No one needs awards coverage this deep
Wrapping up the year in individual film images
Have you been watching HBO's "True Detective?" Did you catch Sunday night's episode? The entire back half of the show built to an absolutely arresting finale, the fallout of which was ultimately captured in one extended take. Some might dismiss it as a mere stunt, but while I was certainly captivated by it technically, I was also drawn in by how consistent and controlled and drilled-down Matthew McConaughey's performance was throughout the take. Shots like that are a group effort above and below the line, even after being meticulously blocked and lit by the camera department.
It was a bit of serendipitous timing for that episode to hit when it did, given that this annual feature was planned for this week. And the concept of continuous takes — or "oners," as they're called — might have some relevance to today's wrap-up of the best shots of the year, but, well…no spoilers yet. I would, however, like to take a moment to consider the year in cinematography in general, because it was a banner year for the industry's camera wizards.
Also: Oscar-nominated screenwriters' conference, and PGA nails a date
As David Letterman might quip: "Oprah... BAFTA." It's funny to think that Oprah Winfrey has been nominated for a BAFTA and not an Oscar this year -- I'm sure that if the BAFTA voters had been tipped off that she wasn't getting an Oscar nod, they probably wouldn't have voted for her. Anyway, good sports that she is, she'll be attending the ceremony, as confirmed today on a BAFTA guest list that also includes Leonardo DiCaprio, Matt Damon, Amy Adams, Sandra Bullock and, of course, prohibitive frontrunners Chiwetel Ejiofor, Cate Blanchett and Lupita Nyong'o. (Best Supporting Actor? Search me.) The awards take place on Sunday. [Screen Daily]
Plus: Best makeup nominee talks skin in sunlight
Even after $102 million at the box office and an Academy Award nomination for Best Makeup and Hairstyling, "Bad Grandpa's" Irving has just one thing on his mind: Yes, he still can't get enough tail.
Irving sat down with HitFix last week to talk about his neverending quest for tail, Billy's current status (let's just say he's under supervision), his affection for Helen Mirren and whether or not he has a ticket to the Oscars. It's an incredibly unconventional interview, but if you're a fan of "Bad Grandpa" you'll probably eat it up.
Does it have any chance at the Oscar?
I can't remember the last time there was this much active campaigning for the Best Original Song Oscar -- perhaps this is what happens when the music branch actually thinks to nominate a handful of decent songs. (And "Alone Yet Not Alone," but perhaps studios are capitalizing on the attention that scandal directed to the category in the first place.)
Director Tomm Moore previously made the Oscar-nominated 'Secret of Kells'
They may never win the award itself, but independent animation distributors GKIDS have really settled into their role as the regular giant-slayers of the Best Animated Feature Oscar race: many pundits fail to give them due consideration when handicapping the category at nominations stage, yet their foreign titles have now repeatedly shown up at the expense of a studio heavyweight. They may have missed with a few shots on goal last year, but came back fighting this year, snaring a nod for French critics' pet "Ernest and Celestine" as Pixar's "Monsters University" failed to make the grade.
Plus: Red carpet stylings and living the dream
BEVERLY HILLS - "American Hustle" was well-represented at the annual Oscars luncheon on Monday. Bradley Cooper, Amy Adams, Christian Bale and David O. Russell were all in attendance, but sadly, one nominated member of the crew was not. The wonderful Jennifer Lawrence was unavailable to attend (Adams thought it might be due to "Mockingjay" production commitments). Yep, sorry internet. No J-Law gifs or memes for you to explode over this time around. Still, Adams and Cooper were happy to share the spotlight when they popped by the press room for a quick Q&A with assembled media.
'All is Lost' composer and Globe winner Alexander Ebert cited for breakthrough
Always a bit of a unique take on the year, the International Film Music Critics Association's annual assessment of the year in movie and TV scores has brought with it, well, something different. And looking across the nominees, it's two genre films — "Evil Dead" and "The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug" — that led the field with three specific nominations each. Though you could make it four for the former as composer Roque Baños was also nominated for Film Composer of the Year, alongside "Gravity" composer Steven Price, in fact, which I guess would bring its total up to three as well. The real champ, though, was composer Abel Korzeniowski, who landed six nominations across two films that were nowhere near this year's Oscar race: "Romeo and Juliet" and "Escape from Tomorrow." Check out the full list of nominees below and remember to keep track of the season via The Circuit.
Celebrating the year in individual film images
If you look here and there on the web these days, you might notice that more than a few outlets are now cooking up their own "top 10 shots of the year" pieces. Here we are in our seventh year of producing such a collective, but imitation is flattery, and frankly, I'm glad others have caught on to the idea. Singular images and the thematic impact they make are as subjective as anything else we end up praising at the end of a given year, so having separate takes on the matter is only a good thing.
June 2014 ceremony will mark his fourth stint as emcee
Hugh Jackman's stint as Oscars host remains one of the best, largely because he was part of an overall show with an amazing vision from director Bill Condon and producer Laurence Mark. That came after a few impressive stints emceeing the annual Tony Awards, including one such Emmy-winning example in 2004.
He hasn't hosted the show in nearly a decade but it's just been announced he'll be back for a fourth time at the 68th annual Tony Awards on Sunday, June 8, 2014.
The Tony winner will perform Best Original Song favorite 'Let It Go' on stage
When Pharrell Williams was confirmed last week to perform his Oscar-nominated "Despicable Me 2" track "Happy" at the Academy Awards, there was no doubt that this news would follow in short order. Yes, Idina Menzel will be performing "Frozen's" anthemic power ballad "Let It Go" on the show too.