• Hi again, Awards Circuit readers! Now that the 2013 Cannes Film Festival is behind us, it’s time to decompress and ponder on some of these wins. Will the festival’s breakout films survive the long and ardous journey to the Dolby Theatre next year? Check out Editor-in-Chief Clayton Davis’ first of several opinion pieces that attempts to answer this very question. Personally, as someone who found Bérénice Bejo the central heart of The Artist, I sincerely hope her Cannes-winning performance in Asghar Farhadi’s The Past translates to Oscar if it’s as good as the buzz suggests.
  • Let’s face it, cinema didn’t have much to be proud of this week. The unfavorably reviewed films included Battlefield Earth Part Deux After Earth, From the Head, The Kings of Summer, and Now You See Me. There was decidedly less animosity on the TV side of things (isn’t this now more often the case?). After watching the first two episodes of the new season of MTV’s Teen Wolf, staff writer Terence Johnson howled his approval of the hit supernatural drama and the direction it’s taking. New trailers for Disney’s Planes and Warner Bros.’ Prisoners first crash-landed and then were taken into custody by cinefiles craving a sneak-peek.
  • After doling out a spectacular list of actors with the skill-set to become masters of the directorial craft, staff writer Joey Magidson unveiled his DVD Pick-of-the-Week. It was none other than the Keanu Reeves-starring film, Generation…Um, but for Joey this drama about a chauffeur working for an escort service turned out to be more “Generation…Um, why was I forced to pick this?” This was just an unfortunate case of a week where no strong releases hit video shelves or Redbox stands. The good news: Keanu Reeves gives one of his better performances, and after this wretched mess from Bram Stoker’s Dracula, what else could possibly be better?
  • Nicole Melkonian is back with another positively stupendous edition of “Writer’s Block.” This time, Nicole has her shield and pom pom ready to defend the quirky, uncompromising visionary that is Wes Anderson. I guarantee you that everyone who reads this column will hunt afterward for a Wes Anderson film they’ve yet to ingest.
  • We may have evolved exponentially from what we once were, but that doesn’t mean we can’t integrate some of the old with the new, creating a postmodern feel for this beloved site. As such, Clayton Davis brings you the revamped Oscar Prediction pages, which revert back to our boxed format for nominee categorization but now include the Oscar Tracker and the longlist of Top 40 contenders. This revamped format emphasizes more in-depth analysis on each of the leading contenders.
  • The Award Circuit prides itself for attracting some of the best writing talent in the world, and our newest staff member is no exception. Kristen Lopez made a one-of-a-kind first impression with her persuasive and revealing piece on the hypocrisy of the MPAA ratings board. The recent Cannes Palme d’ Or winner Blue is the Warmest Colour was the example she used to illuminate the devastating damage the conservative establishment could cause such a film, financially and otherwise, if it doled out an NC-17 rating. This is a wonderful and insightful piece from a voice not often heard in the film writing world: a female’s. I know many have already done so, but please warmly welcome Kristen to the community! As always, thank you for reading and continue to do so as we bring you more up-to-date entertainment news, opinion pieces, Oscar predictions, and so forth. The Los Angeles Film Festival kicks off June 13th, so be sure to keep an eye out for coverage brought to you by the LA crew, consisting of myself, Tiff Chai, and Nicole Melkonian!