erik lundegaard

Movies - Awards posts

Sunday February 16, 2014

BAFTAs Spread Wealth Between '12 Years,' 'Gravity' and 'American Hustle'

The British Oscars, the BAFTAs (British Academy of Film and Television Arts), had their awards ceremony tonight and spread the wealth like the socialists they are.

The winners:

It's not a bad list. Apparently the Oscar race, too, is between “12 Years” and “Gravity,” which is a shame since I'd prefer a battle between “Wolf of Wall Street” and “American Hustle.” I like the “Philomena” nod here, though, since I like that movie more than most Americans, who apparently had trouble with the portions. BAFTA's doc and foreign-language film are mine as well. Actor, I'd go McConaughey or DiCaprio, but no one's giving the latter much chance and the former wasn't even nominated. Supporting actor, I'd go Fassbender or Leto. But it's not a bad list. It's a good mix.

Oddly, “Gravity” won Best British Film, a whole other category, but I don't see anything particularly British about “Gravity.” It's set in outer space, stars two Americans, is directed by a Mexican. Why not “Philomena”? Or “12 Years,” which was set in America but starred mostly Brits (Ejiofor, Fassbender, Cumberbatch) and was directed by a Brit (McQueen)?

And what does this mean for the Oscars? Who knows? But the last time BAFTAs went for a best film other than the Academy's eventual best picture was in 2007 (“Atonement” vs. “No Country for Old Men”). The Brits actually had a good independent run there: “The Aviator” in 2004, “Brokeback Mountain” in 2005, “The Queen” in 2006. I prefer that list to the Academy's. Lately, though, they've been buddy-buddy.

Two weeks. Have you sent out your party invites yet? Have you received one?

12 Years a Slave

Your BAFTA winner for best actor and best film ... but not best British film. Because nothing says 'British' more than two Americans in outer space.

Posted at 02:32 PM on Feb 16, 2014 in category Movies - Awards
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Sunday January 26, 2014

Alfonso Cuaron Wins DGA for 'Gravity'

Last night Alfonso Cuaron won the Directors Guild Award for “Gravity,” but no one really cares about that. They want to know what this means in terms of the Oscars.


If Cuaron had won the PGA by himself, as opposed to sharing it in a split vote with Steve McQueen for “12 Years a Slave,” I'd say bet the house on Cuaron and “Gravity” for the Oscar. Now I'd just say bet the bedroom. Or maybe the bed. Or the pillow.The older one with the stains on it.

I'm obviously not a betting man.

The last time the PGAs and the DGAs agreed and their picture didn't win the Oscar for best picture was in 2005 with “Brokeback Mountain,” which was, in its day, controversial, and we know how the Academy shies from controversy. Before then, you'd have to go back to “Saving Private Ryan” in '98: sabotage via Weinstein.

In both instances, of course, the director (Ang Lee, Steven Spielberg) won best director, so Cuaron and “Gravity” will win some major award March 2nd.

Here's a chart on past DGA and PGA winners.

See you March 2nd.

Posted at 03:44 AM on Jan 26, 2014 in category Movies - Awards
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Tuesday January 21, 2014

PGAs Split, SAG Goes 'Hustle'

Over the weekend, “American Hustle” won the Screen Actors Guild award for outstanding cast while the Producers Guild gave its PGA for best film to “12 Years a Slave” and “Gravity.” The split-vote win was the first in PGA history.

What does ths mean for the Oscars? It means we have a bit of a race.

Here are the DGAs, PGAs and SAG awards as arbiter of the final Oscar choice since 1996:

2013 American Hustle 12 Years a Slave/ Gravity

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

The SAG cast award is the worst arbiter (9 of 17) while the DGA is the best (14 of 17). The PGA is in the middle (12 of 17), although it has a good track record recently: 6 for the last 6. Obviously that won't happen this year.

How often has SAG and PGA differed and the Oscar gone to the SAG choice? Only twice, in 1998 and 2005, and both were controversial Oscar picks: “Shakespeare in Love” over “Saving Private Ryan” (ick) and “Crash” over “Brokeback” (ickier). “Hustle” wouldn't be that (controversial), if it came to that. But I doubt it will.

In terms of Oscar prognostication, it's down to the DGAs, which are announced Jan. 25. Hey, how cool if they gave it to Martin Scorsese for “The Wolf of Wall Street”? Then we wouldn't know what to think on March 2.

Other SAG awards:

  • MALE ACTOR IN A LEADING ROLE: Matthew McConaughey, “Dallas Buyers Club”
  • FEMALE ACTOR IN A LEADING ROLE: Cate Blanchett, “Blue Jasmine”
  • MALE ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE: Jared Leto, “Dallas Buyers Club”
  • FEMALE ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE: Lupita Nyong'o, “12 Years A Slave”

SAG's lead actor, by the way, has been Oscar's lead actor since 2003, when SAG gave it to Johnny Depp for “Pirates” and the Oscar went to Sean Penn for “Mystic River.”

PGAs SAG winners 2014

SAG and the split PGAs: past, paster, future.

Posted at 06:32 AM on Jan 21, 2014 in category Movies - Awards
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Tuesday January 07, 2014

DGA Noms: Cuarón, Greengrass, McQueen, Russell and Scorsese; Coens Left Out Like Cat in Cold

The Directors Guild of America announced its selections in the best feature film category today:

DGAsI wouldn't have gone Greengrass (Coen Bros., yo), but four out of five ain't bad. Although I might not have gone Cuarón, either, despite the spectacle of his film. And maybe not McQueen, despite its ... gravity? But hey, I'm glad Russell and Scorsese are nom'ed.

Even so, it's a good list.

As I mentioned last January, there is a pretty direct line between the DGAs and the Oscar for best director and/or best picture. Generally, who wins the DGA wins the Oscar for best director and his picture wins the Oscar for best picture.

Last year ... a bit of a wrench.

I'd actually forgotten what happened. I thought Affleck didn't get the DGA or something ... while Spielberg won the Oscar for best director or something. All wrong. Affleck did get a DGA nom, and the DGA, but he wasn't even nominated for a directing Oscar. But his picture, “Argo,” won best picture. Meanwhile, the Oscar for best director went to Ang Lee for “Life of Pi,” not Spielberg for “Lincoln.”

Crazy times.

Are crazy times ahead? Oscar noms announced in nine days.

ADDENDUM: My favorite Oscar watcher, Nathaniel over at Film Experience, weighs in and crunches the numbers between DGA noms and Oscar noms.

Posted at 11:35 AM on Jan 07, 2014 in category Movies - Awards
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Sunday January 05, 2014

National Society of Film Critics Loves 'Llewyn," Ignores 'Wolf'

Llewyn Davis and cat

The cat's pajamas: Llewyn and Ulysses on a odyssey to nowhere.

The National Society of Film Critics, one of my favorite film-critic bodies, chose its best of 2013 last night. Their votes, my thoughts:

*1. Inside Llewyn Davis – 23
2. American Hustle – 17
3. 12 Years a Slave – 16
3. her – 16

First, I like that we don't just get winners and runners-up; we get vote tallies. Imagine if AMPAS did this. Second, where is “The Wolf of Wall Street”? No takers? In New York? The fuck? But I love “Llewyn,” so ...

*1. Joel and Ethan Coen (Inside Llewyn Davis) – 25
2. Alfonso Cuarón (Gravity) – 18
3. Steve McQueen (12 Years a Slave) – 15

Do directors ever win best director awards for the original meaning of the word—directing the actors—or is it all about auteur sensibility now? Or some combo? I suppose I have no favorites in this category, but I'd definitely put David O. Russell and Martin Scorsese ahead of NSFC's 2 and 3.

*1. Blue Is the Warmest Color – 27
2. A Touch of Sin – 21
3. The Great Beauty – 15

Yep. Although I haven't seen “A Touch of Sin.” Most of the best foreign-language films tend to arrive in the spring of the following year. This year, for example, I enjoyed “A Hijacking,” “No,” “The Gatekeepers,” etc., but I assume those are 2012 movies for NSFC.

*1. The Act of Killing (Joshua Oppenheimer) – 20
*1. At Berkeley (Frederick Wiseman) – 20
3. Leviathan (Lucien Castaing-Taylor and Véréna Paravel) – 18

For all the good docs I've seen this year, I haven't seen these three. Should've seen No. 1 at SIFF. Blew it. Maybe today? Via iTunes? Anyone?

*1. Before Midnight (Richard Linklater, Julie Delpy, Ethan Hawke) – 29
2. Inside Llewyn Davis (Joel and Ethan Coen) – 26
3. American Hustle (Eric Singer and David O. Russell) – 18

OK, besides my obvious antipathy for “Before Midnight,” how can “her” get votes for best pic and Spike Jonze get bupkis in this category? The movie has some of the most memorable lines of the year; and some of the most daring choices.

*1. Inside Llewyn Davis (Bruno Delbonnel) -28
2.Gravity (Emmanuel Lubezki) – 26
3. Nebraska (Phedon Papamichael) – 19

Looks good. All around.

*1. Oscar Isaac (Inside Llewyn Davis) – 28
2. Chiwetel Ejiofor (12 Years a Slave) – 19
3. Robert Redford (All Is Lost) – 12

This is one tough category, particularly this year, since the actor of the year, Matthew McConaughey, isn't even named for “Mud” or “Dallas Buyers Club” or “Wolf of Wall Street” (brilliant cameo). Neither is Joaquin Phoenix for “her.” Both men are quickly becoming my favorite actors. But if I had to give this award right now, it would go to Leo in “Wolf of Wall Street.” He was channeling something in that movie that not many actors since Jack Nicholson in his prime have channeled.

*1. Cate Blanchett (Blue Jasmine) – 57
2. Adèle Exarchopoulos (Blue Is the Warmest Color) – 36
3. Julie Delpy (Before Midnight) – 26

Replace Delpy with Judi Dench in “Philomena,” a movie that's sadly being forgotten by most critics, and you've got it. Remember what the producer of “Gladiator” said after it won best picture? What he said to Russell Crowe? About filling the screen with the force of his face? That's what Judi Dench does in “Philomena.” Unforgettable and heartbreaking and beautiful.

*1. James Franco (Spring Breakers) – 24
2. Jared Leto (Dallas Buyers Club) – 20
3. Barkhad Abdi (Captain Phillips) – 14

Put Leto up a notch, remove Franco (although he was good in that awful movie), sub in Fassbender in “12 Years.”

*1. Jennifer Lawrence (American Hustle) – 54
2. Lupita Nyong’o (12 Years a Slave) – 38
3. Sally Hawkins (Blue Jasmine) – 18
3. Léa Seydoux (Blue Is the Warmest Color) – 18

Another tough category. Nice to see Sally Hawkins here. Hey, no one ever mentions Bobby Canavale in same, do they? Should.

Those are my quick thoughts. Yours?

Posted at 05:13 PM on Jan 05, 2014 in category Movies - Awards
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