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A24 Films is First to Launch Awards Site – Jacob Tremblay and Alicia Vikander are Supporting Candidates

header_logoWith awards season fully underway, the first two screeners have hit the doorsteps of Academy members and guilds (You can follow our Awards Season Tracker to keep up-to-date).

A24 Films, a distributor that has slowly climbed the ranks as one of the most exciting studios to look for during the film year, is the first to officially launch their awards site.

Let’s take a look at what they have on their slate:

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  • Amy” – dir. Asif Kapadia
    FOR YOUR CONSIDERATION: Best Picture (James Gay-Rees), Best Documentary Feature (James Gay-Rees), Best Director (Asif Kapadia), Best Film Editing (Chris King), Best Original Score (Antonio Pinto), Best Sound Mixing (Tim Cavagin, Dafydd Archard), Best Sound Editing (Andy Shelley, Stephen Griffiths)

A film that quietly emerged as a box office hit for the documentary community.  The story of Amy Winehouse is a film that many will seek out, even though its chances outside of Documentary Feature are close to nil, it’s a film that many will pop in when they have a chance because of the subject at hand, especially with their families.  If it can survive the dreaded “bakeoff,” Kapadia’s film may be able to do some damage.

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  • The End of the Tour” – dir. James Ponsoldt
    FOR YOUR CONSIDERATION: Best Picture (David Kanter, p.g.a., Matt DeRoss, p.g.a., James Dahl, p.g.a.), Best Director (James Ponsoldt), Best Actor (Jesse Eisenberg), Best Supporting Actor (Jason Segel), Best Cinematography (Jakob Ihre, F.S.F.), Best Production Design (Gerald Sullivan), Best Film Editing (Darrin Navarro, ACE), Best Costume Design (Emma Potter), Best Original Score (Danny Elfman), Best Sound Mixing (Jean-Yves Münch, Leslie Shatz), Best Sound Editing (Ryan Collins), Best Makeup & Hairstyling (Karri Farris, Katherine Kousakis), Best Visual Effects (Matt Bramante, Danny Yoon)

DOWNLOAD THE SCRIPT>>http://a24awards.com/film/endOfTour/EndOfTourScript.pdf

A small, quiet film from the summer that had so many buzzing about the performance of Jason Segel.  The studio has opted for an official supporting run for the actor, and with the competitive landscape the category has become, he’ll have an uphill battle to beat out some bigger names.  With that said, Segel is the type of performer that could be cited by the Golden Globes and/or Critics Choice Awards.  That may be the boost he needs to get the ball rolling.  The film’s script is also a strong possibility and is the type of the thing that the Writers Guild of America will surely cite at their awards later this year (if deemed eligible).  Beyond that, the rest of the categories will be longshots but I think many, including Academy members are starting to notice the dynamic qualities of director James Ponsoldt.

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  • Ex Machina” – dir. Alex Garland
    FOR YOUR CONSIDERATION: Best Picture (Andrew Macdonald, Allon Reich). Best Director (Alex Garland), Best Original Screenplay (Alex Garland), Best Actor (Domhnall Gleeson), Best Supporting Actor (Oscar Isaac), Best Supporting Actress (Alicia Vikander), Best Cinematography (Rob Hardy, B.S.C.), Best Production Design (Mark Digby), Best Film Editing (Mark Day), Best Costume Design (Sammy Sheldon Differ), Best Original Score (Geoff Barrow, Ben Salisbury), Best Sound Mixing (Mitch “Wookiee” Low), Best Sound Editing (Glenn Freemantle), Best Makeup & Hairstyling (Sian Grigg), Best Visual Effects (Andrew Whitehurst)

Let’s start with the jaw-dropping categorization of Ms. Alicia Vikander, who has been listed as Supporting Actress.  Category fraud takes different forms, but this is one of the big ones seen in some time.  Perhaps A24 was betting on a Lead Actress push for her big vehicle “The Danish Girl,” but she will also be campaigned supporting for her role in Tom Hooper’s film.  A vote split seems way out of reason, considering that “Ex Machina” came out earlier in the year but any mentions for the film are worth talking about.  Oscar Isaac, is a fantastic and diabolical presence throughout Garland’s picture, and was one of the first buzzed about, and legit contenders for an Oscar nomination in Supporting Actor.  As the category continues to fill up, he’s chances are getting slimmer and slimmer.  Where the film stands a chance is in the below the line categories.  Its smooth color palettes are among the film’s strong attributes and DP Rob Hardy should definitely be in the conversation.  Sammy Sheldon Differ’s costume work on “Ava,” is worth talking about and the more I think about, Makeup & Hairstyling by Sian Grigg may be closer to a reality than we think.

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  • Mississippi Grind” – dir. Ryan Fleck & Anna Boden
    FOR YOUR CONSIDERATION: Best Picture (Jamie Patricof, p.g.a., Lynette Howell, p.g.a., Tom Rice, p.g.a.), Best Director (Ryan Fleck & Anna Boden), Best Original Screenplay (Ryan Fleck, Anna Boden), Best Actor (Ben Mendolsohn), Best Supporting Actor (Ryan Reynolds), Best Supporting Actress (Sienna Miller), Best Cinematography (Andrij Parekh), Best Production Design (Jade Healy), Best Film Editing (Anna Boden), Best Costume Design (Abby O’Sullivan), Best Original Score (Scott Bomar), Best Sound Mixing (Dick Hansen, CAS), Best Sound Editing (Tom Efinger), Best Makeup and Hairstyling (Vivian Baker, Voni Hinkle), Best Visual Effects (Mark Friedman)

DOWNLOAD THE SCRIPT>>>http://a24awards.com/film/mississippiGrind/mg_script.pdf

We’ve anxiously awaited the next great piece of filmmaking from Ryan Fleck and Anna Boden, who barely missed out on some attention for “Half Nelson.”  With “Mississippi Grind,” its a very well-liked film from those who have seen it.  The performances were liked, especially from Ben Mendolsohn, who is fresh off his first Emmy nomination.  Truth of the matter is that it didn’t generate enough of a following.  Those who liked it, and reviewed it, didn’t tap enough of their friends on the shoulders and tell them to watch it.  It may be one of those late breakers, and by that, perhaps in a year or so when it pops up on Netflix and is discovered by a film aficionado.  I will say, this moves Fleck and Boden in the right direction towards a future screenplay mention.  Should be worth noting that Ryan Reynolds has continued to embark into independent cinema, and his stock may be rising with those in the industry.

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  • Room” – dir. Lenny Abrahamson
    FOR YOUR CONSIDERATION: Best Picture (Ed Guiney, p.g.a., David Gross), Best Director (Lenny Abrahamson), Best Adapted Screenplay (Emma Donoghue; Based on the Novel by Emma Donoghue), Best Actress (Brie Larson), Best Supporting Actor (Jacob Tremblay, William H. Macy), Best Supporting Actress (Joan Allen), Best Cinematography (Danny Cohen B.S.C), Best Production Design (Ethan Tobman), Best Film Editing (Nathan Nugent), Best Costume Design (Lea Carlson), Best Original Score (Stephen Rennicks), Best Sound Mixing (Eric Fitz, Steve Fanagan, Ken Galvin), Best Sound Editing (Niall Brady, Steve Fanagan), Best Makeup and Hairstyling (Sid Armour, Jennifer Gould), Best Visual Effects (Ed Bruce)

I think we’ve reached A24’s pony.  Premiering at Telluride and later on at Toronto, the Lenny Abrahamson drama has gained a legion of followers thus far.  The film won the coveted People’s Choice Award at TIFF, where seven out of the last eight winners have gone on to Best Picture nominations.  It also helps that Brie Larson has landed herself as the likely frontrunner after Alicia Vikander was announced for a Supporting Actress run for “The Danish Girl.”  Outside of those key facts, the tech assembly is nothing to sneeze at.  Academy Award nominee Danny Cohen provides the camera work, and perhaps separated from Tom Hooper will get the attention of some.  In the past two years, films like “Whiplash,” “Dallas Buyers Club,” and “The Grand Budapest Hotel” had similar buzz around them but when push came to shove, they all far exceeded their initial expectations with nominations and/or wins in Film Editing and other tech categories.  “Room” can do that.  Abrahamson himself can do what people like Benh Zeitlin have accomplished.

Co-star Jacob Tremblay will play his cards in Supporting Actor, a category that hasn’t seen a kid nominee since Haley Joel Osment for “The Sixth Sense” in 1999.  Besides the obvious category fraud, Tremblay has a few hurdles to jump over.  Child actor stigma, bigger, well-known names in the industry, and those who see it as “his movie.”  Believe it or not, his chances are actually quite strong, and if SAG (an industry that loves nominated child actors) goes for him, watch out in the end.  There’s also palpable buzz for Joan Allen, whose three nominations sit under her belt.  Her role may not scream “screen-time” but Best Actress winners like Gwyneth Paltrow pulled in Judi Dench with an eight minute Oscar-win.  Point taken, her film won Best Picture but Allen will surely contend.

Lastly, Adapted Screenplay, is a category that is ripe for a winner such as “Room.”  Emma Donaghue adapted her own book, which may or may not be a plus, considering we just witnessed Gillian Flynn be passed over for “Gone Girl” last year.  The story about the film could be its narrative dynamics, so don’t count out someone like Donaghue running the gauntlet in the season if films like “The Revenant,” “Carol,” and “Brooklyn” prove too divisive for members to agree upon.

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  • Slow West” – dir. John Maclean
    FOR YOUR CONSIDERATION: Best Picture (Iain Canning, Emile Sherman, Conor McCaughan, Rachel Gardner), Best Director (John Maclean), Best Original Screenplay (John Maclean), Best Actor (Kodi-Smit McPhee), Best Supporting Actor (Michael Fassbender, Ben Mendolsohn), Best Cinematography (Robbie Ryan B.S.C), Best Production Design (Kim Sinclair), Best Film Editing (Roland Gallois, Jon Gregory A.C.E.), Best Costume Design (Kirsty Cameron), Best Original Score (Jed Kurzel), Best Sound Mixing (Doug Cooper, Paul Carter), Best Sound Editing (Gavin Rose), Best Makeup and Hairstyling (Dannelle Satherley), Best Visual Effects (Rupert Davies)

DOWNLOAD THE SCRIPT>>>http://a24awards.com/film/slowWest/SlowWestScript.pdf

Can I just point out that its simply devastating that the beautiful and talented Caren Pistorius doesn’t have a listing for Best Supporting Actress, considering she gives the best performance in the film?  With that said, this Sundance and Tribeca favorite made little noise during its theatrical run, and even with it on Blu-Ray/DVD now, people still don’t seem to seeking it out.  Not sure how much would do even people had seen it if I’m being perfectly honest.  Its technical merits are certainly on par with some other contenders particularly Cinematography, Original Score, and Sound Editing.  We already know that Michael Fassbender’s focus (or rather little focus) will be on “Steve Jobs” but this could help slightly as showing his range in a banner year.

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  • While We’re Young” – dir. Noah Baumbach
    FOR YOUR CONSIDERATION: Best Picture (Scott Rudin, Noah Baumbach, Lila Yacoub, Eli Bush), Best Director (Noah Baumbach), Best Actor (Ben Stiller), Best Actress (Naomi Watts), Best Supporting Actor (Adam Driver), Best Supporting Actress (Amanda Seyfried), Best Cinematography (Sam Levy), Best Production Design (Adam Stockhausen), Best Film Editing (Jennifer Lane), Best Costume Design (Ann Roth), Best Original Score (James Murphy), Best Sound Mixing (Christopher Gebert), Best Sound Editing (Paul Hsu), Best Makeup and Hairstyling (Judy Chin, Jacqueline Weiss), Best Visual Effects (Andrew Lim)

DOWNLOAD THE SCRIPT>>>http://a24awards.com/film/whileWereYoung/wwy_script.pdf

The road for “While We’re Young” began at TIFF 2014 where it had its premiere.  The film then moved on as the “secret screening” at the New York Film Festival.  Reviews were decent enough and its been brought up in conversation by some when talking about the first half of the year.  I think its best day is Original Screenplay, if the WGA and/or the Golden Globes go big for it.  Other than that, it looks to be another sit out for Baumbach and cast.

What do you think A24’s slate?  Share in the comments.

GO AND CHECK OUT OSCAR PREDICTIONS:

PICTURE |DIRECTOR | LEAD ACTOR | LEAD ACTRESS |SUPPORTING ACTOR |SUPPORTING ACTRESS | ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY | ADAPTED SCREENPLAY | ANIMATED FEATURE | PRODUCTION DESIGN |CINEMATOGRAPHY | COSTUME DESIGN | FILM EDITING | MAKEUP & HAIRSTYLING | SOUND MIXING | SOUND EDITING |VISUAL EFFECTS | ORIGINAL SCORE | ORIGINAL SONG | DOCUMENTARY FEATURE | FOREIGN LANGUAGE | LIVE ACTION SHORT | ANIMATED SHORT | DOCUMENTARY SHORT

What do you think?

Stan

Written by Clayton Davis

Clayton Davis is the esteemed Editor and Owner of AwardsCircuit.com. Born in Bronx, NY to a Puerto Rican mother and Black father, he’s been criticizing film and television for over a decade. Clayton is a member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association where he votes and attends the kick off to the awards season, the Critics Choice Awards. He also founded the Latino Entertainment Journalists Association, the first Latino-based critics’ organization in the United States. He’s also an active member of the African-American Film Critics Association, New York Film Critics Online, International Press Academy, Black Reel Awards, and the Broadcast Television Journalists Association. Clayton has been quoted and appeared in various outlets that include The New York Times, CNN.com, Variety, Deadline, Los Angeles Times, FOX 5, Bloomberg Television, AOL, Huffington Post, Bloomberg Radio, The Wrap, Slash Film, and the Hollywood Reporter.

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