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.
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 Hanks, Her, 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.]
Well, folks, the time has finally come. I’ve been covering this year’s awards season since last fall when we launched our awards column Oscar Beat, and after running through the ups and downs of the season thus far, it’s now time to predict which films, performances, screenplays, and other cinematic achievements from 2013 the Academy will choose to single out. I feel very confident about some of my choices while others feel like more of a crapshoot. One thing’s for sure: this has been quite an interesting season thus far, and there’s still no consensus with regards to some of the big winners.
Hit the jump as I take a stab at predicting the 2014 Oscar nominees. The nominations will be announced at 5:30am PST on January 16th.
It appears that we may have a new Quentin Tarantino film to look forward to sooner rather than later. Just before the holidays, Tarantino revealed that his follow-up to Django Unchained would be another Western, adding, “I had so much fun doing Django, and I love Westerns so much that after I taught myself how to make one, it’s like ‘OK! Let me make another one now that I know what I’m doing.” While the filmmaker didn’t add anymore details about the project other than the fact that he was in the process of writing the screenplay, it appears that he’s close enough to finishing the script that he’s now showing it to a handful of actors that he wants for the lead roles. Titled The Hateful Eight, Tarantino is reportedly eyeing regular collaborator Christoph Waltz and veteran actor Bruce Dern for to star in his next film. Hit the jump for more.
The Broadcast Film Critics Association has unveiled its list of nominees for the upcoming Critics’ Choice Movie Awards, and 12 Years a Slave and American Hustle lead the pack with 13 nominations each—though three of Hustle’s nominations come from “Comedy” categories. The BFCA added some genre categories last year for Action, Sci-Fi/Horror, and Comedy, so the list of nominations is a bit more diverse than those we’ve seen previously. That being said, Brie Larson made the overall Best Actress cut for her excellent turn in Short Term 12, and it’s nice to finally see The World’s End and star Simon Pegg getting some attention (nicer still that BFCA recognizes actual comedies in the Best Comedy category, unlike the Golden Globes). Other notable additions include Scarlett Johansson nabbing a Best Supporting Actress nod for her voice-only role in Her and Christian Bale landing a Best Actor nomination for the aforementioned American Hustle.
Hit the jump to check out the full list of nominations and to find out how closely the Critics’ Choice Awards correlate with Oscar. The 19th annual Critics’ Choice Movie Awards will be held on January 16, 2014.
The critics awards are off and running after the New York Film Critics Circle announced its picks for the best of the year yesterday, and today the National Board of Review has named Her the best picture of 2013. Spike Jonze was also named Best Director for the film, while the acting honors went to Bruce Dern (Nebraska), Emma Thompson (Saving Mr. Banks), Will Forte (Nebraska), and Octavia Spencer (Fruitvale Station). Always an eclectic list, the NBR’s Top 10 includes The Wolf of Wall Street, Gravity, Lone Survivor, and Prisoners. Wholly absent from the Top 10 is the NYFCC’s pick for Best Film, American Hustle.
The NBR winner for Best Picture has failed to match up with Oscar since 2008’s Slumdog Millionaire, as last year’s award went to Zero Dark Thirty, but for the past 13 years every NBR winner has landed a Best Picture nomination, so this bodes well for Her‘s Oscar prospects. Read the full list of NBR winners after the jump.
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.
In the last few months of covering this year’s awards race, it’s become very clear that the 2014 Oscars are going to be one of the most competitive in recent memory. Nowhere is this more clear than in the Best Actor category, which already seems to have congealed into a solid list of five extremely likely candidates with a number of others waiting in the wings to play the spoiler. As the Thanksgiving holiday approaches and the race starts to firm up, now seems like a good time to start taking a closer look at the individual categories in the 2014 Oscar race.
In today’s edition of Oscar Beat, we begin with the Best Actor category, which will see a couple of acting legends challenging the rise of McConaughey, powerful performances depicting historically important characters, Leo, and more. Read on after the jump.
It’s always good news when a new Alexander Payne film is on the horizon, but the filmmaker’s latest effort feels particularly special. Presented entirely in black and white, Nebraska stars Bruce Dern as Woody, a man who believes he’s won a million dollars in a sweepstakes, and plans to go to Nebraska to get it. Complications arise when everyone in his town believes he’s already a millionaire. It feels like the kind of small, intimate film that has now become a rarity in the current moviegoing climate, and critics are already raving about the pic’s stellar turns from Dern, Will Forte, and particularly June Squibb. In his review from the New York Film Festival, Matt called the film a “funny and touching quest to find the good life at the end of life.”
Before the film opens in theaters on November 15th, Paramount has unveiled a collection of images from both in front of and behind the camera on Nebraska. Take a look after the jump. The film also stars Stacy Keach and Bob Odenkirk.
Though it’s only October, we’re already in the thick of awards season. We’ve seen frontrunners emerge from the fall festival circuit, and now some of the year’s potential heavy hitters are starting to open in theaters, providing some hard data for the all-important “audience reception” factor in the Oscar race. Gravity emerged as a potential frontrunner for a number of awards—including Best Picture—when it screened at the Toronto International Film Festival, Venice, and Telluride earlier this year, and now the film can add “box office hit” to its resume, as the pic opened to a record-breaking $55.5 million in its first weekend and only dropped an incredible 21% in its second weekend.
In today’s edition of Oscar Beat, we examine the importance of box office in the Oscar race and what this means for Gravity and the other awards contenders going forward. Additionally, I update my predictions to reflect movements in the recent weeks. Hit the jump to read on.
In the past, I’ve made jokes about how progress on social issues is inevitable because the people holding antiquated values will die off soon. Nebraska made me feel a little guilty about those jokes. I don’t feel guilty because I’ve come to agree with their discriminatory viewpoints, and the movie doesn’t address those kinds of attitudes associated with the red-state heartland. I feel guilty because I’ve been so casual with the lives of old people who probably never had much to begin with. With his newest film, director Alexander Payne has created a deeply compassionate picture of elderly life, social decay, economic immobility, and put it into a moving father-son road trip story. Anchored by strong performances from Bruce Dern, Will Forte, and June Squibb, Nebraska is funny and touching quest to find the good life at the end of life.
Yesterday, we saw the first trailer for Alexander Payne‘s Nebraska. The film stars Bruce Dern as Woody, a man who believes he’s won a million dollars in a sweepstakes, and plans to go to Nebraska to get it. Complications arise when everyone in his town believes he’s already a millionaire. Judging by what I’ve seen so far, I like the look and feel of the movie, and if you’re looking at the Oscar chart, Nebraska‘s small scale currently makes it a stand-out among the big, star-studded dramas. Two new clips have been released online, and one gives a good look at the comedy (Bob Odenkirk, who plays one of Woody’s sons, getting into a slap fight) and another provides the drama with Dave (Woody’s other son, and played by Will Forte) having a terse conversation with his dad.
Hit the jump to check out the clips. The film also stars Stacy Keach and June Squibb. Nebraska opens November 15th.
The first trailer, poster, and new images have been released for Alexander Payne‘s Nebraska. The film stars Bruce Dern as a man who believes he’s won a million dollars in a sweepstakes, and plans to go to Nebraska to get it. Complications arise when everyone in his town believes he’s already a millionaire. I like the 60s-70s vibe of the trailer and poster, and it looks like Payne is going for something subdued like Sideways rather than something more mainstream like The Descendants. Either way, it looks damn good, and I’m excited to see it next month at the New York Film Festival.
Hit the jump to check out the trailer, poster, and new images. The film also stars Will Forte, Bob Odenkirk, Stacy Keach, and June Squibb. Nebraska opens November 15th.
Yesterday, the Telluride Film Festival announced its line-up, and since the festival begins today, we can expect to start hearing reactions to potential awards-contenders very soon. In addition to the announcements, new images have been released for festival entries Under the Skin starring Scarlett Johansson; Alexander Payne‘s Nebraska starring Bruce Dern and Will Forte; Agnieszka Holland‘s HBO miniseries Burning Bush; and David Mackenzie‘s Starred Up starring Jack O’Connell and Ben Mendelsohn.
Hit the jump to check out the images, and keep up with our new Oscar Beat column as Adam keeps an eye on this year’s awards race.
The 2013 Cannes Film Festival begins today, and new images have been released for these movies in the fest’s line-up:
- Behind the Candelabra – Directed by Steven Soderbergh, starring Michael Douglas, Matt Damon, Dan Aykroyd, Rob Lowe, and Debbie Reynolds.
- Nebraska – Directed by Alexander Payne, starring Bruce Dern, Will Forte, Stacy Keach, and Bob Odenkirk.
- The Immigrant – Directed by James Gray, starring Joaquin Phoenix, Marion Cotillard, and Jeremy Renner.
- As I Lay Dying – Directed and starring James Franco, co-starring Tim Blake Nelson, Logan Marshall-Green, and Danny McBride.
Hit the jump for the images and synopses. The 2013 Cannes Film Festival runs from May 15 – May 26th.