The day before the Golden Globes has always been packed full of industry events and pre-show parties. 2014 was no different, especially if you were anywhere near Doheny Drive in Beverly Hills or West Hollywood.
Spirit Awards, CBS, BAFTA and more vie for attention
Statistics, passion and guilds all weigh in
The ballots have been cast. Voting is over (for the moment). There is nothing any pundit, actor, director, studio head or awards season sweet talker can do to affect the nominees for the 86th Academy Awards. It's done. Now, all anyone in the game can do is wait. And maybe try to shake off their nervousness with a few drinks over this busy event weekend.
Wrapping up one last look at the craft categories before next week's announcement
We're within a week of the big moment. Oscar nominations will be announced on Thursday next week and we'll find out which films are the dominant forces throughout the Academy's various craft categories. Yesterday we began final Tech Support analysis of the field with the categories of Best Cinematography, Makeup and Hairstyling, Original Score, Original Song and Visual Effects. Today we round out the field with the rest.
Judi Dench and Maggie Smith among the returning cast members
Love "The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel?" Love Richard Gere? Well, consider your day made. Fox Searchlight announced today that production on a sequel to the British feelgood hit from 2012 is officially under way in India, with Fox Searchlight once more backing the enterprise, and the first film's Oscar-nominated director John Madden ("Shakespeare in Love") back behind the camera.
'12 Years a Slave' takes a trio of acting awards
The Georgia Film Critics' Association, who had one of the more interesting nomination lists of the circuit so far, have named Spike Jonze's "Her" the best film of the year., also handing it awards for Jonze's screenplay and Arcade Fire's score. Joaquin Phoenix initially tied with "12 Years a Slave" star Chiwetel Ejiofor for Best Actor, but the latter was handed the win based on nomination votes; Ejiofor's co-stars Michael Fassbender and Lupita Nyong'o were also rewarded. Alas, the extensive love for "Upstream Color" at the nomination stage didn't result in any awards, though "Short Term 12" for Best Adapted Screenplay is an against-the-grain choice. Full list of winners after the jump; everything else at The Circuit.
The slavery drama takes Best Picture, Director and three acting awards
I think our 50-state tour of the American critics' awards is slowly drawing to a close, but not before we hear from the Iowa Film Critics' Association. And they like "12 Years a Slave" even more than the numerous other groups who have liked "12 Years a Slave" in the past six weeks. Steve McQueen's film took every award it could from the group, including Best Picture, Director and three acting prizes. (They don't appear to have a screenplay category.) "American Hustle" and "Nebraska" had strong support, to judge from the runner-up citations, but not enough to halt the sweep. Full list of winners and runners-up (second and third place, if you're being hyper-specific) after the jump; everything else at The Circuit.
Guild members pack Chinese Theater for Q&A
HOLLYWOOD - Academy members may have already submitted their ballots to determine this year's Oscar nominations, but determining the industry's guild winners is coming down to the wire. That was just one reason why Warner Bros. hosted an IMAX screening of Alfonso Cuarón's "Gravity" with an impressive Q&A afterward at the Chinese Theater Thursday night for all of the major guilds. And if it ends up rubbing off on some Academy members in attendance down the road, that won't hurt either.
Spectacle director will receive inaugural Founder's Award
A few years back, I think it was at the 2011 Santa Barbara film festival, I asked Christopher Nolan (then making the rounds for "Inception") if he could ever see himself heading back to the Independent Spirit Awards with a modest piece of work. After all, the director got his start at Slamdance in Park City, with the 1999 entry "Following," and again a couple years later with "Memento," which would later be recognized at the Spirits.
And why isn't 'Inside Llewyn Davis' taking off with the industry?
Welcome to Oscar Talk.
In case you're new to the site and/or the podcast, Oscar Talk is your one-stop awards chat shop between yours truly and Anne Thompson of Thompson on Hollywood. The podcast is broadcast in special installments throughout the season, charting the ups and downs of contenders along the way. Plenty of things change en route to Oscar's stage and we're here to address it all as it unfolds.
On the docket today…
Spike Jonze's very 21st-century love story opens wide today
Spike Jonze's "Her" has been on limited release for the better part of a month now, but it finally goes wide today -- so those of you still left out of the loop can now find out why a film in which Joaquin Phoenix falls for a computer has attracted such critical superlatives across the board, as well as Best Picture prizes from the Los Angeles Film Critics' Association and National Board of Review.
I'm firmly in the fan club, having named it one of my top 15 films of 2013: I was touched by its high-concept romance, which I think touches on a number of hard truths about the way we communicate (or, more often don't) in the online age, was tickled by the gorgeous retro-futurism of its visuals, and think Joaquin Phoenix delivers one of the performances of the year. (Props to Scarlett Johansson's deft voice work, too, though I think Amy Adams is the unsung heroine of the piece.) Kris, however, is less convinced. Where do you land? Share your thoughts in the comments, and vote in the poll below.