12 YEARS A SLAVE Wins Best Picture; GRAVITY Wins Seven Oscars Including Best Director

by     Posted 151 days ago

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For the first time in at least six year, we have a Best Picture winner that will stand the test of time.  Cynics thought the Academy’s highest honor would go to American Hustle, the numbers were pointing slightly towards Gravity, but the Oscar ultimately went to 12 Years a Slave, the definitive major motion picture about slavery.  The ceremony itself was an absolute chore, but it was wonderful to see Steve McQueen’s harrowing drama pick up the win at the end.  Additionally, Gravity–another great movie–received plenty of love by earning seven Oscars including Alfonso Cuaron for Best Director.  Among the acting categories, there were no surprises: Matthew McConaughey for Best Actor, Cate Blanchett for Best Actress, Jared Leto for Best Supporting Actor, and Lupita Nyong’o for Best Supporting Actress.  It was not a shocking night, and the biggest “upset” was Mr. Hublot beating out Get a Horse! for Best Animated Short Film.  Personally, I’m pretty satisfied with this year’s winners, especially since Spike Jonze took home Best Original Screenplay for Her.

Hit the jump to check out the full list of this year’s Oscar winners, and click here for my live-blog.

Oscar Beat: Breaking Down This Year’s Toughest Races

by     Posted 166 days ago

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The Academy Awards ceremony is now only a few weeks away, and though it’s been a month since the nominations were announced, there are still a number of races that are shaping up to be very, very close.  It’s been clear since the fall festival circuit that this was going to be a tough year, but it really is shaping up to be one of the most competitive Best Picture races in history.  Moreover, there’s been plenty of nastiness behind-the-scenes from those trying to slow down the momentum of one film or another: Gravity is inaccurate!” “The Wolf of Wall Street” condones despicable behavior! “12 Years a Slave” is too hard to watch!

We’ve seen frontrunners rise and fall over the past few months in a number of categories, and with the official ceremony within arms reach, now seems like a good time to take a look at the toughest races.  There’s plenty of competition to thumb through, so hit the jump to check out this latest installment of Oscar Beat.

BLUE JASMINE Blu-ray Review

by     Posted 166 days ago

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Though the movie may be currently overshadowed by decades old events that have no bearing on the film itself, Woody Allen’s Blue Jasmine is one of his stronger late-period films, with a brilliant performance by Cate Blanchett as a woman of money who finds herself living with her sister (Sally Hawkins) and on the verge of madness.  My Blue Jasmine Blu-ray review follows after the jump.  

12 YEARS A SLAVE Takes Home Best Picture at Critics Choice Awards; GRAVITY, AMERICAN HUSTLE, and LONE SURIVOR Win Genre Awards

by     Posted 196 days ago

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The Critics’ Choice Movie Awards were announced tonight, and 12 Years a Slave took home Best Picture.  The Critics’ Choice Awards have lined up with the Oscars in six of the last seven Best Pictures, but it’s worth noting that the Broadcast Film Critics Association spread the wealth around with genre awards to the other Oscar favorites, Gravity (Best Sci-Fi/Horror Movie) and American Hustle (Best Comedy).  Lone Survivor only managed two Oscar nominations for the sound categories, but found some love here as the Best Action Movie.

Hit the jump for the full list of winners, including ten different acting awards.

2014 Oscar Nominations Announced; AMERICAN HUSTLE and GRAVITY Lead with 10 Nominations Each [Updated with Commentary]

by     Posted 196 days ago

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The nominations for the 86th Academy Awards have been announced. American Hustle and Gravity lead with 10 nominations each, while 12 Years a Slave isn’t too far behind with 9 nominations.  Looking over my predictions, there weren’t actually too many surprises this morning–at least no genuine “snubs” on the scale of Ben Affleck and Kathryn Bigelow last year.  Leonardo DiCaprio and Christian Bale made the Best Actor cut over Robert Redford and Tom HanksHer, Dallas Buyers Club, and Philomena all got Best Picture nominations over Saving Mr. Banks, and Sally Hawkins landed a Best Supporting Actress nomination for her work in Blue Jasmine, seemingly taking Oprah Winfrey‘s spot from Lee Daniels’ The Butler.  Also, the Academy apparently did not take a liking to Saving Mr. Banks, as the film missed out on a Best Picture nomination and a Best Actress nomination for Emma Thompson.

Hit the jump to take a look at the full nominations list.  The 86th Oscars will be broadcast March 2nd on ABC. [Update: I've added my commentary on some of the categories after the jump.]

3-Way Tie Leads to Seven Nominations from Cinematographers Society; Costume Designer Guild Nominates Braless Wonder AMERICAN HUSTLE

by     Posted 204 days ago

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The major guilds have all chimed in with their nominees, and as Adam has pointed out in his Oscar Beat column, this gives us a clearer picture of who might be getting Oscar nominations when they’re announced next week.  But it’s important to remember that guilds usually share members with the Academy, and now the American Society of Cinematographers and the Costume Designers Guild have chimed in with their nominees.

If you need proof that 2013 featured some beautifully shot pictures, the ASC ended up nominating seven films instead of five because there was a three-way tie.  As for the costume designers, the plunging necklines of American Hustle earned a nomination as did the also-glamorous The Great Gatsby.  I’m also pleased with the nomination for Her.  One of the things I noticed on my third viewing was the subtle way that designer Casey Storm provided a “futuristic” fashion by having the men wear high wool pants and button the top button of collared shirts.  It’s just another nice touch to a great movie.  Hit the jump for a full list of the nominees from both guilds.

Oscar Beat: The Guilds Have Spoken, So Where Does This Leave Us for Oscar?

by     Posted 205 days ago

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We’re very, very close to the nominations announcement for the 86th Academy Awards, and now that the various guilds—the Screen Actors Guild, the Producers Guild, the Writers Guild, and the Directors Guild—have announced their nominees, we have a pretty clear picture of what we might expect with regards to Oscar.  As I’ve said before, one of the biggest predictors of how the Academy will vote comes with the guilds, since the guild membership has a strong crossover with Academy membership.  With just over a week to go before the Oscar nominations are announced, now feels like a good time to take a glance at the current landscape to see what films are shaping up to be Oscar favorites, and which films might miss this cut.

Hit the jump to read this latest installment of Oscar Beat in which I take a closer look at this morning’s DGA nominations, offer an overview of which films have landed the most nods from the various guilds, and what that means for Oscar.

2014 Writers Guild Nominations Include HER, DALLAS BUYERS CLUB, WOLF OF WALL STREET, and LONE SURVIVOR

by     Posted 209 days ago

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The Oscar precursors are in full swing.  Yesterday we got a look at the nominations for the Producers Guild Awards—a solid predictor for the Best Picture Oscar category—and today the Writers Guild of America has unveiled its nominations for the 2014 awards.  The Best Original Screenplay nominees include Nebraska, Her, and American Hustle, while the Best Adapted category is filled out by the likes of Before Midnight, Captain Phillips, and The Wolf of Wall Street.  The major surprise in today’s WGA announcements is the inclusion of Peter Berg’s Lone Survivor script for Best Adapted Screenplay and the befuddling absence of Joel and Ethan Coen’s Inside Llewyn Davis for Original Screenplay.

Hit the jump for more, including the full list of WGA nominations and my analysis with regards to what this means for Oscar.  The 2014 WGA Awards will be held on February 1st.

Oscar Beat: Analyzing What the Producers Guild Awards Nominations Mean for Oscar

by     Posted 210 days ago

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When it comes to predicting the Oscars, there are a number of factors to take into account.  The early critics awards carry some weight, as does a film’s overall box office performance, but the most significant gauge with regards to Oscar voting comes with the guild awards.  The four major guilds—producers, directors, writers, and actors—have a large amount of crossover with Academy membership, which means that many of the same people that are voting for the Oscars are also voting in the PGA, DGA, WGA, and SAG awards.  Earlier today we got our first look at the Producers Guild of America nominations, and there were a couple of minor surprises mixed in with the usual suspects.

In this edition of Collider’s awards column, Oscar Beat, I’ll be analyzing what this year’s PGA nominations mean with regards to the upcoming 86th Academy Awards race.  Read on after the jump.

Edgar Wright’s Top 20 Movies of 2013 Include GRAVITY, HER, and SPRING BREAKERS

by     Posted 211 days ago

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Over the past week or so, we here at Collider have been inundating you with year-end lists.  In addition to personal Top 10s from me, Matt, and Dave, we’ve also run down 2013’s best trailers, posters, movie moments, new TV series, returning TV series, and much more.  Now filmmaker Edgar Wright has chimed in with his own personal “Top 20” of 2013.  The director is plenty busy at the moment prepping to direct Marvel’s Ant-Man (starring Paul Rudd, no less), but he graciously took some time to run down a varied list of films that includes Gravity, Inside Llewyn Davis, Pacific Rim, and Steven Soderbergh’s Behind the Candelabra.  Hit the jump to take a look at the full batch.

Year in Review: Best Performances, Direction, and Other Miscellany of 2013

by     Posted 217 days ago

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Over the past week, we’ve been looking back on 2013 and trying to whittle down what we thought were the “best” of the year.  Obviously, this is all subjective.  There is no mathematical formula at work.  I feel I shouldn’t have to state this, but there are people in the comments section who feel that everything should be appraised “objectively”, which in this case would simply be “These are five actors who starred in movies” or “These are five people who directed movies”.  The debate comes over who can be considered the best in their respective fields.  Who gave a performance that we still can’t shake?  Who put together a powerhouse of a picture?  Who created the score we’re still humming?  Who was the bane of our protagonists?  Who’s on the cusp of the A-list?  These are fun questions to ask, and hopefully they’ll stir up some fun (and respectful) debate.

Hit the jump for my miscellaneous “Best of 2013″ picks.  Check back from December 28 – 30th for the Top 10 Films of 2013 lists from me, Adam, and Dave.

Weekend Box Office: FROZEN Edges Out CATCHING FIRE for First; OUT OF THE FURNACE in Third

by     Posted 235 days ago

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Frozen managed to climb past Catching Fire on its second weekend in theatres, giving the Disney hit its first win with an estimated $31.6 million.  The sequel to The Hunger Games was not far behind with $27 million but,  after that, box office estimates dropped precipitously on this notoriously low-grossing post-Thanksgiving frame.

Title Weekend Total
1.  Frozen $31,641,000 $134.2
2.  Catching Fire $27,000,000 $336.6
3.  Out of the Furnace $5,300,000 $5.3
4.  Thor: The Dark World $4,740,000 $193.6
5.  Delivery Man $3,775,000 $24.8
6.  Homefront $3,384,000 $15.2
7.  The Book Thief
$2,700,000 $12
8.  The Best Man Holiday
$2,673,000 $67.2
9.  Philomena $2,282,000 $8.2
10.  Dallas Buyers Club $1,458,000 $12.4

Oscar Beat: Best Supporting Actress – Could Jennifer Lawrence Play the Spoiler?

by     Posted 236 days ago

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Though there’s normally a fairly agreed-upon shortlist of contenders for each Oscar category before the nominations are announced, every year has its fair share of surprises.  More often than not, these occur in the Supporting Actor/Actress categories, and it could very well happen again this year.  Though the general lack of well-written female characters tends to result in a thin crop of contenders for the Best Supporting Actress category, there are no doubt a number of excellent supporting female performances to thumb through in 2013.  The contenders range from fresh newcomers to acting veterans, and the ever-popular Jennifer Lawrence has made a late surge thanks to David O. Russell’s American Hustle finally being unveiled.

In this edition of Oscar Beat, we examine the current state of the Best Supporting Actress category.  Read on after the jump.

New York Film Critics Circle Names AMERICAN HUSTLE Best Film; Robert Redford, Cate Blanchett, and Jennifer Lawrence Win Acting Honors

by     Posted 240 days ago

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The “awards” portion of this year’s awards season has officially begun.  The New York Film Critics Circle is always the first critics group out of the gate, and today they named American Hustle the best film of the year.  The move comes as a slight surprise given that Hustle only first screened a week ago and 12 Years a Slave and Gravity have been the Best Picture frontrunners for the past few months, but the awards race may be in for a twist.  Steve McQueen was awarded Best Director for 12 Years a Slave, Robert Redford took Best Actor for All Is Lost, and Cate Blanchett began what’s sure to be an awards season sweep of Best Actress trophies.  American Hustle picked up three awards in total, including Best Supporting Actress for Jennifer Lawrence and Best Screenplay.  The excellent Blue Is the Warmest Color was named Best Foreign Film, and Stories We Tell won Best Documentary.

Hit the jump to see the full list of winners and for my commentary on what this means for the coming Oscar season.

12 YEARS A SLAVE and NEBRASKA Top 2014 Independent Spirit Awards Nominations

by     Posted 247 days ago

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The 2014 Independent Spirit Awards nominations have been announced, and director Steve McQueen’s excellent drama 12 Years a Slave tops the nominees with seven nods, including Best Feature, Best Director, and Best Actor.  Nebraska is not far behind with six nominations, and the Robert Redford drama All Is Lost also did well with four nods.  The much-beloved Short Term 12 failed to land a Best Feature nomination, but Primer director Shane Carruth’s twisty second feature Upstream Color landed nods for Best Director and Best Editing.  The Best Actor category is a strong mirror of the very tight Oscar race in the same category, and the wonderful Shailene Woodley and Brie Larson nabbed Best Actress nominations for The Spectacular Now and Short Term 12, respectively.

Hit the jump for the full list of nominations and additional commentary.  The Independent Spirit Awards will be hosted on March 1, 2014.

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