The British Academy of Film and Television Arts handed out its awards this evening, and while the BAFTAs have increasingly become a solid bellwether of how the Oscars will vote, tonight’s tallies do little to settle the virtual tie between Gravity and 12 Years a Slave. Gravity won the most awards of the night with six, including Best Director for Alfonso Cuaron and Best British Film, but 12 Years a Slave took the top honors as Best Film as well as Best Actor for Chiwetel Ejiofor. American Hustle also had a fairly strong showing with three awards, including Best Supporting Actress for Jennifer Lawrence over 12 Years a Slave’s Lupita Nyong’O—one of this year’s toughest categories.
Hit the jump to check out the full list of winners, and to catch up on our awards coverage be sure to take a look at our running Oscar Beat column.
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.
David O. Russell is a filmmaker on fire, telling compelling stories about fascinating characters that are completely flawed and human. With his last three films – The Fighter, Silver Linings Playbook and American Hustle – receiving 25 Oscar nominations between them, and his actors giving star-making performances in their roles, it’s no surprise that he was recognized as the Outstanding Director of the Year at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival (SBIFF). Collider was there to cover and attend the event, and we’ve compiled the highlights of what he had to say, both on the press line and during the Q&A.
While there, writer/director David O. Russell talked about what this ride has been like for him, when and how he started making films, how he learned the craft of filmmaking, the affect Sundance had on him, how starting out with short films led to him making his first feature Spanking the Monkey, weaving spiritual insight with comedy, writing such strong female characters, why I Heart Huckabees was a transition film for him, why Nailed never got released, adding a sense of enchantment and romance to the stories he’s telling now, how blessed he feels to work with Jennifer Lawrence, what change means to him, and what’s drawn him to the longer storytelling format of television (he’s currently developing a 13-episode series for ABC). Check out the in-depth interview after the jump.
David O. Russell is in early talks to rewrite a Fox 2000 project about Miracle Mop inventor Joy Mangano with the intent to direct. The director wants his Silver Linings Playbook and American Hustle muse Jennifer Lawrence to play Long Island native Mangano. Mangano was a single mother of three when she developed the prototype for her Miracle Mop in 1990. The Miracle Mop became a big seller on QVC when Mangano went on air to pitch the product, selling out 18,000 mops in 20 minutes. Over 5 million mops later, Mangano now has 100+ patents (including Huggable Hangers) and has become one of HSN’s best-selling presenters. More after the jump.
ABC has ordered an untitled drama executive produced by David O. Russell (American Hustle) straight to series. The story by Russell and Susannah Grant (A Gifted Man) is described as “an upstairs/downstairs soap” set at a private country club. The Live Feed reports Carl Beverly and Sarah Timberman (Justified) are on board as executive producers.
FX ultimately passed on Russell‘s previous effort on a TV series starring Connie Britton, so this is his first TV drama. I don’t know how involved Russell will be given his busy feature career (5 Oscar nominations in 3 years!), but I hope he at least directs the pilot to set in motion a few sure-to-be crazy plots. ABC give Russell and Grant 13 episodes to play with in the initial order.
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.
Now playing in theaters is director David O. Russell’s comedic drama American Hustle. The story is based on the Abscam sting operation that uncovered widespread political corruption in the late 1970s, and Russell’s fantastic ensemble cast is led by Christian Bale, Amy Adams, Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence, and Jeremy Renner. The film is definitely an awards contender, landing a Best Picture award from the New York Critics Circle and many nominations from a number of other groups, including the Golden Globes and the Screen Actors Guild. For more on the film, here’s all our previous coverage.
At the New York City press junket I landed an exclusive video interview with David O. Russell. He talked about his style of directing and how it’s changed over the years, how his assembly cut was over three hours, deleted scenes, what will be on the Blu-ray, future projects, and more. Hit the jump to watch.
The Directors Guild of America has unveiled its list of 2014 nominees, and it’s stacked with heavy hitters. The nominees for the 2014 DGA Award are Alfonso Cuaron for Gravity, Paul Greengrass for Captain Phillips, Steve McQueen for 12 Years a Slave, David O. Russell for American Hustle, and Martin Scorsese for The Wolf of Wall Street. This is pretty much what we expected, with Spike Jonze (Her) and Alexander Payne (Nebraska) acting as alternates, but we now have a complete shutout from the four major guilds (DGA, PGA, SAG, and WGA) for Joel and Ethan Coen’s Inside Llewyn Davis.
The DGA nominations don’t typically match up 5-for-5 with the Oscar Best Director nominations, as there’s normally one slot that is switched up when the Oscar nods come around. Except for last year, when they went 2-for-5 and presumed frontrunners Kathryn Bigelow and Ben Affleck failed to land Oscar nods after nabbing DGA nominations. To read my full analysis of the nominations, click here. The 2014 DGA Awards will be held January 25th.
Last night I had the opportunity to catch Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues and I have to say that I walked away with mixed feelings. For the most part, the laughs were there (especially the scenes with Greg Kinnear and the “getting the team back together” sequence early on). I also thought the decision to place the Channel 4 News Team at the dawn of the 24 hour news cycle was great in that it gave Ron and Co. the chance to be pioneers of the trade and provided the pic solid footing from which to deliver its well-placed jabs at the current state of the broadcast news industry. On the other hand, some of the film’s gags and multiple cameos landed with a huge thud for me and I’m still a little surprised at how ridiculously over the top it becomes in the final 20 minutes or so (even for an Anchorman sequel). All in all, if you enjoyed the original then I think there’s enough magic left in the tank that you’ll have fun with The Legend Continues. Just don’t be surprised if you leave the theater less than thrilled to experience the next installment in Ron Burgundy’s story.
My notes aside, this week’s Top 5 highlights the first trailer for Christopher Nolan‘s Interstellar, interviews with Will Ferrell and more for Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues, the first trailer for 22 Jump Street, American Hustle interviews with Christian Bale and more, and Matt’s editorial on why “Worst Of” lists are, for the lack of a better word, the worst. Read on for a brief recap and link to each of the above.
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.
From its opening shot, American Hustle is about the art of the con, the small cons we pull on each other and, more importantly, ourselves. The con can be in the image we project to the world to the point where we can no longer distinguish who we truly are from the lie we’ve created. David O. Russell‘s new film features characters who lie to the world in order to lie to themselves, but the filmmaker never manages to organize the lies and the liars into something bigger and more poignant. They’re random molecules bouncing off each other in a way that’s fun, flighty, and occasionally a little melancholy. Russell seems bent on trying to meld his offbeat earlier films with his recent, more populist fare, but the result is a piece that’s often amusing, but rarely audacious.
Opening this weekend in limited release and expanding nationwide December 20th is director David O. Russell’s comedic drama American Hustle. The story is based on the Abscam sting operation that uncovered widespread political corruption in the late 1970s, and Russell’s fantastic ensemble cast is led by Christian Bale, Amy Adams, Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence, and Jeremy Renner. The film has already won its first Best Picture critics’ award and this morning the Screen Actors Guild gave it a few nominations including Ensemble In A Motion Picture and Female Supporting Actor In A Motion Picture (for Jennifer Lawrence). While the holidays are filled with a lot of choices, American Hustle should definitely be on your list. For more on the film, here’s all our previous coverage.
A few days ago in New York City I landed an exclusive video interview with Bale. He talked about how David O. Russell offered him the role, the way the script changed, whose idea it was for him to put on the weight and have a comb over, his preferred acting process, his thoughts on doing a lot of takes, and a lot more. Hit the jump to watch.
For those who can’t wait for David O. Russell‘s follow-up to Silver Linings Playbook, American Hustle opens on December 20. To whet your appetite, Sony has provided us with four clips and eight minutes of behind-the-scenes footage. The script by Russell and Eric Singer is based on the Abscam sting operation of the late 1970s. A con artist team (Christian Bale and Amy Adams) work with an FBI agent (Bradley Cooper) to root out political corruption. Jennifer Lawrence and Jeremy Renner also star.
American Hustle already won its first Best Picture critics’ award and the Oscar buzz is building, so it’s time to get excited. Hit the jump to watch the clips and behind-the-scenes footage.
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.
The Best Director Oscar category quite often mirrors the Best Picture category, with the winners in both matching up year after year. That being said, it’s not wholly uncommon to see a split for one reason or another—in fact, it’s happened 22 times. Sometimes the director of the Best Picture winner gets snubbed out of a nomination (see: Ben Affleck), sometimes heavy backdoor campaigning results in a split (see: Shakespeare in Love take Best Picture and Saving Private Ryan getting Best Director), and sometimes the Academy is simply not willing to award difficult material the grand prize (see: Brokeback Mountain losing Best Picture). This year, however, we have a different scenario that could simply be boiled down to an incredibly tough choice: two excellent, groundbreaking films that both showcase directing at its finest.
The Best Picture showdown appears to be 12 Years a Slave vs. Gravity, and that same showdown is mirrored in the Best Director race. Will there be a split? Can someone like Paul Greengrass or David O. Russell pull an upset? After the jump, we take a look at the current state of the Best Director race in the latest installment of Oscar Beat.