Oscar History

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Entries in Grand Budapest Hotel (46)

Dec 29 2014

Beauty vs Beast: Tilda vs Tilda

Jason's on vacation but while he's away I thought we'd have a funhouse mirror episode of hisBeauty vs.Beastseries to celebrate another great year for Tilda Swinton and....uh...Tilda Swinton.What an inimitable career she's had.So this week we're pitting two of the most memorable women of 2014 against each other,an ancient beauty who literally ownsThe Grand Budapest Hoteland a beastly politician who acts like she owns theSnowpiercerand all of its passenger citizens.

You have one week to vote.Make your case in the comments and may the best Tilda win!

Dec 28 2014

The Best Picture Puzzle Has How Many Pieces?

WithInto the WoodsandUnbrokenopening so well over Christmas,one has to think that their Best Picture chances have been bolstered.Both are currently in that foggy area of "will they or won't they?"a siamese twin to "how many Best Picture nominees will we get?"punditry.

If you look to thecurrent Best Picture Chart,I think you'll agree that the eventual fates of anything beyond the top five (Selma,Birdman,Boyhood,The Theory of Everything,andThe Imitation Game) seem uncertain.If you compare my chart to the current Gurus of Gold (in which we made suggestions as to what films voters should be screening this week) you'll see that the top ten films are basically the same albeit in a slightly different order and with the consensus being that I'm underestimatingFoxcatcherand overestimatingInto the Woods.

ObviouslyGrand Budapest Hotelwill be enjoying multiple nominations but can it manage the biggies like Best Picture & Best Director & Best Actor?If we were still in ye olden times of only 5 nominees would it be our 'lone wolf' auteur triumph?I am undoubtedly the most bearish of any of the pundits about its fate but it's only because I have long lamented the fate of Wes Anderson pictures with AMPAS.One sounds like a complete nutter when one says it out loud but the following statement is in fact true "No Wes Anderson live action picture has ever been nominated for ANYTHING outside of Best Screenplay."No,not even Best Production Design which nearly all of them have deserved.

And what of the Fincher continuum?WillGone Girl be anotherGirl with the Dragon Tattoo,which justmissed a Best Picture nomination despite love across multiple Academy branches?

We're at war here.

It's been ages and ages since an NBR Best Picture winner didn't make the Oscar lineup but did the simmeringA Most Violent Yearopen too late (i.e.two daysaftervoting even begins) for a race that requires the full boil around New Years?

One of These Will WinBirdman,Boyhood,Selma
Sure ThingsThe Imitation Game,Theory of Everything
Probably?Grand Budapest Hotel,Whiplash
But What About?Gone Girl,Unbroken,Into the Woods,Foxcatcher,A Most Violent Year
LongshotsInterstellar,Nightcrawler,Mr Turner,American Sniper
Why Aren't They In the Conversation?Wild,Ida

So many questions.So many theoretical answers.Oscar ballots go out tomorrow so the next week is absolutely crucial.If we get 9 Best Picture nominations again I think it's safe to say that the Academy's executives just need to admit that their shifting number of Picture nominees experiment is a failure and round it back up to a Top Ten or return to the old five-wide standard.

How many nominees do you think we'll get?

Dec 22 2014

Stocking Stuffers (of Our Dreams)

Year in Review: Two yummy lists per day.Alexa is off for the holiday so I'm subverting her her arts & crafts "Curio"column for a gift list - Nathaniel

I can't imagine that the wee moviegoers of the world won't be getting all theBig Hero 6,LEGOandGrootgoodies their hearts desire over Christmas but here are ten stocking stuffers we wish we could play with on Thursday morning.

Listen,nobody is ever going to serve the niche within the niche within the niche markets -- I 've accepted that fact that I'll never ownVera Drakeaction figures or,to quote Waiting for Guffman,aRemains of the Daylunchbox.But that shouldn't stop the dreaming.Some of the following prezzies inspired by 2014 movies,would surely put huge smiles on the face of your cinephile loved ones.Some of these youcanactually stuff in stockings.Others do not exist.But we're in the list-making mood.Tis the season.

11 Last Minute Gift Ideas From Real to Imaginary

11.Snowpierceroriginal graphic novelfor salehere
10.Mendl's Bakery Memorabiliaall over the place at Etsy
9.Amazing Amy booksfor download...orCarrie Coon's "Protect Your Nuts"teefor orderbut if you're going with anyGone Girlinspired gifts make sure create your own scavenger hunt series of clues for your victim...excuse me,beloved.I meant beloved!

8 more ideas after the jump

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Dec 15 2014

"Critics Choice"Flies With Keaton,Checks Into the Grand Budapest & Stands with Jolie, Unbroken

(We interruptyour Missi experiencethis morning to bring you more awards news.Missi returns this afternoon for two final posts.)

If you missed my predictions and would like to mock them,they were here.The Critics Choice which will be broadcast live on A&E this year from the Iconic Hollywood Palladium (a new home and venue) onJanuary 15th at 9 PM EST / 6 PM PST.I shall try and attend again.If I can get a better table.What?Travel expenses must be justified!

Birdman- leading with 13 nominations
Boyhood- 8 nominations
Gone Girl- 6 nominations
Grand Budapest Hotel- second place with 11
The Imitation Game- 6 nominations
Nightcrawler- 3 nominations
Selma- 5 nominations
Theory of Everything- 5 nominations
Unbroken- 4 nominations
Whiplash- 4 nominations

I suspected (aka predicted) that we'd seeUnbrokenandGone Girlresurface in the conversation here.In fact the only prediction I got wrong was I didn't foreseeNightcrawlerhappening,fearing that the AFI love forAmerican Sniperwas significant.I thinkBoyhoodwill probably win in the end (especially given the weird halfhearted "comedy"section of the awards pulling votes away fromBirdman) but good onBirdmanfor that astounding level of support.

I was really hoping for one non-Oscary thing though.I thoughtUnder the Skinmight have an outside chance for a shocker (and yes I voted for it).

JAKE GETS THE JOB and moreafter the jump...

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Dec 14 2014

SAG & Globe Reader Questions.Podcast Answers!

Last week's tidal wave of precursor buzz - most notably the Screen Actors Guild and Golden Globe nominations have everyone talking possible Oscar nominations.Those nominations are still one month away if you can believe it which gives us plenty of time to keep theorizing.

You asked a lot of questions.So Nathaniel,Nick and Katey answered them in this week's podcast!

How this one goes...
00:01 BFCA Ballot Buyer's Remorse.How many times did Katey vote forThe Hundred-Foot Journey?
03:00 Is Jennifer Aniston going to happen?
05:15 Robert Duvall and/orSelma's Supporting Bids
10:00 Humble Brag Jake Gyllenhaal Party
15:15 "What were they thinking?"& potential surprises
22:00 Julianne Moore's frontrunner status
27:45 Boyhood's performances & Budapest's momentum
32:25 Rewatchability.Does it matter?Should it?
37:00 Miscellaneous Last thoughts
40:10 Julianne Moore Stinger

You can listen at the bottom of the post ordownload from iTunes tomorrow.Continue the conversation in the comments.Hopefully though we answered your initial questions we raised even more talking points...

Precursor Questions.Podcast Answer

Dec 12 2014

Best Picture Predictions: Selma & Budapest on the Rise...

At this juncture in each film year,each week (hell,each day) brings another level of absurdity to the notion that anything is sure when it comes to Oscar.The awards table is constantly being shaken up and as soon as the pieces settle they're jostled again.All that and we're still almost three weeks away from actual Academy balloting for nominations.

you wish to have the curse reversed?get your screeners out first!

The tidal wave of awardage in early December reminds us once again that late December releasesIFthey are also late to screen can struggle.Still AliceandCake,counter-examples,may be hiding from the public [ahem -grrr] but they premiered / screened regularly and early for the industry starting in September so their late arrivals haven't been a problem.InterstellarandSelma(both from Paramount) andA Most Violent Year(from A24) performed inconsistently without the benefit of awards screeners.Other late-to-screen releases (none of which have opened yet) includingAmerican Sniper,Into the Woods,Unbroken,andBig Eyesgot screeners outbutnot in time for the SAG Nominating committee (from my understanding).Only Streep scored with a SAG nomination from those films.

And,let's face it,Into the Woodsdidn't even have to screen.Many many people in the world are willing to buy Meryl Streep on principal as Best even if they haven't yet seen whatever new character she's selling.(I wasn't joking when discussing her awards prospects on twitter when I said that only about once every 20 years do awards bodies en masse just decide to ignore her entirely in a given film year and we're not due for another one of thoseBrigadoon-like mystical occurences until 2024/2025.(If you're curious the last two times wereFalling in Lovein the 80s andPrimein the 00s)

Despite all the heat a Globe or SAG nomination or an LA / New York critics win can bring a film it's infinitely worth noting that Oscar balloting doesn't even begin until after Christmas so there are still important weeks ahead for all of these movies.In the end buzz only increases your likelihood that Academy members will watch your film.It doesn't necessarily mean that they'lllikeyour film and vote for it.If you trust the precursorsWhiplashisn't a threat for anything outside of Supporting Actor gold but I'm still willing to bet big on it in my predictions.At every industry event I've attended I've heard people speak of it with the kind of excitement that you can't buy with expensive PR pushes because the excitement is organic and personal taste driven.I'm not a huge fan of the film (though it has its moments and Damien Chazelle obviously has a big career ahead) but I hear actual love and not just respectful admiration when people talk about it and that isat leastas good as,say,a Globe Best Picture Comedy or Musical nomination for Oscar heat,you know?

Best Pictureis still something of a mystery,since we don't know how many nominees we will get or which of the 15 or so movies still in the running will be selected.We've had four completely consistent performers in the precursors that have already faced and won over both audiences and critics so you can lock them up:Birdman,Boyhood,The Imitation Game,The Theory of Everything.But beyond that?Anyone's guess.

The Globe love-in forSelmaand that totally deserved but still a wee bit surprising SAG Cast nomination forGrand Budapest Hotelare arguably the 2 biggest deal awards occurrences this week.If AMPAS voters haven't yet decided to screen either of those films,you can be sure they're going to.

More questions: CanFoxcatcher,Gone Girl,orInterstellarreheat cooling buzz?CanUnbroken,Into the Woods,American Sniper,andA Most Violent Yearrally their fan bases in the next two to three weeks?(Successful opening weekends definitely won't hurt if they can muster them.)

What other questions areyouasking about the best picture race?


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