Examples of a future exhibition at AMPAS' planned museum?
Earlier this week, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced a major gift of 1,088 of posters from the golden age of Hollywood. These pieces of art were donated by Dwight Cleveland, a Chicago real estate developer. According to the Academy, Cleveland has amassed one of the largest and most historically significant collections of movie posters in the world. His gift includes posters of westerns, war films, musicals, biblical tales, and social problem films.
In praise of the 'lighter' option in this year's Best Picture race
An accidental blessing it may be -- and one that has only come into effect since the Academy moved its calendar forward a few years ago -- but situating the Sundance Film Festival in the middle of Oscar season is a blessing nonetheless. A week of conversation about freshly unveiled, critically malleable films is a necessary tonic at a stage when the same small selection of Academy-approved contenders has been discussed, debated and designated for anything from two months to an entire year.
Emotion reigns throughout this year's slate
(The Oscar Guide will be your chaperone through the Academy's 24 categories awarding excellence in film. New installments will hit every weekday in the run-up to the Oscars on February 26, with the Best Picture finale on Friday, February 22.)
This year's Oscar nominees in the Best Documentary, Short Subject category are, as ever, a varied an eye-opening bunch. But emotion reigns throughout, always a key to capturing voters' hearts and securing support.
The doc shorts were not, however, part of the three categories newly opened to the entire membership. It will go at least one more year of providing select screenings of the contenders and therefore all voters will have to prove that they attended the screening in order to vote. Recent winners in the category have included "Saving Face," "Strangers No More," "Music by Prudence" and "Smile Pinki," and there's really no connective tissue there. Sometimes you have to just go with your gut on what might win the day.
The nominees are...
The editors' group also included 'Lincoln' among their nominees
As strongly as "Lincoln" has been performing throughout the season, Steven Spielberg has yet to receive much in the way of individual recognition for the film. That could change on Oscar night, of course. Until then, however, the American Cinema Editors have taken it upon themselves to reward the director, naming him the recipient of their annual Golden Eddie Award for Filmmaker of the Year.
Also: Streisand to perform at Oscars, and 'The Sapphires' sweeps Down Under
Harvey Weinstein has had enough success in the Oscar campaigning game -- including twin Best Picture bids this year for "Silver Linings Playbook" and "Django Unchained" -- that it can't pain him too much to admit to the odd miscalculation. Still, it's interesting to see him do so in an interview with Deadline's Mike Fleming. Weinstein blames Quentin Tarantino's absence from the Best Director category (hardly an easy race to crack this year, as Ben Affleck can tell you) on his own tardiness in sending out DVD screeners. He also claims he mismarketed Paul Thomas Anderson's "The Master": "I think the audience had trouble with the movie and needed to be guided and eased into it ... My attachment to 'The Master' was not the Scientology or religion; it was that in WWII, people like my dad and other combat veterans came back and were just lost after the war. Maybe if I’d explained the movie in those terms, that it was more of a spiritual quest for a veteran who had seen action and got lost, people might have responded differently." [Deadline]
Only three more weeks of voting left
Australian Academy hands five awards to David O. Russell's film
For the second year, the Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts -- which hands out their own local industry awards on their home turf -- held a separate ceremony in LA to honor their top international choices. And it turns out the Aussies like "Silver Linings Playbook." A lot.
The romantic dramedy, which led the AACTA nominee list with five mentions, won Best Picture, Director and Actress for Jennifer Lawrence, while the Board of Governors handed it two extra awards for the supporting performances of Robert De Niro and Jacki Weaver. (You might detect some national favoritism in the award for Weaver, as well as in a couple of nominations -- notably Ben Lewin for Best Director.) "Lincoln" and "Django Unchained" were the only two other films to get a look-in at last Friday's ceremony, which was hosted by Russell Crowe. Full list of nominees and winners after the jump, and at The Circuit.
An epic and blunt Q&A with filmmaker John Krokidas
PARK CITY - To say the filmmaker sitting in front of me is having a good week is something of an understatement. John Krokidas and I may share 24 mutual Facebook friends, but I don't know him well enough to gauge if his current euphoric demeanor is his normal disposition or the result of too many energy drinks combined with the thin air of Park City, Utah. I'll take a wild guess that only an upbeat and energetic person could have spent nine long years endeavoring to shoot his first feature. I'll also assume having said film, "Kill Your Darlings," debut at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival to strong reviews might be a huge relief. Moreover, having distributor Sony Classics acquire "Darlings" a few days after can't hurt either. Yes, it's been a great festival for Krokidas.
Heist drama Boyle's follow up to '127 Hours'
If you're expecting this Spring to be lacking in prestige fare, Fox Searchlight made an announcement today which may perk your interest. Danny Boyle's follow up to 2010's "127 Hours" is heading to theaters. "Trance," which stars James McAvoy, Vincent Cassel and Rosario Dawson, will debut in limited release on April 5. The thriller is currently scheduled to open in Boyle's native U.K. on March 27.
Nominations for the group's awards were announced last week
Amid the Sundance rush, it slipped my mind to list the nominations for the International Cinephile Society's awards -- for which I had a hand in voting. The ICS is a diverse group of over 80 film journalists, academics and the like, so their picks tend to veer a little off the beaten track. Here, for example, you'll find no mention of "Argo," "Les Mis" (no, not even for Anne Hathaway), "Life of Pi" or "Silver Linings Playbook," but plenty for foreign standouts like "Tabu" and "Once Upon a Time in Anatolia." "The Master" leads with 10 bids; "Holy Motors" follows with nine. Winners will be announced on February 9; check out the full list of nominees after the jump, and at The Circuit.