2013 Oscar Nominations Announced; LINCOLN Leads with 12 Nominations, Kathryn Bigelow and Ben Affleck Snubbed for Best Director

by     Posted 1 year, 288 days ago

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The nominations for the 85th Academy Awards have been announced, and it’s quite a whirlwind of nominees.  As expected, Lincoln landed the most nominations with 12, followed with Ang Lee’s Life of Pi which nabbed 11.  The big story here, though, is the Best Director category.  Shockingly, only two (two!) of the DGA nominees for Best Director made the Oscar cut: Ang Lee and Steven Spielberg.  The rest of the category was filled out by Benh Zeitlin for Beasts of the Southern WildDavid O. Russell for Silver Linings Playbook, and Michael Haneke for Amour.  It was almost guaranteed that Ben Affleck and Kathryn Bigelow would be landing nominations for Argo and Zero Dark Thirtyrespectively, but shockingly neither made the cut.  Apparently those films just directed themselves.  Based off today’s nominations, it now looks like it’s (surprisingly) down to Lincoln vs. Silver Linings Playbook for the big win.

Hit the jump to check out the list of nominees, and click here to check them against my predictions (somehow I predicted the Best Picture and Supporting Actor categories perfectly).  The 85th Academy Awards will take place on February 24th.

Adam Predicts the 2013 Oscar Nominees

by     Posted 1 year, 289 days ago

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At last, Oscar is upon us.  Back in November I shared a look at the early awards season race by way of our 2013 Oscar Preview articles, and now nearly two months later there’s still quite a bit up in the air.  This truly is one of the more exciting awards races in recent years, as 2012 is so stacked with quality that there are a surprising number of uncertainties this close to the Academy Awards ceremony.  Nevertheless, I am once again foolishly going to attempt to predict how the Oscar nominations will shake out when they’re announced tomorrow morning, January 10th.  Hit the jump to check out my predictions.

AMOUR Review

by     Posted 1 year, 309 days ago

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We’d like to see all love stories end happily ever after.  The “ever after” part would presumably mean the two characters die happily in their sleep at the exact same time.  However, much like love at first sight, this kind of ever after is somewhat rare.  Instead, the end of a loving relationship is likely filled with grief and loneliness.  Michael Haneke‘s Amour looks at the slow, painful decay of a marriage where we’re forced to question how love can endure when a loved one cannot.  The experience of watching his movie is exceedingly agonizing, and is more horrific than any film featuring a lunatic with a chainsaw.  And yet for all of its brutal honesty, Amour can’t help but feel obvious, which makes the emotional impact feel more exploitative than revelatory.

THE MASTER Named Best Film by Toronto Film Critics; Ties with AMOUR for Most Nominations from London Critics Circle

by     Posted 1 year, 310 days ago

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Paul Thomas Anderson‘s The Master got a bit of a boost in the awards race as two critics organizations heaped honors upon the film.  The Toronto Film Critics Association named The Master best film of the year, and the movie also picked up Best Supporting Actor (Philip Seymour Hoffman), Best Director (Anderson), and Best Screenplay (Anderson).  Meanwhile, the London Critics Circle bestowed seven nominations on The Master as well as Michael Haneke‘s Amour.  Since the Academy is allowed to nominate up to ten films, it looks like The Master and Amour are well on their way to grabbing Best Picture Oscar nominations.

Hit the jump for the list of awards and nominations.  The London Critics Circle will announce their winners on January 20th.

Michael Haneke Talks AMOUR, His Inspiration for the Film, His Casting Decisions, Physical and Emotional Demands of the Film and Shooting the Film in French

by     Posted 1 year, 314 days ago

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Michael Haneke’s films have been honored multiple times at the Cannes Film Festival over the past decade and this year is no exception.  The Austrian filmmaker, who won the Grand Jury Prize for The Piano Teacher in 2001, Best Director for Caché in 2005, and the Palme d’Or for The White Ribbon in 2009, took the festival’s top prize, the Palme d’Or, in 2012 for his latest movie, Amour.  The French-language film, which stars Jean-Louis Trintignant, Emmanuelle Riva and Isabelle Huppert, is a poignant story about a married couple in their eighties whose bond of love is severely tested.  Amour is Austria’s official selection for the 85th Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film.

At the film’s press day, Haneke talked about what inspired him to make Amour, how he enjoyed shooting entirely in a studio on a single location, what led him to cast Trintignant, Riva and Huppert, why he never rehearses with professional actors, which scenes were the most physically and emotionally demanding, why he chose to shoot the film in French, the difficulties he encountered using complicated new digital cameras, and why the unexpected gifts that actors bestow upon a director give him the greatest satisfaction as an artist. Hit the jump to read the interview.

2013 Oscar Preview: Best Picture and Best Director

by     Posted 1 year, 334 days ago

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Here’s where things get interesting.  Over that past few days we’ve been taking an early look at the 2013 Oscar race, running down the contenders in a number of categories including Best Supporting Actor and Actress, Best Actor and Best Actress, and Best Animated Feature, Screenplay, and technological category quick picks.  We’ve now come to our final installment, Best Picture and Best Director, and these two races are shaping up to be incredibly interesting. Hit the jump for the full rundown.

2013 Oscar Preview: Best Animated Feature, Best Adapted and Original Screenplay, and Technical Category Quick Picks

by     Posted 1 year, 335 days ago

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We’re continuing on with our weeklong preview of the upcoming 85th Academy Awards, and after running down both acting categories it’s time to take look at some of the other races.  Today we’ll be looking at the Best Animated Feature, Best Adapted Screenplay, and Best Original Screenplay categories in depth, and I’ll also make some way-too-early quick picks in the technical categories.  The fun begins after the jump.

Two New Clips from Director Michael Haneke’s AMOUR, Winner of the 2012 Palme d’Or at Cannes

by     Posted 1 year, 363 days ago

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Two new clips have gone online for director Michael Haneke’s 2012 Palme d’Or-winning drama, Amour.  The touching story centers on a married couple in their eighties and the struggle they endure as each others’ mental and physical health begins to fail.  I haven’t seen the film, but if these two incredibly poignant and emotional clips are any indication, then Amour certainly has more awards in its near future.

Amour, starring Jean-Louis Trintignant, Emmanuelle Riva and Isabelle Huppert, opens domestically in limited release on December 19th.  Hit the jump to see the new clips. 

Sony Pictures Classics Sets Cannes Palm d’Or Winner AMOUR for December 19 Release; Watch the Trailer

by     Posted 2 years, 148 days ago

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The 2012 Cannes Film Festival has finally come to a close, and director Michael Haneke’s drama Amour took the festival’s top prize, the Palm d’Or.  A trailer for the pic is now online, and Sony Pictures Classics announced today that they have slated the film for a December 19th limited release here in the U.S.  Last year’s Palm d’Or winner, The Tree of Life, went on to secure a Best Picture nomination, so clearly Sony is hoping for similar recognition with Amour by placing it in the heart of awards season.  Haneke won the Grand Jury Prize in for The Piano Teacher in 2001, Best Director for Caché in 2005, and the Palme d’Or for The White Ribbon in 2009, so he’s no stranger to Cannes honors.

The French-language film focuses on an elderly couple whose bond is tested when the wife suffers a stroke.  The trailer is predictably effective, with a walloping emotional punch at the end.  I’m eager to see what all the fuss was about when the film finally opens stateside, and this clip is a nice primer of what’s to come.  Hit the jump to watch the trailer.

Cannes 2012 Winners: Michael Haneke Wins His Second Palme d’Or for AMOUR

by     Posted 2 years, 150 days ago

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Another Cannes, another win for Michael Haneke.  Haneke won the Grand Jury Prize in for The Piano Teacher in 2001, Best Director for Caché in 2005, and the festival’s top honor, the Palme d’Or, for The White Ribbon in 2009.  With no brass ring left, Haneke settled for another Palme D’Or at this year’s fest for his typically harrowing tale of elderly marriage, Amour (aka Love).  Haneke is now the eighth director to win Best Film twice*, joining the likes of Francis Ford Coppola and the Daredenne brothers.

Beyond the Hills was the only film to win multiple awards, earning both Best Screenplay (by writer/director Cristian Mungiu) and a tie for Best Actress between co-stars Cosmina Stratan and Cristina Flutur.  The only winner I can guarantee we Americans will be able to see anytime soon is Beasts of the Southern Wild, which is set for release on June 27 after writer/director Benh Zeitlin won the Caméra d’or (Best First Feature).  The jury also awarded Reality, The Angels’ Share, Post Tenebras Lux, and The Hunt.  Hit the jump for the full list of award winners.

Director Michael Haneke Set to Reunite with Isabelle Huppert for THESE TWO

by     Posted 3 years, 349 days ago

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Acclaimed filmmaker Michael Haneke is set to reunite with his Piano Teacher starring Isabelle Huppert in the simply titled These Two. The film, also starring Jean Louis Triningant (My Night at Maud’s) and Emmanuelle Riva (Blue) is set to focus on the “humiliation of the physical breakdown in the elderly” per the The Playlist.

The film was previously set to go in production a year ago but Haneke canceled the project due to a similarity with recently released films Away from Her and The Barbarian Invasions; although from the brief synopsis given, I fail to see how Haneke’s film could have anything in common with the sweet Sarah Polley film or the satirical classist comedy other than that all three star older people. Nevertheless, it’s great to see perhaps the most hateful, sadistic filmmaker working today get behind the camera once again. There is no greater experience than inviting a group of people over to watch a movie and then plopping in one Haneke’s classics (I’d suggest Benny’s Video or The Piano Teacher or, for maximum discomfort, the original Funny Games). Watching your guests’ fresh welcoming faces distort into images of disgust and shock and outrage is a thing of beauty in and of itself – something I’m sure Haneke would approve of.

THE WHITE RIBBON Review

by     Posted 4 years, 256 days ago

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While I was watching The White Ribbon, I kept thinking back to how lucky I was that I attended a high school with teachers that turned out to be better than any of the professors I had in college.  Without these teachers, I may have never learned that white doesn’t always mean innocence, but it also represents nothingness, which in term represents existentialism.  Without these teachers I may have never considered how works such as Edvard Munch’s “The Scream” and Franz Kafka’s The Metamorphosis gazed into the 20th century with horror and the fear of living in a world without reason and without salvation.  Armed with this knowledge, I was able to sink into the beautiful and stark world of Michael Haneke’s latest film.  Submerged in subtext, The White Ribbon is a fantastic film that offers no easy answers and a future both inescapable and inexplicable.

THE WHITE RIBBON International Trailer

by     Posted 5 years, 49 days ago

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A new international trailer for “The White Ribbon,” the new film by Michael Haneke (“Funny Games”) that walked away with a handful of accolades this year at Cannes, has just been released. The film seems to follow a series of strange events that haunt a rural school in Germany in 1913 that has some connection with the birth of fascism. The feature’s in black and white, and from the trailer alone, you can see how it employs some really eerie chiaroscuro. Check it out after the jump.

New Images from Director Jaco Van Dormael’s MR. NOBODY and Michael Haneke’s THE WHITE RIBBON

by     Posted 5 years, 60 days ago

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The Toronto Film Festival starts in a few weeks and like every year, the Festival is loaded with plenty of world premieres. While I had planned on attending this year’s Festival as a member of the working press, due to my deciding to attend too late, I missed the cut for getting a press badge. However, I’m still going, and hope to be able to report on the films and interview a lot of the people attending.

Anyway, to help excite you for what’s coming, I’ve landed some new images from director Jaco Van Dormael’s “Mr. Nobody” (starring Jared Leto, Sarah Polley, Diane Kruger and Linh-Dan Pham) and director Michael Haneke’s “The White Ribbon”. Take a look after the jump:

When Can You See Cannes Films THIRST and THE WHITE RIBBON?

by     Posted 5 years, 144 days ago

cannes_white_ribbon_thirst.jpgAmerican readers: did you not have enough money to make it to this year Cannes Film Festival?  Did you find that you lived in the real world and that in this economy, making it all the way over there to see great films would send you into even deeper debt (Hey, I thought General Motors was a good investment too)?  Well take the gun out of your mouth and listen!  Two films from the festival are now coming our way!

First, we have Michael Haneke’s Palme d’Or winner “The White Ribbon”.  You may want to get some therapy before you see it because, knowing Haneke, it will probably depress the ever-loving fuck out of you, but you definitely have enough time to get your mind right because the film is now slated to hit stateside in late December (although if you can get yourself to the Toronto Film Festival or the New York Film Festival in the fall, chances are it will make an apperance).

For those unfamiliar with the story, the synopsis reads thusly: A village in Protestant northern Germany, 1913-1914. On the eve of World War I. The story of the children and teenagers of a choir run by the village schoolteacher, and their families: the baron, the steward, the pastor, the doctor, the midwife, the tenant farmers. Strange accidents occur and gradually take on the character of a punishment ritual. Who is behind it all?

Haneke.  Haneke is behind it all.  You’re in his film.  You should have known better.

Find out when we get “Thirst” after the jump.

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