Circuit Round-Up (Week Ending 5/20)


  • Did you just feel that gust of wind fly past? That was the entire week here at The Awards Circuit, gone faster than The Flash (movie franchise, anyone?). We began the week by honoring Mother’s Day with Editor-in-Chief Clayton Davis’ special article: “Top Mothers of Film and Television.” Needless to say, Sally Field…we like you; we really, really like you as our #1 movie momma!
  • Some of the staff unleashed a second wave of Awards Profiles for the month of May. Robert Hamer began by analyzing the award chances for John Hillcoat’s Lawless. How can you go wrong with a project involving Jessica Chastain? Then again, it does star the kid from those Transformer films. Up next was Smashed, where Joey Magidson thought it was possible for the criminally underrated Mary Elizabeth Winstead to nab a “Best Actress” Oscar nomination. Heck, how did this girl end up missing out on a Golden Globe nod for her incredible work in 2010’s Scott Pilgrim vs. the World? Oh yeah, I forgot how amazing Angelina Jolie was in The Tourist. Blech! Following Smashed, I made a huge Oscar forecast for Martin McDonagh’s Seven Psychopaths. Will the black comedy ride on enough goodwill to land in the “Best Picture” lineup? The future awaits! Mark Johnson was ambivalent towards Wont Back Down’s Oscar chances, but Viola Davis could very well score a nomination out of sheer Academy guilt for last year’s unfair Meryl win. Finally, Anna ended off the week by looking into the very face of evil: Sacha Baron Cohen’s The Dictator! With mixed reviews, Cohen isn’t the box office draw he once was. This is a man who is best viewed in small doses (see: Hugo).
  • Our only film review of the week was for Peter Berg’s Battleship. If all you’re interested in is a Friday Night Lights reunion, I suggest you wait another ten years. Joey Magidson could not stand the film, and we thank him for seeing this film for us so we won’t have to (sorry Joey). This movie has already grossed enough overseas to potentially spawn a sequel (the horror!), but The Avengers has all but sunk its domestic earnings. We’ll take our victories where we can.
  • In better Liam Neeson news, Joey’s DVD Pick-of-the-Week is none other than January’s finest film, The Grey. Besides looking forward to seeing Liam go toe-to-toe with a wolf (Darth Maul, you ain’t got nothing on Jack London’s best friend), Joey may have convinced me to revisit (please, God, no) one of my most reviled films, Juno, which was anointed Joey’s vintage pick in honor of the upcoming What To Expect When You’re Expecting. Juno is to me what last year’s The Descendents was to Robert Hamer: a catastrophe of diabolical proportions. However, it’s been quite a number of years since I’ve seen Juno, so maybe my feelings will be less…hateful? I’ll pop it in just to see one of Jennifer Garner’s best acting performances, but don’t expect me to bow down in reverence.
  • Well, TV certainly had its ups and downs this week! Although she scored high with the judges, Maria Menounos couldn’t quite make the Dancing with the Stars finale. Does William Levy have this in the bag, or will Donald Driver’s charisma be enough to snag that Mirror Ball Trophy? Personally, I’m rooting for my fantasy Bond girl, Opera Singer Katherine Jenkins. On the Idol side of things, as soon as I saw the value in Joshua Ledet as an artist, America sent him packing. Just my luck! On the plus side, will Jessica Sanchez — the lone Idol female left — be able to defeat the insurmountable force known as “White Guy With Guitar” to become the first ever Asian-American Idol winner? If a repeat of Jessica’s disastrous Top 3 showing is displayed in the finale, I’ll vote for Phillip myself! I’m joking — I’m not that cruel! Speaking of cruel, Anna updated us with the grim news of recent cancellations made by the major networks. How is it that we live in a world where high-concept shows like Awake and Alcatraz get cancelled, but infuriating menaces like Touch and Whitney remain on the air? Somehow the phrase: “It’s not personal, it’s just business” seems crueler than before. The biggest news to come out of the TV universe was the recent announcement of Demi Lovato and Britney Spears joining the X-Factor judging panel. I guess the slogan, “The search to find the next superstar” wasn’t referring to the contestants.
  • Did you all get a chance to read our weekly segments from staff newcomers Terence Johnson, Mark Johnson, and Daniel Ashtiany? If you haven’t already, please do so! Terence wrapped up the week’s missed but not forgotten news stories with another installment of Late Press, Mark celebrated Cate Blanchett’s birthday with another Circuit 3 article, and Daniel delivered us his “Best of British” for the week: the understated film auteur, Danny Boyle. Great job, gentlemen!
  • We end the week by turning to you, loyal readers. Please submit your questions for today’s recorded “Power Hour” podcast episode. I assure you, we are covering quite a lot, so the more questions, the richer the episode will be. Thank you all for another fantastic week here at The Awards Circuit. I hope everyone’s gearing up for ACCA TV in a few days…