erik lundegaard

Movies - Awards posts

Thursday December 11, 2014

Random Thoughts on the Golden Globe Nominations

Michael Keaton in Birdman

“Give the people what they want: some good old-fashioned apocalyptic porn!”

The Hollywood Foreign Press announced its Golden Globe nominations this morning. Some thoughts on the film side of things:

Best Motion Picture, Drama

Boyhood, yes. Looking forward to Foxcatcher, and The Imitation Game, and Selma (Jesus, Hollywood, spread this shit around, will ya?). A big NO for The Theory of Everything for these reasons

What's missing? For me, The Drop and Fury. But apparently that's just me. None of the other critics (the ones with megaphones and minibrains) are bitching. 

Best Motion Picture, Musical or Comedy

My first thought was ... Birdman? A comedy? In fact, I tweeted that yesterday morning. This was tweeted back within seconds:

At least it made me think for a second. “Yeah, why don't I think of 'Birdman' as a comedy while I have no problem with, say, 'Grand Budapest' as a comedy?” The answer? Birdman feels (ironically) heavier. Weightier. But point taken. Even though I could've done without the “um.”

Best Actor in a Motion Picture, Drama

This is the toughest of categories, so you can't really fault the HFP, and I have yet to see, as I said, Foxcatcher and The Imitation Game and Selma, but I think I would've tried to make room for Tom Hardy in there. For either Locke or The Drop. Hey, maybe we can fit them in “Best Actor in a Motion Picture, Comedy”!

Best Actor in a Motion Picture, Comedy or Musical

Love you, Ralph Fiennes. You, too, Michael Keaton. I would've nominated the kid from St. Vincent rather than Bill Murray. The others, haven't seen. Because it's mid-December and there's still ALL THIS TIME in which to release them. 

Best Actress in a Motion Picture, Drama

Hey, why wasn't Gone Girl listed as a comedy? Check the review. Fourth graf. 

Who's missing? Marion Cotillard, of course. Does the Hollywood Foreign Press have something against foreigners? Who aren't British, I mean. I also would've given serious thought to Agata Trzebuchowska as Aunt Wanda in Ida. Or Berenice Bejo in Le Passe? Or is that considered last year? Even though it didn't arrive here until this year. 

Best Actress in a Motion Picture, Musical or Comedy

  • Amy Adams, Big Eyes
  • Emily Blunt, Into the Woods
  • Helen Mirren, The Hundred-Foot Journey
  • Julianne Moore, Maps to the Stars
  • Quvenzhané Wallis, Annie

Yikes, I haven't seen any of these. And I've seen and written about more than 70 movies this year. Not a good sign, Hollywood. Not to mention Hollywood Foreign Press.

Best Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture

  • Robert Duvall, The Judge
  • Ethan Hawke, Boyhood
  • Edward Norton, Birdman
  • Mark Ruffalo, Foxcatcher
  • J.K. Simmons, Whiplash

Really, HFP? The most stacked category is when you finally forget about the drama/comedy divide? Who's missing? Everyone. But let's start with Shia LeBeouf in Fury and Matthias Schoenaerts in The Drop. Wait, is Lithgow supposed to be lead or supporting in Love is Strange? If so ... Aw, screw it. Too tough a category. 

Best Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture

  • Patricia Arquette, Boyhood
  • Jessica Chastain, A Most Violent Year
  • Keira Knightley, The Imitation Game
  • Emma Stone, Birdman
  • Meryl Streep, Into the Woods

Please, let it be Patricia Arquette, please let it be Patricia Arquette, please let it be Patricia Arquette. Although I haven't seen A Most Violent Year yet.
Guess when it opens in Seattle? Dec. 31. 

Best Director

To me it's a battle between Linklater, who spent 12 years making an everyday opus, and Inarritu, whose film just pulses with beauty and meaning. Question: If Gone Girl isn't among the 10 best pictures, why is its director among the five best directors?

Best Screenplay, Motion Picture

Birdman should take this. An incredible script. I'll also accept Wes Anderson or Richard Linklater. 

What about all you Buellers out there? Any thoughts?

Golden Globes air on January 11. By which time maybe half these movies will have been seen in American cities other than NY and LA. 

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Posted at 06:19 PM on Dec 11, 2014 in category Movies - Awards
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Sunday December 07, 2014

And the 2014 Best Picture Goes to ...

2014 best picture candidates

Rather than do individual posts for the best picture awards given out by critics' groups and/or industry groups for the 2014 season, I thought I'd just list them here and update periodically. 

The parenthetical number next to the group/review/circle/society/association is the number of times its best pic agreed with the Academy's best pic since 2000. In some ways, the less often they agree, the more I respect them, since the Academy has made some pretty blisteringly awful choices. 

Here they are, listed in more or less the order the award was announced.

Chicago has agreed with the Academy most often, by the way, because it also chose “Crash” as its best picture of 2005. For which I blame the late, great Roger Ebert

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Posted at 03:50 PM on Dec 07, 2014 in category Movies - Awards
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Thursday December 04, 2014

National Board of Review Picks J.C. Chandor's 'A Most Violent Year' as the Best Movie of 2014

A Most Violent Year

Oscar Isaac in “A Most Violent Year.”

A day after the New York Film Critics Circle annointed “Boyhood” the best movie of the year, it's the National Board of Review's turn. And that organization, in existence since 1909, went with a movie I've heard good things about even if I haven't heard a release date yet: “A Most Violent Year,” written and directed by J.C. Chandor (“All Is Lost,” “Margin Call”), and starring Oscar Isaac and Jessica Chastain. I know Jeff Wells is high on it, for one. 

As is its wont, NBR also listed its top 10 films:

Wait. That's #s 2-11, isn't it? Because “A Most Violent Year” isn't on it. 

Here's the rest of their awards. See if you can't figure out what's odd about the list:

  • Best Film: A Most Violent Year
  • Best Director: Clint Eastwood – American Sniper
  • Best Actor (TIE): Oscar Isaac – A Most Violent Year; Michael Keaton – Birdman
  • Best Actress: Julianne Moore – Still Alice
  • Best Supporting Actor: Edward Norton – Birdman
  • Best Supporting Actress: Jessica Chastain – A Most Violent Year
  • Best Original Screenplay: Phil Lord & Christopher Miller – The Lego Movie
  • Best Adapted Screenplay: Paul Thomas Anderson – Inherent Vice
  • Best Animated Feature: How to Train Your Dragon 2
  • Breakthrough Performance: Jack O’Connell – Starred Up & Unbroken
  • Best Directorial Debut: Gillian Robespierre – Obvious Child
  • Best Foreign Language Film: Wild Tales
  • Best Documentary: Life Itself
  • William K. Everson Film History Award: Scott Eyman
  • Best Ensemble: Fury
  • Spotlight Award: Chris Rock for writing, directing, and starring in – Top Five
  • NBR Freedom of Expression Award: Rosewater
  • NBR Freedom of Expression Award: Selma

Yeah, it goes on a bit long, but that's not what I'm talking about. Here's what I'm talking about: How can “How to Train Your Dragon 2” be the best animated feature when it didn't make the top 10 (or #s 2-11) and “The LEGO Movie” did?  

As for what this means for the Oscar race? Not much. In the 21st century, NBR has picked the same best picture as the Academy two times out of 14 tries. In reverse chronological order, NBR went: Her, Zero Dark Thirty, Hugo, The Social Network, Up in the Air, Slumdog Millionaire, No Country for Old Men, Letters from Iwo Jima, Good Night and Good Luck, Find Neverland, Mystic River, The Hours, Moulin Rouge, Quills.

To be honest, I always thought of it as a squishy organization: “Neverland” and “Good Night and Good Luck” and all that. Looks like it's taken a violent turn. Or it's got a thing for Jessica Chastain.

Oh, and the release date for “A Most Violent Year” is Dec. 31. Cutting it close, A24.

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Posted at 07:51 AM on Dec 04, 2014 in category Movies - Awards
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Monday December 01, 2014

New York Film Critics Circle Announces 'Best of 2014' Awards: 'Boyhood,' 'Ida,' Cotillard

Richard Linklater's Boyood wins New York Film Critics Circle Award for best picture

The New York Film Critics Circle announced its 2014 awards today, and it's pretty much the movies that have been at the top of my best-to-worst rankings to the left for the past few months:

  • Best Picture – Boyhood
  • Best Director – Richard Linklater, Boyhood
  • Best First Film – Jennifer Kent, The Babadook
  • Best Actress – Marion Cotillard, The Immigrant and Two Days, One Night.
  • Best Actor – Timothy Spall, Mr. Turner
  • Best Cinematography – Darius Khondji, The Immigrant
  • Best Screenplay – The Grand Budapest Hotel
  • Best Supporting Actress – Patricia Arquette, Boyhood
  • Best Supporting Actor – J.K. Simmons, Whiplash
  • Best Nonfiction Film – Citizenfour
  • Best Foreign Language Film – Ida
  • Best Animated Film – The Lego Movie

Haven't seen “The Babadook”—a horror film—nor “Mr. Turner” or “Whiplash,” but can't disagree with picture, actress, foreign language film and animated film. Love the nod to “The Grand Budapest Hotel” and “Citizenfour,” although I'm leaning toward “Life Itself” in the latter category. I'm also curious by the lack of talk surrounding Shia LeBeouf's great performance in “Fury.” And while I love Cotillard (now and always), “The Immigrant” is a disappointing film.

Overall, the NYFCC tends not to make bad choices. It's been around since 1935 and has awarded best pic in recent years to: American Hustle, Zero Dark Thirty, The Artist, The Social Network, The Hurt Locker, Milk, No Country for Old Men, United 93 and Brokeback Mountain.

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Posted at 11:03 AM on Dec 01, 2014 in category Movies - Awards
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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.

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