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.
[This is a re-post of my review from the 2013 Sundance Film Festival. It has been slightly altered to reflect the new title. Fruitvale Station opens in limited release today.]
Here’s one of the most morbid thoughts you can ever put in your head: will I die today? This thought isn’t to spur you to live each day like it’s your last. It’s a simple observation. Where has life led you to this point, where would you like your life to go, and how does one affect the other? In his debut feature Fruitvale Station, writer-director Ryan Coogler goes into the last day in the life of Oscar Grant, who was infamously shot by BART police officers in Oakland, California on New Year’s Day, 2009. Coogler’s solemn, no-frills direction lets us walk into Oscar’s life, and become absolutely devastated as it heads to its inevitable conclusion. The film’s emotional impact is only lessened by Coogler’s bizarre decision to push a message that doesn’t coincide with his movie’s theme.
Opening this weekend is the indie film Fruitvale Station, inspired by the true-life story of Bay Area native Oscar Grant. Debut feature writer-director Ryan Coogler – who is also from the Bay Area and about the same age Grant would have been – talked to us about his film that landed awards at both Cannes and Sundance. Coogler commented on his decision to bring Grant’s story to the screen, working with cast members who possess varying levels of experience, taking dramatic license on the story and attending the prestigious film festivals.
Fruitvale Station, starring Michael B. Jordan, Melonie Diaz, Octavia Spencer, Kevin Durand and Chad Michael Murray, opens July 12th. Hit the jump for our video interview with Coogler.
Opening this weekend is the indie film Fruitvale Station, inspired by the true-life story of Bay Area native Oscar Grant. Starring in debut feature writer-director Ryan Coogler’s film as Oscar’s mother is Oscar-winner Octavia Spencer (The Help). Spencer recently talked to us about the film, commenting on how familiar she was with Oscar’s story and whether or not that influenced her decision to join the film, the importance of family in the picture and what she hopes audiences take away from the film.
Fruitvale Station, also starring Michael B. Jordan, Melonie Diaz, Kevin Durand and Chad Michael Murray, opens July 12th. Hit the jump for our video interview with Spencer.
Opening this weekend is the indie film Fruitvale Station, inspired by the true-life story of Bay Area native Oscar Grant. Starring in debut feature writer-director Ryan Coogler’s film as Oscar is Michael B. Jordan (Chronicle). We recently got a chance to sit down with Jordan to talk about the award-winning film. Jordan commented on how familiar he was with Oscar’s story from the news, the process of getting into Oscar’s head and his experience working with the young cast and crew.
Fruitvale Station, also starring Octavia Spencer, Melonie Diaz, Kevin Durand and Chad Michael Murray, opens July 12th. Hit the jump for our video interview with Jordan and here’s the trailer.
We’ve got a few new posters to share today. Briefly:
- Riddick – A new IMAX poster for the Vin Diesel-fronted sequel, which opens on September 6th.
- Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters – The gang’s all here in the new poster for the fantasy/adventure follow-up, which opens on August 7th.
- Runner Runner – Another pretty generic poster for the otherwise promising thriller starring Ben Affleck, Justin Timberlake, and Gemma Arterton. The film opens on September 27th.
- Fruitvale Station – A new poster for the Sundance tearjerker puts the focus on star Michael B. Jordan. The film opens on July 12th.
- Prince Avalanche – Ahead of Monday’s new trailer debut, we’ve got a new poster for the low-key dramedy starring Paul Rudd and Emile Hirsch. The film opens on August 9th.
Hit the jump to take a look at the posters.
The haunting first trailer for writer-director Ryan Coogler’s Fruitvale Station is now available. The Weinstein Company looks to have another winner on their hands with this based-on-true-events crime drama. Without giving anything away, the 2013 Sundance Film Festival winner of the Grand Jury Prize and the Audience Award for U.S. dramatic film centers on Oscar (Michael B. Jordan), a young man in the San Francisco Bay area who encounters friends, family, enemies and strangers on the last day of 2008. Also starring Melonie Diaz, Kevin Durand, Chad Michael Murray and Octavia Spencer, Fruitvale Station opens in limited release on July 12th. Hit the jump to watch the trailer.
A few new posters have made their way online. Briefly:
- Fruitvale Station – The first official poster for the huge Sundance hit teases the heartbreak that lies ahead. There is a strong likelihood that this film will turn you into a blubbering mess. Starring Michael B. Jordan, Melonie Diaz, and Octavia Spencer and opens on July 12th. Read Matt’s review here.
- The Hangover Part III – A couple of new character posters for Ed Helms’ Stu, Justin Bartha’s Doug, and a rooster. The film opens on May 24th.
- Grown Ups 2 – Hard as you may try to ignore it, this unnecessary comedy sequel exists. The latest poster repeats the gag from the first film of using old photos of the castmembers. The film stars Adam Sandler, Kevin James, Chris Rock, and David Spade and opens on July 12th.
- Now You See Me – A motion poster for the magician thriller starring Jesse Eisenberg, Woody Harrelson, and Mark Ruffalo. The film opens on May 31st.
- Europa Report – The first poster for director Sebastian Cordero’s found footage sci-fi film teases the pic’s impressive practical effects. The film stars Sharlto Copley and Michael Nyqvist and is available VOD on June 27th and hits theaters on August 2nd.
Hit the jump to check out the posters and synopses.