No one needs awards coverage this deep
Everyone's favorite Foreign Press Assocaition is back
As Amy Poehler succinctly noted last January, it's once again time for the Golden Globes. The one night a year where the beautiful people of film rub shoulders with the rat-faced people of television (we kid). Of course, that also means some of Hollywood's biggest names need to socialize with the dreaded Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA) in order to get that Golden Globes boost. While the Globes mean little in terms of actual Oscar nominations or final wins, they have been a big help at the box office. And, when it all comes down to it, that's what really matters most in awards season: money.
The HFPA is doing its best to avoid some of the more embarrassing nominations over the past few years that often come with their split "drama" and "comedy or musical" categories. So, as we look over the major contenders for this year's nominations you'll be surprised to see few red flags. The only eyebrow-raiser -- in some respects -- is "The Heat" stars, but that's because the field for best actress in a comedy or musical is slightly weak.
While the HFPA is a small organization, approximately 90 members, they are not the most secretive bunch. Therefore, every studio in town mostly knows what they really like and what they really don't. "Lee Daniels' The Butler"? Just Oprah and that's about it. "Philomena"? They love it. "American Hustle"? Ditto.
With that in mind, check out the story galley below to see who's in and who clearly isn't before the nominations are announced next Thursday.
Agree? Disagree? Share your thoughts in the comments section.
Zoe Saldana, Dane DeHaan, Kristen Wiig and Bill Hader also featured in lineup
The lineup for the 2014 Sundance Film Festival has been revealed, and it's among the starriest in recent memory. Take a look at new images from some of the films unspooling at the Park City event, featuring such Hollywood names as Anne Hathaway, Aaron Paul, Christina Hendricks, Mark Ruffalo, Zoe Saldana, Kristen Wiig, Bill Hader, Lena Dunham, and Dane DeHaan.
Check out the photos here:
'Twilight' actress is a long way from Forks
Credit: Beth Dubber
Kristen Stewart has come a long way from Forks.
The "Twilight" actress dons military fatigues in the very first image from "Camp X-Ray," an upcoming military drama slated to screen in competition at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival. Written and directed by Peter Sattler (making his feature-length helming debut with the film), "Camp X-Ray" centers on Stewart's character Cole, a young American soldier stationed at Guantanamo Bay who strikes up a friendship with a Muslim prisoner (Peyman Moaadi) who's been held there for eight years. The title is a play on a now-defunct temporary detention facility at Gitmo that opened in 2002.
Check out the image below.
A complete look at the U.S., World and Next competition slate
The Sundance Institute announced the initial wave of narrative films and documentaries for the 2014 Sundance Film Festival today and it features one of the more star-studded competition lineups in the film's history.
Bruce Dern and Emma Thompson take top acting honors
Also: 'Banks' doesn't make bank with Brits, and the Coppola connection in 'Her'
Credit: Walt Disney Pictures
" has been doing rather well for itself this week -- not just commercially, but with critics who have largely welcomed its return to some of the studio's classic formulae. The same degree of goodwill, however, has not been extended to the rather gauche marketing campaign for the film, which strenuously downplays its female leads, fairytale origins and musical elements. In a bang-on piece, Justin Chang understands the commercial strategy behind this, but still thinks it's a mistake: "It’s not unreasonable — especially since truthfulness and transparency are among the movie’s key themes — to wish that it were being presented with less self-loathing and more honesty, as well as more confidence in its considerable artistic virtues." [Variety
The director's former partner in crime will accept his Cecil B. DeMille Award
Diane Keaton and Woody Allen in their last collaboration, "Manhattan Murder Mystery."
Credit: Sony Pictures
Eyebrows were raised back in September, when Woody Allen was announced as the 2014 recipient of the Cecil B. DeMille Award for career achievement at the Golden Globes. Not, of course, that it was a controversial selection in itself: you could argue for the award being a tad redundant, given that Allen hasn't exactly been under-recognized in his career, but hardly undeserved.
Film categories will follow on January 2
Bryan Cranston in "Breaking Bad," for which he received a PGA nod.
I never realized that the Producers' Guild of America announces their TV nominations separately from their film ones, but I suppose it makes sense -- the buzz around the feature film nominees sucks up a lot of oxygen, so this way, everyone gets to feel special for a time. (The PGA actually announced their documentary nominees last week, so they really are spreading the joy.)
Robert Redford and Cate Blanchett take top acting honors
Best Supporting Actress winner Jennifer Lawrence in "American Hustle"
Credit: Sony Pictures
David O. Russell's "American Hustle" was crowned the best film of 2013 today by the New York Film Critics Circle, capping off a nearly five-hour vote and marking the first critics awards announcement of the year. The film also received wins for Best Supporting Actress (Jennifer Lawrence) and Best Screenplay.
From NY Mag's Vulture blog, this is worth noting:
"According to our critic David Edelstein, who is one of the NYFCC's members, the final vote for Best Picture resulted in a rare tie-breaker. NYFCC by-laws prevent the actual numbers from being released, but Edelstein said there was a strong American Hustle camp and a strong 12 Years a Slave camp (reflected in McQueen's best director win), and that the vote was remarkably close, with some members expressing 'visible dismay' when the final number was tallied."
Interesting. Also, Lou Lumenick has a breakdown of the balloting which I guess you can use to suss out runners-up and whatnot.
Check out a running commentary of the wins below and offer up your thoughts, whatever they may be, in the comments section below.
Critical faves 'The Act of Killing' and 'Stories We Tell' survive the slaughter
Alex Gibney's "The Armstrong Lie"
Credit: Sony Classics
The Academy has narrowed the field of 147 documentary feature contenders to 15, and the key omissions appear to be Alex Gibney's "We Steal Secrets: The Story of WikiLeaks," Martha Shane and Lana Wilson's "After Tiller" and and Errol Morris' "The Unknown Known," among others.
However, Gibney can take heart that his other 2013 project, "The Armstrong Lie," was on the list. And most of the year's critical hits of the form — "The Act of Killing," "Blackfish," "Stories We Tell" — survived the slaughter.