Selma and American Sniper to premiere at AFI Fest


The 2014 AFI Fest is turning into the hottest ticket in town. Last week, the festival opened with the World Premiere of J C Chandor’s A Most Violent Year, and today, Ava DuVernay tweeted they would be showing Selma in full.
Originally, a 30 minute preview segment of the drama based on Martin Luther King and the Civil Rights Movement was going to be shown, but DuVernay and Oprah Winfrey took to Twitter to announce that Selma would be shown in its entirety at the AFI Fest.

DuVernay tweeted,

The film also stars, Tim Roth, Cuba Gooding Jr, Giovanni Ribisi, Carmen Ejogo as Coretta Scott King.

Another film that has just been announced is American Sniper. The film was confirmed as the festival’s secret screening movie, and will have its first public screening tomorrow. American Sniper was directed by Clint Eastwood and stars Bradley Cooper as the most lethal sniper in American military history.
American Sniper opens on December 25.

It seems the AFI Fest is changing predictions as we talk, where will these films stand in your predictions after tomorrow?

  1. Aragorn 11 months ago

    I hope that Selma will be at least decent to good..i am sure there will be lots of name calling if it doesnt get any major nomination! Also probably at least some academy members will feel the pressurre to nominate this movie for something..and again i am sure ” if it is not this movie, Oscars will be all white this year” story will be all over the place. So i hope this is at least a decent to good movie..

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  2. Connor 11 months ago

    Nice! As far as Im concerned, I think Unbroken will be the last piece before we start putting this puzzle together

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  3. Nick Johnson 11 months ago

    I really hope the academy doesnt feel pressured into nominating Selma. Lets face it you all know what im talking about. If the film gets great reviews and the performances are amazing then it deserves it. I just hope they dont nominate it because they want to be “politically correct” and because they dont want this to be the whitest Oscars in recent memory.

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  4. AdamA 11 months ago

    “I really hope the academy doesnt feel pressured into nominating Selma. Lets face it you all know what im talking about.”

    An annoying commenter trying to set the terms for Selma’s nomination before it even comes out? You sound like somebody whining about affirmative action before their kid even applies to college.

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  5. Aragorn 11 months ago

    Adama, lets face it. That will be the theme in coming months especially in this blog..someone already said that she prefers Ava Durney over Angelina Jolie to get Best Director nomination without seeing either movie….why??? Because Ava did a better job???? Wait for all that “history making” articles about Selma! And yes, people behind Selma will use the race card as much as possible! And anyone that criticize this movie will be seen as a potential racist! Yeah, now the real fun starts!

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  6. AdamA 11 months ago

    Y’all some fragile white ppl.

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  7. AdamA 11 months ago

    Where’s the inspiring civil rights leader for put-upon white filmmakers and film critics? Who will speak for THEM?

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  8. Antoinette 11 months ago

    What’s that guy’s name in the middle? I like him. You know how celebrities are with their causes they’re so proud of themselves about? Well he actually did something worthwhile in my opinion. He made a grocery store where poor people couldn’t get to one. That’s actual real life help. Some of these people who go and make blockbusters in places like Detroit should do the same there or in the poor neighborhoods they grew up around.

    Anyway, about the movie. I hope it’s good. We watched the “I Have a Dream” speech every year at my elementary school. Oyelowo definitely sounds like him. I want to see if he can pull off the personal power as well. That lady really looks like Coretta Scott King.

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  9. Nick Johnson 11 months ago

    Did you read my comment thoroughly Adama? If Selma is great then it deserves it. But if it sucks or gets mixed to negative reviews and still gets a BP nomination now wouldn’t that look a little sketchy? I wasn’t complaining when 12 years a Slave won because it deserved it. Don’t get so butthurt. And for the record im not a racist. You can believe that if you want.

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  10. Aragorn 11 months ago

    I am reading Ken Follett’s Edge of Eternity. Just finished the chapters about Kennedy assasination and MLK speech…both were chilling…i like the part when Kennedy says ” I have a dream too” when he meets MLK at the White House right after his speech…apparently MLK was not amused, probably thinking “dream about what? Rich white men from Boston?;))

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  11. Isaac David Quesada 11 months ago

    I totally agree with ARAGORN and NICK, people will play the race card a lot,but I also feel if this movie is not that good maybe they won´t feel to much pressure about awarding it, after all 12YAS just won, if Gravity had won I guess this would be your frontrunner.

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  12. Aragorn 11 months ago

    And if it is good and deserving, then no problem…
    After these two movies, then only big question marks that may change the game last minute will be Into the Woods and Unbroken….
    I know many people just say Unbroken is a big Oscar bait, as if Lincoln or even 12 Years Slave was not, and they already dislike the movie because of A.Jolie’s name. But if you read the book, you know that it is an amazing story. Epic, uplifting, heroic…if they/she did a decent job with that material, it could be a real game changer….Today again I saw the trailer before Theory of Everything and I got goosebumps, especially because i read the book Nd know the story…it could be a head to head with Gone Girl for Best Adapted Screenplay, and I am sure Coen bros name would help…exciting times!

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  13. AdamA 11 months ago

    I love how you think I have an agenda, that I think you are racist. What I *think* is that if every movie about black history endures speculation about *if* it’s mediocre *and* gets awards anyway–before it even premieres–that that is definitely a racist paradigm, akin to the questioning any black college student endures at a prestigious institution. That questioning also comes from ppl who know next to nothing about that student or her qualifications. What I think about you? Well, I don’t even know you. I just think you should wait to see the gd movie. I realize you aren’t saying it’s mediocre. However, the fact that you are mentally preparing for the coronation of a mediocre movie about black history is not a good look, tho.

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  14. Aragorn 11 months ago

    Adama i know personally know as a fact that some undeserving students get into prestigious programs not only because of their academic achievements or potential…that aside, For this movie, hopefully it willbe good and deserve its nominations if it gets any. All i said was that some people will nominate this movie because of te subject matter, and if it doesnt get major nominations some people will say it is about race….dont go too far…all that stuff will happen in this same blog. As i told you someone already said that she prefes Ava over Angelina without seeing either movie,,,dont tell me it has nothin to do with their race…

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  15. Aragorn 11 months ago

    And Theory of Everything is a good movie with two great was quite touching and good

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  16. AdamA 11 months ago

    “Adama i know personally know as a fact that some undeserving students get into prestigious programs not only because of their academic achievements or potential…”

    I’ve been watching How to Get Away with Murder a lot, so I’ve learned from Viola that this is where I shut up and rest my case.

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  17. Al Robinson 11 months ago

    I guess this means that Unbroken has become this year’s The Wolf of Wall Street. The last Best Picture hopeful out of the shoot. But, The Wolf of Wall Street did alright. It got 5 nominations, including Best Actor, Best Director, and Best Picture.

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  18. Jerm 11 months ago

    Adam and Aragorn,

    If the Academy can look past that awful propaganda film, The Butler, last year because of it’s mediocrity than if Selma falls along those lines, hopefully they won’t hesitate to do the same to it. I do hope it’s good though, and if it gets nominated, like you guys, I hope it is because it deserves it not because of its material or to be PC.

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  19. Over it 11 months ago

    Sight unseen I’m just gunna say I hope this movie sweeps the awards. Give it everything. Picture,director, actor, actress, supporting actor (anyone but the white guys),Oprah for supporting actress, and screenplay. Also give it all the below the line categories. The visual effects have nothing on Interstellar. Seriously give it everything. Let’s make the Oscars the NAACP Image awards this year! Give it every award… Anything so that for the next calendar year I don’t have to read another article or blog about how racist the academy is!

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  20. menyc 11 months ago

    “I really hope the academy doesnt feel pressured into nominating Selma. Lets face it you all know what im talking about.”

    Ugh. I would love a great film in the final stretch that teaches me and that is beautiful. Your comment is hideous.

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  21. UBourgeois 11 months ago

    You gotta love people who are ~~so worried~~ about films by black filmmakers about black subjects getting all kinds of unfair attention and stealing notice from all the other white movies. Not that they were complaining when Ava DuVernay’s previous film, Middle of Nowhere, never got a wider release than 25 whole theaters nationwide, but I’m sure that’s just an accident that they only care about fairness when there’s a chance it could benefit black filmmakers.

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  22. Aaron B 11 months ago

    Seriously. I agree with you Aragorn – hopefully people don’t award this movie solely for it’s subject matter even if it’s mediocre. Hopefully people don’t discredit it for it’s subject matter. Hopefully people don’t award Clint Eastwood’s movie because they don’t like old people. Hopefully people don’t vote against “Foxcatcher” because they hate wrestling. There are all sorts of stupid reasons to vote for or against a movie and I hope nobody ever does so for those reasons, but of course they will. So why worry about it? I’d much rather hope that this is a great film and only concern myself with that.

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  23. DFA 11 months ago

    “Adama i know personally know as a fact that some undeserving students get into prestigious programs not only because of their academic achievements or potential…”

    For example, George Bush Jr. when he got into Yale…


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  24. Nick Johnson 11 months ago

    “Your comment is hideous”

    I really wish people would stop focusing on one unintentionally offensive thing I may have written and read into my comment as a whole. If I came across as being a savage racist that wasn’t my intention! Read Aragorns other posts because we share the same sentiments. I just dont want Selma to take a BP nom away from a potentially more deserving film like Foxcatcher or Whiplash for instance. And that is only if Selma ISNT any good and it DOES get nominated. For all I know Selma will be the next Mississippi Burning. Or it could be the next The Butler……….time will tell.

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  25. Aaron B 11 months ago

    The point is this kind of shit is only brought up when we’re talking about movies that deal with racism.

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  26. UBourgeois 11 months ago

    What Aaron B says. No one’s expressing much concern that, say, Unbroken’s going to steal a BP slot from a more deserving film just because it’s a sweeping epic about an inspiring WWII story, even though that’s a concern with a hell of a lot more historical precedent than the Oscars going for movies about black people.

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  27. I 2 IT 11 months ago

    WHO needs either?

    A documentary might be in order —but Hollywood fictionalizations?

    EASTWOOD again wasting our precious time with assigned ‘controversies’.

    EASTWOOD remains one of the biggest disappointments in Hollywood,
    and that’s saying something.

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  28. Gustavo H.R. 11 months ago

    I 2 IT, uninformative histrionics on message boards are so démodé…

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  29. benutty 11 months ago

    I think it’s fair to say that if Selma gets nominations in any category it will be because the film deserves them based on merit. There are a lot of really talented people acting in and working on Selma. If films got nominations based on subject matter alone then why did The Butler and J. Edgar come up short? Because they weren’t up to snuff. If Selma isn’t good, it probably won’t get nominated. If it’s decent, it could be nominated–there are a lot of “okay” films in the hunt for major awards and Selma could easily be one of them. As could American Sniper.

    On another note: I’m hearing really good things out of The Gambler screening last night! Apparently John Goodman is fantastic, but only has 2 or so scenes so it’ll be Inside Llewyn Davis for him all over again.

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  30. Bryce Forestieri 11 months ago

    So we should know about *both* of these, tonight? Is Sasha attending either screening? Sounds like they will be screening almost simultaneously. Crazy.

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  31. Filmfan 11 months ago

    Heads up:
    There are sound clips of the entire “Into the Woods” soundtrack online. Sounds amazing!!! I think “Woods” is going to be a major Oscar contender and might very well take the big prize.

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  32. benutty 11 months ago

    OT and heads up, Sasha: The film adaptation of Room is being written by the author of the book who happens to be female and stars a female protagonist played by Brie Larson. Should be goooooooooooooooood.

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  33. Jim 11 months ago

    Thank you Adama, Aaron B, and Ubourgeois for your clarity. For future reference for some folks: if you’ve been calmly informed that there may be a racial bias to something you’ve said, take a moment to think it through. Reflexively defending yourself tends not to work out in your favor.

    I’m so, so hopeful about some of these late arrivals this year–the previews for Selma, Unbroken, and Into the Woods have all really impressed me. Now let’s see if they end up being good movies!

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  34. Steven Kane 11 months ago

    Ubourgeois, a lot of people on here, myself included, have remained very skeptical on Unbroken as a movie. Yet I get nervous that it looks like such Oscar bait that it may land nominations in categories it has no business in. Though I could be wrong. I’m eager to see how it turns out.

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  35. Richard 11 months ago

    I know someone who saw Unbroken last weekend and says the movie is incredible.

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  36. K. Bowen 11 months ago

    I had read some posts that Selma was in trouble, and the whole “we’ll show you 30 minutes didn’t help that impression. But then the trailer looked quite good. So we’ll know something by the end of the day.

    I think it’s honest to say that one of the reasons that Selma is in the Oscar conversation is Sasha and her bleeding-heart liberalism. that’s pushed it into the conversation That’s simply honest, in my opinion. That doesn’t mean she’s wrong. It also doesn’t mean she’s right. We’ll see.

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  37. benutty 11 months ago

    Steven, having not seen either (Unbroken or The Imitation Game) that is the exact sentiment I’m starting to have about The Imitation Game. The two reactions I hear about the film are: “Benedict Cumberbatch is wonderful” and “The screenplay is basic/formulaic.” Yet it seems to be among the top contenders for a lot more than just Lead Actor.

    The truth is that when people connect to a certain part of a film it colors their perception of the film as a whole, as well as other aspects of the film that they might otherwise find mediocre at best. As examples, and I’ve said it on this site before–I think The King’s Speech rode a wave because of everyone’s positive feelings for Colin Firth, mostly in response to his losing the Oscar the previous year in A Single Man. Similarly, I think The Blind Side benefited greatly from Sandra Bullock’s narrative that year, mostly surrounding the betrayal of her husband. Of course there are other factors in these and in all situations/narratives, but I think there is something to be said about one or a few aspects of a film being great enough to allow support to swell for the film as a whole, and once AMPAS voters realize they’re voting for one film in multiple categories it becomes more likely that they’ll start to perceive it as a BP frontrunner.

    As for Unbroken, I think that people are projecting it in certain races based on the talent involved–Coens, Jolie, Deakins–and since they’ve earmarked it in those categories it begins to build a narrative of sliding into other categories as well. Why else would/could/should Miyavi build steam in the Supporting race when a) he is entirely untested as an actor and b) the breadth his performance is entirely unseen.

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  38. Pete 11 months ago

    The folks who tout their “color-blind” bonafides the loudest often are the ones who say “yeah, but” whenever any aspect of black culture begins to gain critical acclaim.

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  39. Pete 11 months ago

    Benutty, I think the stuff with Bullock’s hubby happened after she won the Oscar.

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  40. benutty 11 months ago

    Pete, you’re right. My mistake. I must have rewritten that history in my head as a defensive mechanism for the anger I felt because of her win.

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  41. Pete 11 months ago

    A better criticism of Bullock’s win was the film’s profoundly offensive portrayal of the real life football player, turning him into a barely functional man child that makes Boo Radley look like Cary Grant in comparison.

    Bullock was the ultimate recipient of “middleweight actor is rewarded with Oscar for not peeing down their leg when forced to actually try and work outside of their comfort zone and ability” phenomenon. If not for her win, Mr. Jonah Hill would be the poster child for this.

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  42. Bryce Forestieri 11 months ago

    Has The New York Times apologized to Christopher Nolan?

    Have you?

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  43. lulu 11 months ago

    The race card lol, yes Black people are just so over represented, and over awarded in Hollywood, so isn’t why Viola Davis as big as a star and as awarded as say Meryl Streep or even a Nicole Kidman, and while I’m on my soap box, Fruitvale Station anyone? 12 Years a Slave was an amazing film period, if people are now on the back of that film’s success talking about race cards, they can waffle and whine all they want but all I hear is a person who has a problem with Black stories period.

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  44. Steven Kane 11 months ago

    “I think it’s honest to say that one of the reasons that Selma is in the Oscar conversation is Sasha and her bleeding-heart liberalism. that’s pushed it into the conversation That’s simply honest, in my opinion. That doesn’t mean she’s wrong. It also doesn’t mean she’s right. We’ll see.”

    Let me say this, Sasha is being very quiet on the movie considering how she’s championed other movies in the past dealing with race relations or that are female-centric. When The Butler came out it was all Butler. Same goes for 12 Years a Slave. And Gone Girl. But a bit ago I believe she stated that she was going to try and not overly hype a film she, or anyone, has not yet seen. I don’t want to misquote but I think that’s what she said. Either way, your comment is a bit off base. Plus if you knew Sasha you’d know she was one of Ava DuVernay’s biggest champions when Middle of Nowhere was screened and she fought the good fight until Oscar nomination morning so maybe one would expect her to hype up Selma, but this is mostly the readership talking about it. People are excited because we love the filmmaker, we love the lead actor and the subject matter carries a lot of weight.

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  45. rufussondheim 11 months ago

    If you are white and you don’t think you are racist, then please get and read this book (steal it if you have to). It will show you how racist you really are. It opened my eyes in so many ways how racism is so embedded in our society that we don’t see it even though it is staring us in the face.

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  46. rufussondheim 11 months ago

    No, don’t steal it. Kozol deserves the royalties. Trust me, it’s very likely that it will change your life.

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  47. Steven Kane 11 months ago

    Benutty, I think Firth would’ve been nominated, maybe even won the Oscar, even if he had won previously for A Single Man. King’s Speech was just too big a movie that was very crowd pleasing to be ignored in the acting categories. Plus he was far more sympathetic than Eisenberg’s portrayal of Zuckerberg. Was Firth good in King’s Speech? Yes. Was he better in A Single Man? Yes. Bullock won for The Blind Side and that was the most bullshit call. And yes the award came before the report on infidelity, or at least the public found out afterwards.

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  48. Steven Kane 11 months ago

    Thanks, Rufus!

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  49. benutty 11 months ago

    Steven, I don’t disagree with anything you’ve said. But as for A Single Man/The King’s Speech/Firth, I look at the narrative in hindsight differently than you do. It’s impossible to tell why anyone wins, but talking about our different POVs about it is why I come here!

    I tend to think the Academy subconsciously has a mission to justify nominations & wins with second nominations, as if to announce that they are in support of a particular actor and support their decision to have previously nominated or awarded them. Of course that demands that the actor comes up with a second performance worthy of the nomination. I don’t particularly find Bullock’s work in Gravity all that spectacular, but because the film hit on many levels it was fair game for the consensus to be that this was her performance that could justify (or perhaps rectify) her The Blind Side win–I’m not convinced that she would have gotten her first Oscar nomination for it if The Blind Side had never happened, and I’m not convinced that another never-nominated actress giving the same performance would have been nominated. Instead, because the performance was coming from a previous Oscar winner, viewers went into the film assessing the performance on its Oscar viability. Similarly, I think McConaughey will be nominated this year for a performance and role that would have otherwise been tossed aside if it wasn’t given by a previous winner. The same train of thought works with the “[insert actor name here] is due for a win” commentary. Could Julianne Moore deserve a win for Still Alice? Probably. But will the narrative be that she wins because she’s due? Probably. I think it’s generally accepted that Oscar voters take past nominations/losses into account when evaluating the “overdue” factor, but people seem hesitant to to accept that past nominations/wins might also be a factor in determining follow-up nominations or wins. In short, I think history does play a part in acting nominations and campaign narratives, acknowledged or not.

    To transition this comment into the topic at hand–Selma and American Sniper–I think Bradley Cooper is another example of the Academy anointing an actor with multiple nominations. I wouldn’t be surprised if the idea of nominating him three years in a row factors into a come-from-behind nomination for American Sniper.

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  50. Bryce Forestieri 11 months ago

    I just searched for “why they just didn’t send the robots?” on twitter, because masochist, etc.

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  51. Richard B 11 months ago

    I am excited about the premieres of both these movies, but I find some of these comments disgusting. Seriously not much better than Youtube.

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  52. julian the emperor 11 months ago

    “I don’t particularly find Bullock’s work in Gravity all that spectacular, but because the film hit on many levels it was fair game for the consensus to be that this was her performance that could justify (or perhaps rectify) her The Blind Side win–I’m not convinced that she would have gotten her first Oscar nomination for it if The Blind Side had never happened”

    I don’t believe this to be true for a minute. Bullock would have been a lock for a nomination no matter what. Is giving her a second nomination to show that her Oscar win wasn’t a fluke really a stronger impulse than rewarding a big movie star her first nomination on the back of a wildly dedicated performance in a movie that turned out to be a phenomenal success? I find it hard to believe that the first impulse overrides the second.

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  53. Bryce Forestieri 11 months ago

    Sandra Bullock performance was decidedly lauded out of the gate from Venice to Telluride to Toronto (from Tokyo to Timbuktu) as one of the highlights in Cuaron’s masterpiece, went on to receive an staggering amount of critics’ citations, was nominated from many other voting groups, and my parents’ lady neighbor told my ma’ that Bullock was “amazing” in the movie — so yeah, everyone must have been in the tank to justify that Academy BLIND SIDE debacle, it must have been on everyone’s mind. I can tell you, Sandy winning the goddamn Oscar for THE BLIND SIDE was all I could think about during GRAVITY.

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  54. Christophe 11 months ago

    I stand 100% behind Nick Johnson, Aragorn, K. Bowen… wink, wink!
    Oprah is an Oscar repeller so Selma has next to 0 chance to win anything though it could get nominated on a misunderstanding. One should never underestimate the power of the race card or the minority card for that matter, in extra-PC, would-be bleeding heart liberal Hollywood.
    Go Unbroken! A film about real heroes!

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  55. benutty 11 months ago

    Julian, what of the common lament that sci-fi films don’t yield acting nominations though? Is Sandra Bullock’s Gravity performance really the one sci-fi performance to rule them all? We can say it would have been a lock now, but that’s because it happened–perhaps if she had never been nominated for Gravity we would instead be saying there was no way she would ever get nominated using the sci-fi rule as our evidence.

    I used Bullock, based on my own opinion, as an example in a larger argument–that the Academy takes history into account when selecting nominations and wins. Do you think history plays a role? That’s the conversation I was hoping to explore.

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  56. benutty 11 months ago

    Bryce, I think you heard one thing in my comment and ran with it, but since you want to go there–can you address that I also said this in my comment: “viewers went into the film assessing the performance on its Oscar viability.” Whether that’s consciously or not, for me, doesn’t matter–I think that because Sandra had already won an Oscar every viewer approached her Gravity performance as they would any other Oscar winner’s performances–“will this, too, be Oscar worthy?” And, yes, my opinion is that such an approach colors the viewer’s reaction. It’s also part of my larger argument that when viewers have positive reactions to OTHER ASPECTS of films–in Gravity’s case, effects, cinematography, etc.–that it colors their perception of aspects that they’d otherwise find mediocre–like her performance.

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  57. Steven Kane 11 months ago

    Benutty, I’d say Sigourney Weaver in Alien is the one female sci-fi performance to rule them all, I’m only going off the top of my head. Only thing is Aliens is more creature-feature (not an insult). I’ll also give it to Bullock for Gravity or Naomi Watts for King Kong. As for men…that’s a tough one. I’m trying to consider between sci-fi as a whole and sci-fi that deals with space/planetary travel. I’d say the best is Sam Rockwell in Moon followed by Hugh Jackman in The Fountain. I may only be saying this because it’s fresh in my head but Matthew McConaughey in Interstellar would probably be 3rd. As for which character/actor is the most memorable in a sci-fi movie…I’d give it to Bill Paxton playing Hudson in Aliens. Almost everything he says and does in his Bill Paxton way is utterly memorable to me. I grew up on that movie.

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  58. Steven Kane 11 months ago

    Benutty, I think I know what you’re saying about prior Oscar wins. Once somebody gets nominated or wins people wonder, will it happen again? Jeff Bridges winning for Crazy Heart is something I believe was given to him because he was nominated so many other times before. That was a real talking point. Would Bullock still have been nominated if she hadn’t won previously, or even have been nominated, for Blind Side? I still think yes…because Gravity became too big and a performance that is so central to the film was bound to be acknowledged. Also critics wouldn’t have said, “Oscar winner does it again!” They’d be saying, “America’s sweetheart and Speed/While You Were Sleeping Star does something we’ve never, ever seen her do!” It’s more because she hadn’t given a performance like that and it really opened up everybody’s eyes that she was capable of reaching such depths.

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  59. benutty 11 months ago

    I can’t disagree with that argument, Steven, and in a way I agree with it because it still acknowledges that Bullock’s history as an actress would have factored into the narrative of her nomination. I still wonder though whether or not the sci-fi thing may have been a more significant hurdle–though, as I’ve pointed out many times in other threads, I think AMPAS has shown an ever-growing appreciation for sci-fi and fantasy films, due in large part for their ever-growing appreciation for effects-heavy films.

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  60. Christophe 11 months ago

    Keir Dullea – 2001: A Space Odyssey
    Richard Dreyfuss – Close Encounters of the third Kind
    Haley Joel Osment – A.I. Artificial Intelligence
    Harrison Ford – Blade Runner

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  61. Steven Kane 11 months ago

    Keir Dullea, went back and forth with him. His character is obviously a legend but in terms of range and depth I couldn’t pick him over others. I think Ford was better in Blade Runner than in almost anything else.

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  62. Aragorn 11 months ago

    I am sure Selma will be praised in this blog regardless of how good it is…a reason will be found to talk about it, probably “history making” is a very strong contendor as a reason. I even expect a long article on that. Meanwhile, Unbroken will be criticized left and right even for a minor reason…we will all live and see!

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  63. julian the emperor 11 months ago

    “Do you think history plays a role? That’s the conversation I was hoping to explore.”

    Ok, but you chose a poor example, then.

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  64. Paddy Mulholland 11 months ago

    How nice to note that as soon as a film about civil rights is mentioned on AD, a sweet, productive debate about race sparks up.

    lol jk you people…

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  65. jonny 11 months ago

    “I really hope the academy doesnt feel pressured into nominating Selma. Lets face it you all know what im talking about.”

    Let’s also hope the academy doesn’t ignore it because it’s about and credited by a black people…. Let’s face it you all know what I’m talking about. If you don’t look at the history of the academy.

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  66. Steve Schweighofer 11 months ago

    Well, naysayers and yeasayers – it’s appears, judging from the Twitterverse, that Ava has a homerun on her hands with Selma. Some of the highest praise I’ve seen and coming from diverse corners. That should be a stick-in-the-spokes for some.

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  67. Robert A. 11 months ago

    Steve, I just came to say the same thing about the Twitter responses to Selma. NOT that we should place too much emphasis on Twitter reaction–they tend to lean toward hyperbole, as over-the-top reactions to Interstellar and Les Mis will remind us. The real test will be when the film gets widely reviewed by critics. With all that said, I’m optimistic about Selma’s chances now. At the very least, I expect David Oyelowo to make a dent in the Best Actor race.

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  68. Bob Burns 11 months ago

    this is what it looks like when white boys play the race card.

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  69. Jeremy C. 11 months ago

    I’m seeing rave reviews for Selma after it screened at AFI fest. Variety says a Best Picture nod is “a certainty.” Now I’m even more excited to see it.

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  70. jonny 11 months ago

    “DuVernay’s earlier films such as Middle of Nowhere have been intimate dramas. So this epic tale with a large cast of characters and violent confrontation scenes represents a departure for the director. Yet the strength of the film is the sense of proportion that DuVernay demonstrates. In a season of so many bloated, overlong films, this two-hour recreation of a few crucial months in 1965 seems just the right length. Intelligently written, vividly shot, tightly edited, sharply acted, the film represents a rare example of craftsmanship working to produce a deeply moving piece of history.” – The Hollywood Reporter

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  71. Aaron B 11 months ago

    It actually looks like both “Selma” and “American Sniper” seem to be getting raves coming out of the gate. Could cause a major shakeup.

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  72. benutty 11 months ago

    The good reactions for both Selma and American Sniper don’t bode well for Unbroken IMO. Reviewers now have their late-breaking game-changers in their hands and the only narrative they have left to tell for Unbroken is how disappointing it will be.

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  73. Free 11 months ago

    Both films, as Scott Feinberg suggests, have injected some adrenaline into the Oscar race. Thank god, because this year has certainly been no 2013.

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  74. Robert A. 11 months ago

    Two reviews of Selma up on Metacritic so far, one from The Hollywood Reporter and the other from The Wrap. Both 100.

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  75. Robert A. 11 months ago

    In contrast, American Sniper has six reviews on Metacritic so far, and its score is at 63. Four positive reviews, two mixed. Highest individual score of 80.

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  76. julian the emperor 11 months ago

    “The good reactions for both Selma and American Sniper don’t bode well for Unbroken IMO. Reviewers now have their late-breaking game-changers in their hands and the only narrative they have left to tell for Unbroken is how disappointing it will be.”

    Benutty, I actually agree with you on that one. It’s an interesting perspective anyway. Something’s gotta give. And I think, if Selma succeeds in convincing the media that this is it, Unbroken could easily get swept by the wayside. American Sniper, though? DOA.
    But thank god for Selma, if the early word is to be trusted, because we need some injection of fresh blood to this years’ race right about now. Otherwise it will be too easy for the Boyhood narrative to crush everyone in sight. ( and this is coming from someone who has Boyhood as his favorite movie of the year so far).

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  77. benutty 11 months ago

    Yeah, Julian, I think Selma and American Sniper both added some much needed flavor into the race. Selma is looking really, really good now and I think Unbroken is still positioned as its biggest competitor, if only just because they both have the “female director” narrative to tell.

    American Sniper doesn’t seem DOA to me. Where I think it misses the mark is due in large part to its unlikely screening placement immediately after Selma, which most of the same journalists saw. It’s hard to follow a film about one of our greatest civil rights leader with a decidedly conservative-leaning film–it causes thematic comparisons that may not otherwise come up in different circumstances. It also doesn’t help that everyone loved Selma and then had to sit through something even remotely less enthralling than it. I think we may see impressions of American Sniper improve as more people screen it independent of anything else.

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