Continuing on with our look at the 2012 Oscar race, today we delve into Best Animated Feature and the technical categories. As Pixar’s Cars 2 was the studio’s worst-received feature to date (it currently sits at 38% on Rotten Tomatoes), we’ve got ourselves an actual competition in the Animated Feature category. Not only that, but if all 18 films that were submitted to the Academy are deemed eligible, we’ll have a total of five nominated films. This leaves us to debate the merits of Rango and The Adventures of Tintin against the likes of Puss in Boots and Arthur Christmas.
Additionally, we’ve taken a stab at Best Original Screenplay, Best Adapted Screenplay, and the technical categories. As these are incredibly tricky to predict this far out (and my picks would be doomed to haunt me come February), I’ve simply listed a couple of frontrunners in each category instead of going in depth. Though it’s still early, we’ve got an overall picture of how things look like they’ll stack up; so hit the jump to check out the state of the race so far. If you missed our previous preview articles, be sure to take a look at our picks for Best Supporting Actor and Best Supporting Actress, and Best Actor and Best Actress.
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.
Ah, November. Leaves are falling, colder weather is here (depending on where you live), and the 2011 movie season is coming to a close. While angry shoppers and red Starbucks cups generally mean it’s time to start preparing for the many awkward/tense family encounters that are sure to come, it’s also time to start thinking Oscar. We’ve seen a few contenders throughout the year, but a plethora of heavyhitters will be opening over the next 5 weeks.
To aid in your Oscar polls (or to quench your curiosity) we’ve compiled a state of the race preview as of this lovely Thanksgiving week. Granted, a lot can change from now until February, but a good portion of the major players have already been screened and we’re starting to get a sense of how it could all play out. We’ll be examining all the major categories over the next four days, kicking things off with the infamously unpredictable Best Supporting Actor and Actress. Hit the jump to see where things stand.
It seems like the Academy is making a serious effort to makes the 2012 Oscars somehow worse than last year’s clusterfuck. First, they hired Brett Ratner whose name inspires confidence in no one except for Brett Ratner. Then last week we learned that Ratner wanted his Tower Heist star Eddie Murphy to host the ceremony. Now Deadline is confirming that Murphy will MC next year’s show and I am confirming that I have somehow found a way to be even less interested in the Oscar telecast.
I have multiple problems with Murphy. First off, he hasn’t top-lined a good film since Bowfinger. Second, he hasn’t taken a chance since his dramatic supporting role in Dreamgirls didn’t win him an Oscar. He doesn’t really try to give comic performances any more and phones in awful family comedies. Finally, and this one is just a personal preference, I think an Oscar host should have the ability to do self-deprecating humor to balance the jokes he or she is going to make at the audience’s expense. That’s never been Murphy’s style. The only upside to this news is that we get to see how Murphy does stand-up on a big stage a scant 24 years after Raw.
Like any good Oscar ceremony, the 83rd Academy Awards will most likely drag on unto infinity. Categories will blend together and you’ll find yourself waiting to see who wins “Best Costume Design for a Live-Action Short Starring Winter’s Bone“. I’m trying to stop myself from being on auto-snark and hoping that the show is genuinely entertaining. I find hosts Anne Hathaway and James Franco to be charming so hopefully they’ll have some good material. Last year, I didn’t expect much from Alec Baldwin and Steve Martin and I thought they did a terrific job. While the Oscars are a show for rich people to congratulate themselves on a job well done, the host doesn’t have to tear the room down to make us poor slobs at home feel better. There’s a balancing act and hopefully Hathaway and Franco can pull it off.
So get your Oscar ballots ready and hit the jump as I live-blog the 83rd Academy Awards. Also, you can click here for my predictions.
I will be so happy once Oscar season is over. I won’t have to hear about who’s up, who’s down, who deserves to win, and how Best Picture nominee A is more historically accurate than Best Picture nominee B. For all the needless pomp and circumstance, the awards do serve a purpose. Sure, studios like the kudos, but they really like the big business an awards film can generate. Audiences like the awards because it’s a way of telling them “There were so many great movies last year, but here’s the one you must see because Hollywood agreed it was the ‘best’.”
But since the awards show appeals to our competitive spirit, I’ve decided to give my predictions for this year’s winners along with who I think deserves to win among the nominated films. As a reminder, I will be live-blogging the Oscars, which air Sunday, February 27th, at 8pm on ABC. Hit the jump for my semi-educated guesses.
On our podcast last week, Curt raved about the Shaun Tan’s Oscar-nominated animated short film The Lost Thing. The short is based on Tan’s 2002 children’s book of the same name, but it’s one of those “kids” stories that will probably be more emotionally affecting for adults. The story revolves around a young man who meets up with a bizarre entity that has the personality of a lovable, lost dog. The man then tries to find a place for the creature in a mundane, repetitive world.
After taking the 15 minutes to watch the short, I can see why Curt loved it. The short is hilarious, heartbreaking, and the visual style is absolutely gorgeous. When you see an animated short like this, it makes you feel slightly depressed about the homogenization of major animated films. I can’t help but wonder if a studio would have the guts to design a feature-length animated film that looks like this.
At some point today, you should really take the time to watch The Lost Thing. You won’t regret it. Hit the jump to check out the video.
Inception cinematographer Wally Pfister won the American Society of Cinematographers Outstanding Achievement Award in the feature film category. It was Pfister’s first win from the ASC. He had previously been nominated for The Dark Knight and Batman Begins. This year’s other nominees included Matthew Libatique (Black Swan), Danny Cohen (The King’s Speech), Jeff Cronenweth (The Social Network), and Roger Deakins (True Grit). All five of these men have also been nominated for the Oscar for Best Cinematography and it’s tough to argue that they don’t deserve it.
While Pfister’s win from the ASC may give him a slight edge in the Oscar race, I still think this is going to be Deakins’ year. It’s his ninth nomination and I think/hope that the Academy will finally give him his due. However, if Pfister takes home the statue, you won’t hear me complaining.
If elusive street artist Banksy wins Best Documentary for film Exit Through the Gift Shop at this year’s Academy Awards, how will he win? It’s unlikely that he’ll reveal himself to everyone at the Kodak Theatre and the millions watching at home, but he should be allowed to win it on reasonable terms. Unfortunately, Academy president Tom Sherak isn’t having it. He tells The Wrap the he would prefer the film’s producer Jaimie D’Cruz and an executive producer accept the award on Banksy’s behalf:
“We suggested to them that it might be a good idea that if he did win, one of them would accept in his place – that it would not be dignified for the Academy to have somebody come up wearing a monkey’s head.”
Hit the jump for why Sherak’s suggestion is silly and disrespectful.
What are the Oscars without a little pageantry? As it’s been done in years prior, the Best Song nominees will be performed by the folks who sang them in the movie. Gwyneth Paltrow will perform “Coming Home” from Country Strong; Randy Newman will perform “We Belong Together” from Toy Story 3; songwriter Alan Menken will provide piano accompaniment to Mandy Moore and Zachary Levi for “I See the Light” from Tangled; and songwriter A.R. Rahman will join Florence Welch of Florence + the Machine to perform “If I Rise” from 127 Hours.
Hit the jump for the press release and to hear the songs. The 83rd Academy Awards will be held on February 27th.
Cinematographer Roger Deakins received his ninth Oscar nomination this year, this time for his stunning work on the Coen Brother’s True Grit. Naturally, the Academy has never given him the award because that would make too much sense. No offense to the other nominees this year, but it’s time for Deakins to get his due. After the jump you can check out a video that highlights his incredible work on True Grit and see why Deakins (yet again) deserves to win Best Cinematography. The 83rd Academy Awards will be held on February 27th.
The Social Network is currently the frontrunner in the Oscar race as it’s racked up victories from a wide variety of critics’ groups, individual critics, and publications. However, Sony Pictures is continuing to do everything in its power to push the film’s popularity. In addition to the film making it’s debut on DVD and Blu-ray on Tuesday (three months and eleven days since it was first released in theaters), the studio will be re-releasing the film back into 600 theaters this Friday. In the January doldrums, that’s not a bad strategy and Deadline predicts that the release will push the film over the $200 million mark worldwide.
If The Social Network does win Best Picture, it will be the first victory for Sony’s Columbia Pictures since 1988.
Here we go again – Oscar time! With The Social Network currently gobbling up the top critic awards across the nation – including the National Board of Review, the New York Film Critics Circle and even Roger Ebert – it’s obvious that David Fincher’s phenomenal masterpiece is the film to beat come March. As for the other potential nominees, the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences has no less than 247 (not including Network) other films to consider before narrowing their list to 10 for the Academy Awards. That number is down from 274 in 2009 and 281 in 2008.
Hit the jump for more on how the AMPAS determines eligibility.
The holiday season is officially upon us. While that means copious amounts of cholesterol and decidedly awkward confrontations with family members, it also makes for a few days of fairly slow news. So with that, what better time than now to start seriously thinking about the Oscars? Awards season is in full swing, and the majority of the “Oscar-bait” films have been seen, so we can now begin to put together some lists that actually make sense. After scouring the field, we’ve broken down all the major categories and compiled what we see to be the frontrunners, likely nominations, and outside contenders in each race.
Before we begin, a quick reminder. This is still quite early in the Oscar season. While it’s true that most of the films have been seen and it’s decidedly easier to predict nominees at this time, choosing the winner is a bit tougher. A lot could change between now and February, or things could stay pretty much the same. We just don’t know. But this is how the races seem to be stacking up at the moment. So what are you waiting for? Hit the jump and let the guessing game begin.
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has released their shortlist of 15 documentaries that have advanced in the voting for Best Documentary nominations. The list includes Charles Ferguson’s Inside Job, Davis Guggenheim’s Waiting for Superman, and, one of my favorite films of the year, Banksy’s Exit Through the Gift Shop. Unfortunately, the documentary Catfish was shutout. While some have speculated that it’s because of controversy regarding the documentary’s authenticity, that same controversy of “realism” also surrounds Exit Through the Gift Shop. However, as long as Gift Shop continues to have a shot at the top prize, I’m happy (although Inside Job and Waiting for Superman are also quality films).
Hit the jump for the press release and a list of the final 15 contenders. The 83rd Academy Awards nominations will be announced live on January 25, 2011.