Circuit Round-Up (Week Ending 12/23)

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  • Happy holidays, fans of The Awards Circuit! I hope everyone is staying warm and enjoying the time with friends and family this holiday season. This past week was another busy — although slightly less chaotic than last week — one for us at the site, but we carried on with grace and gusto as always! Starting things off, the African-American Film Critics Association announced their winners, where Zero Dark Thirty and Middle of Nowhere both won huge. For the latter film, the momentum it’s built throughout the awards circuit now puts it firmly in contention for a “Best Original Screenplay” slot. Zero Dark Thirty’s Mark Boal, however, is a shoo-in for the category. Other critics groups that unveiled their yearly champions include Houston Film Critics Society, San Francisco Film Critics, Kansas City Film Critics, Florida Film Critics Circle, Chicago Film Critics Association and Dallas Fort-Worth Film Critics. The Golden Satellite Awards also gave a ginormous boost to Silver Linings Playbookwith multiple wins (including “Best Film”), which now could be a very, very major threat if it steals the presumed Globe win away from Les Miserables.
  • On the latest edition of Awards Circuit Power Hour, the staff attempts to make sense of all these precursor awards and nominations. Is this race going to come down to critical darling Zero Dark Thirty VS. Oscar-bait-on-a-stick Lincoln, or can the popular Argo and emotional torrent that is Les Miserables crawl their way to the top? Certainly David O. Russell’s Silver Linings Playbook has the ability to charm its way to an upset win. To our complete confusion and disappointment, the staff wonders how safe Joaquin Phoenix is looking at this point following the SAG snub; will the “actor’s actor” — who undoubtedly gives a performance for the history books this year in The Master — fail to make the final grade? We brave the tough questions so please do listen!
  • For his DVD Pick-of-the-Week, Joey Magidson decided to take a page from his college textbook and promote some cinematic academia. Yep, Joey went with Josh Radnor’s college-centric Liberal Arts. As a huge, HUGE fan of HappyThankYouMorePlease, there is no film I’ve missed in theaters this year that I’ve wanted to see more. Radnor’s screenplay in his debut future was so honest and authentic about love and relationships, that I can’t imagine lightning not striking twice with this more critically-embraced sophomore effort. For his vintage selection(s), Mr. Magidson went with the earlier filmography of Kathryn Bigalow and Judd Apatow, whose films Zero Dark Thirty and This is 40, respectively, were just released to the public this weekend.
  • Tying things back to the miniature beauty that is television, I make a gift pitch for The Simpsons: Season 15 Blu-Ray/DVD and also recap the final performance episode of The Voice’s vastly-improved third season. Congratulations to Cassadee Pope for winning The Voice, and I wish her the great success she deserves!
  • Despite one or two questionable omissions, AMPAS hasn’t proved shocking with its recent release of the “Best Foreign Language Film” shortlist, now narrowed down to nine foreign entries. We’ve been saying all along that Amour, The Intouchables and A Royal Affair are the three locks in the category, but two spots still need to be filled. Will The Weinstein’s Kon-Tiki nab the coveted place of power, or is the committee headed in another direction entirely? We’ll find out on January 10th, so stay tuned!
  • Before you head on your way to feast and open presents, please make sure to check out Clayton Davis’ article on “Oscar’s Fifth Spot,” which examines the many actors all trying to nab that supposed “fifth spot” up for grabs in the “Best Actor” category. Can Richard Gere, Anthony Hopkins or maybe one of two incredibly deserving young performers this year — The Perks of Being a Wallflower’s Logan Lerman and The Impossible’s Tom Holland — shock unexpectedly on Oscar© morning? Clayton’s predictions and precursor page have been updated as well! Once again, thanks for reading and please have a safe and amazing holiday season!