erik lundegaard

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Monday February 16, 2015

#OscarsSoWhite Maybe, But #NotAsWhiteAsWGA

After the Screen Actors Guild, I compared and contrasted the SAG awards with the Oscars—mostly to see how accurate SAG was as predictor—and noticed that, in their recent disagreements, SAG tended to choose black actors more often. For what it was worth. 

I did the same for the Writers Guild of America Awards (and for the same reason: Oscar predictor) and noticed the opposite. Here are the only four differences between the WGA and Oscar, in both original and adapted screenplays, during the last 10 years:

Year WGA* Oscar
2013 Captain Phillips 12 Years a Slave
2012 Zero Dark Thirty Django Unchained
2010 Inception The King's Speech
2009 Up in the Air Precious

*The differences in 2013 and 2009 were over adapted screenplay, 2012 and 2010 over original.  

I'm not talking about black and white writers so much, although all of the WGA writers listed are white while the Oscar winners for both “Precious” and “12 Years a Slave” are black. No, I'm talking stories; and whose stories matter. 

2010 is a racial wash. But in 2009, instead of going for the story about the white man who fires people during the global financial meltdown, Oscar went for the story about the almost unbearable sadness of a black girl with an abusive mother in Harlem in the 1980s. In 2012, instead of the story about the search for Osama bin Laden, Oscar went for the revenge flick with the black hero and the white villain set in the Old West. And in 2013, the story with the white hero and the African pirates was thrown overboard in favor of a story about a black hero and his white tormentors in the 1840s. 

Now you could argue that the Academy, which tends toward the aged, simply likes stories set in the past while the WGA prefers more modern stories. And for what it's worth, I prefer most of the movies on the WGA side. I still found it interesting, given the amount of the shit the Academy received earlier this year on racial matters. 

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Posted at 05:08 PM on Feb 16, 2015 in category Movies - Awards
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Wes Anderson Wins Writers Guild Award for 'Grand Budapest Hotel'

Wes Anderson WGA

Wes is more; Moore is less.

Last night in a crowded field, Wes Anderson won his first WGA (Writers Guild of America) for “The Grand Budapet Hotel.” (Click here to hear his speech.) 

The competion for original screenplay was stacked: Richard Linklater for “Boyhood,” E. Max Frye and Dan Futterman for “Foxcatcher,” Dan Gilroy for “Nightcrawler,” and Damien Chazelle for “Whiplash.” Tough room but a deserved win. One of Anderson's lines made No. 2 on my list of the top 10 movie quotes of 2014

Adapated screenplay was less packed and yet WGA gave it to the least-deserving candidate: Graham Moore for “The Imitation Game.” I’m still stunned by how well-received this movie is. All the things that feel untrue in “Imitation Game” are untrue: the reductive battles among the scientists, the big blow-up with Clark where she calls him a monster, naming the computer after his lost love. Alan Turing wasn’t really closeted and he wasn’t very Sherlockian. To me, Moore took a naturally powerful story—birth of computers and Enigma and gay—and made weak tea out of it. Me, I’d have voted for “Wild”’s Nick Hornby, who helped turn a diary about a woman walking and thinking for a thousand miles into a pretty fascinating movie.

As for what these awards mean for the Oscars next week? WGA and the Oscars have agreed on screenplays about two-thirds of the time since 1990 (16 of 24 for original; 17 of 24 for adapted) and 80% of the time in the last 10 years.

I wouldn’t be surprised if Oscar goes the same way as WGA this year. I’d be happy for Wes Anderson anyway. 

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Posted at 01:47 PM on Feb 16, 2015 in category Movies - Awards
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Sunday February 08, 2015

'Boyhood' Wins BAFTA

Boyhood BAFTA

Richard Linklater's “Boyhood,” the beautiful, resonant odyssey of a boy aging from 6 to 18, played by an actor aging from 7 to 19, won Britain's highest honor, the BAFTA, for best film tonight.

The award comes 24 hours after “Boyhood”'s chief rival, “Birdman,” won its third consecutive industry award, the DGA, following wins from the PGA and SAG-Cast. No film has ever won all three and not won the Oscar for best picture. 

Initially I didn't think the BAFTA for “Boyhood” would change that much. Besides, didn't BAFTA and Oscar disagree a lot?

Yes and no:

Year DGA Oscar
2014 Boyhood ???
2013 12 Year a Slave 12 Years a Slave
2012 Argo Argo
2011 The Artist The Artist
2010 The King's Speech The King's Speech
2009 The Hurt Locker The Hurt Locker
2008 Slumdog Millionaire Slumdog Millionaire
2007 Atonement No Country for Old Men
2006 The Queen The Departed
2005 Brokeback Mountain Crash
2004 The Aviator Million Dollar Baby
2003 The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King
2002 The Pianist Chicago
2001 The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring A Beautiful Mind
2000 Gladiator Gladiator
1999 American Beauty American Beauty
1998 Shakespeare in Love Shakespeare in Love
1997 The Full Monty Titanic
1996 The English Patient The English Patient
1995 Sense and Sensibility Braveheart
1994 Four Weddings and a Funeral Forrest Gump
1993 Schindler's List Schindler's List
1992 Howard's End Unforgiven
1991 The Commitments Silence of the Lambs
1990 Goodfellas Dances with Wolves

Historically, yes, BAFTA and Oscar disagree. The Brits, given the chance, get veddy, veddy British in their voting: “Commitments,” “Howard's End,” “Four Weddings,” “Sense & Sensibility,” “Full Monty,” “Fellowship of the Ring,” “The Queen,” “Atonement.” 

But recently, it's been Blair/Bush all over again. There hasn't been a disagreement since 2007.

(Sidenote: not much Brit love for Clint is there? Much more for Marty. BTW: In the disagreeable years, I'd side with the Brits in 1990, 1994, 1995, 2002, 2005 and 2006, with several other years being washes.)

(Another sidenote: This year's BAFTA acting awards played out like I assume Oscar's will: Redmayne, Moore, Simmons and Arquette. As for Best British Film (a sad, seperate, BAFTA category), the Brits chose “The Theory of Everything.” Doesn't say much for British film, does it?)

Anyway, this opens a bit of a window for “Boyhood.” But I'd still bet on “Birdman.”

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Posted at 06:06 PM on Feb 08, 2015 in category Movies - Awards
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The Oscar Race is Over: 'Birdman' for Best Pic

Alejandro Inarritu and Michael Keaton on the Birdman set

The Oscar race for best picture is over.

Last night, the Directors Guild awarded its DGA for feature film to “Birdman”'s Alejandro Inarritu. This follows on the heels of the Producers Guild awarding “Birdman” and SAG-Cast awarding “Birdman.” And if all of these industry awards go “Birdman,” how likely is it that the Academy won't go “Birdman”?

Very, very unlikely. Since SAG-Cast's inception in 1996, no film has won all three and not gone on to win the Oscar:

  DGA PGA SAG - CAST
2014 Birdman Birdman Birdman
2013 Gravity Gravity/12 Years a Slave American Hustle
2012 Argo Argo Argo
2011 The Artist The Artist The Help
2010 The King's Speech The King's Speech The King's Speech
2009 The Hurt Locker The Hurt Locker Inglourious Bastards
2008 Slumdog Millionaire Slumdog Millionaire Slumdog Millionaire
2007 No Country for Old Men No Country for Old Men No Country for Old Men
2006 The Departed Little Miss Sunshine Little Miss Sunshine
2005 Brokeback Mountain Brokeback Mountain Crash
2004 Million Dollar Baby The Aviator Sideways
2003 Lord of the Rings Lord of the Rings Lord of the Rings
2002 Chicago Chicago Chicago
2001 A Beautiful Mind Moulin Rouge! Gosford Park
2000 Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon Gladiator Traffic
1999 American Beauty American Beauty American Beauty
1998 Saving Private Ryan Saving Private Ryan Shakespeare in Love
1997 Titanic Titanic The Full Monty
1996 The English Patient The English Patient The Birdcage

Caveat: It's still possible for Richard Linklater of “Boyhood” to win best director, since Roman Polanski won best director in 2002 for “The Pianist” despite the guild sweep for “Chicago.” But it doesn't seem too likely. 

To be honest, I think we're almost done for the major Oscar awards: “Birdman,” Inarritu, Redmayne, Moore, Simmons, Arquette. We'll know in a few weeks. 

In some ways, the bigger news from DGA was the number of female winners in that mostly white male body. Lesli Linka Glatter won outstanding direcdting for a dramatic series (“Homeland”), Jill Soloway won for comedy series (“Transparent”), Lisa Cholodenko for best TV movie/miniseries (“Olive Kitteridge”) and Laura Poitras won for best documentary (“Citizenfour”). The men were relegated to the lesser platforms: variety, sports, reality, children's, and commercials.

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Posted at 07:06 AM on Feb 08, 2015 in category Movies - Awards
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Thursday January 29, 2015

The 2015 Césars: Kristen Stewart and the Dueling Saint Laurents

 Dueling Yves Saint Laurents: French cinema

Dueling Saint Laurents: Both Gaspard Ulliel (l) in “Saint Laurent” and Pierre Niney (r) in “Yves Saint Laurent” were nominated best actor, but only Ulliel's film was nominated best film. Between them, they split four supporting nominations.

The nominees for the 40th annual Césars were announced the other day, and the big news on this side was that Kristen Stewart became the first American actress to receive a César nomination since Julia Migenes did so in “Carmen” in 1984. Me, I found it interesting that “Saint Laurent,” a biopic of fashion designer Yves Saint Laurent from 1967 to 1976, received the most nominations, 10, followed closely by “Yves Saint Laurent,” a biopic of the fashion designer from 1958 onward, which received seven. The two movies don't seem to be related, either, in the way of, say, “Mesrine” a few years back. Just how much Yves can one country take? A lot, apparently.

“Les Combattants” sounds interesting to me (nine noms), while I'm there for anything Olivier Assayas directs. Seriously, if any of these films showed up at SIFF, I would be there. A Césars Night at SIFF would be fun. 

The Césars will be broadcast on February 20, two days before the Oscars. 

Best Film
Les Combattants, dir: Thomas Cailley
Eastern Boys, dir: Robin Campillo
La Famille Bélier, dir: Eric Lartigau
Saint Laurent, dir: Bertrand Bonello
Hippocrate, dir: Thomas Lilti
Sils Maria, dir: Olivier Assayas
Timbuktu, dir: Abderrahmane Sissako
Best Director
Céline Sciamma, Bande De Filles
Thomas Cailley, Les Combattants
Robin Campillo, Eastern Boys
Thomas Lilti, Hippocrate
Bertrand Bonello, Saint Laurent
Olivier Assayas, Sils Maria
Abderrahmane Sissako, Timbuktu
Best Actor
Pierre Niney, Yves Saint Laurent
Romain Duris, Une Nouvelle Amie
Gaspard Ulliel, Saint Laurent
Guillaume Canet, La Prochaine Fois Je Viserai Le Coeur
Niels Arestrup, Diplomatie
François Damiens, La Famille Bélier
Vincent Lacoste, Hippocrate
Best Actress
Juliette Binoche, Sils Maria
Catherine Deneuve, Dans La Cour
Marion Cotillard, Deux Jours, Une Nuit
Emilie Dequenne, Pas Son Genre
Adèle Haenel, Les Combattants
Sandrine Kiberlain, Elle L’Adore
Karin Viard, La Famille Bélier
Best Supporting Actor
Eric Elmosnino, La Famille Bélier
Jérémie Renier, Saint Laurent
Guillaume Gallienne, Yves Saint LAurent
Louis Garrel, Saint Laurent
Reda Kateb, Hippocrate
Best Supporting Actress
Marianne Denicourt, Hippocrate
Claude Gensac, Lulu Femme Nue
Izïa Higelin, Samba
Charlotte Le Bon, Yves Saint Laurent
Kristen Stewart, Sils Maria
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Posted at 10:07 PM on Jan 29, 2015 in category Movies - Awards
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