Around the Circuit: December 29 – January 4



2014 is finally upon us, but 2013 is still very much in the conversation. With two months left until the Oscars, the films of yesteryear are under more scrutiny now than they were in initial release. One wrong move — in this case, a guild “snub” — could spell disaster for a film’s Academy Award future. When it comes to a motion picture’s “contender/pretender” Oscar status, one must rely on the buzz, or lack thereof, generated by the industry’s various guilds. Below, you’ll see what several pundits and outlets have to say about the fluctuating state of affairs for certain movies that cry for gold.

Story of the Week:

The Producers Guild of America announced their nominations this past week, subsequently indicating the likely lineup for Oscar’s “Best Picture” category. Missing, surprisingly, was Inside Llewyn Davis, a film thought to have a spot reserved in the aforementioned lineup considering the love AMPAS has for the Coen Brothers in general. Los Angeles Times’ Glenn Whipp tries to make sense of the shun, aptly noting that the Coen’s A Serious Man was also ignored by the PGA, only to go on and become a “Best Picture” nominee soon thereafter. Moreover, yesterday’s big National Film Critics Society win gave the critical darling a much needed resurgence in the race. Don’t hold me to it, but I wouldn’t worry about the Coen’s latest gem missing out on a chance to play in the big leagues.

Best of the Rest:

Awards Daily’s Sasha Stone discusses the bizarre dismissal of The Weinstein Company’s 2013 awards bait. As a studio that never gets excluded from the “cool kids” club, Stone is flabbergasted that TWC is being ignored this time around, especially after releasing some of the most ambitious and hard-hitting cinema they’ve ever distributed.

The Hollywood Reporter’s Scott Feinberg celebrates three actors who’ve made one heck of a career turnaround in the past year: Bradley Cooper (jokester to Oscar nominee), Steve Coogan (British comedian who’s demonstrated a serious talent for drama), and Matthew McConaughey (Hollywood’s big moneymaker proves he’s also one of its finest actors).

Jeff Wells from Hollywood Elsewhere wonders if August: Osage County is a bigger awards threat than anyone realizes. He makes an astute comparison between its recent wins at the Capri Film Festival and the festival’s previous dominating force, the very AMPAS-friendly Silver Linings Playbook.

Over at HitFix, Kris Tapley conducted a stellar interview with Leonardo DiCaprio, who took the time to respond to angry critics that have been reducing The Wolf of Wall Street to nothing more than a party film that glorifies instead of condemns the nation’s elite 1%.

Nathaniel Rogers at The Film Experience makes note of Paramount’s Nebraska mentioning its stars’ long service to the industry in some TV ads. Could such recognition boost the Oscar chances of vets Bruce Dern and June Squibb, who each received “best of career” citations for their work in Alexander Payne’s latest?

Even though Cate Blanchett has been dominating the precursors, Daniel Montgomery over at Gold Derby discusses how Gravity’s popularity and assumed above/below-the-line support could help Hollywood’s box office queen, Sandra Bullock, become a two-time Oscar winner.

Speaking of Gravity, Deadline contributer Thomas J. McLean provides an in-depth look at the visual effects contenders that could potentially usurp the space drama’s assumed Oscar victory in said category.

What do you think?

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Written by Joseph Braverman

My name is Joseph Braverman. I am 31 years old and a graduate from the University of California, Santa Cruz with a Bachelor of Arts in Film and Digital Media. I love watching and analyzing films and television shows. I live in Los Angeles, CA, enmeshing myself in the movie industry scene in any way possible. Don't forget to follow me on Twitter @JBAwardsCircuit.


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