2014 Oscar Nominations Announced; AMERICAN HUSTLE and GRAVITY Lead with 10 Nominations Each [Updated with Commentary]

by     Posted 336 days ago


The nominations for the 86th Academy Awards have been announced. American Hustle and Gravity lead with 10 nominations each, while 12 Years a Slave isn’t too far behind with 9 nominations.  Looking over my predictions, there weren’t actually too many surprises this morning–at least no genuine “snubs” on the scale of Ben Affleck and Kathryn Bigelow last year.  Leonardo DiCaprio and Christian Bale made the Best Actor cut over Robert Redford and Tom HanksHer, Dallas Buyers Club, and Philomena all got Best Picture nominations over Saving Mr. Banks, and Sally Hawkins landed a Best Supporting Actress nomination for her work in Blue Jasmine, seemingly taking Oprah Winfrey‘s spot from Lee Daniels’ The Butler.  Also, the Academy apparently did not take a liking to Saving Mr. Banks, as the film missed out on a Best Picture nomination and a Best Actress nomination for Emma Thompson.

Hit the jump to take a look at the full nominations list.  The 86th Oscars will be broadcast March 2nd on ABC. [Update: I've added my commentary on some of the categories after the jump.]

ARGO Wins Best Film and Best Director at BAFTAs; SKYFALL Wins Best British Film

by     Posted 1 year, 311 days ago


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 ArgoJessica 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.


by     Posted 2 years, 39 days ago


The James Bond film franchise has stood for 50 years.  It has lived, died, returned, died some more, returned again, and as the longest-running blockbuster franchise in history, it constantly walks the line between life and death regarding the series’ potency.  There likely will always be another James Bond film, but the character’s relevancy is always in question.  Can the modern audience accept Bond in a world where a grittier spy like Jason Bourne seemingly has more power to engage audiences?  Isn’t James Bond a relic that can’t convincingly survive in a post-9/11 world?  The latest Bond film, Skyfall, explores these question is a fascinating, compelling manner and does so within one of the series’ most exhilarating, perfectly crafted, and absolutely captivating entries to date.

Listen to Over 6 Minutes of Thomas Newman’s Score for SKYFALL

by     Posted 2 years, 69 days ago


We were recently treated to Adele’s swell theme song for director Sam Mendes’ upcoming James Bond film Skyfall, but there’s another musical aspect to the pic that plays a fairly important role: the score.  David Arnold composed the score for every Bond film since 1997’s Tomorrow Never Dies, but Mendes made a change and brought in his longtime collaborator Thomas Newman to do the music for Skyfall.  In addition to scoring all of Mendes’ films except Away We Go, Newman is responsible for such memorable scores as Wall-E, Angels in America, and The Shawshank Redemption.

A nearly 7-minute preview of Newman’s Skyfall score has now landed online, giving us a taste of what’s in store for the excellent-looking new Bond film.  The score sounds suitably Bond-esque, and I look forward to hearing Newman’s work in full when the film opens on November 9th.  Hit the jump to take a listen.

Composer Thomas Newman Re-Teams with Sam Mendes to Score SKYFALL

by     Posted 2 years, 348 days ago


Thomas Newman has scored all of Sam Mendes‘ previous films except for Away We Go, and the two are set to reunite again for Mendes’ upcoming James Bond film, Skyfall.  According to MI6, regular Bond composer David Arnold, who has scored the series even since Tomorrow Never Dies, will be unavailable due to his work as the music director for the 2012 London Olympics.  Not to diminish Arnold’s contributions to the series, but I’m a big fan of Newman’s work.  I love the scores for Finding Nemo, Road to Perdition, and The Shawshank Redemption, and I’m excited to hear his take on the world of James Bond.

Skyfall stars Daniel Craig, Naomie Harris, Ben Chaplin, Judi Dench, Berenice Marlohe, Helen McCroy, Albert Finney, and Ralph Fiennes.  The film opens November 9th.

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