Movies - Awards postsSunday January 24, 2016
Producers Guild Goes Long on 'The Big Short'
Here's a list of movies since 1990 that the Producers Guild of America has chosen best picture that didn't go on to win the Oscar for best picture:
|1992||The Crying Game|
|1998||Saving Private Ryan|
|2006||Little Miss Sunshine|
A short list. Two years ago, too, they split on “Gravity” and “12 Years a Slave” and the latter won the Oscar for best picture. Otherwise, since 2006, they've nailed it. If you want to call prefiguring the Oscar “nailing it.”
I mention all this because last night the PGAs chose “The Big Short” for best picture.
Good news for “The Big Short” but there are still no clear frontrunners in the field; I can still see “The Revenant” or “Spotlight” having a go. I think it's down to these three. Three of my four favorite films of the year.
An even more accurate predictor, The Directors Guild of America, announces its winner on Feb. 6.
The DGA Nominations: 3 out of 5 Ain't Bad
The Directors Guild of America announced its 2015 nominees for outstanding directorial achievement in feature film:
- Alejandro G. Iñárritu, “The Revenant” (Yes!)
- Tom McCarthy, “Spotlight” (Yes!)
- Adam McKay, “The Big Short” (Yes!)
- George Miller, “Mad Max: Fury Road” (No!)
- Ridley Scott, “The Martian” (Whatever)
I'd lose Miller and Scott for Naji Abu Nowar (“Theeb”) and Todd Haynes (“Carol”), but three out of five ain't bad.
One of the above will almost certainly win the Academy Award for best picture. Since 1952, only one movie has ever won the Academy's best picture without its director being nominated for a DGA: “Driving Miss Daisy” in 1989; Bruce Beresford. FWIW, the DGA also ignored Spike Lee that year.
Little discussed fact, given how so many film critics on social media are complaining about the lack of diversity in the DGA and AMPAS: It's been almost 10 years since an American male has won the Academy Award for best director. Recently it's been Mexican, Taiwanese, French and British nationals. The last American was Kathryn Bigelow in 2009. The last American male? Or males? The Coens for “No Country for Old Men.”
Rooting interests, anyone?
NYFCC Sings Oh! Carol
The New York Film Critics Circle chose its year-end awards today. The fascinating thing to me is that “Carol,” Todd Haynes' drama about a love affair between two women in the 1950s, starring Rooney Mara and Cate Blanchett—both of whom have been getting great notices—was awarded in the following categories: film, director, screenplay, cinematography ... but not actress or supporting actress. That's actually a good sign. Means those categories are stacked.
Here's NYFCC's awards from last year.
And this year's cherces:
- Best film: Carol
- Best director: Todd Haynes, Carol
- Best actor: Michael Keaton, Spotlight
- Best actress: Saoirse Ronan, Brooklyn
- Best supporting actor: Mark Rylance, Bridge of Spies
- Best supporting actress: Kristen Stewart, Clouds of Sils Maria
- Best screenplay: Carol, Phyllis Nagy
- Best animated film: Inside Out
- Best cinematography: Carol, Edward Lachman
- Best first film: Son of Saul
- Best foreign film: Timbuktu (Mauritania)
- Best non-fiction film (documentary): In Jackson Heights directed by Frederick Wiseman.
- Special Award:Posthumous award honoring the legacy of William Becker and Janus Films
- Special Award # 2: composer Ennio Morricone, The Hateful Eight
SIFF 2015 Awards
The 2015 Seattle International Film Festival ends this evening, and this morning its awards were announced:
Golden Space Needle Awards (voted by moviegoers)
- Best Film: “The Dark Horse” (New Zealand)
- Best Director: Alfonso Gomez-Rejon, “Me and Earl and the Dying Girl”
- Best Actor: Cliff Curtis, “The Dark Horse”
- Best Actress: Nina Hoss, “Phoenix”
- Best Documentary: “Romeo is Bleeding,” Jason Zeldes
- Best Short: “Even the Walls”
- New Directors Competition: Károly Ujj-Mészáros, “Liza, The Fox-Fairy”
- New American Cinema Award: “Chatty Catties”
- Documentary: “The Great Alone”
- Futurewave: “Seoul Searching”
- Films4Family: “When Marnie Was There”
- Futurewave shorts: “Minimum Max”
The trailer for the big winner is below. I was aware of “Dark Horse”—my friend Vinny is a big chess guy—but wasn't much interested in seeing it. (Which is why I didn't.) Seemed like one of those Michelle Pfeiffer teacher/pupil movies. The teacher is redeemed by inspiring the students. The audience is supposed to be inspired. We're supposed to want to “stand up and cheer.”
Anyone see it? Any good?
Here's a list of past Golden Space Needle awards. Not a bad group: “Boyhood,” “The Hurt Locker,” “Sex and Lucia,” “The Usual Suspects,” “The Wedding Banquet,” “My Life as a Dog.” But some recent head-scratchers, too. I wasn't a “Beasts of the Southern Wild” fan. And “The Whistleblower” seems a particularly weak choice. Feels like a lot of bad politics in these decisions. I also heard not-complimentary things about two of this year's award winners: “Chatty Catties” and “Seoul Searching.”
That said, this was probably my best SIFF ever. Maybe they had better movies this year; maybe I'm just getting better at picking them.
I'll post my SIFF awards tomorrow.
Cannes Winners, 2015
The fact that the Seattle International Film Festival (or SIFF) happens concurrently with the Cannes Film Festival (or Cannes) assuages some of the disappointment with not being in the south of France at this time of year. Instead I rely on the usual suspects (Jeff Wells, Sasha Stone) for their reports. Not to mention the final awards, which were announced today. They are:
- Palme d'Or: “Dheepan,” directed by Jacques Audiard, who has twice won “best film” at the Erik International Film Festeival (a.k.a. my annual Top 10 list) so I'm excited by this; I think Audiard is one of the best directors in the world right now. At the same time, the win is being called one of the great upsets in the history of Cannes. Further thoughts here. The movie below was supposed to win ...
- Grand Prix: “Son of Saul,” directed by Laszlo Nemes. Another Holocaust film that seems particularly resonant.
- Director: Hou Hsiao-hsien, “The Assassin.” I've never been a big Hou fan, but ... open mind. At least 3/4 open.
- Actor: Vincent Lindon, “The Measure of a Man.” I mostly know Lindon from the film adaptation of “The Moustache.”
- Actress (tie): Emmanuelle Bercot, “Mon Roi”; Rooney Mara, “Carol.” Both Wells and Stone raved about “Carol,” which also stars Cate Blanchett.
The jury presidents were Joel and Ethan Coen, while the jury included actors Jake Gyllenhaal, Sophie Marceau, Sienna Miller and Rossy de Palma; directors Guillermo del Toro and Xavier Dolan; and composer Rolia Traoré.
Do these awards mean anything? Ca depend. Past winners of the Palme d'Or have included great films (“Pulp Fiction,” “The Pianist,” “The Class,” “The Tree of Life,” “Blue is the Warmest Color”) and some awful/arty films (“Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives”). But I love Audiard so I'm hopeful this year.
In “Dheepan,” a Sri Lankan Tamil warrior uses his skills to survive as an immigrant in Paris.