Another feather in Kathryn Bigelow's cap
The Boston Society of Film Critics has joined the New York Film Critics Circle and the National Board of Review in crowning "Zero Dark Thirty" the year's best film. Kathryn Bigelow won Best Director while Daniel Day-Lewis ("Lincoln") and Emmanuelle Riva ("Amour") won top acting honors. The group clearly liked "Moonrise Kingdom," which won Best Use of Music and went on to pop up in a number of runner-up spots.
Check out the full list of winners below with running commentary on the winners.
96-year-old legend receives an original manuscript of 'Raging Bull' from De Niro and Scorsese
SANTA BARBARA - The Santa Barbara International Film Festival presented the 7th Annual Kirk Douglas Award for Film Excellence Saturday night to Robert De Niro. Douglas, who turned a spry 96-years-old on Sunday, was on hand as were De Niro's "Silver Lining Playbook" cohorts Bradley Cooper and director David O. Russell. Previous honorees include Michael Douglas, Harrison Ford, Quentin Tarantino, Ed Harris, John Travolta and Kirk Douglas himself.
What will win, and what should, at tomorrow's ceremony
While the US precursor circuit is getting into the swing of things, tomorrow marks the first major date of the British awards calendar: the British Independent Film Awards. Ostensibly the UK's answer to the Independent Spirit Awards (though they don't define "independence" by quite the same criteria), it's a ceremony that has grown in prominence in recent years, representing a larger sample of the local film industry than the slavishly Oscar-minded BAFTA Awards. That said, the BIFAs have given nascent awards juggernauts like "The King's Speech" and "Slumdog Millionaire" their first big trophy hauls of the season.
Nobody will be looking the BIFAs for any Oscar cues this year. After last year's awards reflected a banner year for British film -- "We Need to Talk About Kevin," "Shame," "Tyrannosaur," "Weekend" and "Senna" -- were among the big winners, this year's lineup of nominees, while studded with high-level work, doesn't boast quite the same lustre.
And a consideration of how much is too much
Last night the winners of the first-ever Boston Online Film Critics Association Awards landed via press release, and I left it for a moment. I'm weighing the pros and cons of posting every single one of these things this year because it begins to be a giant, unvetted clutter of opinion. Who are these folks and why did they decide to form their own group rather than let the Boston Society of Film Critics speak for the area and/or push for membership therein?
I imagine the latter has happened -- I don't know these guys and I'm not passing judgment -- and all politics are local. And I don't say this next thing by way of insult to them (or even as a comparative statement because it's not), but if a bunch of people with Live Journals in Los Angeles up and decide there needs to be an LA Online group, do we just pass their picks along with the rest? Is the job just providing safe passage or should some curation be in order? I don't know, but find the Boston online crowd's winners below, in any case.
A big feather in the Oscar frontrunner's cap
Perceived Oscar frontrunner "Searching for Sugar Man" took top honors at the International Documentary Association Awards this evening. The portrait of long-"lost" recording artist Rodriguez also won Best Music. "How to Survive a Plague" director David France won an award for emerging talent while last year's Oscar winner for Best Documentary Short, "Saving Face," won in the shorts category. Check out a full list of winners below.
The production designer and set decorator are Oscar frontrunners
Is all the world a stage? Well, in Joe Wright’s “Anna Karenina,” the stage became the medium through which the director retold Leo Tolstoy’s classic story. An unusual choice fraught with risks? To be sure. An extraordinary amount of potential? Equally certain. But production designer Sarah Greenwood and set decorator Katie Spencer were tasked with helping Wright’s vision come to fruition. We recently spoke to the duo about their work on the film.
Also: The doc shortlist and recapping the Governors Awards
Welcome to Oscar Talk.
In case you're new to the site and/or the podcast, Oscar Talk is a weekly kudocast, your one-stop awards chat shop between yours truly and Anne Thompson of Thompson on Hollywood. The podcast is weekly, every Friday 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.
Adopt Films begin rolling out the Portuguese marvel on December 26
With Top 10 season upon us, I'm slowly beginning to whittle down a year's worth of viewing into some sort of order. And while I have a lot to see before I can actually finalize my list -- my screening diary for the next week is a veritable pileup of supposed awards fare, nearly as dense as a festival schedule -- I'll need to see an improbable amount of four-star films between then and now for "Tabu" not to land in its upper reaches.
Since the Berlinale 10 months ago, you've heard me badgering on about Portuguese director Miguel Gomes's semi-silent wonder -- part postmodern comedy, part rapturous colonial-era love story -- with a range of artistic reference points that ranges from F.W. Murnau to Phil Spector. I'm far from alone in my enthusiasm: it landed at #2 on Sight & Sound's Best of 2012 critics' poll last weekend. It hits US screens in a few weeks, but I only recently latched onto this US trailer from Adopt Films (in which, I'm chuffed to say, I'm one of the critics quoted.)
Also: Critics split on 'Les Mis,' and stage elite pick their film directors of 2012
Today's most enjoyable Oscar-related feature comes from Steve Pond, who has rounded up a selection of the more notable and/or quirky campaign maneuvers from the season thus far, from curious merchandise (a "Lincoln" cookbook, haggis crisps for "Brave") to an Academy rule violation by shortlisted doc "The Invisible War." My favorite, though, is a typewritten letter to BFCA voters from the campaign-averse Steven Soderbergh on behalf of Matthew McConaughey: "I'm breaking my longstanding embargo regarding pleas for recognition... we found [his performance] to be completely bananas in the best sense of the word. As he says in the film, 'The moon is just a chip shot away!'" Now one for for Channing Tatum, please. [The Wrap]
Are you ready for three more years?
NEW YORK -- Warner Bros. spared no expense tonight ringing in the arrival of Peter Jackson's "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey" with a New York premiere and an ornate after-party at Guastavino's on the east side. The space's "soaring granite arches and catalan vaulted tiled ceiling," to steal from its own PR, served as a perfect palette for Middle Earth-inspired wares. Wooden tables decked with candelabras and other similar decor offered a comfortable dose of Hobbiton as Jackson, stars Martin Freeman, Andy Serkis and Ian McKellen, "Argo" director Ben Affleck, actors Patrick Stewart, Elijah Wood, Liv Tyler and many more filled the room to capacity.
The toast, of course, is to Jackson's accomplishment, the first in a new, sure-to-be-expansive trilogy of films adapted from J.R.R. Tolkien's intro to "The Lord of the Rings." And hopes are rightly high that the film will land just right with fanbases both old and new to send this one soaring at the box office. But while the film's aesthetic and feel certainly hearkens back to the franchise Jackson launched in the early aughts, there were attempts at mining a new identity, and much of that was inherent in the enterprise.