It's safe to say members of the Boston Online Film Critics Association were big fans of Steve McQueen's "12 Years a Slave." The group handed the film seven awards Friday including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor (Chiwetel Ejiofor) and Best Supporting Actress (Luipta Nyong'o). Cate Blanchett ("Blue Jasmine") and Jared Leto ("Dallas Buyers Club") rounded out the acting honors, while "Before Midnight" took Best Screenplay. Check out the full list below.
Spike Jonze's "Her," Alfonso Cuarón's "Gravity" and especially Steve McQueen's "12 Years a Slave" turned up great showings in the nominations stage for the Washington D.C. Area Film Critics Association this year. All three films were nominated for Best Film along with David O. Russell's "American Hustle" and the Coen brothers' "Inside Llewyn Davis."
As I anticipated, "The Great Beauty," Paolo Sorrentino's visually extravagant, Fellini-referencing reflection on contemporary Rome, emerged the big winner at tonight's European Film Awards in Berlin, taking four prizes for European Film of the Year, European Director of the Year, European Actor of the Year for Toni Servillo and European Editor of the Year for Cristiano Travaglioli. The film, a critics' pet since Cannes, is Italy's entry for the foreign-language Oscar; and this haul lends a handy boost to its campaign across the pond.
"The Square," Egyptian-American director Jehane Noujaim's study of the Egyptian Revolution from its 2011 origins in Tahrir Square, has looked like on to watch the documentary Oscar race ever since it won the Audience Award in its section at the Sundance Film Festival. It followed that up with the People's Choice Award for documentaries at Toronto, and nabbed further headlines when it became Netflix's first film acquisition. Sure enough, it was among the 15 titles shortlisted by the Academy earlier this week.
Adele won a Golden Globe and an Academy Award for her iconic ballad "Skyfall" from last year's 007 blockbuster, but will Lana Del Rey's "Young and Beautiful" end her winning streak at the 56th Grammy Awards?
Yes, it's unlikely, isn't it? Adele is royalty. She rarely loses.
The Best Original Song Oscar race was effectively over after "Frozen's" massive box office take this past weekend. The film's critical acclaim and record Thanksgiving animated haul has put Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez's "Let it Go," sung by Tony Award winner Idina Menzel, in the driver's seat to win the coveted Academy Award. In fact, Menzel's version of the song is actually outselling the Demi Lovato cover version on iTunes at the moment.
The category of Best Costume Design is always one of my favorite races, particularly in the pre-nominations stage. It can be so unpredictable. This is also the first year where the costume designers have formed a separate branch from the art department. While it is difficult to know precisely how this will affect the race, it only increases my curiosity in what appears to be a very open category beyond two rather obvious leading contenders.
Hard to believe that we're a little over a month away from Sundance, a film festival so sprawling that the announcement of its lineup is staggered over several days. Along with the rest of Team HitFix, I'll once more be braving the cold to give you the first word on eagerly awaited heavyweights and undiscovered gems alike. But not everything at the Sundance Film Festival is shiny and new -- some premieres from other fests are too exciting not to be cherry-picked, which brings us to the Spotlight section.
This year's selection of eight Spotlight titles includes films initially premiered at Cannes, Venice and Toronto, among others -- some of which perhaps didn't get the attention they deserved in the initial festival rush, and some of which certainly did.