July 11, 2015

Tag Archives: tim burton

The tenuous nature of being an early Academy Award frontrunner

It’s hardly a brand new sentiment to express, but you really can never script Oscar season. No matter how you think the awards race is going to go, at least to some degree it always turns out different. This year is obviously no exception, so today I wanted to take a look at how the various frontrunner have changed throughout the season. In some cases, we’ve seen top tier contenders hold strong all year, but the frontrunners have shifted for sure. In a few instances, the early favorites didn’t wind up nominated at all. That’s just how the season goes. We’re deep into phase two now, so it’s a perfect time to look back at what things were like at the start of 2014.
Obviously, you never truly know what’s going to happen during an Oscar race, especially when you start out in the early days of the season basically just going on log line or pedigree. Every so often you can hit on one fairly early on (like Argo in my case, which was the rare occasion when I was out front on something), or at least suspect that it could turn into a winner (with 12 Years a Slave), but most of the time the ones you think will be nominees don’t even come close. It’s the uniqueness of trying to predict what a voting body will like a year in advance. As you’ll see below, some of the main Academy Award categories this year could have had a very different look to them than we ultimately had.

Take a look:
Best Picture – There was a time when Unbroken was thought to be almost unbeatable in the Best Picture category. Other non nominees heavily spoken of early on were Big Eyes, Fury, Gone Girl, Interstellar, Into the Woods, Jersey Boys, and so on. Of course, once Cannes hit we all thought Foxcatcher was a surefire nominee, and we all saw what happened then. Boyhood was something I and many others figured would get in, but the frontrunner? Never in a million years would that have been a smart bet. Go figure.
Best Director – It’s pretty much the same her with Best Director. Names like David Ayer (Fury), Tim Burton (Big Eyes), Clint Eastwood (Jersey Boys), David Fincher (Gone Girl), Rob Marshall (Into the Woods), and Christopher Nolan (Interstellar) were bandied about, but this appeared to be Angelina Jolie’s to lose […]

Re-ranking the contenders in Best Director

As I mentioned last week, with the festival season well underway and a good portion of the major contenders for the Academy Awards having screened or about to screen, now seems like as good a time as any to take a look at the big eight categories and see what’s what in an updated and more expanded fashion. I did this with the major categories a few months back, but that was when almost everything was still speculation. We have some facts to go on now, so while much of this is still just an educated guess, I’m not completely relying on overt hunches this time around. It’s more of an even mix, depending on the film/director in question, of course. Today I’m turning my attention once again to the Best Director field, which will certainly match up somewhat with Best Picture, but perhaps not necessarily in a total form. Read on to see what I mean…
Here are the ten filmmakers that I have in play for Best Director currently, with the top five cracking the lineup at this point and time:
1. David Fincher (Gone Girl) – Considering I have Gone Girl winning Best Picture right now, it makes sense that I have Fincher winning Best Director here. The very first reviews for the movie dropped last night and they heavily praise his work, even if some do wish he’d tackle less “pulpy” subject matter. That seems like a film critic’s complaint to me (even if I’ve made that same statement about other filmmakers), so that might not bother the Academy too much. I’ll know more once I see it at the New York Film Festival on Friday, but for now…it’s in the top spot. This could be in flux though.
2. Bennett Miller (Foxcatcher) – Despite the slight reduction in buzz for this one, I’m expecting a surge again once Miller’s film plays at NYFF in a few weeks time. He’s slowly becoming an overdue director as well, so it’s possible voters might just decide that now is the time. As long as he can build back up some buzz, you have to still consider him a major threat to win. Don’t sleep on Miller’s chances, as he’s always found a way in the past.
3. Alejandro González Iñárritu (Birdman or the Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) – Some have Iñárritu as the one to beat right now, but I’m not sure […]

“Foxcatcher” by Bennett Miller: A June Oscar Predictions Update

Now that we’re well into the month of June, I’m coming to you again with some new and even more up to date Oscar predictions. They won’t be too different from what I put up last month, or obviously what I’ve written about in my articles on the Best Picture and Best Director fields, but honestly, that’s kind of the point. We still have a very long way to go in the season and these new predictions will likely be mostly wrong anyway, but with each passing update I’m getting a bit more confident in backing these particular horses as opposed to the previous ones I’ve mentioned. If that sounds repetitive, well…that’s the nature of the beast right now. If nothing else, this sort of shows where I’m coming from as the months pass and the race begins to change and evolve into something truly competitive, especially when precursor season kicks into gear in the fall/winter.
Continuing the trend I’ve had all year, you can see that films like Angelina Jolie’s Unbroken, Bennett Miller’s Foxcatcher, and Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar are the ones that I have pegged to be the biggest winners at this year’s ceremony, with Foxcatcher now dominating at this early point in the season, though with Unbroken still doing terrifically as well, at least in terms of nominations. A lot can and will still change, but if you’re looking for an early horse to bet on, it’s really either Foxcatcher or Unbroken right now. There are some small changes elsewhere in most categories, but in the grand scheme of things, it’s still about those two contenders here for me.
I could go on about the tinkering that I’ve done (there’s a noticeable change in Picture and Director, one of which goes against a recent article of mine, but I’m experimenting) this time around, but I know at this point you mostly just want to see actual predictions, so here now is how I see the Academy Awards shaping up to look like at this eearly juncture:
BEST PICTURE
1. Foxcatcher
2. Unbroken
3. Men, Women, & Children
4. Big Eyes
5. Rosewater
6. Gone Girl
7. Interstellar
8. Mr. Turner
9. Boyhood
10. A Most Violent Year
BEST DIRECTOR
1. Bennett Miller – Foxcatcher
2. Angelina Jolie – Unbroken
3. David Fincher – Gone Girl
4. Jason Reitman – Men, Women, & Children
5. Tim Burton – Big Eyes
BEST ACTOR
1. Steve Carell – Foxcatcher
2. Joaquin Phoenix – Inherent Vice
3. Timothy Spall – Mr. Turner
4. Oscar Isaac – […]

Bennett Miller: 2015 Best Director contenders

As you folks all know, it’s one thing to read early Academy Award predictions at this point in the year in order to see what folks like myself think will happen six months from now, but it’s another thing entirely to actually know something about what will be in contention. To help out in that regard, I’m running down some of the major contenders in each Oscar category in order to prep you all for the season to come. Basically, the format will have me saying a few words about what/who I feel are the top tier contenders right now in said categories, along with a longer list afterwards of many of the other hopefuls that the Academy might take a shine to. Consider this a sort of before the awards season cheat sheet to have in your back pocket.
Today I’m continuing with the second biggest one out there…Best Director.
Here are the ten filmmakers that I have in play for Best Director, with the top five cracking the lineup at this point:
1. Bennett Miller (Foxcatcher) – I have Miller in the top spot for Foxcatcher due to how well received it was at the Cannes Film Festival. The director himself took home a prize, and for an awards bait American movie to do that, it shows some potentially strong legs to me. Miller is probably the closest thing to a lock that we have so far this year.
2. Angelina Jolie (Unbroken) – It’s basically a tie between Jolie and Miller for me, but I give the Foxcatcher director the edge due to his aforementioned Best Director win at Cannes. Without that, I’d probably have Jolie in the top spot. Her directorial debut In the Land of Blood and Honey showed off her skills and this war film seems tailor made for the Academy. If she nails it, she’s a surefire nominee in the directing category.
3. David Fincher (Gone Girl) – I think we can all agree that Fincher is going to win an Oscar one day, it’s just a matter of when. While I doubt he’ll be able to do it this year, he seems like he’ll very much be in contention for a nomination at least here. A lot will depend on if this is a Best Picture player or not. If it is, my guess is that he makes it in here.
4. Jason Reitman (Men, Women, & Children) […]

The 2015 Awards Race: Best Picture contenders – Unbroken, Foxcatcher

It’s one thing to read early Academy Award predictions to see what folks like myself think will happen at the end of the year, but it’s another thing entirely to actually know which films will be in contention. To that end, once or twice a week for the next month or so I’ll be running down some of the major contenders in each Oscar category. Basically, the format will have me saying a few words about what/who I feel are the top tier contenders right now in said categories, along with a longer list afterwards of many of the other hopefuls. Consider this a sort of pre awards season cheat sheet.
Today I’m beginning with the big one…Best Picture.
Here are the ten films that I have right now cracking the Best Picture lineup:
1. Unbroken – To me, Angelina Jolie’s sophomore directorial outing is the one to beat out right now. It’s a World War II survival tale starring up and comer Jack O’Connell, written by a group that includes the Coen Brothers, and is shot by legendary cinematographer Roger Deakins. There’s such a tremendous pedigree on display, this would have to be an absolute disaster not to crack the lineup. As it stands now, it’s the one I have winning it all.

2. Foxcatcher – Bennett Miller’s passion project got a nice boost this past week at the Cannes Film Festival. Raves were given not just for Miller, but for star Steve Carell and co-stars Mark Ruffalo/Channing Tatum as well, so there’s across the board potential here. Right now, it’s the only film that I’m basically 100% sure will be in the Best Picture lineup, barring something unexpected.
3. Men, Women, & Children – I’m perhaps higher on Jason Reitman’s latest than most, but I’m also a big fan of the book by Chad Kultgen and see real potential here. Along with giving Adam Sandler a rare chance to be serious, the talented ensemble cast includes Rosemarie DeWitt, Jennifer Garner, Judy Greer, Dean Norris, Emma Thompson, Kaitlyn Dever, Ansel Elgort, Dennis Haysbert, and J.K. Simmons, so Reitman has tons of toys to play with here. If Oscar can handle the sexual frankness of the story, Ivan’s son could again be a nominee and see his film nominated for Best Picture.
4. Big Eyes – Of late, Tim Burton movies have been the exact opposite of Oscar bait, but this sees him returning to something […]

“Unbroken” by Angelina Jolie: A May Oscar Predictions Update

Now that we’re in the month of May, here I am again with some new and even more up to date Oscar predictions. They won’t be amazingly different from what I put up last month, but honestly, that’s kind of the point. We still have a very long way to go in the season and these new predictions will likely be almost entirely wrong anyway, but with each passing update I do feel a teensy bit more confident in backing these particular horses as opposed to the previous ones. If nothing else, this sort of shows where I’m coming from as the months pass and the race begins to evolve into something actually competitive, especially when precursor season begins.

Much like last time, you can see that films like Angelina Jolie’s Unbroken, Bennett Miller’s Foxcatcher, and Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar are the ones that I have pegged to be the big winners at this year’s ceremony, with Unbroken still dominating at this early point in the season. A lot can and likely will change, but if you’re looking for an early horse to bet on, that’s the one in my eyes. There are some small changes, but in the grand scheme of things, it’s still about Unbroken here for me.

I could go on about the tinkering that I’ve done, but I know at this point you mostly just want to see actual predictions, so here now is how I see the Academy Awards shaping up at this eearly juncture:
BEST PICTURE
1. Unbroken
2. Foxcatcher
3. Men, Women, & Children
4. Big Eyes
5. Boyhood
6. Gone Girl
7. Rosewater
8. The Homesman
9. Interstellar
10. A Most Violent Year
BEST DIRECTOR
1. Angelina Jolie- Unbroken
2. Bennett Miller – Foxcatcher
3. Jason Reitman – Men, Women, & Children
4. Tim Burton – Big Eyes
5. Richard Linklater – Boyhood
BEST ACTOR
1. Jack O’Connell – Unbroken
2. Steve Carell – Foxcatcher
3. Joaquin Phoenix – Inherent Vice
4. Timothy Spall – Mr. Turner
5. Ben Affleck – Gone Girl
BEST ACTRESS
1. Amy Adams – Big Eyes
2. Jessica Chastain – A Most Violent Year
3. Michelle Williams – Suite française
4. Hilary Swank – The Homesman
5. Reese Witherspoon – Wild
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
1. Mark Ruffalo – Foxcatcher
2. J.K. Simmons – Whiplash
3. Christoph Waltz – Big Eyes
4. Robert Duvall – The Judge
5. Takamasa Ishihara – Unbroken
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
1. Rosamund Pike – Gone Girl
2. Jena Malone – Inherent Vice
3. Rosemarie DeWitt – Men, Women, & Children
4. Patricia Arquette – Boyhood
5. Hailee Steinfeld – The Homesman
BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
1. Foxcatcher
2. Big Eyes
3. Interstellar
4. […]

An Early Glimpse at some Advance Oscar Predictions

Now that we’re officially a quarter of the way through 2014, I figured I’d debut my year in advance Academy Award predictions. These are actually the ones that I came up with back in March the night of the Oscars, so they’re not the most up to date, but they’re a good starting point for the season. I’m also excluding winners this time out, just so we can start slowly. Depending on how the season progresses, these can evolve into weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly posts, so for now we’ll play it by ear. I’m always keen to share predictions though, so it’s safe to say that this won’t be an infrequent series.
Basically, I see this season as one that could really favor Tim Burton’s Big Eyes, Bennett Miller’s Foxcatcher, David Fincher’s Gone Girl, Jason Reitman’s Men, Women, & Children, and Angelina Jolie’s Unbroken. If I had to pick way too early frontrunners, Foxcatcher and Unbroken would be the two. They seem to have potential for across the board appeal, and that’s something an early contender always wants to have in its corner. Nobody knows anything at this point, but if you had a gun to your head, those two are the ones that seem safest to back right now.
Other titles you should keep in mind are Richard Linklater’s Boyhood, Josh Boone’s The Fault in Our Stars, Paul Thomas Anderson’s Inherent Vice, and Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar, just to name a few. The vast majority of contenders are sight unseen right now though, so everything is purely speculation, and will be well until the fall. We’ll know some more soon, but all won’t be revealed for many months. That’s part of the fun of all this though, at least for me. I love seeing how it all unfolds and tracking how my predictions evolve/if any of my long shots wind up coming to fruition. It’s all educated guesswork, but I pride myself on being a decent prognosticator, so I try to keep track of it all. You’ll all get to be the judge throughout 2014, and this isn’t a bad place to begin. My final predictions rarely resemble these initial ones, but it could be fun to compare those as well too…later on, of course.
Below you can find my aforementioned initial set of predictions for the big eight categories at the Oscars. Next time I’ll do all of the categories and give […]

And the BAFTA Award Winners are…

Argo was named Best Film at tonight’s EE British Academy Film Awards hosted by Stephen Fry, held at London’s Royal Opera House. And the British Academy of Film and Television Arts award winners are…
BEST FILM
WINNER – ARGO Grant Heslov, Ben Affleck, George Clooney
LES MISÉRABLES Tim Bevan, Eric Fellner, Debra Hayward, Cameron Mackintosh
LIFE OF PI Gil Netter, Ang Lee, David Womark
LINCOLN Steven Spielberg, Kathleen Kennedy
ZERO DARK THIRTY Mark Boal, Kathryn Bigelow, Megan Ellison
OUTSTANDING BRITISH FILM
ANNA KARENINA Joe Wright, Tim Bevan, Eric Fellner, Paul Webster, Tom Stoppard
THE BEST EXOTIC MARIGOLD HOTEL John Madden, Graham Broadbent, Pete Czernin, Ol Parker
LES MISÉRABLES Tom Hooper, Tim Bevan, Eric Fellner, Debra Hayward, Cameron Mackintosh, William Nicholson, Alain Boublil, Claude-Michel Schönberg, Herbert Kretzmer
SEVEN PSYCHOPATHS Martin McDonagh, Graham Broadbent, Pete Czernin
WINNER – SKYFALL Sam Mendes, Michael G. Wilson, Barbara Broccoli, Neal Purvis, Robert Wade, John Logan
OUTSTANDING DEBUT BY A BRITISH WRITER, DIRECTOR OR PRODUCER
WINNER – BART LAYTON (Director), DIMITRI DOGANIS (Producer) The Imposter
DAVID MORRIS (Director), JACQUI MORRIS (Director/Producer) McCullin
DEXTER FLETCHER (Director/Writer), DANNY KING (Writer) Wild Bill
JAMES BOBIN (Director) The Muppets
TINA GHARAVI (Director/Writer) I Am Nasrine
FILM NOT IN THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE
WINNER – *AMOUR Michael Haneke, Margaret Ménégoz
HEADHUNTERS Morten Tyldum, Marianne Gray, Asle Vatn
THE HUNT Thomas Vinterberg, Sisse Graum Jørgensen, Morten Kaufmann
RUST AND BONE Jacques Audiard, Pascal Caucheteux
UNTOUCHABLE Eric Toledano, Olivier Nakache, Nicolas Duval Adassovsky, Yann Zenou, Laurent Zeitoun
DOCUMENTARY
THE IMPOSTER Bart Layton, Dimitri Doganis
MARLEY Kevin Macdonald, Steve Bing, Charles Steel
McCULLIN David Morris, Jacqui Morris
WINNER – SEARCHING FOR SUGAR MAN Malik Bendjelloul, Simon Chinn
WEST OF MEMPHIS Amy Berg
ANIMATED FILM
WINNER – BRAVE Mark Andrews, Brenda Chapman
FRANKENWEENIE Tim Burton
PARANORMAN Sam Fell, Chris Butler
DIRECTOR
AMOUR Michael Haneke
WINNER – ARGO Ben Affleck
DJANGO UNCHAINED Quentin Tarantino
LIFE OF PI Ang Lee
ZERO DARK THIRTY Kathryn Bigelow
ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
AMOUR Michael Haneke
WINNER – DJANGO UNCHAINED Quentin Tarantino
THE MASTER Paul Thomas Anderson
MOONRISE KINGDOM Wes Anderson, Roman Coppola
ZERO DARK THIRTY Mark Boal
ADAPTED SCREENPLAY
ARGO Chris Terrio
BEASTS OF THE SOUTHERN WILD Lucy Alibar, Benh Zeitlin
LIFE OF PI David Magee
LINCOLN Tony Kushner
WINNER – SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK David O. Russell
LEADING ACTOR
BEN AFFLECK Argo
BRADLEY COOPER Silver Linings Playbook
WINNER – DANIEL DAY-LEWIS Lincoln
HUGH JACKMAN Les Misérables
JOAQUIN PHOENIX The Master
LEADING ACTRESS
WINNER – EMMANUELLE RIVA Amour
HELEN MIRREN Hitchcock
JENNIFER LAWRENCE Silver Linings Playbook
JESSICA CHASTAIN Zero Dark Thirty
MARION COTILLARD Rust and Bone
SUPPORTING ACTOR
ALAN ARKIN Argo
WINNER – CHRISTOPH WALTZ Django Unchained
JAVIER BARDEM Skyfall
PHILIP SEYMOUR HOFFMAN The Master
TOMMY LEE JONES Lincoln
SUPPORTING ACTRESS
AMY ADAMS The Master
WINNER – ANNE HATHAWAY Les Misérables
HELEN HUNT The Sessions
JUDI DENCH Skyfall
SALLY FIELD Lincoln
ORIGINAL MUSIC
ANNA KARENINA Dario Marianelli
ARGO Alexandre Desplat
LIFE OF […]

Marion Cotillard to be nominated for “Best Actress” for her performance in “Rust and Bone”

Our friend and one of our favorite actresses, Marion Cotillard, is on her way to be nominated for “Best Actress” for her performance in “Rust and Bone.” This coming January 10th the Academy Awards will announce the nominees for the Oscars. We strongly believe that Marion will be one of them.
Oscar® winner Marion Cotillard is internationally renowned for her unbridled commitment to her art, challenging herself with each new role.
Cotillard is starring in Jacques Audiard’s “Rust and Bone,” alongside Matthias Schoenaerts, Bouli Lanners and Céline Sallette. The film was co-written by Jacques Audiard and Thomas Bidegain and adapted from the acclaimed book of short stories by Craig Davidson.
Cotillard recently wrapped production on director and co-writer James Gray’s “Untitled James Gray Project,” starring opposite Joaquin Phoenix and Jeremy Renner. The film focuses on ‘Ewa Cybulska,’ (Cotillard) and her sister, ‘Magda,’ who sail to Ellis Island in the early twentieth century, only to be separated when Magda falls ill. With nowhere to go, ‘Ewa’ quickly falls prey to ‘Bruno’ (Phoenix), a charming but wicked man who forces her to perform in his nightly burlesque show. There she encounters the dazzling ‘Orlando the Magician’ (Renner), who sweeps her off her feet and may be her only chance to reunite with her sister and escape the nightmare. Additionally, she also completed production on Guillaume Canet’s “Blood Ties” opposite Clive Owen, Billy Crudup, Mila Kunis, and Zoe Saldana. Set in 1970s Brooklyn, the film explores organized crime and the relationship between two brothers on either side of the law who face off against each other.
In 2008, Cotillard became the second French actress to ever win an Oscar®, and the first to win an acting award for a performance in the French language. The worldwide critical acclaim came for her riveting portrayal of legendary French chanteuse, Edith Piaf, in the film “La Vie En Rose.”
Cotillard’s credits include the successful French “Taxi” film series, written by Luc Besson, Yann Samuell’s “Love Me If You Dare,” and Tim Burton’s “Big Fish.” She garnered her first Cesar Award for Best Supporting Actress, for her performance in Jean-Pierre Jeunet’s “A Very Long Engagement.” Following that, she went on to star in Ridley Scott’s “A Good Year;” Michael Mann’s “Public Enemies,” and Rob Marshall’s “Nine,” the screen adaptation of the hit musical. Her performance in the film brought her Golden Globe and Critics’ Choice Award nominations, and she […]

The Contenders: Best Superhero Films of All-Time

by Joey Magidson
HollywoodNews.com: Now that ‘The Dark Knight Rises’ is out in theaters, it sort of feels like we’ve reached a milestone point in the realm of superhero flicks… perhaps even an apex if you will. Everything that will come next for the genre will be judged on a different playing field due to that film and this year’s ‘The Avengers’ as well (essentially you now have to go big or go home). Those two films were as anticipated as any other major comic book film out there, and some might say the hype has been as much as any other big flick in general. As most people would argue that 2012 has seen the release of two of the best superhero movies of all time, I thought it was only proper to give a little rundown of what I think are the 10 best of all time (at least so far).
Obviously there are lots of contenders for a list like this one, some more universally embraced than others, and it’s fair to say that no two people would come up with the same combination of flicks, but this is mine, so just keep that in mind as you read on. Of course I’ll want you all to give your picks later in the comments, but for now let’s get started and focus on my picks and see where things go from there. Which filmmakers who took multiple dips into the superhero pool got a citation from me here? Did I give any love to Tim Burton’s contributions to the genre? What about Jon Favreau’s? Presumably Christopher Nolan’s, right? Perhaps Sam Raimi’s? Bryan Singer’s could be in play, couldn’t they? Maybe even Joel Schumaker’s? (I assure you I did not go that route). First off, here are some that just missed the cut for me when compiling this list of lifesavers…
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