Where was Jimmy Kimmel before the Oscars? Kathryn Bigelow could have used him. On Wednesday night, the late-night talk-show host gave a comic lesson in marketing when he showed this trailer for the March 19 DVD release of Zero Dark Thirty that re-positions the movie as a romantic comedy instead of a pro-torture CIA procedural. All it takes is a little voiceover magic and some creative editing to depict Jessica Chastain as a workaholic in search of "the man of her dreams." more »
“Argo to win it all.” This has been the Oscar pundit thesis statement ever since Ben Affleck was left off the Best Director list and promptly blew over the Critics’ Choice and Golden Globe Awards in a whirlwind weekend of Oscar analysis. Every award Argo has gathered since that weekend last month has added to the confirmation bias. Affleck and his film established themselves as the storyline of the 2012 Academy Awards. more »
According to the Academy Award pundits and even the Nate Silver-style numbers crunchers, Jennifer Lawrence will win the Best Actress Oscar on Sunday, but don't start engraving her name just yet. Along with the recent surge — at least in publicity — for Emmanuelle Riva, another group of in-the-know moviegoers is predicting that Zero Dark Thirty star Jessica Chastain will bring home the little gold man: New York City taxi riders.
The Clinton on-stage appearance was kept very hushed to maintain the surprise. Also in Monday's round-up of news, Zero Dark Thirty tops the weekend's box office as it headed into wide release; the Golden Globes had their best ratings in years; the Berlin International Film Festival sets its co-production market; and Robert DeNiro will receive honors at an Italian festival ahead of the Oscars.
Argo won the Best Motion Picture, Drama, while Les Misérables took Best Motion Picture Comedy or Musical Sunday night at the 70th Golden Globes at the Beverly Hilton. Looking surprise when his name was called, Ben Affleck took Best Director for Argo. He was snubbed for an Oscar nomination last week, but Affleck, who also stars in the film, took Best Director at the recent Critics Choice Awards.
It's a good morning for Harvey Weinstein, Fox and Sony Pictures Classics. Sifting through the more surprising-than-usual list of Academy nominations, these are the three big winners of the fierce behind-the-scenes campaigning that movie studios, their specialty divisions (and their consultants) do to get their pictures, directors, actors, etc. onto the hallowed Oscars short list.
The Weinstein Company has the enviable dilemma of now having to decide how to run two Best Picture campaigns for Silver Linings Playbook and Django Unchained. It also managed to get Joaquin Phoenix a Best Actor nomination for The Master despite Phoenix's slagging of the Oscars as the "stupidest thing in the world" and the picture's quick fade as a contender in the awards buzz circus. David O. Russell's nomination, after being passed over by the Director's Guild, is another sign of TWC's political muscle, particularly since the Silver Linings Playbook director is an outsider in Hollywood — like Weinstein and Phoenix, for that matter. (Okay, so Weinstein may be way more inside than he was in the Miramax days, but he's still an outsider. Fox employee and this year's Oscars host Seth MacFarlane made that clear earlier this morning, when referring to the Best Supporting Actress nominees, he cracked: "Congratulations, you five ladies no longer have to pretend to be attracted to Harvey Weinstein.")
Fox and Sony also did well in the Best Picture category: Fox 2000 has Life of Pi and Fox Searchlight has Beasts of the Southern Wild in the top category, but Sony is the more interesting story here. While the Annapurna-produced Columbia Pictures-distributed Zero Dark Thirty was nominated for Best Picture as expected, director Kathryn Bigelow's omission in the Best Director category goes down as one of the biggest snubs of this morning. On the other hand, the nominations of Sony Pictures Classics' Amour in the Best Picture and Best Foreign Picture categories and Michael Haneke for Best Director is quite a coup for the mini major given the competition this year and the film's difficult subject matter. In other words, Haneke's gain is related to Bigelow's loss.
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Even as the current Texas Chainsaw rises to the top of the box office, a fourth installment is in the offing. Also in Wednesday's round-up of news briefs, Tina Fey is in talks for the Muppets sequel; anti-torture protesters greet Zero Dark Thirty D.C. premiere; Biden is bringing in industry to talk violence ahead of possible gun policy changes; and Jeffersons doorman Ned Wertimer dies.
Quentin Tarantino and David O. Russell were edged out of the pack in today's Directors Guild Award nominations announcement, giving way to a rather conservative quintet of Oscar hopefuls. So let the DGA backlash begin: Between Ben Affleck (Argo), Kathryn Bigelow (Zero Dark Thirty), Steven Spielberg (Lincoln), Tom Hooper (Les Miserables), Ang Lee (Life of Pi), which nominee should have gotten the shaft to make the DGA race even remotely interesting?
Even as the U.S. Senate continues to inquire about what it says are misrepresentations of the use of torture in the successful hunt for Al Qaeda mastermind Osama Bin Laden in 2011, filmmakers Kathryn Bigelow and Mark Boal defended their Oscar hopeful Zero Dark Thirty at the New York Film Critics Circle Monday night.
Oscar heavy-weights Zero Dark Thirty, Argo, Lincoln and Silver Linings Playbook are among the titles nominated for screenplay recognition by the Writers Guild. Documentary shortlisted films The Invisible Man, Mea Maxima Culpa and Searching For Sugar Man are also among the nominations in the non-fiction category for the 2013 Writers Guild Awards, which will be held Sunday February 17th in simultaneously in Los Angeles and New York.
The Producers Guild of America (PGA) weighed in with their nominations for the best of 2012 for both motion pictures and television. Oscar heavy-weights including Lincoln, Django Unchained, Zero Dark Thirty, Les Misérables, Argo and Silver Linings Playbook made the cut along with other awards contenders including Beasts of the Southern Wild, Moonrise Kingdom and Life of Pi made the list for the organization's Darryl F. Zanuck Award for Outstanding Producer of Theatrical Motion Pictures.
The 23rd installment of James Bond became one of only a little over a dozen to score $1 billion worldwide. Also in Wednesday's round-up of news, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey crossed a milestone of its own; Silver Linings Playbook snatches European awards; China's Lost in Thailand marks a record at home.
Oscar Index: Critics Have 'Amour' For 'Zero Dark Thirty' & 'The Master,' But Who's 'Les Miserables' This Christmas?
Academy ballots were mailed out last week to 5,586 voting members, the most significant news on the Oscar front. Not that it was a quiet week in Lake Globesbegone. The New York Times’ critics A.O. Scott and Manohla Dargis both named Amour 2012’s best film, as did the Los Angeles Times’ Kenneth Turan. The AP triumvirate of Christy Lemire, David Germain and Jake Coyle anointed Argo, Moonrise Kingdom and Amour, respectively.