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Posts Tagged ‘The King’s Speech’

Friday September 18th, 2015

The 5 TIFF Audience Award Winners That Went On to Win Best Picture

By Patrick Shanley
Managing Editor

Winning the audience award at the Toronto International Film Festival is a major feather in the cap for any film — and, for many, the launching pad for even loftier goals. Indeed, five went on to win best picture at the Academy Awards.

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Friday January 31st, 2014

Is Academy History Weighing ‘Gravity’ Down?

By Søren Hough
Contributor

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3D. Motion capture. High frame rate.

We live in an age where technological perfection is not only possible, but expected. Computer generated sound and visual effects are better than ever before. As a result, modern cinema is bound only by the imaginations of filmmakers. This year, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences saw fit to reward one film with an astounding seven nominations for such technological achievements: Alfonso Cuarón’s Gravity. The movie is now in the race for Best Cinematography, Best Film Editing, Best Original Score, Best Production Design, Best Sound Editing, Best Sound Mixing and Best Visual Effects.

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Monday January 20th, 2014

Oscar Voting: Coast to Coast


By Mark Pinkert
Contributor

The Academy does not release Oscar voting tallies, so there is no way to measure demographic preferences in award categories. In other words, there is no way to tell what percentage of females over fifty vote for Meryl Streep for Best Actress or what percentage of the acting branch votes for David O. Russell for Best Director. Really, any claims about demographic preferences are speculative, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t reasonable assumptions and inferences to be made. People often allude to the “old and white” majority of the Academy, for instance, as the reason The King’s Speech (2010) beat out Inception (2010) and The Social Network (2010). Though we don’t know anything about voting tallies by age, this still seems to be a reasonable claim.

Likewise, there won’t be any data after this year’s Oscars that could connect voting to Academy geography, but I still sense that there will be some coastal biases.

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Thursday September 19th, 2013

Why Movies Tailor-Made for Oscar Often Kinda… Suck

By Doreen Alexander Child
Contributor

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Based on the number of stars in the cast of August: Osage County, the big screen adaptation of Tracy Letts‘ Pulitzer Prize-winning play, the film looked like a sure-fire best picture Oscar contender. Some even began referring to it as “August: Oscar County” before anyone had even seen a frame of it. But then the film premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival earlier this month, and was met with reviews that one might call very mixed, if one was feeling generous. Some of the performances that it showcases were cheered — particularly those of Meryl Streep, Chris Cooper and Margo Martindale — but the movie itself clearly had problems, with director John Wells even admitting that its ending might have to be changed prior to its Christmas Day release.

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Wednesday September 18th, 2013

In Year of Dark Oscar Contenders, Is Academy Seeking Something Light?

By Joey Magidson
Contributor
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Over the course of the last 85 years, the best picture Oscar race has generally been won by the most “important” film — in terms of its social significance and/or impact on the film industry itself — that is also enjoyable and fun. Think about Argo (2012), The Artist (2011), The King’s Speech (2010) and so many others.

What makes this year’s best picture race unusual, so far, is that virtually all of the major contenders that we’ve seen are extremely dark — from the presumptive frontrunner 12 Years a Slave all the way through longer-shots such as Labor Day. In fact, a large number are literally about life and death crises, including GravityAll Is Lost, Captain Phillips, Fruitvale Station, The Book Thief and Prisoners.

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Wednesday January 30th, 2013

Do Films From Adapted Screenplays Fare Better In Best Picture Than Their Original Counterparts?

By Joey Magidson
Film Contributor

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Most years, one can find almost all of the Best Picture hopefuls contained in both the Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Original Screenplay categories. With 10 slots overall, at least half of the nominees are always present, if not more. The two categories are not looked at equally, though, as the Adapted contenders are consistently considered the better Oscar bet than their Original counterparts.

That’s certainly the perception, but is it actually the Academy Awards reality? Do adapted screenplays really have an easier road to Oscar glory than Original ones? In order to try and answer this question in a way that has modern applications, I’m going to focus on solely the past 25 years. That way, we can keep it relevant and not have too unwieldy of a sample size.

When I went back and took a look at the last quarter-decade, I came up with some results that I think you’ll all find rather interesting. While neither black nor white, the statistics show a shade of grey that fits in with most other supposed “rules” of how Academy members vote.

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Wednesday January 23rd, 2013

Why Prematurely Declaring An Oscar Frontrunner Is Never A Good Idea

By Joey Magidson
Film Contributor

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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 December 26th, 2012

Will A Smear Campaign Against ‘Zero Dark Thirty’ Be More Effective Than Attempts In Years Past?

By Joey Magidson
Film Contributor

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They say that all’s fair in love and war, but perhaps it’s time to add Oscar campaigning to that duo. In a perfect world, the race for Best Picture would be a friendly battle between studios, but especially of late, things have taken a decidedly nasty turn. Just about as soon as a film gains momentum for the Academy Awards, the smear campaign begins.

At present, for example, some people are attempting to drum up a controversy about the usefulness of torture in regard to Zero Dark Thirty. While the film treats the real-life use of “enhanced interrogation techniques” as a matter-of-fact bit of the United States’ history, a campaign is underway to discredit that and the film along with it. There’s also been a recent instance of certain politicians proclaiming the film to be less accurate than it originally claimed.

On the one side, defenders of the film say that these are just the facts, regardless of whether it’s nice to think about or not. Detractors paint that as a misconstruction of the truth and claim that this film in some way glorifies torture. Having seen the movie, I fall clearly into the former camp, but I’m not completely surprised that the latter claims have sprung up.

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Monday December 10th, 2012

‘Les Miserables’ Is The Film The Oscars Have Been Waiting For

By Clayton Davis
Hollywood News

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In what seems like an eternity, Tom Hooper’s long-awaited Les Miserables starring Hugh JackmanRussell Crowe and Anne Hathaway has finally been screened and finished. Director Hooper came out to introduce his film at the Alice Tully Theater at Lincoln Center on Friday, November 23, 2012 and explained that he had just finished the picture at 2 a.m. the evening before.  The wait was well worth it. Les Miserables is not only stunningly powerful, and beautifully crafted, it’s the best stage musical adaptation since Rob Marshall’s Chicago (2002).  Incredibly moving and featuring some of the most powerful musical numbers ever constructed, Tom Hooper tops his previous film The Kings Speech (2010) with artistry and passion.

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Monday December 3rd, 2012

The Confounding Connection Between The Box Office And The Oscars

By Joey Magidson
Film Contributor

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As much as we all like to take a pure approach to movies and the awards season as a whole, looking at film only as an art form to be rewarded solely on its merit, the Oscars are a business. It’s mostly a matter of things being black and white. But we get shades of grey in the connection that exists (or maybe doesn’t) between the Oscars and the box office.

Long has been the contention that Oscars winners, especially Best Picture winners, need to be big moneymakers to actually take home the gold. Two out of the last three films crowned with the prize, though, have been among the very lowest grossers of all time. The Artist and The Hurt Locker beat out bigger bucks, with the latter especially noteworthy for triumphing over the highest grossing film of all time in Avatar.

While this could become the norm, it used to be a rarity (just look at how many people are still shocked that Annie Hall beat out Star Wars in 1978), and it’s currently cited as an example of how the tastes of the Academy and the mainstream public have never been less in sync. The Academy has even acknowledged its desire to cater to the average moviegoer’s likes through the expansion of Best Picture, albeit to mixed success. Is this necessarily a bad thing, and what does it mean for this year?

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