No one needs awards coverage this deep
'Tree of Life' and 'Tinker, Tailor' lose out at Polish cinematography festival
Kaya Scodelario in Andrea Arnold's "Wuthering Heights," for which DP Robbie Ryan was honored at the Camerimage festival.
Credit: Oscilloscope Pictures
The Camerimage festival, to my knowledge the only international film festival dedicated specifically to honoring the art of cinematography, rarely gets much attention on the awards beat, but it's always an interesting event to follow. Based in Poland, the festival annually programs a selection of the year's most remarkably photographed films, ranging from mainstream awards fare to exotic obscurities, with an international jury judging the DP's work in each case.
Naturally, awards follow. "The Piano" won the festival's inaugural Golden Frog award in 1993, while subsequent winners include "Elizabeth," "Road to Perdition," "City of God," "Pan's Labyrinth," "The Diving Bell and the Butterfly" and "Slumdog Millionaire."
But if all those were high-profile lensing showcases than went on to receive Oscar recognition in the same category, the awards can just as often go in unexpected directions.
The steward of the form has his say on the FYC circuit
Andy Serkis on the set of "Rise of the Planet of the Apes"
Credit: 20th Century Fox
Andy Serkis is in the middle of nowhere. Quite literally. He's at the base of Mt. Cook in New Zealand's Southern Alps filming second unit material on Peter Jackson's heavily anticipated film "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey" and cell service is a luxury.
Last Thursday, in fact, the actor accepted the Tech Pioneer Award from the Whistler Film Festival via Skype. But it wasn't so easy. He was in a helicopter, landed in a field in a remote farming community, found the house of someone who knew someone who knew someone on the crew and set up a laptop in the living room to call in.
This morning -- amid a number of dropped calls, natch -- I talked to him ostensibly for an upcoming Tech Support interview regarding the visual effects of "Rise of the Planet of the Apes" and "The Adventures of Tintin" (each of which feature Serkis in performance capture roles). But it seemed like a good opportunity to get his thoughts on the technology's place in the awards season while I was at it.
'Melancholia' wins top award, while Brits rule the acting races
The ensemble of Lars von Trier's "Melancholia," which took top honors at Saturday's European Film Awards.
Credit: Magnolia Pictures
Apologies for being a little slow this weekend in getting to the European Film Award results -- which Gregory Ellwood listed over on his blog. It was a busy day, and by the time I remembered them, the British Independent Film Awards swallowed up my evening.
Still, it seems we were not the only people with other things on our mind: apparently, most of the major winners couldn't be bothered to turn up to what this first-hand report suggests was a pretty shoddy ceremony. In the case of Lars von Trier -- whose film "Melancholia," as expected, won the Best European Film award -- that was to be expected. Having publicly taken a vow of silence a few months ago in the wake of further official admonishment for his controversial Nazi-related comments at Cannes in May, he proved as good as his word, sending his wife to collect the award on his behalf. Lucky woman.
Make your case for the film's Oscar worthiness
Make your case and win!
Credit: Paramount Pictures
We're closing in on the holiday season, so what better time to start up our contest circuit? The swag is coming fast and furious and I need to unload it before it takes over my dining room table like a fungus. #humblebrag
Paramount Pictures has been giving it the old college try on bringing "Super 8" back around and situating it in or near the awards conversation. The film -- which you'll recall wasn't exactly a high mark for me this year -- was beloved by many and I imagine a number of readers would like a crack at some free goodies. So let's give this a whirl.
I have two DVD copies of "Super 8" to give away. So if you want one, help Paramount make its case for the film in the awards season. In 100 words or less, explain why the film is, to you, one of the year's finest and why it deserves serious Oscar consideration. The two answers that come closest to making me consider the implications of the argument (since, alas, no argument is likely to outright convince me) get the spoils.
Deadline is Wednesday at noon, PT, and I'll note the winners in the comments section here. Now... Go!
Does the 'Moneyball' way translate to Oscar campaigning?
"Margin Call" is making a splash on VOD this season at a time when standing out is key.
Credit: Roadside Attractions
Tying Bennett Miller's "Moneyball" to the times has been a bit of a dubious game of connect the dots to me all season long. Much as I love the film (which walked away with two key prizes at last week's New York Film Critics Circle awards vote). I respect that there are universal truths therein, but I think thrusting the faux gravitas of zeitgeist onto it is a stretch.
Nevertheless, I think the film does speak to a more specific and, for our purposes, applicable idea: awards season campaign spending.
Reading through Patrick Goldstein's recent column at the Los Angeles Times calling for a luxury tax on studios that spend over a pre-determined cap (good idea), it got me thinking of what it takes to stand out in an Oscar season, the creativity involved, and indeed, the creative spending. Not everyone can be the New York Yankees this time of year, but with the right brain trust, anyone can be the Oakland Athletics.
The thing about Oscar season is that it's not about getting people to like your movie. It's about getting people to watch your movie. Anne and I are always talking on Oscar Talk about the intimidating pile of screeners that accumulates on voters' shelves every year. Everyone is going to watch "War Horse," "The Artist," "The Help" -- movies everyone is talking about. The trick is getting people to put your movie into the player, too.
So you get creative.
'Rango' and 'Rio' not far behind as Pixar joins the party again
"Kung Fu Panda 2" led the way with 11 nominations.
Credit: DreamWorks Animation
The 39th annual Annie Award nominees have been announced this morning, and as usual, DreamWorks Animation had a really strong showing. The studio's one-two punch of "Kung Fu Panda 2" and "Puss in Boots" led the field with 11 and nine nominations respectively.
DreamWorks has been mobilizing as of late behind the scenes, bringing on awards publicists outside of the in-house Paramount team. The thinking is that the studio has a big slate, what with home-grown productions like "The Adventures of Tintin" and "Rango" to work with as it is, and no one wants the focus split too much. That's doubly important considering that, even in a five-nominee year, it'll be tough for DreamWorks to get both of its films in.
"The Adventures of Tintin" managed to be nominated for Best Animated Feature, but as I've been mentioning all season, I anticipated the film would be qualified as animation for the Oscars to avoid a stink, but I don't expect the animation branch to nominate it in the final analysis. We'll see if that happens.
Event to correspond with Paramount Pictures' 100th anniversary celebration
Clara Bow in William A. Wellman's "Wings"
Credit: Paramount Pictures
A few weeks ago, in a piece concerning Technicolor's restoration of a colorized print of Georges Méliès's "A Trip to the Moon" featured in Martin Scorsese's "Hugo," I mentioned that one of the projects the company was working on was a restoration of the first-ever Best Picture winner, William A. Wellman's "Wings."
The Academy announced this week that the film will screen as part of a celebration of Paramount Pictures' 100th anniversary (though pity the release says nothing about Technicolor). The screening will happen on Wednesday, January 18 at the Academy's Samuel Goldwyn Theater in Beverly Hills and will feature live musical accompaniment from organist Clark Wilson.
The live music aspect is nice and all, but the restoration also came with a full-on orchestral re-recording of the score for the film. I'm told that will be featured on the upcoming home video release.
Martin Scorsese and Michelle Williams also honored
Martin Scorsese won his second prize for Best Director.
Credit: Paramount Pictures
God bless the Washington D.C. Area Film Critics Association, which has the quickest turnaround time on nods-to-winners of the circuit. They announce and get out of your hair really fast, and sometimes, they shine a light in interesting areas.
When "The Artist" swept through with a field-leading eight nominations Saturday, the writing was on the wall. Indeed, the film won the Best Picture and Best Score prizes from the organization, but curiously, nothing else. The wealth was spread as Martin Scorsese nailed down Best Director for "Hugo" (his second prize of the season), George Clooney won Best Actor for his work on "The Descendants" and Michelle Williams took Best Actress for "My Week with Marilyn."
Albert Brooks also claimed his second trophy of the year, winning Best Supporting Actor for "Drive," while Octavia Spencer claimed her first Best Supporting Actress win of the year for "The Help."
Also: Chandler on awards season 60 years ago and Oscar hopes for 'The Muppets'
"Attack the Block" features one of the best film scores of the year.
Credit: Screen Gems
Todd McCarthy has written up the best films scores of the year. So I guess I'll offer up some favorites. I love traditional stuff from John Williams ("The Adventures of Tintin") and Howard Shore ("Hugo") this year. I also delighted in the jazzy change of pace Alberto Iglesias gave "Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy," as well as the subtle grandeur Mychael Danna brought to "Moneyball." Alexandre Desplat's shifting gears in the midst of his work on "The Ides of March" was fantastic. Hans Zimmer's "Rango" work was memorable and I actually dug what Patrick Doyle did on "Rise of the Planet of the Apes," but I'd love to see Steven James get some recognition for what he did on "Attack the Block" some time this year. (As if.) [Hollywood Reporter]
Acting awards for Michael Fassbender, Olivia Colman and Vanessa Redgrave
Best Actress winner Olivia Colman and Peter Mullan in "Tyrannosaur," which took top honors at the BIFA Awards.
Credit: Strand Releasing
It may be deemed the British film most likely to register at the Oscars and BAFTAs, but UK box-office sleeper "Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy" had to take a back seat to the little guys at tonight's British Independent Film Awards in London. Instead, it was Paddy Considine's hard-hitting directorial debut "Tyrannosaur" that surprisingly emerged as the night's big winner, taking three awards including Best British Independent Film.
Considine's debut is a vastly impressive and assured one, striking its emotional notes hard and serving as a vehicle for some startling performances -- the most haunting of which, Olivia Colman's grievously abused middle-class samaritan, was a richly deserving winner of the Best Actress award. (Tilda Swinton's run of luck this week, which saw her triumph at the National Board of Review and the European Film Awards, came to an end here.)