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The State of the Race: Circling Monsters, Looking for Redemption

There are still four movies pushing to the center of this year’s Oscar race. They can be divided into two distinct pairs – the epics and the character dramas. Three ...

The State of the Race: Hunting Down the Most Powerful Oscar Narrative

The current Oscar race seems very much like two races in one. Usually, there are two films that dominate and go head-to-head. This year, it feels like there are two ...

The State of the Race: A Long Time Ago in a Galaxy Far, Far Away

The time has come to humbly admit that some of us may have been wrong about Star Wars: The Force Awakens. First, by not seeing how fast it would overtake ...

The State of the Race: Inside the Doomsday Machine

“I think this was a nice idea we had in this country and a nice landscape to experiment with. But I think there comes a time in almost any experimentation ...

The State of the Race: Breaking the Story, Breaking the World

Telluride seems to be the premiere launching pad for the Oscar winning Best Picture.  With very little time for opinions to settle, the earlier films tend to be the ones ...



The ACLU of Southern California, SNAP, SIA, Bishop Accountability and the Los Angeles LGBT Center hosted a special screening of Spotlight last night. Oscar nominated screenwriter Josh Singer moderated the Q&A panel that featured Phil Saviano, representative of Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests; Peter Eliasberg, ACLU of Southern California; Nick Gaglia, Survivors of Institutional Abuse; and Ben Bradlee Jr., former Boston Globe editor and Spotlight member.

Check out these photos, exclusive to Awards Daily from the screening:

IMG_4564[1] (1)



Feature Photo: 1965, The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Board of Governors, with President Gregory Peck at head of table, Margaret Herrick to the right, followed by Vice President Elmer Bernstein

By Daniel Smith-Rowsey

Prior to last week, in its century-long history, Hollywood has had two major, conspicuous talent overhauls, one in the late 1920s, and one in the late 1960s. Both historical “purges” were driven by severe, untypical economic and cultural anxieties, and the overhauls were accompanied by alterations to policies of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) that served as key drivers/reflectors of the winds of change blowing through the industry. Presuming that Friday’s announced change in Academy policies pertains, it augurs the industry’s third serious overhaul, and here we take a moment to compare and contrast with the previous two, to see what’s similar, what’s different, and what we might expect in the near future.

Everyone knows about the transition from silent to sound pictures occasioned by the epoch-making success of The Jazz Singer in 1927, and how scores of actors were sidelined or fired; after all, it’s the plot of one of Hollywood’s best movies, Singin’ in the Rain (1952). This transition was “raced” (as we say in academia), meaning laden with racial undertones; for example, the film The Bronze Screen, which is about the history of Latinos in Hollywood, says that the advent of sound turned accent-heavy, leading Latino men into supporting players. This postcard version of history has been challenged, but the consensus is that at least a few hundred contracted actors were forced to change those contracts.

Continue reading…

dailly awards
As a new sidebar to Dr. Rob’s 8th Annual Simulated Oscar Ballot project, we initiated a new feature this season. With the help of hundreds of passionate voters, we decided this year to have Awards Daily readers complete an alternate ballot, honoring the films and filmmakers first selected by our readership last month — before the actual Oscar nominations were announced. The Daily Awards voters chose these 3 films as their number one, two and three favorites of 2015:
Mad Mad: Fury Road
The Big Short
Detailed preferential ballot breakdown and winners in 7 other categories, after the break.

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“It’s sort of like the flood’s about to happen and you’re Noah. You’re on the ark. Yeah, you’re okay. But you are not happy looking out at the flood. That’s not a happy moment for Noah.”
― Michael Lewis, The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine

Adam McKay brought The Big Short to Congress yesterday. More Republicans than Democrats showed up, which, as Glenn Whipp writes in his piece, was a positive sign for McKay. Then he said what I hoped he would say, which is the single most important thing to take away from The Big Short – this is not a partisan issue. This is something all Americans have to be concerned with:

“I think the right-left divide is the biggest scam that’s ever been perpetrated on America. Trillions of dollars have been siphoned out of our pockets over this stupid right-left distraction that’s been created by the moneyed interests. We made this movie to transcend the partisan politics.”

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Mad Max: Fury Road received 10 Oscar nominations last month. Civilization has collapsed  in this post-apocalyptic film directed by George Miller. Tom Hardy plays Mad Max, and Charlize Theron plays Imperator Furiosa. Together they battle their adversaries.

The film took 25 years to develop and was shot using storyboards rather than a traditional script. Aside from receiving a Best Picture nomination, the film also received Best Cinematography and Best Director nominations.

In this Focus On piece, revisit the Case For Mad Max: Fury Road and Sasha’s review of the film.
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Contender Tracker


Best PictureNBR top ten/+winner*
NYFCC winner*
LAFC winner+
SAG nominee*
Globe winner+/nominee*
SEFCA winner+/topte*
Critics Choice nominee*
AFI Top Ten+
Ace Eddie noms*
Producers Guild winner+/noms*
ASC Nominations*
WGA nominations*
USC Scripter*
BAFTA nom*
CAS nominee*
DGA win+/Nominees+

The Big Short****+++****
The Revenant+******+
Mad Max: Fury Road+***++****
The Martian*+**+*****
Room**** +
Bridge of Spies***+*****

Best ActoRLeonardo DiCaprio, The Revenant++**
Bryan Cranston, Trumbo**+**
Michael Fassbender, Steve Jobs+ ****
Matt Damon, The Martian+* **
Eddie Redmayne, The Danish Girl ****

Best ActressBrie Larson, Room++++**
Saoirse Ronan, Brooklyn+****
Cate Blanchett, Carol****
Charlotte Rampling, 45 Years+*+
Jennifer Lawrence, Joy+*

Supporting ActorSylvester Stallone, Creed++*
Mark Rylance, Bridge of Spies***+*
Christian Bale, The Big Short**
Mark Ruffalo, Spotlight**
Tom Hardy, The Revenant*

Supporting ActresS
Alicia Vikander, The Danish Girl+*
Rooney Mara, Carol***
Kate Winslet, Steve Jobs*+* *
Jennifer Jason Leigh, The Hateful Eight+***
Rachel McAdams, Spotlight**

Alejandro Inarritu, The Revenant+**+
Adam McKay, The Big Short**
George Miller, Max Max: Fury Road+*+**
Tom McCarthy, Spotlight***
Lenny Abrahamson, Room

Original Screenplay
Spotlight, Tom McCarthy, Josh Singer+*+*+**
Straight Outta Compton, Jonathan Herman and Andrea Berloff*
Bridge of Spies, Charman, the Coens***
Inside Out, Meg LeFauve, Josh Cooley, Pete Docter**
Ex Machina, Alex Garland**

Adapted ScreenplayAdam McKay, The Big Short*****
Cariol, Phyllis Nagy++**
Room, Emma Donoghue****
The Martian, Drew Godard+***
Brooklyn, Nick Hornby***

EditingThe Big Short+*+*
Mad Max: Fury Road*+*
The Revenant***
The Force Awakens*
Spotlight *

The Revenant***
Mad Max: Fury Road++***
Carol +*+* *
The Hateful Eight *

Production Design
Mad Max: Fury Road**
The Revenant *
The Martian**
The Danish Girl
Bridge of Spies*

Sound Mixing
The Revenant**
Mad Max: Fury Road**
The Martian*
Bridge of Spies**
Star Wars

Sound Editing
The Revenant
Mad Max: Fury Road
The Martian
Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Costume Design
The Danish Girl**
Mad Max: Fury Road**
The Revenant

Original Score
The Hateful Eight+*
Star Wars: The Force Awakens*
Bridge of Spies

Foreign Language Feature
Son of Saul+++
Mustang (France)**
Columbia (Embrace of the Serpent)
Theeb (Jordan)
Denmark (A War)

Documentary Feature
Cartel Land
What Happened, Miss Simone?
The Look of Silence
Winter on Fire: Ukraine’s Fight for Freedom

Animated featureInside Out++++**+
Shaun the Sheep **
When Marine Was There
Boy and the World

Visual Effects
Mad Max: Fury Road**
Star Wars: The Force Awakens*
Ex Machina**
The Martian**
The Revenant*

The Revenant **
Mad Max: Fury Road **
The 100 Year-old-man

Til it Happens to you, The Hunting Ground (Lady Gaga)
Writings on the Wall, Spectre+
Earned it, 50 Shades
Manta Ray, Racing Extinction
Simple Song 3, Youth

Live Action ShortShok
Day One
Everything Will Be Okay
Ave Maria

Animated Short World of Tomorrow
Bear Story
Sanjay's Super Team
We Can't Live without Cosmos

Documentary ShortChau Beyond the Lines
Body Team 12
Claude Lanzmann: Spectres of the Shoah
Last Day of Freedom
A Girl in the River: The Price of Forgiveness

Steven Kane
I have to somewhat agree. I don't always agree with the ...
Sharon Marlowe
Your comment wasn't clear so it would probably be nice ...
Nah, I don't agree with Tom on Gold Derby. I don't thin ...
Paddy Mulholland
I've found that it's often useful to assume that there ...

The Case For


If you think back over Oscar history and wonder why no films about journalists have ever won Best Picture, it suddenly becomes all too clear how much things have changed. ...

– Sometimes…it’s better for a man just to walk away. – But if you can’t walk away? – I guess that’s when it’s tough. ― Arthur Miller, Death of a ...


Beasts of no nation




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