"Dreams feel real while we're in them. It's only when we wake up that we realize something was actually strange." -Inception

Monday, February 25, 2013

And the Oscar goes to...

Wow, that was some Oscar ceremony, not the greatest ever but then again how do you follow up the return of Billy Crystal? Next year, guys, listen to Captain Kirk and get Tina Fey and Amy Poehler, you know they're going to kill it.  

Seth MacFarlane tried his darnedest but it just didn't cut it for me.  Movie musicals were the theme of the night and unfortunately the show ended up being too much like the Tonys and not enough like a celebration of the greatest movie awards in the world.  And what was up with only celebrating the musicals released in the last decade? It makes sense knowing the producers.  But what about Sound of Music, My Fair Lady, West Side Story, Funny Girl or for that matter musicals like Newsies, Hairspray or even the current Pitch Perfect? Time to expand your horizons folks.

(Photo: The Hollywood Reporter)
 That said, the stage was spectacular and never looked better.  The opening monologue featured great dancing from Channing Tatum, Charlize Theron, Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Daniel Radcliffe all of whom were extremely sporting.  The first award of the night was a shocker with Christoph Waltz of Django Unchained winning Best Supporting Actor.  All the other men in the category had won previously so it wasn't like anyone was robbed but it would have been nice to see Tommy Lee Jones (who was smiling so frequently! Who called him Grumpy?) win one for Lincoln.  Waltz's role is actually that of a co-lead not supporting.  

(Courtesy ABC)

From thereon in, it was on the technical awards which I did pretty well predicting with wins for Life of Pi, Les Miserables and Anna KareninaBrave won Best Animated Feature Film over Wreck-It Ralph which I felt was a big surprise. In the end, it was lovely to see Brenda Chapman become the first female director to win for animated feature. She had a long journey with the film which ended up with her being replaced with Mark Andrews but she got to have her moment and dedicate the Oscar to her inspiration, her daughter. Hard not to get emotional there. Ralph, you have my permission to go wreck out your frustrations. 

(Photo: Zap2it)
Life of Pi also won three great technical awards with Cinematography (Claudio Miranda), Original Score (Mychael Danna) and of course, Visual Effects.  When the guys from Rhythm & Hues were accepting their award and trying to talk about their difficult situation and honor the artists, the orchestra (which wasn't even  in the same room!) played them off with the Jaws theme and cut off their mic.  Not cool, guys, not cool.  You've got a whole legion of vfx artists online, who take their jobs very seriously, very pissed off at that. Not helping the cause they're fighting for.

Also what was up with John Williams score being used throughout the ceremony? I also heard the scores from E.T. and Jurassic Park.  A nice way to honor Spielberg and his longtime collaborator even though neither of them won yesterday. The Academy did a great new initiative this year by having film students onstage to assist with the awards instead of models.  For the first time, I did quite well in the documentary short, documentary feature and most importantly, the sound categories. I would have been two for two if it wasn't for that unexpected tie, the last time that happened was 1994.

(Photo: The Telegraph)
The two musical performance of the night were for me, the amazing Adele and the even more amazing Barbara Streisand.  I can't believe Adele is only 24 years old.  She's already halfway on her way to EGOT now.  

(Photo: Associated Press)

The rest of the acting awards predictably went to Anne Hathaway for Les Miserables, Jennifer Lawrence for Silver Linings Playbook and Daniel Day-Lewis for Lincoln. I surprised that the light emanating from Meryl Streep and Day-Lewis onstage didn't blind us completely.  His speech was both funny and moving.  

(Photo: The Hollywood Reporter)
When the editing award went to William Goldenberg for Argo, the writing was already on the wall for Argo. All that needed to be decided was best director which eventually went to Ang Lee.  I was extremely pleased to see the hard efforts behind the film recognized and how adorable was Lee in his happiness over the win. The crowd in the Dolby Theater was extremely vocal in their support for Life of Pi.  Though I did feel terrible for Spielberg after all what he has put in on Lincoln but it was either him or Lee and I'm happy if either of had won. 

(Photo: IBN Live)
And so there is it, another year gone by with Argo winning Best Picture and adding another Oscar to producers George Clooney and Ben Affleck.  What a career trajectory he's had and what a year it's been!  Here's to another great year of movies and we'll see you all again next year. 

Things I loved
  • Ted pronouncing 'Argo' and 'Zero Dark Thirty' in his very Boston accent. Nailed it! Ted was also surprisingly well behaved. And Mark Wahlberg not getting freaked out by the surprising tie in the sound editing category. "No B.S."
  • The Von Trapp family bit, that worked, we should have seen more of that.  But it didn't look like Christopher Plummer was amused.
  • Hugh Jackman, the only one to assist Jennifer Lawrence when she fell on the stairs.  Can he win just for being the coolest guy ever?
  • Stephen Spielberg getting choked up whenever anyone won for Lincoln (which sadly only occurred twice). It's okay, you'll get them with Robopocalypse next.  That'll show 'em.
  • Suraj Sharma getting all teary eyed when Ang Lee won. All that was missing was Richard Parker to round out the trio.
  • Edited to add: I can't believe I forgot to add Quvenzhane Wallis' mean muscle look. Even Denzel Washington is amused. 
(Photo: Vulture)
Here is the full list of winners:

Best motion picture of the year
"Argo" Grant Heslov, Ben Affleck and George Clooney, Producers

Performance by an actor in a leading role
Daniel Day-Lewis in "Lincoln"

Performance by an actor in a supporting role
Christoph Waltz in "Django Unchained"

Performance by an actress in a leading role
Jennifer Lawrence in "Silver Linings Playbook"

Performance by an actress in a supporting role
Anne Hathaway in "Les Misérables"

Best animated feature film of the year

"Brave" Mark Andrews and Brenda Chapman

Achievement in cinematography
"Life of Pi" Claudio Miranda

Achievement in costume design
"Anna Karenina" Jacqueline Durran

Achievement in directing
"Life of Pi" Ang Lee

Best documentary feature
"Searching for Sugar Man"
Malik Bendjelloul and Simon Chinn

Best documentary short subject
Sean Fine and Andrea Nix Fine

Achievement in film editing
"Argo" William Goldenberg

Best foreign language film of the year

"Amour" Austria

Achievement in makeup and hairstyling
"Les Misérables"
Lisa Westcott and Julie Dartnell

Achievement in music written for motion pictures (Original score)
"Life of Pi" Mychael Danna

Achievement in music written for motion pictures (Original song)
"Skyfall" from "Skyfall"
Music and Lyric by Adele Adkins and Paul Epworth

Achievement in production design
Production Design: Rick Carter; Set Decoration: Jim Erickson

Best animated short film
"Paperman" John Kahrs

Best live action short film
"Curfew" Shawn Christensen

Achievement in sound editing

TIE"Skyfall" Per Hallberg and Karen Baker Landers
"Zero Dark Thirty" Paul N.J. Ottosson

Achievement in sound mixing
"Les Misérables"
Andy Nelson, Mark Paterson and Simon Hayes

Achievement in visual effects
"Life of Pi"
Bill Westenhofer, Guillaume Rocheron, Erik-Jan De Boer and Donald R. Elliott

Adapted screenplay
"Argo" Screenplay by Chris Terrio

Original screenplay

"Django Unchained" Written by Quentin Tarantino

Sunday, February 24, 2013

My Oscar Picks 2013

Is it Oscar day already? It really does sneak up on you, doesn't it?  Well, since it's that time of the year, it's time for me to pick my picks in this highly unpredicatable and crazy year of 2012 where no one could have predicted so many great films all going up against each other with no clear frontrunner as the rules keep changing.  However, I do give my edge to Argo and Ben Affleck who's having a wonderful 2012.  Take a look at my picks below.  

 Best motion picture of the year

"Amour" Margaret Menegoz, Stefan Arndt, Veit Heduschka and Michael Katz, Producers
"Argo" Grant Heslov, Ben Affleck and George Clooney, Producers
"Beasts of the Southern Wild" Dan Janvey, Josh Penn and Michael Gottwald, Producers
"Django Unchained" Stacey Sher, Reginald Hudlin and Pilar Savone, Producers
"Les Misérables" Tim Bevan, Eric Fellner, Debra Hayward and Cameron Mackintosh, Producers
"Life of Pi" Gil Netter, Ang Lee and David Womark, Producers
"Lincoln" Steven Spielberg and Kathleen Kennedy, Producers
"Silver Linings Playbook" Donna Gigliotti, Bruce Cohen and Jonathan Gordon, Producers
"Zero Dark Thirty" Mark Boal, Kathryn Bigelow and Megan Ellison, Producers

Will win: Argo. It has swept every major guild and non-guild award out there.  It's a safe bet for best picture and plus, it doesn't hurt that two incredibly handsome men (producers George Clooney and Ben Affleck) will probably end up giving a great speech.
Should win: Zero Dark Thirty. I was just blown away by this film and its powerful retelling of the 'greatest manhunt in history' and the female power of director Kathryn Bigelow, producer Megan Ellison and the incredible lead performance of Jessica Chastain. Years from now, people will look back at how under appreciated this film was. 
Possible upset: Lincoln or Life of Pi. This a crazy year for predicting the Oscars, it could all go to plan or not at all. I wouldn't count out these two films with the highest nominations, with 12 and 11 respectively. Everyone keeps listing Life of Pi as their favorite film of the year (me too!) and well, Lincoln, has great pedigree on and off the camera.  I wouldn't be shocked if they won either. 

Performance by an actor in a leading role

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

Will win: Daniel Day-Lewis.  He's Daniel Day-Lewis, greatest actor alive.  Nuff said!
Should win: Joaquin Phoenix.  I finally got around to watching The Master and I couldn't believe Phoenix's performance, it's on another level. I'm glad he got recognition for this fearless role despite his comments in Interview magazine.  It would have been a travesty.  
Possible upset: Joaquin Phoenix.  Just to make things more interesting this year.

Performance by an actor in a supporting role

Alan Arkin in "Argo"
Robert De Niro in "Silver Linings Playbook"
Philip Seymour Hoffman in "The Master"
Tommy Lee Jones in "Lincoln"
Christoph Waltz in "Django Unchained"

Will win: Tommy Lee Jones. 
Should win: Tommy Lee Jones. His is the real great supporting performance in this category of former Oscar winners and all great actors. 
Possible upset: Robert De Niro. De Niro has really put it out there that he really wants another Oscar to the point of breaking down his tough guy exterior and it has been awhile since he last won.  You never know. 

Performance by an actress in a leading role

Jessica Chastain in "Zero Dark Thirty"
Jennifer Lawrence in "Silver Linings Playbook"
Emmanuelle Riva in "Amour"
Quvenzhané Wallis in "Beasts of the Southern Wild"
Naomi Watts in "The Impossible"

Will win: Jennifer Lawrence.  I have wavered between Riva and Lawrence for weeks and I'm finally settling on Lawrence.  This could become the real wildcard category of the night. We've got a nominee who's turning 86, a cute and unpredictable nine year old (think of the speech she'll give) and two women (Lawrence and Chastain) whose careers are at their peak right now.  It's anyone's to capture, I believe. 
Should win: Jessica Chastain.  Everyone says that there no good roles for women out there anymore but Chastain's Maya was the best written and enacted role of 2012 for me. 
Possible upset: Emmanuelle Riva.  It's her 86th birthday, Oscars make great birthday gifts. (hint, hint)

Performance by an actress in a supporting role

Amy Adams in "The Master"
Sally Field in "Lincoln"
Anne Hathaway in "Les Misérables"
Helen Hunt in "The Sessions"
Jacki Weaver in "Silver Linings Playbook"

Will win: Anne Hathaway.
Should win: Anne Hathaway. There's no denying that her rendition of one of the greatest songs on theater is completely mesmerizing.  I'm not a fan of the film but Hathaway took her performance to heart and channeled Fantine completely. 
Possible upset: Sally Field. In case, they really, really, really like her.

Best animated feature film of the year

"Brave" Mark Andrews and Brenda Chapman
"Frankenweenie" Tim Burton
"ParaNorman" Sam Fell and Chris Butler
"The Pirates! Band of Misfits" Peter Lord
"Wreck-It Ralph" Rich Moore

Will win: Wreck-It Ralph.  This was a clever, fun and heartfelt ode to video games and gamers. Ralph leads head and shoulders above the competition.
Should win: Wreck-It Ralph.  Walt Disney Animation has truly profited by having John Lasseter as the head of the studio and the quality of the films coming from it has been completely story oriented.  Hence the three nominees this year over rival DreamWorks zero. 
Possible upset: Brave. Never count out Pixar and its legions of fans. And the movie has picked up quite a few technical awards in the past months to make it a competitor. 

Achievement in cinematography

"Anna Karenina" Seamus McGarvey
"Django Unchained" Robert Richardson
"Life of Pi" Claudio Miranda
"Lincoln" Janusz Kaminski
"Skyfall" Roger Deakins

Will win: Life of Pi's Claudio Miranda for the some of the most stunning visuals in a film.
Should win: Roger Deakins who has never won an Oscar in his long and storied career for one of the best-looking Bond films ever.
Possible upset: Roger Deakins.

Achievement in costume design

"Anna Karenina" Jacqueline Durran
"Les Misérables" Paco Delgado
"Lincoln" Joanna Johnston
"Mirror Mirror" Eiko Ishioka
"Snow White and the Huntsman" Colleen Atwood

Will win: Anna Karenina. It's such a costume film.
Should win: The late Eiko Ishioka for Mirror Mirror.  Her costumes in Tarsem Singh's films were so incredibly key to his look and vision. 
Possible upset: Colleen Atwood for Snow White and the Huntsman.

Achievement in directing

"Amour" Michael Haneke
"Beasts of the Southern Wild" Benh Zeitlin
"Life of Pi" Ang Lee
"Lincoln" Steven Spielberg
"Silver Linings Playbook" David O. Russell

Will win: Ang Lee. It really is a two man race between Lee and Spielberg now that Ben Affleck and Kathryn Bigelow aren't even part of the conversation.  However, I give the edge to Lee who really made a spectacular film out a book that many thought could never be translated to screen. In breathtaking 3D, no less!
Should win: Ang Lee
Possible upset: Steven Spielberg.  Lincoln is a reverent and grownup effort of Spielberg's and it shows in every frame. 

Best documentary feature

"5 Broken Cameras"
Emad Burnat and Guy Davidi
"The Gatekeepers"
Dror Moreh,Philippa Kowarsky and Estelle Fialon
"How to Survive a Plague"
David France and Howard Gertler
"The Invisible War"
Kirby Dick and Amy Ziering
"Searching for Sugar Man"
Malik Bendjelloul and Simon Chinn

Will win: Searching for Sugar Man.  Like Argo, this has won every guild and non-guild award. The second safe bet of the night. 
Should win: Searching for Sugar Man
Possible upset: The Gatekeepers.  This was the one I wanted to see over all others but didn't get the chance. The first brutally honest look behind the scenes at the super secret Shin Bet should be fascinating. 

Best documentary short subject

Sean Fine and Andrea Nix Fine
"Kings Point"
Sari Gilman and Jedd Wider
"Mondays at Racine"
Cynthia Wade and Robin Honan
"Open Heart"
Kief Davidson and Cori Shepherd Stern
Jon Alpert and Matthew O'Neill

Will win: Inocente.  Unfortunately I couldn't see any of the shorts so my pick here is going to be a guess.  I'd say Inocente based on what I've read and briefly seen.
Should win: Inocente.
Possible upset: Mondays at Racine, a moving look at women recovering from cancer who spend time at a Long Island salon.

Achievement in film editing

"Argo" William Goldenberg
"Life of Pi" Tim Squyres
"Lincoln" Michael Kahn
"Silver Linings Playbook" Jay Cassidy and Crispin Struthers
"Zero Dark Thirty" Dylan Tichenor and William Goldenberg

Will win: Argo.  I changed my mind. Double nominee William Goldenberg is definitely a frontrunner with Argo and Zero Dark Thirty but I have the nail-biting thriller ending of Argo will prevail. I had previously thought Lincoln would have a shot but it's definitely Goldenberg's year.
Should win: Zero Dark Thirty. Encapsulating a ten year odyssey for the search for Osama bin Laden is no mean feat but Zero Dark Thirty was amazingly paced leading to that raid at Abottabad.
Possible upset: Silver Linings Playbook.  Never underestimate the power of a good rom-com that too one that has the backing of Harvey Weinstein. 

Best foreign language film of the year

"Amour" Austria
"Kon-Tiki" Norway
"No" Chile
"A Royal Affair" Denmark
"War Witch" Canada

Will win: Amour.  The surest bet of the night.
Should win: Amour
Possible upset: None.

Achievement in makeup and hairstyling

Howard Berger, Peter Montagna and Martin Samuel
"The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey"
Peter Swords King, Rick Findlater and Tami Lane
"Les Misérables"
Lisa Westcott and Julie Dartnell

Will win: Les Miserables. One of the reasons I disliked the film is it was too realistic in some ways and not realistic enough in others but the makeup (mouth sores, missing teeth and dirt) was part of the important process of turning the actors into characters from the French revolution.
Should win: Les Miserables.
Possible Upset: The Hobbit. Have you seen the 13 dwarves?

Achievement in music written for motion pictures (Original score)

"Anna Karenina" Dario Marianelli
"Argo" Alexandre Desplat
"Life of Pi" Mychael Danna
"Lincoln" John Williams
"Skyfall" Thomas Newman

Will win: Life of Pi. This is one of my favorite categories after animated feature.  Looking back at the iconic and famous soundtrack that have won previously, I feel Danna's score fit Pi's emotional journey perfectly. 
Should win: Life of Pi.
Possible upset: Alexandre Desplat for Argo. Desplat has scored 8 films this past year including Zero Dark Thirty, Rust and Bone and Moonrise Kingdom.  Such work doesn't go unnoticed. 

Achievement in music written for motion pictures (Original song)

"Before My Time" from "Chasing Ice"
Music and Lyric by J. Ralph
"Everybody Needs A Best Friend" from "Ted"
Music by Walter Murphy; Lyric by Seth MacFarlane
"Pi's Lullaby" from "Life of Pi"
Music by Mychael Danna; Lyric by Bombay Jayashri
"Skyfall" from "Skyfall"
Music and Lyric by Adele Adkins and Paul Epworth
"Suddenly" from "Les Misérables"
Music by Claude-Michel Schönberg; Lyric by Herbert Kretzmer and Alain Boublil

Will win: Adele for Skyfall.
Should win: Adele for Skyfall.
Possible upset: None. Second slam dunk of the night.

Achievement in production design

"Anna Karenina"
Production Design: Sarah Greenwood; Set Decoration: Katie Spencer
"The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey"
Production Design: Dan Hennah; Set Decoration: Ra Vincent and Simon Bright
"Les Misérables"
Production Design: Eve Stewart; Set Decoration: Anna Lynch-Robinson
"Life of Pi"
Production Design: David Gropman; Set Decoration: Anna Pinnock
Production Design: Rick Carter; Set Decoration: Jim Erickson

Will win: Lincoln. It's a historical film praised mostly for its accuracy.
Should win: Lincoln.
Possible upset: Anna Karenina. Joe Wright took a risk in placing the story in a theatrical stage literally, the endeavour could pay off with a win.  

Best animated short film

"Adam and Dog" Minkyu Lee
"Fresh Guacamole" PES
"Head over Heels" Timothy Reckart and Fodhla Cronin O'Reilly
"Maggie Simpson in "The Longest Daycare"" David Silverman
"Paperman" John Kahrs

Will win: Paperman. All five shorts became available to view online allowing viewers like us to actually have a chance to know who to pick.  The Disney short is the most charming story of the bunch.
Should win: Paperman.
Possible upset: Head over Heels. The lone student film of the bunch, the short is a tale of a married couple who drift apart.  

Best live action short film

"Asad" Bryan Buckley and Mino Jarjoura
"Buzkashi Boys" Sam French and Ariel Nasr
"Curfew" Shawn Christensen
"Death of a Shadow (Dood van een Schaduw)" Tom Van Avermaet and Ellen De Waele
"Henry" Yan England

Will win: Death of a Shadow.
Should win: Death of a Shadow.
Possible upset: Buzkashi Boys or Curfew. I've based my picks on the synopsis of each film. Not a very good way to do but that is what I can do when I haven't see any of them. 

Achievement in sound editing

"Argo" Erik Aadahl and Ethan Van der Ryn
"Django Unchained" Wylie Stateman
"Life of Pi" Eugene Gearty and Philip Stockton
"Skyfall" Per Hallberg and Karen Baker Landers
"Zero Dark Thirty" Paul N.J. Ottosson

Will win: Zero Dark Thirty.
Should win: Zero Dark Thirty.
Possible upset: No clue.  The sound categories are my undoing each year. It's a hit or a miss but I think I've got a good shot at predicting them this year, let's see.

Achievement in sound mixing

John Reitz, Gregg Rudloff and Jose Antonio Garcia
"Les Misérables"
Andy Nelson, Mark Paterson and Simon Hayes
"Life of Pi"
Ron Bartlett, D.M. Hemphill and Drew Kunin
Andy Nelson, Gary Rydstrom and Ronald Judkins
Scott Millan, Greg P. Russell and Stuart Wilson

Will win: Les Miserables.
Should win: Les Miserables.
Possible upset: See above.

Achievement in visual effects

"The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey"
Joe Letteri, Eric Saindon, David Clayton and R. Christopher White
"Life of Pi"
Bill Westenhofer, Guillaume Rocheron, Erik-Jan De Boer and Donald R. Elliott
"Marvel's The Avengers"
Janek Sirrs, Jeff White, Guy Williams and Dan Sudick
Richard Stammers, Trevor Wood, Charley Henley and Martin Hill
"Snow White and the Huntsman"
Cedric Nicolas-Troyan, Philip Brennan, Neil Corbould and Michael Dawson

Will win: Life of Pi
Should win: Life of Pi.
Possible upset: None.  The beleagured studio Rhythm & Hues has been in the news a lot lately with its bankruptcy woes but it's undeniable that the star of the film and it's heart is Richard Parker, the CGI tiger.  Last year it was Caesar and this year, it's Richard Parker, someday soon we might see a Best CGI character category.

Adapted screenplay

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

Will win: Argo
Should win: Lincoln.  Somewhere along the way the narrative changed and Lincoln's sureshot in this category changed to a hasbeen.  There's a reason why this film will be shown in schools as a history lesson on the how the 13th amendent to the Constitution was eventually passed. 
Possible upset: Silver Linings Playbook. (see film editing)

Original screenplay

"Amour" Written by Michael Haneke
"Django Unchained" Written by Quentin Tarantino
"Flight" Written by John Gatins
"Moonrise Kingdom" Written by Wes Anderson & Roman Coppola
"Zero Dark Thirty" Written by Mark Boal

Will win: Zero Dark Thirty
Should win: Zero Dark Thirty
Possible Upset: Django Unchained or Moonrise Kingdom both of whom bear the distinctive stamps of their auteur directors.  

Monday, February 18, 2013

Writer's Guild Award Winners 2013!

PGA, SAG, DGA and now WGA.  That's a clean sweep of the guilds for Argo.  Can anyone derail the Argo train? My Magic 8 ball says 'Don't count on it.' There are some great movies out there but this really has become Argo's year.  Zero Dark Thirty also pick up an award for Original Screenplay for writer Mark Boal.  I really do hope it doesn't get shut out at the Oscars.  That would be a shame.

Here are the complete film winners:

Zero Dark Thirty (Sony/Columbia Pictures), Written by Mark Boal

Argo (Warner Bros Pictures) – Screenplay by Chris Terrio; Based on a selection from The Master of Disguise by Antonio J. Mendez and the Wired Magazine article “The Great Escape” by Joshuah Bearman

Searching for Sugar Man, Written by Malik Bendjelloul; Sony Pictures Classics

Sunday, February 17, 2013

63rd Ace Eddie Award Winners

And finally, last night the the 63rd Annual ACE Eddie Awards were held and here are the winners in the film categories.  Director Steven Spielberg was also honored with Golden Eddie for Filmmaker of the Year. 

Argo - William Goldenberg, A.C.E.

Silver Linings Playbook - Jay Cassidy, A.C.E. & Crispin Struthers

Brave - Nicholas C. Smith, A.C.E. & Robert Grahamjones, A.C.E.

Searching for Sugar Man - Malik Bendjelloul


ASC Winner - Roger Deakins

And the winner is Roger Deakins, ASC, BSC who won his third American Society of Cinematographers (ASC) award for Skyfall at the 27th Annual American Society of Cinematographers (ASC) Awards for Outstanding Achievement held on February 11, 2013.  Deakins, who has eight Oscar nominations, has never won an Oscar. 

BAFTA 2013 Winners

The BAFTAs that were held this past Sunday brought confirmations in certain categories for plenty of frontrunners. Yes, Anne Hathaway and Daniel Day-Lewis, you might starting polishing up that winner's reaction shot.  But it definitely brought across some major surprises in some categories as well.  David O. Russell for Best Adapted Screenplay! Thomas Newman for Best Music! and most importantly, Emmanuelle Riva for Best Actress.  I still think Jennifer Lawrence is safe for Oscars but just in case, maybe it's not wise to write out that speech just as yet.  The night also brought some major love out for one British icon in James Bond as Skyfall won the BAFTA for Best British Film.   Word to the producers, bring back Sam Mendes for the next film as well. 

Here are the winners:

Best Film Argo
Best Director Ben Affleck, Argo
Best Actor Daniel Day-Lewis, Lincoln
Best Actress Emmanuelle Riva, Amour
Best Supporting Actor Christoph Waltz, Django Unchained
Best Supporting Actress Anne Hathaway, Les Misérables
Best Original Screenplay Django Unchained
Best Adapted Screenplay Silver Linings Playbook
Best British Film Skyfall
Best Film Not in the English Language Amour
Best Animated Film Brave
Best Documentary Searching for Sugar Man
Best Editing William Goldenberg, Argo
Best Costume Design Jacqueline Durran, Anna Karenina
Best Cinematography Claudio Miranda, Life of Pi
Best Original Music Thomas Newman, Skyfall
Best Make-Up & Hair Lisa Wescott, Les Misérables
Best Visual Effects Bill Westenhofer, Guillaume Rocheron, Erik-Jan De Boer, Donald R. Elliott, Life of Pi
Best Production Design Eve Stewart, Anna Lynch-Robinson, Les Misérables
Best Sound Simon Hayes, Andy Nelson, Mark Paterson, Jonathan Allen, Lee Walpole, John Warhurst, Les Misérables
Best British Debut Bart Layton and Dimitri Doganis, The Imposter
Orange Rising Star Award Juno Temple
Best Animated Short The Making of Longbird
Best Live-Action Short Swimmer

11th Annual VES Award Winners

A bit late blogging about the awards from last week but here it is.  The 11th Annual Visual Effects Society Awards were held on February 5th, 2013 and the night's big honors went to Life of Pi and Brave who walked away with four awards each.  Director Ang Lee was also honored with VES Visionary Award for his exemplary work and techniques in the film.

Here are the winners in the film categories:

Outstanding Visual Effects in a Visual Effects-Driven Feature Motion Picture
Life of Pi
Donald R. Elliott
Susan Macleod
Guillaume Rocheron
Bill Westenhofer

Outstanding Supporting Visual Effects in a Feature Motion Picture

The Impossible
Felix Bergés
Sandra Hermida
Pau Costa Moeller

Outstanding Animation in an Animated Feature Motion Picture

Mark Andrews
Steve May
Katherine Sarafian
Bill Wise

Outstanding Animated Character in a Live Action Feature Motion Picture

Life of Pi: Richard Parker
Erik De Boer
Sean Comer
Betsy Asher Hall
Kai-Hua Lan

Outstanding Animated Character in an Animated Feature Motion Picture

Brave: Merida
Travis Hathaway
Olivier Soares
Peter Sumanaseni
Brian Tindall

Outstanding Created Environment in a Live Action Feature Motion Picture

The Avengers: Midtown Manhattan
Richard Bluff
Barry Williams
David Meny
Andy Proctor

Outstanding Created Environment in an Animated Feature Motion Picture

Brave: The Forest
Tim Best
Steve Pilcher
Inigo Quilez
Andrew Whittock

Outstanding Virtual Cinematography in a Live Action Feature Motion Picture
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
Matt Aitken
Victor Huang
Christian Rivers
R. Christopher White

Outstanding Models in a Feature Motion Picture

The Avengers: Helicarrier
Rene Garcia
Bruce Holcomb
Polly Ing
Aaron Wilson

Outstanding FX and Simulation Animation in a Live Action Feature Motion Picture

Life of Pi: Storm of God
Harry Mukhopadhyay
David Stopford
Mark Williams
Derek Wolfe

Outstanding FX and Simulation Animation in an Animated Feature Motion Picture

Chris Chapman
Dave Hale
Michael K. O'Brien
Bill Watral

Outstanding Compositing in a Feature Motion Picture
Life of Pi: Storm of God
Ryan Clarke
Jose Fernandez
Sean Oharas
Hamish Schumacher

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Photos from the Oscars Nominees Luncheon

The luncheon for all the Oscar nominees is one of the coolest traditions in the AMPAS history.  Everyone comes together to be feted and awarded with a certificate of their achievement, of being an Oscar nominee now and forevermore! 

They also get together to pose for a group photograph of whoever's present and it's really fun to spot your favourites among the bunch.  Click on the photo below to see this year's Class of 2013 and read more about the luncheon from the official blog here.  Bradley Cooper is certainly amused to be sitting next to Quvenzhane Wallis.  

Rest of the luncheon pics (and more of my favorites) after the cut

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Ben Affleck wins the DGA!

 The only thing that can derail the Ben Affleck-Argo express is the Oscars because he's not winning Best Director there, he's not even nominated.  However, it was a different story at the Directors Guild of America where Affleck, a first time nominee, beat out previous winners Steven Spielberg, Ang Lee, Tom Hooper and Kathryn Bigelow for the night's top honors.  Good on ya, Ben.  He genuinely looked shocked to be there.  What does this mean for the Oscars though? Does Spielberg or Lee have a better shot or do the newbies Michael Haneke and Benh Zeitlin walk away with it?  February 24th can't come fast enough.  The anticipation is killing me. 

17th Annual Art Directors Guild winners

It was a busy night in Hollywood with big awards in directing, animation and art direction being handed out.  The art directors announced the winners for the 17th annual Art Directors Guild awards.  Here are the winners:


Period Film

Production Designer: Sarah Greenwood

Fantasy Film

Production Designer: David Gropman

Contemporary Film

Production Designer: Dennis Gassner

The 40th Annual Annie Awards Winners

And the Annie goes to... Wreck-It Ralph who walked away with five big awards of the night, including picture, direction and writing.  Brave, ParaNorman and Rise of the Guardians were also honoured.  As was Richard Parker (hurray!) as the team from Rhythm & Hues walked away with the best character animation in a live action film.  Disney's Paperman also won the best short but I'm disappointed that Frankenweenie, the other Disney production, walked away empty handed.  Having already won the PGA as well, Wreck-It Ralph has great odds for the Oscar but I'd expect good competition from perennial favorite, Pixar and Brave

Here's the entire list of awards.

Best Animated Feature
Wreck-It Ralph – Walt Disney Animation Studios

Annie Award for Best Animated Special Production
Despicable Me: Minion Mayhem – Illumination Entertainment

Best Animated Short Subject
Paperman – Walt Disney Animation Studios


Animated Effects in an Animated Production
Andy Hayes, Carl Hooper, David Lipton – Rise of the Guardians – DreamWorks Animation

Animated Effects in a Live Action Production
Jerome Platteaux, John Sigurdson, Ryan Hopkins, Raul Essig, Mark Chataway ‘The Avengers’ – Industrial Light & Magic

Character Animation in a Feature Production
Travis Knight “ParaNorman’ – Focus Features

Character Animation in a Live Action Production
Erik de Boer, Matt Shumway, Brian Wells, Vinayak Pawar, Michael Holzl ‘Life of Pi – Tiger’ – Rhythm & Hues Studio

Character Design in an Animated Feature Production
Heidi Smith ‘ParaNorman’ – Focus Features

Directing in an Animated Feature Production

Rick Moore ‘Wreck-It Ralph’ – Walt Disney Animation Studios

Music in an Animated Feature Production
Henry Jackman ‘Wreck-It Ralph’ – Walt Disney Animation Studios

Production Design in an Animated Feature Production
Steve Pilcher ‘Brave’ – Pixar Animation Studios

Storyboarding in an Animated Feature Production
Johanne Matte ‘Rise of the Guardians’ – DreamWorks Animation

Voice Acting in an Animated Feature Production
Alan Tudyk as King Candy ‘Wreck-It Ralph’ – Walt Disney Animation Studios

Writing in an Animated Feature Production
Phil Johnston, Jennifer Lee – Wreck-It Ralph – Walt Disney Animation Studios

Editorial in an Animated Feature Production
Nicholas A. Smith, ACE, Robert Graham Jones, ACE, David Suther ‘Brave’ – Pixar Animation Studios


Winsor McCay Award – Oscar Grillo, Terry Gilliam, Mark Henn
June Foray – Howard Green
Ub Iwerks – Toon Boom Animation Pipeline

Friday, February 1, 2013

Ted and Mark Wahlberg to present at the Oscars

Well, this was inevitable.  Last year, it was Kermit and Miss Piggy and this year's big Oscar celebrity is Seth MacFarlane's Ted who will present at the Oscars with his good bud, Mark Wahlberg.

I love what Ted has to say about the gig. "I'm excited to present an Oscar with Mark Wahlberg," said Ted. "I'm spending the next month learning to pronounce 'Quvenzhané.'"

So am I, Ted, so am I.  
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