The Writers Guild of America Awards were held tonight, and Ben Affleck‘s Argo continued its sweep through awards season by netting Best Adapted Screenplay for writer Chris Terrio. Mark Boal won Best Original Screenplay for the film that will actually continue to resonate for years to come, Zero Dark Thirty. Meanwhile, Malik Bendejelloul‘s won Best Documentary Screenplay for the wonderful Searching for Sugar Man. Over on the TV side, Breaking Bad won Best Drama Series, Louie won Best Comedy Series, and Girls won Best New Series. Hatfields & McCoys and Game Change continued their awards winning streaks by picking up Best Long Form (Original) and Long Form (Adapted), respectively. Finally, Portlandia beat out some stiff competition (such as The Daily Show and The Colbert Report) to pick up Best Comedy/Variety.
Searching for Sugar Man may not quite be, as director Malik Bendjelloul excitedly proclaims in the making of Blu-ray extra, the greatest story you’ll ever hear, but it is an ultra-fun one, told by the director with style in his movie directing debut.
The Best Documentary Feature finalist at this year’s Academy Awards tells the story of Sixto Rodriguez, an American folk singer who recorded two little-known albums in the early ’70s and would have faded into obscurity if not for the seriously geeky and dedicated interest of some South African fans. Mix all those crazy elements together, and you have a rousing tale that would be hard to believe if it all weren’t amazingly true. Hit the jump for a review of Searching for Sugar Man on Blu-ray.
The freight train that is Argo kept on trucking last night. Though the film’s Best Picture Oscar chances were all but dashed when Ben Affleck was snubbed for Best Director (it’s incredibly rare for a movie to win Best Picture without a Best Director nomination), the film picked up the top awards at two major guilds—the Screen Actors Guild and the Producers Guild. Now two becomes three, as the Directors Guild Awards were held last night and Argo pulled off the hat trick by landing Affleck the Best Director DGA trophy.
There is one major precedent that everyone keeps pointing towards with regards to Argo: 1995’s Apollo 13. That film won the PGA, DGA, and SAG awards, only to find Ron Howard left out of the Best Director Oscar nominations and it ultimately lost Best Picture to Braveheart. Is Argo in the same boat as Apollo 13 or can it pull off the win? Furthermore, who wins Best Director at the Oscars? Hit the jump for more, along with the full list of DGA winners that includes Looper’s Rian Johnson for his work on Breaking Bad and Girls’ Lena Dunham.
Legendary guitarist Slash (Guns N’ Roses, Velvet Revolver) has had his first picture acquired for his horror production company, Slasher Films. Anchor Bay Films picked up Nothing to Fear at Sundance today, a film based on the legend that the town of Stull, Kansas is actually one of seven gateways to Hell. This premise explains the promo poster, which you can see after the jump. Nothing to Fear will be directed by Anthony Leonardi III, the creature designer and storyboard artist for such films as Constantine and 47 Ronin.
Also, two documentaries had their North American distribution rights picked up. Magnolia Pictures grabbed The Queen of Versailles, Lauren Greenfield’s (Thin) take on billionaires Jackie and David Siegel as they build America’s largest house (90,000 sq ft) and watch it collapse with the market. Magnolia is planning a summer release. Sony Pictures Classics acquired domestic rights to debut director Malik Bendjelloul’s Searching for Sugar Man, a tale of 1970’s undiscovered rock icon, Rodriguez, and how his disappearance inspired two South African fans to seek him out. Hit the jump for press releases on each project. Click here to get caught up on all of our Sundance 2012 coverage.