After what has been universally acknowledged as a banner year for black filmmakers and black-themed cinema, the NAACP Image Awards -- usually an awards haven for popular film in the Tyler Perry vein -- have an unusual amount of prestige titles to recognize this year. Oscar frontrunner "12 Years a Slave," of course, figures heavily into the equation with six nominations, but its Lee Daniels' summer sleeper hit "The Butler" that leads the way with eight.
Other nominees range from '12 Years a Slave' to 'The Best Man Holiday'
The final season of AMC's hit series landed four nominations in one category
The American Cinema Editors (ACE) organization has announced nominees for the 64th annual ACE Eddie Awards, and "American Hustle" has predictably kept its strong guild showing going with a notice in the comedy or musical category.
Also: Steve McQueen's new TV project, and 'American Hustle's' J.Law problem
For a while now, awards-watchers have noted the transformation of BAFTA from a quirky British outsider to a fairly slavish Oscar follower in the awards race -- and it turns out some voters have too. One, in particular, has anonymously admonished the organization (himself included) for dishonest voting: "The voting process is based less on artistic merit than on a combination of coercion, trend-following and pot luck ... Bafta voting guidelines state explicitly that you must only vote for films you have seen. Which makes perfect sense. But I've done it. And I bet everyone else has, too. You vote for the ones you think are going to win. We're sheep. And we follow the sheep in front of us ... It's why the same old names appear year after year." Not exactly a revelation, this, nor is it is exclusive to BAFTA. [The Guardian]
HitFix's awards team places bets across the board
Sunday night brings the 71st annual Golden Globe Awards. Members of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association will have their (and their various whisperers') say on the awards season in the form of wins in a variety of categories, on both the film and television side. Who will turn out the night's big winner? Will "Gravity," "12 Years a Slave" or "American Hustle" take command of the Oscar race? Will "Breaking Bad" get one more big send-off? Find out the answers to those questions and more as Gregory Ellwood, Guy Lodge, Daniel Fienberg and I place our bets on the various races, and tune in Sunday night to see who was right, and who was wrong.
Part one of our final analysis before the nominations are unveiled
Here we go again. A week from today, the nominees for the 86th annual Academy Awards will be announced. Here at Tech Support, we've analyzed each of the 10 crafts categories, and interviewed several of the contenders. It's now a waiting game with final calls to be made. Today, we take a final look at the fields of cinematography, music, makeup and hairstyling and visual effects.
Something for everyone, including Dave Grohl
The other day somebody asked me what my money was on for the Best Documentary Feature Oscar, and I realized I had no answer. Unlike last year, when "Searching for Sugar Man" swept all before it on its way to the Oscar podium, documentary honors have been generously dispersed this season -- and that trend of spreading the wealth continued at last night's Cinema Eye Honors in New York.
Awards recognize screenplays adapted from published work
The USC Scripter Awards are one of the more interesting precursor awards on the circuit, recognizing as they do two different forms of authorship. Sometimes mistaken for a direct equivalent of the Best Adapted Screenplay Oscar, they are in fact limited to films based on published source material, rewarding both the screenwriter responsible for the adaptation and the author of the original text. (That means Oscar contenders like "Before Midnight" and "August: Osage County" are out of the picture.)
Winners to be announced on February 8
There are no big surprises in this morning's list of Art Directors Guild nominees -- though I guess leaving "Oz the Great and Powerful" out of the Fantasy category is an unexpected display of good taste. All the expected Oscar contenders for Best Production Design showed up in one of the Guild's three categories, notably the Period field, where Judy Becker's lurid 70s decor for "American Hustle," Catherine Martin's Jazz Age excess for "The Great Gatsby" and Adam Stockhausen's tangibly weathered plantation sets for "12 Years a Slave" will presumably duke it out for the win. (Nice, too, to see Jess Gonchor's gorgeously faded recreation of early-60s New York in "Inside Llewyn Davis" make the cut.)
Also: BAFTA's British problem, and listening to all 75 Oscar-contending songs
They may not be as sexy as the main Academy Awards ceremony -- something the Academy effectively acknowledges by annually selecting the hottest ingenue available to host the evening -- but the Scientific and Technical Awards Presentation honors any number of worthy artists who contribute invaluably to our movie-watching pleasure. This year 52 individuals, covering 19 technical achievements, have been named as honorees, including cinematographer and VFX supervisor Peter W. Anderson, the recipient of this year's honorary Gordon E. Sawyer Award. (His credits range from "The China Syndrome" to "U2 3D.") The awards will be presented on February 15. [Deadline]
Why David O. Russell's jagged comedy isn't a safe option
We're still a week away from the Oscar nominations and haven't so much as a clue how large this year's Best Picture category will be, yet the race already seems comfortably pared down to three films. That's not a complaint. Three plausible Best Picture contenders is more than we're given in many an Oscar year, even at the pre-nomination stage; I'm just happy in years when there appears to be a race at all. And I'm particularly happy with this one, given that the films in question -- "12 Years a Slave," "Gravity" and "American Hustle," if you haven't got the memo yet -- make for such a vibrant and disparate trifecta.