Awards Archive for December, 2008

SAG Strikes… With Nominations!!!

Dan sag it!!!
Razum frazum foon ba!



What can one say?
The town drunks are at it again.
The hard part about smacking the HFPA roundly about the head and shoulders is that they sometimes do something smart


What It Means

Why is there so much variation in the critics groups?
Well, there are often all kinds of competitive politics involved. And, as we are sure to see tomorrow, with the Golden Globes nods, a lot of managing of votes in some groups.
But my basic instinct this season is that LAFCA and NYFCC and others just don


NY Film Critics Circle

The meeting started at 6a, Los Angeles time, and continues on.
The group posts their winners to their website as they as selected, which is a pretty gracious way of not making it about who can Blackberry whom with info first. You know as much as I do when I know it.
So far (last update 9 minutes ago)…
Best Actress Sally Hawkins Happy-Go-Lucky
Best Screenplay Jenny Lumet Rachel Getting Married
Best Cinematographer Anthony Dod Mantle Slumdog Millionaire
Best Supporting Actor Josh Brolin Milk
Best Animated Film WALL-E
Best Director Mike Leigh Happy-Go-Lucky
With the exception of Wall-E, it seems like a “Don’t Overlook” list as much as anything.
Mike Leigh and Sally Hawkins has been seen as endangered lately. (Leigh was runner-up at LAFCA and Hawkins is now a bi-coastal 2-for-2… suddenly making Kristin Scott Thomas the endangered species in Actress, especially if Kate Winslet The Reader gets voted in as a lead role, as it really should.) Anthony Dod Mantle is seen as fighting for a slot because he is not one of the American regulars… Brolin in Milk… Leigh as Best Director.
Spent a while with Brolin yesterday for a DP/30 that will post over the weekend… couldn’t be happier for him. A great, understated performance that, like W., was a tightwire walk.
Anyway… ongoing…
Best Supporting Actress Penelope Cruz Vicky Cristina Barcelona
Best First Film Courtney Hunt Frozen River
Best Foreign Film 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days
Best Actor Sean Penn Milk
Best Documentary Man on Wire
Best Picture Milk



Ah… the BFCA
I considered resigning this week after seeing that this organization chose to embrace the failing hack version of what was once a show about criticism by having Lie-ons and What Would Grandpa Say? announce the award nominations. I haven’t. Not yet. As a matter of principle, it is my instinct to do so, but I don



Wow… they read the lists of Oscar frontrunners and added Clint Eastwood twice. How important!
Slumdog Millionaire should be a little concerned about winning Best Picture from this group. 80% of the films film they have given the award to in the last decade have been nominated for a BP Oscar… but only 20% have been winners. They’re almost as bad off a an Independent Spirit Award winner.
As always, the wealth has been spread. Some choices I love (like Brolin for Milk) while others are silly.
NBR is the idiot drunk at parties… who also happens to be your first cousin. You can’t really pretend it isn’t there, but taking it seriously in any way is a sign of brain damage.
Nods after the jump, if you must…

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New Awards From BFCA Critics' Choice

The BFCA Critics’ Choice Awards have eliminated one category — Best Family Film (live action). A major reason given by the group for this decision was that studios saw this award as having little value to its recipients and little impact with moviegoers.
But there is a new category to replace it… Best Action Movie.
Quoting the BFCA release, the category reflects “the enormous importance of this genre to moviegoers and studios alike. Just as the BFCA has pioneered the Best Animated Film and Best Comedy categories, we are now happy to spotlight the finest filmmaking in this category which is usually ignored during award season.”


Indie Spirit Nods

Why is it that the only real surprises at the Indy Spirit nominations (brought to you by Sony Pictures Classics this year) were what films qualified and what odd choices were made by committees to shoehorn things in?
The questions that emerge from this morning’s annoucements are, as usual, about the mainstream features that are in the mix and virtually guarenteed to win because of the ISA voting methods, which are open to anyone who joins FIND. As a result, the most popular choices almost always win. Unless Rachel Getting Married pulls off a big surprise, this will be the first year in many with no Oscar BP nominee in the Indie Spirit race.
This year, the big questions are, why is Hurt Locker (a great take on the Iraq War movie and a possible breakout for Summit when it is releaed in Spring 2009) in this year’s race? The simple answer is that it screened at Toronto and that is all that is required to be a nominee. But what possible value is there to anyone in having a film that no one will be able to see again until Sundance 2009 in a competition for last year’s best?
And that brings up the other big question… Milk is nominated for 4 awards, so it must have qualified… but no Picture or Director. Huh? Is the film being penalized by a committee for being at the center of a FIND controversy or alternatively, is it being left out because Focus doesn’t want to be a film that wins Saturday and loses on Sunday?
Of course, that bit of paranoia brings up why Vicky Cristina Barcelona isn’t up for BP or Director either.
In the end, I think that the choice was made to make the Indie Spirits as indie as possible with the foreknowledge that any mainstream movie in the big categories will win… which may also explain the exclusion of The Visitor, which already made its money.
Again, all love to Frozen River and Ballast and my beloved Rachel Getting Married. But I would love to get through one ISA nomination list without wondering why the puzzle pieces don’t seem to fit right.


Quote Unquotesee all »

It shows how out of it I was in trying to be in it, acknowledging that I was out of it to myself, and then thinking, “Okay, how do I stop being out of it? Well, I get some legitimate illogical narrative ideas” — some novel, you know?

So I decided on three writers that I might be able to option their material and get some producer, or myself as producer, and then get some writer to do a screenplay on it, and maybe make a movie.

And so the three projects were “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep,” “Naked Lunch” and a collection of Bukowski. Which, in 1975, forget it — I mean, that was nuts. Hollywood would not touch any of that, but I was looking for something commercial, and I thought that all of these things were coming.

There would be no Blade Runner if there was no Ray Bradbury. I couldn’t find Philip K. Dick. His agent didn’t even know where he was. And so I gave up.

I was walking down the street and I ran into Bradbury — he directed a play that I was going to do as an actor, so we know each other, but he yelled “hi” — and I’d forgot who he was.

So at my girlfriend Barbara Hershey’s urging — I was with her at that moment — she said, “Talk to him! That guy really wants to talk to you,” and I said “No, fuck him,” and keep walking.

But then I did, and then I realized who it was, and I thought, “Wait, he’s in that realm, maybe he knows Philip K. Dick.” I said, “You know a guy named—” “Yeah, sure — you want his phone number?”

My friend paid my rent for a year while I wrote, because it turned out we couldn’t get a writer. My friends kept on me about, well, if you can’t get a writer, then you write.”
~ Hampton Fancher

“That was the most disappointing thing to me in how this thing was played. Is that I’m on the phone with you now, after all that’s been said, and the fundamental distinction between what James is dealing with in these other cases is not actually brought to the fore. The fundamental difference is that James Franco didn’t seek to use his position to have sex with anyone. There’s not a case of that. He wasn’t using his position or status to try to solicit a sexual favor from anyone. If he had — if that were what the accusation involved — the show would not have gone on. We would have folded up shop and we would have not completed the show. Because then it would have been the same as Harvey Weinstein, or Les Moonves, or any of these cases that are fundamental to this new paradigm. Did you not notice that? Why did you not notice that? Is that not something notable to say, journalistically? Because nobody could find the voice to say it. I’m not just being rhetorical. Why is it that you and the other critics, none of you could find the voice to say, “You know, it’s not this, it’s that”? Because — let me go on and speak further to this. If you go back to the L.A. Times piece, that’s what it lacked. That’s what they were not able to deliver. The one example in the five that involved an issue of a sexual act was between James and a woman he was dating, who he was not working with. There was no professional dynamic in any capacity.

~ David Simon