Posts Tagged Oscars Race

The Awards Season’s Race (V): Final Scores

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And It’s a wrap! Matt Groening’s brilliant as always take of the Oscars ceremony’s selfie, the most tweeted in history, serves as the perfect end to this year’s truly exciting, if ultimately very predictable Awards season. 12 Years a Slave fulfilled the Toronto prophecy and grabbed the best picture trophy. Gravity swept the board on technical categories as well as getting its director honoured; American Hustle and many of the latecomers which helped injecting new life into the season just before Christmas were mostly left empty-handed. But all together account for one of the most enjoyable cinematographic crops in recent memory.

As you know by know, this year we released our inner film nerd by monitoring the race step by step and adding points for every mention, nomination and award that each of the films in contention have earned during the season. The final results (and the complete list for those who love things in detail) can be checked here.. Read the rest of this entry »

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Awards Season: Early Birds And Long Shots

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After a tiresome blockbuster summer, the autumn began and with it the official kick-start to the most palatable time of the year for cinema lovers, the awards Season. From now until March our screens will be packed with prestige titles, whose commercial fortune would depend on how they shape their campaigns to reap the multiple rewards and accolades offered by festivals, critics and industry associations around the globe, building up their case in search of the golden goal: the Academy’s Oscars.

Audiences can look forward to be spoilt for choice by a terribly crowed release schedule, with over 150 films being released in the UK up to the end of the year. Despite this figure including films for all tastes and niche markets, it is still and unbelievable high number which will condemn many worthy titles to oblivion, hidden among the big promotional campaigns of the strongest.

If you follow the news, the holy trinity of pre-season festivals (Venice-Toronto-Telluride) seem to have already fulfilled their gatekeeping role by giving the thumbs up to a small group of contenders. (Gravity; 12 Years A Slave; Captain Phillips ;The Coens’ Inside Lewellyn Davis and Philomena seem to be this year’s victors) and thawing the chances of others (August: Osage Country or Labor Day were received with mixed reviews).

Moreover, the most competitive Oscar race ever, as harvey Weinstein recently declared it, has already claimed a few victims, “Foxcatcher’ and ‘Grace Of Monaco’ being moved to 2014, with growing rumours about Martin Scorsese’s ‘The Wolf Of Wall Street’ despite being postponed a few weeks, not being ready for the Christmas deadline. Among the few already launched, ‘Diana’ was drowned in a sea of terrible reviews.

But Diana aside, mere mortals are just starting to watch the titles that will compete to grab their attention. We’ll be monitoring the ups and downs of the season with an improvised Contenders’ Top 40 –check below- as we get to watch them. We begin with an countdown of those films released earlier in the year that may have a chance in one or more categories, as well as other long shots that will not have enough fuel to cross the finishing line, but may collect some smaller honours in the way.

The first two solid contenders, already earning raves in our screens, are Woody Allen’s best film in two decades, ‘Blue Jasmine’ ★★★★★, whose story of a financial fraudster’s widow forced to downgrade her NY upper class lifestyle to a humbler San Francisco’s working class one as she move to live with her sister trying to rebuild her life, surprises in many levels. We suspect that if Woody could make it to the Best picture shortlist with something fluffier like ‘Midnight In Paris’, he may have a strong chance to repeat, if not better, the achievement this time. Cate Blanchett has shaped herself as the one to beat in the best actress race and the whole cast shines, particularly Sally Hawkins’ good natured foster sister. The veteran author’s screenplay is also his sharpest and more fine-tuned to reality in decades.

The second contender is Ron Howard’s ‘Rush’ ★★★★,a director profusely rewarded by the Academy who has made his best film to date about the legendary Formula 1 rivalry between James Hunt and Nicki Lauda; its biopic shortcomings are amply balanced by the top-notch cinematography and production. The camerawork places you in the middle of the races, whereas the escalating rivalry is told at vertiginous pace. As well of a bunch of technical nominations, German actor Daniel Bruhl could earn a place in the supporting category; despise his role being as prominent as Chris Hemsworth’s. In a smaller, but not less important area, among the competition for the Foreign Language gong, Italy’s choice ‘The Great Beauty’★★★★★, sadly left empty-handed at Cannes, will enjoy a lot of critical support. Paolo Sorrentino’s social radiography of contemporary Rome honours its title as one of the most beautiful films of the year.

In a couple of weeks, the London Film Festival will bring some of the most talked-about films of the season to our screens and from that moment on, a big weekly shake-up is to be expected. Check the race’s early birds and long shots Top 40 here. Read the rest of this entry »

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