Links to results in 10 major categories after the cut.
Seeking to be less predictable, the BAFTAs this year decided to forego the longstanding 2-step nomination process with their famously fascinating long list that always preceded the final short list. Unpredictable means more room for unexpected surprises but it’s also less transparent. The Oscars and BAFTAs are both flying blind this year. You can achieve the same exciting sensation in your car if you fog up the windshield, drain your brake fluid, then take down all the road signs and guardrails on the highway. Who knows what unpredictable accidents might happen! Buckle up! The new ballot procedure throws all our prediction models into disarray as well. Since the voting is so radically different this year, all the trusty historical precedents have been thrown out the window.
- ARGO Grant Heslov, Ben Affleck, George Clooney
- LES MISÉRABLES Tim Bevan, Eric Fellner, Debra Hayward, Cameron Mackintosh
- LIFE OF PI Gil Netter, Ang Lee, David Womark
- LINCOLN Steven Spielberg, Kathleen Kennedy
- ZERO DARK THIRTY Mark Boal, Kathryn Bigelow, Megan Ellison
OUTSTANDING BRITISH FILM
- ANNA KARENINA Joe Wright, Tim Bevan, Eric Fellner, Paul Webster, Tom Stoppard
- THE BEST EXOTIC MARIGOLD HOTEL John Madden, Graham Broadbent, Pete Czernin, Ol Parker
- LES MISÉRABLES Tom Hooper, Tim Bevan, Eric Fellner, Debra Hayward, Cameron Mackintosh, William Nicholson, Alain Boublil, Claude-Michel Schönberg, Herbert Kretzmer
- SEVEN PSYCHOPATHS Martin McDonagh, Graham Broadbent, Pete Czernin
- SKYFALL Sam Mendes, Michael G. Wilson, Barbara Broccoli, Neal Purvis, Robert Wade, John Logan
Cinema Audio Society Sound Mixing Noms
Motion Pictures – Live Action:
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
Zero Dark Thirty
WHO: Presenters include: Nicole Kidman, Bryan Cranston, Jennifer Garner, L.L. Cool J, Jonah Hill, Kerry Washington, Jessica Alba, Damian Lewis, Julianna Margulies, Quentin Tarantino, Robert Rodriguez, Marlo Thomas, Chris Tucker, and more. The Producers Guild will pay tribute to several individual honorees including Bob and Harvey Weinstein (Milestone Award), Tim Bevan and Eric Fellner (David O. Selznick Achievement Award in Theatrical Motion Pictures), J.J. Abrams (Norman Lear Achievement Award in Television), Russell Simmons (Visionary Award), and the producers of BULLY (Stanley Kramer Award).
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Since Christmas falls on Tuesday this year, the usual sources of box-office savvy have been more cautious with forthcoming weekend predictions and it’s not easy to find estimates for the weeklong haul. Nikki Finke is down sick (get well soon!) so we don’t have the benefit of the inside track she taps for ticket-sales estimates. Although a holiday release holds hugely important financial potential, historically actual Christmas Day earnings don’t come close to Friday openings for summer blockbusters — which can top $70 million in a single day. On Dec 15th The Hobbit broke the record for a December Friday with $37M. Business Week has put together a list of the Top 10 Christmas Day opening and the numbers surprised me as much as some of the titles.
1. Sherlock Holmes (2009): $24.6 million
2. Marley and Me (2008): $14.4 million
3. The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2008): $11.9 million
4. Bedtime Stories (2008): $10.6 million (*groan*)
5. Ali (2001): $10.2 million
6. Catch Me If You Can (2002): $9.9 million
7. Aliens Vs. Predator — Requiem (2007): $9.5 million
8. Dreamgirls (2006): $8.7 million
9. Valkyrie (2008): $8.5 million
10. Patch Adams (1998): $8.1 million
The Dreamgirls figure is especially pertinent to this year’s expectations. I’ve heard teeth-gnashing reports that theaters in Manhattan screening Les Mis were already sold out hours ago for today’s showtimes. You’d have to kill someone to get a seat to Les Mis. (Email me for a hit list). It’s no backhanded compliment to say Les Mis could beat Marley and Me and clock in today with a Christmas opening north of $15M.
What are your predictions for the Top 5 earners this Christmas? My guesses after the cut.
Who knew the wicked witch was once such a saucy wench? How Green Was My Valley. Boomstick to the Big O, after the cut.
The films, listed in alphabetical order by country, are:
- Austria, “Amour,” Michael Haneke, director
- Canada, “War Witch,” Kim Nguyen, director
- Chile, “No,” Pablo Larraín, director
- Denmark, “A Royal Affair,” Nikolaj Arcel, director
- France, “The Intouchables,” Olivier Nakache and Eric Toledano, directors
- Iceland, “The Deep,” Baltasar Kormákur, director
- Norway, “Kon-Tiki,” Joachim Rønning and Espen Sandberg, directors
- Romania, “Beyond the Hills,” Cristian Mungiu, director
- Switzerland, “Sister,” Ursula Meier, director
Of all the names in Tom Hooper’s upcoming adaptation of the beloved stage musical Les Misérables, the one casual fans might not recognize right away is that of Samantha Barks who plays Eponine. Though the 22-year-old has plenty of experience on stage in England, she’s not yet a household name in the United States. That’s probably all going to change when the film opens on Christmas Day.
Growing up on the tiny Isle of Man, Barks followed her musical theater dreams to London when she was just 16. There she appeared on the BBC talent show I’d Do Anything in the hope of winning a part as Nancy in the West End revival of the stage musical Oliver!. Coming in third, Ms. Barks left quite an impression on producer Cameron Mackintosh and on Andrew Lloyd Weber. From there, she won the lead role of Sally Bowles lead in a touring production Cabaret. After that, she spent a year playing Eponine on stage and then appeared in the Les Misérables 25th Anniversary Concert in 2010. In 2011 she finally got her chance to play Nancy in Oliver! and it was then that she found out from producer Mackintosh that she’d won the part of Eponine in Hooper’s film, a part she’d dreamt of playing since she was a little girl.
I spoke to Samantha a few weeks back when she was in Los Angeles promoting the film. The nice thing about talking to her is that she’s still relatively new to the whole press tour game. She’s still excited and fresh and unguarded. Unlike many stars who’ve been at this a long time, she doesn’t come across as jaded or overly coached. A fast talker, she’s open and honest and she’s got an infectious enthusiasm.
Ben Affleck was in Washington D.C. today to testify before the House Armed Services Committee about security in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The issue is close to Affleck, who founded the Eastern Congo Initiative, a charity organization benefiting the African nation. Salon assists in spreading a rumor said to be spreading:
Rumors are spreading around Capitol Hill and elsewhere that actor-director Ben Affleck might be considering a Senate run for Massachusetts. Politico notes that Affleck, who was in D.C. today to speak for more U.S. involvement in Eastern Congo, was also scheduled to meet with other lawmakers, including Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.),”who is widely believed to be replacing Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State.”
Best Film: Zero Dark Thirty (Kathryn Bigelow)
Best Director: Paul Thomas Anderson, The Master
Best Actor: Joaquin Phoenix, The Master
Best Actress: Jennifer Lawrence, Silver Linings Playbook
Best Supporting Actor: Christoph Waltz, Django Unchained
Best Supporting Actress: Anne Hathaway, Les Misérables
The nominations in full:
The Sky Movies Award: FILM OF THE YEAR
Beasts of the Southern Wild (StudioCanal)
Life of Pi (Fox)
The Master (Entertainment)
FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM OF THE YEAR
Amour (Artificial Eye)
Holy Motors (Artificial Eye)
Once Upon a Time in Anatolia (New Wave)
Rust and Bone (StudioCanal)
Tabu (New Wave)
Life of Pi
Zero Dark Thirty
Beasts of the Southern Wild / Moonrise Kingdom
Silver Linings Playbook
(I’m going to guess that the slide-show represents Sharkey’s choices since it’s the only part of the article presenting an organized collection of titles with descriptions written in the form of tributes. But the headline disagrees, naming The Master as well. So we’ll list the 10 movies Sharkey talks about in the body of her article after the cut).
Houston – The Houston Film Critics Society proudly announces its nominees for the 6th Annual HFCS Awards celebrating the best of film for 2012. This year’s nominees are led by “Lincoln” with eight nominations and followed by “Les Misérables” and “The Master” with six nominations apiece.
- Argo, Warner Bros. (produced by Ben Affleck, George Clooney, Grant Heslov)
- Beasts of the Southern Wild, Fox Searchlight (produced by Josh Penn, Dan Janey, Michael Gottwald)
- Cloud Atlas, Warner Bros. (produced by Grant Hill, Stefan Arndt, Tom Tykwer, and Andy & Lana Wachowski)
- Django Unchained, The Weinstein Company (produced by Reginald Hudlin, Stacy Sher, Pilar Savone)
- Lincoln, DreamWorks (produced by Steven Spielberg, Kathleen Kennedy)
- The Master, The Weinstein Company (produced by Paul Thomas Anderson, Megan Ellison, Daniel Lupi, JoAnne Sellar)
- Les Miserables, Universal (produced by Tim Bevan, Eric Fellner, Debra Hayward, Cameron Mackintosh)
- Moonrise Kingdom, Focus Features (produced by Jeremy Dawson, Scott Rudin, Wes Anderson, Steven M. Rales)
- Silver Linings Playbook, The Weinstein Company (produced by Bruce Cohen, Donna Gigliotti)
- Zero Dark Thirty, Columbia (produced by Kathryn Bigelow, Colin Wilson, Greg Shapiro, Ted Schipper, Megan Ellison)
Ben Affleck, Argo
Kathryn Bigelow, Zero Dark Thirty
Tom Hooper, Les Misérables
Steven Spielberg, Lincoln
Quentin Tarantino, Django Unchained
And then in alphabetical order:
The Dark Knight Rises
The Gatekeepers + The Law In These Parts
Rust and Bone
Silver Linings Playbook
Middle of Nowhere + Robot & Frank + Safety Not Guaranteed
Zero Dark Thirty
–Special pick – The Deep Blue SeaD
BEVERLY HILLS, CA – One hundred four scores from eligible feature-length motion pictures released in 2012 are in contention for nominations in the Original Score category for the 85th Academy Awards®, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced today.
The eligible scores along with their composers are listed below in alphabetical order by film title:
“Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter,” Henry Jackman, composer
“After the Wizard,” Stephen Main, composer
“Alex Cross,” John Debney and Sebastian Morton, composers
“The Amazing Spider-Man,” James Horner, composer
“Anna Karenina,” Dario Marianelli, composer
“Argo,” Alexandre Desplat, composer
“Battleship,” Steve Jablonsky, composer
“The Bay,” Marcelo Zarvos, composer
“Beasts of the Southern Wild,” Dan Romer and Benh Zeitlin, composers
“Being Flynn,” Damon Gough, composer
“The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel,” Thomas Newman, composer
“Big Miracle,” Cliff Eidelman, composer
“Booker’s Place: A Mississippi Story,” David Cieri, composer
“Brave,” Patrick Doyle, composer
Lumenick and Smith face off with dueling top 10 lists and briefly bicker about their choices at The New York Post.