"12 Years a Slave," "Gravity" and "American Hustle" are vying for this year's Best Picture honors. Let's figure out which one wins.
Wednesday's announcement of the 2014 BAFTA nominees further focused this year's awards season. "12 Years A Slave," "Gravity" and "American Hustle," al...
I was taken to task for not having "12 Years A Slave" on my top-10 list. (I had it ranked No. 16 overall, just behind other near misses: "Her," "Blue Jasmine," "20 Feet From Stardom," "The Spectacular Now" and "Inside Llewyn Davis.") My rationale was this: Last year was a particularly strong one for feature films, and I just didn't connect with "12 Years A Slave" enough to place it above those other movies. Then I watched "12 Years A Slave" a second time.
If she is gonna win, it's gotta be the best she's ever done, Chris! (Sorry.)
Oscar voting is underway. A word to the Academy: Don't forget some of this year's underdogs.
In the immortal words of Jay Z, you crazy for this one, Golden Globes!
Thompson -- who stomps through "Saving Mr. Banks" with a devilish delight -- is turning into a freight train of momentum, the likes of which hasn't been seen since ... well, since Jennifer Lawrence during last year's awards season.
Also in Franco's favor is the category itself: Jared Leto, Tom Hanks and Michael Fassbender are locked in as nominees from my vantage point, but that leaves plenty of room for others. My boy Daniel Bruhl deserves a shot, but the memory of "Rush" is fading in the rear-view mirror. Barkhad Abdi had a nice story, but no one seems too excited about that nomination (and if we're being real, he's not that great in "Captain Phillips"). No one has seen what Jonah Hill or Bradley Cooper do in December's two Scorsese movies, "The Wolf of Wall Street" and David O. Russell's "American Hustle." John Goodman isn't really in "Inside Llewyn Davis" enough to rate (the cat has more screen time). James Gandolfini could get in for "Enough Said," but that still feels like a nice idea more than an actual movement. Why not Franco?
This may all be but a prelude to a winter when sentiment finally gels around 12 Years as the most deserving best picture possibility, but there's also a chance that American Hustle -- or some other late entry -- could swing in and take the lead.
Who's ahead in the Best Actress race? Can anyone top Cate Blanchett? We're handicapping the odds.
Ben Stiller's "The Secret Life of Walter Mitty" is a lot of movie, in a good way. The film contains elements of comedy, fantasy, drama, adventure and romance. It's a coming-of-age movie and a survivalist tale. A pair of sequences even recall "The Bourne Identity" and "Marvel's The Avengers."
The latest offering from Joel and Ethan Coen -- which screened at the New York Film Festival on Thursday morning for press and industry personnel ("Inside Llewyn Davis" makes its proper New York Film Festival debut on Oct. 5) -- stars Isaac as the title character, a down-on-his-luck folk singer in 1961 who, as an embittered former lover (played to perfection by Carey Mulligan) says at one point, is "like King Midas' idiot brother." Everything that Davis touches, from a friend's cat to the promise of a warm winter coat, goes right into the crapper.
Neil Patrick Harris brought his B-minus game to the 65th annual Emmy Awards, the show featured a five-minute interpretive dance segment in the last hour of the broadcast, and there were so many memorial segments that "Modern Family" co-creator Steve Levitan was compelled to declare the 2013 Emmys "the saddest of all time" upon accepting his trophy. Yet despite all that, Sunday night's Emmy Awards were still more engaging, heartfelt and celebratory than this year's Oscars. What can Academy Awards producers learn from television's biggest night?
There are valid reasons for and against "12 Years A Slave" winning Best Picture, none of which have to do with the success of "12 Years A Slave." (Steve McQueen's film is, at its very worst, a very good movie; it's impossible to imagine anyone giving it a poor review.) As CinemaBlend's Katey Rich wrote on Friday, Oscar season is about the narrative. "Argo" won Best Picture not necessarily because it was a better film than "Zero Dark Thirty," "Lincoln" or "Silver Linings Playbook," but because it had the best backstory: an A-list Hollywood star hits the skids, rebuilds his career, gets snubbed in the process, and still triumphs over all. Not even Frank Capra could write a script like that.
There's more, though, than an old-fashioned sensibility connecting "Prisoners" and "Rush": both films are structured as two-handers, but where the dominant hand is played by the marketing campaign's secondary star.