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2/16/2014

Awards Chart 2013




PICTURE DIRECTOR ACTRESS ACTOR S. ACTRESS S. ACTOR O.SCRIPT A.SCRIPT
HPFA SLAVE CUARÓN BLANCHETT MCCONAUGHEY LAWRENCE LETO HER



HUSTLE

ADAMS DICAPRIO







BFCA SLAVE CUARÓN BLANCHETT MCCONAUGHEY NYONG'O LETO HER SLAVE
GUILD SLAVE CUARÓN BLANCHETT MCCONAUGHEY NYONG'O LETO HER CAPTAIN *


GRAVITY













SAG Cast
HUSTLE













BAFTA SLAVE CUARÓN BLANCHETT EJIOFOR LAWRENCE ABDI HUSTLE PHILOMENA

* 12 Years a Slave and Philomena were ineligible for the WGA.

The Winners of Critics Groups and Other Organizations After the Cut

1/16/2014

The Good, The Bad, The Ugly


LOVE

 1. 12 Years a Slave pulled off all the expected key nominations.
2. Her, though no love in the acting categories, exceeded expectations (Jonze a double nominee!)
3. The Wolf of Wall Street got deserved nods in picture and for directing, acting and writing.
4. Meryl Streep’s tour de force performance didn’t go unnoticed.
5. The lovely Sally Hawkins is an Oscar nominee at last !
6. The brilliant Michael Fassbender is an Oscar nominee at last !
7. Julia Roberts’ career-best work won her her first nomination in 13 years.
8. The core trio of Before Midnight once again recognized in Best Adapted Screenplay.
9. At least Prisoners and The Invisible Woman will go down in history as Oscar nominated films.
10. Megan Ellison, one of the fiercest producers of our time, received two Best Picture nominations.

HATE

 1. Most of the ’surprises’ were bad ones for me.
2. How they didn’t go for Saving Mr. Banks, is beyond me. Too unapologetic female lead or what ?
3. Inside Llewyn Davis failed to receive a major nomination. Shame.
4. How could they say no to Emma Thompson’s long-awaited / well-deserved Oscar comeback ?
5. How could they say no to Tom Hanks’s marvellous year in film ?
6. Daniel Brühl should have been nominated without question.
7. Nicole Holofcener should have been nominated for Best Original Screenplay.
8. By ignoring Stories We Tell, they missed the golden opportunity to give Sarah Polley an Oscar.
9. Dallas Buyers Club was a good film, but editing nod over Thelma Shoonmaker ? Hmm…NO!
10. American Hustle pulled off the rare feat of nominations in all four acting categories. Russell’s second time in consecutive years. I don’t think either of his films will age well enough for such rare honor.

PREDICTION

 Due to the four acting nominations, American Hustle is now the Goliath in the race, it will face backlash and ’the little film that could’ (a.k.a. the David in this story) 12 Years a Slave will win Best Picture in the end that will also give the Academy the opportunitiy to give an Oscar to superstar Brad Pitt. I think the most important developments of Nominations Morning were this : they REALLY loved Dallas Buyers Club (suggesting one, well, probably two acting victories) and they REALLY appreciated Her so Spike Jonze will probably win an Oscar, hopefully in Best Original Screenplay. From now on the ones I root for the most : 12 Years a Slave in Picture/Director; Leonardo DiCaprio, Lupita Nyong’O, Spike Jonze and Before Midnight.

Oscar Nominations & Early Predictions





1
2
3
4
5
PICTURE
SLAVE
HUSTLE
GRAVITY
WOLF
NEBRASKA

6
7
8
9



PHILLIPS
DALLAS
PHILOMENA
HER



1
2
3
4
5
DIRECTOR
CUARÓN
MCQUEEN
RUSSELL
SCORSESE
PAYNE
ACTRESS
BLANCHETT
BULLOCK
DENCH
STREEP
ADAMS
ACTOR
MCCONAUGHEY
EJIOFOR
DICAPRIO
DERN
BALE
S. ACTRESS
NYONG'O
LAWRENCE
ROBERTS
SQUIBB
HAWKINS
S. ACTOR
LETO
FASSBENDER
ABDI
COOPER
HILL
O. SCRIPT
HER
HUSTLE
NEBRASKA
JASMINE
DALLAS
A. SCRIPT
SLAVE
WOLF
PHILOMENA
BEFORE
PHILLIPS
SCORE
GRAVITY
PHILOMENA
BANKS
HER
THIEF
SONG
FROZEN
MANDELA
HER
DESPICABLE
ALONE
EDITING
GRAVITY
SLAVE
HUSTLE
PHILLIPS
DALLAS
CINEMATOGRAPHY
GRAVITY
NEBRASKA
LLEWYN
GRANDMASTER
PRISONERS
COSTUMES
GATSBY
SLAVE
HUSTLE
GRANDMASTER
INVISIBLE
PRODUCTION DESIGN
GATSBY
SLAVE
HUSTLE
GRAVITY
HER
SOUND
GRAVITY
PHILLIPS
HOBBIT
SURVIVOR
LLEWYN
SOUND EDITING
GRAVITY
PHILLIPS
HOBBIT
SURVIVOR
ALL IS LOST
VISUAL EFFECTS
GRAVITY
HOBBIT
IRON
TREK
RANGER
MAKEUP
DALLAS
RANGER
GRANDPA




ANIMATED
FROZEN
WIND
DESPICABLE
CROODS
ERNEST
FOREIGN
GREAT
HUNT
BREAKDOWN
MISSING
OMAR
DOCUMENTARY
ACT
STARDOM
CUTIE
WARS
SQUARE

1/13/2014

The Surprises, The Shockers...The Consensus

 
 
Although there are bound to be several surprises on Nominations Morning, these are the ones I am actually expecting...or more like the ones that would actually surprise me.

  1. August : Osage County sneaks in Best Picture and/or Best Adapted Screenplay. It would be a shocker considering the lukewarm critical reception and the somewhat lacking precursor support (SAG loved it, but considering the ineligible Oscar frontrunners, the WGA nod might not mean all that much). Then again, there is a viable argument out there that the film is considerably better than reviews suggest, mainly because those LA/NY publications couldn't help but compare the film to the source material, the play and that's why they couldn't appreciate the film for what it is : a remarkable adaptation that stands on its own. If Box Office is any indication, audiences seem to love it and if that's the case there is a good chance Oscar voters will, too...especially with four of their favorite people – Meryl Streep, Julia Roberts, George Clooney, Harvey Weinstein – headlining the campaign.

  2. Saving Mr. Banks will appeal to the Academy much more than we thought and on top of expected nominations in Best Picture and Best Actress, it will also make the cut in Best Original Screenplay and Best Supporting Actor (probably Hanks, though Giamatti and his uberlikable role shouldn't be ruled out, either). Another film that could be more Academy-friendly than we gave it credit for, is Nebraska. Payne landing a Best Director nomination wouldn't surprise me all that much.

  3. Her receives a sole nomination in Best Original Screenplay. I think we have been generously overestimating the Academy's barely existent edge here. Hopefully I'm wrong but I have a feeling it will be too quirky and (post)modern for their taste.

  4. Leonardo DiCaprio receives a nomination for Best Actor. It wouldn't be a big surprise for sure, but considering how massive his competition is, he is definitely not a sure thing, either.

  5. Some kind of placement nonsense will take place. Most likely contender for that is Amy Adams who is prominently – and pretty succesfully – campaigned in lead for American Hustle but could end up in supporting for Her...or if the Academy really wants to mess with the system, they could nominate her for Hustle in supporting. The other questionable category placement of the season was Julia Roberts. It would be a great shock if she didn't get a nod in supporting...because she received one in lead.

2/20/2013

2013 - Great Expectations ?

 The first great film of 2013

Now that  we are all stuck with waiting for the big day with no more precursors to look forward to/obsess over , I thought it might be fun to take a long, early look at the 2013/2014 Oscar Season.

First, a few notes :

1. Sorry for the typos and grammatical errors : it was a lot to go through and English is still not my first language.
2. Don't put too much emphasis on the rankings, what the hell would I know this early in the race ? Your guess is as good as mine.
3.  Feel free to add names and titles I forgot, I'm sure there are many!

Now that we've covered all that, here are the (on paper) most likely contenders in the eight main categories :

BEST PICTURE & BEST DIRECTOR
BEST ACTRESS IN A LEADING ROLE
BEST ACTOR IN A LEADING ROLE
BEST ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE
BEST ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE
BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY

2013 - A Hundred Films That Might Pique The Academy's Interest

THE PEDIGREE

  1. The Monuments Men (George Clooney)
      In a race against time, a crew of art historians and museum curators unite to recover renown works of art stolen by Nazis before Hitler destroys them. With a great story, and a cast like this (George Clooney, Matt Damon, Daniel Craig, Bill Murray, John Goodman, Cate Blanchett, Hugh Bonneville and Jean Dujardin), it will be definitely one of the most anticipated of 2013.
  2. The Wolf of Wall Street (Martin Scorsese)
      A New York stockbroker refuses to cooperate in a large securities fraud case involving corruption on Wall Street, corporate banking world and mob infiltration. The Scorsese-Dicaprio duo has an excellent track record, so no reason to NOT expect this one to be a masterpiece...or at least something like it.
  3. August : Osage County (John Wells)
      The Weston family overcomes certain differences when their alcoholic patriarch goes missing. Acting giants, movie stars, excellent source material, The Weinstein Company...it's hard to imagine anything going wrong here...although that's exactly what people said about Nine.
  4. The Great Gatsby (Baz Luhrmann)
      Nick Carraway, a Midwesterner now living on Long Island, finds himself fascinated by the mysterious past and lavish lifestyle of his neighbor, Jay Gatsby. He is drawn into Gatsby's circle, becoming a witness to obsession and tragedy. Although I still can't get my head around the Luhrmann+Gatsby+3D concept, as it is clearly a remarkably unexpected one, I have high hopes that 'unexpected' will result a masterpiece here.
  5. Captain Phillips (Paul Greengrass)
      The true story of Captain Richard Phillips and the 2009 hijacking by Somali pirates of the US-flagged MV Maersk Alabama, the first American cargo ship to be hijacked in two hundred years. After a few recent misses, it seems like Tom Hanks will get his mojo back this year. Greengrass is a fantastic director and the premise definitely sounds intriguing.
  6. The Railway Man (Jonathan Teplitzky)
      A victim from World War II's "Death Railway" sets out to find those responsible for his torture. A true story. It sounds like something right up the Academy's alley and with Oscar winners, Colin Firth and Nicole Kidman at the front and Harvey Weinstein behind it, this could go a long way.
  7. Foxcatcher (Bennett Miller)
      The story of John du Pont, who suffered from paranoid schizophrenia and killed Olympic wrestler David Schultz. Bennett Miller (Capote, Moneyball) has an excellent track record and I'm fairly certain his winning streak won't end now, the material seems strong and Steve Carrell could be his third lead to make the cut in Best Actor.
  8. Inside Llewyn Davies (Joel & Ethan Coen)
      A singer-songwriter navigates New York's folk music scene during the 1960s. The Academy loves the Coen brothers, and this one definitely looks great, the first trailer was excellent, so let's just wait and see how it goes!
  9. Twelve Years a Slave (Steve McQueen)
      A man living in New York during the mid-1800s is kidnapped and sold into slavery in the deep south. Steve McQueen has been an unsung hero for a while now, delivering one masterpiece (Hunger) after another (Shame) but this could be finally the year he receives mainstream recognition...and seeing that several of THE most sought after actors (Chiwetel Ejiofor, Michael Fassbender, Brad Pitt, Benedict Cumberbatch) lined up for this, I'm assuming the script was excellent.
  10. Saving Mr. Banks (John Lee Hancock)
      Author P.L. Travers travels from London to Hollywood as Walt Disney Pictures adapts her novel Mary Poppins for the big screen. A holiday release from Buena Vista directed by John Lee Hancock (The Blind Side), starring Tom Hanks as Walter Disney and Emma Thompson as Mary Poppins author, P.L. Travers ? If this makes money, it could be easily the crowdpleaser of the Oscar season.

2013 - The Leading Ladies

POTENTIAL FRONTRUNNERS

  1. Naomi Watts (Diana)
      An iconic role played by someone so luminous as Watts, is promising already and if she doesn't win for The Impossible this year, she will have a lot of leftover goodwill, as well.
  2. Meryl Streep (August : Osage County)
      She would be an instant contender even if she played an armchair, but the role of Violet Weston in her hands AND the film backed by The Weinstein Company, basically guarantees at least the nomination.
  3. Kate Winslet (Labor Day)
      Playing a depressed single mom sounds Awards-friendly enough, add the fact that Jason Reitman is great with female leads (Young Adult, Juno), and she might just win her second Oscar in the end.
  4. Emma Thompson (Saving Mr Banks)
      FINALLY a worthy Oscar-comeback in the makings...Thompson – who shockingly enough hasn't been part of the Oscar game for almost two decades now – plays iconic Mary Poppins author P.L. Travers in this Disney Holiday release, directed by John Lee Hancock whose previous leading lady WON the Best Actress Oscar (The Blind Side).
  5. Jessica Chastain (The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby)
      This film seems like a daring piece of art, and as such, it could divide critics and audiences BUT if it will be embraced, with all the Oscar-love she has been receiving lately, Chastain could win. The fact that she has her own film (Hers), so does her co-star, James McAvoy (His), just makes this project all the more unique.
  6. Nicole Kidman (Grace of Monaco)
      Olivier Dahan directed one of the best female performances in recent memory (Marion Cotillard in La Mome) and now his new female lead plays another iconic role. Kidman is remarkably talented, so even if the film disappoints, she most certainly won't, what might hurt her chances, is the damaging factor of split votes : she has two VERY baity supporting roles this year (The Railway Man, Stoker), so it might just happen that she will be recognized in that category this time.
  7. Jennifer Lawrence (Serena OR Catching Fire)
      Serena is an excellent role and she most certainly has the chops to nail it, so if the film will be good enough, with the inevitable buzz and success the November release of Catching Fire will bring, she could easily emerge as the frontrunner...that is IF she loses this year.
  8. Carey Mulligan (The Great Gatsby OR Inside Llewyn Davis)
      Another great actress who could be up for awards in both categories. Daisy Buchanan is a legendary role, one that has 'role of a lifetime' written all over it, meanwhile she could be a memorable supporting player in the Coen film.
  9. Sandra Bullock (Gravity)
      One-(wo)man shows are always risky, but I have great faith in the brilliant Alfonsó Cuarón and firmly believe this could be Bullock's best performance to date whether she receives a nomination in the end or not.
  10. Judi Dench (Philomena)
      The role of a woman who searches for her adult son, who was taken away from her decades ago when she was forced to live in a convent, is baity enough, but in the hands of someone like the great Judi Dench AND directed by Stephen Frears (The Queen), it simply sounds pure gold.

2013 - The Leading Men

POTENTIAL FRONTRUNNERS

  1. Leonardo DiCaprio (The Wolf of Wall Street OR The Great Gatsby)
      The fact that he hasn't been nominated since Blood Diamond (2006) even though delivered excellent performances in The Departed (2006), Revolutionary Road (2008), Shutter Island (2010), Inception (2010), J. Edgar (2011), Django Unchained (2012), is weird. In 2013 he reteams with Baz Luhrmann (Romeo + Juliet) to play the iconic Jay Gatsby, and with Martin Scorsese (Shutter Island, The Departed, The Aviator, Gangs of New York) for the Jordan Belfort biopic. Long story short, if he can't get at least a nomination now, it will be official : the Academy has a problem...with him.
  2. George Clooney (The Monuments Men)
      Even though he has been nominated for Best Actor three times, he never won, and he came remarkably close with The Descendants. Could this be his year ?
  3. Colin Firth (The Railway Man)
      Playing a World War II victim definitely sounds like an Oscar-role, and once again with The Weinstein Company in his corner, this might just garner him his third Best Actor nomination.
  4. Matthew McConaughey (Dallas Buyers Club OR Mud)
      Basically the press has already started his Oscar-campaign when they made a big fuss about his weight loss for Dallas Buyers Club. After his great work in the last two years, I have no doubt that his performance will be nothing short of extraordinary...question is will the film be fittingly great to back him up ?
  5. Tom Hanks (Captain Philipps OR Saving Mr. Banks)
      After losing his mojo for the last couple of years, it seems he is about to get it back, the real question is whether he will be a contender for his Greengrass-film or his iconic role (Walter Disney)...or if they downgrade the second to supporting, maybe for both ?
  6. Chiwetel Ejiofor (Twelve Years a Slave)
      He has been making the rounds for years, proving more than once his worth as a remarkably talented actor. McQueen's ambitious odyssey could be the big break he so richly deserves.
  7. Benedict Cumberbatch (The Fifth Estate)
      He is heading for a brilliant year, playing Julian Assange in this, the villain in Star Trek : Into the Darkness, the best male part in August: Osage County, and a baity role in Twelve years a slave. I firmly believe he will be one of the strongest Oscar contenders next season, whether it will be in lead (The Fifth Estate) or supporting (everything else) or both, now THAT is the question.
  8. Steve Carrell (Foxcatcher)
      Playing against type is something the Academy tends to respond to, and what can be more against type for this funnyman than a homicidal schizophreniac ?
  9. Michael B. Jordan (Fruitvale)
      He received rave reviews at the Sundance Film Festival and with Harvey Weinstein in his corner, he could be easily the acting revelation of the year.
  10. Forest Whitaker (The Butler)
      If Lee Daniels delivers a great film, Whitaker WILL be back in the Oscar-game with the role that seems like his best since The Last King of Scotland.

2013 - The Supporting Actresses

POTENTIAL FRONTRUNNERS

  1. Julianne Moore (Carrie)
      Even though we will see a lot of her in 2013 (What Maisie Knew, The English Teacher, The Seventh Son), I think her baitiest role will be Margaret White, the abusive, mentally ill, fanatically religious mother of the title character, a role that garnered an Oscar nomination for Piper Laurie. Julianne Moore is widely considered as one of the greatest actresses who has yet to win an Oscar, and though I would love to see her take the lead category, a win in supporting could be a nice start as far as her future Oscars go...
  2. Cate Blanchett (The Monuments Men)
      With the two Malick-films and Woody Allen's latest, she could have a really great year, and though it is perfectly conceivable she will make the cut in lead (Blue Jasmine), it's not like she couldn't pull double duty just like she did the last time she was nominated (2007).
  3. Nicole Kidman (The Railway Man)
      Her genre performance in Stoker, released in March, has been already garnering her critical praise, and she will be definitely in consideration for a lead nomination (Grace of Monaco), as well, but in the end her best shot might be this supporting wife character in a film backed by The Weinstein Company.
  4. Julianne Nicholson (August : Osage County)
      Even with massive internal competition, her role is fantastic so if she nails it, she will be able to stand out, not to mention internal competition might not be that damaging in this case, I wouldn't be surprised at all if the film scored multiple nominations in this category in the end.
  5. Jennifer Garner (Dallas Buyers Club)
      With few exceptions, she hasn't gotten feature opportunities worthy of her talent, but this definitely sounds like a great role and if she can bring the same sensitivity and intelligence she brought to her criminally underrated turn in Juno, she could even emerge as the one to beat.
  6. Amy Adams (Her)
      Although she has several films this year (Lullaby, Man of Steel, maybe even the new David O. Russell film AND the Janis Joplin biopic), in my opinion if this Academy darling receives her fifth nomination, it will be for Spike Jonze's quirky little indie.
  7. Octavia Spencer (Fruitvale)
      The extremely likable Octavia Spencer deserves praise for starring in the second (!) critically acclaimed indie since her Oscar win, and since this one was THE Sundance-hit in January AND was quickly snatched up by The Weinstein Company, it's safe to assume she might be back in the Oscar game this year.
  8. Quvenzhané Wallis (Twelve Years a Slave)
      Despite her tender age, the big revelation of 2012 already has another great film in her near future, and if the role is significant enough, she could once again find herself on the shortlists. Although it's worth mentioning that Alfre Woodard and Sarah Paulson could have bigger supporting roles in this, and according to Awardsdaily-friend, rufussondheim - who unlike me, actually READ the book - we should watch out for Adepero Oduye (Eliza) and Lupita Nyong (Patsey), as well.
  9. Juliette Lewis (August : Osage County)
      Since her big break (Cape Fear), she had been rarely given the opportunity to shine on the big screen, although on those rare occasions she was truly brilliant (most recently in Conviction). Internal competition won't be her friend, but if critics go crazy for the film, Harvey Weinstein will definitely do his best to secure several nominations in this category.
  10. Margo Martindale (August : Osage County)
      When all is said and done, this Emmy winner could be the sole nominee of her film here, her memorable part, Mattie Fae could be the role of a lifetime for the talented Martindale.