Wins for 'The Help,' 'The Artist,' 'Martha Marcy May Marlene' at Casting Society of America Awards
Thought you'd seen "The Artist" win its last award? Think again. The Casting Society of America pretty much partied like it was 2011 at last night's Artios Awards -- the premier honor for casting directors in the industry, given the absence of an Oscar category for the discipline. (That absence is often lamented, but let's be honest -- the average Academy member knows even less about casting than he does about sound editing.)
Anyway, while a scattering of early 2012 releases -- "The Hunger Games," "21 Jump Street," "Friends With Kids" -- had cracked the nominee list, the CSA was all about the awards contenders of 2011 when it came to choosing the winners. "The Help" took the prize in the Big-Budget Feature: Drama category, which is hardly surprising, given the number of ensemble awards (culminating in SAG's top honor) the film took down last season.
The corresponding Comedy award, meanwhile, went to "Crazy, Stupid, Love." Is casting a comedy such a different skill from casting a drama that they require separate awards? I wouldn't have thought so, but I suppose there's no harm in spreading the wealth. One budgetary rung down, in the Studio or Independent Feature division, "The Artist" took the Comedy award, while "My Week With Marilyn" triumphed in the Drama section. (Unlike the Golden Globes, the CSA clearly wasn't duped into thinking that lightweight memory piece was actually a comedy.)
"Happy Feet Two" won the animation division, while "Martha Marcy May Marlene" -- a film that really seemed to take care with casting even the most incidental faces -- took the award for low-budget features. It's nice to see one of 2011's best films rewarded for something after being unaccountably passed over for most of last season.
The Career Achievement Award at last night's ceremony went to Ben Affleck, giving him a chance to warm up his acceptance speech skills for the coming months. Meanwhile, his "Argo" casting director, Lora Kennedy, received the Hoyt Bowers Award for Excellence in Casting. I expect she'll be making a return trip in the competitive categories next year.
The list of winners in the film categories:
Outstanding Casting in a Big-Budget Feature (Drama): Kerry Barden and Paul Schnee, "The Help"
Outstanding Casting in a Big-Budget Feature (Comedy): Mindy Marin and Kara Lipson, "Crazy, Stupid, Love"
Outstanding Casting in a Studio or Independent Feature (Drama): Deborah Aquila, Tricia Wood and Nina Gold, "My Week With Marilyn"
Outstanding Casting in a Studio or Independent Feature (Comedy): Heidi Levitt and Michael Sanford, "The Artist"
Outstanding Casting in a Low-Budget Feature (Drama or Comedy): Susan Shopmaker, "Martha Marcy May Marlene"
Outstanding Casting in an Animated Feature: Kristy Carlson, "Happy Feet Two"
1997 | Crime | RSummary: Quentin Tarantino adaptats an Elmore Leonard novel into this story of a few increasingly desperate people scraping to get by.Director: Quentin Tarantino
Cast: Pam Grier, Samuel L. Jackson, Robert Forster
1995 | Mystery | NRSummary: Denzel Washington plays an out of work WWII vet who takes the wrong job and is soon neck-deep in a mess of politics, murder, and jazz in '40s Los Angeles.Director: Carl Franklin
Cast: Denzel Washington, Tom Sizemore, Jennifer Beals
2013 | Comedy | NRSummary: Insanely funny comedy show created by Amy Schumer, who stars in brilliantly funny sketches about sex, city living, dating, and friendship.Director: Daniel Powell, Amy Schumer (creators)
Cast: Amy Schumer, Kevin Kane, Mike Houston
1993 | Sports | PGSummary: Emotionally powerful sports classic featuring Sean Astin as a skinny high school kid with big football dreams and the determination to make his way towards his dream team at Notre Dame.Director: David Anspaugh
Cast: Sean Astin, Jon Favreau, Ned Beatty
2008 | Science Fiction | PGSummary: Animated series continues the story of Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker as they battle the Emperor Palpatine, Count Dooku and General Grievous, but also takes time to explore other smaller characters in the Star Wars universe.Director: George Lucas (creator)
Cast: Tom Kane, Dee Bradley Baker, Matt Lanter
2013 | Drama | RSummary: Leonardo DiCaprio and Jonah Hill have boundless energy in the story of a real-life commodities crook who earned millions through scummy small-time stock trades.Director: Martin Scorsese
Cast: Leonardo DiCaprio, Jonah Hill, Margot Robbie
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