'Hugo' snubbed as 'Drive' cracks Best Film lineup
As ever with their nominations announcement, BAFTA giveth, and BAFTA taketh away. Excited to see "Drive" up for Best Film and Best Director? Sure, but in return we have to accept Jim Broadbent nominated, ahead of Albert Brooks, for a career-worst performance in "The Iron Lady," which also somehow copped a Best Original Screenplay nod. (Despite this showing, the film mercifully didn't crack their Best British Film lineup.)
Glad to see a strong showing at last for "Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy?" Yes, but the flipside of that is zero nominations for "The Tree of Life" -- no, not even a cinematography nod for Emmanuel Lubezki. Even when trying to anticipate the Oscar race, BAFTA remain a law unto themselves -- which can be as exasperating as it is occasionally rewarding.
The frontrunners, of course, could have been spotted from space. Oscar favorite "The Artist" naturally leads the way with 12 nominations -- the (mostly) silent film scored even in the Best Sound category -- while British loyalty netted an impressive 11 nods for domestic hit "Tinker, Tailor." The two will fight it out for the top award, though with the latter primed for the consolation prize of Best British Film, I think we know how this is going to go.
Actors reflect on their own vanity and the inevitable insanity of awards season
With the Golden Globes a memory and the announcement of this year’s Oscar nominations on January 24 just on the horizon, perhaps it's time to take a bit of the piss out of awards season. The validity of certain awards shows and organizations aside, it is an incredible professional accomplishment to be included in the hunt at all. It speaks to a level of success that most only dream of in a profoundly competitive industry. At the same time, perspective is often in order.
I have worked in entertainment for my entire adult life and have as great a passion for film today as I did in the throes of dreamy youth. No one’s feeding babies here, however. Even in an arena as large as the one the artists under discussion here dwell in, it’s important to have at least some measure of humor and ability to self-deprecate to season the inevitable neurosis that comes with working in a creative field
British Academy's picks to land at 11.40 PST
I'm not bothering to predict the BAFTA nominations this year because 1) the longlists largely take the guesswork out of that for us; 2) no voting group that thinks "Midnight in Paris" had better visual effects than "The Tree of Life" deserves too much of our time and attention; and 3) I mean, seriously. But anyway, they're a few hours away -- a breakfast-time announcement for the Brits, a pre-midnight one for Hollywood -- and if you have any last-minute thoughts, hopes or projections about the British Academy's selections, here's the place for them.
One thing we can be certain of: after struggling to gain traction on the US precursor circuit, "Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy," which jointly led the longlists with 16 mentions, will finally receive a warm embrace here. The combination of literary cache, old-and-new-school British acting elite and spectacular box-office should set it up as the chief BAFTA rival to all-purpose frontrunner "The Artist," which can also expect a bucketload of nominations.
Who's going to surprise (and be surprised) next Tuesday?
As of Friday, phase one of this year's Oscar season has drawn to a close. Ballots were due by 5pm and it's pencils down, the music has stopped, whatever metaphor you want to apply. And the period of December 27 - January 13 was crucial for films looking to grab a last-minute foothold and those hoping to maintain dominance alike.
During that frame, the image to the left of actress Anna Paquin was bravely showcased on the cover of LA Weekly, Los Angeles's ubiquitous alt-weekly publication, to promote the outlet's choice of Kenneth Lonergan's "Margaret" for the year's best film. Voters out and about on their daily routines surely walked past any number of magazine stands and newspaper racks displaying the issue.
Meanwhile, in a very last-minute bit of campaigning, Paquin and Lonergan were both made available for press opportunities, which we of course seized here at In Contention. But not every outlet has the luxury of scheduling pieces like that on the fly.
A lifeline for 'War Horse' as Michael Kahn scores two nods from the editors
With their awards rather needlessly spread across drama and musical/comedy categories -- the craft is hardly incomparable between genres, particularly when certain titles aren't even categorized correctly -- the ACE Eddie Award nominations for film editing are more revealing in terms of omissions than inclusions.
And if it seemed like "The Help" was starting to build some momentum in this race, it received something of a setback today by missing the list. Though hardly an outstanding editing showcase, it might still have hoped to crack a drama category that did find room for "The Descendants" -- not heavily favored for below-the-line Oscar attention -- and the embattled "War Horse."
Michael Kahn's nomination here represents something of a lifeline for the WWI epic in the wake of snubs from the directors', writers', cinematographers' and even art directors' Guilds. Whether it's an indication of enough enduring support for "War Horse" to make Oscar's Best Picture lineup remains to be seen, but if it had missed here, it truly would have been time to read the last rites. It's one of two nominations for four-time ACE champ Kahn -- Steven Spielberg's long-serving collaborator was also listed for "The Adventures of Tintin" in the animated field, where he could well snag another trophy.
Alexander Payne, Martin Scorsese and more celebrate Hollywood's second biggest night
Well, the Globes came and they went. And as I stood in the Fox Pavilion viewing party outside the Beverly Hilton hotel, guessing every single win with publicist friends, I couldn't help but smile at the HFPA's gall for being so predictable and so very much…themselves.
Madonna? Really? Of course.
Seriously, though, each and every winner was obvious save for the Best Picture (Drama) field, which I had expected to go to "Hugo." The collective breath of the party seemed to be held until "The Descendants" was called, and the explosion was so intense you had to figure most everyone else in there was expecting it to come up short, too.
Also: Foreign Oscar outliers, and why the Globes beat the Oscars
So, the Golden Globes. I suppose I should write something about them, given that I went to the trouble of posting (lousy) predictions and all, but my throbbing head doesn't really want to go back to that place. It was a night where "The Artist" cemented its frontrunner status, "The Descendants" was rather half-heartedly crowned its official opposition, the HFPA renewed their vows with George Clooney and Meryl Streep, and "W.E." won more awards than "Drive," "Shame," "We Need to Talk About Kevin" and "Moneyball" combined. I might comment more later, but for now, I echo pretty much every word of Tim Robey's dismayed Telegraph review of the affair, coming down equally hard on the uninspired list of winners and Ricky Gervais's disappointingly flat hosting job. Better luck next year. [The Telegraph]
George Clooney and Meryl Streep take top acting honors
Tonight brings us the most significant of pre-Oscar Awards ceremonies: the Golden Globes. Okay, so the level of legitimacy that the HFPA has inspired is questionable at best. But there can be no question that the Globes have the highest profile of all the events leading up to Oscar's big night. More importantly, though, Ricky Gervais is going to go absolutely mental tonight.
Guy posted his Golden Globe predictions earlier today, as well as his ideal selections. Though there are several categories where Guy and I are of a similar mind, there are one or two, however, where I favor a different film. In any event, here is our opportunity to share our thoughts as the evening unfolds on the hits and misses of the honors, speeches and inevitable deliciously inappropriate musings of the host.
I’ll my posting my own up to date reflections and invite you to join in with your opinions. Kris will be busy representing In Contention in and around the Beverly Hilton, where everyone from Fox to Universal to Weinstein and Warner Bros. will be (they hope) celebrating their spoils. He'll be back soon enough to report from those, but in the interim, three, two, one…
You can also follow @kristapley on twitter for on the ground updates.
For great updates in the TV categories you can also check in with Dan Fienberg the Hitfix TV expert.
Plus, my picks for who deserves to win at tonight's ceremony
Not since the 2002 awards season was bouncily dominated by "Chicago" -- the last comedy, or indeed musical, to take the Best Picture Oscar -- has drama looked like more of an afterthought at the Golden Globe Awards. As Rob Marshall's frisky tuner swept the comedy/musical categories at the Hollywood Foreign Press Association's perennially boozy shindig, the top prize in the corresponding drama category was handed to "The Hours," a modest, downbeat female ensemble piece that everyone knew hadn't a shot in hell at the Oscar. The award that usually represents the climax of the Globes ceremony had been downgraded to consolation-prize status.
Nine years later, as if to restore some lustre to a category that last year named "The Tourist" one of the year's best films, we're looking at a similar situation. "The Artist," the silent French wonder that currently leads the Oscar race by a comfortable distance, is a foreordained winner of the musical/comedy Best Picture Globe tonight (as well as a Best Actor prize for star Jean Dujardin), while over in the drama race, a number of less favored titles are jostling for the title of Official Opposition.
Tom Hardy and Jessica Chastain win top acting honors
The Nevada Film Critics Society has spoken and "Hugo" was the word on its collective lips. The film won Best Picture, Best Director and Best Child Actor from the group. Meanwhile, Tom Hardy received his first win of the season for his performance in "Warrior." Check out the full list of winners below.