It was business as usual in the Vancouver Film Critics Circle's announcement of nominees this morning, as Steve McQueen's "12 Years a Slave" led the way with six notices. Bradley Cooper got a bid for his supporting "American Hustle" performance and Greta Gerwig showed up in Best Actress for her work in "Frances Ha." Matt Johnson's "The Dirties" led the field of Canadian film nominees. Check out the full list below and remember to keep track of it all at The Circuit.
If we've spent the last few weeks reviewing the best in entertainment, we now inevitably turn to the worst. 2013 was not a godawful year for bad movies, but Hollywood absolutely had its share of clunkers and misfires. A number were part of a larger trend ("Grown Ups 2"), some were big disappointments ("The Lone Ranger") and more than a few were still big hits ("Identity Thief").
You can watch a very entertaining video countdown of our top 10 worst films embedded at the top of this post or enjoy the 25 worst of the year in the story gallery below.
Agree? Disagree? Share your thoughts in the comments section.
With a massive wave of precursor announcements behind us, a consensus — that may or may not match the Academy's ultimate perspective on the year — has formed: "12 Years a Slave," Steve McQueen, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Cate Blanchett, Jared Leto and Lupita Nyong'o. That's obviously profoundly "12 Years"-heavy, and the film has managed the most adapted screenplay wins so far, too. But we'll have to see if that's how it plays out on March 2.
We've defended the consistent updating of The Circuit already, but to reiterate, consensus matters. In the various regional assessments, you begin to see what is the most generally agreeable choice, notable in a system like the Academy's that uses preferential balloting. And McQueen's landmark drama could absolutely qualify at the end of the season. But frankly, it could be that a film that takes the edge off finds more traction, and while once upon a time I surmised that it might be Martin Scorsese's "The Wolf of Wall Street," it could actually be that David O. Russell's "American Hustle" is the broad play to beat.
SPC looks to keep 'Before Midnight's' awards hopes alive with New York and Santa Barbara trilogy showcases
Sony Pictures Classics is putting together a nice push in the lead-up to Oscar nominations on behalf of "Before Midnight" by spotlighting the film's place in a trilogy of films that mark a true landmark progression for the medium. Richard Linklater, Julie Delpy and Ethan Hawke seem like good bets for Best Adapted Screenplay recognition, but with the placement the film is receiving on year-end top 10 lists and superlatives announcements, it has a strong foothold to register in other categories, too, perhaps even Best Picture.
Well, we knew that Martin Scorsese's "The Wolf of Wall Street" wasn't going to be to the taste of certain Academy members, and a couple of them made that abundantly clear at a screening over the weekend. Actress Hope Holiday -- who herself declares the film "three hours of torture" -- reports that an unnamed screenwriter accosted Scorsese and Leonardo DiCaprio after the screening, exclaiming, "Shame on you!" Some Academy members were vocally unimpressed by "The Wolf of Wall Street" at a screening over the weekend. Can't win 'em all, of course -- though is this an isolated incident or indicative of larger resistance the film might encounter from more conservative Oscar voters? [The Wrap]
I like "American Hustle" and don't have much to add past what I said in the first SAG screening report. A NYFCC Best Film prize feels excessive, but it's a crowd-pleaser. And it could do as well with the Academy, but I'll get into that in Monday's Oscar column. The SAG ensemble nomination has some pretty stellar performances across the board and it seems the kind of thing where everyone will have their favorites (mine are Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence). But I'll be interested to hear how it lands with the readership, so whenever you get around to the film, do let us know your feelings in the comments section below and feel free to vote in our poll.
After recognition from the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, the Broadcast Film Critics Association and, most importantly, the Screen Actors Guild, "August: Osage County" star Julia Roberts seems primed for a Best Supporting Actress Oscar nomination next month. As Barbara Weston, daughter of matriarch Violet (and a role originated by Tony-nominated actress Amy Morton), Roberts holds her own on screen opposite the steaming locomotive that is Meryl Streep.
It seems a long time ago that many breathless journos in Telluride and Toronto were predicting one film to rule them all when it came to year-end accolades: "12 Years a Slave," we were told, was such a cast-iron critical phenomenon that every other film would have to consider itself unlucky to be released in its shadow. As we now know, things didn't quite pan out that way: Steve McQueen's formidable historical drama may have gobbled up an enviable amount of awards on the US critical circuit thus far, and is poised for a leading haul of Oscar nods, but the year-end discussion of the year's best films has, happily, been far more malleable and wide-ranging than initially predicted.
I held off on this one until the film made its way out into wider release, which it did on Friday. I'm very eager to know what readers think of the Coen brothers' "Inside Llewyn Davis," which was my #3 film of the year and just a rich experience that delivers more and more upon subsequent viewings. The work from T Bone Burnett on the soundtrack, curating a spectacular, thematically relevant assortment of period songs and then producing gorgeous new renditions is the kind of thing that deserves its own category. And Oscar Isaac delivers the year's best performance, one I delighted in mulling over in my lengthy interview with the actor. I could really go on, but again, I want to know what you all thought, so when you get around to seeing the film, tell us what you thought in the comments section below and vote in our poll. (Also, if you happened to catch the "Another Day, Another Time" concert documentary on the film, which T Bone Burnett discussed with us here, tell us what you thought of that, too.)
Lots of drama -- certainly in the pages of LA Weekly -- met the release of "Saving Mr. Banks," though certainly the studio ought to have known it was coming. A whitewashing of history? A self-glorification that avoids the nuance? Yeah, that's all in there. It's a Disney product romanticizing a Disney product. What's to be expected? I found the film charming and Emma Thompson to be wonderful but it's really just cotton candy for me this season. And it's now in theaters for your judgment, so if you've gotten around to it, tell us your thoughts in the comments section and feel free to vote in our poll.