Thanks to reader aloysius sending this in. I’m going to bet it gets pulled shortly after we post it but nonetheless, for your viewing pleasure, the awesomeness of Nine.
Here is how it went down in a few of the categories by votes:
TIFF ‚Äò09 SURVEY RESULTS:
BEST NARRATIVE FILM:
1. A Serious Man, directed by Joel and Ethan Coen (63 points)
2. City of Life and Death, directed by Chuan Lu (20)
3. Up In The Air, directed by Jason Reitman (18)
3. A Prophet, directed by Jacques Audiard (18)
5. Dogtooth, directed by Giorgos Lanthimos (17)
6. Precious, directed by Lee Daniels (16)
7. I Am Love, directed by Luca Guadagnino (11)
7. Hadewijch, directed by Bruno Dumont (11)
7. A Single Man, directed by Tom Ford (11)
7. Lebanon, directed by Samuel Maoz (11)
1. Videocracy, directed by Erik Gandini (24)
2. Collapse, directed by Chris Smith (17)
3. The Art of the Steal, directed by Don Argott (16)
4. The Topp Twins: Untouchable Girls, directed by Leanne Pooley (10)
5. How To Hold a Flag, directed by Petra Epperlein and Michael Tucker (9)
BEST LEAD PERFORMANCE:
1. Colin Firth in ‚ÄúA Single Man‚Äù (13)
2. Tilda Swinton in ‚ÄúI Am Love (12)
2. Michael Stuhlbarg in ‚ÄúA Serious Man‚Äù (12)
4. Tahar Rahim in ‚ÄúA Prophet‚Äù (10)
5. Anne Dorval in ‚ÄúI Killed My Mother‚Äù (9)
5. Nicolas Cage in ‚ÄúThe Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans‚Äù (9)
5. Matt Damon in ‚ÄúThe Informant!‚Äù (9)
5. Katie Jarvis in ‚ÄúFish Tank‚Äù (9)
I know it’s a terrible video but if you love Colin as I do you’ll watch it.
It’s not hard to find a great performance by Colin Firth. One could be blindfolded, throw a rock at a pile of his DVDs and find a vivid, memorable performance. Why people don’t notice him so much is that he is a true character actor who often underplays in an ensemble. Watch those films again and Firth’s brilliance will emerge. He is not showy nor hammy. But he is a master of the craft, to get FM radio on you. Let’s count them down. It’s difficult to separate out five of his best since, really, he hasn’t ever turned in a bad performance. These are my own personal favorites. Feel free to chime in with yours.
Dave Karger at EW has compiled his list of the top five Oscar boosts from the Toronto Film Fest.¬† As follows:
1. Up in the Air.
2. Gabourey Sidibe.
3. Colin Firth and Julianne Moore.
4. Clive Owen.
5. Joel and Ethan Coen.
Karger believes that the relatively weak year for original screenplay puts the Coens front and center with their personal (serious) film. He also points out that Firth has never been nominated, despite his brilliant performances throughout his career (more on this later). ¬† Clive Owen could potentially be nominated, provided there is enough interest in the film. The actor, like Firth, has long been overlooked in the lead actor category. And of course, what we already knew, Sadibe and Up in the Air plunged ahead.
But from where I sit, other Toronto bumps would include:
Bright Star — the early word on this was wrong and it turns out to be quite a formidable contender.
Precious the film — having Oprah and Tyler Perry show up put it in a whole different league, and then the audience award finished the job.
Get Low – now sitting pretty with Sony Pictures Classics as its distributor, certain to have some prominence in this year’s race, I’d say Best Actor nod for Robert Duvall and Supporting for Bill Murray, perhaps others.
Once the Academy decided to expand the Best Picture category to include ten nominees, it suddenly made the groups that already decide on ten, the National Board of Review, the American Film Institute and the Broadcast Film Critics (I suppose, in their own way, the Globes) seem more influential, especially where their second and third tier choices are concerned. Now that the PGA have made the same shift, one wonders how it will all go down.
Here’s the thing, though: I still think five nominees is more influential than ten. When they expanded to ten within the Academy it immediately made the Best Director category all the more substantial.
But back to the PGA. They had more power, I think, with only five. With ten, they will muddy their waters in terms of Academy influence.¬† On the other hand, if this is some evil plot to flush more cash into the strapped industry, who are we to argue. It will make predicting a lot more fun because something tells me that these entities will all be on the same page.
The PGA already had a more open mind than the Academy when it came to blockbusters especially. While they don’t necessarily give their winners to the highest money makers (as previously thought), they are more open to including them simply because they cannot be ignored. To that end, here are some films that the PGA might consider for Best Pic than the Academy might not:
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
Julie & Julia (although it’s also a possible Academy contender)
District 9 (absolutely, thanks Erik)
And then of course those upcoming, like Sherlock Holmes. These to join other potential Best Pic candidates, like Nine, Avatar, The Lovely Bones, Wild Things, etc. All eyes are nonetheless going to fall on the DGA and the Best Director category. I still think that is where you are going to find the map that leads you to the Best Picture winner. But this is still a cliffhanger. A film like Avatar would probably need a Best Director nomination for Cameron’s film to win, unless we are suddenly in the midst of a scenario where the Best Picture winner ends up being the biggest moneymaker and the most popular film, a la the MTV awards.
From their press release:
PRODUCERS GUILD OF AMERICA AWARDS EXPAND
NOMINATIONS IN BEST PRODUCED MOTION PICTURE CATEGORY
TO INCLUDE TEN FILMS
LOS ANGELES (September 21, 2009) ‚ÄìThe Producers Guild of America announced today that the 2010 PGA Awards nominations in the Darryl F. Zanuck Producer of the Year Award in Theatrical Motion Pictures Category will be expanded from five to ten films. The 10 nominees will be announced on Tuesday, January 5, 2010. The 21st Annual PGA Awards ceremony will take place on Sunday, January 24, 2010.
I really never thought I’d see the day when America had its first black President and women ruled the early phase of the Oscar race in the Best Director category. Yet, here it is, September, and already three female directors have films that are sure to be strong contenders for Best Picture.
Kathryn Bigelow, Jane Campion and Lone Scherfig are three such women, with films so good they don’t even have to be filtered with the albatross of being “women’s films” or even, films directed by women. While Campion has managed to rise above the general prejudice, others have not. The Hurt Locker, Bright Star and An Education are quite easily three of the best films of 2009.
Elvis Mitchell, former film critic for the LA Weekly, then the New York Times, continues his The Treatment series on the local radio station, KCRW. He talks to Jane Campion, Quentin Tarantino, and Armando Iannucci.¬† Elsewhere in the radio world, NPR talks to Anne Fontaine, the director of Coco Avant Chanel.
Variety has the lowdown:
Backgammon as a metaphor for life’s travails takes a central role in Bulgarian director Stephan Komandarev’s “The World is Big and Salvation Lurks Around the Corner,” one of five pics chosen to represent Eastern European countries vying for a nomination in Oscar’s foreign language category.
Film won best Bulgarian feature last year at the Sofia Film Festival.
Serbia‘s choice, helmer Darko Lungulov’s “Here and There,” took awards at New York’s Tribeca Festival for new narrative filmmaker and New York film for his tale of romance and desperation that transcend the very different worlds of Serbia and America.
Armenia‘s choice is “A Magician’s Nephew,” a documentary about screenwriter Tonino Guera, a friend of Federico Fellini, directed by Ruben and Vahe Gevorkyants. Doc won an award in the history and culture category at last year’s 12th Russian Golden Drum television and film festival in Siberia.
Other nominations for Eastern Europe are yet to gain wider recognition, including Lithuania‘s “Waterhole,” by Gytas Luksas, about the Soviet period in Lithuania as seen through the eyes of a boy in a small village; and Slovenia’s “Landscape No. 2,” by Vinko Moderndorfer, about two art thieves who steal a mysterious document that unleashes diabolical powers from the past.
The morning after the Emmys, how are we feeling about how it all came down? Nursing a thumping hangover, I’ll just briefly list the best and worst bits, for me.
Though whoever had the idea to divide the show into tidy segments of Drama, Comedy, Variety, Movies/Minis and Reality is a genius of uncluttered organizational finesse.¬† For one thing, it enabled me to launch the DVR so I could watch Curb Your Enthusiasm during the tour of the wretched Reality series ghetto.
Three screenings on this day. The first film, the Italian film, I Am Love, directed by Luca Guadagnino, is one of the most beautifully shot films I have seen in awhile. The cinematography by Yorick Le Saux has a look similar to some of the best in 60‚Äôs Italian cinema such as Visconti and Antonioni. Tilda Swinton plays a Russian who has married into a very wealthy Italian family. As a wife and mother, she lives a very ordered and cultured life. Not until her son introduces her to his friend who is a chef, do her senses become awakened in more ways than one. There are many admirable qualities to this film, not least of which is Swinton speaking fluent Italian throughout and some Russian as well. As beautiful as some of the camera work is, there is maybe too much style and not enough substance.
The second film of the day is The White Ribbon, directed by Michael Haneke. ¬†A series of crimes, such as a young boy being kidnapped and beaten and a barn being burned, plague a small farming town in Germany before the First World War. We witness an adherance to harsh rules and obedience amongst the families and many times it appears the parents abuse their children in trying to discipline them. So how do we expect these children to deal with their own anger? There is a constant sense of suspicion and foreboding because no one knows who is responsible for all these evil deeds. ¬†It gives us a snapshot of how a society can become violent as a result of a certain value system. This film is beautifully shot in striking black and white by Christian Berger and every scene looks like a historical photo from that era. Powerful film.
The last film of the day was The Boys Are Back, directed by Scott Hicks.
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