Feb 292016
 

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The Oscars are over for another year, with the 88th Awards taking place today at the Dolby Theatre. It was one of the weirdest (and longest) ceremonies in recent years. The order of the presentation this year was meant to represent the journey through a film’s production, but that made sense for a mere two awards, and the ceremony was broken up by satirical clips, bizarre interludes, a troupe of girl scouts selling cookies to the audience, and live performances of the three nominated songs. Chris Rock did a stellar job as host, tackling the criticism about this year’s lack of diversity head on from his opening monologue, and crossing the line on several other occasions. Many of the presenters and winners took the opportunity to voice their concerns about diversity, equal opportunity, climate change and sexual assault awareness.

Mad Max: Fury Road led the way with six wins, cleaning up the technical categories including Best Editing and Best Production Design. I am sure everybody wondered if this would also be George Miller’s day too. The Revenant claimed three – including Best Director for Alejandro G. Inarritu in addition to Leonardo DiCaprio (Best Actor) and Emmanuel Lubezki (Best Cinematography), who were all-but sure things. Brie Larson claimed a win for Room (Best Actress), Mark Rylance landed Best Supporting Actor for Bridge of Spies and Alicia Vikander was deemed the Best Supporting Actress for The Danish Girl. The Big Short won Best Adapted Screenplay and Ennio Morricone won his very first Oscar, at age 87, for The Hateful Eight. As many predicted Inside Out, Amy and Son of Saul were honoured for Best Animated, Documentary and Foreign Language Films respectively.

But, it was Spotlight that won the first and last awards – Best Original Screenplay and Best Picture – coming through the preferential ballot on top to become one of only a handful of films to win Best Picture with only one other victory. The film’s tremendous ensemble, its important and topical subject, and the fact that it is almost universally admired contributed.

Some personal highlights from the ceremony and the complete list of winners can be found after the jump: Continue reading »

Feb 232016
 

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The 88th Academy Award ceremony takes place on Monday from 12.30pm AEST. We (Andy and Sam) have been keeping track of this rather crazy Season, reporting on many of the nominees and winners in the lead-up ceremonies. We have decided to reveal who we think will be taking home Oscars this year.

We have done our best to see as many nominees as possible. Apart from a few gaps in the Animated and Documentary categories, and shamefully ALL of the Foreign Language nominees, The Danish Girl is the only notable film with multiple key nominations we are yet to see.

If you are looking for help with your own predictions you might find assistance in a few categories that we agree on. In those we differ, sorry about that. There really isn’t a clear winner. You can find our predictions after the jump: Continue reading »

Feb 162016
 

furyroad

The Australian Film Critics Association (AFCA) announced the winners of their annual film and writing awards at the AFCA Awards Ceremony on Tuesday, February 16.

The Dressmaker led the awards, taking home four wins, Best Actress, Best Supporting Actress, Best Supporting Actor and Best Screenplay. Mad Max: Fury Road took out the awards for Best Film, Best Director and Best Cinematography.

AFCA FILM AWARDS – WINNERS
BEST FILM
THE DRESSMAKER
HOLDING THE MAN
LAST CAB TO DARWIN
MAD MAX: FURY ROAD – WINNER
PARTISAN

BEST DIRECTOR
NEIL ARMFIELD – Holding the Man
ARIEL KLEIMAN – Partisan
GEORGE MILLER – Mad Max: Fury Road – WINNER
JOCELYN MOORHOUSE – The Dressmaker
JEREMY SIMS – Last Cab to Darwin

BEST ACTOR
VINCENT CASSELL – Partisan
MICHAEL CATON – Last Cab to Darwin
RYAN CORR – Holding the Man – WINNER
TOM HARDY – Mad Max: Fury Road
SULLIVAN STAPLETON – Cut Snake

BEST ACTRESS
ROBYN BUTLER – Now Add Honey
NICOLE KIDMAN – Strangerland
NINGALI LAWFORD-WOLF – Last Cab to Darwin
CHARLIZE THERON – Mad Max: Fury Road
KATE WINSLET – The Dressmaker – WINNER

BEST ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE
JEREMY CHABRIEL – Partisan
HUGH KEAYES-BYRNE – Mad Max: Fury Road
ANTHONY LAPAGLIA – Holding the Man
MARK COLES SMITH – Last Cab to Darwin
HUGO WEAVING – The Dressmaker – WINNER

BEST ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE
JUDY DAVIS – The Dressmaker – WINNER
SARAH SNOOK – The Dressmaker
SARAH SNOOK – Oddball
EMMA HAMILTON – Last Cab to Darwin
DEBORAH MAILMAN – Paper Planes

BEST SCREENPLAY
SARAH CYNGLER & ARIEL KLEIMAN – Partisan
GEORGE MILLER, BRENDAN MCCARTHY & NIC LATHOURIS – Mad Max: Fury Road
JOCELYN MOORHOUSE & PJ HOGAN – The Dressmaker – WINNER
TOMMY MURPHY – Holding the Man
JEREMY SIMS & REG CRIBB – Last Cab to Darwin

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY
BENTLEY DEAN – Tanna
PJ DILLON – Strangerland
DONALD MCALPINE – The Dressmaker
GERMAIN MCMICKING – Partisan
JOHN SEALE – Mad Max: Fury Road – WINNER

INTERNATIONAL FILM CATEGORIES

BEST INTERNATIONAL FILM (FOREIGN LANGUAGE)
THE ASSASSIN
GIRLHOOD
PHOENIX – WINNER
THE TRIBE
WILD TALES

BEST INTERNATIONAL FILM (ENGLISH LANGUAGE)
BIRDMAN – WINNER
INHERENT VICE
THE LOBSTER
THE MARTIAN
SICARIO

BEST DOCUMENTARY (LOCAL OR INTERNATIONAL)
AMY – WINNER
CITIZENFOUR
GAYBY BABY
GOING CLEAR: SCIENTOLOGY AND THE PRISON OF BELIEF
SALT OF THE EARTH
WOMEN HE’S UNDRESSED

AFCA also recognises the best writing on film. The winners of the writing awards and the can be found after the jump.

Continue reading »

Feb 152016
 

Mandatory Credit: Photo by David Fisher/REX/Shutterstock (5586119dt) Alejandro G. Inarritu and Leonardo DiCaprio - Best Actor EE BAFTA British Academy Film Awards, Press Room, Royal Opera House, London, Britain - 14 Feb 2016

The final stage in the award season every year is the BAFTA (British Academy of Film and Television Arts) Awards, the British branch of the Academy Awards. At this point in the season – two weeks shy of the Oscars – the primary contenders are starting to look pretty clear, with the BAFTA Best Picture winner either cementing favouritism (Argo, for example) or building late momentum (see The King’s Speech).

While the awards this year were spread out fairly evenly, reflective of the rather strong field, The Revenant came out as the main victor landing five – Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor, Best Cinematography and Best Sound. Mad Max: Fury Road cleaned up most of the technical categories, claiming four. Carol, which has six Oscar nominations but appears to have little chance beyond Rooney Mara for Supporting Actress, led the field of nominees but was entirely shut out.

While Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu now seems set on winning his second straight Best Director award for The Revennt, after also being awarded at the DGA, and Spotlight and The Big Short are all-but locks to win the respective screenplay categories after their BAFTA and WGA wins, Best Picture is still a tough one to predict. The Revenant, which has the advantage of strength in numbers in that it is a contender in a lot of categories, is up against the SAG Best Ensemble winner in Spotlight and the PGA winner in The Big Short. 

Rarely is there a three-way split between the PGA, DGA and the SAG – but the PGA has slightly more weight in that it is a preferential ballot, like the Oscars. But, The Big Short seems set to lose Best Editing to Mad Max: Fury Road (thought it would win this category any other year), and a lone Best Adapted Screenplay win is hardly enough to justify the big one. Spotlight makes an identical claim, though seems to be even more of a long-shot in the categories it shares with The Big Short. The Revenant – which has had mixed reviews, and has no screenplay nomination – will be bucking a lot of trends if it wins.

Leonardo Di Caprio (The Revenant) and Brie Larson (Room) seem almost-certainties after adding to their Golden Globe and SAG statuettes for Lead Actor and Actress. Mark Rylance (Bridge of Spies), my personal pick to win the Supporting Actor Oscar, didn’t have his closest competitor in Golden Globe and SAG-winner Sylvester Stallone (Creed), while Kate Winslet (Steve Jobs) followed up her surprising-at-the-time Golden Globe win for Supporting Actress. Both categories remain wide open.

Find out the full list of winners after the jump: Continue reading »

Jan 312016
 

spotlight sag

The winners in the five film categories for the  22nd Annual Screen Actors Guild awards are listed below.

Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role: Leonardo DiCaprio – The Revenant as Hugh Glass
Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role: Brie Larson – Room as Joy “Ma” Newsome
Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role: Idris Elba – Beasts of No Nation as The Commandant
Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role: Alicia Vikander – The Danish Girl as Gerda Wegener
Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture: Spotlight – Billy Crudup, Brian d’Arcy James, Michael Keaton, Rachel McAdams, Mark Ruffalo, Liev Schreiber, John Slattery and Stanley Tucci

What does this mean for the Oscars? Well, betting against DiCaprio or Larson would be akin to throwing money into a bottomless pit. They were already Oscar favourites before their SAG wins, and this only strengthens their respective positions. Elba is unfortunately not nominated for an Oscar, so his win has little impact on the Oscar race. Stallone is surely still the favourite here. Vikander’s win is a big one, as the supporting actress field is a little more open. If Spotlight is going to win best picture, there’s a very good chance McAdams will win here, although she is the rank outsider according to awards sites like Golden Derby. I’m personally cheering for either Mara (who should have been nominated in the lead category) or Winslet.

The ensemble prize going to Spotlight over The Big Short means we have ourselves a real race for the Best Picture prize. The Big Short took the PGA award, which is one of the most reliable indicators of a Best Picture winner. However, Spotlight was in the awards conversation long before The Big Short, and it’s SAG win gives it some much-needed momentum. Let’s see what the DGA awards bring, now that will make things very interesting indeed.

 

The award winners in all categories and their acceptance speeches can be viewed at the SAG website.

Jan 162016
 

TheDressmaker

The Australian Film Critics Association (of which I am a member) has announced the nominees for the 2016 AFCA Film Awards. The awards recognise the best in Australian and international film in 2015.

Leading the nominations this year is Australian domestic box office hit, The Dressmaker with eight nominations, including two in the best supporting actress category (for Judy Davis and Sarah Snook). Mad Max: Fury Road received 7 AFCA nominations to go alongside the outstanding 10 Oscar nominations the critically acclaimed film has also received. Last Cab to Darwin also received 7 nods, including a much-deserved nomination for veteran Australian actor Michael Caton. The criminally under-seen Partisan received 6 nominations, and Holding the Man received 5.

Girlhood, The Martian, Phoenix, and Sicario are among the films to be recognised with a nomination in the international film categories.

The Australian Film Critics Association annually award prizes to the best Australian film criticism across three categories.

1. Ivan Hutchinson Award for best long-form writing on Australian or International cinema.
2. Award for best review of an individual Australian film.
3. Award for best review of an individual non-Australian film.

This year the awards will be judged by: Sandra Sdraulig AM (Chair of the Adelaide Film Festival), Annette Blonski (Professional script editor and consultant), Lisa French (Deputy Dean of Media & Communications, RMIT), Alan Finney (Chair of the Australian Film Institute (AFI) / AACTA), and Kristian Connelly (General Manager, Cinema Nova).

Both the Writing Award and Film Award winners will be announced at the Annual Awards Ceremony to be held at the iconic Astor Theatre, Melbourne on Tuesday, February 16th.

The full list of nominations are after the jump.

Continue reading »

Jan 152016
 

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Overnight the nominees for the 88th Academy Awards were announced, and as usual we were up after the stroke of midnight to catch them as they were broadcast live. There has been a lot of discussion about this year’s leading contenders and we felt that the field would be spread quite deep – no stand-out sweeping many different categories, they will be shared around – and as a result it has been a lot harder to predict. While Spotlight went in the wobbly favourite for Best Picture, contenders in the shape of The Big Short and The Revenant have been building momentum. The number of Best Picture nominees has also been a hotly debated topic, with many pundits claiming that the number would not surpass eight. Would there be a surprise – could Pixar’s Inside Out, Quentin Tarantino’s The Hateful Eight, or box office giant Straight Outta Compton sneak in? Would Sylvester Stallone follow up his Golden Globe with his second nomination for his portrait of Rocky Balboa. There are always stories around the Oscars, and while they may be dipping into a shallow pool of films, some amazing films have been recognised this year.

Well, leading all nominees with a whopping 12 was Alejandro G. Inarritu’s The Revenant. Now we predicted it would score at least 8, but when it picked up the uncertain Best Costume Design and Supporting Actor, we knew it was set to hit over 10. George Miller’s Mad Max Fury Road received 10 nominations, on par with our predictions, cleaning up the technical categories (although unfathomably missing out on an Original Score nomination). The rest of the field of nominees is spread right out with a host of films landing between 3 and 7 nominations. Joining The Revenant and Fury Road in the Best Picture field were The Martian (7), Spotlight (6), Bridge of Spies (6), The Big Short (5), Room (4) and Brooklyn (3). On the outside with multiple noms were Carol (6), Star Wars: The Force Awakens (5), The Danish Girl (4), The Hateful Eight (3), Sicario (3) and Ex Machina (2).

Check out the full list of nominees by category after the jump: Continue reading »

Jan 132016
 

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The Director’s Guild of America have announced their nominees, and these nominees reflect our predictions for the eventual Oscar. Spotlight and The Big Short complete their circle of powerful Guild nominations (SAG, PGA and WGA) with further recognition, cementing them as the Oscar frontrunners. Golden Globe winner for Best Director Inarritu (The Revenant) also appears, as expected. Todd Haynes (Carol) and Steven Spielberg (The Big Short) are the notable exclusions, with Carol’s Oscar chances uncertain (no PGA nomination, but lots of love from the Golden Globes and BAFTA).

Here are the nominees:

OUTSTANDING DIRECTORIAL ACHIEVEMENT IN FEATURE FILM

Alejandro G. InarrituThe Revenant

Tom McCarthy, Spotlight

Adam McKay, The Big Short

George Miller, Mad Max: Fury Road

Ridley Scott, The Martian 

 

OUTSTANDING DIRECTORIAL ACHIEVEMENT OF A FIRST-TIME FEATURE FILM DIRECTOR

Fernando Coimbra, A Wolf at the Door

Joel Edgerton, The Gift

Alex Garland, Ex Machina

Marielle Heller, The Diary of a Teenage Girl

Laszlo Nemes, Son of Saul