No surprise here: "Zero Dark Thirty," which led the nominations for the Alliance of Women Film Journalists Awards last month, cleaned up when it came to winners. With eight awards, it won almost every category in which it was cited, with Kathryn Bigelow taking prizes for both Best Director and, obviously enough, Best Woman Director. "Beasts of the Southern Wild" took a trio of prizes while, among the groups quirkier categories, the Adam Sandler vehicle "That's My Boy" won the Hall of Shame award for misogynistic content. Full list of winners below, with everything else at The Circuit.
UPDATE (1/9 - 3:18am ET): Poor Matthew McConaughey looks so lonely over there now that there isn't a prediction to go along with the photo. Alas, the BAFTA nominations tonight have steered me this way and that. Of course "Skyfall" was going to go over big there, but that along with the SAG nod for Javier Bardem give me enough to go ahead and spring for him instead. Sorry, Matty.
I do, however, think BAFTA may have gone for "Django Unchained" more than the Academy did, but we'll see if that's true. Nevertheless, I've gone ahead and added "Django" to my Best Picture predictions (it was already at #10), bringing it to a full set of 10. Screw it. I've been thinking there's enough passion to go around to afford as much, but, well, we'll see. A few other tweaks and whatnot throughout. All this will be more set in stone when our final predictions gallery goes up Wednesday morning. Look for that for the final word.
EARLIER: So, these are pretty much finalized. I don't know that the DGA will add or subtract much, regardless of their choices. It's a funky season.
First question sure to come: Why "The Intouchables?" When you're the first screener out of the gate, you're seen early and, sometimes, often. And the film has stuck with a lot of members. While others like "Django Unchained" and "The Impossible" and even, though I'm still sticking with it, "Amour," are just hoping to be seen in the home stretch, films like "Skyfall" and "Flight" and, indeed, "The Intouchables" have built up some fans along with frontrunners like "Argo" and "Lincoln." That will either translate or it won't, but I don't mind stepping out onto a few limbs this year. It's a funky season.
That fifth slot in Best Supporting Actor? Yeah, it might just go to Javier Bardem, who managed the SAG nomination for a film that has the British voting block behind it (as does "The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel") and is well-liked. It could go to one of the "Django Unchained" hopefuls, though they seem in danger of canceling each other out. So why not go on a wing and a prayer with Matthew McConaughey in "Magic Mike?" He picked up some key critics awards at the right time, just after hitting the press trail, rail thin, showing physical dedication to his next film. And he's likable. Sure, I'll make that bet. It's a funky season.
Every year there are discrepancies between guild/industry nominations and their Academy counterparts. And the Cinema Audio Society is no exception. Just last year, "Hanna," "Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides" and "Super 8" all yielded to "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo," "Transformers: Dark of the Moon" and "War Horse" with the Academy. And only twice in the Society's history have their nods and the sound branch's nominees for Best Sound Mixing (or Best Sound, as the category used to be called) matched up.
This year? Well, this year, who knows? It's a strange season in that a number of people have missed a number of movies. So something like "Django Unchained" misses here. Then again, "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey" did find a place. The two perceived frontrunners in the category, "Les Misérables" and "Skyfall," are there, but missing are summer blockbusters like "The Avengers" (which seemed all systems go for Oscar), "The Dark Knight Rises" (no surprise given the criticisms) and "Prometheus" (which boasts a heck of a track).
In these final heated days before the Oscar nominations, even the most minor kerfuffle can become a story, and so it's been with the Academy's supposedearly announcement a few days ago of one nominee: "Django Unchained" costume designer Sharen Davis. A test page announcing Davis's third nomination was accidentally published on the Academy's official site a few days ago. Scott Feinberg was among those pointing out that the "leak" can't have been legit, given that votes were still being counted, and was indeed nothing more than a randomly chosen example to test the format, but that hasn't stopped the story from spreading. In any case, Davis's nod for "Django"'s dynamic duds already looked a pretty sure thing, with or without the Academy's "confirmation." [Vanity Fair]
The North Texas Film Critics Association has thrown another log on the fire for Steven Spielberg's "Lincoln," the film's second critics Best Picture prize of the season. The film also won Best Director, Best Actor and Best Supporting Actor. Anne Hathaway (Best Supporting Actress) and Claudio Miranda (Best Cinematography) kept it from being a clean sweep. Check out the full list of winners below. As always, dig the season at The Circuit.
Just as "Argo" had pulled it to a tie, "Zero Dark Thirty" takes another step out ahead of the critics awards haul with Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actress and Best Screenplay honors from the Vancouver Film Critics Circle. Joaquin Phoenix, Philip Seymour Hoffman and Amy Adams won awards for their performances in "The Master." Check out the full list below and, as always, you know: The Circuit.
Last week the visual effects branch of the Academy held its annual bake-off. The seven films in competition were "The Amazing Spider-Man," "The Avengers," "Cloud Atlas," "The Dark Knight Rises," "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey," "John Carter," "Life of Pi," "Prometheus," "Skyfall" and "Snow White and the Huntsman." Of those 10, "Cloud Atlas," "John Carter," "Skyfall" and "Snow White and the Huntsman" were shut out of today's Visual Effects Society nominations. So take that as you will for Oscar prospects.
The Online Film Critics have jumped on the increasingly-strong "Argo" bandwagon and handed the film its Best Picture prize for 2012. Paul Thomas Anderson nabbed Best Director after his film, "The Master," led the way with nominations. Philip Seymour Hoffman was also recognized for his work in the film. Daniel Day-Lewis and Jessica Chastain won top acting honors and Anne Hathaway picked up yet another prize for her performance in "Les Misérables." Check out the full list of winners below and keep track of it all at The Circuit.
The BAFTA Rising Star Award, the one prize subjected to a public vote at the UK's answer to the Oscars, can be a frustrating business. More often than not, it pits a host of gifted young actors against one contender with a higher profile among Britain's youthful texting masses, rendering the competition a bit flat -- and the outcome often a bit iffy. Noel Clarke over Michael Fassbender? Adam Deacon over anyone? We may routinely complain about awards bodies' decisions, but it still beats hearing the people sing.
This year, however, the BAFTA jury charged with compiling the nominees appears to have safeguarded against that problem with a discerning, evenly matched shortlist of names, most of whom will be unfamiliar to multiplex crowds.
The Best Foreign Language Film race so far has proceeded with a minimum of the usual controversy: most countries' selections were met with approval, and the Academy's eventual shortlist is a credible one. Still, dissatisfaction lingers, whether it's with the overwhelmingly European slant of this year's shortlist, or the one-film-per-country rule. Mark Olsen speaks to the directors and distributors of this year's shortlisted films to get their take on the fundamentally flawed award. Jeff Lipsky, head of "Sister" distributor Adopt Films has this to say: "The category is called best foreign language film, not best foreign language film as selected by an overly politicized committee in every nation of the world." (He also describes the widespread presumption that "Amour" is going to win an "inexplicable manifest avalanche.") [LA Times]