The Oscars are finally over. The front-runner, The Artist, won the awards race by picking up Best Picture, Best Director (Michael Hazanavicius), Best Actor (Jean Dujardin), Best Costume Design, and Best Score. There were also some big upsets as “locks” like The Tree of Life for Best Cinematography and Rise of the Planet of the Apes for Best Visual Effects were no match for Hugo, which ended up taking those categories and three more (Sound Editing, Sound Mixing, and Art Direction). As for nice surprises…not really (unless you loved Hugo).
It was a forgettable year for the Oscars, and Billy Crystal, turning in his safe, predictable, and family-friendly routine was the perfect fit for a year that screamed “Don’t rock the boat!” Last year’s Oscars took a chance on pairing Anne Hathaway and James Franco, and the show was a mess. This year, they played it safe and the ceremony was still dull. Quite simply, there was no films to root for and the “upsets” were for the establishment. It was also funny to have the show and actors celebrate the theater when audiences are moving to OnDemand services, and studios are trying to make the theatrical release window even shorter. Hit the jump for a full list of the winners, click here for mine and Adam Chitwood’s Oscar predictions (he did way better than me), and click here for my live-blog of the ceremony.
Netflix has been struggling lately against competitors like Redbox, OnDemand services, and the reluctance of major studios to license their films to the streaming service. However, The Weinstein Company are (thankfully) going against the grain by licensing some of their latest movies to Netflix over U.S. pay TV services. According to THR, The Artist, Coriolanus, Undefeated, as well as foreign-language, documentary, and other films will be exclusively available for Netflix streaming in the U.S.
It’s obviously a great deal for Netflix and its streaming subscribers, especially since a lot of folks probably missed some of TWC’s limited-release movies like Coriolanus and Sarah’s Key. No date has been announced for when these movies will roll out, but since The Artist is due out on DVD and Blu-ray on April 24th, we can presumably expect it by then.
From directors Dan Lindsay and T.J. Martin, the Oscar-nominated documentary Undefeated (opening in theaters on February 17th) is set against the backdrop of a high school football season at Manassas High School in North Memphis. Chronicling three underprivileged student athletes (O.C., Money and Chavis), along with their volunteer coach, Bill Courtney, the film shows the Tigers as they find their footing and their confidence, and finally attempt to break the 110-year-old play-off jinx for the school.
At the film’s press day, filmmakers Dan Lindsay and T.J. Martin talked about spending time in North Memphis to gain the trust of the players and community, going through the 500 hours of footage they shot in order to make the documentary, what led them to the three student athletes that they ended up building the narrative around, how worried they were that all of the material would not come together in a cohesive way, and what they hope audiences will take away from this film. Check out what they had to say after the jump.
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.
Now that the Oscars officially have a host and a producer, we can get down to focusing on the films that will compete for the awards. Out of a pool of 124 qualified documentary pictures vying for contention, 15 have advanced through the voting process. This list will be further whittled down by the Documentary Branch Screening Committee to a selection of five nominees. Some of the 15 films include: Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory, about the continuing legal battles of the West Memphis Three (3); Project Nim, a study of Nim, the chimpanzee who was raised as a human child to allow researchers to discern the differences between men and beasts; and Buck, the story of Buck Brannaman, the real life Horse Whisperer. Notably absent from the list: the extremely well-received Formula-1 racing doc Senna. Hit the jump to see the rest.