A trend that started in Asia is hitting the rest of the world quickly. When Toyota’s mini-series came out featuring top actors from Korea, Toyota’s popularity shot up. Not only did hundreds more people pay attention to the cars, but the mini-series itself, directed by Kyo Sung Kim, though overly dramatic and filled with beautiful people, changed the value of commercials. This, in turn, caused sales to rise, and the entertainment industry in Korea to rise. The commercial has, since then, been uploaded onto YouTube and translated into various languages, exponentially growing the popularity of the cast. Though Toyota commercials have been different from the rest in the past, this series, like most Korean dramas, target women, which isn’t surprising because the many of the Asian cultures are usually run by the matriarch, and American women are rising to the front lines of those who make major decisions, like Sheryl Sandberg.
Congratulations! With the release of ‘The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey‘ (WB), the epic prequel to The Lord Of The Rings series, the sun has set on ‘Breaking Dawn Part 2‘ (Sum.) and ‘Skyfall‘ (Sony) has jumped to the top of many charts, including the American box office. Behind it is ‘Rise of the Guardians‘ (Par./DW), like last week, ‘Lincoln‘ (BV) at #4, and ‘Life of Pi‘ at #5. New release, ‘Playing for Keeps‘ (FD), featuring Gerard Butler, at #6 and the only other difference from last week is ‘Killing Them Softly‘ (Wein.) falling to #10. Due to a controversy of unsatisfied fans of director Andrew Dominik’s interpretation of the characters, there are quite a few contradicting reviews turning fans off to the flick. However, most movie-watchers found it pleasing and Pitt’s acting killed them softly. Like ‘The Hobbit‘, which claimed #1 this weekend, some viewers claimed the movie made them sick while others marveled at the clear images the 48 FPS brought them.
There’s been no film more divisive or more igniting in terms of strong Oscar speculation then Quentin Tarantino’s Django Unchained. After months of shooting, word of a last minute edit (some believe editing is still going on currently), the film has finally hit cinematic eyes and the “final” product is both bold and misguided. Django Unchained is big and full of Tarantino life and color that we’ve come to love about him. On sheer production value, it’s his finest film endeavor to date. Set designs are simply gorgeous, Robert Richardson captures some beautiful shots, and Sharen Davis proves once again, she’s one of the most awe-inspiring designers working today. Tarantino does go a bit “out there” in his choices of dialogue along with the developing and rising structure of the story. Where Tarantino succeeds is in digging some terrific performances out of his principal cast, even if his film is at times lunky, problematic, and a bit messy. Read more on Django Unchained (***)…
It is eligible folks!!! After much speculation from the staff and I, Adele’s hit-song “Skyfall” from Sam Mendes’ Skyfall is submitted and eligible for Oscar’s Best Original Song category. The full list is listed below in the official Academy Press Release. Which five do you see nominated?
As LAFCA, NYFCO, and BSFC all proved yesterday, you can’t keep a good ol’ film when its down. The Master resurrected after being nearly shut out thus far and won Best Director, Best Actor, and Best Supporting Actress with the prestigious Los Angeles Film Critics.
Normally, and I mean in any other year, I wouldn’t put so much stock into these awards but with SAG ballots due today, Critics Choice Nominations being announced tomorrow, followed by Golden Globes and SAG, Oscar will be looking for some validation of their choices. AMPAS ballots are due January 10 and they’ll be looking for some guidance in places where they can. DGA won’t announce until after the Oscar nominations.
I’ve made some updates to the Oscar Predictions and most notable is the change in Supporting Actor. Robert DeNiro, Philip Seymour Hoffman, and Tommy Lee Jones all still seem good for nods. The big win for Dwight Henry yesterday from LAFCA and the many runner-up mentions for Christoph Waltz for Django Unchained have started a buzz that only seems deserving. The latter performance I’m not allowed to comment on until Wednesday but I’ll say it’s something that many can get behind and in THE RIGHT category. Ann Dowd makes her appearance in the top five for Compliance and if you heard our Awards Circuit Power Hour yesterday, she’s very likable and will play the awards circuit very well.
Tomorrow morning, the Critics Choice Awards will bestow their nominees for the world to see. While it might sound biased, I very much respect the organization’s choices more times than not. While their known for predicting the outcome of the Academy Awards, they do reward powerful and eclectic cinema when everyone else seems to be ignoring.
Last year the ten Best Picture nominees were:
Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close
Midnight in Paris
The Tree of Life
As we all know, there were nine Best Picture nominees chosen by the Academy last year and ALL nine are represented. The group may be more telling then meets the eye, at least in Best Picture. The acting awards usually have their fair share of Academy picks but as you we see with nominations for Carey Mulligan for Shame, Ryan Gosling for Drive, Michael Fassbender for Shame, and Patton Oswalt for Young Adult, the group often chooses the “more” deserving and not the one’s with the “buzz.”
Below, find my predictions for the organization. The Critics Choice Movie Awards airs LIVE on January 10, 2013. Better yet, the BFCA is introducing several new categories including “Favorite Fan Franchise,” where The Awards Circuit will be one of the voting beacons for all fans to vote. Get ready! Read more on Critics’ Choice Movie Awards Preview…
It’s rare that we hear at the staff get surprised by a film existence, but I had no idea this movie even existed. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, as the trailer for Oblivion is so good it’s now on my radar as one of next spring’s must see films. The sci-fi film stars Tom Cruise as Jack Harper,one of the last few drone repairmen stationed on Earth to extract vital resources after decades of war with a terrifying threat known as the Scavs. When he rescues an attractive female stranger from a downed spacecraft. Her arrival triggers a chain of events that forces him to question everything he knows and puts the fate of humanity in his hands. Check out the trailer after the jump!
As we near 12.12.12, the big question of who will be #1 on, the rumored, the end of the world is, currently, up for grabs! Unsurprisingly, ‘Breaking Dawn Part 2‘ (Sum.) has been dethroned in several other countries around the world, being replaced with the happy holiday 3D flick, ‘Rise of the Guardians‘ (P/DW), a personal favorite of mine that I can’t wait to add to my movie collection! ‘Skyfall‘ (Sony) remains on top in many countries, though many stray down the American charts, finding favor with the epic movies about self-discovery like ‘Life of Pi‘ (Fox), which is #1 in China, and ‘Cloud Atlas‘ (WB). Read more on Box Office (12.09.12)…
We had our first LIVE show this past Sunday at 6:00 pm on the Power Hour. For the most part, it was a success and with small kinks to work out, it may be something we adopt and do much more often.
This week we were joined by Ann Dowd, winner of the National Board of Review’s Best Supporting Actress award for her powerful performance in Craig Zobel’s Compliance. We speak with Ann about her most iconic roles, what’s next for the actress, and how she’s taking in the awards chatter thus far.
Following Ann’s chat, we have out FYC talk and take questions from you, the readers and suggestions about what films and performances we should consider for our year-end awards.
In what seems like an eternity, Tom Hooper’s long-awaited Les Miserables starring Hugh Jackman, Russell Crowe, and Anne Hathaway has finally been screened and finished. Director Hooper came out to introduce his film at the Alice Tully Theater at Lincoln Center on Friday, November 23, 2012 and explained that he had just finished the picture at 2 a.m. the evening before. The wait was well worth it. Les Miserables is not only stunningly powerful, and beautifully crafted, it’s the best stage musical adaptation since Rob Marshall’s Chicago (2002). Incredibly moving and featuring some of the most powerful musical numbers ever constructed, Tom Hooper tops his previous film The King’s Speech (2010) with artistry and passion. Read more on Les Miserables (****)…
New York, National Board of Review, and Boston have all pounced on the awards and rewarded Kathryn Bigelow’s Zero Dark Thirty both Best Picture and Best Director. Next up, the Los Angeles Film Critics will unveil their choices tomorrow. Many believe this is an opportunity for either Paul Thomas Anderson’sThe Master or Ben Affleck’sArgo to bounce back into the race in a big way. The two seem to be hemorrhaging at the moment in the awards race.
A representative for the Weinstein Company has just confirmed that Christoph Waltz’s role in Django Unchained will be campaigned as a Supporting role for the rest of the awards season. Waltz, who plays Dr. King Schultz ,will now compete against co-stars Leonardo DiCaprio, who just won the National Board of Review’s award for Supporting Actor and Academy Award nominee, Samuel L. Jackson. Waltz was named one of the runner-ups in the recent New York Film Critics Circle. just earlier this week.
In 2007 no one saw the Best Actor nomination for Tommy Lee Jones in In the Valley of Elah (2007), it was one of those happy surprises that reminded us the acting branch really does watch the films and pay some attention. Way back in 1975 there was another such shock when James Whitmore received a Best Actor nod for his filmed stage show Give ‘em Hell Harry (1975), though it was not quite as deserving as Jones’ nomination.
With the strong reviews coming in for Brad Pitt in Killing Them Softly (2012), could he knock out one of the so-called locks and be in the category come Oscar night? He is well liked, the Academy likes him, critics like him and he has grown substantially as an actor through the years. For my money he should have been nominated for Best Actor for The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford (2007) and for Babel (2006). Last year he won the New York Film Critics Award for Best Actor for Moneyball (2011) and was an Oscar nominee, and I think discounting him this year is a huge mistake. Read more on The Underestimation of the Lead Actor Brad Pitt in ‘Killing Them Softly’…
While Zero Dark Thirty, admittedly a brilliant, troubling film, has taken two of the major Best Picture and Best Director Awards, I am still a firm believer that Lincoln will take the Academy Award for Best Picture. Steven Spielberg I am less sure about, though the members of the Academy will acknowledge that his brilliant decision to allow the actors and the screenplay to shine was a superb directorial decision, the stuff of Best Director indeed. Audiences use to his stunning visuals, (and who isn’t?), instead found a film that focused on character, thereby performance, on words, and atmosphere, something he accomplished with Schindler’s List (1993) which won him his first Oscar for Best Director. Read more on Why ‘Lincoln’ Can Still Win Picture……
It’s time again we’re taking questions for Power Hour, but with a twist! As you all know awards season is upon us and we need your help to parse it all. Clayton has to turn in his ballot for BFCA this weekend and we want to know what films, performances or technical merits he should be considering! There will be an opportunity for you to send your questions LIVE during the recording of Power Hour. We will be recording on Sunday at 6:00 pm Eastern Time. So be here Sunday @ 6 sharp to give your feedback and ask your questions. You can also leave it in the comment section.
We’d also like to announce that Oscar contender Ann Dowd, who just won Best Supporting Actress from the National Board of Review for her work in Compliance, will be joining us on the podcast.
Look forward to your questions for Ann and suggestions for BFCA.
Winners will be announced somewhere between 12:00pm and 2:00pm Eastern time. We’ll be bringing you the winners here. Make sure to include your own predictions of who’s going to get an Oscar boost today and read my predictions to the awards here.
Best Film: ZERO DARK THIRTY
Best Director: Kathryn Bigelow, ZERO DARK THIRTY
Best Actor: Bradley Cooper, SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK
Best Actress: Jessica Chastain, ZERO DARK THIRTY
Best Supporting Actor: Leonardo DiCaprio, DJANGO UNCHAINED
Best Supporting Actress: Ann Dowd, COMPLIANCE
Best Original Screenplay: Rian Johnson, LOOPER
Best Adapted Screenplay: David O. Russell, SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK
Best Animated Feature:WRECK-IT RALPH
Special Achievement in Filmmaking: Ben Affleck, ARGO
Breakthrough Actor: Tom Holland, THE IMPOSSIBLE Breakthrough Actress: Quvenzhané Wallis, BEASTS OF THE SOUTHERN WILD
Best Directorial Debut: Benh Zeitlin, BEASTS OF THE SOUTHERN WILD
Best Foreign Language Film:AMOUR
Best Documentary:SEARCHING FOR SUGARMAN
William K.Everson Film History Award: 50 YEARS OF BOND FILMS
Best Ensemble:LES MISÉRABLES
Spotlight Award: John Goodman (ARGO, FLIGHT, PARANORMAN, TROUBLE WITH THE CURVE)
NBR Freedom of Expression Award:CENTRAL PARK FIVE
NBR Freedom of Expression Award:PROMISED LAND
“Beasts of the Southern Wild”
“The Perks of Being a Wallflower”
“Silver Linings Playbook”
Top 5 Foreign Language Films (in alphabetical order)
Tomorrow the prestigious National Board of Review will unveil their slate of films and performances they consider the best of 2012. After yesterday’s long and sort of surprising announcement of the New York Film Critics, all eyes are on this group. The National Board of Review are known to kick-start campaigns for films pundits and critics aren’t taking serious during the early weeks of awards season.
Last year, the group rewarded Hugoas Best Picture along with Martin Scorsese being cited for his direction. The film reaped the benefits and took the lion’s share of awards during the season and ended winning a total of five Oscars when everything was said and done, just as many as Oscar’s Best Picture winner The Artist. The group was also successful in naming Best Supporting Actor winner Christopher Plummer for his turn as the newly gay father in Beginners. The group has been known to have favorites among their awards every year. Oscar-winner Clint Eastwood has won Best Actor (Gran Torino) and Best Director (Invictus) from the organization and has also been cited for a special achievement for Million Dollar Baby and a Career Achievement Award. Oscar-winner George Clooney has won three Best Actor titles since 2007 for Michael Clayton (2007), Up in the Air (2009), and The Descendants (2011). Perhaps that love will translate to his producing credit on Ben Affleck’s Argo this year. Read more on National Board of Review Preview and Predictions…
Musical scores are the last thing added to movie, but are often the lynch pin in the cinematic experience. Think about how you found yourself humming along to the themes or being moved to tears by a scene underscored with emotional music. There have been so many good scores this year so I thought we’d take a gander at the some of the contenders for original score. I’ve tried grouping each score with another one similar to it and there will also be links (if available) to Youtube playlists so you can peruse the score on your own, and links to iTunes and Amazon if you want to purchase it. Today, we’ll be taking a gander at the scores for Prometheus and Looper. Read more on Spotlight on Scores: Prometheus and Looper…
After his surprisingly successful live-action directorial debut, Ted, Seth MacFarlane is gearing up for his next project, which he plans to direct and star in. He’s joined by his Ted co-writers, Alec Sulkin and Wellesley Wild, in penning A Million Ways to Die in the West, an offbeat comedy in the vein of Blazing Saddles (1974).
The New York Film Critics have announced their winners for the best in cinema for 2012. The East Coast group that awarded Best Picture to Michel Hazanavicius’ The Artist last year chose the brilliant Zero Dark Thirty directed by Kathryn Bigelow. The film won a total of three awards from the coveted group including Cinematography for Greig Fraser and Director for Bigelow. The film has put itself in a prime position for the Oscars.
In a surprising mention, Rachel Weisz won Best Actress for her portrayal in Terence Davies’ The Deep Blue Sea. Buzz for Weisz’s performance and film had been dead for months and with her highly praised work, she has regained some momentum for an Academy Award nomination. After winning for The Constant Gardener (2005), Weisz has not been on critics’ radar. Her film performed minimally at the box office and had a very early release date. Is this mention to be taken seriously for a nomination? Let’s see if she shows up in more places for the season. She wasn’t the only surprise however; Matthew McConaughey beat out Philip Seymour Hoffman and Tommy Lee Jones to be named Best Supporting Actor for his works in Steven Soderbergh’s Magic Mike and Richard Linklater’s Bernie. Has a spot just freed up for the character actor in this year’s Oscar race? Read more on McConaughey and Weisz Surprise with NYFCC, Zero Dark Thirty and Lincoln take 3 awards…