Circuit Round-Up (Week Ending 9/16)

  • What a difference one week makes. Two presumed Oscar contenders in both the “Best Actor” and “Best Actress” fields may be in some jeopardy, a famed auteur may have pushed too far the limits of the moviegoer, and one film seemed to come from behind and emerge as a potential spoiler for “Best Picture,” firmly indenting its significance in the Oscar race. All of these revelatory new tidings came from TIFF, where our own John H. Foote served as The Award Circuit’s eyes, ears and Oscar crystal ball. We value the immense effort he put into reporting what went down at TIFF on our behalf (which sadly came to an end a few days ago), and we deeply thank him for his passion and insight into the one of the most well-respected film festivals in the world.
  • Joining us to help make sense of the TIFF whirlwind was The Film Experience’s very own Nathaniel Rogers, our special guest on the latest edition of Power Hour. While many of us had varying responses to the TIFF factor, there was no shortage of major awards prognostication on display. If you missed the episode, do yourself a favor and do check it out — at the very least, we provide some direction for how to navigate this sandstorm of an awards race.
  • Aside from TIFF and Oscar-talk, it was business as usual with Joey Magidson’s unveiling of his DVD Pick-of-the-Week. Titillating Joey’s replay sensibilities most was the Greta Gerwig-starring Lola Versus. Greta Gerwig is the indie version of last year’s Jessica Chastain. She’s in everything you’ve probably never heard of, which is why it would be wise to get a head start on Gerwig filmography before an Oscar campaign for Frances Ha heats up. For his vintage choice, Joey went with Magnolia in honor of Paul Thomas Anderson’s newly released (in five theaters, where it’s making BANK)The Master. Not all of the sub-plots work for me in the 1999 film, but you cannot deny this line or Tom Cruise’s exemplary delivery of it: “What am I doing? I’m quietly judging you.” Chills, Mr. Cruise, chills!
  • Guess who’s coming to TV Dinner? Why, the brand new fall season of television, that’s who! Anna Belickis previews the weekly fall schedule for us: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday/Saturday, and Sunday. NBC’s The Voice had a three-night premiere this week, and each morning after, yours truly supplied the recap. Three shows from the fall’s lineup of new programming received reviews from the staff: Ryan Murphy’s The New Normal, Matthew Perry vehicle Go On, and J.J. Abrams latest high concept program, Revolution. Closing off our Emmy Chatter series for the year was my two-part discussion with Terence on the “Drama Series” category. Be sure to join The Awards Circuit for our Live Emmy Blog on Sept 23rd (official announcement of the event will be published soon).
  • There were so many film reviews published this week, so forgive me if I go all “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious” on everyone: Liberal Arts, Anna Karenina, Finding Nemo 3-D, Editor’s Take on The Master (plus a duo review from John and Joey), Quartet, The Paperboy, Great Expectations/Love Marilyn, Historical Circuit of Titanic, Arbitrage, 10 Years, and For Ellen. Trailers included the upcoming comedy Gayby and (DUN DUN DUN!!!!)…Lincoln (FINALLY). This trailer of the supposed “Best Picture” frontrunner divided the staff. Although to be fair, Mike, myself, and Mark are on the losing end of the seesaw (Robert, Joey, Clayton, Anna and Terence were all marginally underwhelmed). John and Daniel still need to voice their opinions on the Lincoln trailer, which could very well cause the seesaw to remain balanced (no pressure guys — just our prides at stake!)
  • Every so often, we introduce a new series or two for our beloved readers. This week, we debuted Clayton’s Blu Circuit, a companion piece to Joey’s regular DVD article but focusing on television box-sets and films that may be overlooked and deserve publicity. Also introduced was Kickstarter Corner, an article that highlights upcoming entertainment-based projects from the Kickstarter Website that need both funding and attention to truly get the ball rolling. The website is for a great cause, and hopefully our Top 5 selections per week will inspire you to support these up-and-coming artists in the entertainment industry!
  • Who was the focus of Mark Johnson’s Circuit 3 this week? Word of warning first: The Social Network fans may feel a surge of anger welling within, but we promise you it’ll be okay. Just relax, take a breather and post your three favorite Colin Firth films! The man’s an acting genius, so we felt it only right to celebrate his birthday by highlighting the best in Firth’s filmography! Share away!
  • Finally, as one festival comes to a close, another one begins! Prepare yourselves for dual coverage (courtesy of Editor-in-Chief Clayton Davis and perennial staff writer Joey Magidson) of the 50th Annual New York Film Festival. With Oscar contenders like Flight and Life of Pi making their debuts, you won’t want to miss our crucial daily coverage! Stay tuned as well for the announcement of the ACCA: Best of Decade winners on the upcoming Power Hour episode! Have a fantastic week, and happy reading!