Matt's Super Mega Awesome 2013 Oscars Form Guide
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Poor Ben - The Directors Guild Streak Comes To An End
We’re not far away from the Academy Awards – less than 3 weeks remain. I haven’t updated you with my thoughts on the race for a while but it’s certainly shifted back in Argo’s favour. Argo has produced a clean sweep of the 4 big lead up awards – the Golden Globe (drama), the Screen Actors Guild Award for best ensemble, the Directors Guild Award (Ben Affleck) and the Producers Guild Award. It was fading in betting markets but this string of wins has brought it into near-favouritism alongside Lincoln. It looks like a two-horse race but anything is possible.
There’s one fact I can’t get past though. Of all the lead up awards, there’s ONE that you pay attention to more than any other – the Directors Guild Award. It was first awarded in 1949 and has been handed out 65 times. On only 6 occasions has the winner of the award not gone on and won the Academy Award. That’s a ridiculous correlation! We’re talking 92%! The last time the awards didn’t match up was in 2002 when Rob Marshall won the Guild Award for Chicago but lost the Oscar to Roman Polanski for The Pianist (a huge boil over).
So with Ben Affleck winning the Directors Guild Award, you’d think he’d be a short priced favourite to win the Oscar, right? His odds should be around $1.10, right? Wrong. You can get whatever odds you want… because Affleck isn’t even nominated! I was certainly puzzled when the nominations came out but the fact that Argo has won all the major lead up awards over the past 2 weeks makes it even stranger. How is there so much love for the film in Hollywood and yet the Academy doesn’t think him worthy as one of the five nominees?
It’s hard to believe. Well, at least we know that the streak will be broken. After this year, there’ll be 7 people who have won the Directors Guild Award and not gone on to win the Oscar. Affleck may yet have the last laugh if the film wins best picture (since he’s a producer and will get to take home an Oscar statue anyway) but it’s a curious twist in an odd year for Oscar predictions.
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A Film That's So Bad... It Might Actually Be Fun?
This week in Australia, a film is being released called Movie 43. It runs for 90 minutes and features 14 short stories – each from a different director. You could not find a bigger cast all year. They don’t have a lot of screen time each but the list of names includes Dennis Quaid, Hugh Jackman, Kate Winslet, Naomi Watts, Emma Stone, Richard Gere, Justin Long, Uma Thurman, Gerard Butler and Halle Berry.
The film wasn’t previewed for Brisbane critics, which started to arouse my suspicions, and then the reviews started coming in thick and fast. Here’s a sample from Rotten Tomatoes…
"Movie 43" is the Citizen Kane of awful." - Richard Roeper (Chicago Sun-Times)
"Just no." - Kim Newman (Empire Magazine)
"As a film critic, I've seen nearly 4,000 movies over the last fifteen years. Right now, I can't think of one worse than Movie 43." - Elizabeth Weitzman (New York Daily News)
"It rather boggles the mind how so many micromanaging handlers allowed their A-list talent to participate in a production that looks funded from a frat-house's loose-couch-change collection." - Kimberley Jones (Austin Chronicle)
"Don't subject yourself to this crap." - Brett Michel (Boston Phoenix)
"Deadly dull, unfunny, offensive, and stultifyingly clumsy." - Richard Brody (The New Yorker)
"This is the biggest waste of talent in cinema history." - Peter Howell (Toronto Star)
"If you mashed-up the worst parts of the infamous Howard the Duck, Gigli, Ishtar and every other awful movie I've seen since I started reviewing professionally in 1981, it wouldn't begin to approach the sheer soul-sucking badness of Movie 43." - Lou Lumenick (New York Post)
On the Internet Movie Database, the film currently has an average score from the public of just 4.9 out of 10. There are plenty of films with worse ratings but not a lot with this kind of star power. The low grade, coupled with the poor opening weekend box-office (just $7.7m over its first 10 days), shows that the broader public aren’t big fans either.
All of this negativity… only makes me want to see it even more! If it was just an average film, I’d probably find some time over the weekend to check it out. But since it’s been described as the worst film ever made, I have to see it on opening night! It could be so bad… that it’s actually kind of fun to watch. You’ll be able to check out my mini review of the film on my website on Thursday night.
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Wrap Of 2013 Oscar Nominations & Golden Globe Winners
The Oscar nominations were released last Thursday night (Australian time) and there were certainly a few surprises. The fact that the voting has been moved up this year (to limit the influence of other major awards shows) may have played a part in that fact. You can listen to my 10 minute wrap of the nominations in a special ABC podcast by clicking here.
Here’s my quick thoughts on the winners and losers…
Lincoln (out Feb 7) is the film to beat. 12 nominations in total including best picture, best director (Steven Spielberg), best actor (Daniel Day-Lewis), best sup actor (Tommy Lee Jones), best sup actress (Sally Field).
Life Of Pi is next best with 11 nominations. It’s looming as the big danger.
Aussies – for only the 3rd time in history, we have 3 acting nominees – Hugh Jackman (Les Miserables), Naomi Watts (The Impossible – out Jan 24), Jacki Weaver (Silver Linings Playbook – out Jan 31).
It’s Hugh Jackman’s first nomination and the second for Naomi Watts and Jacki Weaver. Weaver’s comes as a big shock as she wasn’t nominated in any of the major lead up awards (just like Animal Kingdom two years ago).
Silver Linings Playbook (out Jan 31) has surged into contention with 8 nominations. I’d all but written it off after a poor BAFTA showing and after missing a Directors Guild nomination. It’s now back in the race. It got nominations in all 4 acting categories! The first time in more than 30 years.
Amour (out Feb 21) is the only foreign language film amongst the best picture nominees and scored 4 other noms including best director and best actress.
Beasts Of The Southern Wild (which made my top 10 in 2012 and is out on DVD this week) soars into contention with noms for best picture, best director and best actress. The film got just 1 BAFTA nomination and no Golden Globe nominations.
There are 9 best picture nominees – Amour, Argo, Beasts Of The Southern Wild, Django Unchained, Les Miserables, Life Of Pi, Lincoln, Silver Linings Playbook, Zero Dark Thirty.
The best director category has shocked everyone. Normally, the nominees for the Directors’ Guild Award line up closely with the Oscars. This year, only 2 of the 5 go through. The 3 casualties were big names – Ben Affleck (Argo) and former winners Tom Hooper (Les Miserables) and Kathryn Bigelow (Zero Dark Thirty). Without a best director nomination, you can kiss the best picture chances of these 3 films goodbye.
The Sessions was touted as a hopeful but got just one nomination – Helen Hunt for best supporting actress.
Some thought Skyfall might become the first Bond film in history to pick up a best picture nomination but alas, it did not. Javier Bardem and Judi Dench were also overlooked but the film did pick up 5 nominations in the technical categories (sound, music, cinematography).
Zero Dark Thirty (out Jan 31) limps home with just 5 nominations. The lack of a best director nomination hurts it big time.
The Master picks up 3 acting nominations (Joaquin Phoenix, Amy Adams, Philip Seymour Hoffman) but surprisingly doesn’t get a nomination in a single other category.
No love for Wes Anderons’s Moonrise Kingdom – just 1 nomination (best screenplay).
The Dark Knight Rises didn’t get a single nomination in any category! Hard to believe for a film that’s made more than $1 billion around the world.
The best actress category is interesting as it has the oldest nominee in history – 85 y/o Emmanuelle Riva (Amour) and the youngest nominee in history – 9 y/o Quevzhane Wallis (Beasts Of The Southern Wild).
The best supporting actor category is interesting. For the first time in 86 years, all 5 acting nominees are former winners – Tommy Lee Jones, Christoph Waltz, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Alan Arkin and Robert DeNiro.
The Golden Globes were handed out this afternoon in what was a pretty good ceremony. Tina Fay and Amy Poehler got things started with a funny opening and other great presenters included Kristen Wii, Will Ferrell and Sacha Baron Cohen. The real star power arrived when former President Bill Clinton introduced a clip of Steven Spielberg’s Lincoln.
The ceremony offered up a few surprises also and here’s a wrap of the winners:
Best Picture Drama – Argo – not my favourite film but it edged out Lincoln (the favourite) and perhaps it’s still in with a shot for the Oscar (despite missing a best director nomination).
Best Picture Comedy/Musical – Les Miserables – winning as expected but don’t get your hopes up for a repeat performance at the Oscars.
Best Actor Drama – Daniel Day Lewis (Lincoln) – he’s got the Oscar locked up and will become the first man in history to win 3 best actor statuettes.
Best Actor Comedy/Musical – Hugh Jackman (Les Miserables) – Australia’s only winner of the night and nice to see Hugh recognised for his solid performance.
Best Actress Drama – Jessica Chastain (Zero Dark Thirty) – I’ve got money on her to take the Oscar and she’s now in with a strong chance after taking home this prize.
Best Actress Comedy/Musical – Jennifer Lawrence (Silver Linings Playbook) – she retains her Oscar favouritism but Chastain will keep her honest in the lead up to the ceremony.
Best Supporting Actor – Christoph Waltz (Django Unchained) – this was probably the biggest surprise of the evening as Philip Seymour Hoffman and Tommy Lee Jones were the big chances.
Best Supporting Actress – Anne Hathaway (Les Miserables) – her name is already etched on the Oscar.
Best Director – Ben Affleck (Argo) – have to laugh since he’s not nominated for an Oscar in this category.
Best Screenplay – Quentin Tarantino (Django Unchained) – another unexpected win but it is a great script with some quality dialogue.
Best Foreign Language Film – Amour – another film that’s a shoe-in for the Oscar.
Best Score – Mychael Danna (Life Of Pi) – my favourite win of the night as I’m a huge fan of the movie and nice to see Danna get his first major award.
It was a wipe out in terms of my betting. I had $300 on Kathryn Bigelow to win best director under the hope they’d honour her for Zero Dark Thirty after the snub of The Hurt Locker three years ago. I was wrong. I also had $200 on Tommy Lee Jones in the wide open best supporting actor category but it seems Lincoln lacked a lot of support within the Hollywood Foreign Press. Ah well. Down $500. I’ll just buy a bottle of scotch to drown my sorrows.
The good news is that many of this year’s awards season contenders will be making their way into Australian cinemas over the next month. It sure is a great time to be going to the movies!
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