The Oscars are finally over. The front-runner, The Artist, won the awards race by picking up Best Picture, Best Director (Michael Hazanavicius), Best Actor (Jean Dujardin), Best Costume Design, and Best Score. There were also some big upsets as “locks” like The Tree of Life for Best Cinematography and Rise of the Planet of the Apes for Best Visual Effects were no match for Hugo, which ended up taking those categories and three more (Sound Editing, Sound Mixing, and Art Direction). As for nice surprises…not really (unless you loved Hugo).
It was a forgettable year for the Oscars, and Billy Crystal, turning in his safe, predictable, and family-friendly routine was the perfect fit for a year that screamed “Don’t rock the boat!” Last year’s Oscars took a chance on pairing Anne Hathaway and James Franco, and the show was a mess. This year, they played it safe and the ceremony was still dull. Quite simply, there was no films to root for and the “upsets” were for the establishment. It was also funny to have the show and actors celebrate the theater when audiences are moving to OnDemand services, and studios are trying to make the theatrical release window even shorter. Hit the jump for a full list of the winners, click here for mine and Adam Chitwood’s Oscar predictions (he did way better than me), and click here for my live-blog of the ceremony.
I’m really hoping for some surprises on Oscar night if only to make things interesting, but it’s looking less likely every day. Last night The Artist nearly swept the British Academy Film Awards (essentially the British Oscars), taking home the prizes for Best Film, Best Director, Best Actor, Best Original Screenplay, Best Music, Best Cinematography, and Best Costume Design. Meryl Streep was named Best Actress for The Iron Lady, while Octavia Spencer and Christopher Plummer won Best Supporting Actress and Actor. Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy wasn’t sent home empty-handed, as the spy thriller won Best British Film and Best Adapted Screenplay. I was happy to see Senna get some well-deserved recognition, as the Formula 1 doc chronicling the life of driver Ayrton Senna was named Best Documentary.
While George Clooney seemed the favorite in the Best Actor Oscar race for his magnificent turn in The Descendants, The Artist’s Jean Dujardin could easily prove the spoiler. With the SAG Award in hand and now the BAFTA, the French comedian may very well step up to the podium come Oscar night. Hit the jump to see the full list of BAFTA winners. The Academy Awards will be handed out on February 26th.
The nominations for the 84th Annual Academy Awards have finally been unveiled. Many of the categories have fallen in line just as most have predicted (I fared alright with my predictions, but not great), with Hugo scoring 11 nods, followed closely by The Artist with 10. The biggest surprises are War Horse and Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close getting in for Best Picture, the exclusion of The Adventures of Tintin from Best Animated Feature, and The Tree of Life nabbing Best Picture and Best Director nods (hooray!). On the snub side of things, despite landing the most precursor critics awards of any other actor in the race thus far, Albert Brooks was denied a Best Supporting Actor nod for his stellar work in Drive (boo). Additionally, Tilda Swinton was overlooked for giving the best performance of the year in We Need to Talk About Kevin, and AMPAS has no love for Michael Fassbender‘s haunting work in Shame.
There’s still plenty to be happy about, as Gary Oldman has his first ever Oscar Nomination (yes, that’s right) and Melissa McCarthy is a Best Supporting Actress nominee. Hit the jump to check out the full list of nominees. The 84th Academy Awards will be presented by Billy Crystal on February 26th.
As I’ve been covering awards season pretty extensively here on the site over the past few months, I figured it would be appropriate to (foolishly) try to predict the upcoming Oscar nominations. It’s been a fairly tame year, as a few frontrunners were singled out early in the race and have held their ground throughout the grueling awards season. We haven’t been without a few surprises, as Steven Spielberg’s War Horse took a massive tumble following snubs from most of the major guilds, and David Fincher has surged back into the race bringing his adaptation of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo with him.
Though there are plenty of safe bets when it comes to the 2012 Oscar nominations, there are still a few wildcards and tricky categories. I’ve put on my prognosticating cap (those interested can purchase one of these nifty hats at your local Target) and compiled a list of who and what I think will make the cut. Hit the jump to see how I think the nods will stack up when they’re announced on January 24th.
Another awards ceremony, another The Artist triumph. Michel Hazanavicius’ silent film continues its near sweep of awards season as it took home the Best Film, Best Director, and Best Actor prize from the London Film Critics Circle Awards. Surprisingly, the other film to tie The Artist with three awards was the Iranian drama A Separation. The foreign film has been riding a wave of immense positive word of mouth, and the London Film Critics awarded the pic with Foreign Language Film of the Year, Best Screenwriter, and Best Actress.
Nearly shut out of the awards was Britain’s own Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy. The espionage drama failed to pick up any major prizes and was sent home with a win for Best Production Design. Elsewhere, We Need to Talk About Kevin was named Best British Film, Anna Paquin shared the Best Actress prize with Meryl Streep for her work in Margaret (quickly becoming the little engine that could), and Michael Fassbender won British Actor of the Year for his stellar work in Shame and A Dangerous Method. Full list of winners after the jump, which includes the critics’ top 10 films of 2011.
I’ve just spent the past three hours watching and live-blogging the 2012 Golden Globe Awards. My brain feels mushy. After the jump and presented without comment is a list of this year’s winners. If you don’t even want to hit the jump, The Artist and The Descendants won Best Comedy/Musical and Best Drama, respectively. If you want to awards prognosticate, I’ll save you the trouble: both were nominated for a Best Picture Oscar. Those nominations haven’t been announced yet, but they were nominated. Trust me. I’m a professional.
Also, feel free to sound off on the winners and losers. Lord knows I’ve been doing it for the past three hours.
Even with Saturday’s family trade and higher ticket prices, Disney’s 3D re-issue of Beauty and the Beast could not catch Contraband this weekend. From its 2,863 locations Universal’s R-rated drama took in an estimated $24.1 million – a figure well above early expectations for the Mark Wahlberg vehicle. The other BIG news is the changing fortunes of last weekend’s number one film, The Devil Inside. Estimates have taken the film from number six – down to number eleven – and back up to number seven all within an hour. We’re hoping to get it right this with this one but, keep in mind, it’s all estimates until Monday morning…
||Beauty and the Beast 3D
||Mission: Impossible 4
||Sherlock Holmes 2
||The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
||The Devil Inside
||Alvin and the Chipmunks 3
||The Iron Lady
Set in the time frame of the 2005 London train bombings, The Iron Lady tells a story about Margaret Thatcher from the view point of the Prime Minister in her elderly life, as she grapples with a fading memory of her family life and political career. The interplay between Margaret Thatcher and her husband Dennis (played by Jim Broadbent), gives the film a levity that balances the intensity of some of the political scenes. British actors Alexandra Roach and Harry Lloyd portray the younger versions of Margaret and Dennis, acting out a delightful courtship of a marriage that evolved out of shared values and a seriousness of purpose.
At the film’s press conference in New York, director Phyllida Lloyd, writer Abi Morgan, young Dennis actor Harry Lloyd, and the star herself Meryl Streep gave an interview to a room full of journalists. The group discussed how both the script and the rehearsal process reflected theatrical roots, the experience of depicting a person who is still living, and lots more. Streep is particularly candid, and offers a thoughtful response to those who have criticized the film. Hit the jump for the entire press conference.
In The Iron Lady, Meryl Streep stars as Great Britain’s first female Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, in an emotionally moving and inspiring performance. From the opening scene the film is immediately gripping, with an unexpected narrative. The story glimpses into her political reign–seamlessly intertwining newsreel and rock ballads–but predominantly focuses on Thatcher’s older life as she struggles with dementia. The film has many similarities to The Weinstein Company’s pic from last year, The King’s Speech, in that it profiles a public figure, but chooses to spend most of the screen time on their imagined private lives, making for a film that hooks and involves audiences while educating them.
At the press junket, I talked exclusively with writer Abi Morgan, who penned both The Iron Lady and Steve McQueen’s Shame. We talk about why she chose to focus more on Thatcher’s post-political life, the universality of the film, and the themes and stories she’s attracted to as a writer. The Iron Lady opens in limited release on December 30th and it expands on January 13th. Hit the jump for the interview.
As the 84th Academy Awards move closer, we’re starting to get a better sense of how things will pan out. We recently shared the 39 songs that will contend for the Best Original Song category, and now the Academy has announced the 97 original scores eligible for the Best Original Score award. AMPAS is notoriously picky when it comes to eligibility in this category, and as we feared the scores for both Drive and Attack the Block have been deemed ineligible. Also disappointing is the ineligibility of Alexandre Desplat’s mesmerizing score for The Tree of Life.
While it’s upsetting to see some of the year’s best work side-lined, there’s plenty to be happy about. I was a huge fan of Howard Shore’s work in Hugo and Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross’s score for The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, as well as The Chemical Brothers’ brilliant work in the criminally underseen Hanna. Hit the jump for the full list, as well as who I think will make the cut.
The Artist is currently the frontrunner in the 2011 awards race, but The Descendants continues to nip at its heels. Today, the Southeastern Film Critics Association chose The Descendants as the top film of 2011, although The Artist came in second. SEFCA also bestowed The Descendants with Best Actor (George Clooney) and Best Adapted Screenplay, and also pulled runner-up awards for Best Supporting Actress (Shaileen Woodley) and Best Ensemble.
This was my first year as a SEFCA member, and sadly I disagree with most of the association’s choices. Hit the jump for the full list of winners and my thoughts on them.
The Weinstein Company has released a new trailer for Phyllida Lloyd‘s Margaret Thatcher biopic The Iron Lady. Judging by the trailer, the movie is about the former British Prime Minister’s iron will to be a powerful woman in a man’s world. In between, she kind of did some politics, but seriously: HEAR HER ROAR. The trailer briefly mentions her involvement in the Falklands War, but only to highlight that she’s been to battle too. Not ones involving blood and bullets and death, but political and social ones which are just as bad if not worse. Meryl Streep‘s performance will likely dominate all other aspects of the film, but hopefully the story is more than just how one woman broke through the glass ceiling (even though Thatcher remains the only female British Prime Minister in history).
Hit the jump to check out the trailer. The film also stars Jim Broadbent and Richard E. Grant. The Iron Lady opens December 16th.
Yesterday we unveiled our picks for the top contenders in the Best Supporting Actor and Best Supporting Actress categories for the upcoming 84th Academy Awards. Today, we’re taking on Best Actor and Best Actress. Though it’s still relatively early in the race, we’ve got some surefire contenders and a couple of clear frontrunners for the top acting categories. In addition to Academy darlings like George Clooney and Meryl Streep, we’ve seen some extraordinary performances from relative newcomers likes Elizabeth Olsen and Michael Fassbender. As I stressed yesterday, it’s still pretty early so things can definitely change between now and February, but there are certainly some clear frontrunners in these two races already. Hit the jump to see find out how everyone stacks up.
With the holiday movie season upon us, a few new images from some of the upcoming Oscar contenders have been unveiled. We’ve got a new look at Michael Fassbender in the extremely well-received drama Shame. Fassbender plays a sex-addict opposite Carey Mulligan, and our own Matt Goldberg loved the flick. There’s also a new image of Rooney Mara from David Fincher’s highly anticipated adaptation of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, another look at Meryl Streep as Margaret Thatcher in The Iron Lady, and an ominous image of Gary Oldman from the spy thriller Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy. Additionally, we’ve got another look at Michelle Williams as Marilyn Monroe in My Week with Marilyn, and an image of Sandra Bullock and Thomas Horn in the adaptation of Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close.
But that’s not all! We’ve also got new images from We Bought a Zoo, Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol, Haywire, Underworld: Awakening, In the Land of Blood and Honey, New Year’s Eve, and One for the Money. Hit the jump to check them out.
A new trailer has gone online for the Margaret Thatcher biopic The Iron Lady starring Meryl Streep. For those who are unfamiliar with Thatcher, she was Britain’s austere and highly controversial Prime Minister in the 1980s. As you’ll see in this trailer, she was also Important, Changed the World, Fought for Respect, and Would One Day Rise to Be the Subject of a Movie that Desperately Wanted to Win Awards. It’s one thing to cast Meryl Streep as a famous person (there’s no faster way to an Oscar nomination), but I was stunned that there’s a King’s Speech-style scene in the movie. I’m surprised the the trailer doesn’t include the words “For Your Consideration”.
Hit the jump to check out the trailer. The film also stars Harry Lloyd, Jim Broadbent, Anthony Head, and Olivia Colman. The Iron Lady opens for an awards-qualifying run in New York and Los Angeles on December 30th, and will open in limited release nationwide on January 13th.