
2
2
60
3
Carey Mulligan
An Education
4
4
3
3
4
4
3
3
4
3
3
4
3
3
3
39
4
Gabourey Sidibe
Precious: Based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire
2
3
4
4
3
3
4
4
5
4
4
2
4
4
4
36
5
Helen Mirren
The Last Station
5
5
5
5
5
5
5
5
3
5
5
5
5
5
5
17
* Pete Hammond moved Meryl Streep to #2.
.
………………………………………
x
1
Mo’Nique
Precious: Based on the Novel “Push” by Sapphire
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
75
2
Maggie Gyllenhaal
Crazy Heart
3
4
4
4
2
5
2
3
3
4
2
2
2
2
3
45
3
Anna Kendrick
Up in the Air
4
2
2
2
5
3
3
2
4
2
3
4
3
2
43
4
Vera Farmiga
Up in the Air
2
3
3
3
4
4
4
4
2
3
4
3
4
4
37
5
Penelope Cruz
Nine
5
5
5
5
3
2
5
5
5
5
5
5
5
5
19
…………………………………….
x
1
Christoph Waltz
Inglourious Basterds
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
75
2
Woody Harrelson
The Messenger
3
2
2
3
3
4
2
2
4
2
2
2
3
2
3
51
3
Christopher Plummer
The Last Station
4
5
4
2
2
2
4
4
2
3
3
2
3
4
40
4
Stanely Tucci
The Lovely Bones
2
4
5
5
4
3
3
3
3
4
5
4
4
2
33
5
Matt Damon
Invictus
5
3
3
4
5
5
5
5
5
5
4
5
5
5
20
……..……………………………..
x
1
The Hurt Locker
1
2
1
2
2
1
1
2
1
1
1
1
1
2
2
69
2
Inglourious Basterds
2
1
2
1
1
2
2
1
2
2
2
2
2
1
1
66
3
Up
3
5
3
3
4
5
3
3
5
3
3
3
3
3
4
37
4
A Serious Man
5
4
4
4
3
4
4
5
3
4
5
5
4
3
27
5
The Messenger
4
3
5
5
5
3
5
4
4
5
4
4
5
5
23
………………………………………
x
1
Up in the Air
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
3
1
1
1
1
73
2
Precious: Based on the Novel “Push” by Sapphire
2
2
4
2
2
2
2
3
4
2
2
3
2
3
4
51
3
An Education
3
3
5
3
4
4
3
2
2
3
1
5
3
2
2
45
4
In the Loop
4
4
2
4
3
5
4
4
3
4
5
2
5
5
5
31
5
District 9
5
5
3
5
5
3
5
5
5
5
4
4
4
4
3
25
……….……………………………
x
The White Ribbon
Germany
1
1
1
3
3
1
2
1
2
2
1
2
2
2
1
61
Un Prophete
France
2
2
3
2
4
2
3
2
1
3
2
1
3
3
2
55
El Secreto de Sus Ojos
Argentina
4
4
2
1
1
3
1
3
3
1
4
1
1
4
51
Ajami
Israel
3
5
4
4
2
4
5
4
4
4
3
4
4
3
31
The Milk of Sorrow
Peru
5
3
5
5
5
5
4
5
5
5
5
5
5
5
17
……….……………………………
x
The Cove
Nominees TBD
1
1
1
1
3
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
73
Food, Inc
Robert Kenner, Elise Pearlstein
2
2
3
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
3
2
58
Most Dangerous Man in America: Daniel Ellsberg & the Pentagon Papers
Judith Ehrlich, Rick Goldsmith
3
4
2
4
1
3
3
5
3
5
3
5
4
3
36
Which Way Home
Rebecca Cammisa
5
5
5
5
5
5
4
3
4
4
4
3
3
2
5
28
Burma VJ
Anders Østergaard , Lise Lense-Møller
4
3
4
3
4
4
5
4
5
3
5
4
5
4
27
………………………………………..
x
Up
Pete Docter
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
75
Fantastic Mr. Fox
Wes Anderson
2
3
3
2
2
2
2
2
3
2
3
2
2
3
3
51
Coraline
Henry Selick
4
2
2
3
3
3
3
3
2
3
2
4
2
2
46
The Princess and the Frog
John Musker and Ron Clements
3
4
4
4
5
4
4
4
4
4
5
3
4
4
28
The Secret of Kells
Tomm Moore
5
5
5
5
4
5
5
5
5
5
4
5
5
5
16
……………………………………….
x
Avatar
Art Direction: Rick Carter and Robert Stromberg Set Decoration: Kim Sinclair
1
2
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
74
Sherlock Holmes
Art Direction: Sarah Greenwood Set Decoration: Katie Spencer
3
4
4
3
2
2
2
3
5
4
2
2
2
2
44
Nine
Art Direction: John Myhre Set Decoration: Gordon Sim
2
3
3
4
3
5
3
2
3
5
3
3
3
5
37
The Young Victoria
Art Direction: Patrice Vermette Set Decoration: Maggie Gray
4
5
5
2
4
3
4
4
4
3
5
2
4
4
3
34
The Imaginarium of Dr Parnassus
Art Direction: Dave Warren and Anastasia Masaro Set Decoration: Caroline Smith
5
1
2
5
5
4
5
5
2
2
4
5
5
4
30
………………………………………
x
Avatar
Mauro Fiore
1
1
1
1
2
1
2
1
1
2
1
1
1
1
1
72
The Hurt Locker
Barry Ackroyd
2
3
2
3
1
2
1
2
2
1
2
2
4
3
2
58
Inglourious Basterds
Robert Richardson
3
4
3
2
4
4
3
3
3
3
3
3
2
2
3
46
The White Ribbon
Christian Berger
5
2
5
4
3
3
4
4
4
4
4
4
3
4
5
32
Harry Potter & the Half-Blood Prince
Bruno Delbonnel
4
5
4
5
5
5
5
5
5
5
5
5
5
4
17
Greg Ellwood and Pete Hammond moved Avatar to #1.
…………………………………….
x
The Young Victoria
Sandy Powell
1
4
1
1
3
1
1
1
4
1
1
1
1
1
1
67
Bright Star
Janet Patterson
4
2
3
4
2
2
2
2
5
2
5
3
3
3
3
45
Nine
Colleen Atwood
2
5
2
3
1
5
3
4
1
5
2
2
2
2
45
Coco Before Chanel
Catherine Leterrier
3
1
4
2
4
3
5
3
3
4
3
2
4
5
4
40
The Imaginarium of Dr Parnassus
Monique Prudhomme
5
3
5
5
5
4
4
5
2
3
4
5
4
5
25
……..……………………………..
x
The Hurt Locker
Bob Murawski and Chris Innis
2
3
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
2
1
1
2
1
70
Avatar
Stephen Rivkin, John Refoua and James Cameron
1
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
1
2
2
1
2
63
Inglourious Basterds
Sally Menke
3
4
4
3
3
4
3
3
3
3
3
3
3
3
3
42
District 9
Julian Clarke
4
1
3
4
4
3
4
5
4
5
5
4
4
4
30
Precious
Joe Klotz
5
5
5
5
5
5
5
4
5
4
4
5
5
5
17
Susan Wloszczyna moved Hurt Locker to #1.
.
………………………………………
x
Up
Michael Giacchino
1
1
1
1
1
3
1
1
1
1
3
1
1
1
1
68
Avatar
James Horner
3
2
2
2
2
1
3
2
2
2
1
2
2
3
2
60
The Hurt Locker
Marco Beltrami and Buck Sanders
2
4
5
5
3
2
2
5
3
3
2
3
3
5
3
41
Fantastic Mr. Fox
Alexandre Desplat
3
3
4
4
4
4
4
5
5
4
4
4
4
5
27
Sherlock Holmes
Hans Zimmer
5
4
3
5
5
5
3
4
4
5
5
2
4
25
Susan Wloszczyna moved Up to #1.
.
………………………………………
x
“The Weary Kind (Theme from Crazy Heart)
Crazy Heart
Music and Lyric by Ryan Bingham and T Bone Burnett
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
75
“Down in New Orleans”
The Princess and the Frog
Music and Lyric by Randy Newman
2
4
3
2
5
2
4
4
3
2
2
2
3
2
3
47
Take it All”
Nine
Music and Lyric by Maury Yeston
3
2
4
4
2
4
2
2
2
4
5
2
3
4
41
“Almost There”
The Princess and the Frog
Music and Lyric by Randy Newman
4
3
2
3
4
3
3
3
4
3
3
4
4
2
39
“Loin de Paname”
Paris 36
Music by Reinhardt Wagner Lyric by Frank Thomas
5
5
5
5
2
5
5
5
5
5
4
5
5
5
18
………………………………………
x
Avatar
Christopher Boyes and Gwendolyn Yates Whittle
1
1
1
1
2
1
1
1
2
1
1
1
1
1
2
72
The Hurt Locker
Paul N.J. Ottoson
2
4
2
2
1
2
2
2
1
2
2
3
2
2
1
60
Inglourious Basterds
Wylie Stateman
3
5
5
3
3
3
4
4
3
3
3
2
4
3
3
39
Star Trek
Mark Stoeckinger and Alan Rankin
4
2
3
4
5
4
3
3
4
5
4
3
4
4
32
Up
Michael Silvers and Tom Myers
5
3
4
5
4
5
5
5
5
4
5
5
5
5
19
Pete Hammond and Greg Ellwood moved Avatar to number one.
.
………………………………………
x
Star Trek
Barney Burman, Mindy Hall and Joel Harlow
2
1
1
1
2
1
1
1
1
1
1
3
1
1
2
70
The Young Victoria
Jon Henry Gordon and Jenny Shircore
1
3
2
2
1
2
2
2
3
2
2
1
2
2
1
62
Il Divo
Aldo Signoretti and Vittorio Sodano
3
2
3
3
3
3
3
3
2
3
3
2
3
3
3
48
* Anne Thompson moved Star Trek to #1.
………………………………………
x
Avatar
Christopher Boyes, Gary Summers, Andy Nelson and Tony Johnson
1
1
1
1
2
1
1
1
2
2
1
2
2
1
2
69
The Hurt Locker
Paul N.J. Ottosson and Ray Beckett
2
2
2
2
1
2
2
2
1
1
2
1
1
2
1
66
Inglourious Basterds
Michael Minkler, Tony Lamberti and Mark Ulano
4
4
4
3
3
3
4
4
3
3
3
3
3
4
3
39
Star Trek
Anna Behlmer, Andy Nelson, Peter J. Devlin
3
3
3
4
5
4
3
3
4
5
4
4
5
4
30
Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen
Greg P. Russell, Gary Summers and Geoffrey Patterson
5
5
5
5
4
5
5
5
5
4
5
5
3
5
18
* Anne Thompson moved The Hurt Locker from #5 to #2, Transformers from #2 to #3, and Star Trek from #3 to #5
………………………………………
x
Avatar
Joe Letteri, Stephen Rosenbaum, Richard Baneham and Andrew R. Jones
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
75
District 9
Dan Kaufman, Peter Muyzers, Robert Habros and Matt Aitken
3
2
2
3
2
2
3
3
3
2
2
2
3
2
50
Star Trek
Roger Guyett, Russell Earl, Paul Kavanagh and Burt Dalton
2
3
3
2
3
3
2
2
2
3
3
3
2
3
48

NOTE: Changes from last week are marked in bold.

The Gurus

Scott Bowles
…… USA Today
Anthony Breznican
…… USA Today
Greg Ellwood
——–HitFix
Pete Hammond
…… LAT Envelope
Eugene Hernandez
…… indieWIRE
Peter Howell
…… The Toronto Star
Dave Karger
…… Entertainment Weekly
Mark Olsen
…….LA Times


David Poland
…… MCN
Steve Pond
…… The Wrap
Sasha Stone
…… AwardsDaily.com
Sean Smith
…… Entertainment Weekly
Kris Tapley
…… In Contention
Anne Thompson
…… Thompson On Hollywood
Susan Wloszczyna
…… USA Today

February 25

Thursday, February 25th, 2010
……….……………………………
x
1
The Hurt Locker
1
3
1
1
1
1
1
1
2
1
2
1
1
1
1
146
2
Avatar
2
1
2
2
2
2
2
2
1
2
1
2
3
2
2
137
3
Inglourious Basterds
4
5
3
3
3
3
3
3
6
3
3
3
4
3
3
113
4
Up in the Air
3
2
4
4
5
4
5
4
4
4
5
5
2
4
4
106
5
Precious: Based on the Novel “Push” by Sapphire
5
4
5
5
6
6
4
5
5
8
4
4
7
5
5
87
6
Up
6
7
7
6
9
5
7
6
7
5
7
6
5
10
7
65
7
An Education
7
6
6
8
8
8
6
7
8
7
6
7
6
6
8
61
8
The Blind Side
9
10
10
7
4
7
9
10
3
6
10
10
8
7
6
49
9
District 9
8
9
8
9
10
9
8
8
10
9
8
9
9
9
9
33
10
A Serious Man
10
8
9
10
7
10
10
9
9
10
9
8
10
8
10
28

……….……………………………
x
1
Kathryn Bigelow
The Hurt Locker
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
75
2
James Cameron
Avatar
3
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
59
3
Quentin Tarantino
Inglourious Basterds
2
4
3
3
3
3
3
3
4
3
3
3
3
3
3
44
4
Jason Reitman
Up in the Air
4
3
5
5
5
4
4
4
3
4
5
5
4
4
4
27
5
Lee Daniels
Precious: Based on the Novel “Push” by Sapphire
5
5
4
4
4
5
5
5
5
5
4
4
5
5
5
20
………………………………………..
x
1
Jeff Bridges
Crazy Heart
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
75
2
Jeremy Renner
The Hurt Locker
2
2
5
4
2
5
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
3
51
3
George Clooney
Up in the Air
4
3
2
3
3
2
4
3
3
4
4
3
3
3
2
44
4
Colin Firth
A Single Man
3
4
3
2
4
4
3
4
4
3
3
4
4
4
4
37
5
Morgan Freeman
Invictus
5
5
4
5
5
3
5
5
5
5
5
5
5
5
5
18
……………………………………….
x
1
Sandra Bullock
The Blind Side
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
2
2
1
1
1
1
73
2
Meryl Streep
Julie and Julia
3
2
2
3
2
2
2
2
2
1
1
3
2
2
2
59
3
Carey Mulligan
An Education
4
4
3
2
4
4
3
3
4
3
3
4
3
3
3
40
4
Gabourey Sidibe
Precious: Based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire
2
3
4
4
3
3
4
4
5
4
4
2
4
4
4
36
5
Helen Mirren
The Last Station
5
5
5
5
5
5
5
5
3
5
5
5
5
5
5
17
………………………………………
x
1
Mo’Nique
Precious: Based on the Novel “Push” by Sapphire
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
75
2
Maggie Gyllenhaal
Crazy Heart
3
4
4
4
2
5
2
3
3
4
2
2
2
2
3
45
3
Anna Kendrick
Up in the Air
4
2
2
2
5
3
3
2
4
2
3
4
3
2
43
4
Vera Farmiga
Up in the Air
2
3
3
3
4
4
4
4
2
3
4
3
4
4
37
5
Penelope Cruz
Nine
5
5
5
5
3
2
5
5
5
5
5
5
5
5
19
…………………………………….
x
1
Christoph Waltz
Inglourious Basterds
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
75
2
Woody Harrelson
The Messenger
3
2
2
3
3
4
2
2
4
2
2
2
3
2
3
51
3
Christopher Plummer
The Last Station
4
5
4
2
2
2
4
4
2
3
3
2
3
4
40
4
Stanely Tucci
The Lovely Bones
2
4
5
5
4
3
3
3
3
4
5
4
4
2
33
5
Matt Damon
Invictus
5
3
3
4
5
5
5
5
5
5
4
5
5
5
20
……..……………………………..
x
1
The Hurt Locker
1
2
1
2
2
1
1
2
1
1
1
1
1
2
2
69
2
Inglourious Basterds
2
1
2
1
1
2
2
1
2
2
2
2
2
1
1
66
3
Up
3
5
3
3
4
5
3
3
5
3
3
3
3
3
4
37
4
A Serious Man
5
4
4
4
3
4
4
5
3
4
5
5
4
3
27
5
The Messenger
4
3
5
5
5
3
5
4
4
5
4
4
5
5
23
………………………………………
x
1
Up in the Air
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
3
1
1
1
1
73
2
Precious: Based on the Novel “Push” by Sapphire
2
2
4
2
2
2
2
3
4
2
2
3
2
3
4
51
3
An Education
3
3
5
3
4
4
3
2
2
3
1
5
3
2
2
45
4
In the Loop
4
4
2
4
3
5
4
4
3
4
5
2
5
5
5
31
5
District 9
5
5
3
5
5
3
5
5
5
5
4
4
4
4
3
25
……….……………………………
x
The White Ribbon
Germany
1
1
1
3
3
1
2
1
2
2
1
2
2
2
1
61
Un Prophete
France
2
2
3
2
4
2
3
2
1
3
2
1
3
3
2
55
El Secreto de Sus Ojos
Argentina
4
4
2
1
1
3
1
3
3
1
4
1
1
4
51
Ajami
Israel
3
5
4
4
2
4
5
4
4
4
3
4
4
3
31
The Milk of Sorrow
Peru
5
3
5
5
5
5
4
5
5
5
5
5
5
5
17
……….……………………………
x
The Cove
Nominees TBD
1
1
1
1
3
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
73
Food, Inc
Robert Kenner, Elise Pearlstein
2
2
3
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
3
2
58
Most Dangerous Man in America: Daniel Ellsberg & the Pentagon Papers
Judith Ehrlich, Rick Goldsmith
3
4
2
4
1
3
3
5
3
5
3
5
4
3
36
Which Way Home
Rebecca Cammisa
5
5
5
5
5
5
4
3
4
4
4
3
3
2
5
28
Burma VJ
Anders Østergaard , Lise Lense-Møller
4
3
4
3
4
4
5
4
5
3
5
4
5
4
27
………………………………………..
x
Up
Pete Docter
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
75
Fantastic Mr. Fox
Wes Anderson
2
3
3
2
2
2
2
2
3
2
3
2
2
3
3
51
Coraline
Henry Selick
4
2
2
3
3
3
3
3
2
3
2
4
2
2
46
The Princess and the Frog
John Musker and Ron Clements
3
4
4
4
5
4
4
4
4
4
5
3
4
4
28
The Secret of Kells
Tomm Moore
5
5
5
5
4
5
5
5
5
5
4
5
5
5
16
……………………………………….
x
Avatar
Art Direction: Rick Carter and Robert Stromberg Set Decoration: Kim Sinclair
1
2
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
74
Sherlock Holmes
Art Direction: Sarah Greenwood Set Decoration: Katie Spencer
3
4
4
3
2
2
2
3
5
4
2
2
2
2
44
Nine
Art Direction: John Myhre Set Decoration: Gordon Sim
2
3
3
4
3
5
3
2
3
5
3
3
3
5
37
The Young Victoria
Art Direction: Patrice Vermette Set Decoration: Maggie Gray
4
5
5
2
4
3
4
4
4
3
5
2
4
4
3
34
The Imaginarium of Dr Parnassus
Art Direction: Dave Warren and Anastasia Masaro Set Decoration: Caroline Smith
5
1
2
5
5
4
5
5
2
2
4
5
5
4
30
………………………………………
x
Avatar
Mauro Fiore
1
1
2
3
2
1
2
1
1
2
1
1
1
1
1
69
The Hurt Locker
Barry Ackroyd
2
3
1
1
1
2
1
2
2
1
2
2
4
3
2
61
Inglourious Basterds
Robert Richardson
3
4
3
2
4
4
3
3
3
3
3
3
2
2
3
45
The White Ribbon
Christian Berger
5
2
5
4
3
3
4
4
4
4
4
4
3
4
5
32
Harry Potter & the Half-Blood Prince
Bruno Delbonnel
4
5
4
5
5
5
5
5
5
5
5
5
5
4
17
…………………………………….
x
The Young Victoria
Sandy Powell
1
4
1
1
3
1
1
1
4
1
1
1
1
1
1
67
Bright Star
Janet Patterson
4
2
3
4
2
2
2
2
5
2
5
3
3
3
3
45
Nine
Colleen Atwood
2
5
2
3
1
5
3
4
1
5
2
2
2
2
45
Coco Before Chanel
Catherine Leterrier
3
1
4
2
4
3
5
3
3
4
3
2
4
5
4
40
The Imaginarium of Dr Parnassus
Monique Prudhomme
5
3
5
5
5
4
4
5
2
3
4
5
4
5
25
……..……………………………..
x
The Hurt Locker
Bob Murawski and Chris Innis
2
3
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
2
1
1
2
2
69
Avatar
Stephen Rivkin, John Refoua and James Cameron
1
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
1
2
2
1
1
64
Inglourious Basterds
Sally Menke
3
4
4
3
3
4
3
3
3
3
3
3
3
3
3
42
District 9
Julian Clarke
4
1
3
4
4
3
4
5
4
5
5
4
4
4
30
Precious
Joe Klotz
5
5
5
5
5
5
5
4
5
4
4
5
5
5
17
………………………………………
x
Up
Michael Giacchino
1
1
1
1
1
3
1
1
1
1
3
1
1
1
4
68
Avatar
James Horner
3
2
2
2
2
1
3
2
2
2
1
2
2
3
1
60
The Hurt Locker
Marco Beltrami and Buck Sanders
2
4
5
5
3
2
2
5
3
3
2
3
3
5
2
41
Fantastic Mr. Fox
Alexandre Desplat
3
3
4
4
4
4
4
5
5
4
4
4
4
5
27
Sherlock Holmes
Hans Zimmer
5
4
3
5
5
5
3
4
4
5
5
2
3
25
………………………………………
x
“The Weary Kind (Theme from Crazy Heart)
Crazy Heart
Music and Lyric by Ryan Bingham and T Bone Burnett
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
75
“Down in New Orleans”
The Princess and the Frog
Music and Lyric by Randy Newman
2
4
3
2
5
2
4
4
3
2
2
2
3
2
3
47
Take it All”
Nine
Music and Lyric by Maury Yeston
3
2
4
4
2
4
2
2
2
4
5
2
3
4
41
“Almost There”
The Princess and the Frog
Music and Lyric by Randy Newman
4
3
2
3
4
3
3
3
4
3
3
4
4
2
39
“Loin de Paname”
Paris 36
Music by Reinhardt Wagner Lyric by Frank Thomas
5
5
5
5
2
5
5
5
5
5
4
5
5
5
18
………………………………………
x
Avatar
Christopher Boyes and Gwendolyn Yates Whittle
1
1
2
2
2
1
1
1
2
1
1
1
1
1
2
70
The Hurt Locker
Paul N.J. Ottoson
2
4
1
1
1
2
2
2
1
2
2
3
2
2
1
62
Inglourious Basterds
Wylie Stateman
3
5
5
3
3
3
4
4
3
3
3
2
4
3
3
39
Star Trek
Mark Stoeckinger and Alan Rankin
4
2
3
4
5
4
3
3
4
5
4
3
4
4
32
Up
Michael Silvers and Tom Myers
5
3
4
5
4
5
5
5
5
4
5
5
5
5
19
………………………………………
x
Star Trek
Barney Burman, Mindy Hall and Joel Harlow
2
1
1
1
2
1
1
1
1
1
1
3
1
2
2
69
The Young Victoria
Jon Henry Gordon and Jenny Shircore
1
3
2
2
1
2
2
2
3
2
2
1
2
1
1
63
Il Divo
Aldo Signoretti and Vittorio Sodano
3
2
3
3
3
3
3
3
2
3
3
2
3
3
3
48
………………………………………
x
Avatar
Christopher Boyes, Gary Summers, Andy Nelson and Tony Johnson
1
1
1
1
2
1
1
1
2
2
1
2
2
1
2
69
The Hurt Locker
Paul N.J. Ottosson and Ray Beckett
2
2
2
2
1
2
2
2
1
1
2
1
1
5
1
63
Inglourious Basterds
Michael Minkler, Tony Lamberti and Mark Ulano
4
4
4
3
3
3
4
4
3
3
3
3
3
4
3
39
Star Trek
Anna Behlmer, Andy Nelson, Peter J. Devlin
3
3
3
4
5
4
3
3
4
5
4
4
3
4
32
Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen
Greg P. Russell, Gary Summers and Geoffrey Patterson
5
5
5
5
4
5
5
5
5
4
5
5
2
5
19
………………………………………
x
Avatar
Joe Letteri, Stephen Rosenbaum, Richard Baneham and Andrew R. Jones
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
75
District 9
Dan Kaufman, Peter Muyzers, Robert Habros and Matt Aitken
3
2
2
3
2
2
3
3
3
2
2
2
3
2
50
Star Trek
Roger Guyett, Russell Earl, Paul Kavanagh and Burt Dalton
2
3
3
2
3
3
2
2
2
3
3
3
2
3
48

The Gurus

Scott Bowles
…… USA Today
Anthony Breznican
…… USA Today
Greg Ellwood
——–HitFix
Pete Hammond
…… LAT Envelope
Eugene Hernandez
…… indieWIRE
Peter Howell
…… The Toronto Star
Dave Karger
…… Entertainment Weekly
Mark Olsen
…….LA Times

David Poland
…… MCN
Steve Pond
…… The Wrap
Sasha Stone
…… AwardsDaily.com
Sean Smith
…… Entertainment Weekly
Kris Tapley
…… In Contention
Anne Thompson
…… Thompson On Hollywood
Susan Wloszczyna
…… USA Today

February 11

Thursday, February 11th, 2010

Has anything changed in your
opinion since nominations?
If so, what?
Scott Bowles Nope
Anthony Breznican I don’t think much has changed. Jeff Bridges wins. Sandra Bullock wins. Christoph Waltz. Mo’Nique. Best picture — Avatar? Probably. But looking at the formula for calculating the 10 votes to include second and third choices makes me wonder how solid that is. Does that potentially benefit The Hurt Locker? Dark-horse Up in the Air? Invictus? (Wait, nevermind …) Probably Bigelow for director. Avatar for picture. Up in the Air gets adapted screenplay for Reitman, while Inglourious Basterds wins original screenplay for Tarantino. And overall, the Academy spreads the wealth during a very strong year.
Gregory Ellwood I think the only thing that has changed – ever so slightly – is that people would actually be surprised of Streep won Best Actress. It’s pretty much expected that Bullock will win.
Pete Hammond I think the Best Picture race is appearing more fluid because of the uncertainty of how the preferential balloting will affect certain films. Still no matter how many times I come up with an alternative premise that tries to make the race interesting and suspenseful I then talk to a handful of Oscar voters who tell me they are voting for The Hurt Locker. Go figure. No other changes in the acting races. They appear locked as far as I can see although the actress race has gotten more aggressive but will it help? We’ll see. It’s Bullock’s to lose at this point.
Eugene Hernandez In the wake of her DGA win and continued momentum for The Hurt Locker, Kathryn Bigelow seems to be solidly on track for the directing Oscar. Meanwhile Jeff Bridges, Christoph Waltz and Mo’Nique appear headed for wins, as well. I think Sandra Bullock is well positioned, but keep an eye on Meryl Streep. At this stage, is anyone willing to consider a surprise in this category: Gabourey Sidibe or Carey Mulligan. Not out of the question. Also, I’m keeping an eye on the doc category. Food Inc. seems solid, but The Cove got a boost this week with news of a release in Japan. Don’t count out Daniel Ellsberg, which is a strong film. Finally, best picture: In any other year I’d predict The Hurt Locker at this moment, but given the new ballot with ten nominees… We’ll all be holding our breath down to the final award of the night. Just what the Academy ordered.
Peter Howell I don’t think anything has changed, apart from firming up of the top prospects. I’ve talked to lot of people who are FINALLY going to see The Hurt Locker as result of the noms — which is good.
Dave Karger No, we’re definitely in a lull right now…
Mark Olsen
Nothing has changed, things have just solidified/been confirmed. It’s kind of the scourge of the extended awards season and our microscopic coverage, that we take much of the surprise out of it both for ourselves and anyone else who actually follows along. Of course, if things weren’t quite so predictable/understandable we’d all be out of business, so…
David Poland Well, there’s a lot of talk. Seems to me that the thing that has changed is that viewers of The Hurt Locker in The Academy has probably jumped from 40% to 90%. That’s a huge win.
Steve Pond What’s changed is that we’re looking for things to write about, and there aren’t as many of those things as there were a week ago.

Movement in the races, momentum shifts, that kind of thing? Not so much.

Sean Smith
Sasha Stone What has changed is that we are entering the second phase of the Oscar race. Not many people seem to notice that there was a date extension, which means that there are a few weeks with ballots outstanding. This is very different from the past several years when there wasn’t any time to mull over the frontrunners. That means there will be more careful consideration of the contenders.

Avatar has been seriously hurt by not winning the DGA or the PGA, or having any SAG nominations — heading into the Oscar race with no acting nor writing nominations means that it is weakest at the heart of the voting academy, where actors kind of rule. This change took place, it feels like, because of the momentum put forth by Cameron’s winning the Golden Globe. Voters after that in the various races seemed to go, “hold on a minute, THAT is the best film of 2009?” At the same time, though Avatar has become the highest earner, the week that ballots went out its position dipped to one behind Dear John. Had it remained in a dominant spot throughout these next few weeks it still might have been enough.What has changed, though, ultimately, is not a question we can answer because none of us have ever been through a ten-picture race. What is exciting is that anything is possible and no one should be surprised if a film not expected to win turns up in the number one spot, like Up or Precious, or even Inglourious Basterds. For me the miracle of this race, the truly surprising thing about it so far, is how well a small film written off by almost everyone (one that continues to be written off) keeps winning despite its box office returns. On the one hand, this could be seen as an anti-Cameron vote, on the other hand, wow.

The Oscar race is usually about the team who played it best. But this year it feels like it’s actually about the movie. That means that, perhaps, Hollywood might not be ready just yet to give up their nuts and bolts filmmaking and embrace the brave new world of computer-generated worlds and emotion-capture actors. On the other hand, maybe they are.

Kris Tapley Immediately after the Oscar nominations were announced, journalists in the broader media began to dig into the red meat of ” Avatar vs. The Hurt Locker” and all the nifty headlines it conjured.  But at least in fringe corners of the web — where this nonsense is a focus (raises hand) — an awareness of the Best Picture category’s use of the preferential ballot has begun to pick up steam.  This is, after all, one more change in protocol that could have as big an impact as “the 10.”  Suddenly Avatar is understood as a more polarizing film than its competition, and therefore weak to surprise attacks from consensus favorites like Up, Up in the Air or even Inglourious Basterds.  That The Hurt Locker rarely inspires active disapproval probably makes the slow realization moot, but the simple fact that the race can’t be boiled to two contenders is at least making the rounds.
Anne Thompson It’s hard to imagine anything dive-bombing Christoph Waltz and Mo’Nique’s Oscar chances. Sandra Bullock is not a lock to beat Meryl Streep. Many older Academy members are rooting for Hollywood’s most-nominated actress, who hasn’t won an Oscar since 1983’s Sophie’s Choice. And The Hurt Locker‘s Jeremy Renner, who actually played the piano and sang on The View, is challenging veteran Jeff Bridges, whose singing in Crazy Heart not only makes the movie, but should win him his first Oscar. Does Renner have a shot? Most folks didn’t call Adrien Brody’s win for The Pianist. But it’s Bridges’ turn.As for best picture and director, it’s Avatar vs. The Hurt Locker all the way. The trick is to convince people that Avatar isn’t just a great technological achievement but a movie to be taken seriously. That’s why I wonder: if Academy members vote for The Hurt Locker for best picture, wouldn’t they consider giving Cameron best director? Who else could have accomplished what he did on Avatar? It’s a director’s achievement. If it’s a popularity contest, self-effacing Bigelow wins against her egoistic ex-mate. But the Academy didn’t “like” Cameron last time, when Titanic won 11 Oscars. The major difference: Oscar voters took historic romantic period epic Titanic more seriously than tree-hugging sci-fi Avatar.
Susan Wloszczyna The excitement over Avatar and its record box office has subsided, Cameron gave a couple just-OK acceptance speeches and now it looks as if The Hurt Locker and — given the weighted voting — Inglourious Basterds might have a better chance at winning best picture. That surprises me since I would think Hollywood would celebrate the green the blue people brought in and how Cameron proved that 3D is not just a gimmick. Up in the Air seems to be deflating by the minute whereas Precious is taking its op-ed blows pretty well. As much as I am behind Team Bigelow, part of me would love to see a sci-fi film actually win the top prize.

Scott Bowles
…… USA Today
Anthony Breznican
…… USA Today
Greg Ellwood
——–HitFix
Pete Hammond
…… LAT Envelope
Eugene Hernandez
…… indieWIRE
Peter Howell
…… The Toronto Star
Dave Karger
…… Entertainment Weekly
Mark Olsen
…….LA Times


David Poland
…… MCN
Steve Pond
…… The Wrap
Sasha Stone
…… AwardsDaily.com
Sean Smith
…… Entertainment Weekly
Kris Tapley
…… In Contention
Anne Thompson
…… Thompson On Hollywood
Susan Wloszczyna
…… USA Today

February 2

Tuesday, February 2nd, 2010
……….……………………………
x
1
The Hurt Locker
3
1
1
1
2
1
2
2
1
3
1
1
1
2
142
2
Avatar
1
2
2
2
1
2
1
1
2
2
2
4
2
1
129
3
Inglourious Basterds
4
3
4
4
3
5
3
4
3
1
3
3
4
4
106
4
Up in the Air
2
4
3
6
5
3
5
5
4
5
4
2
3
3
100
5
Precious: Based on the Novel “Push” by Sapphire
6
5
5
5
4
4
4
9
8
4
5
6
5
5
79
6
Up
7
7
6
10
6
8
7
6
5
9
7
8
6
8
54
7
An Education
9
6
9
9
8
7
6
7
7
8
8
5
8
7
50
8
The Blind Side
8
8
7
3
7
9
8
3
6
10
10
7
9
6
52
9
District 9
5
9
8
8
9
6
9
8
9
6
6
9
7
9
46
10
A Serious Man
10
10
10
7
10
10
10
10
10
7
9
10
10
10
21

……….……………………………
x
1
Kathryn Bigelow
The Hurt Locker
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
2
1
69
2
James Cameron
Avatar
3
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
1
2
56
3
Quentin Tarantino
Inglourious Basterds
4
3
3
3
3
3
3
3
3
3
3
4
3
4
38
4
Jason Reitman
Up in the Air

2
5
4
5
4
4
4
4
4
5
4
3
4
3
29
5
Lee Daniels
Precious: Based on the Novel “Push” by Sapphire
5
4
5
4
5
5
5
5
5
4
5
5
5
5
17

………………………………………..
x
1
Jeff Bridges
Crazy Heart
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
70
2
George Clooney
Up in the Air
2
2
2
2
2
3
2
3
2
3
4
3
2
2
47
3
Jeremy Renner
The Hurt Locker
3
5
4
3
5
2
4
2
3
2
2
2
4
3
40
4
Colin Firth
A Single Man
4
3
3
4
4
4
3
4
4
4
3
5
3
4
32
5
Morgan Freeman
Invictus
5
4
5
5
3
5
5
5
5
5
5
4
5
5
18
……………………………………….
x
1
Sandra Bullock
The Blind Side
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
2
2
1
1
1
1
68
2
Meryl Streep
Julie and Julia
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
1
1
2
2
2
2
58
3
Carey Mulligan
An Education
4
4
4
5
4
3
3
4
3
4
4
3
3
4
32
4
Gabourey Sidibe
Precious: Based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire
3
5
3
4
3
4
4
5
4
3
3
4
4
3
32
5
Helen Mirren
The Last Station
5
3
5
3
5
5
5
3
5
5
5
5
5
5
20
………………………………………
x
1
Mo’Nique
Precious: B