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 Annie Awards, which awards animation and not ginger orphans, have announced their 2013 nominations. Leading the pack are Disney’s Frozen and Pixar’s Monsters University with each film picking up ten nominations. The other nominees for Best Animated Feature are A Letter to Momo, Despicable Me 2, Ernest & Celestine, The Croods, and The Wind Rises. Since all qualitative evaluations of art inevitably invite fury at snubs, I will rail against The Croods being nominated over Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2.
Hit the jump for the full list of nominees. Winners will be announced on February 1, 2014.
The U.S. trailer for filmmaker Hayao Miyazaki’s new—and possibly final—Studio Ghibli film The Wind Rises has been released online. The movie centers on Jiro Horikoshi, the man who designed the Zero Fighter used by Japanese pilots in World War II, and examines the Japan’s turbulent first half of the 20th century as the country struggled through an earthquake and economic fallout. The pic screened at the Toronto International Film Festival to a relatively positive response, but our own Matt Goldberg was disappointed in the picture, calling it Miyazaki’s weakest film in his review. This dialogue-less trailer highlights the film’s gorgeous animation while flanked by positive pull-quotes from the TIFF reviews, and fans of Miyazaki’s work will surely be interested to see what his farewell picture entails.
Hit the jump to watch the trailer. The film will open in U.S. theaters on February 21st in limited release, expanding in the following weeks.
19 animated feature films have been submitted for consideration for the 86th Annual Academy Awards, and it’s clear that this is a very thin year for the Best Animated Feature race. Monsters University and Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 feel like the biggest standouts, and while MU is certainly a strong effort from Pixar, it’s tough to imagine those two rousing the same kind of passion that previous nominees like How to Train Your Dragon, Toy Story 3, or even ParaNorman instilled. DreamWorks Animation has two contenders in the bunch with The Croods and Turbo, while Illumination Entertainment’s Despicable Me 2, Blue Sky’s Epic, and Disney’s Planes and Frozen are also eligible for nominations. Hayao Miyazaki’s latest feature The Wind Rises is also among the submitted films.
Hit the jump to check out the full list of submitted features and for my early thoughts on the Best Animated Feature Oscar race. The 86th Oscars will be held on March 2, 2014. To catch up on all of our Oscar Beat coverage thus far, click here.
The full program for AFI Fest 2013 has been announced. The selection of 119 films from 43 countries include Ari Folman’s The Congress, Hayao Miyazaki’s The Wind Rises, and Eli Roth’s The Green Inferno. Free individual tickets to AFI FEST screenings and galas will be available to AFI members on Monday, October 28 and Tuesday, October 29 in a 48-hour advance window before they become available to the general public on Wednesday, October 30 and Thursday, October 31.
AFI Fest 2013 runs November 7th through the 14th at the historic TCL Chinese Theatre, the Chinese 6 Theatres, the Egyptian Theatre and the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel. Hit the jump for the full programming list.
When a film of a certain pedigree is scheduled for release anytime after October, we peg it as an Oscar hopeful. Disney is explicit about it with The Wind Rises. Disney scheduled to show the latest Hayao Miyazaki feature in Japanese with English subtitles November 8-14 in New York and Los Angeles for “Academy Award qualification engagements.” The limited release comes three months later on February 21, 2014 before expanding wide (and presumably dubbed in English) on February 28.
Miyazaki has been successful at the Oscars since the turn of the century. Spirited Away won Best Animated Feature in 2003 and Howl’s Moving Castle was nominated in 2006. Ponyo went unnoticed, but The Wind Rises is Miyazaki’s final film before he retires, so the Disney marketing machine can easily coast on a wave of good feelings for the director to land a nomination. Check out Matt’s review from TIFF and hit the jump for the press release.
Director Hayao Miyazaki has taken audiences to magical, alluring worlds throughout his filmography. He’s shown us witches, sorcerers, buses that are also cats, and so much more. His latest (and, if he’s truly retiring, final) film, The Wind Rises, leaves the fantastical behind to focus on the true story of the man who designed Japan’s Zero Fighter for World War II. The movie is almost completely unlike anything Miyazaki has ever done, and while his attempt to try something new is admirable, it’s also by far his weakest picture. Trapped inside a realistic world, Miyazaki’s story feels restrained and lifeless with only the dream sequences providing any spark to a story about a nice-guy workaholic who was also in love with a nice girl.
Japanese filmmaker Hayao Miyazaki is retiring. Studio Ghibli president Hoshino Koji announced earlier today at the Venice Film Festival that the 72-year-old filmmaker and master of animation is retiring, but further questions about the decision were not answered. Miyazaki first started working as an animator in 1961, going on to co-found the wonderful Japanese animation studio Studio Ghibli, where he directed a number of highly regarded animation features including 1988’s My Neighbor Totoro, 1989’s Kiki’s Delivery Service, 1995’s Princess Mononoke, and 2007’s Ponyo.
This is not the first time that Miyazaki has announced retirement, as he previously took a sabbatical after Princess Mononoke, only to come return to direct 2004’s Howl’s Moving Castle. Miyazaki’s latest—and probably final—film, The Wind Rises, is currently making the festival rounds and is poised to play Telluride this weekend and the Toronto International Film Festival next week. Hit the jump to relive some highlights from Miyazaki’s career.
Each year, the fall film festival season is where studios present their awards fare and kick off months of rigorous campaigning in hopes of Oscar glory. We recently examined this year’s contenders in the inaugural installment of our new column Oscar Beat, and at the time it appeared that the Toronto International Film Festival was poised to once again be the heavy hitter. However, the 2013 New York Film Festival has now announced its full lineup, and it definitely gives TIFF a run for its money.
In addition to previously announced films Captain Phillips, The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, and Her, NYFF will play host to screenings of Joel and Ethan Coen’s Inside Llewyn Davis, Alexander Payne’s Nebraska, James Gray’s The Immigrant, J.C. Chandor’s All Is Lost, Hayao Miyazaki’s The Wind Rises, and plenty more. Hit the jump to check out the full lineup. The 2013 New York Film Festival runs from September 27th – October 13th.
Hayao Miyazaki‘s The Wind Rises has held on to the top slot at Japan’s box office for the past four weeks, and it will soon begin a tour on the festival circuit by playing at the Venice Film Festival and the Toronto International Film Festival. The movie centers on Jiro Horikoshi, the man who designed the Zero Fighter used by Japanese pilots in World War II. However, a new subtitled trailer shows the film goes much further than Horikoshi’s creation, and examines the Japan’s turbulent first half of the 20th century as the country struggled through an earthquake and economic fallout. Judging by the trailer, the film looks beautiful but also quite melancholy, and I was reminded of the powerful and incredibly sad Grave of the Fireflies (which coincidentally also comes from Studio Ghibli).
Hit the jump for the trailer and more on the controversy Miyazaki’s film has generated. The Wind Rises currently does not have a U.S. release date.
Earlier today, the Toronto International Film Festival announced additions to their Galas and Special Presentations programs. Among the films with new images and synopses are:
- Words and Pictures (Directed by Fred Schepisi) Starring Clive Owen and Juliette Binoche.
- A Promise (Directed by Patrice Leconte) Starring Rebecca Hall, Alan Rickman, and Richard Madden.
- Child of God (Directed by James Franco) Starring James Franco, Scott Haze, Tim Blake Nelson, and Jim Parrack.
- The Wind Rises (Directed by Hayao Miyazaki) Featuring the voices of Hideaki Anno, Miori Takimoto, Hidetoshi Nishijima, Masahiko Nishimura, Jun Kunimura, Shinobu Otake, and Mansai Nomura.
Hit the jump to check out the images and synopses. The 2013 Toronto International Film Festival runs from September 5 – 15th.
The 2013 Toronto International Film Festival has added 22 more films to its already-impressive Galas and Special Presentations line-up. Among the notable additions are Hayao Miyazaki‘s The Wind Rises, Kevin Macdonald‘s How I Live Now, Guillaume Canet‘s Blood Ties, James Franco‘s Child of God, John Turturro’s Fading Gigolo starring Woody Allen, Sean Durkin‘s (Martha Marcy May Marlene) Southcliffe, and Lee Sang-il‘s Japanese remake of Unforgiven. This is the point where TIFF attendees’ schedules fall apart. I love the festival, but it’s incredibly front-loaded, which is unfortunate because that means some very hard choices. But among these films, The Wind Rises is the one on my can’t-miss list.
Hit the jump for the full list of additions. The 2013 Toronto International Film Festival runs from September 5 – 15th.
Earlier this week, the Toronto International Film Festival unveiled part of its 2013 line-up, and there were plenty of must-see movies. But the Venice Film Festival, which begins a week earlier, has countered with an equally impressive array of picture. While there’s the inevitable cross-over like Venice opener Gravity playing at TIFF along with Philomena, Under the Skin, Parkland, Joe, and many more, the Venice exclusives (at this point) make me want to book a Transatlantic ticket. The fest will play host to the world debuts of Terry Gilliam’s The Zero Theorem, Errol Morris’ Donald Rumsfeld documentary The Known Unknown, Steven Knight’s Locke (starring Tom Hardy and shot in one take), and more. Also set for the festival is Hayao Miyazaki’s new movie, The Wind Rises as well as Lee Sang-Il’s Japanese remake of Unforgiven. Last year, most of the movies in Venice eventually ended up in TIFF’s line-up, and since I’ll be going to the latter, I hope most of these movies find their way to Toronto this September.
Hit the jump for the full line-up. The 2013 Venice Film Festival runs from August 28 – September 7th.
A brief, Japanese teaser trailer has revealed the first footage from Hayao Miyazaki‘s upcoming film, The Wind Rises. The movie centers on Jiro Horikoshi, the man who designed the Zero Fighter used by Japanese pilots in World War II. While Miyazaki hasn’t shied away from showing violence and war, his movies have always inhabited the fantasy realm. I’m always excited to see his films, but The Wind Rises looks like a big departure from his past work as far as the subject matter is concerned. This teaser doesn’t have much to show other than it takes place in Horikoshi’s earlier, more idyllic years.
Hit the jump to check out the teaser trailer. The Wind Rises opens in Japan on July 20th, but no U.S. date has been announced yet.