Since George Washington hit theaters in 2000, director David Gordon Green has impressed me again and again. Whether tackling a big studio comedy like Pineapple Express, an intimate drama like Snow Angels, or outrageous characters like Kenny Powers on HBO’s Eastbound & Down, Green has repeatedly shown he’s a gifted filmmaker that can handle any subject. In his new film, Joe, which just premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival, he tackles the story of an ex-con (Nicolas Cage) who becomes a role model to 15-year-old Gary Jones (Tye Sheridan), the oldest child of a homeless family led by a drunk father. Loaded with fantastic performances (including some incredible work by non-professional actors), Joe really impressed me at this year’s festival.
Shortly after the premiere I got to sit down with Sheridan for an exclusive video interview. He talked about being at TIFF, making Joe, working with Gordon Green and Cage, working with non-actors, the way he prepares for a role, what it was like to work for Terrence Malick on The Tree of Life, what he collects, future projects like Dark Places and The Forger, and a lot more. Hit the jump to watch.
As if enigmatic filmmaker Terrence Malick didn’t already have enough on his plate with post-production work on two films he shot last year, it appears that he’s also retooling one of his past films as well. The Days of Heaven director returned to the cinemas after a six year absence with 2011’s brilliant The Tree of Life, and subsequently began working at an incredibly quick pace as he shot and released this year’s To the Wonder and filmed two movies back-to-back—Knight of Cups and an untitled feature—throughout the latter half of last year.
Malick is known for taking his time (usually a year or two) in the editing room on his films given that he shoots a lot of footage and crafts the finished film in post-production, but in addition to editing his two recently shot films, editor Billy Weber reveals that Malick is also working on a director’s cut of Tree of Life. Weber also notes that the director’s long-in-the-works documentary Voyage of Time is expected in 2014. Hit the jump for more.
The nominations for the 84th Annual Academy Awards have finally been unveiled. Many of the categories have fallen in line just as most have predicted (I fared alright with my predictions, but not great), with Hugo scoring 11 nods, followed closely by The Artist with 10. The biggest surprises are War Horse and Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close getting in for Best Picture, the exclusion of The Adventures of Tintin from Best Animated Feature, and The Tree of Life nabbing Best Picture and Best Director nods (hooray!). On the snub side of things, despite landing the most precursor critics awards of any other actor in the race thus far, Albert Brooks was denied a Best Supporting Actor nod for his stellar work in Drive (boo). Additionally, Tilda Swinton was overlooked for giving the best performance of the year in We Need to Talk About Kevin, and AMPAS has no love for Michael Fassbender‘s haunting work in Shame.
There’s still plenty to be happy about, as Gary Oldman has his first ever Oscar Nomination (yes, that’s right) and Melissa McCarthy is a Best Supporting Actress nominee. Hit the jump to check out the full list of nominees. The 84th Academy Awards will be presented by Billy Crystal on February 26th.
Another awards ceremony, another The Artist triumph. Michel Hazanavicius’ silent film continues its near sweep of awards season as it took home the Best Film, Best Director, and Best Actor prize from the London Film Critics Circle Awards. Surprisingly, the other film to tie The Artist with three awards was the Iranian drama A Separation. The foreign film has been riding a wave of immense positive word of mouth, and the London Film Critics awarded the pic with Foreign Language Film of the Year, Best Screenwriter, and Best Actress.
Nearly shut out of the awards was Britain’s own Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy. The espionage drama failed to pick up any major prizes and was sent home with a win for Best Production Design. Elsewhere, We Need to Talk About Kevin was named Best British Film, Anna Paquin shared the Best Actress prize with Meryl Streep for her work in Margaret (quickly becoming the little engine that could), and Michael Fassbender won British Actor of the Year for his stellar work in Shame and A Dangerous Method. Full list of winners after the jump, which includes the critics’ top 10 films of 2011.
Today, the American Society of Cinematographers (ASC) announced their nominees for Best Cinematography of 2011. Nominations went to Guillaume Schiffman, (The Artist), Jeff Cronenweth (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo), Robert Richardson (Hugo), Hoyte van Hoytema (Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy), and Emmanuel Lubezki (The Tree of Life). The most notable snub is leaving out Janusz Kaminski for War Horse, and it looks like Steven Spielberg‘s movie is just about finished in the Oscar race after having also missed nominations from the Directors Guild and Writers Guild. I would also say the ASC snubbed Roger Deakins for Rango, but I never really expected them to be open-minded enough to acknowledge an animated movie for Best Cinematography.
The ASC winner will be announced February 12th. The ASC victor usually lines up with the Oscar winner. [Correction: /Film's Russ Fischer informs me that Kaminski couldn't have been nominated because he resigned from the society years ago.]
We’re just a little less than two months away from the 84th Annual Academy Awards, and today the choices in yet another category have been pared down. AMPAS announced today that 10 films remain in contention for the Best Visual Effects award, with films like Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2, Hugo, and The Tree of Life making the cut. The pretty clear frontrunner in this race is Rise of the Planet of the Apes (and rightfully so), but there’s much to admire in the 10 films that have been shortlisted.
Though Terrence Malick’s existential drama The Tree of Life is heavy on the naturalistic visuals, the extended “history of the universe” sequence is gloriously enchanting and features some breathtaking visual effects work (dinosaurs!), so I’m happy to see that it hasn’t been overlooked. All members of the Academy’s visual effects branch will view 10-minute excerpts from each of the 10 shortlisted films, after which they’ll vote to nominate five pics for the Academy Award. Hit the jump to read the full press release, which includes all 10 singled-out films. The Oscars will be presented on February 26th.
The Online Film Critics Society has chosen The Tree of Life as the Best Picture of 2011. OFCS also awarded the film Best Director (Terrence Malick), Best Supporting Actress (Jessica Chastain), Best Editing, and Best Cinematography. At this point, it’s looking like The Tree of Life has enough steam to pick up an Oscar nomination for Best Picture since the Academy has the option of nominating up to ten films for the top prize.
OFCS did agree with my choices for Best Actor (Michael Fassbender for Shame) and Best Actress (Tilda Swinton for We Need to Talk about Kevin). In addition to being a member of the Southeastern Film Critics Association, I’m also a member of OFCS. I only voted Tree of Life for Best Cinematography, but I don’t mind it winning other awards because I understand why other critics have dug the flick. Hit the jump for the full list of winners.
As we cruise through awards season, eventually all of the Oscar categories will firm up. Four nominees will be certain and there will be a little debate concerning who gets the fifth slot. Some of those choices will be correct and others will be boring and predictable. After the jump, I’ve put forward my picks for best actor, actress, supporting actor, supporting actress, director, cinematography, animated film and documentary. I’ve also thrown in my choices for non-Oscar categories for Breakthrough Performance, “A Very Good Year”, Best Villain, “Who’s a Good Boy?”, Best Quote, Best Kill, Best Surprise, and Biggest Disappointment. I hope that one day the Academy will recognize the validity and necessity of a “Best Kill” Oscar.
Hit the jump to check out my miscellaneous “Best of 2011″ picks.
This awards season, the fastest way to a critic’s heart is probably through their passion. Hugo was named the Best Picture by the National Board of Review, and The Artist received the top prize from the NYFCO and BFCA. Both films now lead the Broadcast Film Critics Association’s Critics Choice Awards with 11 nominations a piece. The other nominees for Best Picture were The Descendants, Drive (which looks like it’s not going out of this awards season without a fight), Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close, The Help, Midnight in Paris (thought this would be doing a little stronger, but it’s still hanging in there), Moneyball, The Tree of Life, and War Horse.
Other noteworthy nominations include Andy Serkis for Best Supporting Actor (Rise of the Planet of the Apes), and allowing six nominees in the acting categories allows me to forego anger over most snubs (John Hawkes for Martha Marcy May Marlene deserves as Best Supporting Actor nomination over Nick Nolte for Warriror). Hit the jump for the full list of nominees. Winners will be announced on January 12th.
Multiple critics associations announced their awards picks for 2011. The awards race hasn’t really firmed up yet with The Artist winning the top prize from the New York Film Critics Online (NYFCO) and the Boston Film Critics Association (BFCA), The Descendants grabbing Best Picture from the Los Angeles Film Critics Association (LAFCA), and the San Francisco Film Critics (SFFC) honoring The Tree of Life. The acting and directing catagories aren’t firming up either. The only performer who is starting to emerge as a front-runner is Albert Brooks for Best Supporting Actor for Drive. He was honored by the New York Film Critics, the NYFCO, and the BFCA.
On the one hand, it’s exciting that currently no film is dominating, but on the other hand, I think even from here we can see that Harvey Weinstein will probably be able to muscle The Artist to a Best Picture Oscar. Hit the jump for the full list of winners from the NYFCO, BFCA, LAFCA, and SFCC.
The National Board of Review has announced their honors for 2011. As always, the wide selection allows the NBR to technically have a say in directing awards season, and their picks remain solid. While I didn’t go nuts over Hugo, a lot of people did and so it’s not surprising NBR gave it Best Picture and named Martin Scorsese as Best Director. For the most part, I like all of NBR’s choices. I’m glad any time Drive gets attention, the acting picks are all worthy, and I’m happy Crime After Crime and 13 Assassins got some love. Notable snubs include Young Adult, Moneyball, and Martha Marcy May Marlene. Of course, anything Clint Eastwood does has to make NBR’s Top 10 so that’s why a spot is wasted on J. Edgar.
Hit the jump for the full list of winners.
Awards season is officially in full-swing, with this morning’s announcements of the Gotham Awards winners and the full list of nominees for the upcoming Independent Spirit Awards. Now it’s the critics’ turn, as the New York Critics Circle have unveiled their list for the best in film of 2011. The Artist took home the top two prizes (Best Picture and Director), solidifying its status as an Oscar frontrunner. Brad Pitt was named Best Actor for his work in Moneyball and The Tree of Life, with the former also taking the Best Screenplay prize for Aaron Sorkin and Steven Zaillian. As for Best Actress, the undeniably talented Meryl Streep took the honor for her portrayal of Margaret Thatcher in The Iron Lady.
In the supporting categories, Albert Brooks was recognized for his dastardly role in Drive, while the prolific Jessica Chastain was named Best Supporting Actress for her work in The Tree of Life, The Help, and Take Shelter. While The Artist was already running into the Oscars with a good deal of steam, Moneyball‘s two wins give the film a much needed boost heading into the thick of awards season. Hit the jump to see the full list of winners.
It’s not even December, but awards season has officially with the handing out of awards. Last night, the Gotham Independent Film Awards had a tie for Best Feature Film with Mike Mills‘ Beginners and Terrence Malick‘s The Tree of Life taking the top prize. Other winners last night included Breakthrough Director for Dee Rees (Pariah), Breakthrough Actor for Felicity Jones (Like Crazy), Best Documentary for Better This World and Best Ensemble for Beginners.
While the Gotham isn’t a bellwether of how the Oscar race will shake out, it can give an indie picture a welcome boost. Best Feature winners from the past several years include Frozen River, Winter’s Bone, and eventual Best Picture Oscar-winner The Hurt Locker. Hopefully, the Gothams have given Beginners and Pariah some awards season momentum (I think The Tree of Life is already on everyone’s radar in terms of awareness). Hit the jump for the full press release.
Continuing on with our look at the 2012 Oscar race, today we delve into Best Animated Feature and the technical categories. As Pixar’s Cars 2 was the studio’s worst-received feature to date (it currently sits at 38% on Rotten Tomatoes), we’ve got ourselves an actual competition in the Animated Feature category. Not only that, but if all 18 films that were submitted to the Academy are deemed eligible, we’ll have a total of five nominated films. This leaves us to debate the merits of Rango and The Adventures of Tintin against the likes of Puss in Boots and Arthur Christmas.
Additionally, we’ve taken a stab at Best Original Screenplay, Best Adapted Screenplay, and the technical categories. As these are incredibly tricky to predict this far out (and my picks would be doomed to haunt me come February), I’ve simply listed a couple of frontrunners in each category instead of going in depth. Though it’s still early, we’ve got an overall picture of how things look like they’ll stack up; so hit the jump to check out the state of the race so far. If you missed our previous preview articles, be sure to take a look at our picks for Best Supporting Actor and Best Supporting Actress, and Best Actor and Best Actress.
Terrence Malick has surprised movie nerds in the past couple months by deciding not to take decades between his movies, and instead he already has two films in development with a third one likely to be released next year. He also has the documentary The Voyage of Time in the works, and now it turns out there’s more Malick on the way. Malick’s longtime editor Billy Webber says that there will be a new home entertainment release of Badlands, which is welcome news considering there’s currently only a barebones DVD. Webber says, “Warner Bros. or Criterion is putting out a new version of ‘Badlands’ fairly soon,” and although he’s recorded a commentary track, he’s not sure if it will be used. Since Criterion has already picked up The Thin Red Line and Days of Heaven, it’s safe to assume they’ll get the disc (although part of that assumption comes from wishful thinking—the best kind of thinking).
Hit the jump for more on getting more The Tree of Life.