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Category : State of the Race


Boyhood Becomes Among Best Reviewed Films of All Time, Takes Lead in Best Picture Race

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The Oscar race has nowhere near begun. But if you’re hunting around for a frontrunner, look no further than Richard Linklater’s Boyhood. 12 years in the making, with a 99 score on Metacritic – that has to be among the highest of all time on the site, behind mostly classics. Even Slant Magazine and Stephanie Zacharek loved the movie. That means not just Boyhood wowing critics, but it will fit…


The State of the Race: Will Best Picture Ever Be More or Less Than Nine?

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As we head into another Oscar year we are once again faced with nine Best Picture nominees. We all know it will be nine because ever since the Academy changed their rules from Best Picture from five to ten and then from ten to an arbitrary number between 5 and 9 it has been nine – for three consecutive years. That’s because there are so many good movies every year…


The State of the Race: The Ghost of Roger Ebert, The Future of Film

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Roger Ebert silently presides over these proceedings here at Cannes. He’s long gone from this physical world but his legacy steadfastly endures — especially this year, partly due to the documentary of his biography “Life Itself,” playing to rapturous reviews here at Cannes, and partly from the presence of Ebert’s wife Chaz, a vital force for film criticism here at Cannes, and online as she continues to run the website,…


The State of the Race: What We Can Learn from Cannes So Far

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It’s best not to think about the Oscar race when in Cannes. Why would you? The two competitions are worlds away from one another and vive la difference. Yesterday’s press luncheon for the Weinstein Co. brought the topic of Oscars to the forefront, however, and it’s never too early to take a look at the way things might be changing at this stage of the game, for better or worse….


The State of the Race: Where the Oscars Go when Television Starts to Lead

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The times, they are changing.  When True Detective aired, the buzz caught on slowly.  Folks were watching it but they weren’t really REALLY watching it. Around the time of episode 4 that started to change. Suddenly, the obsession ballooned to consume a global audience. How people watched, how they accessed it, varied. The incentive was there to seek it out by whatever means necessary.  By the end of the series,…

Composite of images from American Hustle and 12 Years a Slave

The State of the Race: Down to the Wire, Best Picture Still Set on Telluride Time

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  The Gurus of Gold have been asked for the top three in all of the major categories.  How much has changed since September? Not a lot. If either 12 Years a Slave or Gravity win Best Picture, that continues the streak of the winning films getting their launch at the Telluride Film Festival, or more specifically, September or earlier.  This trend is a recent phenomenon, one that seems to…

Tom Hanks

The State of the Race: The Eddie Keeps the Race Wide Open – Enter Captain Phillips

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Last night in the Arlington theater I sat next to the Hollywood Reporter’s Scott Feinberg. We were talking Best Picture. “Virtually any movie can win,” he said. “In the era of the preferential ballot we have no idea how the votes will go down.” With ten slots, coming out of a year when the Best Director category played no part in the outcome of the race, it’s true that looking…


The State of the Race: Academy’s Choice Embrace the Future or Redefine the Past

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“Change will not come if we wait for some other person, or if we wait for some other time. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.” ― Barack Obama There are many ways to interpret the upcoming choice for Best Picture the Academy will be making. On the one hand, the future could be defined as the sound of many doors unlocking…


The State of the Race: The Stuff that Dreams are Made On

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“We are such stuff as dreams are made on, and our little life is rounded with a sleep.” Oscar ballots don’t go out until February 14th. That’s two whole weeks of madness that might occur just as ballots are sailing out to voters’ mailboxes. It’s too quiet. This is the calm before the storm, the moment just before the dirty work begins. Remember last year’s congressman debacle where he called…


The State of the Race: Guilds Split Three Ways, Gravity has Edge

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For the first time since the Academy expanded the Best Picture race to more than 5 nominees, the industry seems divided between three strong films. The actors branch clearly loves David O. Russell’s American Hustle, giving it nominations in all four acting categories, plus the SAG ensemble win. The directors and the producers have put their might behind Alfonso Cuaron’s Gravity. Finally, 12 Years a Slave, the underdog in this…