Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy New Year from Telluride!

Friday, December 18, 2009

TFF #36 and The Oscar Clearinghouse #6

Avatar is making a move on the Clearinghouse's lists.





Here is the latest update of our compilation of a number of Oscar prediciton sights and lists...highlighting the connections to TFF #36 (CAPS AND BOLD)




Best Picture- 1) UP IN THE AIR, 2) The Hurt Locker, 3) Precious, 4) Invictus, 4) Nine (tie), 6) Avatar, 7) Up, 8) AN EDUCATION, 9) Inglourious Basterds, 10) A Serious Man.



In the Hunt: The Lovely Bones, The Messenger, A Single Man,THE LAST STATION, Star Trek.



Comment: Big Mo...Avatar, Inglourious Basterds, The Messenger and Star Trek.



Losing Mo...An Education and The Lovely Bones (And I mean BIG TIME!).



Gone from the list: BRIGHT STAR, THE ROAD, and Julie and Julia.



My personal guess of the four big gainers is the The Messenger has legs and that both Avatar and Inglourious Basterds will lose some steam over the next few weeks...(Avatar because a number of reviews are saying the tech is great, but the movie itself...not so much and I think that Inglourious may have peaked...it did have a good week this week...but I think its violence may hold it back.)...I also still think that Last Station and now, The Messenger may have the best shot at moving onto the list of 10 nominees of those films that are not currently in the top 10...Other top 10 that may be at risk...An Education and Nine (the reviews for Nine are less than stellar). Can The Road sneak back into the conversation? It's Rotten Tomatoes average is 24 points better than Nine.


Also, saw Invictus this weekend...nice movie, decent perfromances from Freeman and Damon...but Oscar worthy? Nope. Will that matter to the Academy? Don't know.





Best Director: 1) JASON REITMAN/UITA, 2) Kathryn Bigelow/Hurt Locker, 3) Lee Daniels/Precious, 4) James Cameron/Avatar, 5) Clint Eastwood/Invictus



Sniffin' Around: Rob Marshall/Nine, Quentin Tarantino/Basterds, LONE SCHERFIG/EDUCATION, Coen Bros/Serious Man, and Peter Jackson/Bones.



Comment: Big Mo is with: Lee Daniels (weird since he got no Golden Globe love), James Cameron and Quentin Tarantino.



Losing ground: Rob Marshall and Peter Jackson



Goners: None



If Inglourious has legs, then Tarantino will move into the top 5...I think the only two sure bets at this point are my friend Jason Reitman and Kathryn Bigelow...The Lovely Bones collapse has almost swallowed Jackson...





Best Actor: 1) GEORGE CLOONEY/UITA, 2) Jeff Bridges/Crazy Heart, 3) Colin Firth/Single Man, 4) Morgan Freeman/Invictus, 5) Jeremy Renner/Hurt Locker



In Play: Daniel Day-Lewis/Nine, VIGGO MORTENSEN/THE ROAD, Michael Stuhlbarg/Serious Man, Matt Damon/The Informant, and Ben Foster/The Messenger.



Off the chart: Robert DeNiro/Everybody's Fine



Movers: Jeff Bridges and Ben Foster...Goin' South: Morgan Freeman



Comment: SAG noms seem to indicate that Day-Lewis and Nine (also Rob Marshall's decline in the director's race) are losing ground across the board. See above note about the reviews...may be having an impact already.



Best Actress: 1) CAREY MULLIGAN/AN EDUCATION, 2) Meryl Streep/Julie & Julia, 3) Gaby Sidibe/Precious, 4) HELEN MIRREN/LAST STATION, 5) Sandra Bullock/The Blind Side.


Seeking: Marion Cotillard/Nine, ABBIE CORNISH/BRIGHT STAR, Saroise Ronan/ Lovely Bones, and Penelope Cruz/Broken Embraces


Hot: Bullock and Cruz


Not: Cornish and Ronan


Gone: Michelle Monaghan/Trucker


Comment: The top 4 remain the same as our last post (3 weeks ago). Sandra Bullock has ascended like a rocket...



Best Supporting Actor: 1) Chrsitoph Waltz/Inglourious Basterds, 2) ALFRED MOLINA/AN EDUCATION, 3)Stanley Tucci/Lovely Bones, 4) CHRISTOPHER PLUMMER/LAST STATION, 5) Woody Harrelson/The Messenger


Also: Matt Damon/Invictus, Christian McKay/Orson Wellea and Me, Alec Baldwin/It's Complicated, Anthony Mackie/Hurt Locker, and PETER SAARSGARD/AN EDUCATION.


Hot: Harrelson and Baldwin


Not: Damon, Mackie and Saarsgard


Gone: Tucci (for J & J) and PAUL SCHNEIDER/BRIGHT STAR.


Thoughts: Harrelson came screaming onto the chart this past couple of weeks and Baldwin is a trendy pick too right now. Molina hasn't suffered any drop off among prognosticators despite the fact that he was snubbed by the Globes and the SAG announement...it's that SAG one that really seems to indicate a disconnect between the predictors and what seems to be the reality on the ground...which is no nom for Molina. Tucci also doesn't seem to be suffering from the drag of less than blazing critical embrace for The Lovely Bones...at least not yet. I suspect that if Molina and/or Tucci start losing traction that McKay and Baldwin are the most likely beneficiaries.



Best Supporting Actress: 1) MoNique/Precious, 2) ANNA KENDRICK/UP IN THE AIR, 3) Julianne Moore, 4) Penelope Cruz/Nine, 5) VERA FARMIGA/UP IN THE AIR.


And...Samantha Morton/The Messenger, Judi Dench/Nine, Melanie Laurent/Inglourious Basterds, Natalie Portman/Brothers, and Sigourney Weaver/Avatar.


Hot: Morton, Laurent, Portman and Weaver


Not: Cruz

Gone: Sarandon, Cotillard, Carey

Notes: Weirdness as Melanie Laurent, who has been getting the notice as a potential nominee was overlooked in favor of Diane Kruger...who hasn't made the top ten of our combined survey (she just got a bit of notice in the wake of her SAG nom in this week's updates).

Adapted Screenplay: 1) UP IN THE AIR, 2)Precious, 3) AN EDUCATION, 4) Invictus, 5) Julie and Julia

Also: Nine, Lovely Bones, A Single Man, THE LAST STATION, and The Fantastic Mr. Fox

Hot: Julie and Julia and Fantastic Mr. Fox

Not: No one really dropping badly

Gone: Where the Wild Things Are

Comment: I suspect that the top 3 are solid. Invictus and J&J ,maybe not so much. If Bones and Nine continue to lose steam, then Single Man and Last Station probably benefit.

Original Screenplay; 1) The Hurt Locker, 2) A Serious Man, 3) Up, 4) Inglourious Basterds, 5) (500 Days) of Summer

And: Avatar, BRIGHT STAR, It's Complicated, The Messenger, and District Nine.

Hot: Hurt Locker, The Messenger and Avatar

Cold:Up and District 9

Gone: The White Ribbon

Notes: I think your top five right now are likely to be the nominees when they're announced Feb. 2

Nom leaders: UITA-6, Precious-4, Hurt Locker, Invictus, An Education-4, Inglourious Basterds-3

Noms and possibles combined: Nine-7 (5 now in the "possible category"...it's dropping like Lovely Bones did last month), UITA-6 (all noms!...the most solid thing going right now and has been since Telluride!). An Education also at 6, Hurt Locker, Precious, Invictus, Basterds, Lovely Bomes and The Messenger -5, and Avatar, Serious Man, A Single Man and Last Station-4.

Telluride nominations as of this post i the Big 8 categories: 12...Possibles: 7. Down from the last post.

TFF #36 will also have some noms added for tech and foreign films (A Prophet and The White Ribbon are locks.)

The Clearinghouse will be back after the first of the year. We return to Telluride for the first time during the winter next week as we head there to ring in 2010...may catch a movie at The Nugget...rumored to be playing the last week of 2009...Up in the Air...weird, huh? Happy New Year Everyone!



Thursday, December 17, 2009

TFF #36 The SAG Nominations and The Oscar Clearinghouse




"Inglorious Basterds" continues to gain ground!
The Screen Actor's Guild Nominations are out...here they be...
16th ANNUAL SCREEN ACTORS GUILD AWARDS® NOMINATIONS
THEATRICAL MOTION PICTURES
Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role
JEFF BRIDGES / Bad Blake - "CRAZY HEART" (Fox Searchlight Pictures)
GEORGE CLOONEY / Ryan Bingham - "UP IN THE AIR" (Paramount Pictures)
COLIN FIRTH / George Falconer - "A SINGLE MAN" (The Weinstein Company)
MORGAN FREEMAN / Nelson Mandela - "INVICTUS" (Warner Bros. Pictures)
JEREMY RENNER / Staff Sgt. William James - "THE HURT LOCKER" (Summit Entertainment)

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role
SANDRA BULLOCK / Leigh Anne Tuohy - "THE BLIND SIDE" (Warner Bros. Pictures)
HELEN MIRREN / Sofya - "THE LAST STATION" (Sony Pictures Classics)
CAREY MULLIGAN / Jenny - "AN EDUCATION" (Sony Pictures Classics)
GABOUREY SIDIBE / Precious - "PRECIOUS: BASED ON THE NOVEL ‘PUSH' BY SAPPHIRE" (Lionsgate)
MERYL STREEP / Julia Child - "JULIE & JULIA" (Columbia Pictures)

Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role
MATT DAMON / Francois Pienaar - "INVICTUS" (Warner Bros. Pictures)
WOODY HARRELSON / Captain Tony Stone - "THE MESSENGER" (Oscilloscope Laboratories)CHRISTOPHER PLUMMER / Tolstoy - "THE LAST STATION" (Sony Pictures Classics)STANLEY TUCCI / George Harvey - "THE LOVELY BONES" (Paramount Pictures)CHRISTOPH WALTZ / Col. Hans Landa - "INGLOURIOUS BASTERDS" (The Weinstein Company/Universal Pictures)

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role
PENÉLOPE CRUZ / Carla - "NINE" (The Weinstein Company)
VERA FARMIGA / Alex Goran - "UP IN THE AIR" (Paramount Pictures)
ANNA KENDRICK / Natalie Keener - "UP IN THE AIR" (Paramount Pictures)
DIANE KRUGER / Bridget Von Hammersmark - "INGLOURIOUS BASTERDS" (The Weinstein Company/Universal Pictures)
MO'NIQUE / Mary - "PRECIOUS: BASED ON THE NOVEL ‘PUSH' BY SAPPHIRE" (Lionsgate)

Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture
AN EDUCATION (Sony Pictures Classics)
THE HURT LOCKER (Summit Entertainment)
INGLOURIOUS BASTERDS (The Weinstein Company/Universal Pictures)
NINE (The Weinstein Company)
PRECIOUS: BASED ON THE NOVEL "PUSH" BY SAPPHIRE (Lionsgate)
Commentary:
Best Actor: Jeremy Renner gets a boost after having been overlooked in favor of Tobey Maguire by The Golden Globes...BIG SURPRISE...NO DANIEL DAY-LEWIS! Also No Mortensen, No DeNiro. Pretty predictable here.
Best Actress: The Sandra Bullock train continues to gather steam...
Best Supporting Actor: Woody Harrelson continues to make some noise in this category...the rest of the field as expected...again, No Alfred Molina For "An Education"
Best Supporting Actress: Diane Kruger for Inglorious Basterds! There's your stunner on the list. Julianne Moore and Samantha Morton getting the short straw here.
Ensemble: The other surprise...no nomination here for "Up in the Air," "Precious" or "Invictus"...and kind of a surprising ones for "An Education," "The Hurt Locker" and "Basterds"...
Clearinghouse updated tomorrow!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

TFF ##36 The Golden Globes and The Oscar Clearinghouse

Yesterday was BIG for "The Hurt Locker"...Today was a good day for "Up in the Air", "Nine," "Inglorious Basterds," The Weinstein Company and Sony Pictures Classics. A bad day for "The Lovely Bones"and "An Education". And, of course, some surprises along the way...

Here is the Golden Globes press release from this morning's announcement:


1. BEST MOTION PICTURE – DRAMA
a. AVATAR
Lightstorm Entertainment; Twentieth Century Fox
b. THE HURT LOCKER
Voltage Pictures C/O 42West; Summit Entertainment
c. INGLOURIOUS BASTERDS
The Weinstein Company; The Weinstein Company
d. PRECIOUS: BASED ON THE NOVEL PUSH BY SAPPHIRE
A Lee Daniels Entertainment / Smokewood Entertainment Group Production;
Lionsgate
e. UP IN THE AIR
Paramount Pictures; Paramount Pictures

2. BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A MOTION PICTURE – DRAMA
a. EMILY BLUNT THE YOUNG VICTORIA
b. SANDRA BULLOCK THE BLIND SIDE
c. HELEN MIRREN THE LAST STATION
d. CAREY MULLIGAN AN EDUCATION
e. GABOUREY SIDIBE PRECIOUS: BASED ON THE NOVEL
PUSH BY SAPPHIRE

3. BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A MOTION PICTURE – DRAMA
a. JEFF BRIDGES CRAZY HEART
b. GEORGE CLOONEY UP IN THE AIR
c. COLIN FIRTH A SINGLE MAN
d. MORGAN FREEMAN INVICTUS
e. TOBEY MAGUIRE BROTHERS

4. BEST MOTION PICTURE – COMEDY OR MUSICAL
a. (500) DAYS OF SUMMER
Watermark Pictures; Fox Searchlight Pictures
b. THE HANGOVER
Warner Bros. Pictures; Warner Bros. Pictures
c. IT’S COMPLICATED
Relativity Media, Scott Rudin Productions; Universal Pictures
d. JULIE & JULIA
Columbia Pictures; Sony Pictures Releasing
e. NINE
The Weinstein Company; The Weinstein Company

5. BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A MOTION PICTURE – COMEDY OR
MUSICAL
a. SANDRA BULLOCK THE PROPOSAL
b. MARION COTILLARD NINE
c. JULIA ROBERTS DUPLICITY
d. MERYL STREEP IT’S COMPLICATED
e. MERYL STREEP JULIE & JULIA

6. BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A MOTION PICTURE – COMEDY
OR MUSICAL
a. MATT DAMON THE INFORMANT!
b. DANIEL DAY-LEWIS NINE
c. ROBERT DOWNEY JR. SHERLOCK HOLMES
d. JOSEPH GORDON-LEVITT (500) DAYS OF SUMMER
e. MICHAEL STUHLBARG A SERIOUS MAN

7. BEST ANIMATED FEATURE FILM
a. CLOUDY WITH A CHANCE OF MEATBALLS
Columbia Pictures and Sony Pictures Animation; Sony Pictures Releasing
b. CORALINE
Laika, Inc.; Focus Features
c. FANTASTIC MR. FOX
American Empirical Picture; Twentieth Century Fox
d. THE PRINCESS AND THE FROG
Walt Disney Pictures/Walt Disney Animation Studios; Walt Disney Studios
Motion Pictures
e. UP
Walt Disney Pictures/PIXAR Animation Studios; Walt Disney Studios Motion
Pictures

8. BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM
a. BAARIA (ITALY)
Medusa Film; Summit Entertainment
b. BROKEN EMBRACES (SPAIN)
El Deseo SA; Sony Pictures Classics
c. THE MAID (CHILE)
(LA NANA)
Forastero; Elephant Eye Films
d. A PROPHET (FRANCE)
Chic Films; Sony Pictures Classics
e. THE WHITE RIBBON (GERMANY)
(DAS WEISSE BAND – EINE DEUTSCHE KINDERGESCHICHTE)
Wega Films; Sony Pictures Classics

9. BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE IN A
MOTION PICTURE
a. PENÉLOPE CRUZ NINE
b. VERA FARMIGA UP IN THE AIR
c. ANNA KENDRICK UP IN THE AIR
d. MO’NIQUE PRECIOUS: BASED ON THE NOVEL
PUSH BY SAPPHIRE
e. JULIANNE MOORE A SINGLE MAN

10. BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE IN A
MOTION PICTURE
a. MATT DAMON INVICTUS
b. WOODY HARRELSON THE MESSENGER
c. CHRISTOPHER PLUMMER THE LAST STATION
d. STANLEY TUCCI THE LOVELY BONES
e. CHRISTOPH WALTZ INGLOURIOUS BASTERDS

11. BEST DIRECTOR – MOTION PICTURE
a. KATHRYN BIGELOW THE HURT LOCKER
b. JAMES CAMERON AVATAR
c. CLINT EASTWOOD INVICTUS
d. JASON REITMAN UP IN THE AIR
e. QUENTIN TARANTINO INGLOURIOUS BASTERDS

12. BEST SCREENPLAY – MOTION PICTURE
a. NEILL BLOMKAMP, DISTRICT 9
TERRI TATCHELL
b. MARK BOAL THE HURT LOCKER
c. NANCY MEYERS IT'S COMPLICATED
d. JASON REITMAN, UP IN THE AIR
SHELDON TURNER
e. QUENTIN TARANTINO INGLOURIOUS BASTERDS

13. BEST ORIGINAL SCORE – MOTION PICTURE
a. MICHAEL GIACCHINO UP
b. MARVIN HAMLISCH THE INFORMANT!
c. JAMES HORNER AVATAR
d. ABEL KORZENIOWSKI A SINGLE MAN
e. KAREN O,
CARTER BURWELL WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE

14. BEST ORIGINAL SONG – MOTION PICTURE
a. “CINEMA ITALIANO” — NINE
Music & Lyrics by: Maury Yeston
b. “I WANT TO COME HOME” — EVERYBODY'S FINE
Music & Lyrics by: Paul McCartney
c. “I WILL SEE YOU” — AVATAR
Music by: James Horner, Simon Franglen
Lyrics by: James Horner, Simon Franglen, Kuk Harrell
d. “THE WEARY KIND (THEME FROM CRAZY HEART)” — CRAZY
HEART
Music & Lyrics by: Ryan Bingham, T Bone Burnett
e. “WINTER” — BROTHERS
Music by: U2
Lyrics by: Bono

WINNERS BY MOTION PICTURE DISTRIBUTOR
AND TELEVISION NETWORK
MOTION PICTURE DISTRIBUTOR
The Weinstein Company 12
Warner Bros. Pictures 9
Paramount Pictures 7
Sony Pictures Classics 6
Lionsgate 5
Twentieth Century Fox 5
Fox Searchlight Pictures 4
Sony Pictures Releasing 4
Summit Entertainment 4
Universal Pictures 4
Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures 4
Focus Features 2
Relativity Media LLC 2
Apparition 1
Elephant Eye Films 1
Miramax Films 1
Oscilloscope Laboratories 1

WINNERS BY MOTION PICTURE
AND TELEVISION SERIES OR PROGRAM
MOTION PICTURE
UP IN THE AIR 6
NINE 5
AVATAR 4
INGLOURIOUS BASTERDS 4
THE HURT LOCKER 3
INVICTUS 3
IT’S COMPLICATED 3
PRECIOUS: BASED ON THE NOVEL PUSH BY SAPPHIRE 3
A SINGLE MAN 3
(500) DAYS OF SUMMER 2
BROTHERS 2
CRAZY HEART 2
THE INFORMANT! 2
JULIE & JULIA 2
THE LAST STATION 2
UP 2
BAARIA 1
THE BLIND SIDE 1
BROKEN EMBRACES 1
CLOUDY WITH A CHANCE OF MEATBALLS 1
CORALINE 1
DISTRICT 9 1
DUPLICITY 1
AN EDUCATION 1
EVERYBODY'S FINE 1
FANTASTIC MR. FOX 1
THE HANGOVER 1
THE LOVELY BONES 1
THE MAID 1
THE MESSENGER 1
THE PRINCESS AND THE FROG 1
A PROPHET 1
THE PROPOSAL 1
A SERIOUS MAN 1
SHERLOCK HOLMES 1
WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE 1
THE WHITE RIBBON 1
THE YOUNG VICTORIA 1

And the commentary...

BEST PICTURE/DRAMA (and other things)...A number of notes here...

*UITA...more noms than any other picture in either category with 6. (Pic, Director, Script, Actor and both Kendrick and Farmiga for supporting actress...it's a really good day for my Telluride buddy, Jason Reitman...who has never been anything but gracious in our brief conversations both this year and 2 years ago when Juno took TFF by storm).

*The Hurt Locker, which had a great day with critic's awards the past few days, had an OK Globe day...but no mentions for acting for Jeremy Renner or Anthony Mackie.

*A really good day for "Inglorious Basterds"...4 noms for Pic, Directing, Screenplay and Cristoph Waltz or Supporting Actor...probably is an Oscar boost for it.

*Invictus...no nom for Best Drama, but noms for Eastwood, Freeman and Damon...make you kind of scratch your head...still with 10 Oscar slots...you have to figure it's got that nomination very nearly locked up. You also have to figure that "Avatar" or "Basterds" is what bumped it from the Best Pic nom. Or maybe "Precious"....which leads to...

*Precious...Is the backlash for real? It gets a Best Drama nom, but no director or script nom to go with it. No surprise that Sidibe and Mo'Nique got nommed...I will say that the Mariah Carey boomlet may be over...I thought that this precursor was the place most likely for her name to show up and thought it was virtually mandatory for that to happen to springboard her into serious Oscar discussion...Admittedly, though, the Supporting Actress category is LOADED this year.

*An Education...MIA in the Best Drama category...again, may benefit from the 10 Oscar slots...but only a single nom for Carey Mulligan...no director, script, or most notably, Supporting Actor noms...Molina being the most likely, although Saarsgard has been mentioned too. Admittedly, I wasn't nearly as impressed as a lot of people with this film when I saw it in Telluride, and can't say that it's absence from the Best Drama list surprises me all that much...though I DO think Molina is great and deserving of a nom for his work.

*The Lovely Bones...Wow...One nom for Tucci in Supporting (and nothing anywhere else)...and I am getting the sesne that that may even be dicey...Some crtics arguing that the performance is about as subtle as a hammer. He may be more likely to be nominated for his work in Julie and Julia.

*The Weinstiens...thanks largely to "Nine" in the Music/Comedy categories and "Inglorious Basterds" in the drama...they led all producers with 12...nice day for them.

*Sony Pictures Classics...mixed, but pretty good day. Dominated Foreign Films...3 of the 5 ("Broken Embraces," "A Prophet" and White Ribbon") nominated...but maybe surprised at the dearth of notice for "An Education".

BEST PICTURE/MUSIC-COMEDY:

*Nine...5 nominations...a good day...maybe a little disappointment for the Weinsteins in that Penelope Cruz was its only nom in Supporting Actress, and that Rob Marshall was overlooked in Directing, but a plus that Marion Cotillard was nommed in for Lead Actress in Music/Comedy.

*Of the 4 others ("Hangover," "It's Complicated," "(500 Days) of Summer," and "Julie and Julia"...only J & J has a real shot at one of the 10 Best Pic Oscar noms.

OTHER PLAYERS IN THE OSCAR BEST PIC RACE...

*"The Last Station"..noms for Helen Mirren and Chris Plummer this morning aid their campaigns. I still think that as it gains viewers that it may sneak into the Oscar 10 and the Adapted Screenplay races...it hasn't peaked yet...hasn't been seen by many and with Oscar ballots not out until Dec. 28th, may seem like a good replacement for films that fade (like "Bones")

*"The Road"...probably saw it's chances end this morning. At a minimum it needed Viggo Mortensen to get a nom for Drama Lead and another "surprise" nom like for script or Supporting Actor to have any chance to continue a campaign. Too bad. I still think that it's the Best Film of the year...

*"A Single Man"...with noms for both Firth and Moore, it stays in the conversation for a Best Pic nom in the expanded field

*A Serious Man"...May have needed something more than Michael Stuhlbarg's nom in Lead Music/Comedy...like directing or script...maybe still a part of the conversation...but...

*"Crazy Heart"...Jeff Bridges has moved to the top of the Best Actor list...but this late entry in the Oscar sweepsatkes also probably needed some more help to be a serious contender for a Best Picture nom.

"The Messenger"...probably needed some more help than just the single nom for Woody Harrelson...

*"Bright Star"...done!

And finally...
*Avatar...a good day for James Cameron...Its Picture and Director noms make it a serious contender in the Best Pic Oscar race

ACTOR/DRAMA-Tobey Maguire is the surprise here for "Brothers". Also, it's a little weird that this was the only nom for the Jim Sheridan film...if the HFPA was really hot for it, you'd have thought we see it in some other categories. Maguire's inclusion almost certainly bumped either Renner or Mortensen. Bridges, Clooney, Firth and Freeman were all expected.

ACTRESS/DRAMA-Mirren, Mulligan and Sidibe...as expected. Bullock, not a huge surprise, but Emily Blunt was a bit of a surprise...Bullock and Blunt probably took out Abbie Cornish ("Bright Star') and Saroise Ronan ("Lovely Bones").

ACTOR/MUSIC-COMEDY-I don't think there were any surprises here...And Day-Lewis is the only likely entrant from this list for the Oscar...

ACTRESS/MUSIC-COMEDY-Well, this category is just crazy. Streep twice, Bullock, again...and Julia Roberts??? Cotillard and Streep (Julia) are the players that have a shot at an Oscar nom.

DIRECTOR-Cameron and Tarantino are the big beneficiaries. Eastwood, Reitman and Bigelow were to be expected. Hurt...Rob Marshall and Lee Daniels.

SUPPORTING ACTOR-Harrelson is a little bit of a surprise here. Plummer, Tucci, Waltz and Damon..no real surprise. Hurt: Alfred Molina.

SUPPORTING ACTRESS-No surpirses here...Cruz, Moore, Farmiga, Kendrick and Mo'Nique...all have been on the prospective lists. If there was any surprise at all, it might be that both women from UITA were nommed. Hurt: Judi Dench ("Nine") , Maggie Gyllenhall ("Crazy Heart") and Samantha Morton ("The Messenger").

SCREENPLAY-"District 9"...nice!!! Let's not forget in the discussion of whether "Star Trek" or "Avatar" makes some noise as a Sci Fi pic in the Oscar race, how good this low budget, no-name film really was. "It's Complicated" also was a tiny surprise...Is it a Best Pic threat? The other three scripts will probably be on the Oscar lists in their appropriate categories.

FOREIGN-Sony Pictures Classics dominates..."Broken Embraces" might have been a little surprise...but Almodovar and Cruz are loved by the HFPA. "A Prophet" and "The White Ribbon" were both no surprise.

TELLURIDE CONNECTIONS: UITA with 6, "The Last Station" with 2, And one apiece for "An Education", "A Prophet" and "The WHite Ribbon".

Oscar noms announced on Feb.2!

The Oscar Clearinghouse will post updated data on Friday as we head to the Holiday break!

Monday, December 14, 2009

TFF #36 Critics/AFI and The Oscar Clearinghouse


The Hurt Locker and Kathryn Bigelow have had a really good last couple of days...
The American Film Institue Top Ten for 2009:
“Coraline,” “The Hangover,””The Hurt Locker,” “The Messenger,” “Precious,” “A Serious Man,” “A Single Man,” “Sugar,” “Up” and “Up in the Air.”
Los Angeles Film Critics:
PICTURE: "The Hurt Locker"Runner-up: "Up in the Air"
DIRECTOR: Kathryn Bigelow, "The Hurt Locker"Runner-up: Michael Haneke, "The White Ribbon"
ACTRESS: Yolande Moreau, "Séraphine"Runner-up: Carey Mulligan, "An Education"
ACTOR: Jeff Bridges, "Crazy Heart"Runner-up: Colin Firth, "A Single Man"
ANIMATION: "Fantastic Mr. Fox"Runner-up: “Up"
FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM: "Summer Hours"Runner-up: "The White Ribbon"
NEW GENERATION: Neill Blomkamp, "District 9"
MUSIC/SCORE: T-Bone Burnett and Stephen Bruton, "Crazy Heart"Runner-up: Alexandre Desplat, "Fantastic Mr. Fox"
PRODUCTION DESIGN: Philip Ivey, "District 9"Runner-up: Rick Carter and Robert Stromberg, "Avatar"
CINEMATOGRAPHY: Christian Berger, "The White Ribbon"Runner-up: Barry Ackroyd, "The Hurt Locker"
SUPPORTING ACTRESS: Mo'Nique, "Precious"Runner-up: Anna Kendrick, "Up in the Air"
SUPPORTING ACTOR: Christoph Waltz, "Inglourious Basterds"Runner-up: Peter Capaldi, "In the Loop"
SCREENPLAY: Jason Reitman and Sheldon Turner, “Up in the Air"Runner-up: Jesse Armstrong, Simon Blackwell, Armando Iannucci and Tony Roche, "In the Loop"
DOCUMENTARY / NON-FICTION FILM: "The Beaches of Agnès" and "The Cove" (tie)DOUGLAS E. EDWARDS INDEPENDENT/EXPERIMENTAL FILM/VIDEO: Anders Edstrom and C.W. Winter, "The Anchorage"

New York Film Critics:
FILM: "The Hurt Locker"
DIRECTOR: Kathryn Bigelow for "The Hurt Locker"
SCREENPLAY: "In The Loop"
ACTRESS: Meryl Streep for "Julie & Julia"
ACTOR: George Clooney for "Up In The Air" and "Fantastic Mr. Fox"
SUPPORTING ACTRESS: Mo’Nique for "Precious"
SUPPORTING ACTOR: Christoph Waltz for "Inglourious Basterds
CINEMATOGRAPHY: Christian Berger for "The White Ribbon"
ANIMATED FILM: "Fantastic Mr. Fox"
NON-FICTION FILM: "Of Time And The City"
FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM: "Summer Hours"
FIRST FEATURE: "Hunger," director Steve McQueen
And the nominees for The Critics Choice Awards (Broadcast Film Critics):
BEST PICTURE
Nominees:• Avatar• An Education• The Hurt Locker • Inglourious Basterds• Invictus• Nine• Precious• A Serious Man • Up• Up In The Air
BEST ACTOR
Nominees:• Jeff Bridges - Crazy Heart • George Clooney - Up In The Air • Colin Firth - A Single Man• Morgan Freeman - Invictus • Viggo Mortensen - The Road • Jeremy Renner - The Hurt Locker
BEST ACTRESS
Nominees:• Emily Blunt - The Young Victoria • Sandra Bullock - The Blind Side • Carey Mulligan - An Education • Saoirse Ronan - The Lovely Bones • Gabourey Sidibe - Precious • Meryl Streep - Julie & Julia
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
Nominees:• Matt Damon - Invictus • Woody Harrelson - The Messenger • Christian McKay - Me And Orson Welles • Alfred Molina - An Education • Stanley Tucci - The Lovely Bones • Christoph Waltz - Inglourious Basterds
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Nominees:• Marion Cotillard - Nine • Vera Farmiga - Up In The Air • Anna Kendrick - Up In The Air • Mo’Nique - Precious • Julianne Moore - A Single Man • Samantha Morton - The Messenger
BEST YOUNG ACTOR/ACTRESS
Nominees:• Jae Head - The Blind Side • Bailee Madison - Brothers• Max Records - Where The Wild Things Are • Saoirse Ronan - The Lovely Bones • Kodi Smit-McPhee - The Road
BEST ACTING ENSEMBLE
Nominees:• Inglourious Basterds • Nine • Precious • Star Trek • Up In The Air
BEST DIRECTING
Nominees:• Kathryn Bigelow - The Hurt Locker• James Cameron - Avatar • Lee Daniels - Precious • Clint Eastwood - Invictus • Jason Reitman - Up In The Air• Quentin Tarantino - Inglourious Basterds
BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
Nominees:• Mark Boal - The Hurt Locker • Joel Coen & Ethan Coen - A Serious Man • Scott Neustadter & Michael H. Weber - (500) Days Of Summer • Bob Peterson, Peter Docter - Up • Quentin Tarantino - Inglourious Basterds
BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY
Nominees:• Wes Anderson, Noah Baumbach - Fantastic Mr. Fox • Neill Blomkamp, Terri Tatchell - District 9 • Geoffrey Fletcher - Precious • Tom Ford, David Scearce - A Single Man • Nick Hornby - An Education • Jason Reitman, Sheldon Turner - Up In The Air
BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY
Nominees:• The Hurt Locker• Nine • Avatar • The Lovely Bones• Inglourious Basterds
BEST ART DIRECTION
Nominees:• A Single Man • Avatar • Nine • The Lovely Bones• Inglourious Basterds
BEST EDITING
Nominees:• Up In The Air • Inglourious Basterds • The Hurt Locker • Avatar • Nine
BEST COSTUME DESIGN
Nominees:• Nine • Bright Star • The Young Victoria • Inglourious Basterds • Where The Wild Things Are
BEST MAKEUP
Nominees:• Avatar • District 9 • Nine • The Road • Star Trek
BEST VISUAL EFFECTS
Nominees:• Avatar • District 9 • The Lovely Bones • Star Trek • 2012
BEST SOUND
Nominees:• Avatar • District 9 • The Hurt Locker • Nine • Star Trek
BEST ANIMATED FEATURE
Nominees:• Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs • Coraline • Fantastic Mr. Fox • Princess And The Frog • Up
BEST ACTION MOVIE
Nominees:• Avatar • District 9 • The Hurt Locker • Inglourious Basterds • Star Trek
BEST COMEDY
Nominees:• (500) Days Of Summer • The Hangover • It’s Complicated • The Proposal • Zombieland
BEST PICTURE MADE FOR TELEVISION
Nominees:• Gifted Hands • Grey Gardens • Into The Storm • Taking Chance
BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM
Nominees:• Broken Embraces• Coco Before Chanel • Red Cliff• Sin Nombre • The White Ribbon
BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE
Nominees:• Anvil • Capitalism: A Love Story • The Cove • Food, Inc.• Michael Jackson’s This Is It
BEST SONG
Nominees:• "All Is Love" - Karen O, Nick Zinner - Where The Wild Things Are• "Almost There" - Randy Newman - The Princess And The Frog • "Cinema Italiano" - Maury Yeston - Nine • "(I Want To) Come Home" - Paul McCartney - Everybody’s Fine • "The Weary Kind" - T Bone Burnett, Ryan Bingham - Crazy Heart
BEST SCORE
Nominees:• Michael Giacchino - Up • Marvin Hamlisch - The Informant! • Randy Newman - The Princess and the Frog • Karen O, Carter Burwell - Where The Wild Things Are • Hans Zimmer - Sherlock Holmes

Commentary:
Well...obviously, "The Hurt Locker" is going strong...this may signal a bit of weakening in the "Up in the Air" juggernaut as well as the decline in support for "Precious". "The Last Station" may be suffering from its limited presence...(ONLY at Telluride)...Additionally, "TheLovely Bones" mixed (at best) reviews signal that its place in Osacr land continues to be questionable. And I'm kind of getting the vibe that "Avatar" may succumb to the sci-fi curse and get a bunch of tech nominations, but be shut out of Best Picture.
The Golden Globes nominations are announced tomorrow morning...we'll see what they reveal...and post the Clearinghouse one more time before we head away for the Holiday Break! See you tomorrow!

Friday, December 4, 2009

TFF #36/Oscar Clearinghouse and The National Board of Review

Invictus had a good day from the National Board of Review...Up in the Air's day was better...


The first real bell rang yesterday with the announcement from the National Board of Review of their choices for film excellence for 2009...good day for "Up in the Air"...


Here's their complete list:


Awards for 2009:
Best Film UP IN THE AIR












































TFF #36 players on NBR's awards list are: UITA gets Picture, Actor, Supporting Actress and Screenplay. AN EDUCATION gets Actress and Top Ten. Zip for The Road, Bright Star and The Last Station...


The only film playing in UITA's league on the NBR list was Clint Eastwood's Invictus...which got the directing nod for him plus a Best Actor tie with Clooney for Morgan Freeman and Top Ten as well as a nod on their "Freedom of Expression" list...


Other TFF films making noise on NBR's lists...A Prophet (Best Foreign), The White Ribbon (Top Five Foreign)...and Revanche from TFF #35 (Top Five Foreign).


MIA...Precious got one notice for Gabby Sidibe's "Breakthrough Female Performance". So is the "Precious" boom over??? Backlash anyone?


...and nothing yet from Avatar, Nine, or The Lovely Bones (purportedly Nine and Bones have been "seen" by the NBR folks and Avatar still not so much).


New York and LA film critics choices are just around the corner...what will they tell us?

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

TFF #36 and The Oscar Clearinghouse #5...Pre-Turkey Edition

Jeff Bridges is red hot in the Best Actor race...


As we get ready for Thanksgiving and the obligatory over eating that comes with it, here are some opening thoughts from the Clearinghouse before we get to the breakdown of each category...

UP IN THE AIR is staying strong and is considered by many to be the favorite to win Best Picture at this point...still with Nine, Lovely Bones, Invictus and Avatar still out there to be debuted it's not yet time to place your bets.

Saw trailers on the tube for Invictus, Avatar and UITA since our last post...Invictus looked better than I thought it would. Avatar does not. Lovely Bones continues a slight swoon as we move closer to its release...Avatar has gathered some heat in the interim since Clearinghouse # 4. and Jeff Bridges and "Crazy Heart" has zoomed onto the radar from complete obscurity in the last three weeks...we'll see if he and the movie have any staying power.

This entry of the Clearinghouse adds "Rope of Silicon", The Envelope and Gurus of Gold to the database...Now on to the categories...(TFF PIX IN CAPS AND BOLD)


Best Picture: 1) UP IN THE AIR, 2) The Hurt Locker, 3) Nine, 4) Precious, 5) Invictus, 6) AN EDUCATION, 7) Up, 8) The Lovely Bones, 9) Avatar, 10) A Serious Man.

Others in play: Inglorious Basterds, A Single Man, BRIGHT STAR, THE LAST STATION, THE ROAD, Julie and Julia.

Comments: Biggest Momentum...Hurt Locker, Avatar, A Single Man (finally catching up to the heat in the Best Actor and Supporting Actress categories...which have actually cooled a little) and The Road gets a bump...maybe because it finally gets released this week. Tree of Life drops out of all categories (including director and script) as the various guessperts factor in its release date being set for 2010.


Best Direction: 1) JASON REITMAN, 2) Kathryn Bigelow, 3) Rob Marshall, 4) Clint Eastwood, 5) Lee Daniels.

Lurkers: James Cameron, Peter Jackson, LONE SCHERFIG, Quentin Tarantino, Coen Brothers.

Comments: James Cameron is getting some good buzz in the run up to the release of Avatar.


Best Actor: 1) Morgan Freeman, 2) GEORGE CLOONEY, 3) Colin Firth, 4) Jeff Bridges, 5) Daniel Day-Lewis.

Others: Jeremy Renner, VIGGO MORTENSEN, Matt Damon, Michael Stuhlbarg, Robert DeNiro.

Comments: Two weeks ago Jeff Bridges best shot at a nomination was thought to be in supporting for The Men Who Stare at Goats...man, these change fast! His performance has exploded out of almost nowhere to leap into the #4 spot as a likely nominee...And that's really hurt Jeremy Renner's campaign as he drops from nominee to a "maybe" in status. Also a nice couple of weeks for Viggo as he returns to consideration as does the serious man, Michael Stuhlbarg.


Best Actress: 1) CAREY MULLIGAN, 2) Meryl Streep, 3) Gabby Sidibe, 4) HELEN MIRREN, 5) ABBIE CORNISH.

Lurkers: Saroise Ronan, Marion Cotillard, Sandra Bullock, Maggie Gyllenhall, Michelle Monaghan.

Comments: Cornish returns to "nominee" status. Bullock and Gyllenhall both appear for the first time. And the fall of Hilary Swank and Amelia is complete as she drops completely off the chart.


Best Supporting Actor: 1) Christoph Waltz, 2) Stanley Tucci, 3) ALFRED MOLINA, 4) Matt Damon, 5) CHRISTOPHER PLUMMER.

On the Outside Looking In: PETER SAARSGARD, Anthony Mackie, Christian McKay, Stanley Tucci (again), PAUL SCHNEIDER.

Dropping Out: JAMES MC AVOY.

Comment: Matt Damon is losing a little steam and Paul Schneider returns to the chart, replacing fellow TFF #36 potential nominee James McAvoy.


Best Supporting Actress: 1) Mo'Nique, 2) Penelope Cruz, 3) ANNA KENDRICK, 4) Julianne Moore, 5) VERA FARMIGA.

Lurkers: Judi Dench, Susan Sarandon, Samantha Morton, Marion Cotillard, Mariah Carey.

Comments: Moore falls a little bit and Samantha Morton comes on strong for her work in The Messenger. Also, Mariah Carey enters the chart...getting great notice for a small part and looking nothing like herself...look out for her.

Dropping out: Rachel Wiesz and Melanie Laurent.


Adapted Screenplay: 1) Precious, 2) UP IN THE AIR, 3) AN EDUCATION, 4) Invictus, 5) Nine

Others: The Lovely Bones, A Single Man, THE LAST STATION, Julie and Julia, Wild Things.

Dropping: THE ROAD.


Original Screenplay: 1) Up, 2) A Serious Man, 3) The Hurt locker, 4) 500 Days of Summer, 5) Inglorious Basterds.

And...BRIGHT STAR, District 9, It's Complicated, Avatar, THE WHITE RIBBON.

Dropping: Tree of Life and In the Loop.


Breakdown of THE BIG EIGHT CATEGORIES...Predicted Nominees: UP IN THE AIR-6, Nine, Precious, and Invictus-5, AN EDUCATION-4, and The Hurt Locker -3.


Nominations and Near Noms combined: Nine-7, UP IN THE AIR, Precious, AN EDUCATION, The Lovely Bones-6, The Hurt Locker, Invictus and A Single Man-5, Inglorious Basterds, BRIGHT STAR, THE LAST STATION, Julie and Julia-4


TFF#36...still 13 predicted nominations and 10 near noms...


The Clearinghouse will return next just prior to Christmas/New Years. Planning to spend New Year's Eve back in Telluride!


Thursday, November 5, 2009

TFF #36 and The Oscar Clearinghouse #4


Welcome...So....Steve Martin and Alec Baldwin, eh? Can you say "It's Complicated"?

Here's your latest update using the services of: And the Winner Is, Film Misery, In Contention, The Oscar Guy, Film Experience and Awards Circuit. We'll add Gurus of Gold (when it's gets serious0 The Envelope (LA Times...also, when it gets serious) and Rope of Silicon. Perhaps Hollywood Elsewhere as the season progresses toward Mar. 7


TFF #36 in CAPS and BOLD

Best Picture: 1) UP IN THE AIR, 2) Nine, 3) Hurt Locker, 4) Precious, 5) Invictus, 6) AN EDUCATION, 7) The Lovely Bones, 8) Up, 9) A Serious Man, 10) Avatar...also, 11) Inglorious Basterds, 12) The Tree of Life***13) THE LAST STATION, 14) BRIGHT STAR, 15) Julie and Julia. Dropping Out: A Single Man and Amelia.

Notes: Serious Man makes a move back up the chart as does The Last Station, Bright Star and Inglorious Basterds. Actually, Basterds made a significant move. Amelia's free fall continues. AND ***Tree of Life has been pushed t 2010...maybe it will be at TFF #37.


Best Director: 1) JASON REITMAN/UITA, 2) Kathryn Bigelow/Hurt Locker, 3) Lee Daniels/Precious, 4) Rob Marshall/Nine, 5) Clint Eastwood/Invictus. Also: 6) Peter Jackson?Lovely Bones, 7) LONE SCHERFIG/EDUCATION, 8) Quentin Tarantino/Basterds, 9) Coen Bros./Serious Man, 10) Terrence Malick/Tree***(see previous note)...(next is MICHAEL HOFFMAN/LAST STATION). Dropping Out: None

Notes: Tarantino is the only big mover...Malick, again, is moving to 2010.


Best Actor: 1) Morgan Freeman/Invctus, 2) Colin Firth/Single Man, 3) GEORGE CLOONEY/UP IN THE AIR, 4) Daniel Day-Lewis/Nine, 5) Jeremy Renner/Hurt Locker. Also, 6) Robert DeNiro/Everybody's Fine, 7) Hal Holbrook/Evening Sun, 8) VIGGO MORTENSEN/THE ROAD, 9) Johnny Depp/Public Enemies, 10) Matt Damon/The Informant! Dropping Out: None

Notes: Colin Firth's assault continues. It's a surprise to me that the film hasn't gotten more play for Best Picture with the heat from his performance and Julianne Moore's (see below). Mortensen and Depp actually bump up a little and Matt Damon continues to fall substantially.


Best Actress: 1) CAREY MULLIGAN/AN EDUCATION, 2) Meryl Streep/Julie & Julia, 3) Gabrielle Sidibe, 4) HELEN MIRREN/THE LAST STATION, 5) Saroise Ronan/Lovely Bones. Also: 6) Marion Cotillard/Nine***, 7) ABBIE CORNISH/BRIGHT STAR, 8) Michelle Monaghan/Trucker, 9) Hilary Swank/Amelia, 10) Michelle Pfeiffer and Annette Bening. Dropping Out: Penelope Cruz/Broken Embraces

Notes: Helen Mirren continues to be hot and Hilary Swank's Amelia continues its dive. We include Marion Cotillard's performance from Nine in the lead category, although she has votes in both lead and supporting for the same role. We think this is her most likely category placement.


Best Supporting actor: 1) Christoph Waltz/Inglorious Basterds, 2) Stanley Tucci/Lovely Bones, 3) Matt Damon/Invictus, 4) ALFRED MOLINA/AN EDUCATION, 5) CHRISTOPHER PLUMMER/THE LAST STATION. Also: 6) PETER SAARSGARD/AN EDUCATION, 7) Anthony Mackie/Hurt Locker, 8) JAMES MC AVOY/THE LAST STATION, 9) Stanley Tucci/Julie and Julia, 10) 4 guys tied here. Dropping Out: Richard Kind & ROBERT DUVALL.

Notes: Mackey continues to gain ground and Stanley Tucci is to be red hot as he appears on the list in 2 places (although I suspect he'll get the nomination for Lovely Bones). Duvall drops out...too bad, it's a really fine performance. And James McAvoy is getting split votes in lead and supporting. We suspect he'll end up campaigning as a supporting candidate.


Best Supporting Actress: 1) Mo'Nique/Precious, 2) Julianne Moore/Single Man, 3) Penelope Cruz/Nine, 4) ANNA KENDRICK/UP IN THE AIR, 5) VERA FARMIGA/UP IN THE AIR***. Also: 6) Judy Dench/Nine, 7) Susan Sarandon/Lovely Bones, 8) Rachel Weisz/Lovely Bones, 9) Marion Cotillard/Public Enemies, 10) Melanie Laurent/Inglorius Basterds. Dropping Out; Nicole Kidman and Catherine Keener.

Notes: ***Farmiga makes a move, partly because she also is getting attention in the lead category for this role. We suspect she'll end up in supporting as the season progresses. The first time both UITA ladies move into the "nomination" category. Julianne Moore's rise continues to be meteoric. Laurent returns to the bottom of the list as a part of the overall Inglorious Basterds boomlet over the past couple of weeks.


Best Adapted Screenplay: 1) UP IN THE AIR, 2) Precious, 3) Lovely Bones, 4) AN EDUCATION, 5) Invictus. Also: 6) Nine, 7) THE LAST STATION, 8) A Single Man, 9) Julie & Julia, 10) THE ROAD.

Best Original Screenplay: 1) Up, 2) A Serious Man, 3) The Hurt locker, 4) 500 Days (of Summer), 5) BRIGHT STAR. Also: 6) Inglorious Basterds, 7) THE WHITE RIBBON, 8) District Nine, 9) In the Loop, 10) Tree of Life*** (see above).

Notes: Thanks to Awards Circuit and Film experience, we can expand the screenplay list past 8 possibles...barely.


TFF #36 films account for 13 "Big 8" nominations...up one from the last post and 10 "lurking"up 4 from the last post.


Breakdown: "Nominations": UP IN THE AIR-6, Precious & Invictus-5, AN EDUCATION, Nine, Lovely Bones and Hurt Locker-4.

Combined Noms and Lurks: Nine & The Lovely Bones-7, UP IN THE AIR & AN EDUCATION-6, Hurt Locker, Precious, Invictus, Inglorious Basterds and THE LAST STATION-5. Julie & Julia-4. Serious Man, Single man and BRIGHT STAR-3.


Final Thoughts: I just have a feeling that Lovely Bones (can you say "King Kong"?) and Invictus (can you say "Changeling"?) are going to fade. I think Nine is a solid contender.

Friday, October 23, 2009

TFF #36 and The Oscar Clearinghouse #2 and #3

Christopher Plummer and Helen Mirren in "The Last Station"...saw it at the Telluride Film Festival and now it's getting some serious Oscar attention...for Mirren, Plummer, McAvoy and Giamatti...
Well....This should be the third update, but the one set for Sept. 29 just never got put together...so this will be a combination of #2 and #3...








TFF #36 pics in CAPS AND BOLD.








Best Picture...




1) UP IN THE AIR




2) Nine




3) The Hurt Locker




4) Precious




5) Invictus




6) AN EDUCATION




6) The Lovely Bones




8) Up




9) Avatar




10) A Serious Man




11) The Tree of Life




12) A Single Man




13) Amelia




14) Inglorious Basterds




15) Julie and Julia








Gone from Post #1: Capitalism: A Love Story, Public Enemies, THE ROAD, The Informant!, and BRIGHT STAR








Comments: Since the first post 5 weeks ago, Up in the Air has zoomed to the top of the list. An Education has held held on solidly. But The Road and Bright Star have lost their luster. Personally I am not really surprised by the dip for Bright Star...thought it was pretty ponderous...but I am a real advocate for The Road...It might be the Best Movie of the year. Other notes...Invictus has lost some steam as has Lovely Bones and Amelia...(Lord, Amelia is taking a nose-dive...pardon the pun) one gets the sense that they may not live up to the hype...which also doesn't bode well for Nine (but I finally saw the trailer...and it looks PHENOMENAL). Finally, Serious Man and Single Man both gained some pretty substantial ground.








Best Director:




1) JASON REITMAN/UITA




2) Lee Daniels/Precious




3) Kathryn Bigelow/Hurt Locker




4) Rob Marshall/Nine




5) Clint Eastwood/Invictus




6) Peter Jackson/Bones




7) LONE SCHERFIG/EDUCATION




8) Terrance Malick/Tree




9) J. and E. Coen/Serious Man




9) Quentin Tarantino/Inglorious








Dropping Out: James Cameron and JANE CAMPION








Notes: Reitman was the big gainer over the month-plus (no surprise there). Rob Marshall suffered the largest decline on the list...making the above comment about Nine seem a lot more trenchant.








Best Actor:




1) Morgan Freeman/Invictus




2) GEORGE CLOONEY/UITA




3) Colin Firth/Single Man




4) Daniel Day-Lewis


5) Jeremy Renner/Hurt Locker


6) Robert DeNiro/Everybody's Fine


7) Matt Damon/Informant!


8) Hal Holbrook/That Evening Sun


9) VIGGO MORTENSEN/ROAD


10) Johnny Depp/Public Enemies




Gone: BEN WHISHAW and Sean Penn




Comment: Clooney is still riding the wave from Telluride. Freeman continues to be on top, but has lost some luster. Colin Firth is red hot after Toronto as is his film "A Single Man". Also with some heat is Jeremy Renner as "Hurt Locker" continues to linger from this summer's releases as the most likely to pick up some Oscar love.




Best Actress:




1) CAREY MULLIGAN/AN EDUCATION


2) Meryl Streep/Julie and Julia


3) Gabrielle Sidibe/Precious


4) HELEN MIRREN/THE LAST STATION


5) Saroise Ronan/Lovely Bones


6) ABBIE CORNISH/BRIGHT STAR


7) Hillary Swank/Amelia


8) Michelle Monaghan/Trucker


9) Marion Cotillard/Nine


10) Penelope Cruz/Broken Embraces




Gone: Michelle Pfeiffer, AUDREY TAUTOU




Comment: Mulligan continues to be regarded as a lock and Dame Helen Mirren is the hottest mover right now after Sony Pictures Classics has picked up the distribution rights to The Last Station (and after having just won the Best Actress prize this past weekend at the Rome Film Festival). SPC reportedly has promised an Oscar campaign as part of that deal...which also bodes well for Last Station in other categories...like for Christopher Plummer and James McAvoy as well as some tech consideration. Screenplay and Best Pic? Who knows. Depends on the quality of such wait and sees as Invictus, Nine and The Lovely Bones. Although if Amelia is an indication....Finally, Abbie Cornish drops into the "lurker" category...I personally am guessing that trend will continue as Bright Star fades...




Best Supporting Actor:




1) Christoph Waltz/Inglorious Basterds


2) Stanley Tucci/Lovely Bones


3) ALFRED MOLINA/AN EDUCATION


4) Matt Damon/Invictus


5) CHRISTOPHER PLUMMER/LAST STATION


6) JAMES MC AVOY/LAST STATION


7) PETER SAARSGARD/AN EDUCATION


8) ROBERT DUVALL/THE ROAD


9) Richard Kind/Serious Man


9) Anthony Mackie/Hurt Locker




Gone: PAUL SCHNEIDER, KODI SMIT-MC PHEE, Jeff Bridges, Richard Gere




Comment: Last year it was the Best Actress category that held the potential to be dominated by Telluride connections...and NONE OF THEM ENDED UP NOMINATED...That chance this year exists in this category. And I suspect that the shutout of last year will not be repeated. Who's hot??? Plummer and McAvoy again from Last Station...but Plummer really should be in the Lead category...not here. Come on SPC...Waltz continues to be regarded as a shoo-in...Duvall has picked up a little steam (it's a terrific performance). Who's cooling??? Damon and Kind.




Best Supporting Actress:




1) MoNique/Precious


2) Penelope Cruz/nine


3) ANNA KENDRICK/UITA


4) Julianne Moore/Single Man


5) Judi Dench/Nine


6) Susan Sarndon/Lovely Bones


7) Marion Cotillard/Public Enemies


8) Rachel Wiesz/Lovely Bones


9) Nicole Kidman/Nine


10) Catherine Keener/Wild Things




Gone: Sigouney Weaver, VERA FARMIGA, Jessica Chastain, Melanie Laurent




Comment: Seems like a category searching for nominees. almost everyone has lost some steam from our first post 5 weeks ago...except Kendrick and Moore...who is the hottest mover for Single Man.




Adapted Screenplay:




1) UP IN THE AIR


2) Precious


3) AN EDUCATION


4) The Lovely Bones


5) Invictus


5) A Single Man




Others: Nine, Where the Wild Things Are




Comment: The potential nominees in both screenwriting categories continue to be incredibly narrow with only 8 adapted scripts and 8 original scripts getting mentioned across the 6-7 sources we're currently using. In adapted...UITA and Education are up slightly...Precious and Lovely Bones are down slightly and Invictus and Single Man appear for the first time.




Original Screenplay:




1) Up


2) A Serious Man


3) The Hurt Locker


4) BRIGHT STAR


5) 500 Days of Summer




Also: The Tree of Life, Inglorious Basterds, and District 9




Comment: None




Overall:




TFF #36 films sit with 12 "nominations" in the Big Eight categories with another 6 "lurking".




The Breakdown:


5 "Noms": UP IN THE AIR, Precious, Invictus, and Nine


4 "Noms": AN EDUCATION, The Hurt Locker, The Lovely Bones


3 "Noms": A Single Man




Combined "noms" and "Lurkings"


Nine (9)


The Lovely Bones (7)


AN EDUCATION (6)


UP IN THE AIR, The Hurt Locker, Precious, Invictus (5)


A Serious Man, A Single Man, Inglorious Basterds (4)


THE LAST STATION, The Tree of Life (3)


BRIGHT STAR, THE ROAD, Up, Julie and Julia, Amelia (2)




Final Thoughts: Up in the Air continues to go like gangbusters and The Last Station has gathered a lot of heat in the last month (and if you read this blog at all during the festival, you know we were impressed with it). Hate that The Road is losing steam. I still think it's likely the best film of the year.






Friday, September 18, 2009

TFF #36 and the Oscar Clearinghouse #1 for 2009

Will everyone in this picture be nominated for Best Supporting Actress? (the female cast of "Nine")


Continuing what we started in this space last year, we'll devote some time and energy to compiling the best of the Oscar guessperts for the Big Eight categories from now til the ceremony in February...(Helfrich's..we'd love to be there!)...and we'll highlight the films getting the Oscar buzz that showed at the Telluride Film Festival. So lets' get started!


The Early Line on Best Picture...(note, the Academy goes to 10 nominees this year...uh...OK...)

Leaders: (with Telluride films in CAPS AND BOLD):

Invictus (Eastwood directs Morgan Freeman as Nelson Mandela with Matt Damon...http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1057500/),

Nine (Daniel Day-Lewis and women...many, many women in Rob Marshall's film version of the stage musical based on Fellini's "8 1/2" http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0875034/).

Precious (Lee Daniels directs this Sundance favorite...http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0929632/).

The Lovely Bones (Peter Jackson directs the adaptation of the novel http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0380510/)

AN EDUCATION (Lone Scherfig directs Carey Mulligan, Peter Saarsgard and Alfred Molina in this coming of age story set in the 60's in England...a lot of buzz from Telluride! and it was a hit at Sundance too! http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1174732/ ).

The Hurt Locker (Kathryn Bigelow's consensus critical darling from earlier this summer http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0887912/).

Up (can Pixar get a Best Pic nom for this animated film? The expansion to ten slots makes it more likely...and it's a good movie too! http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1049413/)

UP IN THE AIR (Jason Reitman's follow-up to Juno getting great traction from both Telluride and Toronto...Clooney also looking good for a nomination...see later http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1193138/).

Amelia (Hilary Swank as Amelia Earhart...thought this would be in Telluride, I was wrong. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1129445/).

THE ROAD ( John Hillcoat directs Viggo Mortensen in a post apocalyptic America created by Cormac McCarthy http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0898367/).



Also in play: Avatar (James Cameron), A Serious Man (the Coen Brothers), BRIGHT STAR (Jane Campion), Capitalism: A Love Story (Michael Moore), and Public Enemies (Michael Mann...really???)


Comment: As hot as "Up in the Air" has been at both Telluride and Toronto, look for significant upward movement for all involved by the next post.


Director: In the lead: Clint Eastwood-Invictus, Rob Marshall-Nine, Lee Daniels-Precious, Peter Jackson-The Lovely Bones, And Kathryn Bigelow-The Hurt Locker. Lurking: LONE SCHERFIG-AN EDUCATION, Mira Nair-Amelia, Terrence Malick-The Tree of Life (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0478304/), James Cameron-Avatar, and JANE CAMPION-BRIGHT STAR. (no Reitman???)


Actor: Morgan Freeman-Invictus, GEORGE CLOONEY-UP IN THE AIR, Daniel Day-Lewis-Nine, VIGGO MORTENSEN-THE ROAD (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1130080/), and Matt Damon-The Informant. Lurkers: Johnny Depp-Public Enemies (again...really???), Jeremy Renner-The Hurt Locker, Sean Penn-The Tree of Life, BEN WHISHAW-BRIGHT STAR, Michael Stuhlbarg-A Serious Man.


Actress: Meryl Streep-Julie and Julia (she's really good! http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1135503/), CAREY MULLIGAN-AN EDUCATION, Saroise Ronan-The Lovely Bones, Hilary Swank-Amelia, and ABBIE CORNISH-BRIGHT STAR (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0810784/). LurkeeLoos: Gabby Sidibe-Precious, AUDREY TAUTOU-COCO BEFORE CHANEL , Michelle Pfeiffer-Cheri, Michelle Monaghan-Trucker, Penelope Cruz-Broken Embraces.


Supporting Actor: Matt Damon-Invictus ( a double nom?), ALFRED MOLINA-AN EDUCATION, Christoph Waltz-Inglourious Basterds (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0361748/) Stanley Tucci-The Lovely Bones, and Richard Kind-A Serious Man (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1019452/). On the cusp: Richard Gere-Amelia, KODI SMIT-MC PHEE-THE ROAD, Jeff Bridges-The Men Who Stare at Goats, PAUL SCHNEIDER-BRIGHT STAR, PETER SAARSGARD-AN EDUCATION (ought to be in the lead category).


Supporting Actress: Mo'Nique-Precious, Penelope Cruz-Nine, Judi Dench-Nine, Marion Cotillard-Nine, Susan Sarandon- The Lovely Bones. Also close: ANNA KENDRICK-UP IN THE AIR, Rachel Weisz-The Lovely Bones, Jessica Chastain-The Tree of Life, Sigourney Weaver-Avatar, and VERA FARMIGA-UP IN THE AIR.

Comment: Is it possible that this category could end up with all five nominees from "Nine"? or Mo'Nique plus 4 from "Nine"?


Adapted Screenplay: Kerrine Jenkins-Precious, NICK HORNBY-AN EDUCATION, Fran Walsh, Phillipa Boyens and Peter Jackson-The Lovely Bones, Anthony Peckham-Invictus, and JOE PENHALL-THE ROAD. Mentions: Michael Tolkin and Anthony Minghella-Nine, JASON REITMAN AND SHELDON TURNER-UP IN THE AIR, James Schamus-Taking Woodstock, Scott Z. Burns-The Informant!


Original Screenplay: Pete Docter and Bob Peterson, JANE CAMPION-BRIGHT STAR, Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber-500 Days of Summer (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1022603/), Mark Boal-The Hurt Locker, and Joel Coen and Ethan Coen-A Serious Man. Other mentions: Terrence Malick-The Tree of Life, Ron Bass and Anna Hamilton Phelan, and Tony Gilroy-Duplicity (really???)


Other notes: Most "noms" on the first chart...6 for "Nine" and "The Lovely Bones". "Nine"also leads in the nom/lurk category with 8.


Five Telluride films seem to have at least some heat now: An Education, Up in the Air, The Road, Bright Star and Coco Before Chanel with a combined total of 11 "nominations" predicted in the big eight categories and another 11 "possibles". An Education leads with 4 noms and 2 possibles followed by Up in the Air with 2 and 3, The Road with 3 and 1, Bright Star with 2 and 4 and Coco with 1 possible.


Overall..as noted Nine and The Lovely Bones are out front with significant expectations for Invictus with 5 noms, Precious with 4 and 1, The Hurt Locker with 3 and 1, Amelia with 2 and 3 and A Serious Man with 2 and 2. We'll see what happens when the studios whose strategy has been to hold off from the festival circuit release Nine, Invictus, and The Lovely Bones...

And, of course, there are always the tech awards that will add to nomination totals and the foreign films Telluride films that could make some noise in this category include: A Prophet, Vincere, and Samson and Delilah.
Back in 2-3 weeks with an update!

TF#36 Post Mortem


Welllll...so how'd we do in the run up to this year's Telluride Film Festival??? The answer is "so-so". I felt like the reported films that we sniffed out we pretty much got right...even when we waffled. Let me explicate.


I think the blog can justifiably claim we got "Bright Star," "Life During Wartime," "The Road," "The Last Station" (at the last minute), and "Vincere" (also at the last minute). At least to some extent we can claim we got it right on "An Education" (despite the uncertainty because it had been a Sundance film) and also "Up in the Air".


I also feel that we certainly shaded the likelihood of "The White Ribbon," "Coco Before Chanel"and "A Prophet".


But we did whiff big time on "Amelia," "Broken Promises," "Sympathy for Delicious," and "Precious" (like "An Education", this was a Sundance entry). And we were totally wrong on "Lebanon."


But we figured out "Bad Lieutenant" late in the game, and were redeemed by the sneak of "My Son, My Son..." Our mistake was underestimating how much Werner Herzog was going to be a part of TFF #36.


All in all, it seemed like we got better at the "reportage" part this year, but were just about as bad as last year in terms of the "educated" guess work. We were thrown by the absence this year of Fox Searchlight...particularly since they had been well represented in recent festivals (i.e. "Slumdog")...and the demise of Paramount Vantage and Warner Independent also presented challenges to our guess work.


Finally a shout out to the new folks who were kind enough to read/follow the blog this year and drop a comment or two along the way. Made us feel like we were actually doing something worthwhile rather just amusing ourselves...so thanks...Kelly, Gant, Jen, Jarrette, Matt, Rich, Haywood, M. Austin and Reilly.


Later today...Oscar Clearinghouse #1 or 2009...I'll let some of you off the hook from the mandatory email alert for the new posts!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Some reviews for TFF #36

The Opening Night Feed
Here are some links to reviews from last week's festival. The list is not complete or exhaustive.




An Education:




Bad Lieutenant:










Coco Before Chanel:




Life During Wartime:







My Son, My Son, What Have Ye Done?




Paranormal Activity:




The Last Station:















The Road:















The White Ribbon:




Up in the Air:





















Waking Sleeping Beauty:






The first Oscar Clearinghouse for 2009 will be up within a week...








Wednesday, September 9, 2009

And Home Again...


Telluride's 36th Film Festival is done and the Pattersons are back in the Oklahoma Panhandle. We returned to the "real world" today as we both were back in our classrooms. I turn my attention now to One Act Play competition and the first speech tournament of the year.




This year's fest was amazing, not only for the films we saw, but also for the people we met and got a chance to interact with. And it seems that there is the chance that some of those interactions may lead to continued friendships and relationships. I really do think I will talk to Ken Burns again in the near future and maybe get to be a part (a small part) of his Dust Bowl project in some fashion...who knows what that may be.




Kristy and I met a lovely couple from LA that we really seemed to kind of strike a chord with...and he's really kind of a big deal in the movie biz...




Got to meet and talk with the stunning Laura Linney...beautiful, talented and gracious!




Met Curtis Hanson...writer, director..."LA Confidential" one of the top ten movie of the 90's.




Got pix of Nicolas Cage and Viggo Mortensen...




Talked with Oscar nominee Brenda Blethyn.




Sat with directors Jason Reitman (talked to him three times) and Alexander Payne. Sat behind Sid Ganis (Pres. of "The Academy").




Got to ask a question during the first Q & A following the first presentation in the world of "Up in the Air" and make a subsequent joke that most of the room seemed to think was actually funny.




And don't forget the movies...really impressed by "Life During Wartime" (maybe an original screenplay nom for Todd Solondz...although the acting is top notch across the board, it's hard to imagine the Academy embracing any one of the performers for an acting nom. They should, though, because the ensemble is amazing).




"The Road"...Viggo Mortensen may be the Best Actor front runner for this...and I thought it was a stunning film.




Jason Reitman's "Up in the Air"...George Clooney will join Mortensen in the Best Actor race and it will also get a slew of other nominations (my first guess is 8 total noms).




"Farewell" a great French espionage thriller...really well done.




And "The Last Station"...excellent performances by Christopher Plummer, Helen Mirren and James McAvoy...although it may suffer from the appearance of "Up in the Air" because UITA sucked so much oxygen up and out of the festival for a lot of the other films and also complicating matters, the presence of "Bright Star" another period costume piece that was getting a lot of attention (Abbie Cornish especially getting some early Oscar mention)...but for my money "Last Station" was the much better film.




And then there is "An Education" which seemed to be a real favorite of fest goers when you'd ask them what they'd seen and liked last weekend...I thought it was a good movie, but certainly not a great movie. Carey Mulligan (who plays the lead in "An Education" is also in many conversations as an Oscar contender.




2009 Film List from Telluride (in order that we saw them):




An Education: 2 1/2 stars

Coco Before Chanel: 2 stars

Life During Wartime: 4 Stars

Farewell: 3 Stars

Up in the Air 3 1/2 Stars

The Last Station: 3 Stars

Room and a Half: 2 Stars

Bright Star: 2 1/2 Stars

London River 2 Stars

The Road: 4 Stars (up from an original 3 1/2)

Bad Lieutenant: 1 1/2 Stars


Things I missed, that I really regret: A Prophet, Vincere, The White Ribbon and The Red Riding Trilogy (which got huge buzz through the weekend).


This summer included a trip to the National Speech Tournament where I got to judge a final round national championship for the first time. The New York trip of a lifetime. And concluded with the Telluride Film Festival...


I've said it before...I can't believe I get to do this...


In the next few days I will try to put together a post that collects reviews/reactions to this year's TFF films and then will begin the transition of this blog into The Oscar Clearinghouse with emphasis on the films of Telluride...and there will be a Telluride influence on this year's Oscar race! Bet on it.


Monday, September 7, 2009

Day Four...And It's a Wrap!

Me And Curtis Hanson (LA Confidential) at the picnic
Viggo Mortensen between screenings of "The Road"...Oscar Nom??? I'd say yes.

Nicolas Cage and Werner Herzog at the picnic before "Bad Lieutenant"


Ken Burns signs our books and discovers we may be source material for his next project. No, really! See below.



Kelsey, me, Kristy and Merri with our small scale "class photo" for TFF #36




The fourth and final day of the 36th Telluride Film Festival was heavy on festival and light on film...but, personally a very fulfilling day.



Started the day with Ken Burns' book signing...got an autographed copy of "National Parks" that coincides with his PBS series in 3 weeks. And...when he asked where we were from, he lit up. Seems his next documentary project is about the Dust Bowl...and when we revealed we were from the bulls eye of the Dust Bowl, Burns was very animated...took our name, numbers and email address. An associate producer is set to contact us in the next couple of weeks. Holy Crap!



Then...on to the Labor Day film fest picnic and a really tasty lunch hosted by Omaha Steaks...good food! And good conversation...a wonderful conversation with a Colorado couple who has two kids in the Yale School of Drama...very nice. Nicolas Cage showed up for a presentation...he's here with "Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans"...more later.




Ran across new friends Mark Helfrich and his wife, whom we met the first day, and compared notes of movies we had seen and opinions of them...Mark is a film editor of some renown...he's a serious deal...IMDB him, you'll be impressed. Here's his link to IMDB: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0375068/. We're invited to their home in LA for their Oscar party...cause I'm sure we'll be in LA...but , ain't that cool?



Noticed that Kris had offered our seats as we were ready to leave to film director and writer Curtis Hanson...he directed "LA Confidential" ...only one of my favorite movies ever made...ever! Got a chance to talk to him for a few moments. And a pic!



As we left, got a chance to congratulate Oscar nominated actress Brenda Blethyn on her "London River" performance.



Then to the Palm for "The Road". Viggo Moretensen sighting and picture. Then the movie...Brutal, harrowing, disturbing and a very nearly great film. It's hard to watch...but a really stunning film. Mortensen's performance...YES!..Other standouts are Robert Duvall and Charlize Theron. There's been a lot of buzz for Kodi Smit-McPhee...but I think he's just OK in the role of the boy....also John Hillcoat's direction is eloquent. 3 and 1/2 stars...



Then to The Galaxy for "Bad Lieutenant"...and long story short...It's bad! (in the traditional sense, meaning not good). 1 and 1/2 stars. Worst thing I saw this weekend.


As always...things I wanted to get and didn't: "The White Ribbon," "Vincere" and "A Prophet". Thought they'd be TBAed today and there weren't. Thank God for Netflix!


4 days and 12 films...some great and others less so. Spoke with Laura Linney this weekend and have the picture to prove it and tonight Ken Burns has my contact info in his pocket...oh man....



Top picks: "Life During Wartime," "The Road," "Up in the Air," "Farewell" and "The Last Station".



Lots of people liked "An Education" I thought it was OK. Lots of people loved "Bright Star"...again...OK



Biggest buzz on something I did not see...the "Red Riding" trilogy. It seemed to be a big hit with fest-goers.




Started the weekend with some goals and they all happened. And to a much greater degree that I thought possible. Love this weekend, this festival and this spot on the planet. Start the countdown to Telluride Film Festival #37!