VIEWING THE AWARDS LANDSCAPE
Everyone, take a breath. The first real wave of awards season news has come ( Golden Globe. Independent Spirit and SAG nominations and critics lists and awards from NBR, AFI and LA and NY) with that, here are some thoughts:
Richard Linklater's "Boyhood" is your betting favorite for Best Picture (and likely Best Director and Supporting Actress. Maybe even Original Screenplay). It made all seven of the above organizations lists/awards . It also appears that "Birdman" and "The Imitation Game" are the only films with any kind of shot to challenge.
Acting favorites are all pretty solid but not as much of a lock as it might seem. Even Patricia Arquette (Boyhood) and JK Simmons (Whiplash) who have seemed unbeatable may have a bit more of a challenge than has been previously thought. For Simmons, that would appear to come from Edward Norton (Birdman) and for Arquette the challenge looks to be coming from Jessica Chastain for "A Most Violent Year".
Lead acting favorites are Michael Keaton (Birdman) and Julianne Moore (Still Alice). Keaton has never been perceived as a prohibitive favorite and his biggest challenge is likely from Eddie Redmayne (The Theory of Everything). Moore has been a prohibitive favorite, but the rise of Jennifer Aniston's profile for "Cake" over that past couple of weeks, should give Moore pause.
MUSIC NEWS FOR OSCAR
A couple of big announcements for the Music categories for The Academy Awards this past week. The Academy announced 114 eligible scores and original songs and, as there always seem to be, there were some surprises.
First surprise to be mentioned is the ineligibility of Antonio Sanchez's percussion heavy, and very distinctive, score for Alejandro Inarritu's "Birdman". TFF scores that are eligible include: "The Homesman", "The Imitation Game", "Merchants of Doubt", "Mr. Turner", "Red Army", "Rosewater", "The Salt of the Earth" and "Wild Tales". Also from TFF #40: "Tracks" and "Under the Skin". The complete list is here from The Gold Derby:
Meanwhile, The Academy also released the list of 79 eligible original songs for Oscar consideration. Among them is: "You Fooled Me" from "The Merchants of Doubt". Additionally, blog obsession "Rudderless" had three songs make the the list: "Over Your Shoulder", "Sing Along" and "Stay with You". The complete list is here from Deadline.com:
Listen to some of the "Rudderless" songs here:
INARRITU MOVING ON
Despite the fact that awards season madness is in full swing and that his "Birdman" is in the midst of a hot campaign for a number of trophies and baubles (it will almost certainly garner more Oscar nominations than any other film this year), Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu is already deep into his next project. That's the revenge western "The Revenant" starring Leonardo DiCaprio. Inarritu is in Canada filming away. Kristopher Tapley reports for HitFix/InContention that Inarritu is set to film until April. The film has an announced limited release date for Dec. 25, 2015. I have to believe that it would play Venice/Telluride if Inarritu has it ready but that would be a really tight window. Check out Tapley's story here:
NUTS AND BOLTS: EDITING "THE IMITATION GAME"
As we get deeper into awards season, you can see the P.R./Oscar machine begin to go into every possible cranny to get traction. Stories about the technical aspects of various contenders pop up with more and more frequency. Case in point is this Variety story focused on the film editing for Morten Tyldum's "The Imitation Game":
AWARDS SEASON OVERLOAD
Does it get overwhelming? This past ten days or so have seen the announcements of film excellence winners and nominees for the Independent Spirit Awards, Golden Globes, NBR, AFI, New York and Los Angeles Film Critics and the Screen Actors Guild plus more.
Well, fear not. The Film Society of Lincoln Center has developed an awards matrix. It's really useful. Look at it here:
"HATEFUL 8" HAS BEGUN
As had been announced earlier, Quentin Tarantino has begun actual filming of his next (and last project?) "The Hateful Eight" just outside of Telluride. Star Samuel L. Jackson tweeted this picture on Wednesday:
That'll do it for today...check back for more on Thursday...