Silver Linings Playbook Wins Hampton’s, Three for Three for TWC

http://www.awardsdaily.com/blog/silver-linings-playbook-wins-hamptons-three-for-three-for-twc/

Prior to 2009, the Hampton’s International Film Festival’s audience award went to films no one has ever heard of. But in 2009 Young Victoria won. It was being heavily pushed for the Oscar race, and most especially for its star, Emily Blunt. It got nowhere but that put the Hampton’s Fest on the map.  The next year, the King’s Speech won, the following year, The Artist won and this year? The Silver Linings Playbook.

1993 – The Flight of the Innocent
1994 – The Last Good Time
1996 –  Alive and Kicking
1997 – The Cyclone and Love Can Seriously Damage Your Health
1998 – The Tic Code
1999 – Train of Life
2000 – Fresh Cut Grass
2001 – Italian for Beginners (great movie, zero Oscar nods)
2002 – Nowhere in Africa (went on to win the Oscar for Foreign Language)
2003 – Spinning Boris
2004 – The Breakup Artist
2005 – Sweet Land, and Sophie Scholl: The Final Days (Oscar nom for Foreign Language)
2006 – Emma’s Bliss
2007 – 4 Minutes
2008 – Troubled Water, and The Pig
2009 – The Young Victoria
2010 – The King’s Speech
2011 – The Artist
2012 – The Silver Linings Playbook

Indeed, this slate represents a cavalcade of WTF until 2009.   There is probably a discussion to be had about how the Oscar race can clear crop many of these smaller fests from awarding films that come out of nowhere.  I don’t know if it’s better for a fest to be a stepping stone in the Oscar race or not. Does it make it more high-profile, as it has the Telluride Film Fest? Is this what little festivals aim for? Or do they want to be kept smaller and more authentic? It’s hard to say.

But the fact remains that it’s a three-fer for The Weinstein Co with The Hampton’s International Film Fest and the Toronto Audience awards.

Both The King’s Speech and Silver Linings have now won both Hampton’s and the People’s Choice award in Toronto. The Artist did not win.  Naturally, this will kick Silver Linings right to the top of most people’s lists. That Dave Karger and Steve Pond have it at number one is a replay of the last two years — thus your safe bet is to predict Silver Linings Playbook to take all. But there are significant differences between the three films and if you can figure out what makes two of three of them different you win this round.

Two out of three of them deal with a physical disability – one is a stutter, the other is bi-polar disorder.  All three of them are about a man being supported by a woman and that man succeeding in the end.  But there are definitely some major differences.  Can you spot them?

 

48 Comment

  1. ‘Nowhere in Africa’ went on to win the Foreign Language Oscar. But I think your basic point still stands.

  2. Thanks Steve!

  3. Haven’t seen SLP but I’ll say it’s not period, it’s not European, it’s not historical fiction in any sense, it’s also not by a director who was completely unknown to the Academy (though you’d think that would help)…uh does it have a big finish where our hero performs something that no one knew he could do and redeems himself and our faith in humanity? (don’t answer that I wanna enjoy the damn film)

  4. “some major differences. Can you spot them?”

    Only one headlines the hottest actress of the year with the so-called “sexiest man alive” – could end up the biggest of the three at the BO.

  5. So was there any other film in competition that’s in the Oscar race?

    I understand that the last two winners here went on to win the Oscar, but did either of them beat any heavy hitters either?

    If they all beat nobody then I see that is a non-story, well except that Harvey Weinstein wants to, for some reason, get these wins? Maybe he wants to raise the profile of this film festival, maybe he knows the organizer. I don’t know. But until then I don’t see how this win means anything.

  6. not wondering last 3 winners are from Weinsten.

  7. Ruffus, Argo was in competition.

    I think the main differences here are A. SLP is not a period film and B. This year is incredibly strong.

    SLP is one of the three films already seen this year so far that can possibly win. Along with Argo and Life of Pi. I still have those two ahead of SLP at the moment. Argo has political relevance on it’s side and Life of Pi has the added advantage of being a tear jerker. The Academy loves to vote for films that make them cry.
    Any of the three definately has a chance though. (along with any still unseen contenders)

  8. From its trailer, Life of Pi is a Bollywood cluster-f. A great heaping helping of mess-a-palooza which is getting Oscar buzz solely because of its director and nothing more. It shouldn’t even be in the mix. What needs to happen is for critics and voters to chuck their Swinestein-colored glasses and realize they need to be edged more toward the main highway. It’s been a lonely past-5-year trip off the beaten path with Oscar’s BP winners.

  9. Paul H, from the trailer you have decided it’s not worthy? I also sense an undercurrent if racism. Typical you…

    Can you just once in your life see a movie before you decide if it should be nominated?

  10. im excited for this movie. It doesnt seem to be a BP winner but it should get the major category nods.

    And I feel like every year since 08, the Academy throws in a surprise nominee in the BP race, The Reader, The Blind Side, Winters Bone, and then Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close. What is it this year, if there even is one? Im thinking Amour, Beasts of the Southern Wild, Cloud Atlas, or Anna Karenina, or The Hobbit(if ppl arent calling it a lock when its released)?? Even TDKR which i think might be a lock, could pop up on that screen and surprise you guys who doubt it.

  11. Beasts of the Southern Wild is a lock. TDKR isn’t happening. Sorry

  12. Argo isn’t winning. Argo is the vanilla crowd pleaser ala Moneyball. SLP is in the best possible spot right now. Idk about Life of Pi.

    As of right now, I see Lincoln sweeping. :P

  13. You have to wonder if PaulH has ever even seen a Bollywood flick if he thinks Life of Pi is in that genre.

    The other movie, besides The Dark Knight Rises, that people need to start accepting won’t get nominated for Best Pic is The Master. It’s terribly poor box office for something that high profile shows that it’s being rejected by mainstream audiences. I think as time passes Academy Members who love The Master will instead choose to back another film that’s newer and shinier. My money is on Django Unchained.

    Django Unchained is the forgotten film here. No one seems to talk about it. There’s virtually no promotion. And yet, there it sits with a Christmas Release. Now, I realize that not all high profile Christmas Releases are Oscar worthy (I recall a huge marketing effort behind Jane Fonda in The Morning After back in the mid-80′s) but this one seems, well, different.

    It’s a Weinstein back flicked. Weinstein pushed up The Master to make room for Silver Linings to be the talk of the town in October/November. And he left Django sitting there primed for a Million Dollar Baby type late entry. Maybe Django wasn’t going to be ready for an early release, I don’t know.

    But I have to think Harvey would put the better of the two options between Django and The Master later in the year. Because I think if The Master would have gotten a December release, it would have gotten a lot of end of year critical buzz from certain factions and that would have carried it to a nomination. I think Harvey is hoping that Django will get that critical/intellectual/postmodern niche.

  14. This would be my top 10 if some fool at Gurus of Gold asked my opinion.

    1) Les Miz
    2) Silver Linings Playbook
    3) Life of Pi
    4) Zero Dark Thirty
    5) Argo
    6) Django Unchained
    7) Lincoln
    8) Beasts of the Southern Wild
    9) The Impossible
    10) Cloud Atlas

    I just think Cloud Atlas has the potential to be that divisive crazy audacious messy experience that a small segment of the population will just go bonkers for. 5%, that’s all it needs. I have no idea if it gets there, but it’s my pick for a surprise nomination at this point.

    I think The Impossible will tap into a certain segment of voters that supported Extremely Loud last year, but this looks like it’s a better flick. If there wasn’t so much competition this year I would think it might almost be a lock.

    And I might be totally off the mark on Lincoln here. But I just don’t think it’s happening. I guess I will find out soon if I am wrong. I hope I’m wrong. I’d love this to be a passionate but accurate rendering of a crucial moment in American History. That’s a genre of film that’s underserved. So when a major filmmaker makes a film of that genre, I hope it’s a critical and commercial success.

  15. Jennifer Lawrence and Silver Linings will be BIG winners at the Oscars next year. Mark my words.

  16. Duck Soup, I don’t really see see the comparison between Argo and Moneyball.

  17. The other movie, besides The Dark Knight Rises, that people need to start accepting won’t get nominated for Best Pic is The Master. It’s terribly poor box office for something that high profile shows that it’s being rejected by mainstream audiences.

    I just think Cloud Atlas has the potential to be that divisive crazy audacious messy experience that a small segment of the population will just go bonkers for. 5%, that’s all it needs.

    Now, come on. Mainstream audiences may be rejecting The Master, but there’s precedent for films like The Master being nominated for Best Picture. The response to Cloud Atlas has been divisive, yes, but the negative responses have, thus far at least, outweighed the positive ones both in volume and in fervency. And mainstream audiences rejected The Hurt Locker anyway; The Master will surely close above THL’s $17mil, and has that opening weekend per-theatre average record under its belt too. Mainstream audiences are going to reject Cloud Atlas as the critics have already. So maybe The Master won’t be nominated, but neither will Cloud Atlas.

  18. (Life of Pi) “getting Oscar buzz solely because of its director and nothing more.”

    Not true. Critical raves and the fact that it’s based on an acclaimed book add to the buzz. The “bollywood” remark is just ignorant.

    I’m guessing SLP, Pi and Argo are the only sure things right now. Les Mis and Lincoln are highly likely – even if they tank, they have enough anticipation built in to make the slot.

    The scramble is for the edgier entries. I wouldn’t be surprised if Beasts, Master, Django, Zero Dark Thirty made the list, but I would be equally un-surprised if they didn’t.

    What will surprise me, given this combination of 5 strong commercial films and 6 – 8 less commercial entries, will be if there are 10 nominees. I’m guessing 6 or 7. Support for the majority of the field is scattered and doesn’t have one or two champions to get behind, like last year. If Drive and TGWTDT could not make the cut in a weaker year, it doesn’t look good for the majority of artier entries this year.

  19. I have trouble believing that The Master would not get nominated. Actors (add directors and writers) support alone should be enough. Three actors nearly locked for a nomination here (one of them a near-winner). With nearly – or exactly – ten nominees it should not be a problem.

    According to Oscar predix, PTA is still a slight frontrunner to WIN director. And if there is a split, he will win. I don’t see the film winning, though. We seem to wish for a split every year, but this time it might actually happen :)

    As for TDKR, it will probably snatch 6 or 7 “technical” nominations and that could materialise into BP nomination. I am not throwing it away just yet, but I do know that it has obstacles that need WB to really push it.

    After mid-November there’s no use of changing your predictions (that is when I get the most accurate results), so we are close. Right now, my ten films are (in order of likelyhood):

    1) Lincoln
    2) Les Misérables
    3) Argo
    4) Silver Linings Playbook
    5) The Master
    6) Life of Pi
    7) Beasts of the Southern Wild
    8) The Dark Knight Rises
    9) Amour
    10) Hitchcock

  20. “We seem to wish for a split every year, but this time it might actually happen.”

    I hope you are right, Tero, but if they bypassed Fincher for his work on the best-reviewed film of a couple years ago, I don’t see that happening for PTA for what is a far more divisive film. I’d cheer if it happened, though.

    I don’t see any of the summer blockbusters in the major races. They were great and hugely successful, but will be forgotten when the voters start noticing the unusually large selection of newer, shinier fare.

    Lincoln and Les Mis have the benefit of being the only entries in their genre as well as a massive amount of buzz due to their scope and pedigree.

    The faction that got behind TOL, a massive critical winner last year, has their attentions scattered among several films this time. Unless one or two of them come up critical champions at awards time, it will be a rough road. Critics seem to appreciate the mainstream (SLP, Argo, Pi) more than they have in the past and this will take fuel away from the rest of the field. If any one of those three (SLP, Argo or Pi) take the NY or LA critics prize, it’s over for films like The Master and Beasts; hence a list of 6 or 7 finalists.

  21. Did Harvey really win these last three years or did he *buy* the last three years…?

  22. Quirky Bradley Cooper. Deadpan Jennifer Lawrence. Forgive me if I don’t jump for joy.

    This looks like nothing more than an indie version of “As Good As It Gets.”

    Cutesy, eccentric, beahvior in indie love stories is just another cliche.

  23. Paddy Mulholland: “The response to Cloud Atlas has been divisive, yes, but the negative responses have, thus far at least, outweighed the positive ones both in volume and in fervency.”

    I wonder how you come to that conclusion? “Cloud Atlas” stands at 78% at Rotten Tomatoes and got standing ovations at the Fantastic Fest (granted, not exactly an audience that´s similar to the Academy, but still …). For me “Cloud Atlas” is an option for the Best Picture Race. Not a very probable one, but still an option.

    And “The Master” is a lock.

  24. Did Harvey really win these last three years or did he *buy* the last three years…?

    Funnily enough, he definitely did not buy them. Every studio floods the race with money. But Weinstein Co. truly gets there for choosing movies people can’t resist. They must appear like underdogs – both The King’s Speech and The Artist had underdog cred heading into the race – oops this might be my next column. At any rate, I don’t think it’s about buying — it’s about being smart about how people vote.

  25. Argo isn’t winning. Argo is the vanilla crowd pleaser ala Moneyball. SLP is in the best possible spot right now. Idk about Life of Pi.

    Have you seen Silver Linings Playbook? Because I would agree with you if you haven’t seen these three movies that is how it looks. Argo is not quite Moneyball because if you recall they lose at the end of Moneyball. But I hear what you’re saying. I think Argo has a bit more going for it than that. A better comparison is Michael Clayton or Good Night and Good Luck. SLP appears to be your typical Oscar winner except that it’s a romantic comedy. It’s not a period piece. And not a lot is at stake except these two people getting together. It’s Moonstruck or As Good as it Gets — but David O. Russell style. If As Good as it Gets couldn’t win Best Pic…

  26. From its trailer, Life of Pi is a Bollywood cluster-f. A great heaping helping of mess-a-palooza which is getting Oscar buzz solely because of its director and nothing more.

    The same thing might have been said about Slumdog Millionaire. And it wouldn’t be the first film either in the Oscar race at all or winning the Oscar race that was based solely on its director. Moreover, it is a spiritual journey — yes, it probably will play well in India and everywhere else in the world, which is really how you sell movies now. The universality of them is important.

  27. I think the main differences here are A. SLP is not a period film and B. This year is incredibly strong.

    The first is right. It’s not a period film so no tech nods like The King’s Speech and the Artist got. You have nominations for – picture, director, screenplay, actress, maybe actor, maybe supporting actor but beyond that? If they really love it, editing.

    2010 was also incredibly strong. 2011 not so much. But The Artist is a much better film than the King’s Speech. SLP is not The King’s Speech. One has Colin Firth stuttering as King George in a fitful crying scene that put the movie over the edge. Yes, in both films you are rooting for the hero to overcome his disability. But in one he must save the world and in the other, get the girl? Difference.

  28. Ruffus, Argo was in competition.

    SLP has beat Argo in two fest competitions now. But Argo is better. SLP is more of a feelgood film.

  29. A possible split…

    Lincoln feels like it’s not gonna win, but is probably the likeliest nominee. Spielberg might have it again (in a style of Saving Private Ryan). Hooper is not winning even if Les Mis won the most Oscars including BP. Affleck could win even if something else won BP. Lee is not winning unless Pi wins as well (they will not repeat Brokeback Mountain here; still having a bad taste in mouth), so that will not be a split. Same with Silver Lining Playbook – no split if it happens. If SLP wins, it will drag the director along = happens in this genre.

    Likeliest scenario I can see is PTA winning BD and something else winning BP. Everybody in Academy knows that PTA is a true American auteur and nobody hates him, but they also know that his films are divisive, so the picture is in trouble. I see a Chicago/Polanski similarity here, so it could be that Les Mis wins and PTA takes BD…

  30. Tero, I really can’t see Spielberg split again (1st was so painful and I hope AMPAS blame themselves for doing that). If Lincoln turns out to be big he will win both BP and BD or in other case neither.

  31. Now that you said it, it probably wouldn’t make any sense. And I’ve said that myself so so many times that they won’t split Spielberg again. So I take that back.

  32. From its trailer, Life of Pi is a Bollywood cluster-f. A great heaping helping of mess-a-palooza which is getting Oscar buzz solely because of its director and nothing more.

    The same thing might have been said about Slumdog Millionaire.

    Only at least there were Bollywood elements to Slumdog Millionaire. PaulH is just being ignorant and racist.

    If they really love [Silver Linings Playbook], editing.

    The Descendants made it in for editing last year when few expected it to. It did so over Drive, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, War Horse, The Tree of Life. Also, remember, the Best Film Editing-Best Picture ‘rule’ is one of the strongest there is:

    Last film to win Best Picture without…
    - Director nomination: Driving Miss Daisy, 1989
    - Acting nominations: The Return of the King, 2003
    - Writing nomination: Titanic, 1997
    - Editing nomination: Ordinary People, 1980

    Without one, Silver Linings Playbook may be in trouble. Brokeback Mountain didn’t win, and it failed to pick up an editing nomination. At the time, people speculated as to whether or not that might result in it losing Best Picture to Crash, but that was normally laughed off.

    I don’t think it’s of much significance, though. It’s just that, when talk like that materialises, it allows other films’ chances to strengthen.

  33. Bollywood as in the Bollywood film industry partly or wholly financing Life of Pi. Nothing more. so much for alleged racism.

  34. Life of Pi is a Bollywood cluster-f. A great heaping helping of mess-a-palooza

    PaulH, do elaborate. Your problem seems to be with Bollywood in general. Why does this make Life of Pi the supposed mess you’re currently stating it is, not having even seen it? (I don’t think you’ve seen it, at least)

    I’m also curious regarding what Bollywood financing Life of Pi received. I can’t find any evidence of Bollywood’s involvement in its production. Maybe I’m not delving deep enough in the right places.

  35. Bollywood, USA, dude. By the biggest Indian studio Fox.

  36. Sasha, surely there’s been influence peddling on Weinstein’s part. How else could he have pulled off Shakespeare in Love? He gets off too easy, IMO.

  37. Weinstein simply knows how to play the game. You need to be absolutely SHAMELESS about it, and he just doesn’t care. I guess most would find some of these actions embarrassing. He’s not afraid and – genuinely – has a good taste in film, so he buys all the goodies before anyone else. Probably helps if you are Jewish, too.

    Before Shakespeare In Love I didn’t even think about the guy, but I see that as the year that finally changed everything for him. For us? Not always for the better.

  38. “Sasha, surely there’s been influence peddling on Weinstein’s part. How else could he have pulled off Shakespeare in Love? He gets off too easy, IMO.”

    Shakespeare in Love received more nominations than Saving Private Ryan. SPR was a summer release, Shakespeare a December release, so it was fresher in the voters’ minds. SiL received three acting nominations, SPR zero, suggesting SiL was more embraced by the actor’s branch of AMPAS than SPR was. There are many reasons that can explain why SiL won over SPR that year other than “influence peddling” by Harvey. And brace yourself, PaulH, but some people just preferred Shakespeare over Ryan.

    I remember there was a sense that year that Spielberg and Ryan were supposed to await coronation for BP and Director. Since Ryan’s release, a lot of the press was that Ryan had the BP win in the bag. I think a lot of voters got tired of being told what would be the Best Picture winner since July of that year, so when Shakespeare was released late in the year, it offered a viable alternative to SPR. No doubt Harvey promotes and promotes the hell out of his race horses, but he can’t stand over every Academy voter with his hands around his/her throat as he/she is filling out a ballot.

    SiL won, I think, because it seemed fresh and it appealed to actors and people had grown tired of SPR being declared the inevitable winner. I was one of the people who predicted Ryan would win BP that year, but in retrospect, it seems kind of clear we should have seen what was coming…

  39. SPR received Best Actor nom for Tom Hanks.

  40. “Bollywood as in the Bollywood film industry partly or wholly financing Life of Pi. Nothing more. so much for alleged racism.”

    That is completely untrue. You just saw Indian people in the trailer and assumed Bollywood….and mess because you are probably a racist.

  41. If Tree of Life got nominated for Best Picture and Director with all the divisive responses from both Critics and Audiences … The Master will get nominated too. Movies like Lincoln, Django Unchained etc, well its a little early to say anything about them. Les Miserables, Argo, SLP and Life of Pi are frontrunners as of now. That Bollywood remark!! i am not from India but that is a bit mean. Slumdog was a Bollywood-ish movie too but it did won everything right? Just because they have Indian actors in to doesn’t mean that movie shouldn’t be awarded or appreciated.

    Also Best Actress race? there isn’t any one which is kind of troubling. I am starting to miss Meryl Streep who wont be getting nod for her not so good movie… i mean just Jennifer Lawrence? Then i’ll hope the foreign actresses like Riva and Cotillard as well as young talent Wallis makes it into the final list.

  42. From what i have heard… Life of Pi mostly consists of “Foreign” crew and is not financed by Bollywood, actors are from Bollywood and nothing else.

  43. Life of Pi – Bollywood?

    American company and screenwriter, Canadian book and music, Chilean cinematographer, Taiwanese director. You wouldn’t know Bollywood from a big mac – you’re just being a dick.

  44. Thanks for clarifying that, Asif. I was in error and apologize for my mistake.

  45. “SPR received Best Actor nom for Tom Hanks.”

    Gah! You’re right, mecid. I was dashing back here to correct my mistake, but you beat me to the punch.

    Jeesh! Don’t know how I forgot Hsnks. It must have been Harvey’s doing…

  46. Hanks, not Hsnks! Man, Harvey strikes again!

  47. Last year, there were three pictures vying for what has since become The Tree of Life Slot. Those three pictures were The Tree of Life, Drive and Melancholia. All three were critical favorites and all three, if life were fair, would have made the slate of nine films. Only one did (hence the soon-to-be-trademarked name The Tree of Life Slot.)

    I believe The Tree of Life won that slot pretty easily. No one gave Melancholia much of a shot after the Cannes Fiasco. And while Drive was a critical success when it came out, few people saw how well it would do when critics made their top 10 lists for the year. The Tree of Life has the Big Star, the legendary Director and The Big Win at Cannes. Most people who favor the intellectual critic’s favorite voted for The Tree of Life simply because it was the best option for them, it had the most momentum going into the nomination phase.

    It’s still too early to see what films are going to compete for The Tree of Life Spot (trademark pending.) The Master is clearly one of them. Beasts of the Southern Wild is also likely in that group. Amour is also likely vying for that spot. I’m sure one or two more films will eventually join that group. I’m not sure of Django will join it or if it will be considered mainstream enough, we’ll see.

    Of these three or four films, there is no clear cut favorite like The Tree of Life last year. It’s entirely possible none of them will fill that slot leaving the slot empty.

    It’s my opinion that if you think The Master is a lock at this point that you don’t know the Academy very well. There’s just not too many of them that are inclined to enjoy that kind of film. It’s sad but true.

    —————

    Paddy, when it came time for me to put Cloud Atlas as #10, I thought I’d throw in a fun choice. I could just have easily chosen The Sessions, maybe would have been smarter to since the Academy seems to like that kind of crap. But I think most people who are drawn to the Sessions are more inclined to like Silver Linings. People who are inclined to like Cloud Atlas don’t have much else to choose from.

  48. People who are inclined to like Cloud Atlas don’t have much else to choose from.

    People who are inclined to like Cloud Atlas are likely to be in short number within AMPAS. There are enough of the Silver Linings Playbook / The Sessions types to push both of those films in.

    Also, this ‘slot’ theory holds no weight with me. It holds until it doesn’t. It might hold this year, it might not. People have applied the slot theory to several films in the past. There’s been a Juno slot, a Blind Side slot etc. It’s not wise making one’s predictions based on this theory.

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