Our picks for potential nominees that need that extra shove
Ballots are in hand and the last push to this Friday's poll deadline is tight and spirited. The guilds have done a nice job of shaking things up somewhat, offering some nominees here and there that were a bit unexpected, but they haven't exactly turned the usual order of things on its ear, either.
Nevertheless, now is the time when you cross your fingers for completely left-field picks from the Academy's membership (most of which has likely already turned in its ballot by now), but mainly hope for some bubble contenders that are highly deserving to fall on the right side of the line come Tuesday, January 24.
Enter this installment of the lists, which is an attempt to look at the race somewhat realistically by offering up some bubble-contending suggestions to the few holdouts still staring at blanks on their ballot and hoping for inspiration.
NSFC and Cannes Best Actress winner discusses her career-best work
Over the course of a career not much shorter than her 29 year-old life, Kirsten Dunst has covered a lot of bases -- skipping gamely between fluorescent Hollywood blockbusters, handmade American indies, fizzy teen comedies, primetime television and the chillier climes of the European arthouse -- but there's one area the actress feels she's neglected thus far.
"I really want to do a film in another language," she says, her tone ruminative but quite serious, over the phone from Los Angeles. "My dad's from Germany, so it'd be really cool to do a film in German. I'm not quite fluent, but I can get there. And my accent's pretty good. I wouldn't feel too out of my element."
It's not just any German film she wants to work on either: Michael Haneke, that esteemed Austrian dissector of psychological trouble, currently tops her wishlist of directors to work with in the future, a group that also include Paul Thomas Anderson and Alexander Payne. The prospect of the sunny New Jersey blonde collaborating with the frosty German-born formalist isn't quite as unimaginable as it might have been a year or two ago, before another prickly European provocateur, Lars von Trier, showed everyone what Kirsten Dunst is made of in "Melancholia."
Terrence Malick and Michel Hazanavicius tie for Best Director
"The Descendants" may have led the way with the Denver Film Critics Society's nominations, but it was "The Tree of Life" that won the big prize. Still, Alexander Payne's film won a field-leading three awards, for Best Supporting Actress, Best Screenplay and Best Ensemble. Check out the full list of winners below.
'A Dangerous Method' a favorite in 'Canadian Film' awards
After leading with four nominations from the Vancouver Film Critics Circle, Michel Hazanavicius's "The Artist" has won Best Picture and Best Screenplay from the group. Meanwhile, David Cronenberg's "A Dangerous Method" got some love in Canadian spotlight categories. Check out the full list of winners below.
Michael Fassbender and Viola Davis win top acting honors
The Alliance of Women Film Journalists has revealed its list of winners in 30 (!) categories after announcing a slate of nominees recently. The big winner in the traditional categories was "The Artist," which won Best PIcture and Best Director. Check out the full list of winners below.
Also: Jennifer Lawrence to announce Oscar noms, and dissecting the DGA picks
Okay, so you've probably got the message by now that we love "Margaret" around these here parts. So any word from the film's embattled writer-director Kenneth Lonergan is something we're going to seize upon, even if it's a fairly brief Q&A with Variety's Christy Grosz, recorded in the presence of his lawyer. Sadly, the film's continuing legal problems mean he can't cut loose on his desired edit (or indeed the one that we've seen), but he offers some nice insights on the writing process and what the eponymous Gerard Manley Hopkins poem means to him. Finally, he describes the #TeamMargaret phenomenon as "astonishing and wonderful." Right back atcha, sir. [Variety]
The WGA nominee's latest maintains a dim but inarguable presence in awards season
NEW YORK - There’s something oddly perfect about meeting “Win Win” writer/director Tom McCarthy in a small café in Chinatown with Gershwin's “Rhapsody in Blue” playing in the background. (Though that would feel slightly less charming when transcribing the interview weeks later.)
Firstly, it is the last sort of place one would imagine either McCarthy’s writing partner, Joe Tiboni, or their central protagonist, Mike Flaherty (Paul Giamatti), to turn up. In fact, McCarthy recalls that Tiboni’s daily, cyclical routine consists of his self-described “triangle of death” from home to Dunkin’ Donuts to work and back again.
Secondly, it's difficult to not enjoy the novelty of speaking to the filmmaker about his restrained, deceptively simple suburban life offering with Gershwin’s exultant, experimental ode to urban chaos as a backdrop.
Kim Novak reports a 'rape,' I report an overreaction
Ah, the trumped-up non-controversy. It's a kind of hazing ritual that many a certified Oscar frontrunner has to go through: remember the accusations of child actor neglect levelled at the makers of "Slumdog Millionaire," the supposed military inaccuracies (not to mention poor producer etiquette) of "The Hurt Locker," or even the revelation that a key set in "The King's Speech" had previously housed a gay porn shoot? These mildly tangy stories tend to be forgotten as quickly as they flare up, and rarely do much lasting damage, so it's just as well "The Artist" is getting it over with now.
I'm speaking, of course, of the ludicrous full-page Variety ad taken out against the film by, of all unexpected people, veteran Hitchcock blonde Kim Novak, who may not have made a film in 20 years, but is still gifted with an Oscar ballot -- one she presumably will not be using to vote for the French silent film she has more than a little melodramatically accused of "raping" her "body of work."
A feature many of you requested is now a reality
A brief bit of business here. HitFix has been in the process of getting a slate of message boards off the ground, and as of today, they're live.
I imagine most of the discussion from those around these parts will be confined to the movies section, and specifically the Oscars and Golden Globes arenas. But HitFix being a unique collective of music, television and movie content, there are naturally other areas, too.
George Clooney and Viola Davis win top acting honors
The North Texas Film Critics Association (yep) has gotten together to announce this year's list of winners. And it was "War Horse" that came out of top, with Martin Scorsese winning directing honors. No were to be found "The Artist." Check out the full list of winners below.