erik lundegaard

Movies - 2012 Oscars posts

Thursday January 10, 2013

Unprecedented Disagreement Between the Academy and the DGA

The Director Guild of America announced its nominees for best feature film directing on Tuesday. They were:

Today, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences announced its nominees for best director in a feature film. They were:

Only two agreements: Lee and Spielberg. How common is that?

Last year there was one disagreement: DGA's went with David Fincher (“Girl with the Dragon Tattoo”), the Academy with my man Terrence Malick (“The Tree of Life”).

In 2010, one disagreement: DGAs: Chris Nolan and “Inception”; Academy: the Coen Bros. and “True Grit.”

In 2009, no disagreements.

In 2008, DGAs once again went Nolan (“The Dark Knight”), Academy Stephen Daldry (“The Reader”).

In 2007, the disagreement was “Into the Wild” vs. “Juno”; in 2006, it was “Dreamgirls” and “Little Miss Sunshine” vs. “Letters from Iwo Jima” and “United 93”; in 2004, “Finding Neverland” vs. “Vera Drake.” There were no disagreements in 2005.

Generally, the two bodies agree. But when they disagree the DGA tends to be more populist, as in 2003, choosing Gary Ross for “Seabiscuit,” and the Academy more arty, going for Fernando Meirelles and “City of God.”

On rare occasion they disagree on two of the five choices. But have they ever disagreed on three?

No. Since 1970, when the DGAs began nominating five directors in the Academy tradition, the two bodies have never disagreed on more than two directing choices. This year's disagreement is unprecedented.

*  *  *

ADDENDUM: And Sasha Stone with the reason why:

Sasha Stone tweet on DGA

Posted at 07:18 AM on Jan 10, 2013 in category Movies - 2012 Oscars
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And the 2012 Nominees Are...

Immediate reaction: No Kathryn Bigelow or Ben Affleck for best director? No Marion Cotillard for best actress? No John Hawkes for best actor? No “Intouchables” for best foreign language film?

Interesting. But keeping Marion Cotillard away from the proceedings is not the best way to get me to watch.

Also: No best documentary feature announcements? Am I part of that small of a minority who cares? And we got eight best-picture nominees and none was “The Master”?

Host Seth MacFarlane (“Family Guy”) and this year's hottie/serious actress Emma Stone, made the announcements, engaged in some banter, which seemed at odds with the hour. It was like it was too early for bad jokes. Maybe instead of 5:30 AM, they should do it at night, throw a party, and announce the nominees in semi-drunken fashion. A thought. More thoughts, and a complete list, later, but here's the immediate one: It's now “Lincoln.” The DGAs and the Oscars agree on only two directors, Spielberg and Lee, and “Life of Pi” won't win it. It's “Lincoln”

Here you go:

Best Picture

  • Amour
  • Argo
  • Beasts of the Southern Wild
  • Django Unchained
  • Les Miserables
  • Life of Pi
  • Lincoln
  • Silver Linings Playbook
  • Zero Dark Thirty

Best Directing

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

Best Actor in a Leading Role

  • Bradley Cooper, Silver Linings Playbook
  • Daniel Day-Lewis, Lincoln
  • Hugh Jackman, Les Miserables
  • Joaquin Phoenix, The Master
  • Denzel Washington, Flight

Best Actress in a Leading Role

  • Jessica Chastain, Zero Dark Thirty
  • Jennifer Lawrence, Silver Linings Playbook
  • Emanuelle Riva, Amour
  • Quvenzhane Wallis, Beasts of the Southern Wild
  • Naomi Watts, The Impossible

Best Actor in a Supporting Role

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

Best Actress in a Supporting Role

  • Amy Adams, The Master
  • Sally Field, Lincoln
  • Anne Hathaway, Les Miserables
  • Helen Hunt, The Sessions
  • Jackie Weaver, Silver Linings Playbook


Best Writing (Original Screenplay)

  • Amour
  • Django Unchained
  • Flight
  • Moonrise Kingdom
  • Zero Dark Thirty

Best Writing (Adapted Screenplay)

  • Argo
  • Beasts of the Southern Wild
  • Life of Pi
  • Lincoln
  • Silver Linings Playbook

Best Animated Feature

  • Brave
  • Frankenweenie
  • Paranorman
  • The Pirates: Band of Misfits
  • Wreck-it Ralph

Best Foreign Language Film

  • Amour
  • Kon-Tiki
  • No
  • A Royal Affair
  • War Witch

ADDENDUM: the full list of nominees here.

Posted at 06:06 AM on Jan 10, 2013 in category Movies - 2012 Oscars
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Wednesday January 09, 2013

My Oscar Picks! (Wishes Not Predictions)

Oh, what the hell. I said I wasn't going to do it this year since I didn't see some of the bigger movies, but here goes anyway.

Proviso: I have yet to see, because they have yet to arrive, or because I've been too busy or lazy or just have no interest, the following films: “Rust and Bone,” “On the Road,” “Amour,” “Arbitrage” “Magic Mike,” “Killer Joe.” Probably more. That thing with Liam Neeson in the snow that's getting late  and odd attention. “The Grey.” A slew of foreign films. Yet somehow I saw “Men in Black 3.” Skewed priorities.

Further proviso: These are wishes, not predictions. Fuck predictions. To quote George W.S. Trow: You say/Survey says...  You say/Survey says... For greater detail of why I want what I want, feel free to click on the review. Also feel free to go, “What the fuck, Erik?”

OscarHere goes:

Best Picture:

Best Actor

Best Actress

Best Supporting Actor

Best Supporting Actress

Best Director:

  • Paul Thomas Anderson, “The Master”
  • Wes Anderson, “Moonrise Kingdom”
  • David Ayer, “End of Watch”
  • Ang Lee, “Life of Pi”
  • Steven Spielberg, “Lincoln”

Original Screenplay:

Adapted Screenplay:

  • Stephen Chbosky, “The Perks of Being a Wallflower”
  • Tony Kushner, “Lincoln”
  • David Magee, “Life of Pi”
  • Tom Stoppard, “Anna Karenina”
  • Chris Terrio, “Argo”

Documentary Feature:

A weak year for movies but not for acting or writing.

As for my choices from these choices? My final picks? I'd go: “Lincoln,” Day-Lewis, Wallis, Clarke, Hathaway (“Les Miz”), Paul Thomas Anderson, Penn and Whedon, Kushner, and “The Central Park Five.”


"Lincoln" starring Daniel Day-Lewis

“Lincoln” would win three of my big awards: picture, actor, screenplay.

Posted at 07:47 PM on Jan 09, 2013 in category Movies - 2012 Oscars
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Monday January 07, 2013

My Under-the-Radar Oscar Nominations

On Thursday, January 10, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences announces its 2012 nominations. Normally this is the time I'd announce my nominations, just for fun, but now it's crunch time. That is, movieogers like me are now getting crunched between the studios, who release prestige pictures later and later, and the critics groups and the Academy, which announce nominees and winners earlier and earlier.

Not having seen everything (“Amour,” “Rust and Bone,” “The Gatekeepers”), I'll hold off for a bit. In the meantime, here are some less-talked-about performances I wouldn't mind seeing nominated but which probably won't be:

Best Picture

Best Actor

Best Supporting Actor

Best Supporting Actress

That's about it. As I've said before, and despite Roger Ebert's pronouncements, this has been a shitty year for movies.

What about you? Who would you like to see nominated?

"End of Watch" screenshot

Jake Gyllenhaal and Michael Pena in “End of Watch,” an underrated movie in an overrated movie year.

Posted at 02:44 PM on Jan 07, 2013 in category Movies - 2012 Oscars
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Sunday December 30, 2012

The Return of the Disagreeables: Disagreeable No More!

The New York Times "T"he Disagreeables are back, and this time they're more agreeable!

Three years ago, the three film critics for The New York Times—A.O. Scott, Manohla Dargis and Stephen Holden—told the world, a few weeks before the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences did, what “the nominees should be...” There were 45 possible choices and all three agreed on just four. I think Congress does better than that. (Three of their four, all “Hurt Locker” related, would win Oscars.)

Two years ago, they were more agreeable, seven of the 45, and two would go on to win Oscars: Natalie Portman for best actress and Christian Bale for supporting actor.

They shrunk the best picture category from 10 to five last year and agreed on only 3.5 of the 40 possible nominees: adapated for “Moneyball”; and screenplay and director for “A Dangerous Method.” The half was for Brad Pitt, whom all three agreed on for different pics: “Moneyball” or “The Tree of Life,” depending. None of their 3.5 won squat. “A Dangerous Method” wasn't even nom'ed. 

I don't know if it's a good or bad sign for the movie year that our disagreeables are so agreeable this year. Of the 40, all three agree on a record 14 nominees:

  • Best Picture: “Amour” and “Zero Dark Thirty”
  • Best Director: Kathryn Bigelow (“Zero Dark Thirty”) and Michael Haneke (“Amour”)
  • Best Actor: Joaquin Phoenix (“The Master”), Jean-Louis Trintignant (“Amour”) and Denzel Washington (“Flight”)
  • Best Actress: Emmanuelle Riva (“Amour”)
  • Best Supporting Actor: Philip Seymour Hoffman (“The Master”) and Tommy Lee Jones (“Lincoln”)
  • Best Supporting Actress: Amy Adams (“The Master”)
  • Best Original Screenplay: Wes Anderson and Roman Coppola (“Moonrise Kingdom”) and Michael Haneke (“Amour”)
  • Best Adapted Screenplay: David O. Russell (“Silver Linings Playbook”)

Most of the agreement this year stems from two movies, “Zero Dark Thirty” and “Amour,” neither of which has opened for anyone not in an abbreviated city: N.Y. or L.A. So it goes. The movies with critical buzz keep opening later and the Oscar nominations keep getting announced earlier. The official noms are now just 10 days away by Nathaniel's clock. One day the Academy will announce and we'll all go, “Huh?” Or *yawn*.

Manohla was the one who withheld most of the “Lincoln” love: no best picture nom, nothing for Kushner, and either Jack Black (“Bernie”) or Denis Lavant (“Holy Motors”) over Daniel Day-Lewis.  Yet somehow she found all this love for “Silver Linings Playbook.” I think some critics get caught up in auteur love—witnesss the agreement last year on the less-than-dangerous “A Dangerous Method”—and no amount of logic or argument will stand in the way.

Supporting tends to be where the good surprise nominees come in. I like A.O. Scott's nom of Charlize Theron for “Snow White and the Huntsman,” for example. But the most contrarian nomination has to go to Manohla (of course) for the voicework of Hugh Grant in “The Pirates! Band of Misfits.”

So all that agreement—good or bad? Probably because I feel this way already, I think it's a bad sign that the Disagreeables are so agreeable this year. It indicates that there's not many great 2012 movies from which to choose. They agreed, in the end, because that had nowhere else to go.

The Disagreeables: A.O. Scott, Manohla Dargis, Stephen Holden

The Disagreeables: Scott, Holden, and the mysterious, unphotographable Dargis.

Posted at 08:56 AM on Dec 30, 2012 in category Movies - 2012 Oscars
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