Is an Argo Best Picture win now inevitable? The 2013 British Academy of Film and Television Awards (BAFTA Awards) were handed out this evening, and director Ben Affleck’s thriller continued its domination of awards season by landing the Best Film and Best Director prizes. The BAFTAs have always been an important bellwether for predicting Oscar, but they may be even more in tune with the Academy this year as a rule change allowed the entire BAFTA voting body to vote on every award (like the Oscars), instead of writers only voting for screenplay, actors only voting for acting, etc.
Les Miserables won the most BAFTAs of the night, taking home four trophies including Best Supporting Actress for Anne Hathaway (duh) and Best Production Design (over Anna Karenina? Really?). The winners actually lined up pretty closely with my current Oscar predictions, though most were surprised to see David O. Russell take home the Best Adapted Screenplay Oscar over Lincoln and Argo. Jessica Chastain and Jennifer Lawrence were also overtaken in Best Actress by Emmanuel Riva for Amour, who has emerged as a strong possibility in a tough category. Hit the jump for the full list of winners.
Committing a crime for money makes sense to people. But when someone pulls off an elaborate, astonishing crime for no monetary gain, it can be baffling. Bart Layton‘s documentary The Imposter tells one of these such cases. It’s a shocking, damn near unbelievable true story filled with more twists and shocking secrets than a conventional thriller. Perhaps even more shocking is that it wasn’t nominated for an Academy Award. Anyways, more about The Imposter‘s DVD after the jump.
There’s a bit of silliness to a “Top 10″ list. It’s similar to giving letter grades to movies. We’re grading art, and trying to standardize a subjective appraisal. But perhaps the grade can be instructive. I always hope that my grade will guide you to read the full review, and then to the movie whether I liked it or not. I think people should see as many movies as possible, but I know that’s not realistic. Tickets cost too much, audiences are increasingly rude (I can’t remember the last time I went to a non-press or non-Drafthouse screening, and someone didn’t take out his or her cell phone), and the amount of entertainment options can be overwhelming. That’s where I think a Top 10 list matters. If you see only ten movies this year, these are the ones you should check out. I found them moving, funny, thoughtful, and enduring. I hope you’ll feel the same way.
Hit the jump for my Top 10 films of 2012. Please note that to make the list, the film had to receive a theatrical release in 2012. Click on the respective links for my Best of 2012, Top 10 Trailers, Dave’s Top 10 Films, and Adam’s Top 10 Films.
In past years for my “Best of” list, I’ve been able to provide fun categories like “Best Kill” and “Best Quotes”, but sadly, that won’t be happening this year. I keep notes throughout the year, but in July, my hard drive crashed, and because I am a foolish person, I didn’t back up the notes to a separate drive. However, I do have enough information to do the traditional categories as well as Breakthrough Performance, “A Very Good Year”, Best Villain, Best Surprises, Biggest Disappointments, and a new category, “Best Movie You Probably Missed This Year.” One final note: unlike previous years, the film had to come out in 2012; festival-only flicks don’t count, so that’s why there’s no love for The Place Beyond the Pines on this year’s list.
Hit the jump to check out my miscellaneous “Best of 2012″ picks. Be sure to keep checking back this week as we’ll be running Top 10 lists from Adam, Dave, and me.
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced tonight the 15 films that made the shortlist for Best Documentary at the 85th Academy Awards, narrowed down from 126 qualifying submissions. Some of the notables include Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry, Bully, Chasing Ice, The Imposter, Searching for Sugar Man, and This Is Not a Film.
Hit the jump for the full list. For more on the Oscar nominee landscape, check out our previews for Best Picture/Director, Best Actor/Actress, Best Supporting Actor/Actress, and a rundown of the animated/screenplay/technical awards.
One of the best films I saw at this year’s Sundance Film Festival was Bart Layton’s incredible documentary, The Imposter. The movie heavily employs dramatic re-enactments to tell the bizarre true story of 23-year-old Frédéric Bourdin, who posed as Nicholas Barclay, a San Antonio boy who was missing for three years. If you’re wondering how a family would be unable to recognize their own child, we’ve been sent an exclusive clip where the Barclays explain why they chose to believe Bourdin was their son. The Imposter will probably be the best thriller of 2012, and I highly encourage you to check it out when it comes to a theater near you. Click here to read my full review.
Hit the jump to check out the clip. The Imposter opens in limited release on July 13th.
The first trailer for the documentary The Imposter has gone online. The film premiered at this year’s Sundance Film Festival to rave reviews, with our own Matt Goldberg calling it “one of the best thrillers in years.” While that statement seems odd given that The Imposter is a documentary, one look at this trailer and you’ll understand. The pic tells the story of a family whose son went missing from San Antonio, Texas, only to apparently turn up three years later in Spain. Director Bart Layton makes heavy use of reenactments and dramatizations that look to be pulled off quite well; this isn’t your cheesy Bio channel special. I’ve heard that the less you know about this movie the better, and this trailer acts as a wonderful teaser without really giving much away.
Hit the jump to watch the trailer. The film was recently acquired by Indomina Group for distribution and will receive a theatrical release later this year. The Imposter will also screen at this year’s SXSW Film Festival next month. [Update: We've been asked to take the trailer down as it's not the official theatrical trailer after all. We'll bring you the official trailer once it's released]
The full lineup for South By Southwest 2012 has been announced and for those of you not attending the festival, prepare to seethe with jealousy. The Austin, Texas festival will host screenings of the Will Ferrell Spanish-language comedy Casa de mi Padre, festival favorite The Raid, Bobcat Goldthwait’s God Bless America, and the world premiere of 21 Jump Street, which recently screened to press to overwhelmingly positive praise. Add these films to the previously announced festival opener Cabin in the Woods (from Joss Whedon and Drew Goddard), and I’m sufficiently envious of those making the trek to Austin.
Other highlights from the full lineup include the documentary The Imposter, Killer Joe, The Hunter, Lena Dunham’s Girls, and Kevin Macdonald’s doc Marley. Hit the jump to see the full list, but keep in mind that the midnight selections have yet to be announced. Collider’s own Matt Goldberg will be covering all the shenanigans from the festival, so keep an eye out for our coverage on the site. South by Southwest 2012 takes place March 9 – 17.
Like I did last year, I had a great time at the Sundance Film Festival. It’s tough to complain about weather conditions or getting around when you have the privilege to watch and discover new movies all day. Even better, plenty of Sundance 2012 films turned out to be pretty damn good. For me, there weren’t any quite as excellent as Martha Marcy May Marlene or Project Nim from last year, but those movies set an incredibly high bar. Many of my peers felt they saw something truly special with Beasts of the Southern Wild and I can understand the love even if it didn’t hit me with as much emotional impact. Most of my peers also loved Liberal Arts and Sleepwalk With Me, and I’m sorry I missed those. But all in all, the festival ran as smoothly as last year, the volunteers (especially those in the press tent) were awesome, and it’s always a joy to hang out with people from other movie websites.
Hit the jump for my festival scorecard where you can see an organized list of my ratings for the movies I saw (although I highly encourage you to read the full review rather than just glance at a letter). While this is my wrap-up, Steve will be posting his Sundance interviews throughout the week so keep an eye out for those.
Never underestimate the power of a good dramatization. The reenactment has taken on comic connotations due to its incompetent, lazy use on networks like The History Channel, but when used correctly, it can be an absolute powerhouse of documentary storytelling. With his feature debut, The Imposter, director Bart Layton has delivered one of the best thrillers in years and it’s a documentary. Layton’s mastery of dramatization ratchets up the intensity and fascination for a truly bizarre and disturbing case. His only mistake is being so good at his job that we start to wonder if he’s mirroring his main character by trying to pull one over on the audience.
Although the release date for The Raven has been pushed back a month, that’s allowed Relativity to give us more looks at the property, like this new poster. It’s not quite as ink-soaked or blood-soaked as previous efforts and resembles more of a phoenix than a raven, but it’s stylish nonetheless. Here’s what you need to know about the posters we’ve rounded up today:
- Director James McTeigue’s The Raven stars John Cusack as Edgar Allan Poe, who joins a detective (Luke Evans of Immortals) to stop a killer who’s committing crimes based on Poe’s works.
- The Imposter, a documentary film by director Bart Layton (Locked Up Abroad) that follows a young Frenchman who posed as a Texas family’s 16-year-old son who had been missing for three years
- From director Rodrigo Cortes (Buried) comes Red Lights, a paranormal thriller that questions the supernatural and whether a world-renowned psychic is actually gifted or just a charlatan. The film stars Robert De Niro, Cillian Murphy, Sigourney Weaver and Elizabeth Olsen.
Hit the jump to check out the full-size posters.
I had a blast at this year’s Sundance Film Festival and I can’t wait to go again next year. Today, Sundance announced their In-Competition line-ups for 2012 and already I’m trying to plan out how I’m going to see all of them (which is impossible, but it’s nice to dream). The U.S. Dramatic Competition features For Ellen, Nobody Walks, Safety Not Guaranteed, Smashed, and more. There are also some interesting-sounding films in the U.S. Documentary Competition including Finding North, The Invisible War, and The Other Dream Team.
Hit the jump to check out the full press release, which includes the in-competition line-ups for U.S. Dramatic Competition, U.S. Documentary Competition, World Cinema Dramatic Competition, and World Cinema Documentary Competition. The 2012 Sundance Film Festival runs from January 19 – 29th.