As we continue into the awards season in early 2016, more guilds are announcing their nominees/awards for the outstanding films of 2015. Next up is the Directors Guild of America, one of the heavy weights and usually strong indicators of what's to come. The DGA announced nominees for the Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Feature Film 2015, and they've chosen a near perfect set of nominees this year. To top it off, they announced an entirely new category - outstanding directorial achievement by first-time filmmakers, featuring some of my own favorite films this year: The Diary of a Teenage Girl, Son of Saul, Ex Machina, and The Gift. It's fantastic to see these films by budding filmmakers highlighted by the DGA. Full list below.
The winners of the HFPA's 73rd Annual Golden Globe Awards, the precursor to the Academy Awards, have been announced tonight at a ceremony held at The Beverly Hilton hotel, hosted by the always hilarious Ricky Gervais. Hopefully he makes this night go by fast, as the HFPA can always be a bit boring. Our list below will be updated with all film-related winners as they're revealed during the live broadcast. The nominees featured a number of great films from 2015, but they had a few odd picks thrown in as usual, and I'm intrigued to find out which stories/actors the HFPA fell for this time. Find out who took home Globes!
With the Academy Award nominations coming up next week, it's time for the Brits to reveal their favorites first. The nominations for the 69th Annual BAFTA Awards (British Academy of Film and Television Arts) were announced today. The top films are Todd Haynes' Carol and Spielberg's Bridge of Spies, each rounding up a total of nine nominations. The BAFTAs have a large set of categories similar to the Oscars, and they always feature some very unique picks among the nominees. This year's Best Film line-up: The Big Short, Bridge of Spies, Carol, The Revenant and Spotlight. Mad Max: Fury Road also received seven noms.
The next set of 2016 awards nominees have been revealed. The WGA Awards nominations were unveiled today, featuring a very diverse set of films from last year. Included among the nominees: Adam McKay's Wall Street underdog The Big Short, along with Ridley Scott's The Martian, and Aaron Sorkin's Steve Jobs, plus John McNamara's script for Trumbo in the adapted category. Plus on the original side they nominated the Coen Brothers' Bridge of Spies, along with Sicario, Spotlight, and surprisingly, Amy Schumer's Trainwreck. Some very interesting picks this time. Check out the list of film nominees below.
The list of nominations for the 73rd Annual Golden Globe Awards (of 2016), 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. The selection this year is solid, but as always full of some wacky picks, and a few snubs. The top nominees are Todd Haynes' Carol, Alejandro G. Iñárritu's The Revenant, and Jay Roach's Trumbo, picking up a few surprise noms same as the SAG Awards. Another interesting year of picks but not surprising for the HFPA.
The nominees for the 22nd Screen Actors Guild Awards have been announced today, putting awards season in full swing before the nominations for the Golden Globes are announced tomorrow morning. The Screen Actors Guild Awards are unique in that it's the actors themselves choose the best performances from amongst their peers. Last year it was Iñárritu's Birdman and The Theory of Everything battling for the top nominations, this year it's a very eclectic mix including the films Trumbo, Beasts of No Nation, Carol, Brooklyn, Room and I Smile Back as the big highlights. Leonaro DiCaprio also gets a nom for The Revenant.
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, this year, they might not receive at the Oscars. We love featuring these because there's always some gems to find. This is an excellent year of nominees, featuring a wide range of some of the best filmmaking of the year. The five Best Features alone: a stop-motion animated feature (Anomalisa), a film shot on an iPhone starring transsexuals (Tangerine), Todd Haynes' film about lesbian lovers (Carol), and the African fighters thriller (Beasts of No Nation). There's so many outstanding people featured this year, so take a look below. Read on for the list of noms.
"I'm not so sure you want to be me." It was an opportunity I couldn't pass - the chance to interview Jason Segel. He stars as the late author David Foster Wallace in one of my favorite films this year, The End of the Tour directed by James Ponsoldt. The film is about the actual end of his (book) tour, specifically the time David Foster Wallace spends with fellow writer/journalist David Lipsky, played in the film by Jesse Eisenberg. The two meet in winter and discuss all kinds of topics, and it's really a beautiful film about life and honesty, and still being real even though you may be brilliant, as with DFW. Segel gives a phenomenal, Oscar-worthy performance as David Foster Wallace - and I don't bat an eye saying that. I had to meet him.
It's official. The Academy of Motion Pictures Arts & Sciences has announced that Chris Rock will return to host the 88th Academy Awards coming up in late February next year. This will be the second time that Rock hosts the Oscars, as he first hosted them back in 2005 (when Million Dollar Baby won). He has not been nominated yet, but Rock returns as a successful filmmaker this time, having made the films I Think I Love My Wife and Top Five since last hosting. "Chris Rock is truly the MVP of the entertainment industry," said producers David Hill & Reginald Hudlin. "Comedian, actor, writer, producer, director, documentarian – he's done it all. He's going to be a phenomenal Oscar host!" And he's funny. Bring on the Oscar season.
The American Film Institute has announced that the recipient of the 2016 AFI Life Achievement Award is composer John Williams. This is the first time in the 43 year history of the Life(time) Achievement Award that a composer has been chosen. Last year's recipient was Steven Martin, and the first recipient ever was John Ford in 1973. The AFI Life Achievement Award was established to honor a single individual for his or her lifetime contribution to enriching American culture through motion pictures and television. Williams certainly deserves it, as he has been a composer for over 50 years working on so many classic films, earning 49 Oscar nominations and 5 wins over the years. And he still has a few more Star Wars scores in the works.
Briefly: This isn't the most exciting or revealing news, but it is an important industry update worth noting. The Academy is pulling a Marvel and announcing the next three dates for the upcoming Academy Awards ceremonies. AMPAS has locked down these dates at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood for the next three years: Sunday, February 28th, 2016; then Sunday, February 26th, 2017; and finally Sunday, March 4th, 2018. So there you have it, that's when we'll be celebrating the Oscars for the next three years. Even if you don't like them, or pretend not to care about them, the Academy Awards still remain the pinnacle award in filmmaking and it will always be a prestigious event. For now, we've got a long way until awards season.
Since 2010, The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences have allowed for up to 10 nominees in the Best Picture category after the rules were changed to make the awards ceremony more inclusive for films like The Dark Knight. It was a move aiming to get more people to tune in to the Oscars see if their favorite movie would win the big prize. However, THR reports The Academy is now considering dropping the number of competitors back down to the traditional five nominees. So the six year run of allowing up to 10 nominees hasn't worked as a trade source says, "They tried it, and it really didn't do us any good."
Congratulations Birdman director Alejandro González Iñárritu, winner of the Oscar for Best Director! This is now four years in a row that I've interviewed the Best Director winner. Though at the time, I wasn't thinking about awards or anything else besides what to ask about the film and their process as a filmmaker. In an industry that loves data and obsessing over success, I can't help but notice a bit of a pattern here. Not that I am any indicator or predictor or grand wizard of the Oscars, but if anything I have my eye trained on very talented filmmakers and outstanding films. With Iñárritu winning this year, that makes four years in a row of winners interviewed, including Alfonso Cuarón, Ang Lee, even Michel Hazanavicius (of The Artist).
If you didn't watch the 87th Academy Awards last night, you should at least watch the live performance of "Everything is Awesome" from The LEGO Movie. The musical duo Tegan & Sara and the comedic hip-hop trio The Lonely Island took to the stage with an energetic and colorful performance that even had Will Arnett as LEGO Batman and Questlove as Robin on the drums. And during that number, a whole bunch of dancers handed out LEGO Oscar statues to some of Hollywood's biggest names in the audience, such as Oprah Winfrey, Emma Stone, Steve Carell and more. And you may be able to get your own. Look!