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The State of the Race: In Gods we Trust (and Giveaway)

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[details at the bottom of the post] “They had mocked him through his misery and remorse, mocked him with how hideous a note of cynical derision! Fiendishly laughing, they had insisted on the low squalor, the nauseous ugliness of the nightmare. Now, suddenly, they trumpeted a call to arms. ‘O brave new world!’ Miranda was proclaiming the possibility of loveliness, the possibility of transforming even the nightmare into something fine…

Oscars 2012: The Adapted Screenplays

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Recently, I was lucky enough to be invited on NPR to talk about the adapted screenplay race. It surprised host Rachel Martin that the screenplay race, it turned out, wasn’t so much about the individual screenplays as it was about the Best Picture category. This is probably the hardest thing to grasp about the way Oscars vote. Everybody votes for everything when it comes to picking the winners in the…

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Oscar Predictions: You Don’t Need a Weatherman to Know Which Way the Wind Blows

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Back in 1999, when Oscarwatch.com first began, the highest of priorities was to correctly predict the Oscar race.  There was only one other site, for the most part, that predicted the Oscars – Tom O’Neil’s GoldDerby.com.    Tom’s site collected mostly film critics who lined up to give their Oscar predictions every year.  The LA Times did theirs, with the help of Kenneth Turan, and no doubt the lot of…

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The Descendants Poised to Upset in Best Picture?

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There are few movies that feel like they could give The Artist some heat: Hugo and The Descendants.  Perhaps, as many a Tweeter will tell you, “it’s been The Artist since Cannes.” And okay, fine.  Maybe.  What makes The Artist such a threat? It is loved by many, hated by few.  Almost every other film in the race has its haters.  But how can you hate The Artist? It’s like…

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The State of the Race: Of Bridesmaids and Dragon Tattoos – Year of the Woman or Just Another Year?

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  It was hard not to notice Robin Wright at the Critics Choice awards, striding out onto the stage with her still impossibly youthful legs, and announcing that 2011 was the Year of the Woman.  She referenced Bridesmaids and Dragon Tattoos, probably because she couldn’t say housemaids.   Either way, Bridesmaids, The Help and The Girl with Dragon Tattoo have reinvented what defines a hit and what defines an “Oscar movie.”…

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The State of the Race: DGA Fallout – And Yeah, David Fincher

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It’s been a funny year for Oscar movies. The trial separation between critics and the industry has widened to a full blown divorce. The Artist and Moneyball are heading down the track to Oscar’s Best Picture with the most outstanding response from critics. Decent reviews have befallen most of the other top films, but only those two received near universal acclaim. It isn’t that the critics didn’t love any movies,…

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DGA Nominations – Fincher in!

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WOODY ALLEN Midnight in Paris (Sony Pictures Classics) DAVID FINCHER The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo (Columbia Pictures, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures) MICHEL HAZANAVICIUS The Artist (The Weinstein Company) ALEXANDER PAYNE The Descendants (Fox Searchlight Pictures) MARTIN SCORSESE Hugo (Paramount Pictures) WOW!

past is future

The State of the Race: The Changing of the Guard

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As I re-watched Avatar last night, or tried to, I was thinking about the future of cinema. I was thinking about how hard it is to sell dramas now to the general public. I was thinking about the Academy, and how difficult it must be for them to evolve out of the old way of presenting films to the new way they will be sold from now on. The only…

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Fincher’s Dragon Tattoo: What it Feels Like for a Girl

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Men Who Hate Women. That’s what Stieg Larsson called his book, which then became The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. To know this story is to know Larsson. If you forget about him, the key to this story is lost. The story is about men who hate women and the women who fight back. Larsson was a bit of a hero in this and other battles he personally fought throughout…

actresses

Trouble in Mind – Diving Down Deep with Best Actress

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  Three of the year’s strongest female performances threaten convention, the one that says females are usually cast as supporting, loving, noble characters who give of themselves in the service of the male lead.  It’s not always the case, especially not so in the Best Actress race; what better way to get attention from Oscar voters than to go dark. But in a year of such uplifting, feelgood films with…