Thursday, January 31, 2013

Top 25 Most Anticipated of 2013

All right, folks. Amateur hour is over. February is upon us. That means Casting Coup Month begins tomorrow, with a re-imagining of the 1975 classic Jaws, followed by more modern actors cast in roles made famous 30-60 years ago by the likes of Charlton Heston, Meryl Streep and Ava Gardner. And the, of course, we have the Hollmann Awards honoring the films of 2012.

But before we look back, I want to take this last moment to look ahead. To the upcoming year, I mean. Yes, it's time for another Top 25 Most Anticipated Films!

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Top Ten Past, Blog Future

The Hollmann Awards are finally on their way, along with Casting Coup Month. Regular readers know what to expect here, but for the Virgins (pronounce it with a Spanish accent -- it's fun!) among you, here's the skinny:

Get it?

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Cinemaniacs: Zero Dark Thirty

Over at the BiteSize Network, best friend Ben and I -- the resident Cinemaniacs -- get to briefly discuss Zero Dark Thirty. Have a look:


Friday, January 18, 2013

Award Season Ketchup

In the great rush of nominations for the Oscars and Hollmann Awards, as well as some personal things of my own, I wound up missing one or three of the remaining Guilds/Precursors/Others, including the Golden Globe ceremony. I know, I know: in this day and age, two minutes past may as well be ten years late, much less the week I've allowed. How do I stay relevant?
And so come posts like these, where I attempt to play catch-up on everything I missed reporting on: Globe wins, BAFTA noms, Guild honors.

First, Globe wins...

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Shock and Awe: Oscar Nomination Morn

Here is the beginning of my post.

Yes, of course I was up at 5:20 PST to watch the Oscr nominations live. I am obsessed.

Between bouts of uncomfortable schtick with Oscar host Seth MacFarlane and dream girl Emma Stone, the Academy pulled a fast one. No one got 100% on their predictions, I guarantee that right now.

The biggest surprise, I think, was the Best Director category: I knew Hooper was out, but the final list also excludes Kathryn Bigelow and former frontrunner Ben Affleck! They were considered the big locks, with many predicting their respective films to take home Best Picture. Gonna be hard to do that without a Director nom, although their films were Best Pic nominated.

Next surprise: Love for The Master, Beasts of the Southern Wild and Silver Linings Playbook. All three were more popular than I'd imagined, with Silver Linings netting four acting nominations in addition to its nods in Adapted Screenplay, Director and Picture. Beasts star Quvenzhane Wallis made history as the youngest Best Actress nominee of all time (she's nine!), while all three of The Master's stars were nominated.

Could this be due to the new voting process? Word spread that the new online balloting system was troubling older Academy members, leading many to fear that their votes would be miscounted or not processed at all. Looking at these nominees, they may not have been wrong -- although thank God, if so. This could not be a more fresh and exciting group of nominees.

Eschewing alphabetical order to make the suspense all the more agonizing, here, in order of their announcement, are the eleven categories featured on the live broadcast:

Christoph Waltz, Django Unchained
Philip Seymour Hoffman, The Master
Robert De Niro. Silver Linings Playbook
Alan Arkin, Argo
Tommy Lee Jones, Lincoln
Before My Time - Chasing Ice
Suddenly - Les Miserables
Pi's Lullaby - Life of Pi
Everybody Needs a Best Friend - Ted
Skyfall - Skyfall

"The Academy said YES!"
Sally Field, Lincoln
Anne Hathaway, Les Miserables
Helen Hunt, The Sessions
Jacki Weaver, Silver Linings Playbook
Amy Adams, The Master

The Pirates! Band of Misfits
Wreck-It Ralph

War Witch
A Royal Affair

Beasts of the Southern Wild - Lucy Alibar/Benh Zeitlin
Argo - Chris Terrio
Lincoln - Tony Kushner
Silver Linings Playbook - David O. Russell
Life of Pi - David Magee

Flight - John Gatins
Zero Dark Thirty - Mark Boal
Django Unchained - Quentin Tarantino
Amour - Michael Haneke
Moonrise Kingdom - Wes Anderson/Roman Coppola

"Where are youuuuu? Why do you hiiiiiide?"
David O. Russell, Silver Linings Playbook
Ang Lee, Life of Pi
Steven Spielberg, Lincoln
Michael Haneke, Amour
Benh Zeitlin, Beasts of the Southern Wild

Daniel Day-Lewis, Lincoln
Denzel Washington, Flight
Hugh Jackman, Les Miserables
Bradley Cooper, Silver Linings Playbook
Joaquin Phoenix, The Master

Nothing, Emmanuelle. For you, anyway.
Naomi Watts, The Impossible
Jessica Chastain, Zero Dark Thirty
Jennifer Lawrence, Silver Linings Playbook
Emmanuelle Riva, Amour
Quvenzhane Wallis, Beasts of the Southern Wild

Beasts of the Southern Wild
Silver Linings Playbook
Zero Dark Thirty
Les Miserables
Life of Pi
Django Unchained

I love that Zeitlin got in, but I think my favorite nomination is The Pirates! Band of Misfits for Best Animated Feature. 

You sly little devil, you.

Meanwhile, Anna Karenina gets the love it deserves, Life of Pi gets more mentions than I thought possible, my beloved Cloud Atlas is left in the dust despite it boasting INCREDIBLE production design and visual effects, and Skyfall corrects 35 years of Bond snubs by getting into four more categories.

The rest of the field:

Crystal Ball, Golden Trophy

With Oscar nominations happening in just 4 and a half hours, it's time to join the chorus of bloggers and predict! The nominees!
I know 1:00AM PST may seem a little late to jump on this bandwagon, but it's fine. You'll be up early to watch the nominations live anyway, so I just became the most relevant Oscarologist.

Without any further ado....


I've never seen a season like this before. Were there only five slots open, I know exactly who I'd pick, but there aren't. Anywhere from five to ten films could be nominated, based on voters' passion -- and if Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close could get in last year, what could stop The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel?

So, let me think of the films that I absolutely could not imagine being left off the role call:


As well as anything I imagine will get in based on passion, visibility, etc.:


Making nine nominees for Best Picture, at most. By the way, if there were only five nominees, I would expect Life of Pi to miss from those first six.


Now what? The DGA nominations have only repeated six times in Oscar History - 1977, 1981, 1998, 2002, 2005 and 2009. You'll notice that half of those instances is within the last ten years. I hope -- I need -- a Tarantino or an Anderson (either, really) to make it in, but I have this awful fear that yesterday's dull line-up is destined to repeat tomorrow morning.

These predictions, and more, after the jump:

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

The 2012 Hollmann Award Nominees!

My God, so we're here already.
Every year since 2006, usually after a bunch of Guilds but always before the Oscar nominations, I present my nominees for the Hollmann Awards. Here you will find Oscar front-runners and Oscar never-in-the-race-ers; veteran favorites and new faces; strange opinions (Best Picture) and indisputable facts (Best Actress). Yet no matter what odd mix you may find here, know that it all comes from a deep and sincere love of all things cinema.

It took a full week to whittle down those longlists into these nominees, and it will probably take a month to figure out winners. It hurt to leave movies off the Top 25, it hurt to leave movies off the longlists, and it hurt that I couldn't have ballots with six names. But you gotta make a choice, no matter what people may say.

So here, in the very order I figured out my feelings, are the nominees for the Seventh Annual Hollmann Awards:

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

DGA Nomineezzzzzzz

I didn't realize that the DGA nominees were announced today. Even when people starting Tweeting the names of those honored, I thought to myself, "What dull, middle-of-the-road predix. You know the DGA will shake it up, Fincher-style." But alas!

Friday, January 4, 2013

Another Guilds Group, Another Show...

Yet another guild has announced, and it's a favorite of mine: THE WRITERS GUILD! The Writers Guild is fun because every year they have a list of potential Oscar frontrunners that are deemed ineligible for their own prize, mostly something to do with registration or lack of guild membership or yada-yada-yada. For instance, Quentin Tarantino, one of the most distinct voices in screenwriting ever, has never been up for a WGA award because he refuses to join the guilds. That's a heads up, by the way: you won't find Django Unchained here, but don't expect that to impact its Oscar chances.
Because of this rule, though, we get to see work that otherwise wouldn't be so honored up for a nomination! And while no one wants to get in due to a technicality (ex.: no one wants to be crowned Mt. Rose American Teen Princess because of an exploding swan), they get to put "award-nominated screenwriter" on their resume. You know that's gotta feel good.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Awards Preliminary: The 2012 Longlists

It is a tradition, when I do my Hollmann Awards, to submit a longlist of contenders in each category beforehand. Inspired by the BAFTA tradition of same, the longlists not only allow me to gather my thoughts, but to highlight films and contributors that may not otherwise make my final ballot. You will, of course, find an entry for every one of my Top 25, but you will also see titles you may not expect -- Step Up: Revolution, Detention and The Guilt Trip are three films that I'm not necessarily mad about as a whole (ok, I'm totally in the tank for the bookenders), but whose strongest attributes I felt needed attention.

Except where noted, each category has 15 finalists.