The first of the all important guilds have now chimed in on the precursor season, and boy did they have their own agenda. The Screen Actors Guild released their nominations, which have a lot more bearing on the Oscar race than any critics group. Still, as I cautioned in my precursor piece here, any one announcement can only mean so much. That being said, this was our first big one, and SAG usually doesn't completely match up with the Oscar nominees, but they do have a member overlap, so it's a place to start when looking at who's gotten a boost or who's stepped back. From my view, no one had their nomination guaranteed (though one is closer than ever) but no one had their chances canceled, so the race is still evolving. Read on!
The list of nominations for the 71st Annual Golden Globe Awards (of 2014), the yearly precursor to the Academy Awards, have just been announced today - you can find all the film nominees below. The infamous Hollywood Foreign Press Association announced the nominees this morning from The Beverly Hilton. Their selections this year are quite something, to say the least, so take a closer look below. The top nominees are Steve McQueen's 12 Years a Slave along with Her, Captain Phillips and Gravity, with some odd ones thrown in there like Rush and Mandela. Not a bad set of noms, but not exceptional either. Full list below!
Over the past year months, one of the harder to pin down titles for me happened to be Scott Cooper's Out of the Furnace. Up until recently, there was a pretty big split in terms of how my fellow prognosticators saw it in the Oscar race. There were Best Picture mentions here and there, all the way to folks like me who had it getting shut out. After almost arriving late last year for Oscar contention (which probably wouldn't have worked), the film hit theaters this past weekend, hoping to gain some traction in the race. The flick is an interesting case study too, since it was once an unseen contender thought to be a dark horse for awhile.
The nominees for the 20th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards have just been announced today. Yet another awards show in the very top tier (which also includes the Golden Globes and Academy Awards) is the Screen Actors Guilds Awards, where the actors themselves choose the best performances from amongst their peers. These noms are usually similar to the Oscars. This year there is a very big set of contenders for acting awards, and it's interesting (and also exciting) to see who made the cut. Steve McQueen's 12 Years a Slave earned the most nominations, with 4 in total including Best Ensemble Cast. Full list of noms below.
Somehow, it's December already folks! All of the contenders have been seen (yes, American Hustle and The Wolf of Wall Street are known commodities, if you can believe it), which is pretty crazy on its own. The precursor season has begun, films are being honored/ignored, and the very beginnings of some real evidence can be used in trying to figure out the Oscar race. We're knee deep in it now ladies and gents, and I'm personally updating my predictions every single day like a crazy person/serious awards prognosticator. As such, you'll notice some big changes in my predictions from last time, but that's expected. More below!
"I hate space!" We're in the thick of the awards season and in the middle of December, meaning Best of and Top 10 lists are hitting left and right. One of the latest to arrive is TIME Magazine's Top 10 Best Movies of 2013, curated by their critic Richard Corliss. The big news is that Alfonso Cuaron's Gravity tops it all, landing the coveted #1 spot as their Best Movie of the Year. Damn. That's going to piss off the critics who have started to come down hard on the film. Other notable picks include Spike Jonze's Her, which we loved too, David O. Russell's American Hustle, Disney's Frozen and the doc The Act of Killing. View his list below.
Of the many balls that Harvey Weinstein is juggling for Oscar attention this year, none seem to be forgotten about quite as much as Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom. While it opened this past weekend in limited release, it just hasn't gotten nearly as much attention as any of his other major contenders like August: Osage County, Fruitvale Station, Lee Daniels' The Butler, and Philomena. In some respects, it's a puzzling decision. After all, it's a biopic of the recently passed away Nelson Mandela (based on his autobiography), starring an exciting actor in Idris Elba, written by a well respected scribe in William Nicholson, and it's coming out in a year that's shaping up to be as diverse as any for the Oscars.
Hooray! The National Board of Review, one of the many organizations voting on awards for movies, has announced their 2013 awards today. The top film - Spike Jonze's Her, which won Best Film of 2013 and Best Director for Jonze, though it didn't win anything else along the way. Instead, a few other acting wins went to Nebraska, Fruitvale Station and Saving Mr. Banks, with Scorsese's The Wolf of Wall Street and the Coen's Inside Llewyn Davis sneaking in via the screenplay categories. I'm mostly happy that Her is starting to win awards like Best Film, hopefully this is just the start of what's to come. View the full NBR list below.
A year or so ago, the very idea of Saving Mr. Banks was one that inspired some jokes and no small amount of ridicule. "It's Disney saluting Disney" was a popular phrase, and I even once suggested it was potentially going to be the equivalent of watching Mickey Mouse masturbate. Well, now having seen John Lee Hancock's film, I can say that it doesn't deserve any ridicule, since it's a solidly good movie. That being said, it's got both the feel good quality and the tear jerker quality going in its favor, so I have no doubt that this is going to be a big favorite for the Academy. The question is, can it sneak up and win Best Picture? It's not the frontrunner, but it could very well prove to be a big spoiler when the awards are handed out.
"Some kids, they wanna grow up and be president. Some kids wanna be a doctor... I just wanted to be bad." Hah, yes - more Alien please! A24 is continuing their push for James Franco for Best Supporting Actor in Spring Breakers, and they've released a quick video on YouTube highlighting his performance and many of the quotes praising it. Back in October we ran a post with the headline: A24 Really IS Pushing James Franco for a Spring Breakers Oscar featuring some print ads, and I've been reminding people they really are serious about this. Will all of this honest, serious campaigning make a difference? Will he actually get a nomination? I'm not entirely sure, but I don't mind supporting their push to get one! Good luck, A24.
This is one of the coolest awards season promos I've seen! To highlight this year's best actors and writers, NY Times Magazine produced a series called "Making a Scene" with 11 one-minute short films directed by Janusz Kaminski, the Oscar-winning cinematographer (who doesn't have a film this year but last worked on Spielberg's Lincoln). Each short features a line or scene written by great writers, like Sarah Polley, J.C. Chandor, Jeff Nichols, Greta Gerwig & Spike Jonze. They each get to work with (most of) this year's best actor crop, including Adèle from Blue is the Warmest Color, Robert Redford, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Oscar Isaac & Cate Blanchett. These are fun to watch and it only takes 10 minutes to view all 11 of them.
Ever since Martin Scorsese's The Departed became the first remake to take home Best Picture in this modern era of remakes littering the cinematic landscape (and actually is the only remake to win that Oscar), folks have discussed if we could see others follow in its footsteps with some degree of regularity. We even saw Joel and Ethan Coen's True Grit remake get nominated once the field expanded from five nominees to ten, so it wasn't like this was a one and done sort of thing. In 2012 we saw a new take on the musical Les Miserables from Tom Hooper, which could be considered a remake (and will in this piece). This year...
The lovely Scarlett Johansson was honored by the Rome Film Festival as Best Actress for her voice-only performance in Spike Jonze's new film Her, and we discussed how this might affect her chances at getting some Oscar love for the role. She still has at least some chance of getting recognized by the Academy, no matter how unlikely that possibility may be, but the Hollywood Foreign Press Association won't be giving her any love. The Wrap has confirmed that Johansson's performance is ineligible for consideration in the Golden Globes due to a rule saying voice performances are not eligible for the acting awards. Read on!
The Independent Spirit Awards are an annual award given in the name of independent film, featuring plenty of those little indies which deserve the honor and recognition that they won't necessarily be receiving at the Oscars - though we always hope they get something. The nominees for the 29th annual Film Indie Spirit Awards were announced today, and can be seen in full below. Jeff Nichols' Mud was selected to receive the annual Robert Altman Award, bestowed upon a film's director, casting director and its ensemble cast. The winners of the Indie Spirit Awards will be announced on March 1st in Santa Monica.