On the eve of the 86th Academy Awards, the Independent Spirit Awards honored the very best in independent cinema, but the big winner at the Spirits and the Oscars could very well be one and the same. 12 Years a Slave took the top prize at the Spirit Awards as well as four other trophies: Best Director (Steve McQueen), Best Supporting Actress (Lupita Nyong’o), Best Cinematography (Sean Bobbitt), and Best Screenplay (John Ridley). The pic is neck-and-neck in the heated Oscar race for Best Picture with Gravity, but I think the latter might eke out the win. Elsewhere at the Spirits, Matthew McConaughey and Jared Leto continued to steamroll the Best Actor and Best Supporting Actor categories, respectively, for Dallas Buyers Club, and Fruitvale Station won Best First Feature.
Hit the jump to take a look at the full list of winners, and check back on Collider tomorrow night as our own Matt Goldberg live blogs the Academy Awards ceremony.
One of the most truly stand-out performances of 2013 was the one Michael B. Jordan gave in Fruitvale Station, as Oscar Grant, a young man who was killed by a BART police officer at the Fruitvale BART Station in Oakland, California. With an Independent Spirit Award nomination and the National Board of Review Award, it’s no surprised that he was honored for his performance with a Virtuosos Award at 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, Michael B. Jordan talked about how incredible the last year was for him, the pressure of bringing this real-life story to life, his personal reaction to the tragedy, the use of the real cell phone footage in the film, the most difficult scenes to shoot, what it was like to shoot where the real Oscar Grant was shot, and how the character has stayed with him. He also talked about how amazing it is to be able to reunited with Fruitvale Station director Ryan Coogler to make Creed, the proposed spin-off of the Rocky franchise centered on Apollo Creed’s grandson. Check out what he had to say after the jump.
Here’s a brief look at this week’s promising new Blu-ray releases:
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.
This weekend we saw three more critics groups announce awards for the 2013 movie season, and now it’s the American Film Institute’s turn. Today, AFI unveiled its Top 10 films and TV shows of the year, and the film list includes Oscar frontrunners Gravity and 12 Years a Slave as well as burgeoning contenders like American Hustle, The Wolf of Wall Street, and Her. Over on the TV side of things, usual suspects like Mad Men and Breaking Bad made the cut, but so did Netflix’s original series House of Cards and Orange Is the New Black as well as Showtime’s Masters of Sex and ABC’s smash hit Scandal. The sole comedy on the list of HBO’s excellent Veep.
Hit the jump to check out the full Top 10 lists for movies and television.
Oscar frontrunner 12 Years a Slave has nabbed its first critics group award in a very big way. The Boston Online Film Critics Association awarded the incredibly moving drama six trophies in all, including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor, Best Supporting Actress, Best Editing, and Best Original Score for Hans Zimmer. Clear frontrunner Cate Blanchett continued her roll with another Best Actress award, Jared Leto landed Best Supporting Actor for his transformative work in Dallas Buyers Club, and the Best Animated Film trophy was split between Frozen and The Wind Rises. Additionally, the Boston Online Film Critics Top 10 has a few refreshingly eclectic choices, with The World’s End, Blue Is the Warmest Color, and The Spectacular Now all nabbing well-deserved spots alongside films like Gravity, The Wolf of Wall Street, and Inside Llewyn Davis.
For those keeping score at home, we now have three critics group announcements and three different Best Pictures. The New York Film Critics Circle went for American Hustle, the National Board of Review lauded Her, and now Boston has tapped 12 Years. Hit the jump to read the full list of Boston Online Film Critics awards.
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.
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 “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 Gotham Awards, established to honor the best in independent film, have announced the 2013 winners. The Coen Brothers‘s Inside Llewyn Davis won Best Picture. Matthew McConaughey took home Best Actor for his performance in Dallas Buyers Club. Short Term 12‘s Brie Larson beat out prohibitive Oscar favorite Cate Blanchett for Best Actress. Fruitvale Station dominated the “breakthrough” categories: Ryan Coogler won Breakthrough Director for his first feature and star Michael B. Jordan won Breakthrough Actor. The Act of Killing rounds out the awards with a win for Best Documentary.
Hit the jump for the full list of nominees and winners.
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.
There’s no telling when we’ll see the next film from Quentin Tarantino, but the filmmaker has become quite chatty as of late with regards to what 2013 had to offer by way of new films and comic book movie news. Last week, Tarantino revealed a list of his top 10 films of 2013 so far, and the compilation was unsurprisingly a grab bag of everything from indies to blockbusters; in addition to pics like Gravity and Frances Ha, the filmmaker included This Is the End and The Lone Ranger. Many were a tad disappointed that Tarantino didn’t elaborate on any of his choices, but now the director has decided to comment on his list, specifically focusing on his criticisms of The Lone Ranger. While he was at it, he also chimed in on the casting of Ben Affleck as Batman. Hit the jump to read on.
The Venice Film Festival is already underway, the Telluride Film Festival begins this weekend, and the Toronto International Film Festival will be in full swing by this time next week. With those three festivals underway, the Oscar Race will have officially begun. Right now, no one knows how Gravity will stack up against August: Osage County or whether Labor Day is a major contender or more of a minor player like Jason Reitman’s 2011 feature Young Adult. By next week, though, the aforementioned films and plenty more will have finally screened for critics and prognosticators, and an early lay of the land—based in fact instead of blind speculation—will arise.
I will be attending TIFF for the first time this year, so I’ll be right there in the trenches with the first reactions to plenty of 2013’s awards contenders, but before the festival madness begins, I thought it would be fun to do one last overview of the Best Picture race. Hit the jump for part one of a way too early look at the potential Best Picture Oscar nominees.
As the only major studio release this weekend, it’s no shock to find The Wolverine in first place. With an estimated $55 million from 3,924 locations, the sixth entry in Fox’s X-Men franchise more than doubled the total of the second place The Conjuring but still managed to look a bit disappointing in the process.
|| The Wolverine
|| The Conjuring
|| Despicable Me 2
|| Grown Ups 2
|| Red 2
|| Pacific Rim
|| The Heat
|| Fruitvale Station
Fruitvale Station, inspired by the true-life story of Bay Area native Oscar Grant, is now playing in limited release. Starring in debut feature writer-director Ryan Coogler’s film as Oscar’s girlfriend is Melonie Diaz (Be Kind Rewind). Diaz recently sat down to talk with us about the film, including comments on how familiar she was with Oscar’s story from the news, working with such a young cast and crew, her process behind playing Sophina, and what message she wants audiences to take away. She also talked a bit about her experience at Cannes and filming an episode of HBO’s Girls.
Fruitvale Station also stars Michael B. Jordan, Octavia Spencer, Kevin Durand and Chad Michael Murray. Hit the jump for the interview.