Dec 212014



The 83 submissions for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 87th Academy Awards have been whittled down to a shortlist of 9 films. Notable omissions include Mommy (Canada), Palme d’Or winner Winter Sleep (Turkey), Two Days, One Night (Belguim) and White God (Hungry). I’m disappointed Dolan’s audacious Mommy is not in contention – it is not only my favourite foreign language film of the year, but my 2nd favourite film overall. It’s surprising that the Dardenne brothers’ Two Days, One Night didn’t make the cut – the film is extremely topical and speaks to the almost universal experience of tough economic times.

On the positive side I am delighted that Poland’s Ida made the cut. It is quite possibly the best looking film of 2014, as well as being incredibly moving. Other films sure to be favourites are Russia’s Leviathan, Sweden’s Force Majuere and Argentina’s Wild Tales. I must admit to have never having heard of Corn Island, Accused or The Liberator, so I have no idea what sort of chance they have.

The full list of shortlisted nominees from which 5 will be chosen as the Oscar nominees are:

Wild Tales (Argentina)
Tangerines (Estonia)
Corn Island (Georgia)
Timbuktu (Mauritania)
Accused (Netherlands)
Ida (Poland)
Leviathan (Russia)
Force Majeure (Sweden)
The Liberator (Venezuela)

By Sam McCosh

Dec 162014


This morning the Critics’ Choice Award nominees were announced. One of the most reliable guides to the eventual Oscar nominees, along with the Golden Globes, the various Guilds and the BAFTAS. You can pretty much assume that 80% (or more) of the Oscar categories will be filled with nominees here. Also announced were the Online Film Critics Society Awards – thoughts on both after the jump.

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Dec 122014


The Golden Globe nominations were announced overnight, with Birdman leading the pack with 7 nominations. Notable films missing from the nominations include Unbroken and American Sniper; while Interstellar received only one nomination, for score.

The Golden Globes, voted for by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, a group of approximately 85 foreign entertainment reporters in LA. As always the awards are a mixed bag, with some interesting inclusions (how anyone from Into the Woods could get an acting nomination, I do not understand) and bizarre categorisation (Birdman is a comedy?). The real impact of the Globes on the Oscars is momentum, keeping or bringing films into the awards conversation.

Two of the greatest women alive, Tina Fey and Amy Poehler, will host the Golden Globes on Sunday 11 January (US time), which ends up being around midday on Monday 12 January for those of us in Australia.

The nominees and Andrew’s commentary are after the jump. [ed]
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Jan 082014

Alfonso Cuarón’s Gravity led the nominations for 2014 BAFTAs, receiving 11 nominations, including best film, director and outstanding British film. While Gravity is about as British as The Great Gatsby is Australian, its British production company apparently makes it eligible for the category. David O. Russell’s American Hustle and Steve McQueen’s 12 Years a Slave were close behind Gravity with 9 nominations each, including somewhat surprising nominations for Amy Adams and Christian Bale in the leading actress/actor categories. Adams in a particular is quite the surprise, receiving a nomination ahead of one of the undeniable favourites, Meryl Streep. I can understand the love for Gravity and 12 Years, but I’m baffled by the love for American Hustle. I wonder if people just love those involved and not the actual film?

Jean-Marc Vallée’s Dallas Buyers Club, which has been favoured by American critics’ associations and the powerful guilds (DGA,  PGA, SAG)  missed out completely, as did the wonderful Her, from Spike Jonze. Inside Lleweyn Davis gains three nominations here, but is yet to get much momentum behind it in the lead up to the Academy Awards.

I was delighted to see writer/director Paul Wright nominated for outstanding début by a British writer, director or producer (alongside producer Polly Stokes) for the incredible For Those in Peril. I had the utter delight to meet and speak with Paul after the screening of his film at Sydney Film Festival and he was extremely humble and honestly just so chuffed that people liked his film.

The BAFTAs will be awarded on February 16. The full list of nominations are after the jump.


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