February 25, 2011
But digging deeper one can find many great films and achievements that were overlooked during the seventies.
Consider the great character actor Bruce Dern who gave a number of brilliant performances through the seventies, best of all in Black Sunday (1977) as a terrorist hellbent on blowing up the Super Bowl. Dern, sadly was typecast as a crazy after being the cowboy who shoots John Wayne in The Cowboys (1972), but people forget his superb performance as Tom in The Great Gatsby (1974) by far the best acting job in the film. His Big Bob in Smile (1975) was an electrifying piece of acting that was under seen during the decade, and his brilliant performance in Coming Home (1978) anchors the film.
The great director Hal Ashby slowly evolved through the seventies, moving from quirky, kind of interesting filmmaker to first class director. By the decades end he had been Oscar nominated for coming Home (1978), helmed Shampoo (1975) and guided Peter Sellers to the best performance of his career in the astounding Being There (1979).
The lovely late Jill Clayburgh gave some strong performances in the seventies, from Starting Over (1979), through the controversial Luna (1979) to her best work in An Unmarried Woman (1979) and though nominated she died without an Oscar.
Certainly Robert Duvall was deserving of Best Supporting Actor for his astounding work in Apocalypse Now (1979) as the film, though a stunner, never quite recovers from his exit. He represents the true madness of Viet Nam and we never achieve his height again. And hey, this is a film that should have won Best Picture and Best Director, but also a film the Academy feared.
How did Al Pacino lose Best Actor for The Godfather Part II (1974)?
How did John Wayne get snubbed for a Best Actor nomination for
The Shootist (1976)?
Diane Keaton wins an Oscar for Annie Hall (1977) but deserved to also be nominated for Looking for Mr. Goodbar (1977) and Manhattan (1979).
Why was Hair (1979) and Milos Forman snubbed for Film and Director in 1979?
One of John Huston's crowning achievements, The Man Who Would Be King (1975) was snubbed for Film and Director, and one could argue Best Actor, for both Sean Connery and Michael Caine.
Lauren Bacall is snubbed for Best Supporting Actress in The Shootist (1976).
Gene Hackman wins an Oscar for The French Connection (1971), surpasses that performance with The Conversation (1974) and French Connection II (1975) and is not even nominated???
Close Encounters of the Third Kind deserved to win Best Picture in 1977, but was not nominated.
Three songs from Phantom of the Paradise (1974) should have been nominated for Best Song...nope.
He directed Dog Day Afternoon (1975) and Network (1976) but never won an Oscar for Best Director. Weep for Sidney Lumet.
Shed a tear also for Alan J. Pakula, deserving of Best Director for All the President's Men (1976).
Me too, in a big way. In fact my wife thinks something is wrong with me in that I cannot get any interest worked up in this years' Academy Awards race. The nominations were a bore, the race is all but decided, with no room for any shocks or surprises, and I am bored out of my mind with the whole thing.
Perhaps it is because I have been writing about the Oscar race since September as TIFF which is the unofficial beginning of the season. How many times can I state who I think should win? I am tired of arguing with people who think they are going to change my opinion and who have it in their mind I am trying to change theirs.
Marty Scorsese was once listening to an actor, Willem Dafoe rage against a certain kind of film, an action flick that angered Dafoe with its silliness. Scorsese placed his arm around Dafoe and whsipered, "There's room for us all" and ended the conversation with those words. Indeed.
The same thing applies with Oscar talk, with film talk, there's room for us all.
I have wondered this year if we writers of all things Oscar and film are part of the problem with the boredom of the season? There are so many sites, so many fine writers, and so many hacks, that moving from site to site reading about the Oscars one can get Oscar overload.
What nominations would I liked to have seen this year?
Hereafter for Best Film and Best Director. Let Me In for Best Picture and Best Score, as well as Chloe Grace Morentz for Best Supporting Actress. Matt Damon for Best Supporting Actor for True Grit, and Christopher Nolan for Best Director for Inception. Martin Scorsese and Leonardo di Caprio for Shutter Island. Julianne Moore for The Kids are All Right, any category.
Those would have made me smile a bit, and added some controversey to the race. As it is I am bored out of my skull this year and feeling very, very blue about it. In fact I have toyed with not watching the Oscars this year because I am that bored. And thata is very sad because I have not missed one since 1973.
September 12, 2010
September 11, 2010
June 17, 2010
To all readers and fans of the Awards Circuit,
As Clay mentioned earlier in the week, this is now the Festival Blog, and for the remainder of the month will be our blog for the Los Angeles Film Festival, which is produced every year by Film Independent (yes the same group that hands out the Independent Spirit Awards before the Oscars). This section of the site will be updated constantly during the next couple of weeks, with everything from capsule reviews of films, previews of up-coming events, film recommendations, coverage of events, filmmaker interviews, and much more!
Please check back here for information if you’re in LA and looking for things to do at the festival, or if you’re one of our readers from the world over who wants to follow the films and the artists who may soon be hitting the Oscar trail. From the gala screening of Fox Searchlight’s summer release “Cyrus” to independent documentaries such as “Vlast (Power)” and every coffee talk and pool conversation I can fit into my schedule, please check back here early and often to read all about it. Also, if there are any specific events you’d like to see covered, please let me know in comments section and I’ll see what I can arrange. The link to the official Los Angeles Film Festival site is here.
Thanks for checking out this wonderful festival and supporting independent film. I hope to see you there.
June 14, 2010
June 13, 2010
After a series of films underperformed at the box office throughout the past month, shockingly it was “The Karate Kid” that shattered all expectations by taking in $56 million at the domestic box office this weekend. While global numbers were unavailable at this time, “The Karate Kid” had a $40 million production budget, and is looking at a profit margin that could be far higher than any other film released this summer. Even Sony who released “The Karate Kid” had predicted an opening of about half this scale, and to possibly be neck-and-neck for the top spot with the re-make of “The A-Team”. Ultimately, with kids getting out of school for the summer and families wanting to return to the movies, “The Karate Kid” filled a need in the marketplace that was open as many families had already seen “Shrek Forever After” in the last three weeks.
If “The Karate Kid” signaled a shift at the box office to better summer seasons gone by, “The A-Team”, fit right in to this summer’s series of opening weekends that fall somewhere in between disappointing and tragic. Although it may be more the former than the latter, “The A-Team” opened in second place with $26 million domestically and $41 million worldwide, only a fraction of its $110 million budget. While many have been quick to point fingers at “Hollywood” for rehashing ideas for sequels, video game adaptations, and re-imaginings that people didn’t want to see, it’s hard to place blame on the studio system for lack of original ideas leading to a weak marketplace the same weekend when a series re-boot took the top spot. While everyone underestimated the power of the branding of “The Karate Kid” (and it’s Justin Bieber tie-in which was likely game-changing), the brand recognition/loyalty for “The A-Team” didn’t seem to be in the marketplace in the way Fox may have expected or hoped.
As far as “Shrek Forever After” goes, the song remains the same with that film as it took third place at the box office this weekend making another $15 million, bringing its domestic total to $210 million and its worldwide total to $277. Again, while the numbers on the film remain profitable for Dreamworks (the film reportedly cost $165 million), it continues to fall short of the previous sequels in the franchise. This would continue to prove the “rule” that many filmgoers and bloggers have suggested , that audiences are growing weary of paying for expensive tickets to see franchise films that may have overstayed their welcome, and are growing even more weary of paying even more to see them in 3-D.
“Get Him to the Greek” took fourth place this week, adding another $10 million to its total to bring its domestic total to $36 million. This puts the film ahead of the two week gross of “Forgetting Sarah Marshall” and guarantees that the film should turn a profit in the coming days.
Though many films have underperformed at the box office this summer, the season has produced very few bona fide flops. Still, one of those flops could end up being “Killers”, which took in another $8 million this weekend to come in at fifth place. With the worldwide total being $31 million and production budget being reported as having been $75 million, its hard to say if the film will turn a profit in its theatrical run, but at this point it seems unlikely.
Three films opened this weekend in limited release, and they just so happen to be the three films with the highest per-screen averages. The top spot in this race went to the Sundance breakout hit “Winter’s Bone” which opened with $85,400, or $21,350 per-screen. With the film’s low-budget, positive reviews, and awards buzz, the film should easily turn a nice profit in the coming weeks and months.
“The Lottery”, the documentary on the education system in America, opened on one screen with $17,200, a success for a documentary with such little publicity.
“Coco Chanel and Igor Stravinsky” had it’s American debut in three theaters where it make $48,800, or $16,267 per-screen. Though no budget for the film was available, the film has made over $3.5 million worldwide.
As always, we at the Awards Circuit are intrigued to find out what you saw this weekend and what you make of this rollercoaster summer at the box office. Is the multiplex offering to few original ideas for your taste? Are the sequels not entertaining enough? Have you been shunning them for indie fare? Or have ticket prices kept you out of the theaters all together? As always, all of us at the Awards Circuit would love to hear what awards potential you saw (if any) and wish you a wonderful summer at the movies.
June 12, 2010
June 11, 2010
Since it was announced back in the winter, some have hoped/worried that Marc Webb's Spider-Man reboot will go in a "Kick-Ass" direction, a not unreasonable thought given multiple parallels between the two stories as well as the warm reception (if not exactly hot box office) that greeted "Kick-Ass."
Could it now go that way literally?You can add two names to the growing list of (very early) candidates for the young Peter Parker, and one of them is Aaron Johnson, who played the titular nerd-hero in "Kick-Ass," sources say.
Johnson, who for months has been the subject of relentless online speculation about his suitability for the part, would indeed in many ways make an appropriate choice. His role in "Kick-Ass" saw him as a seemingly ordinary teenager transformed into a superhero, much in the way of Parker's Spider-Man. Of course, the analogy is also off in several key ways: Johnson was a fake superhero, not a real one, and his star in the film was eclipsed by Chloe Moretz's Hit-Girl.
The second actor to make his way on to the shortlist of the Sony film, according to sources, is Anton Yelchin, who has been coming on strong since his 2009 double-whammy of "Star Trek" and "Terminator Salvation".
Yelchin would have his champions too. His supporting role as Chekov in "Star Trek" didn't leave a deep impression, but he did steal the show as Kyle Reese in "Terminator Salvation."Both of the new names are a bit more prominent than the actors who have previously surfaced. That list includes "Billy Elliot" star Jamie Bell, "Harry Potter" actor Frank Dillane, "The Kids Are All Right" costar Josh Hutcherson and up-and-comers Alden Ehrenreich and Andrew Garfield.
Of course, just the fact that these actors are being considered means little in practice. Over the last few months, director Marc Webb has canvassed a wide group of young actors with the aim of seeing which one he and and the studio should anoint to take the role previously filled by Tobey Maguire. Screen testing is expected to start shortly. And the hue and cry over whether the right choice was made will follow shortly after that.-I'm a big Yelchin fan, but Johnson would be a very solid pick too...thoughts?
1. Virgil from 'The Abyss'
2. The survivors from 'Sphere'
3. Mulder and Scully from 'The X-Files'
4. Harry from 'Armageddon'
5. Neo from 'The Matrix'
6. The Wolf from 'Pulp Fiction'
7. Daniel from 'There Will Be Blood'
8. MacGruber from 'MacGruber'
9. Spongebob from 'Spongebob Squarepants'
10. Superman from 'Superman'
-Any characters you would add to this list?
"Clash of the Titans 2" is seemingly turning into a bigger priority by the day.
Producers, along with executives at Warner Bros. and producer Legendary Pictures, have been busily meeting with directors, with an eye to shooting the sequel as early as January.A number of filmmakers are in contention for the job, but one name that's risen to the top of the list is Jonathan Liebesman. Originally a horror director -- he made "Darkness Falls" and the 2006 "Texas Chainsaw Massacre" prequel -- Liebesman has re-fashioned himself as an action director. The filmmaker has a movie called "Battle: Los Angeles" -- about an alien invasion in this fair city -- coming next year. He's also onboard for another classic action tale (or an action tale set in a classic period) at Warner Bros: a re-imagining of "Odysseus" with the producers of "300," which Liebesman helped conceive and then sold to the studio.
The new director on "Clash 2" would of course replace Louis Leterrier, who opted not to direct the follow-up to his recent film.Warners and Legendary have reason to move quickly on "Clash 2." The original (that is, the 2010 remake) pocketed a nice chunk of change -- $162 million domestically and a solid $325 million overseas, on a budget of only about $125 million. And this one will be shot in 3-D -- none of the conversion stuff. That means the movie could be more expensive, but at least it won't get hammered for its look.
Early 2011 is also a priority because the studio needs to make sure star Sam Worthington, who is committed to shoot "Avatar 2" (likely later in the year), is free and clear. Look for this one to continue to come together quickly.
-Well, it won't have to do much to be better than the first one, which was atrocious to me...thoughts?
Jennifer Garner and Nick Nolte are in talks to join the cast of "Arthur," Warner Bros.' remake of the 1981 comedy.
Russell Brand and Helen Mirren are starring in the pic, which Jason Winer is directing.
Closely hewing to the original, the new "Arthur" follows a very rich, happy drunk who is told by his mother that he must marry the wealthy girl of her choosing or else lose his inheritance, just as he meets a poor girl (Greta Gerwig) and falls in love.
Garner is playing an heiress who carries her own secrets and whom Brand must marry. Nolte is her deeply religious father.
Larry Brezner is producing with Kevin McCormick and Chris Bender.
Garner, repped by WME and Management 360, took part in New Line's ensemble rom-com "Valentine's Day" and recently wrapped "Butter," an indie dramedy set in the small-town world of competitive butter-sculpting. "Butter" is serving as her debut as a film producer.
CAA-repped Nolte last appeared in "The Mysteries of Pittsburgh" and has "Warrior," an action movie directed by Gavin O'Connor and starring Tom Hardy, in the can. Lionsgate opens "Warrior" on Sept. 17.