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Posts Tagged ‘Sideways’

Wednesday December 31st, 2014

L.A.-Based Films Get Some Boosts in the Oscar Race


By Anjelica Oswald
Managing Editor 

Jake Gyllenhaal takes to the streets of Los Angeles as a sleazy freelance TV crime reporter intent on capturing footage of accidents and crime in Nightcrawler, screenwriter Dan Gilroy’s directorial debut. The film has received praise since its premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival — the Los Angeles Times Kenneth Turan described the film as “pulp with a purpose” — and has built Oscar buzz since then. Turan also hailed cinematographer Robert Elswit’s ability to make “Los Angeles look like the dream and the nightmare rolled into one.”

Gilroy’s film has earned comparisons to Crash (2004), another L.A.-based crime drama that shocked many when it won best picture at the 2005 Oscars. With a vast majority of Academy members living in and around L.A., films located in L.A. may appeal to voters. Tom Ortenberg, the CEO of Open Road Films, Nightcrawler’s distributor, addressed similarities between both films to The Hollywood Reporter’s Scott Feinberg when he said, “They’re both very much L.A. stories — they’re movies that are about Los Angeles, that were shot in Los Angeles, that are important to the L.A. community and that say a lot about Los Angeles.” He also added, “It’s natural for them (L.A. residents) to seek the movie out, to be talking about the movie and to be affected by the film.”

In 2008, the L.A Times created a list of the top 25 films based in L.A. from the last 25 years which showcased features such as the neo-noir crime film L.A. Confidential (1997) and the Coen brothers’ comedy The Big Lebowski (1998). Not all of them received Oscar nominations, but some L.A.-based films did get an unexpected boost from the Academy. A number of 21st-century films centered in L.A. have scored Oscar nominations and wins, including four best picture winners: Million Dollar Baby (2004), Crash, The Artist (2011) and Argo (2012).

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Wednesday January 23rd, 2013

Why Prematurely Declaring An Oscar Frontrunner Is Never A Good Idea

By Joey Magidson
Film Contributor

***

In any realm of journalism, it’s all about being first on the scene. That certainly applies to writing about film and subsequently the Oscar race. Calling a winner well in advance is a badge of honor, though sometimes it works to cloud the objective view of a writer. I’ve come close to falling into that trap, but I do make a point to try and see the forest for the trees. This year is no exception, especially considering how wide open the Best Picture race is.

Subjectively, I love Argo. It’s my favorite film of 2012, and I’d be overjoyed to see it win Best Picture. That’s my personal feeling. Professionally, I think it’s somewhat foolish to take its recent Golden Globes and Critics Choice wins and assume that it’s now some sort of Oscar frontrunner. If Ben Affleck’s flick were to do well with the upcoming Guild awards, that’s another story, but right now no movie has won anything that automatically translates to Oscar.

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Wednesday January 2nd, 2013

Can ‘Silver Linings Playbook’ Overcome The Oscars’ Comedy Stigma And Win Best Picture?

By Joey Magidson
Film Contributor

***

Audiences and critics around the globe love a good comedy. Comedies make you feel good inside and provide you with some temporary happiness and respite from the troubles of the world at large. They’re some of the hardest movies to make, and they’re appreciated by almost everyone.

The lone holdouts? The voters of the Academy Awards.

Since 1977, when the Woody Allen comedy Annie Hall won Best Picture, exactly zero full-on comedies have won the Oscar. Yes, Allen’s film had dramedy elements to it, but it was far more of a comedy than last year’s winner, The Artist, which would probably be the closest thing we’ve had since then to a comedic winner. Others in that sort of hybrid realm include American Beauty, Driving Miss Daisy, Forrest Gump, Shakespeare in Love and Terms of Endearment.

This year we have an unusually strong comedy contender in the David O. Russell film Silver Linings Playbook. Generally regarded as one of the five Best Picture hopefuls that can actually win the prize, it faces an uphill battle due to its humor, much as Les Miserables does with its low Rotten Tomatoes score (as I recently discussed here) and Argo does with its comparatively early release date.

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Wednesday February 29th, 2012

George Clooney’s “The Descendants” Announces its DVD Release

By Sean O’Connell

Fresh off of its Academy Award win for Best Adapted Screenplay, “The Descendants” announces its upcoming DVD release, which will take place on Tuesday, March 13.

From director Alexander Payne, creator of the Oscar-winning “Sideways,” an award-winning feature about family members coming together to shoulder some difficult times.  Payne’s stellar cast includes Best Actor nominee George Clooney (“The Ides of March”) and Shailene Woodley (“The Secret Life of the American Teenager”) in her Golden Globe nominated and Independent Spirit Award winning role.

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Tuesday February 7th, 2012

Oscars: “The Descendants,” “The Artist” and the Oscars Nominees Luncheon

By Sean O’Connell

Now that the Super Bowl is over, the next BIG game on our nation’s horizon is the Oscar telecast, better known as the Super Bowl for movie fans.

We’ll have plenty of news items crossing the wire from now until Feb. 26, when the Academy gets together to hand out their annual Best Of trophies, starting with today’s headlines:

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Friday January 13th, 2012

5 Things the Critics’ Choice Awards Revealed About Oscar Race (Analysis)

The Broadcast Film Critics Association, of which I am proud to be a voting member, held its 17th annual Critics’ Choice Movie Awards last night at the historic Hollywood Palladium. The group found something to like about virtually all of the top Oscar contenders — The Artist (best picture, director, costume design, score), The Help (best ensemble, actress, supporting actress), The Descendants (best actor), Midnight in Paris (best original screenplay), Hugo (best art direction), Moneyball (best adapted screenplay), War Horse (best cinematography — tie), The Tree of Life (best cinematography — tie), The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo (best editing), Bridesmaids (best comedy), Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close (best young actor/actress), Drive (best action movie), Beginners (best supporting actor), Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 (best makeup, sound), Rango (best animated film), Rise of the Planet of the Apes (best visual effects), and A Separation (best foreign language film) — but did it tell us anything that we didn’t already know about how the Oscar race might pan out? I think so.

My five primary takeaways are these …

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Friday January 13th, 2012

Fox Searchlight Highlights Cinematography, Editing of ‘The Descendants’ (Exclusive Video)

Over the past 15 years, Fox Searchlight has proven to be as savvy as any studio at navigating the often-murky waters of the awards season. Therefore, I am quite confident that its awards team knows exactly how few films have won the best picture Oscar without first scoring nominations for best cinematography (just 30 in the 84 years in which the category has been presented, and none since The Departed five years ago) and/or best film editing (just 9 in the 77 years in which the category has been presented, and none since Ordinary People 31 years ago), and that it is precisely for that reason that it is fighting very hard to win the support of the Academy’s cinematography branch (201 members) and film editing branch (220 members) for The Descendants, their 2011 best picture Oscar hopeful. Their most recent move? Piecing together a special featurette entitled “Shooting and Editing The Descendants,’ which we are exclusively premiering here today.

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Thursday January 12th, 2012

Fox Searchlight Highlights Cinematography, Editing of ‘The Descendants’ (Exclusive Video)

Over the past 15 years, Fox Searchlight has proven to be as savvy as any studio at navigating the often-murky waters of the awards season. Therefore, I am quite confident that its awards team knows exactly how few films have won the best picture Oscar without first scoring nominations for best cinematography (just 30 in the 84 years in which the category has been presented, and none since The Departed five years ago) and/or best film editing (just 9 in the 77 years in which the category has been presented, and none since Ordinary People 31 years ago), and that it is precisely for that reason that it is fighting very hard to win the support of the Academy’s cinematography branch (201 members) and film editing branch (220 members) for The Descendants, their 2011 best picture Oscar hopeful. Their most recent move? Piecing together a special featurette entitled “Piecing and Editing The Descendants,’ which we are exclusively premiering here today.

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Wednesday December 28th, 2011

Writer/Director Alexander Payne: ‘I Don’t Know How Talented I Would Say I Am’ (Audio)

A few weeks ago, I met up in New York with the writer-director Alexander Payne, the man most responsible for five of the most celebrated films of the last 15 years — Citizen Ruth (1996), Election (1999), About Schmidt (2002) Sideways (2004), and now The Descendants — for a wide-ranging interview about his life and career. As you can hear for yourself at the top of this post, Payne proved to be one of the most soft-spoken, intelligent, and humble people I’ve encountered in this business… almost jarringly so. Perhaps this is the result of a journey from Omaha (where he was born, raised, and shot all of his films except Sideways and The Descendants) to the Oscars (he was nominated for best adapted screenplay forElection and Sideways, winning for the latter, and also received a best director nom for Sideways) that was anything but easy, and that was the focus of much of our conversation.

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Saturday December 3rd, 2011

5 Stats About the National Board of Review Awards You Never Knew

By Rhett Bartlett

The National Board of Review (NBR) announced their 2011 awards this past week.
23 categories were announced, but among all what you have read about who won what, and who didnt – here are 5 stats about the NBR Awards for 2011, that you probably did not know.

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