If it's the beginning of February we're not just talking about who is going to win the Oscars in a few weeks, but who is going to be nominated next year. That's right, another edition of the Sundance Film Festival has come to an end and with it a slew of potential awards season players.
BEVERLY HILLS — This year's Oscar-nominated actors and filmmakers convened at the Beverly Hills Hotel Monday afternoon for the Academy's annual Nominees Luncheon. It's a unique event that often finds a number of talented circuit staples in the same room for the first time as relationships are rekindled, new ones are forged and the reality of Oscar dreams really begins to crystallize.
It's been a long and winding road for Eddie Redmayne since "The Theory of Everything" debuted at the Toronto International Film Festival in September. He's won a Golden Globe, a SAG Award and could be your next Oscar winner in the Lead Actor category. Somehow, he also managed to find time to get married and begin filming "The Danish Girl" while still trekking back and forth between New York and Los Angeles for numerous awards season events including today's prestigious Oscar luncheon.
Mauritanian Oscar entry "Timbuktu" came away with top honors at the 2015 Lumière Awards. The film won two prizes, for Best Film and Best Director. Nominations leader "Saint Laurent" took Best Actor for Gaspard Ulliel.
If you couldn't tell from the reactions on social media, It was a very good year in Park City (well, at least on the narrative side). The 2015 Sundance Film Festival featured a dramatic competition with far fewer bad eggs than usual, a NEXT slate which once again got people excited, a number of the noncompetitive premieres that surprised (we're looking at you "Brooklyn"), two closing night films that were reportedly pretty good (a rare occurrence for any film festival) and acclaimed movies that landed distribution deals which you'll be talking about all year long.
SANTA BARBARA — Saturday night the Santa Barbara International Film Festival shook things up a bit with the annual Modern Master Award tribute, this year dedicated to "Birdman" star Michael Keaton. Colleagues and co-stars sent pre-recorded messages to honor the actor, emotions ran high at the end of the evening and the fest had a special surprise in store for moderator Leonard Maltin as well.
The 42nd Annual Annie Awards were handed out on a busy Saturday night in the awards world and "How To Train Your Dragon 2" was the big winner.
The Art Directors Guild handed out their 2015 awards and outside of a Marvel Studios win in the Fantasy Film category, there weren't many surprises.
LOS ANGELES — It may be hard to believe, but the USC Scripter Award is honoring its 27th recipient this year. The Scripter is the equivalent of an Adapted Screenplay honor for both the screenwriter and the author of the original source material. The last five winners were "Up in the Air," "The Social Network," "The Descendants," "Argo" and "12 Years A Slave." Your 2015 winner? The duo behind "The Imitation Game."
The 2015 Sundance Film Festival concluded on Saturday (January 31) night with a Tig Notaro-hosted award ceremony in which it seemed like nearly everything was given an award by one of the Festival's juries.