Thursday, March 1, 2012

LET'S DO IT ALL OVER AGAIN




Now that the 2011 Oscar season is over I am going to take a few weeks to redesign MattAwards. I tried a few different things this year, but none of them really worked. There are a million Oscar blogs so I am going to work on making MattAwards a more go to place for Oscar predictions, must see movies and reviews. Please let me know if you have any suggestions or feedback for me. I really appreciate Joe Burns and Tom for taking time to add comments.

We have a lot to look forward this coming year and I already see a few contenders. Some of the most anticipated movies of the year are could also be Best Picture candidates:

The Dark Knight Rises (July 20)
Promethius (June 8)
The Hobbit (December 14)
Django Unchained (December 25)
Lincoln (TBD)
The Great Gatsby (December 25)

I have already seen a few people predicting Lincoln as the Best Picture winner next year.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

ACADEMY AWARD RATINGS UP

The ratings for The 84th Academy awards were up 4% from last year. 39.3 million people watched the Oscars ceremony, up from the 37.6 million in 2011.  ABC said it was the second largest TV audience for the Academy Awards since 2007. Not bad considering most Americans have not seen or are interested in seeing The Artist.

Monday, February 27, 2012

BEST PICTURE PROFANITY REEL

Look at all of the cursing and insults in the Best Picture nominees. NSFW.


OSCAR TELECAST REVIEW




Last nights Oscar telecast was certainly geared toward an older audience. It had all of the ingredients; Billy Crystal, old people movie nominees, old actor nominees and and old fashioned musical opening number. If the AMPAS is trying to get a younger audience this year did not work out. Except for a 20 second shot of Justin Bieber. Which my 18 year old son said ruined the whole show. But the theme of the night was to honor old Hollywood most likely due to the above average amount of nominated films that honor original film making. I am 43 years old, so I do fall into the older demographic. The Academy voters themselves are at the average age of 62. That is probably the reason that I enjoyed the show for the most part. I have read other reviews written by younger writers who tore it apart. It was as safe as it could possibly be. Which I think is better than trying bits that usually fall flat. Last year was a great example of how trying new things doesn't always work. If they want a younger audience they need to start by voting in a more diverse group of voters. Not only that but, some of them have been Oscar voters most of their lives and this point are just voting for their friends.

Billy Crystal was comfortable he moved the show along nicely avoiding any awkwardness. His usual opening montage of the movies was just alright. They avoided Extremely Loud and Incredibly close like the plague. You can't mock a movie about 9/11. Even in Crystal's singing montage he only mentioned Tom Hanks and not the movie. The singing number fell flat. I didn't recognize most of the songs and couldn't understand some of the lyrics. The sound for the entire show was bad. Many people on twitter were asking if it was just them. There was a weird noise heard in the background. The cirque du soleil performance was good, but probably better in person. One of the first winners was Octavia Spencer who was truly moved and could have had a great speech, but they cut her off. They never seem to cut off the boring acceptance speeches.

All in all it moved quickly and while Crystal did a fine job after Chris Rock presenting for animated feature, I realized what a great host he would be and would appeal to a younger audience.

MY GRADE: B-

MY RESULTS

Last year I picked 17 correct out of the 24 nominees for 71% correct.

This year I predicted 18 out of the 24 nominees for 75%.  I thought I would do better with such a predictable year, but there are always a few upsets.


Best Picture
The Artist

Best Actor
Jean Dujardin, The Artist

Best Actress
Viola Davis, The Help (actual: Meryl Streep)

Best Supporting Actor
Christopher Plummer, Beginners

Best Supporting Actress
Octavia Spencer, The Help

Best Director
Michel Hazanavicius, The Artist


Best Original Screenplay
Woody Allen, Midnight in Paris


Best Adapted Screenplay
Alexander Payne, Nat Faxton, Jim Rash, The Descendants


Best Animated Feature
Rango


Best Foreign Language Film of the Year
A Separation (Iran)


Original Score
The Artist, Ludovic Bource


Best Original Song
Man or Muppet, The Muppets; Music and Lyric by Bret McKenzie


Best Achievement in Art Direction
Hugo

Best Achievement in Cinematography
The Tree of Life (actual: Hugo)

Best Achievement in Costume Design
The Artist


Best Documentary Feature
Undefeated

Best Documentary Short Subject
The Tsunami and the Cherry Blossom (actual: Saving Face)

Best Achievement in Film Editing
The Artist (actual: Hugo)

Best Achievement in Makeup
The Iron Lady


Best Animated Short Film
The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore

Best Live Action Short Film
Raju (actual: The Shore)

Best Achievement in Sound Editing
Hugo


Best Achievement in Sound Mixing
Hugo


Best Achievement in Visual Effects
Rise of the Planet of the Apes (actual: Hugo)

2012 OSCAR WINNERS







Best Picture: The Artist-Everyone knew this was going to win Best Picture this year. It may not be the best film of 2011, but it really is amazing that a silent black and white movie can maintain enough support to get the votes. Making this movie was huge risk and could have been a disaster. The important people bought into it and rewarded it all season. The general public was not that interested and many complained about it's front runner status. So when you step back and stop comparing it to the other nominees, you have a pretty good piece of art.

Best Director: Michel Hazanavicius, The Artist-He should be commended on telling a good story without words.

Best Actress: Meryl Streep, The Iron Lady-Like most I was surprised at Streeps win. Even she was surprised. But when you consider that Meryl Streep carries the entire film herself  and Viola Davis is technically in more of a supporting role, it makes sense.

Best Actor: Jean Dujardin, The Artist-No surprise. He was great in the role and the movie would not have worked without him. He played the character at just the right pace without over acting as the tendency might be in a silent role.

Best Supporting Actress: Octavia Spencer, The Help-No surprise and well deserved.

Best Supporting Actor: Christopher Plummer, Beginners-No surprise and well deserved. Oldest actor to ever win an Academy Award.

Best Original Screenplay: Woody Allen, Midnight in Paris-No surprise. Funny how Woody has no desire to show up for awards shows.

Best Adapted Screenplay: Alexander Payne & Nat Faxon & Jim Rash, The Descendants-Great movie, great Screenplay. 

Best Foreign Language Film: Iran, A Separation-No surprise and a well deserved win. I think we all learned a little more about Iran after seeing this movie.

Best Documentary Feature: TJ Martin, Dan Lindsay & Richard Middlemas, Undefeated-This was a tough category, but everyone who has seen Undefeated loved it.

Best Animated Feature: Gore Verbinski, Rango-No surprise, not much competition this year.

Best Cinematography: Robert Richardson, Hugo-Big surprise and I think Tree of Life should have won this one. Every frame in the first 20 minutes in Tree of Life could stand alone as a still shot and tell a story.

Best Film Editing: Kirk Baxter & Angus Wall, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo-Huge surprise that came out of nowhere.

Best Art Direction: Dante Ferretti & Francesca Lo Schiavo, Hugo


Best Costume Design: Mark Bridges, The Artist


Best Original Score: Ludovic Bource, The Artist


Best Sound Editing: Philip Stockton & Eugene Gearty, Hugo


Best Sound Mixing: Tom Fleischman  &  John Midgley, Hugo

Best Visual Effects: Rob Legato, Joss Williams, Ben Grossman & Alex Henning, Hugo-This is the one place that they could have awarded Planet of the Apes, but you really can't beat Hugo's 3D.

Best Makeup: Mark Coulier  &  J. Roy Helland, The Iron Lady


Best Documentary Short: Daniel Junge & Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy, Saving Face 


Best Animated Short: William Joyce & Brandon Oldenburg, The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore


Best Live Action Short: Terry George & Oorlagh George, The Shore

Best Original Song: Bret McKenzie, Man or Muppet-They had a 50/50 chance.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

THE YEAR THAT WAS



As we are hours away from knowing who is going to win this years Oscars, it is a good time to look back on this crazy year.
After The Cannes Film Festival I asked if a black and white silent movie could win an Academy Award. I thought that it was a cool thought, but would not happen. Back then we thought Warhorse was a sure thing for a Best Picture nomination and the winner. How could Spielberg direct an Epic with so much anticipation and not win Best Picture or get a Directing nomination? Well it happened. We Bought a Zoo was greatly anticipated and fell flat. Everyone assumed J.Edgar would get a Best Picture nomination as well as Best Actor for Leonardo Dicaprio. How could he not? Well he didn't. We also predicted The Iron Lady as a Best Picture nominee but, the poor reviews pretty much counted it out. As usual, Meryl Streep stood the test of time and was rewarded with another nomination, but I don't think that she will win. Many predicted Nicolas Winding Refn as Best Director for Drive as well as a Best Picture nomination. That didn't happen. Remember when Micheal Fassbender was a shoe for a Best Actor nomination and nobody even knew who Demian Bichir was? We all were convinced that Tilda Swintion for We Need to Talk About Kevin was going get a nomination as well as Elizabeth Olsen and Kirstin Dunst. James Brooks was certainly going to win Best Supporting Actor. Best Supporting Actress was going to be Shailene Woodley or Cary Mulligan for Shame. Then surprise Summer hit The Help washed all of those away. Then Eddie Murphy was going to host and acted like he could care less. Brett Ratner was brought on to produce the show and said "rehearsal was for fags". Well the Oscar bosses don't really like that, so Ratner decided to quit. In a desperate attempt to save the show, Billy Crystal was brought back as an already successful Host.
So it goes to show that I never really know what is going to happen. As I looked back I was frustrated at how many things I was convinced would happen and never did. I had to remind myself that it is not about getting things right, but about following a race that can change on a dime. Just enjoy the ride and hope that some day your favorite movie will win.

INDEPENDENT SPIRIT AWARDS 2012






Usually the Spirit Awards Best Picture does not translate to the the Oscars Best Picture.  This year will be the exception. The Artist's strength continues to be proven by winning 4 Spirit Awards. It was good to see a few Oscar snubs get some recognition like, Shailene Woodley, 50/50 and Margin Call. Still nothing for Melancholia, but I will get over it.


Best Film: The Artist
Best Director: Michel Hazanavicius, The Artist
Best First Feature: Margin Call
John Cassavetes Award: Pariah
Best Female Lead: Michelle Williams, My Week With Marilyn
Best Male Lead Award: Jean Dujardin, The Artist
Best Supporting Female Award: Shailene Woodley,  The Descendants
Best Supporting Male Award: Christopher Plummer, Beginners
Best Screenplay: The Descendants
Best First Screenplay: 50/50
Best Cinematography : The Artist
Best Documentary: The Interruptors
Best International Film: A Separation
Piaget Producers Award: Sophia Linn, Take Shelter
Someone to Watch Award:  Mark Jackson, Without
Truer Than Fiction Award: Heather Courtney, Where Soldiers Come From
Robert Altman Awards: Margin Call

Saturday, February 25, 2012

OSCAR DOES NOT EQUAL CASH








Here is an interesting article from David Germain regarding Oscar nominees and their box office performance.


LOS ANGELES (AP) — It's a common complaint among movie fans — that the Academy Awards honors films no one has seen.
Not quite right, but closer to the mark this year than most.
For the first time in the three years since Oscar organizers expanded the best-picture category to more than five films, there's not a single blockbuster in the running. Billion-dollar worldwide hits such as "Avatar" and "Toy Story 3" have been in the best-picture mix the last two years, along with such huge smashes as "Up," ''Inception" and "The Blind Side."


The only contender this time that has made it to the $100 million mark domestically is the Deep South tale "The Help" at $169.7 million — big business for a drama with a heavily female audience.


But the rest of the best-picture lineup ranges from a slim $13.3 million domestically for the family drama "The Tree of Life" to a modest $78.8 million for the World War I saga "War Horse" — one of the smallest audiences ever for a film from blockbuster maestro Steven Spielberg.


It's not just studio bottom lines that are affected when Oscar films fail to catch fire at the box office. The Oscar show itself can suffer, since bigger TV audiences tend to tune in when enormous hits such as "Titanic" or "The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King" are in the thick of the awards race.


As of last weekend, the domestic haul for this season's nine best-picture nominees totaled $595.6 million, according to box-office tracker Hollywood.com. That's less than half the business done by the 10 nominees a year ago and about a third of the revenues for the 10 contenders two years ago (the Oscars have only nine nominees this time because of a rule change requiring that films receive a certain percentage of first-place votes).


The big hits of 2011 — "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2," ''Transformers: Dark of the Moon," ''The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn — Part 1," ''The Hangover Part II" — just were not best-picture material.


"I think there is a disconnect, but then I think there's supposed to be a disconnect. It's not about what are the most popular films. It's the films deemed by the voting body to be the best pictures of the year," said Hollywood.com analyst Paul Dergarabedian. "Often times, what the academy thinks is a great movie isn't a movie a general audience wants to see."


Only four times in the last 30 years has the year's top-grossing film won best picture at the Oscars — 1988's "Rain Man," 1994's "Forrest Gump," 1997's "Titanic" and 2003's "The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King."


"The Hurt Locker" — domestic gross just $17 million — won best picture two years ago over "Avatar," which pulled in $760 million domestically and $2.8 billion worldwide.


Critical acclaim and commercial success merged last year as "The King's Speech" was crowned best picture, the Oscar attention helping it to a domestic take of $138.8 million, a fortune for an old-fashioned period drama.


Most of "The King's Speech" riches came after Oscar nominations were announced, the film packing in audiences in the wake of all the awards buzz.


That's often been the great value of Oscar nominations for films that lack big marketing budgets. But this season, that usual bump at the box office has lost much of its bounce.


George Clooney's family drama "The Descendants" fared the best, pulling in $24.3 million domestically since the nominations Jan. 24 to raise its total through last weekend to $75.6 million.


"We still have a movie out there that's in release, and we want to get people to see it," ''Descendants" producer Jim Burke said on nominations morning. "Frankly, these nominations help in that cause. We make what we call human films, and it requires word of mouth and people telling others to see it and critical response and audience reaction. It all helps. It all helps a lot."


The silent film "The Artist," which has 10 nominations and is favored to win best picture, would be one of the lowest-grossing winners ever, with $28.1 million through last weekend. The Oscar attention certainly has helped, though. A bit more than half of its box-office cash has come in since the nominations.


Martin Scorsese's Paris adventure "Hugo," which leads with 11 nominations, has had a so-so commercial run, padding its domestic dollars to $67.3 million, up $11.4 million since nominations day. Yet it has a timeless appeal that could keep it alive on video for the long haul.


"It seems to be a picture that plays to the entire family and plays for different ages," Scorsese said. "It might have a life more than a year or two. Maybe in the future people will still see it and get more out of it as they grow older."


That's a key purpose of the Oscars — calling attention to films that deserve to live on for years to come, rather than those that put up big numbers over opening weekend.


Oscar attention can make all the difference for tiny films such as the Irish drama "Albert Nobbs," which went into general release the weekend after the nominations and has pulled in $2.4 million since, largely on the strength of acting honors for Glenn Close and Janet McTeer.


"We did this little film for love and almost no money, and now we're here walking up red carpets," McTeer said. "It means that more people are likely to see the film. When you've done a film for the love of the beast, it's very, very exciting. It's wonderful that more people might go and see it. That's why we do it, isn't it?"


___


Associated Press Entertainment Writers Derrik J. Lang and Anthony McCartney contributed to this report.

AWARDS DAILY POSTS MattAwards

Thanks to AwardsDaily. com for including my predictions on their website. My picks are not any different than the others, but I appreciate them including me.

AWARDS DAILY READER PREDICTIONS

Friday, February 24, 2012

MY TOP 10 MOVIES OF 2011

Even though we are well into 2012, I have finally seen most of the big movies of 2011. Many say that it was a lousy year in movies, but when you start to create a list of your favorites you realize that it wasn't that bad. The problem is that some of best were not nominated. We all know that it is subjective, but I have yet to hear anyone say that The Artist was their FAVORITE movie of the year. None the less, The Artist will forever be the Best Picture of 2011.

My Top 10:
1. MELANCHOLIA
2. HUGO
3. WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT KEVIN
4. DRIVE
5. A SEPARATION
6. THE DESCENDANTS
7. MARTHA MARCY MAY MARLENE
8. 50/50
9. THE HELP
10. BRIDESMAIDS

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

OSCARS WILL NOT BE AT KODAK THEATER




LOS ANGELES (AP) — The Academy Awards will be coming to you live from the same place — but with a different name.
Oscar organizers have agreed to drop mentions of the Kodak Theatre from Sunday's broadcast. The move follows bankruptcy proceedings for Eastman Kodak Co., which has received court approval to end its expensive naming-rights deal for the venue that's been home to the awards show for a decade.
In an interview aired Wednesday on KABC-TV in Los Angeles, Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences President Tom Sherak said the show will refer to the venue as the Hollywood & Highland Center — after the retail and entertainment complex where the theater is located.
Sherak says the complex's landlord had asked that Oscar organizers drop the Kodak Theatre name from the ceremony.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

1ST ANNUAL MattAwards OSCAR POOL




It is not too late to join the MattAwards Oscar Pool. See how well you match up with other readers!

LINK TO MATTAWARDS OSCAR POOL

MattAwards FINAL OSCAR PREDICTIONS




There are several ways to predict The Academy Awards. You can choose the movies that you wish would win, you can choose movies that will upset their categories or you can choose what the consensus agrees has the best shot at winning. Since my goal is to predict the most categories correctly, I am going with the consensus. My picks are what the majority of Oscar predictors, critics and my own opinion on how The Academy members will vote.
Last year I predicted 17 out of the 24 categories for 71% correct. I am hoping to do a little better this year, but there are always a few upsets waiting in the wings. Feel free to comments on your own predictions!


Best Picture
The Artist


Best Actor
Jean Dujardin, The Artist


Best Actress
Viola Davis, The Help


Best Supporting Actor
Christopher Plummer, Beginners


Best Supporting Actress
Octavia Spencer, The Help


Best Director
Michel Hazanavicius, The Artist


Best Original Screenplay
Woody Allen, Midnight in Paris


Best Adapted Screenplay
Alexander Payne, Nat Faxton, Jim Rash, The Descendants


Best Animated Feature
Rango


Best Foreign Language Film of the Year
A Separation (Iran)


Original Score
The Artist, Ludovic Bource


Best Original Song
Man or Muppet, The Muppets; Music and Lyric by Bret McKenzie


Best Achievement in Art Direction
Hugo


Best Achievement in Cinematography
The Tree of Life


Best Achievement in Costume Design
The Artist


Best Documentary Feature
Undefeated


Best Documentary Short Subject
The Tsunami and the Cherry Blossom


Best Achievement in Film Editing
The Artist


Best Achievement in Makeup
The Iron Lady


Best Animated Short Film
The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore


Best Live Action Short Film
Raju


Best Achievement in Sound Editing
Hugo


Best Achievement in Sound Mixing
Hugo


Best Achievement in Visual Effects
Rise of the Planet of the Apes

Monday, February 20, 2012

WGA AWARD WINNERS





The Writers Guild of America announced their winners on Sunday.  Both of the wins for Adapted and Original Screenplay give Midnight in Paris and The Descendants a little bump closer to an Oscar win in those categories.


Original Screenplay: Midnight in Paris

Adapted Screenplay: The Descendants

Documentary Screenplay: Better This World,

Paul Selvin Award*: The Help, Written by Tate Taylor
Presented to that member whose script best embodies the spirit of the constitutional and civil rights and liberties which are indispensable to the survival of free writers everywhere

Sunday, February 19, 2012

BEST PICTURE MASH 2012

Here is a great mash-up of the 9 Best Picture nominee:

Saturday, February 18, 2012

MY PREDICTIONS

I have been working on my final Oscar predictions. I will post them on Sunday night.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

BEST DOG IN A MOVIE





When The Artist was first screened many of the critics asked if a dong could win an Academy Award. Uggie plays, believe it or not, a dog in The Artist that saves the day. Much like Lassie would. Uggie also starred in last years Water for Elephants. There was also the Doberman Pincer is Hugo, the Pomeranian in Young Adult, Skeletor in 50/50 and Arthur in Beginners. All of these dogs played roles that were pivotal to their films. So rather than try to get The Academy to honor these animals The Dog News Daily had their First Annual Golden Collar Awards.

This year Uggie in The Artist won Best Dog in a Theatrical Film. 

Here are the rest of the Golden Collar Winners:

Best Dog in a Foreign Film: Koko from the Australian film "Red Dog,"
The Best Dog in a Television Series:  Brigitte from  Modern Family.
Best Dog in a Reality Television Series was a tie: Hercules from Pit Boss and Giggy from The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. 

Can't wait to predict next years winners.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

MOVIES SAY I LOVE YOU!

Here is a great montage of "I love you" in the movies....HAPPY VALENTINES DAY!

BAFTA




The British Academy Film Awards were held on Sunday. It pretty much told us what we already know. The Artist is the one to beat. It won 7 BAFTA's in all. Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy which had much more success overseas won Best British Film, but still could not compete with The Artist.

Here is a look at my copy and paste skills....


Best Film: The Artist
Best Director – Michel Hazanavicius (The Artist)
Best Leading Actress – Meryl Streep (The Iron Lady)
Best Leading Actor – Jean Dujardin (The Artist)
Best Supporting Actress: Octavia Spencer (The Help)
Best Supporting Actor: Christopher Plummer (Beginners)
Best Adapted Screenplay: Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (Bridget O’Connor, Peter Straughan)
Best Original Screenplay: The Artist (Michel Hazanavicius)
Best British Film: Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
Academy Fellowship: Martin Scorsese
Best Animated Film: Rango
Best Documentary: Senna
Best Film not in the English Language: The Skin I Live In
Production Design – Hugo (Dante Ferretti, Francesca Lo Schiavo)
Best Cinematography: The Artist (Guillaume Schiffman)
Best Editing: Senna (Gregers Sall, Chris King)
Best Original Music: The Artist (Ludovic Bource)
Best Costume Design: The Artist (Mark Bridges)
Best Sound: Hugo (Philip Stockton, Eugene Gearty, Tom Fleischman, John Midgley)
Outstanding Debut:  Tyrannosaur
Best Visual Effects: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Pt 2
Best Make Up & Hair – The Iron Lady (Mark Coulier, J. Roy Helland, Marese Langan)
Best Short Film: Pitch Black Heist
Best Short Animation: A Morning Stroll
Outstanding Contribution To British Cinema: John Hurt

Saturday, February 11, 2012

GO WATCH OSCAR NOMINEES




Go Watch It is a cool site that lets you put movies you want to see in "Queue" and they will alert you as to when and where you can see them. I am not advertising this site, I just want to point out Roger Ebert's page has all of this years nominees on it. It is a great guide if you still want to see them before Oscar night.



ROGER EBERT GO WATCH IT LINK

Friday, February 10, 2012

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS SUMMARY







Bérénice Bejo, The Artist-Certainly great in The Artist, but it is going to be tough to beat Octavia Spencer.

Jessica Chastain, The Help-This nomination is probably to recognize her work in all of the movies she was in last year, The Tree of Life, Take Shelter and Coriolanus. She just doesn't have enough recognition from previous awards to win this year.

Melissa McCarthy, Bridesmaids-It is great to see her nominated and I am sure that is what they were thinking. She won a few precursor awards, but does not have a chance getting a Best Actress Academy Award.

Janet McTeer, Albert Nobbs-Any time an actress plays a man they move to front of the Oscar nomination line. Plus some think that she is well overdo for a nomination to represent all of her work. But that is all it will be a nomination.

Octavia Spencer, The Help-She will go home with the Oscar this year. I don't know many that disagree. She won the SAG and the Golden Globe as well as 10 other critics awards.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012







The Visual Effects Society (VES) announced the winners of its Awards last night. The annual event recognizes outstanding visual effects artistry in film, animation, television, commercials, special venues and video games.
The film winners usually go on to win the Oscar in the effects categories. The Curious Case of Benjamin Button Inception, Avatar were 3 recent VES winners that went on to receive an Oscar for Best Visual Effects.  Good news for Planet of the Apes for winning the top prize this year.

The Reelz Channel will air the ceremony on February 19th.



Outstanding Visual Effects in a Visual Effects-Driven Feature Motion Picture
Rise of the Planet of the Apes:Dan Lemmon, Joe Letteri, Cyndi Ochs, Kurt Williams

Outstanding Supporting Visual Effects in a Feature Motion Picture
Hugo: Ben Grossmann, Alex Henning, Rob Legato, Karen Murphy

Outstanding Visual Effects in an Animated Feature Motion Picture
Rango: Tim Alexander, Hal Hickel, Jacqui Lopez, Katie Lynch


Outstanding Visual Effects in a Special Venue Project
Transformers the Ride: The Ultimate 3D Battle: Lori Arnold, Yanick Dusseault, Delio Tramontozzi, Jeff White


Outstanding Animated Character in a Live Action Feature Motion Picture
Rise of the Planet of the Apes – Caesar: Daniel Barrett, Florian Fernandez, Matthew Muntean, Eric Reynolds

Outstanding Animated Character in an Animated Feature Motion Picture
Rango – Rango: Frank Gravatt, Kevin Martel, Brian Paik, Steve Walton


Outstanding Created Environment in a Live Action Feature Motion Picture
Transformers: Dark of the Moon - 155 Wacker Drive: Giles Hancock, John Hanson, Tom Martinek, Scott Younkin

Outstanding Created Environment in an Animated Feature Motion Picture
Rango - Main Street Dirt: John Bell, Polly Ing, Martin Murphy, Russell Paul


Outstanding Virtual Cinematography in a Live Action Feature Motion Picture
Hugo: Martin Chamney, Rob Legato, Adam Watkins, Fabio Zangla

Outstanding Virtual Cinematography in an Animated Feature Motion Picture
Rango – The Dirt Saloon: Colin Benoit, Philippe Rebours, Nelson Sepulveda, Nick Walker


Outstanding Models in a Feature Motion Picture
Transformers: Dark of the Moon – Driller: Tim Brakensiek, Kelvin Chu, David Fogler, Rene Garcia


Outstanding Compositing in a Feature Motion Picture
Captain America: The First Avenger – Skinny Steve: Casey Allen, Trent Claus, Brian Hajek, Cliff Welsh

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

OSCAR LUNCHEON

Here is the class photo of this years Oscar Luncheon where all of the nominees gather to create some excitement for Oscar night.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

BEST ACTRESS SUMMARY






The Best Actress race is one of the few categories that could go in one direction or another. It obviouslt has come down to Viola Davis or Meryl Streep.  After Streeps' Golden Globe win it looked as though she could get the Oscar, but then Davis won the SAG. SAG is a much better Best Actress indicator than The Globes.



Glenn Close, Albert Nobbs-She has been in the mix all year. Albert Nobbs was not a very good film, but any time an actor portrays the opposite sex they seem to get a nomination.

Viola Davis, The Help-I am leaning toward Davis getting the Oscar this year. The Help swept the SAG's and everyone loved her speech. As with Dijuardin I think that they want to see Viola Davis win Best Actress. The first and last black actress Academy Awards was won by Halle Berry for Monster's Ball in 2001.

Rooney Mara, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo-There is usually a new up and comer nominated in this category. Rooney Mara was a surprise because Dragon Tattoo has not won many of the critics awards leading up. She has many many years to win another time.

Meryl Streep, The Iron Lady-Certainly the runner-up. While The Iron Lady was flawed, her performance was great. Streep wins everything and we know that she is a great actress. It is time for someone else this year.

Michelle Williams, My Week with Marilyn-She is one of the best actresses we have today. Again, My Week with Marilyn is not a perfect film, but her portrayal as Monroe is unbelievable. I am happy to see her get a nomination. Williams was not even aware that the nominations were being announced when she heard the news. She learned from a friend on the phone.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

BEST ACTOR SUMMARY






The Academy love Actors that cry. I have not seen Tinker Tailor so I do not know if Gary Oldman cries, but I do know the rest do. Anyway here is a list of the Best Actor nominees and their chances of winning.


Demián Bichir, A Better Life-Not a chance. Bichir is good in this roll and he does cry, but I do not know how it is better than Ryan Gosling in Drive or Micheal Fassbender in Shame. The film itself is OK, but pretty cook cutter for this genre.

George Clooney, The Descendants-I think that we all assumed Clooney was the front-runner until Dujardin won the Golden Globe. The is the best role Clooney has had to date and he cries. He is definitely the runner-up and if Dujardin does not get the Oscar, Clooney will.

Jean Dujardin, The Artist-He is the front runner at this point. Everyone loved his Golden Globe acceptance speech and would like to give him the opportunity to do it again on Oscar night. This role could have been a disaster, but Dujardin plays it perfectly. He is overacting in just the right way without over doing it. He looks exactly like an actor from a film in 1927.

Gary Oldman, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy-At this time I have not seen this movie yet. It good to see Oldman get a well overdo nomination. The competition is too strong this year for him to win.

Brad Pitt, Moneyball-Just like Clooney, this is Pitt's best performance ever. He is so natural, it doesn't look like acting. He was the front runner for awhile last year and he deserves a nomination. Not the win.

Friday, February 3, 2012

COULD OSCAR VOTING BE HACKED?




Computer security experts say that next years Oscars ballot may be vulnerable to cyber attacks that could change the outcome if the AMPA changes to online voting. They are king their their final decision need week on whether or not to move forward with this. They will be partnering with a company names Everyone Counts,  They claim that they would incorporate "multiple layers of security" and "military-grade encryption techniques" to maintain its reputation as being safe and factual.
The problem lies in when you add multiple personal computers to a voting system, there is no guarantee that those individual PC's are malware free. Many computer experts still don't think that there is a 100% secure online voting system. There are too may variables and brings the results into question. Everyone Counts claims that paper ballots can be forged and tampered with easier than a computer can.
It sounds like a great idea in today's age to incorporate online voting, but it seems to me that it is going to raise more problems than it is worth. I think we all question whether or not this years voting has already been hacked.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

HUGO VS. THE ARTIST


Oscar ballots were mailed out yesterday morning. The Academy voters have to chose from the films that were nominated last week. There are 5,783 voters. They will each choose their picks from the eligible categories. I wonder what percentage take it seriously and really study the choices? And what percentage just vote for the names and movies they have heard of, not necessarily have seen? We are all guilty of doing that during a political election. As Sasha Stone points out, some probably give the ballot to a family member or friend to fill out for them. This could be the reason that many of us who really do analyze a movie for it's award potential are often disappointed in the outcome. How could The Kings Speech be a better film than The Social Network? Is The Artist really than Hugo? Absolutely not. Hugo uses 3D the way it was meant to be used. It is beautifully shot and celebrates the history of movie making 10x better than The Artist. By itself The Artist is a great movie, but put it up against some of the others and it is not Best Picture.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

CHLOTRUDIS SOCIETY FOR INDEPENDENT FILM





I am not really sure what the Chlotrudis Society is, but I like them. They nominated Melancholia in several categories. It probably won't win anything, but it is something.



BEST MOVIE
Another Year
Artist, The
Pariah
Poetry
Weekend

BURIED TREASURE
The Arbor
Littlerock
These Amazing Shadows
Trigger
Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives

BEST DIRECTOR
Takashi Miike – 13 Assassins
Mike Leigh – Another Year
Michel Hazanavicius – The Artist
Sean Durkin – Martha Marcy May Marlene
Lars von Trier - Melancholia
Asghar Farhadi – A Separation

BEST ACTRESS
Berenice Bejo – The Artist
Elizabeth Olsen – Martha Marcy May Marlene
Kirsten Dunst – Melancholia
Adepero Oduye – Pariah
Jeong-hie Yun – Poetry
Tracy Wright – Trigger

BEST ACTOR

Jean Dujardin – The Artist
Javier Bardem – Biutiful
Stellan Skarsgard – A Somewhat Gentle Man
Michael Shannon – Take Shelter
Tom Cullen – Weekend
Chris New – Weekend

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Lesley Manville – Another Year
Shailene Woodley – The Descendants
Frances Fisher – Janie Jones
Kristin Scott Thomas – Love Crime
Kim Wayans – Pariah
Melissa Leo – Red State

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
Christopher Plummer - Beginners
Jean-Pierre Darroussin – Le Havre
John Hawkes – Martha Marcy May Marlene
Shahab Hosseini – A Separation
John C. Reilly – Terri

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ENSEMBLE CAST
Another Year
Artist, The
Margin Call
Midnight in Paris
Separation, A
Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy

BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN

13 Assassins
Artist, The
Illusionist, The
Last Circus, The
Melancholia
Midnight in Paris

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY
13 Assassins
Artist, The
Bellflower
Cave of Forgotten Dreams
Melancholia
Tree of Life
Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY
Descendants, The
Hedgehog, The
Higher Ground
Music Never Stopped, The
Submarine

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
Another Year
Guard, The
Martha Marcy May Marlene
Poetry
Weekend

BEST DOCUMENTARY
Bill Cunningham New York
Buck
Into the Abyss
Pina
Senna
Topp Twins: Untouchable Girls

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

OSCAR PARTY FOOD IDEAS 2012





In the year and a half that I have been writing this blog, the most viewed article I wrote was "Oscar Party Food Ideas".  It continues to be the most searched page of this year. If you are hosting or plan on attending an Oscar party here are some ideas for this year:

*THE ARTIST-Black and white cookies.

*THE DESCENDANTS-Ice Cream. Remember the last scene? It brought them all together.

*THE HELP-Chocolate pie of course. You could also do southern food.

*MONEYBALL- Ball park food. Hot dogs, peanuts, Cracker Jacks, beer, popcorn.

* MIDNIGHT IN PARIS-French food, french fries.


Please feel free to comment on any other suggestions.

Monday, January 30, 2012

NOT OVER YET?





It seems like the Academy Awards have already happened. Last year at this time we werent sure if The Kings Speech or The Social Network was going to win Best Picture. Both films had their lover and haters. This year there is really nothing to debate. The safest least offensive film in the group, The Artist will win Best Picture. Many will complain and then it will be time to look forward to next year. In fact many have already moved on to discussing next year with realization that this year is over. The Best Actor category could go to Clooney or Djuardin, so there is one thing to still discuss. I think that we can assume that The Help will get the Actress nominations. Michel Hazanavicius will win Director, Christopher Plummer will be Best Supporting Actor, A Separation will win Best Foreign Language film and I could go on. The Academy has struggled to maintain an audience, especially a younger audience. They tried having 10 Best Picture nominations so movies like The Dark Night would bring in the young-ens. That didn't work, so they tried James Franco and Anne Hathaway as hosts. That didn't work. Billy Crystal might help, but the Oscar telecast can be sooo boring even with some unpredictable categories. I can only imagine what this year will be like when we already know the outcome.

SAG WINNERS



*It is looking more and more like Jean Dujardin is going to win the Oscar for Best Actor over George Clooney. Dujardin is good in The Artist, maybe even better than good, but the role itself does not feel like a Best Actor role.

*The Help won in every category that they were nominated for.




Best Male Actor in a Leading Role
Jean Dujardin, The Artist

Best Female Actor in a Leading Role
Viola Davis, The Help

Best Male Actor in a Supporting Role
Christopher Plummer, Beginners

Best Female Actor in a Supporting Role
Octavia Spencer, The Help

Best Cast in a Motion Picture
The Help

Sunday, January 29, 2012

FOLLOW MATTAWARDS ON TWITTER



Now that we are in the home stretch please follow me on Twitter. I will provide real time updates on the Oscar race throughout the year. You will always know what movies to see before Oscar night!

@MATTAWARDS

DIRECTORS GUILD AWARD WINNERS





I guess when I predicted Martin Scorsese to win I was just hoping he would win. The DGA this year went to Michel Hazanavicius for THE ARTIST.  Since 1948 there have only been 6 times that the DGA winner did not win the Academy Awards for Best Director. This win only solidifies what we already know.

James Marsh won Best Documentary for PROJECT NIM, one of the biggest Oscar snubs this year.


Best Director for a Feature Film
Michel Hazanavicius, The Artist

Feature Documentary
James Marsh, Project Nim

Saturday, January 28, 2012

DGA ANNOUNCED TONIGHT

                              


The Directors Guild of America announces their winner tonight. It is not televised. Here is a reminder of the nominees:


Woody Allen - Midnight in Paris
David Fincher - The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo
Michel Hazanavicius - The Artist
Alexander Payne for The Descendants
Martin Scorsese - Hugo


I am going to predict Martin Scorsese, but I think with the exception of Woody Allen, they all equal chances.

IF OSCAR MOVIE POSTERS TOLD THE TRUTH

Every year Shiznit.com posts what movie posters would look like if they told the truth.








Friday, January 27, 2012

BEST PICTURE DOES NOT MEAN BEST BOX OFFICE





It is clear by last years box office numbers that the public loves sequels and horrible movies. So as long as they are making money, these films will continue to be made. Why would a movie studio want to invest in a new untested brand and risk losing millions. They know that the audience is much more willing to spend their money on the Twilight Saga than almost any other movie that they will make. None of  the top 10 money makers of 2011 received a Best Picture nomination. The closest was THE HELP in 11th place. TRANSFORMERS is one of the worst movies of the year and it managed managed to bring in $352 million. Seven of the top 10 grossing movies of 2011 were sequels. The studios will continue to make horrible movies and needless sequels when they look at these numbers.

Best Picture Box Office

The Help $169,598,523
Moneyball  $75,524,658
War Horse  $73,268,388
Midnight in Paris  $56,446,217
Hugo  $56,258,727
The Descendants  $52,011,756
The Tree of Life  $13,303,319
Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close $13,193,877
The Artist  $13,068,235

2011 Box Office

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2  $381,011,219
Transformers: Dark of the Moon  $352,390,543
The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 1 $273,445,000 -
The Hangover Part II  $254,464,305
Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides  $241,071,802
Fast Five $209,837,675
Cars 2  $191,452,396
Thor   $181,030,624
Rise of the Planet of the Apes  $176,711,822
Captain America: The First Avenger $176,654,505

Thursday, January 26, 2012

ELECTRONIC OSCAR VOTING





For the first time ever this year the Oscar voters will vote electronically. We should all welcome them to the year 2001. They will be doing away with the time wasted by mailing out ballots, waiting for them to be returned and counting each one by hand. The process of nominating a lousy film has become much easier. The could have a huge impact on future nominations. In years past the Academy Awards were the last movie awards of the season. Which could explain the low viewership. By the end of February we pretty much know who is going to win based on the 40 previous awards in the season. It is then very anti climatic. The new electronic process could make the Oscar awards handed out in January making more of the precursor awards obsolete. The other award groups like to beat the Oscars to the punch, so they could also move up their dates. Then it creates problems for the studios who have to release these movies in time to be considered.

The Academy voters are an older bunch, I think the average age is 60. And honestly some do not have computers and or internet access at all. This year when more studios streamed their movies instead of spending extra money to send a DVD screener, some of them could not even see the films being considered. So how the hell are they going to vote?

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

BEST PICTURE NOMINEES





WTF!


The Artist-Has been the frontrunner for ahwile. This is the one to beat and pretty much a sure bet for the win. Harvey Weinstein knows how to run an Oscar campaign like no other. He makes sure that the award season voters see his films and has the money to promote the hell out of them. It is pretty impressive that a silent, black and white movie with mediocre box office results can win Best Picture in 2011.


The Descendants-Unlike THE ARTIST it has it's haters, but is most certainly the 2nd or 3rd the runner up after HUGO.  The Academy loves George Clooney and will probably honor him in the Best Actor category.


The Help-Certainly has maintained itself throughout the season. This nomination was no surprise.

Hugo-Has the most nominations this year with 11. I think it is much more about the history of movie making than THE ARTIST. I don't think many would mind if this ended up winning.

Midnight in Paris-The Academy loves Woody Allen and this is considered one of his best. There was not much doubt that it was going to get a nomination.

Moneyball-It was all about MONEYBALL in the beginning and everyone knew it had potential to be a Best Picture contender. Then we started seeing other movies winning critic awards and MONEYBALL began to fade away. The Academy did not forget. If there were only 5 nominations, it probably would not have made the cut.

The Tree of Life-Another one that has legs for the first part of the year and then faded away. Many stuck by it and insisted it would get a nomination. I myself counted it out due to the mixed reviews and it wasn't getting much other award attention. Pretty impressive for a movie that is about nothing.

War Horse-Wow! Everyone jumped on the Spielberg train. While many seem to be upset about this nomination, I think it belongs here. It did not win many of the precursor awards and was shut out of the all important DGA.  While it does have some flaws it is a pretty damn good film.

Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close-This is the one that is mind boggling. I have not read or seen one good review of this movie. It has only has a 46 of Metacritic, which may make it the lowest rated movie ever to be nominated for Best Picture. In all fairness I have not seen it yet,but from what I have heard it is hard to imagine that at least 5% of voters thought it was the BEST film of the year. Over DRIVE, DRAGON TATTOO or 20 other movies I can think of. EXTREMELY LOUD will forever be an Oscar nominated film. I think it taints the whole year as well as Oscar history. It almost sounds kinda fishy!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

VIDEO OF 2011 OSCAR NOMINATIONS


If you missed the gasps from the audience,  here is the video of this mornings Oscar nominations. 




NUMBER OF NOMINATIONS

Thanks to Awards Daily for putting together a nice list of each film and the number of nominations they received today. Yes TRANSFORMERS has more than DRIVE! My favorite of the year MELANCHOLIA has none.


Hugo- 11
The Artist- 10
Moneyball- 6
War Horse- 6
The Descendants- 5
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo- 5
The Help- 4
Albert Nobbs- 3
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2- 3
Midnight in Paris- 4
Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy- 3
Transformers: Dark of the Moon- 3
The Tree of Life- 3
Bridesmaids- 2
Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close- 2
The Iron Lady- 2
My Week with Marilyn- 2
A Separation- 2
The Adventures of Tintin- 1
Anonymous- 1
The Barber of Birmingham- 1
Beginners- 1
A Better Life- 1
Bullhead- 1
A Cat in Paris- 1
Chico & Rita- 1
Dimanche/Sunday- 1
Drive- 1
The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore- 1
Footnote- 1
God Is the Bigger Elvis- 1
Hell and Back Again- 1
The Ides of March- 1
If a Tree Falls- 1
In Darkness- 1
Incident in New Baghdad- 1
Jane Eyre- 1
Kung Fu Panda 2- 1
La Luna- 1
Margin Call- 1
Monsieur Lazhar- 1
A Morning Stroll- 1
The Muppets- 1
Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory- 1
Pentecost- 1
Pina- 1
Puss in Boots- 1
Raju- 1
Rango- 1
Real Steel- 1
Rise of the Planet of the Apes- 1
Saving Face- 1
The Shore- 1
Time Freak- 1
The Tsunami and the Cherry Blossom- 1
Tuba Atlantic- 1
Undefeated- 1
W.E.- 1
Warrior- 1
Wild Life- 1

84th ANNUAL OSCAR NOMINATIONS




Best Picture
"The Artist"
"The Descendants"
"Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close"
"The Help"
"Hugo"
"Midnight in Paris"
"Moneyball"
"The Tree of Life"
"War Horse"

Best Director
Michel Hazanavicius, "The Artist" 
Alexander Payne, "The Descendants"
Martin Scorsese, "Hugo"
Woody Allen, "Midnight in Paris"
Terrence Malick, "The Tree of Life"

Best Actor
Demián Bichir, "A Better Life"
George Clooney, "The Descendants"
Jean Dujardin, "The Artist"
Gary Oldman, "Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy" 
Brad Pitt, "Moneyball"

Best Actress
Viola Davis, "The Help" 
Glenn Close, "Albert Nobbs"
Rooney Mara, "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo"
Meryl Streep, "The Iron Lady"
Michelle Williams, "My Week With Marilyn"

Best Supporting Actor
Kenneth Branagh, "My Week With Marilyn"
Jonah Hill, "Moneyball"
Nick Nolte, "Warrior"
Christopher Plummer, "Beginners"
Max Von Sydow, "Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close"

Best Supporting Actress
Bérénice Bejo, "The Artist" 
Jessica Chastain, "The Help"
Melissa McCarthy, "Bridesmaids"
Janet McTeer, "Albert Nobbs"
Octavia Spencer, "The Help"

Best Writing (Adapted Screenplay)
"The Descendants"
"Hugo"
"The Ides of March"
"Moneyball" 
"Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy"

Best Writing (Original Screenplay)
"The Artist"
"Bridesmaids"
"Margin Call"
"Midnight in Paris"
"A Separation"

Best Art Direction
"The Artist" 
"Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2"
"Hugo"
"Midnight in Paris"
"War Horse"

Best Cinematography
"The Artist"
"The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo"
"Hugo"
"The Tree of Life"
"War Horse"

Best Costume Design
"Anonymous"
"The Artist"
"Hugo"
"Jane Eyre"
"W.E."

Best Film Editing
"The Artist"
"The Descendants"
"The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo"
"Hugo"
"Moneyball"

Best Makeup
"Albert Nobbs"
"Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2"
"The Iron Lady"

Best Music (Original Score)
"The Adventures of Tintin"
"The Artist"
"Hugo"
"Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy"
"War Horse"

Best Music (Original Song)
"Man or Muppet" from "The Muppets"
"Real in Rio" from "Rio"

Best Sound Editing
"Drive"
"The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo"
"Hugo"
"Transformers: Dark of the Moon"
"War Horse"

Best Sound Mixing
"The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo"
"Hugo"
"Moneyball"
"Transformers: Dark of the Moon"
"War Horse"

Best Visual Effects
"Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2"
"Hugo"
"Real Steel"
"Rise of the Planet of the Apes" 
"Transformers: Dark of the Moon"

Best Foreign Language Film
"Bullhead" - Belgium
"Monsieur Lazhar" - Canada
"A Separation" - Iran 
"Footnote" - Israel
"In Darkness" - Poland

Best Animated Feature Film
"A Cat in Paris"
"Chico and Rita"
"Kung Fu Panda 2"
"Puss in Boots"
"Rango"

Best Documentary Feature
"Hell and Back Again"
"If a Tree Falls: The Story of the Earth Liberation Front"
"Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory"
"Pina"
"Undefeated"

Best Documentary (Short Subject)
"The Barber of Birmingham: Foot Soldier of the Civil Rights Movement"
"God is the Bigger Elvis"
"Incident in New Baghdad"
"Saving Face"
"The Tsunami and the Cherry Blossom"

Best Short Film (Animated)
"Dimanche/Sunday"
"The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore"
"La Luna"
"A Morning Stroll"
"Wild Life"

Best Short Film (Live Action)
"Pentecost"
"Raju"
"The Shore"
"Time Freak"
"Tuba Atlantic"

Sunday, January 22, 2012

THE RISE OF THE ADVENTURES OF TINTIN




When people began seeing THE ADVENTURES OF TINTIN they weren't really impressed. Motion capture has improved, but there are still complaints that the characters had  "dead eyes" that are common in motion capture. It is very difficult to reproduce the look of a real human eye. We all know it when we see it, but can't describe it. Anyway TINTIN appears to be getting a surge here at the end. I assumed RANGO was a shoe in for Best Animated Feature. With TINTIN getting a Golden Globe and winning last night at the Producers guild, is jumping to the front of the line. Also with Spielberg pretty much out for WAR HORSE this is a great chance to honor him and still be his "friend". (reference to previous post).

THE ARTIST-SAFE OSCAR CHOICE

Lady watching THE ARTIST win Best Picture



THE ARTIST received the top prize at the Producers Guild Awards last night. If you think that the Golden Globes are not much of a precursor to the Oscars, you have to believe that the PGA awards are. For the last four years the Best Theatrical Feature winner went on to to win and Academy Awards for Best Picture. Many were hoping for an upset like DRAGON TATTOO or even BRIDESMAIDS, but deep down everyone knew that THE ARTIST would beat all of them. As I read other blogs and websites I am finding that people now consider the Oscars over and very disappointed in THE ARTIST. Not because it is not a great movie, but because it is a safe flavorless pick. We are still reeling from last year, the safe THE KINGS SPEECH. We need an Oscar season with upsets and risks. Why can't DRIVE or MELANCHOLIA win Best Picture? The Academy seems too afraid to vote for the "unpopular kids" or anyone not named Harvey Weinstein.  It is one big group of friends who once a year honor each other for being their friend. I hear over and over "oh that movie will never be nominated. it is too violent, too controversial, too modern, too edgy, too long, too short..blah, blah, blah. Unfortunately all that seems to be true. Granted the nominations aren't until Tuesday morning and maybe, just maybe there will be a big surprise that we can get excited about, but it doesn't seem to be going that way. 2011 was not the best year in film and THE ARTIST is not the best movie of the year, but it sure is the safest.

Friday, January 20, 2012

BEST PICTURE CHANCES

Tuesday will be the day that we find out the Oscar nominations.  The new rule dictates that there could be anywhere from 5 to 10 Best Picture nominees. The voting process is also a little different.  A movie must get 5% of voters choosing it as their number one film of the year to be considered a nominee.  Here is a list of possible nominees and their chances.



THE ARTIST- There is no doubt that it will be nominated. It is the front –runner to win the big prize. It has won around 40 other film awards this year.  The critics don’t have anything negative to say about it and it would make for a great story, a silent black and white film winning Best Picture in 2011. The only thing keeping it back could be the box office.  Right now it has only grossed around $9.5 million in limited release. It opens wider this weekend.  I think that the average Joe who goes to the movie theater 4 or 5 times a year is not going to want to see a silent film. THE ARTIST is for the real cinaphile and celebrates the art of film making. But in this case I don’t think the Box Office is a real problem.  Its chances of winning Best Picture go up every day.

THE DESCENDANTS- Also a shoe in for a nomination and a close 2nd to win Best Picture.  It has been nominated for most of the critic awards including a DGA which almost always matches the Best Picture nominees. 

HUGO- Another likely nominee.  Just like THE DESCENDANTS it has been nominated for numerous critic awards and Scorsese is a DGA nominee. HUGO also celebrates the art of film making. The first half is a little slow, but so visually stunning that it doesn’t matter. The whole thing pays off in the end.  The problem with HUGO is that it cost  $190 million and so far has grossed $55 million. It is unlikely to make a profit at this rate. 

MONEYBALL-Depending on how many nominees there are depends on if MONEYBALL makes the cut.  It doesn’t seem to have the legs it had earlier in the year.  It does have a great shot at Best Adapted Screenplay.

MIDNIGHT IN PARIS- Many say it is Woody Allen’s best and is sure to win Best Original Screenplay.  Look for a nomination.

THE HELP- The Summer surprise that came out of nowhere.  Not much was said about THE HELP until it was released. The reviews were great and so far it has grossed close to $205 million. The acting performances have rocketed it to a pretty sure thing.


THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO-This movie was one of the most anticipated of 2011. Unfortunately it was released on Christmas Day.  It is not really something the family is going to run out and see during the Holidays. It opened to disappointing numbers, the reviews were mixed and it’s Oscar chances faded.  In fact Director David Fincher wanted no parts of an Oscar campaign. Then came the unexpected DGA nomination for Fincher and NOW THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO has a pretty decent chance of a Best Picture nomination. (If there are more that 6 or 7 nominees.)

WAR HORSE-Oh WAR HORSE, you tried so hard and had so much going for you. I mean you had Spielberg, the music, a horse and 2 and half hours of Oscar bait. It just may have been too much for people to embrace. Spielberg not getting a DGA nomination was a huge shocker and might have hammered the final nail into the stall. All is not lost, but it will be a surprise if it gets nominated at this point.

BRIDESMAIDS-What? A Judd Apatow comedy nominated for Best Picture?  It doesn’t sound so ridiculous anymore. The Golden Globe nomination and the love for Melissa McCarthy could make it the big upset.
DRIVE-The love that people have for this movie cannot be ignored. I keep reading how everyone is hoping that the Academy surprises us with a nomination for DRIVE and yes it would be a surprise. I don’t think that it has enough support and the violence may be a big turn-off.

TREE OF LIFE-This movie is all over the place. People love it or hate it. I had counted it out after the summer, but it still seems to have some momentum going into February.

THE IDES OF MARCH-Another one that had a lot of buzz in the beginning, but mediocre reviews and too much competition this year leaves it out.

J. EDGAR-In the beginning of the year people we convinced Leonardo DiCaprio was going to win Best Actor with J.EDGAR as Best Picture. Well a lot has changed. Mostly bad reviews and bad box office.

EXTREMELY LOUD AND INCREDIBLY CLOSE-Another one that we heard about all year.  It was rushed to be considered for this year’s Oscar consideration.  Unfortunately not many people like which doesn’t make for a Best Picture.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

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OSCAR FOREIGN LANGUAGE SHORTLIST




The Academy announced their short list of possible foreign language nominees. The reason they do this is so that the voters only have to view 9 foreign language films rather than the original 63. I would imagine this keeps from people voting for movies they haven't seen. Which apparently happens more than you would think. Surprisingly LE HARVE and FLOWERS OF WAR were left out. Besides A SEPARATION I have not heard of the others on the list. No doubt A SEPARATION will win the Oscar. That explains my biased photo. Some are even predicting a Best Picture nomination.


 Iran, “A Separation,” Asghar Farhadi
 Poland, “In Darkness,” Agnieszka Holland
 Israel, “Footnote,” Joseph Cedar, director;
Germany, “Pina,” Wim Wenders
Canada, “Monsieur Lazhar,” Philippe Falardeau
Belgium, “Bullhead,” Michael R. Roskam
Morocco, “Omar Killed Me,” Roschdy Zem
Denmark, “Superclásico,” Ole Christian Madsen
Taiwan, “Warriors of the Rainbow: Seediq Bale,” Wei Te-sheng

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

BAFTA NOMINATIONS





The British Academy of Film Television Arts announced their nominees this morning. THE ARTIST leads with 12 nominations follwowed bt TINKER TAILOR SOLDIER SPY with 11. Leonardo DiCaprio, Rooney Mara, Albert Brooks and Shailene Woodley were all left out.  War Horse received five technical nominations but was left out of all of the major categories.

As time goes on, WAR HORSE continues to lose momentum. I am now wondering if it can get a Best Picture nomination. Especially with Spielberg not getting a DGA nomination. The bad reviews for J.EDGAR have hurt Dicaprio. He may also not get the nomination that everyone was sure about.

You can watch the BAFTA ceremony on the BBC, Sunday February 12th.



Best Film
The Artist
The Descendants
Drive
The Help
Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy

Film Not in the English Language
Incendies
Pina
Potiche
A Separation
The Skin I Live In


Outstanding British Film
My Week with Marilyn
Senna
Shame
Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
We Need to Talk About Kevin

Director
Michel Hazanavicius, The Artist
Nicolas Winding Refn, Drive
Martin Scorsese, Hugo
Tomas Alfredson, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
Lynne Ramsay, We Need to Talk About Kevin

Leading Actor
Brad Pitt, Moneyball
Gary Oldman, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
George Clooney, The Descendants
Jean Dujardin, The Artist
Michael Fassbender, Shame

Leading Actress
Bérénice Bejo, The Artist
Meryl Streep, The Iron Lady
Michelle Williams, My Week with Marilyn
Tilda Swinton, We Need to Talk About Kevin
Viola Davis, The Help

Supporting Actor
Christopher Plummer, Beginners
Jim Broadbent, The Iron Lady
Jonah Hill, Moneyball
Kenneth Branagh, My Week with Marilyn
Philip Seymour Hoffman, The Ides of March

Supporting Actress 
Carey Mulligan, Drive
Jessica Chastain, The Help
Judi Dench, My Week with Marilyn
Melissa McCarthy, Bridesmaids
Octavia Spencer, The Help

Original Screenplay
The Artist
Bridesmaids
The Guard
The Iron Lady
Midnight in Paris

Adapted Screenplay
The Descendants
The Help
The Ides of March
Moneyball
Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy

Cinematography
The Artist
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
Hugo
Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
War Horse

Editing
The Artist
Drive
Hugo
Senna
Tinker Tailor Solider Spy

Production Design
The Artist
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2
Hugo
Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
War Horse

Make Up & Hair
The Artist
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2
Hugo
The Iron Lady
My Week with Marilyn


Costume Design
The Artist
Hugo
Jane Eyre
My Week with Marilyn
Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy

Special Visual Effects
The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2
Rise of the Planet of the Apes
War Horse

Documentary
George Harrison: Living in the Material World
Project Nim
Senna

Sound
The Artist
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2
Hugo
Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
War Horse

Original Music
The Artist
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
Hugo
Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
War Horse

Animated Film
The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn
Arthur Christmas
Rango

Outstanding British Debut by a Director or Producer
Joe Cornish, Attack the Block
Will Sharpe, Tom Kingsley, Sarah Brocklehurst, Black Pond
Ralph Fiennes, Coriolanus
Richard Ayouade, Submarine
Paddy Considine & Diarmid Scrimshaw, Tyrannosaur

Monday, January 16, 2012

GOLDEN GLOBE AWARD WINNERS








There were a few surprises from last nights Golden Globe Awards. Meryl Streep winning over Viola Davis surprised many. The truth is Streep carries THE IRON LADY while Davis has a great supporting cast, so NO the Hollywood Foreign Press is not racist! They just voted for what they thought was the Best Actress of the year. If anything came from the Globes tonight it is that Christopher Plummer and Octavia Spencer are a lock for Oscar win. Here is the list of went home with a an award:

Best Motion Picture — Drama: “The Descendants” *
Best Motion Picture — Comedy or Musical: “The Artist” *
Best Director — Motion Picture: Martin Scorsese, “Hugo”*
Best Actress — Drama: Meryl Streep, “The Iron Lady”
Best Actor — Drama: George Clooney, “The Descendants”*
Best Actress — Comedy or Musical: Michelle Williams, “My Week With Marilyn”*
Best Actor — Comedy or musical: Jean Dujardin, “The Artist"*
Best Supporting Actress: Octavia Spencer, “The Help”*
Best Supporting Actor: Christopher Plummer, “Beginners”*
Best Screenplay: Woody Allen, “Midnight in Paris”
Best Original Score: Ludovic Bource – “The Artist”
Best Original Song: “Masterpiece” — W.E., Madonna, Julie Frost, Jimmy Harry
Best Animated Feature Film: “The Adventures of Tintin”
Best Foreign Language Film: “A Separation” (Iran)*


The asterisks represent my predictions that were correct. I chose 9 correctly out of the 14. That is 64% correct. Hopefully I do can better at Oscar time.