Tag Archives: 12 Years a Slave

The Oscars Split: 12 Years a Slave wins Picture, Gravity wins Director

Gravity-12-years-a-slave (1)

The old rule that you can’t predict a split has been broken. By and large most awards-watchers predicted 12 Years a Slave to win Best Picture and Gravity‘s Alfonso Cuarón to take Director. Many of the most seasoned and widely respected pundits said that was unlikely and impossible to predict. I almost changed my predictions to Gravity all the way, but I stuck to my guns instead. And guess what… It happened!

Gravity, due to it’s technical prowess, walked away with 7 wins overall, more than any other film this year. 12 Years a Slave, despite taking the top prize, tied with Dallas Buyers Club for a distant second place in total wins. Both won 3. Frozen and The Great Gatsby each won 2, while Her and Blue Jasmine just took 1 apiece. The rest of the Best Picture nominees all went home empty-handed, including Captain Phillips, NebraskaPhilomena, The Wolf of Wall Street, and perhaps most surprisingly, American Hustle, which had initially tied Gravity for the most nominations (10). 

See the full list of winners here.

Overall, I went 19/24 in my predictions. Honestly, for such a tight year with so many amazing films, there weren’t a lot of surprising wins. What surprises we did get were mild ones that many saw coming.

The biggest shock (aside from American Hustle‘s big ol’ goose egg) was honestly Gravity’s Editing win, which wasn’t shocking at all. Many were predicting ACE winner Captain Phillips to take it, but the major technical marvel in the race could not be ignored. Her‘s Original Screenplay win over American Hustle lowered some pundits’ scores, just as Jennifer Lawrence’s Supporting Actress loss to Lupita Nyong’o lowered mine. But to be honest both races were neck-and-neck, and either had a great chance at winning.

The only other races I missed were in Foreign and two of the Short Films. I should have seen The Great Beauty coming (and honestly almost changed my prediction this morning). It’s won more precursors, but I was convinced by some pundits who thought it too abstract and esoteric to win. I was surprised yet thrilled to see the lovely Mr. Hublot win Animated Short over the more widely seen Get a Horse! And I was disappointed to see the technically proficient but narratively flat Helium win Live Action Short over one of the best films of the year (of any length) in Just Before Losing Everything.

The show itself was a pretty good one. While not necessarily all that memorable, it moved along at a good clip and Ellen Degeneres kept it light and enjoyable throughout. The producers made some good decisions that improved on previous years. The Original Song performances were great (although U2’s sound levels could’ve been better mixed). The introductions of the Best Picture nominees were made in groups of three, which certainly saved time. Eventually I’d like to see those intros scrapped altogether, but at least it’s a small step in the right direction.

Another small step in the right direction was the vague “Heroes” theme and it’s montages. While still wholly unnecessary, at least the montages were short and few, and they didn’t seem quite as random as similar ones in recent years. The Wizard of Oz tribute was pretty random, but I liked Pink’s performance.

Something I really liked was the choice to go from In Memoriam directly into Bette Midler’s song. In the past the segment has always been followed by a commercial break, leaving the somber mood to be jarred by obnoxious local TV ads. This felt much more smooth, and also allowed for a segue into more presentations before going to another break.

The standout speeches of the night were given Jared Leto (starting the night off perfectly), Kristin Anderson-Lopez and newly crowned EGOT Robert Lopez for Frozen‘s “Let It Go,” and Lupita Nyong’o. Matthew McConaughey’s speech was odd and a little off-kilter, but ended up rather endearingly quirky. And finally, BRAVO to the producers for not being to trigger happy about having the orchestra play winners offstage. The only ones that got played off were a couple of the short film winners (who were struggling with language barriers).

Ellen’s jokes were pretty on most of the night. She’s a great comedian, and her banter with the crowd was fun. I’m not sure how I felt about pointing out that many of the actors like Amy Adams never went to college. Either she’s embarrassing them or telling the general audience that that’s ok, but there’s no middle ground and since the joke fell flat, it felt pretty awkward and uncomfortable. But I loved the “possibility” bit – “Possibility #1: 12 Years a Slave wins Best Picture. Possibility #2: You’re all racists.” That’s how to be funny and pretend edgy, without actually being edgy. That’s what the Academy was looking for, and that’s what they got.

All in all, I had a fun night. What about you? How did you like the show? What did you love? What did you hate? What was meh? Let me know in the comments or on the Facebook page.

Advertisements
Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , ,

12 Years a Slave Triumphs at Independent Spirit Awards

Spirit-Awards

 

The Independent Spirit Awards were held tonight. In a near-sweep, 12 Years a Slave won 5 awards. The only races it lost were Lead and Supporting Actor, but of which went to Dallas Buyers Club. No other film won more than a single award.

There’s a good chance many of these winners win find themselves victorious tomorrow night as well. But I would hesitate to look at tonight’s proceedings as any kind of indication. While one or two individual nominees are up for both, the majority of the competition is different between the Spirits and the Oscars.

Read the full list of winners below…

Best Feature
“12 Years a Slave”

Best Director
Steve McQueen, “12 Years a Slave”

Best First Feature
“Fruitvale Station”

Best Screenplay
“12 Years a Slave”

Best First Screenplay
“Nebraska”

Best Female Lead
Cate Blanchett, “Blue Jasmine”

Best Male Lead
Matthew McConaughey, “Dallas Buyers Club”

Best Supporting Female
Lupita Nyong’o, “12 Years a Slave”

Best Supporting Male
Jared Leto, “Dallas Buyers Club”

Best Cinematography
“12 Years a Slave”

Best Editing
“Short Term 12”

Best Documentary
“20 Feet from Stardom”

Best International Film
“Blue is the Warmest Color”

Robert Altman Award
“Mud”

John Cassavetes Award
“This is Martin Bonner”

Piaget Producers Award
Toby Halbrooks & James M. Johnston

Someone to Watch Award
Shaka King, “Newlyweeds”

Truer Than Fiction Award
Jason Osder, “Let the Fire Burn”

Tagged , ,

Gravity or 12 Years A Slave: Making Oscar History Either Way

Gravity-12-years-a-slave

As discussed in yesterday’s final Oscar Predictions entry, this year’s top prize comes to two major frontrunners. It’s so close that honestly nobody really knows how it will turn out. (Some will guess right, but they don’t have any more insight than anybody else.) It’s the closest race we’ve seen since 2000’s Gladiator vs Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon vs Traffic. It could conceivably be even closer, but American Hustle seems to have lost a little steam in recent weeks. Still we’re left with two generation-defining films, both of which would make history if they were to win.

Gravity would make history by being the first 3D film ever to win Best Picture. It would also be the first sci-fi/space movie. Genre films tend to get a bad rap with the Academy elite, but that’s not impossible to over come. A decade ago the third Lord of the Rings movie became the first fantasy film to win. The 3D thing is the bigger get. It’s the new(ish) technology that seems determined to change the way audiences approach movies, possibly at the expense of films with smaller budgets. It’s understandable that industry voters might be wary. But then again, it’s movies like this, that go so far beyond their technical achievements to touch something primal and human in all of us, that have the ability to move us forward. It’s no surprise that a director like Alfonso Cuarón is behind this – he has always had an amazing talent for bringing humanity to genre.

12 Years a Slave would make history be being the first film to win written and directed by back filmmakers and starring a mostly black cast. It would also be the first film since Gone With the Wind to even touch on the subject of slavery. In 86 years of Oscar history, this is an embarrassing statistic. Slavery isn’t just a “black thing”; it’s a huge tragic piece of history for every American. Not only that, but modern-day slavery continues throughout the world. Like Gravity, it takes a film like this that touches on universal human themes to bring us all together, to move forward as one.

As unlikely and rare as it would be, I’m predicting a split: 12 Years a Slave will win Picture and Cuarón will win Director. That could mean the history-making story of either could be seen as being a little stunted. We would still be 86 years into Oscar history without a single black director having won. (Steve McQueen is only the 3rd ever even nominated.) And we would still not have a 3D sci-fi/space Film in the list of Best Pictures.

That may be how we remember this year in the future, but that’s also missing the picture entirely. 2013 was a truly incredible year for filmmaking. There were literally dozens of amazing films, any of which would have made worthy winners. That no fewer than two groundbreaking works of art have made it this close to the big prize is nothing short of astounding.

Tagged , , , , , , , ,

12 Years a Slave Wins Big at NAACP Image Awards

TWELVE YEARS A SLAVE

The NAACP Image Awards were held last night, and as expected 12 Years a Slave won the largest haul with 4 awards, including Best Motion Picture. The biggest surprise (to me, anyway) was that it lost Best Actor (Chiwetel Ejiofor) in favor of The Butler‘s Forest Whitaker.

Scroll down for the winners in the Film categories. See the film nominees here. and check out the complete list of winners, including TV, Music, and Literature here.

Motion Picture: “12 Years A Slave.”

Actor: Forest Whitaker, “Lee Daniels’ The Butler.”

Actress: Angela Bassett, “Black Nativity.”

Supporting Actor: David Oyelowo, “Lee Daniels’ The Butler.”

Supporting Actress: Lupita Nyong’o, “12 Years A Slave”

Directing: Steve McQueen, “12 Years A Slave.”

Writing: John Ridley, “12 Years A Slave.”

Independent Motion Picture: “Fruitvale Station.”

International Motion Picture: “War Witch.”

Documentary: “Free Angela and All Political Prisoners.”

Tagged , , ,

Costume Designers Guild Awards: 12 Years a Slave, Blue Jasmine, Catching Fire

chiwetel-ejiofor-as-solomon-northup-in-12-YEARS-A-SLAVE

12 Years a Slave won the Costume Designers Guild’s “Period” category. Despite the guild’s 3 film categories and 13 nominees, only 3 translated into an Oscar nomination, and all from Period. The other 2 are The Great Gatsby and American Hustle, and they are – in that order – generally favored to win the award over 12 Years, despite its strength in some of the bigger categories. Indeed, Gatsby just took the BAFTA for costumes last week, and Hustle has far flashier necklines outfits.

In the other categories, Blue Jasmine won Contemporary, and The Hunger Games: Catching Fire took Fantasy. I’m thrilled to see the latter recognized. I personally believe that be the greatest costume design work of the year, and I don’t just mean the flashy “girl on fire” outfits that take a central role in the plot. All the costumes are outstanding, including a one-shoulder sweater-like thing in the beginning of the film and the activewear used in the games themselves. (My fiancé and I have often postulated about the extreme marketability of a Hunger Games clothing line. They would certainly have our money!)

Scroll down for the full list of winners. (And check out the nominees here.)

Excellence in Period Film
“12 Years a Slave” (Patricia Norris)

Excellence in Fantasy Film
“The Hunger Games: Catching Fire” (Trish Summerville)

Excellence in Contemporary Film
“Blue Jasmine” (Suzy Benzinger)

Outstanding Contemporary Television Series
“Behind the Candelabra” (Ellen Mirojnick)

Outstanding Period/Fantasy Television Series
“Downton Abbey” (Caroline McCall)

Outstanding Made for Television Movie or Miniseries
“House of Cards” (Tom Broecker)

Excellence in Commercial Costume Design
“Call of Duty: Ghosts Masked Warriors” (Nancy Steiner)

Career Achievement Award
April Ferry

Lacoste Spotlight Award
Amy Adams

Tagged , , , ,

BAFTA Winners: Split Sheds No New Insight

gravity-12years

The British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) handed out their awards yesterday. They are basically the British version of the Academy and the last major precursor we have before the Oscars.

With the Olympics extending the season an extra few weeks, the Oscar ballots only went out a few days ago. That means we have another half-month of hemming and hawing over intangible “buzz,” with no other big group to give us a real hint at where we’re headed. It’s true that a lot can change in two weeks. Given the extreme closeness of this race, hyped-up news stories based on rumors cooked up by campaign strategists could have an impact in the empty void in between BAFTA and Oscar. But my guess is it really won’t.

Nothing has been settled yet in any of the phases so far. From the festival circuit, to the various critics’ awards, to the guild awards, to now – we still have a tight race that appears to be 12 Years a Slave for picture and Gravity for director. American Hustle seems to have stumbled ever so slightly in recent days, but you’d be crazy not to think it’s still in the mix.

BAFTA has done nothing to clear any of this up. 12 Years won picture, while Gravity took director and (somewhat controversially) Best British Film. The only choices that were out of the norm came in 4 categories where the Brits’ unique tastes came through:

  • The very British Philomena took screenplay from 12 Years, out of admiration for Steve Coogan’s outstanding year.
  • Editing went, quite deservedly, to Rush. Europeans love Formula One racing, though it seems to hold little interest over here.
  • Both Actor categories were missing their frontrunners, as Dallas Buyers Club was soundly ignored in the nominating phase. Fellow Brit Chiwetel Ejiofor is an obvious choice in place of McConaughey. But I most thrilled about seeing Captain Phillips’ Barkhad Abdi recognized without Jared Leto standing in the way.

Scroll down for the complete list of winners. (Check out the nominees here.)

Best Picture – 12 Years a Slave
Best British Film – Gravity
Best Director – Alfonso Cuarón, Gravity
Best Actor – Chiwetel Ejiofor, 12 Years a Slave
Best Actress – Cate Blanchett, Blue Jasmine
Best Supporting Actor – Barkhad Abdi, Captain Phillips
Best Supporting Actress – Jennifer Lawrence, American Hustle
Best Adapted Screenplay – Philomena, Steve Coogan and Jeff Pope
Best Original Screenplay – American Hustle, Eric Warren Singer and David O. Russell
Best Cinematography – Gravity, Emmanuel Lubezki
Best Documentary – The Act of Killing
Best Animated Feature – Frozen
Best Music – Gravity, Steven Price
Best Editing – Rush
Best Production Design – The Great Gatsby
Best Costume Design – The Great Gatsby
Best Sound – Gravity
Best Hair & Makeup – American Hustle
Best British Short, Live Action – Room 8
Best British Short, Animation – Sleeping with the Fishes
Outstanding British Debut – Kelly & Victor
BAFTA Rising Star – Will Poulter

Tagged , , ,

GrabBag – MacBeth Fassbender’d, Leto Heckled, and Philip Seymour Hoffman Remembered.

grabbag

It’s Friday once again, and that means it’s time for another GrabBag! – our weekly mishmash of links and videos to get you through the weekend.

  • There’s a new clip from Wes Anderson’s The Grand Budapest Hotel. Reviews have just started coming out from its premier in Berlin, and needless to say, I’m even more excited.

… and screenwriter John Ridley talks to Bill Maher.

  • Gender inequality in the film industry summed up in this fantastic infographic. (New York Film Academy actually published this several months ago, but it’s still and always relevant.)

That’s all for this week’s GrabBag. Enjoy your weekend and try to stay warm!

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Weekend Wrap-up: The Producers Keep It Interesting

Gravity-debris-2

This weekend the first two all-important film industry guilds announced their winners: the actors (SAG) and the producers (PGA). Next weekend the directors (DGA) will follow suit. Usually between these three a frontrunner emerges which goes on to take the top prize at the Oscars.

This race is one of the tightest in years, with essentially three frontrunners. Last week I predicted that each of those three would take one of the three main guild awards: American Hustle – SAG (ensemble), 12 Years a Slave – PGA, Gravity – DGA. It was a fairly wild guess, since that kind of thing never happens. One film always takes two, if not or all three, and then goes on to win Best Picture

On Saturday night SAG Awards (scroll to the bottom to see the complete list of winners) appeared to stick to the script. All their film winners were pretty well expected. Cate Blanchett and Jared Leto continued their respective steamrolls through Best Actress and Supporting Actor. They are the 2 surest bets for winning gold on Oscar night, as nobody has been able to beat them in any of the precursors. Matthew McConaughey continued to strengthen his frontrunner status for Best Actor. The biggest excitement was Lupita Nyong’o winner for her supporting performance in 12 Years over Jennifer Lawrence. But even that wasn’t really a surprise – the two have been neck and neck all season, and many pundits (not yours truly, though) think Lawrence will have a hard time winning back to back Oscars.

Hustle took Best Ensemble, as I and many others predicted. 12 Years surely provided stiff competition, but the former was the more obvious acting showcase. And in a very tight race, that was all that was needed to pull ahead for an award that honors the actors rather than the movie itself.

Still, the SAG ensemble very often goes to the eventual Best Picture Oscar winner, so without word yet from any one else in the industry, Hustle essentially took the lead. But in a race so tight anything could happen, literally that – “anything” – was about to.

The PGA awarded an unprecedented 2-film tie! If Hustle had been one of those two films it might have held onto its frontrunner status, but it wasn’t. Gravity and 12 Years split the prize. In a sense my prediction was correct that all three films would win a major guild award, but there was no way I could’ve imagined that would happen a week before the third would even announce.

Over the last 4 years the PGA (for comparison: the Best Picture Oscar is also awarded to a film’s producers) has become THE most predictive of the guilds, since they are the only ones besides the Academy to use a complex “preferential balloting system” (as opposed to a simple weighted ballot) to determine their winners. In this system getting 1st place votes is important, but so is getting 2nd and 3rd. So a winning film has to evoke passion in a much broader cross-section of voters. “Love-it-or-hate-it” films don’t weather this process well.

Given that complex process and the PGA’s 4,700 voting members, one would think a tie is statistically impossible to come by. Yet that’s what happened, and suddenly our best predictor is useless. (Ok, not useless, but you know…)

Of course now the DGA is the key. Whoever wins that will have 2 to everyone else’s 1, and will become considered the frontrunner. I still suspect that’s going to be Gravity. Alfonso Cuaron has been picking up director prizes more consistently than other film, making his film the safest bet. But at this point the race is so convoluted that even that safest bet wouldn’t necessarily be a safe bet.

That said, Oscar voting hasn’t even started yet. By the time they do, that frontrunner, however tenuous, will be known. AMPAS, just like everyone else, likes to rally behind a winner. Chances are the majority of voters will get behind the perceived leader, making it the de facto leader, and the eventual winner.

So, while it’s still early and I reserved the right to change my mind several times in light of new information, I am now prepared to make my first official Oscar Prediction of the season:

Gravity will win the Oscar for Best Picture.

Still, it could easily go any direction, and that’s what’s so exciting. That’s why I may be having the most fun I’ve had since I started paying attention to awards season more than 15 years ago. This is fantastic!

Here is the complete list of SAG and PGA winners. (Check them against my predictions here.)

SAG

THEATRICAL MOTION PICTURES
Actor – Matthew McConaughey, “Dallas Buyers Club”
Actress – Cate Blanchett, “Blue Jasmine”
Supporting Actor – Jared Leto, “Dallas Buyers Club”
Supporting Actress – Lupita Nyong’o, “12 Years a Slave”
Ensemble – American Hustle

TELEVISION PROGRAMS
Actor, TV Movie or Miniseries – Michael Douglas, “Behind the Candelabra”
Actress, TV Movie or Miniseries – Helen Mirren, “Phil Spector”
Actor, Drama – Bryan Cranston, Breaking Bad”
Actress, Drama – Maggie Smith, “Downton Abbey”
Actor, Comedy – Ty Burrell, “Modern Family”
Actress, Comedy – Julia Louis-Drefus, “Veep”
Ensemble, Drama – Breaking Bad
Ensemble, Comedy – Modern Family

STUNT ENSEMBLES
Stunt Ensemble in a Motion Picture – Lone Survivor
Stunt Ensemble in a Comedy or Drama Series – Game of Thrones

 

PGA

Theatrical Motion Pictures -TIE- Gravity and 12 Years a Slave
Animated Theatrical Motion Pictures – Frozen
Documentary Theatrical Motion Pictures – We Steal Secrets: The Story of WikiLeaks
Long-Form Television – Behind the Candelabra
Episodic Television, Drama – Breaking Bad
Episodic Television, Comedy – Modern Family
Non-Fiction Television – Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown
Competition Television – The Voice
Live Entertainment & Talk Television – The Colbert Report
Sports Program – SportsCenter
Children’s Program – Sesame Street
Digital Series – “Wired: What’s Inside” (http://video.wired.com/series/what-s-inside)
The Davie O. Selznick Achievement Award – Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli
The Norman Lear Achievement Award – Chuck Lorre
The Stanley Kramer Award – Fruitvale Station
Milestone Award – Bob Iger
Vanguard Award – Peter Jackson, Joe Letteri and Weta Digital
Visionary Award – Chris Meledandri

Tagged , , , , , , ,

3 Films ‘Hustle’ for the Lead – Oscar Nominations Breakdown

gravity 12 years hustle split

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts ad Sciences (AMPAS) gave us plenty of surprises – both good and bad – when they announced their 86th Annual Oscar nominations this morning.

The big story is American Hustle, which tied Gravity for the lead with 10 nods each, followed closely by 12 Years a Slave with 9. Any one of them could still win, but this proves it really is a 3-way race. All 3 got the crucial Picture/Director/Editing trifecta that is often necessary to go the distance.

All 9 of the Best Picture nominees got more nominations than any of the other films. A majority of the different branches seemed to be on the same page. I feel like this kind of symmetry is actually pretty rare. (Scroll to the bottom of my complete nominations list for a list of total nominations per film.)

I’m actually pretty proud of a decent showing in my own predictions. (Scroll down to see my brag list and how I did on each category.) But there were a fair number selections and snubs that few people saw coming – including at least one that NOBODY could’ve guessed.

The Good…

  • A much stronger-than-expected showing for The Wolf of Wall Street and Dallas Buyers Club was very heartening to see.
  • Philomena for Best Pic, expected but not guaranteed.
  • American Hustle got nods in all 4 acting categories (the best thing about the movie). This is extremely rare, and yet it’s 2 years in a row for a David O. Russell film.
  • Leonardo DiCaprio for Best Actor. I predicted it, but most pundits figuring he was in 6th place. Now that he’s in, I think he actually has a decent chance for the win, though it’s still a tight race.
  • Sally Hawkins was excellent in Blue Jasmine I’m happy to see her remembered here.
  • The Hobbit’s FX and dual Sound nods. Despite the series’ chronic bloating, it still continues to break new ground on the tech front.
  • Ernest & Celestine!!!
  • Get A Horse!

The Bad…

  • American Hustle‘s tied for the most nominations makes it even more likely to steal the ultimate win from Gravity and 12 Years a Slave (two vastly superior films).
  • Zero nominations for Rush, The Butler, Pacific Rim, or The Hunger Games.
  • Captain Phillips had a worse showing than expected, with both Tom Hanks and director Paul Greengrass missing out on nominations.
  • Part of the Rush shutout, Daniel Bruhl was passed over for one of the very best performances of the year.
  • Part of The Butler shutout, Oprah Winfrey (the best part of that film) was denied.
  • The Coen Bros. missed a screenplay nod for Inside Llewyn Davis. The film itself only managed 2 mentions.
  • 12 Years a Slave’s stunning cinematography was ignored.
  •  Part of The Hunger Games shutout, the amazing costumes were not mentioned, nor the memorable Makeup & Hairsyling
  • Speaking of M&H: the Academy seemed to love American Hustle, so how did it miss out here for those amazing hairdos?
  • No love for Hanz Zimmer’s excellent score for 12 Years a Slave, or Alex Ebert’s work on All Is Lost.
  • No Pacific Rim for visual effects is a travesty. If it weren’t for Gravity, I would’ve pegged it for the de facto winner.
  • Monster’s University is Pixar’s second ever miss for Animated Feature, after Cars 2.
  • Blackfish really deserved a nomination, and it could’ve used the extra publicity to help its valiant cause.
  • Stories We Tell was also widely expected to compete for the documentary win. While I haven’t seen it yet, everything I’ve read makes me disheartened that it was left out.

The WTF??!?!…

  • Best song. This category is notorious for providing some real head-scratchers year after year. (Last year they included a little-known documentary, and the year before that they only nominated TWO songs!) This year is no different, with an unexpected snub for Lana del Rey’s “Young and Beautiful” from The Great Gatsby.
  • But the real shot of crazy here is “Alone Yet Not Alone” from a film of the same name. A film which NOBODY has ever even heard of, let alone seen. It doesn’t appear on Metacritic, Rotten Tomatoes, or Box Office Mojo. It turns out it’s a religious film with a fairly offensive sounding synopsis, made purely for the Christian market. So how the hell did it get nominated? Perhaps because one of the composers is head of the Academy’s music branch…

Brag List
79 (+ 9 alternates) correct out of 108 predictions
2 perfect categories (+ 6 with alternates)
14 categories missed only one
5 missed two
0 missed more than two
Plus I got the one animated short I predicted, Get A Horse!

My predictions, by the numbers…

Best Picture 9/9!!!
Out: Saving Mr. Banks; Blue Jasmine

Best Director 4/5 + alternate
In: Alexander Payne, Nebraska; Martin Scorsese, The Wolf of Wall Street
Out:  Paul Greengrass, Captain Phillips; Spike Jonze, Her

Best Actor 4/5
In: Christian Bale, American Hustle; Leonardo DiCaprio, The Wolf of Wall Street
Out: Tom Hanks, Captain Phillips; Robert Redford, All Is Lost

Best Actress 4/5 + alternate
In: Amy Adams, American Hustle
Out: Emma Thompson, Saving Mr Banks

Best Supporting Actor 3/5 + alternate
In: Bradley Cooper, American Hustle; Jonah Hill, The Wolf of Wall Street
Out: Daniel Bruhl, Rush; James Gandolfini, Enough Said

Best Supporting Actress 4/5
In: Sally Hawkins, Blue Jasmine
Out: Oprah Winfrey, The Butler

Best Adapted Screenplay 5/5!!!

Best Original Screenplay 4/5 + alternate
In: Dallas Buyers Club
Out: Inside Llewyn Davis

Cinematography 4/5
In: The Grandmaster
Out: 12 Years a Slave

Costume Design 4/5
In: The Grandmaster
Out: The Hunger Games: Catching Fire

Editing 4/5
In: Dallas Buyers Club
Out: The Wolf of Wall Street; Rush

Makeup and Hairstyling 2/3
In: Dallas Buyers Club
Out: American Hustle; The Hunger Games: Catching Fire

Score 3/5 + alternate
In: Philomena; Saving Mr. Banks
Out: 12 Years a Slave; All is Lost

Song 3/5
In: Alone Yet Not Alone (Alone Yet Not Alone); “Happy (Despicable Me 2)
Out: Young and Beautiful (The Great Gatsby); So You Know What It’s Like (Short Term 12)

Production Design 4/5 + alternate
In: Her
Out: The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

Sound Editing 4/5
In: The Hobbit: the Desolation of Smaug
Out: Rush

Sound Mixing 4/5
In: The Hobbit: the Desolation of Smaug
Out: All Is Lost

Visual Effects 3/5 + alternate
In: The Lone Ranger; Star Trek Into Darkness
Out: Pacific Rim; Oblivion

Foreign Film 4/5 + alternate
In: The Missing Picture
Out: The Grandmaster

Animated Feature 4/5 + alternate
In: Ernest & Celestine; Despicable Me 2
Out: Monsters University

Documentary Feature 3/5
In: Cutie and the Boxer; Dirty Wars
Out: Blackfish; Stories We Tell

Animated Short 1/1

Tagged , , , , ,

What Does the Split Say?

gravity 12 years hustle split

Last night the Golden Globes decided to go with a 3-way Split, awarding their two Best Picture awards to 12 Years a Slave and American Hustle, while giving Best Director to Alfonso Cuarón for Gravity.

When it comes to the Oscars, Picture/Director splits are very rare and hard to predict (though it did happen last year). In the vast majority of cases Best Picture and Best Director go hand in hand. This makes sense: if you believe a film is really “best,” then you have to know that the director is a huge part of that.

Example: Back in 2011, by the time the Oscars rolled around, those of us reading the tea leaves had all bowed our heads to the stupid-but-inevitable fact that The King’s Speech would beat The Social Network for Best Picture, but many of us, myself included, held out hope for the vastly superior David Fincher to prevail in Director anyway. That was a bad bet – the voters liked TKS better and they rewarded director Tom Hooper for it.

So naturally it would seem to make sense that this tendency would hold true for the Golden Globes as well, right? Well, I decided to go do a little research. The results surprised me…

14 out of the 33 years the Globes have been around, they’ve awarded Best Director to a film that didn’t win Best Pic in either Drama or Comedy/Musical. Almost 50%. In fact is 50% if you just look at the last 10, when the 3-way split happened 5 times. So then the question becomes why. What the difference? What makes the HFPA more willing to “spread the wealth” than the Academy?

The more I think about it, the only answer that makes sense is the dual categories. With two Best Picture options but only one Director, they are guaranteed to have a split EVERY YEAR, in at list one of their favorite films. So if they’re comfortable not awarding one of the directors, maybe that makes it feel more OK to pass over the other one too.

So does the Globes split give us any insight into how we should expect the rest of the season to play out? Well with a 50% track record that doesn’t really seem to match up with Ocsar, the answer would seem to be no. But this year, within in the context of other awards and nominations we’ve seen so far, I do think there’s a take-away to be had.

Among the nominations and awards from various critics’ groups, 12 Years and Gravity appear to be neck and neck, with Hustle not far behind. Among the industry guild nominations so far, Hustle has hit the mark with as many if not more groups than any other. Gravity may seem behind on the guild side, but it was never going to get a SAG Ensemble nomination, and the popular opinion seems to be (however incorrectly) that its Screenplay is just as sparse as its cast and similarly unwarranted of recognition, just based on structure.

All this is to say we have a real 3-way tie on our hands. And the Globes split just confirmed it. In previous years it may not have meant much. In 2008 for example, neither Sweeney Todd nor The Diving Bell and the Butterfly were ever going to with the Oscar, and Atonement was already losing steam to No Country for Old Men. The Globes just wanted to be contradictory that year, for whatever reason. But this year their split seems to reinforce the fact that we have a real race for once. There’s no good way yet to predict which of the 3 will ultimately prevail.

And that’s exciting! This is the kind of thing that makes following the awards races fun. It’s been a long time since there was this kind of uncertainty in the Best Picture race. In various acting and other races? Sure, that happens fairly regularly. But not in Best Picture.

In a week, when the Oscar nominations come out, we may know more. And shortly after that, when the guilds begin announcing their winners, it may be all over but the shouting. But until then, I choose to embrace the uncertainty and enjoy it while it lasts. We don’t get this very often. It’s fun!

Tagged , , , , ,
Advertisements