The César may be the most Oscar-equivalent honor on the French awards circuit, but arguably the most prestigious is the Louis Delluc Prize, established in 1937 and awarded annually by a jury of critics and industry figures to the film they deem the best French production of the year.
When you think of contemporary filmmakers who are particularly keyed into the art of costume design, you might name Baz Luhrmann, Tarsem Singh or Xavier Dolan -- but Judd Apatow probably wouldn't be among the first names to come to mind.
Given the Academy's bent for in-the-moment sentiment in that department, the list of Best Documentary Feature Oscar winners that have since become consensus classics is a relatively short one. (In a number of cases, the winners don't even seem a particularly good idea at the time.) But one noble exception is Barbara Kopple's 1976 film "Harlan County, USA," a stark, penetrating portrait of the 1972 Brookside coal miners' strike that still stands as the signature work of one of America's foremost documentarians. It's the rare film that has broken out of the non-fiction ghetto and into the Criterion-approved cinematic canon.
From "Saving Mr. Banks" to "The Hobbit" to "The Wolf of Wall Street," the fortnight between December 12 and Christmas Day finds a dozen films going into wide release in the US. Ben Fritz wonders if the holiday box office is being overloaded: "With several days off of work or school, if not a full week, many people are free to see multiple movies at any time of the day ... Nonetheless people's movie time isn't infinite, and a surfeit of new titles could overtax even the most avid moviegoers." Unlike the summer tentpole glut, he notes, it's many adult-oriented fare that is filling theaters. Will there be any casualties? [Wall Street Journal]
The Library of Congress announced the 25 films selected for the 2013 National Film Registry and they feature some Academy Award winners, a groundbreaking documentary, genre classics and family favorites.
For the first time in its history, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences has created a visual identity for the organization with a logo.
After a some taste-testing elsewhere by some more regional critics, it's back to the grind with another Best Picture win for "12 Years a Slave," this time from the Phoenix Film Critics Society. The film won three awards, as did Disney's "Frozen," but Alfonso Cuarón's "Gravity" was a more dominant figure winning four, including Best Director. Refresh yourself on the nominees here and check out the full list of winners below. Remember to keep score throughout the season via The Circuit.
You'd expect the perennially hip cinephile crowd of Austin to veer slightly left of center when choosing their year-end winners, and the Austin Film Critics Association duly resisted the recent "12 Years a Slave" avalanche -- just. Steve McQueen's film is their #2 of the year, and picked up wins for Actor, Supporting Actress and Adapted Screenplay, but was pipped to Best Picture by Spike Jonze's "Her," which also took Original Screenplay and a special award for Scarlett Johansson's voice work. Meanwhile, Brie Larson landed another two wins for Best Actress and Breakthrough -- at this rate, she could well be the spoiler in the Oscar race. Full list of winners after the jump; everything else at The Circuit.
It only just occurred to me that in two months' time, the 2014 Berlin Film Festival will already be over. Before that, of course, comes the bustle and frenzy of Sundance; throughout all that, of course, Oscar season will press on unabated. Just thinking about the next few weeks makes me feel slightly ill, even as I look forward to it all.