I'm super bummed that this year I can't make it to the USC Scripter Awards (alas, I'll be in Santa Barbara for Michael Keaton's tribute, which I just can't miss). They are my favorite event of the year, typically, a swanky little gathering in the Doheny Library on the USC campus that always brings back grad school memories. Sigh. Wait, there's news to tell you here…
After 2011’s "Bullhead" earned a Best Foreign Language Academy Award nomination, Matthias Schoenaerts could have become a James Bond villain and called it a day. Instead, the muscle-laden Belgian actor has challenged type-casting by sticking to promising films and name costars. Schoenaerts’ next project is destined for an awards frenzy: He’s set to join current Best Actor contender Eddie Redmayne in "The Danish Girl."
Since 1975, the People’s Choice Awards have been sidestepping the critics, guild members, Hollywood insiders, and anyone who could potentially earn the "professional" label to play litmus test of the general public. Anyone can vote using the PCA’s online, paving the way for a populist read on pop culture. What can we gather from the 2014 results? For one, the country is watching different movies.
In my opinion, there are better documentaries than "CITZENFOUR" in the Oscar race this year. Much better. But to judge by the circuit, they were nary a blip. Really unfortunate, I feel, but a steamroller is a steamroller. Laura Poitros' film dominated tonight's Cinema Eye Honors, which I honestly didn't expect from a group that has spread things a bit in the past and found interesting crevices in the documentary landscape.
Covering the awards season beat means you are often lucky enough to spend some time moderating post screening Q&As with some of the most talented filmmakers and actors in the world. I've seen some amazing reactions from audiences to some great films and some incredible talent on hand. What I hadn't seen before this season was a sold out theater give a standing ovation to a star at the beginning of a Q&A and then give another standing o after the Q&A was completed. That, ladies and gentlemen, was for the one and only Julianne Moore.
As Ava DuVernay's "Selma" moves out into wide release Friday, just 10 days shy of the Martin Luther King holiday on Jan. 19, the film finds itself in a tug-of-war over accuracy and dramatic license. If you've only skimmed the headlines or caught wind peripherally, here's a quick timeline of some of the debate's highlights.
Members of the North Carolina Film Critics Association have joined their Southeastern Film Critics Association counterparts in handing Wes Anderson's "Grand Budapest Hotel" the award for best narrative film of the year. Richard Linklater picked up Best Director for "Boyhood," while Michael Keaton ("Birdman") and — in a nice twist — Essie Davis ("The Babadook") took top acting honors.
The Writers Guild of America (WGA) nominations announcement is always an interesting bend in the Oscar road if only because of the various awards season players that find themselves ineligible. "Selma," "Mr. Turner" and "The Theory of Everything" were among the non-signatory DQs this year, as was "Birdman" — a fact I cop to completely missing somehow when I first wrote about the scripts that would not be competing this year. (*facepalm*) Those gaps are a beautiful thing for fringe players looking for a foothold, however.
The Denver Film Critics Society has announced nominees for the year, and it was "Birdman" that came away with the most mentions with eight. "American Sniper" and "Inherent Vice" weren't far being with six each. They liked "American Sniper" so much they even nominated Sienna Miller's somewhat wasted performance.
The Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts (AACTA) has announced 14 films nominated across seven categories – Best Film, Best Direction, Best Screenplay, Best Lead Actor, Best Lead Actress, Best Supporting Actor and Best Supporting Actress – for the 4th AACTA International Awards. For those following the circuit, the nominees should look familiar and preditictive of what we’ll see come Oscar time.