Friday, February 28, 2014

The Oscar Narrative: Final Oscar Predictions - Best Director

Will Win/Should Win - Alfonso Cuaron "Gravity"

Could Win - Steve McQueen "12 Years a Slave" or David O. Russell "American Hustle"

Commentary - If and when Alfonso Cuaron wins his Oscar for Gravity, it will be one of the most deserving winners in recent years. What Cuaron did in Gravity is nothing short of amazing. He has an incredible vision, has pushed film forward in terms of technology, and honestly, if anyone else wins this award (even McQueen and Russell who I love) I will feel nothing but disappointment. So the question is: can anyone else win? Russell and McQueen are the clear alternatives, and if either of them pulls off the upset, then their films will most likely win Best Picture as well. But I honestly believe that no matter what happens in the close Best Picture race, that Cuaron is the favorite.

2014 Independent Film Spirit Award Predictions

Best Picture - 12 Years a Slave
Best Director - Steve McQueen "12 Years a Slave"
Best Actor -  Matthew McConaughey "Dallas Buyers Club"
Best Actress - Cate Blanchett "Blue Jasmine"
Best Supporting Actor - Jared Leto "Dallas Buyers Club"
Best Supporting Actress - Lupita Nyong'o "12 Years a Slave"
Best Screenplay -  John Ridley "12 Years a Slave"
Best First Feature - Fruitvale Station
Best First Screenplay - Bob Nelson "Nebraska"
Best Documentary - The Act of Killing
Best International Film - Blue is the Warmest Color
Best Cinematography - Inside Llewyn Davis
Best Editing - Frances Ha
John Cassavetes Award - Computer Chess

Thursday, February 27, 2014

The Oscar Narrative: Final Oscar Predictions - Best Actor

Will Win - Matthew McConaughey "Dallas Buyers Club"

Could Win - Chiwetel Ejiofor "12 Years a Slave" or Leonardo DiCaprio "The Wolf of Wall Street"

Should Win - McConaughey or Bruce Dern "Nebraska"

Commentary - This race from the very beginning has been an exciting one, and with five incredible nominees, it has yet to disappoint. In my heart, I will always have a place for Bruce Dern, and still hope that maybe Academy voters have been holding out for a hero. But alas, the nomination was his reward, and a worthy one at that. I personally thought Christian Bale knocked it out of the park, but once again, this is just not his year. Instead what we have is a tight and interesting three-way race. After the BAFTA win, Chiwetel Ejiofor has once again staked his claim as a real contender and if 12 Years plays really well with the Academy, then Ejiofor could benefit from the love. The other major contender is Leonardo DiCaprio. Besides the Globe, he hasn't won much, but the campaign for him was everywhere the last couple weeks of voting, and it could sway some voters. Plus, he has a "due" factor. He has been nominated many times, and has missed out on several deserved ones as well. It is definitely time for him to get the big one. But I think he will have to wait for another round. Matthew McConaughey has had a career renaissance, including True Detective which has played throughout the voting period to rave reviews and ratings. His transformation in Dallas Buyers Club was nothing short of amazing, and despite a BAFTA snub, he has won plenty of accolades to back him up. I think this is his year. Alright, Alright, Alright.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

The Oscar Narrative: Final Oscar Predictions - Best Actress

Will Win - Cate Blanchett "Blue Jasmine"

Could Win - Amy Adams "American Hustle"

Should Win - Amy Adams "American Hustle" or Sandra Bullock "Gravity"

Commentary - There was a point when some thought that the Woody Allen controversy would derail Cate Blanchett's Oscar hopes. I am still not commenting on it, because it is none of my business. The Oscars are my business, and while Blanchett was probably my fifth of the year (there were a lot of great performances this year, that is absolutely not a knock on her, she was fantastic), if the industry thinks that she is the best of the year then she should win the Oscar, and some controversy that has absolutely nothing to do with her should not derail it. And I don't think it will. She has swept through this year's circuit like a pro, and I don't really see any weakness. Can she be beaten? Of course she can, but I don't think she will. Amy Adams gives a feisty performance, and if anyone can actually pull it off, she is the one to do so. For the record, I think that voters should have looked twice at Sandra Bullock. What she pulled off in Gravity is nothing short of amazing. At least she already has an Oscar on her mantle.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

The Oscar Narrative: Final Oscar Predictions - Best Supporting Actor and Supporting Actress

Best Supporting Actor
Will Win/Should Win - Jared Leto "Dallas Buyers Club"
Could Win - Barkhad Abdi "Captain Phillips", Bradley Cooper "American Hustle" or Jonah Hill "The Wolf of Wall Street"
Commentary - You know how I know that Jared Leto is going to win an Oscar Sunday? Because there is not a clear second choice. Barkhad Abdi rose a bit with his BAFTA win, and his story is certainly an amazing one to vote for. Jonah Hill and Bradley Cooper have bold performances, both are recent nominees, and both have been working their asses off for their films, their directors, and for themselves. But among the bunch, I think they all have a legitimate stake at that number two spot. Fassbender's loss at BAFTA ensures he won't win here. I think all of this combined together has paved the way for Leto to win an Oscar. He has the flashy role that he nails, he won the SAG, Globe, and most of the critics percursors, and while BAFTA completely shut out the film (I still think that not enough voters saw it or Her), I think that Leto is going to win this one pretty easily.
Best Supporting Actress
Will Win - Jennifer Lawrence "American Hustle"
Could Win - Lupita Nyong'o "12 Years a Slave" or June Squibb "Nebraska"
Should Win - Really any of the three.
Commentary -  I keep having this awesome thought that the two youngsters will cause older voters to look for an alternative, and then the awesome June Squibb will surprise everyone with an Oscar win. In all honesty, this will not happen, but Squibb is the dark-horse alternative if there is one. No, most likely, one of the two youngsters will prevail, which is fine with me because both are fantastic in their roles. This category looked like Lupitas to lose after she got her SAG victory. But then there was a huge gap, and the campaigns were allowed to kick in, and Lawrence bounced back with a huge BAFTA win. I really thought that Nyong'o was going to seal the deal at BAFTA, apparently the group loved the film. Well, they voted for it for Best Picture, but really they didn't love it across the board. They felt like they had to vote for it. This attitude unfortunately (I say that because it is a great film, and if it wins it should be because of merit, not anything else) stand to hurt its below the line nominees. This is an incredibly close race, but I think that Lawrence's BAFTA win signals a shift in the race and that she will claim the Oscar. I know winning back to back Oscars is hard to do, and for me it is the one factor that causes me hesitation. But if anyone can pull it off it is Lawrence. Despite her multitude of haters, Lawrence is a superstar. She is currently headlining two of the most popular film franchises of all time: The Hunger Games and X-Men (Both of which have new chapters releasing this year). Yet she can also turn around and give flashy, funny performances in Silver Linings Playbook and American Hustle, and knock our socks off in dark indie dramas (Winter's Bone). This is a tight race, and I will not be surprised, pissed off, or anything other than happy if any one of these three women win. It will be a fight to the finish.

Monday, February 24, 2014

The Oscar Narrative: Final Oscar Predictions - Best Adapted and Original Screenplay

Best Adapted Screenplay
Will Win - John Ridley "12 Years a Slave"
Could Win - Steve Coogan and Jeff Pope "Philomena"
Should Win - Richard Linklater, Julie Delpy, and Ethan Hawke "Before Midnight"
Commentary - When Before Midnight was announced as a nominee, I think it might have been might favorite moment of the morning. While I know it doesn't really have a shot here, the nomination is recognition of the brilliance of this incredible story. Alas, this looks like a done deal with John Ridley's script taking the prize. But watch out for Philomena. It beat out 12 Years at BAFTA, and we as a community have underestimated the film the whole season. Don't be surprised if it upsets here.
Best Original Screenplay
Will Win - David O. Russell and Eric Warren Singer "American Hustle"
Could Win - Spike Jonze "Her"
Should Win - Bob Nelson "Nebraska"
Commentary - This category has been a disappointment for me all season because the best nominee of the bunch, Nebraska, has been constantly ignored. And Enough Said (my other favorite) missed most of the big nominations. American Hustle has an unbridled energy thanks to Russell's fantastic direction and the incredible cast, but its screenplay is a bit too messy. And I have never really understood all the hype for Her, besides the performances, I found the film to be stretched way too thin for its length. Nebraska's script is funny, dark and pitch-perfect. But alas, I do need to get over it because this is a tight battle between Hustle and Her. Her won the WGA, and so most people are going its way (also with a Globe win and Critics Choice Win), but Hustle won at BAFTA, and I think that the whole Academy membership would rather vote for a film that it really loves over a film that it sort of likes. This is definitely a tight race, but I am thinking Hustle will pull it off. If for nothing else, it gives them a reason to finally honor Russell.

International Cinephile Society Winners

Best Picture
1. "Inside Llewyn Davis"
2. "Blue is the Warmest Color"
3. "Her"
4. "Frances Ha"
5. "The Great Beauty"
6. "Laurence Anyways"
7. "Gravity"
8. "Spring Breakers"
9. "The Wolf of Wall Street"
10. "12 Years a Slave"
11. "Before Midnight"

Best Foreign Language Film
1. "Blue is the Warmest Color"
2. "The Great Beauty"
3. "Laurence Anyways"
4. "In the House"
5. "A Touch of Sin"
6. "Beyond the Hills"
=  "Faust"
8. "The Hunt"
9. "The Past"
10. "Blancanieves"

Best Director: Alfonso Cuarón, "Gravity"
(runners-up: Joel and Ethan Coen, "Inside Llewyn Davis")

Best Actress: Adèle Exarchopoulos, "Blue is the Warmest Color"
(runner-up: Juliette Binoche, "Camille Claudel 1915")

Best Actor: (tie) Leonardo DiCaprio, "The Wolf of Wall Street" and Oscar Isaac, "Inside Llewyn Davis"
(runner-up: Joaquin Phoenix, "Her")

Best Supporting Actress: Léa Seydoux, "Blue is the Warmest Color"
(runner-up: Scarlett Johansson, "Her")

Best Supporting Actor: James Franco, "Spring Breakers"
(runner-up: Anton Adasinsky, "Faust")

Best Original Screenplay: Joel and Ethan Coen, "Inside Llewyn Davis"
(runner-up: Spike Jonze, "Her")

Best Adapted Screenplay: Abdellatif Kechiche and Ghalia Lacroix, "Blue is the Warmest Color"
(runner-up: Richard Linklater, Julie Delpy and Ethan Hawke, "Before Midnight")

Best Documentary: "Stories We Tell"
(runners-up: "The Act of Killing" and "Leviathan")

Best Animated Film: "Ernest & Celestine"
(runner-up: "The Wind Rises")

Best Ensemble: "Inside Llewyn Davis"
(runner-up: "Frances Ha")

Best Cinematography: Emmanuel Lubezki, "Gravity"
(runner-up: Bruno Delbonnel, "Faust" and "Inside Llewyn Davis")

Best Film Editing: Alfonso Cuarón and Mark Sanger, "Gravity"
(runner-up: Douglas Crise, "Spring Breakers")

Best Production Design: K.K. Barrett, "Her"
(runner-up: Elena Zhukova, "Faust")

Best Original Score: Win Butler and Owen Pallett, "Her"
(runner-up: Alex Ebert, "All is Lost")

Sunday, February 23, 2014

International Film Music Critics Association Award Winners

Film Score of the Year - "Romeo and Juliet" (Abel Korzeniowski)
Film Composer of the Year - Abel Korzeniowski
Breakthrough Film Composer of the Year - Laurent Eyquem
Best Original Score for a Drama Film - "Romeo and Juliet" (Abel Korzeniowski)
Best Original Score for a Comedy Film - "The Secret Life of Walter Mitty" (Theodore Shapiro)
Best Original Score for an Action/Adventure/Thriller Film - "Grand Piano" (Víctor Reyes)
Best Original Score for a Fantasy/Science Fiction/Horror Film - "Evil Dead" (Roque Baños)
Best Original Score for an Animated Film - "The Wind Rises" (Joe Hisaishi)
Best Original Score for a Documentary Feature - "Tim’s Vermeer" (Conrad Pope)
Best Original Score for a Television Series - "Isabel" (Federico Jusid)
Best Original Score for a Video Game or Interactive Media - "Remember Me" (Olivier Deriviére)
Best Archival Release of an Existing Score — Re-Release or Re-Recording - "The Salamander" (Jerry Goldsmith) - Prometheus/Tadlow
Best Archival Release of an Existing Score — Compilation - "Lethal Weapon Soundtrack Collection"(Michael Kamen, Eric Clapton and David Sanborn) - La-La Land
Film Music Record Label of the Year - La-La Land Records, MV Gerhard and Matt Verboys
Film Music Composition of the Year - "Abominations Rising" from "Evil Dead" (Roque Baños)
Special Award - "The Salamander" (Score reconstruction by Leigh Phillips)

The Oscar Narrative: Final Oscar Predictions - Best Foreign Language Film and Documentary Feature

Best Foreign Language Film
Will Win - The Great Beauty (Italy)
Could Win - Broken Circle Breakdown (Belgium) or The Hunt (Denmark)
Should Win - Broken Circle Breakdown
Commentary - I am firmly convinced that if enough voters actually sit down and watch all five nominees, then Broken Circle Breakdown, the best and most emotional of the group, will win the Foreign Language Film Oscar for its home country of Belgium. But I am not sure enough people will see it for it to register. Instead, I think it is between the relatively popular choices of The Hunt and The Great Beauty. The Hunt has garnered lots of attention, particularly in the earlier Oscar months, and has star power behind it. But The Great Beauty captured the Globe and the BAFTA, as well as many other awards, and was in release right in the thick of Oscar voting, doing well at the specialty box office. I think that all of those components add up to Oscar victory.

Best Documentary Feature
Will Win/Should Win - 20 Feet From Stardom
Could Win - The Square or The Act of Killing
Commentary - The best documentary of 2013 was actually Stories We Tell, and it is a real shame that it did not make the cut here. But despite its nomination, this is still a highly competitive race that is stumping Oscar pundits. The Act of Killing made a bunch of top-ten lists last year, and is certainly the most inventive of the five nominees. But I really wonder if this type of movie will play well to the entirety of the Academy membership. Something makes me think that it is actually a two-way battle, with Act of Killing as the third-place dark horse. Doc feature winners tend to split between feel-good films like Searching for Sugarman, and hard-hitting, and relevant docs about current struggles like An Inconvenient Truth. This year, we two strong contenders that represent that dichotomy. First is The Square, which is really rallying, and many even be one of my last minute switches come next Sunday morning. It is an incredibly current look at the struggle in Egypt in the Arab Spring of overthrowing dictators in the region. This is the type of film that could really sway voters looking for that "important" film to vote for. But this year, I am sticking with the feel-good film of the bunch. 20 Feet From Stardom has Weinstein Co. behind it (who orchestrated a similar feel-good win for Undefeated a few years ago), and really speaks to struggling artists, something I think most Academy members can understand. It will be a tough race, but expect the back-up singers to finally get the recognition they deserve.

Cinema Audio Society (CAS) Award Winners

Gravity continues to dominate the tech guilds, and every time it wins one, it helps its case in this tight Best Picture race. Also Frozen has gone undefeated so far in guild animation awards. This is not surprising, just confirms all of our predictions that it will win Best Animated Feature.

Outstanding Achievement in Sound Mixing for a Motion Picture — Live Action
"Gravity"

Outstanding Achievement in Sound Mixing for a Motion Picture — Animated
"Frozen"

Outstanding Achievement in Sound Mixing for a Television Movie or Mini-Series
"Behind the Candelabra"

Outstanding Achievement in Sound Mixing for Television Series – One Hour
"Game of Thrones" - "The Rains of Castamere"

Outstanding Achievement in Sound Mixing for Television Series – Half Hour
"Modern Family"

Outstanding Achievement in Sound Mixing for Television Non Fiction, Variety or Music – Series or Specials
"History of the Eagles: Part One"

Career Achievement Award
Andy Nelson

CAS Filmmaking Award
Edward Zwick

Technical Achievement Awards

Production
Sound Devices, LLC - 633 Mixer/Recorder

Post-Production
iZotope - RX 3 Advanced

Costume Designers Guild (CDG) Award Winners

I literally got all three film awards wrong, and am surprised by the 12 Years a Slave win, not sure though if it will claim Oscar:

Excellence in Period Film
"12 Years a Slave" (Patricia Norris)

Excellence in Fantasy Film
"The Hunger Games: Catching Fire" (Trish Summerville)

Excellence in Contemporary Film
"Blue Jasmine" (Suzy Benzinger)

Outstanding Contemporary Television Series
"House of Cards" (Tom Broecker)

Outstanding Period/Fantasy Television Series
"Downton Abbey" (Caroline McCall)

Outstanding Made for Television Movie or Miniseries
"Behind the Candelabra" (Ellen Mirojnick)

Excellence in Commercial Costume Design
"Call of Duty: Ghosts Masked Warriors" (Nancy Steiner)

Career Achievement Award
April Ferry

Lacoste Spotlight Award
Amy Adams

Saturday, February 22, 2014

The 45th NAACP Image Award Winners

Entertainer of the Year - Kevin Hart
Best Motion Picture - 12 Years a Slave
Best Actor - Forest Whitaker "Lee Daniel's The Butler"
Best Actress - Angela Bassett "Black Nativity"
Best Supporting Actor - David Oyelowo "Lee Daniel's The Butler"
Best Supporting Actress - Lupita Nyong'o "12 Years a Slave "
Best Director for a Motion Picture - Steve McQueen "12 Years a Slave"
Best Writing for a Motion Picture - John Ridley "12 Years a Slave"
Best Independent Film - Fruitvale Station
Best International Film - War Witch
Best Documentary Film - Free Angela and All Political Prisoners
Best Drama Series - Scandal
Best Comedy Series - The Real Husbands of Hollywood
Best TV Movie/Miniseries - Being Mary Jane
Best Talk Series - Steve Harvey
Best News/Information Series or Special - The African Americans: Many Rivers to Cross with Henry Louis Gates, Jr.
Best Reality Series - Iyanla: Fix My Life
Best Variety Series or Special - Black Girls Rock!
Best Children's Program - Wynton Marsalis: A YoungArts MasterClass
Best Television Documentary - Richard Pryor: Omit the Logic
Best Actor in a Drama Series - LL Cool J "NCIS: Los Angeles"
Best Actress in a Drama Series - Kerry Washington "Scandal"
Best Supporting Actor in a Drama Series - Joe Morton "Scandal"
Best Supporting Actress in a Drama Series - Taraji P. Henson "Person of Interest"
Best Actor in a Comedy Series - Kevin Hart "The Real Husbands of Hollywood"
Best Actress in a Comedy Series - Wendy Raquel Robinson "The Game"
Best Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series - Morris Chestnut "Nurse Jackie"
Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series - Brandy Norwood "The Game"
Best Actor in a TV Movie/Mini - Idris Elba "Luther"
Best Actress in a TV Movie/Mini - Gabrielle Union "Being Mary Jane"
Best Actor in a Daytime Drama - Kristoff St. John "The Young and the Restless"
Best Actress in a Daytime Drama - Tatiana Ali "The Young and the Restless"
Best Youth Performance - China Anne McLain "A.N.T. Farm"
Best Directing for a Comedy Series - Millicent Shelton "The Hustle - Rule 4080 (Episode 101)"
Best Directing for a Drama Series - Regina King "SouthLAnd - Off Duty"
Best Writing for a Comedy Series - Vincent Brown "A.N.T. Farm - influANTces"
Best Writing for a Drama Series - Jeanne Sherman Barrois "Criminal Minds - Strange Fruit"
Best New Artist - K. Michelle
Best Male Artist - John Legend
Best Female Artist - Beyonce
Best Duo, Group, or Collaboration - Robin Thicke feat. T.I. and Pharrell "Blurred Lines"
Best Jazz Album - SFJAZZ Collective "The Songs of Stevie Wonder"
Best Gospel Album - Tamela Mann "Best Days Deluxe Edition"
Best World Music Album - Natalie Cole "Natalie Cole en Espanol"
Best Music Video - Janelle Monae feat. Erykah Badu "Q.U.E.E.N"
Best Song - John Legend "All of Me"
Best Album - Charlie Wilson "Love, Charlie"
Best Literary Work - Fiction - Pamela Samuels Young "Anybody's Daughter"
Best Literary Work - Non Fiction - Deborah Willis and Barbara Krauthamer "Envisioning Emancipation: Black Americans and the End of Slavery"
Best Literary Work - Debut Author - Sheri Booker "Nine Years Under"
Best Literary Work - Bio/Auto-Bio - Jeanne Theoharis "The Rebellious Life of Mrs. Rosa Parks"
Best Literary Work - Inspirational - Robin Quivers "The Vegucation of Robin: How Real Food Saved My Life"
Best Literary Work - Poetry - Frank X Walker "Turn Me Loose: The Unghosting of Medgar Evers"
Best Literary Work - Childrens - Kadir Nelson "Nelson Mandela"
Best Literary Work - Youth/Teens - Tanya Lee Stone "Courage Has No Color, The True Story of the Triple Nickles: America’s First Black Paratroopers"

The Oscar Narrative: Final Oscar Predictions - Best Animated Feature and the Shorts

Best Animated Feature
Will Win/Should Win - Frozen
Could Win - The Croods or Despicable Me 2
Commentary - Last year, a heated battle with Disney and Pixar broke out for the Animated Feature prize, with Brave squeaking out a victory over Wreck-It Ralph (honestly, when you look at the combination of BAFTA and the guilds, it might not have been as close as we think). This year though, it looks like nothing will stand in the way of Disney finally winning this prize. Pixar is out as Monsters University was surprising snubbed. The Wind Rises might have had a shot had it actually been Miyazaki's last film. But since he reversed that decision the buzz dies. The Croods is beautifully constructed, and Despicable Me 2 is just so damn adorable. But Frozen is another Disney classic, has swept the precursors including the guilds and
BAFTA, and is the best of the bunch. I think the Academy will agree.

Best Live Action Short Film
Will Win - The Voorman Problem
Could Win - Just Before Losing Everything, Helium, or Aquel No Era Yo (That Wasn't Me)
Should Win - Just Before Losing Everything
Commentary - As always, these categories can be a real crap shoot. I personally preferred Just Before Losing Everything of the bunch. But The Voorman Problem is the only English-language one, features Martin Freeman, who was tearing up the screen on Sherlock during voting, and will probably be the stand out on the ballot.

Best Animated Short Film
Will Win - Get a Horse!
Could Win - Mr. Hublot or Room on the Broom
Should Win - Mr. Hublot
Commentary - To be honest, unlike Paperman, this Disney entry Get a Horse! doesn't have the same magic, but I do think that it is the obvious choice, and does reach back to the origins of Disney, which will appeal to voters. Room on the Broom is a strong choice, but I think the dark horse here is Mr. Hublot, my personal favorite of the five. It has a charm about it that could sway voters who, like me, were not as impressed with the hyped Get a Horse!

Best Documentary Short
Will Win/Should Win - The Lady in Number 6: Music Saved My Life
Could Win - Facing Fear, Karma Has No Walls, or Cavedigger
Commentary - Facing Fear, Karma Has No Walls, and Cavedigger are all high quality short films, and will sure to have their supporters. But there is a reason that most pundits are picking The Lady in Number 6. It is an engaging, important film that will strike a chord with the Academy. Most importantly, it is the best of the bunch. That has to count for something, right?

Friday, February 21, 2014

The Oscar Narrative: Final Oscar Predictions - Best Original Score and Original Song

Best Original Score
Will Win/Should Win - Steven Price "Gravity"
Could Win - Alexandre Desplat "Philomena" or William Butler and Owen Pallett "Her"
Commentary - I feel like the Academy could go one of three ways. Philomena is definitely popular among Academy members, and if they want to reward it, and Desplat, this is a two for one deal. They could go for the quirky and modern score of Her, kind of like their Social Network pick a couple of years ago. But every precursor (except the Globes, which always go their own way), suggests that Gravity's hypnotic and stunning score by Steven Price will win here. I completely agree.

Best Original Song
Will Win/Should Win - Let it Go from Frozen
Could Win - Happy from Despicable Me 2 or Ordinary Love from Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom
Commentary - Names like Pharrell and U2 are sure to pull in some support, and unfortunately it most likely U2's snoozer from Mandela that will probably be the biggest upset. They are beloved throughout the industry, even though only about two or three of their albums are actually really good. And while the message of Ordinary Love is important (an aura of importance is another thing going for the group here), the song is really not that great. What is a great song is Let it Go. And I still think that it has the legs to finish the race with an Oscar win. It is a chart-topping number that is everywhere at the moment, and the campaign for the song has been as strong as the one for the film itself. It is the best of the bunch, and deserves to win. I sure hope it does.

Costume Designers Guild (CDG) Award Predictions

These are my predictions for tomorrow nights' CDG Awards.

Excellence in Contemporary Film - Her
Excellence in Period Film - The Great Gatsby
Excellence in Fantasy Film - Oz the Great and Powerful
Outstanding Contemporary Television Series - House of Cards
Outstanding Period/Fantasy Television Series - Downton Abbey
Outstanding TV Movie/Mini - Behind the Candelabra

Cinema Audio Society (CAS) Award Predictions

Here are my predictions for tomorrow night's CAS Awards:

Motion Picture - Live Action - Gravity
Motion Picture - Animation - Frozen
Television Movie/Miniseries - Behind the Candelabra
Television Series - 1 Hr - Breaking Bad - Felina
Television Series - 30 Min - Modern Family - Goodnight Gracie
Television Nonfiction/Variety - 2013 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony

Emmys Add Three Categories

Three nice bits of Emmy news distract us from the Oscar season for a few moments at least.

1) The Emmys have reversed their decision, rightfully so, and will now have separate television movie and miniseries program categories once again. I definitely think this the right decision by the Television Academy. They combined the two when they had a few down years, but it just felt like a punishment for this form of television, and those that work in it. It is nice to see them once again get the recognition they deserve.

2) The Voice-over category is getting a makeover, by splitting into two categories. First there will be the Character voice-over for basically animation. Then, they will have a Narrator category for other programming. Apparently there were complaints that narrators were not getting enough recognition (Lily Tomlin won last year for narration, but that is a rarity in recent years). I think voice-over work is highly underrated, but I do wonder if there will be enough quality contenders here to justify a whole separate narrator category. We'll just have to wait and see...

3) Finally the Television Academy feels the need to respond to the growing number of reality shows, but splitting them into two categories as well: Structured (They use Antiques Roadshow and MythBusters as examples), and Unstructured (Duck Dynasty and Pawn Stars). I guess that this is a necessary change to expand reality honoring, but I think that these category placements will cause confusion among viewers, lead to interesting campaigns and submissions on the part of studios, and will probably honor programs that are simply not worthy.

But overall, despite some concerns, I do applaud the Television Academy for constantly trying to mix it up, and respond to their community and to the growing nature of television. They are certainly more responsive and proactive than their film and music counterparts. And I'm sure that if they think it is not working, they will respond quickly and try something new.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

The Oscar Narrative: Final Oscar Predictions - Best Film Editing and Cinematography

Best Film Editing
Will Win/Should Win - Captain Phillips
Could Win - Gravity, American Hustle, or 12 Years a Slave
Commentary - Since it hit, it seemed like Gravity would be a shoo-in for Best Film Editing. It is an extremely taught and emotional effective thriller, and manages to do so in only 90 short minutes. But I think that if Gravity was going to win this award, it would have won it by now. First the film editors passed it over at their own Eddie Awards. Not that big of a deal as Chris Rouse is an old favorite in the guild and industry. But then BAFTA, which awarded Gravity with the most awards including Best British Film and Best Director, once again passed it over, this time for Rush (which missed out on an Oscar nomination). For some reason or another, I just think that Gravity is not destined to win this award, although it, along with Hustle which won the other Eddie, certainly have a shot here. I think that the Eddie and WGA wins show that this industry, despite snubs for Hanks and Greengrass, do love Captain Phillips, and would hate to send it home empty handed. The film's editing is absolutely brilliant, and would be the perfect way to honor it. I say it upsets here as it did at the Eddies and takes home the Oscar.
Best Cinematography
Will Win - Gravity
Could Win - Inside Llewyn Davis or Nebraska
Should Win - Gravity or Prisoners
Commentary - Despite protests from those within the cinematography community, the digital age is upon us, and the wins for Hugo, Inception, and Life of Pi are proof that Academy voters are loving the new aesthetic of digital cinematography. Emmanuel Lubezki has been passed over several times for incredible work, but this year, I don't think anything can stop it. If someone does, I do hope that it is Roger Deakins, who is still Oscar-less. Plus his work in Prisoners was top notch. But alas, I think he once again goes home empty-handed.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

The Oscar Narrative: Final Oscar Predictions - Best Costume Design and Production Design

Best Costume Design
Will Win/Should Win - The Great Gatsby
Could Win - American Hustle or The Invisible Woman
Commentary - Most people have counted out The Invisible Woman, but it is the type of classic costuming has done well in the past. And the flashy threads of American Hustle could be popular. But The Great Gatsby is a truly visual film (not the best film of the year by any means, but visually compelling), and much of the flash that showcases the excess of the 1920's is seen in bright costumes. I expect it to take this one and...
Best Production Design
Will Win/Should Win - The Great Gatsby
Could Win - Gravity and 12 Years a Slave
Commentary - ...this one. The sets were also fantastic in Gatsby. The old South art direction could score a win for 12 Years, and the recreation of space and a believable space station could rope in Gravity as a duel win with Visual Effects (think Hugo and Avatar). But in the end, I think that Gatsby will win both, kind of like an Alice in Wonderland situation, where voters forgot about their dislike of the film as a whole, and focused on what truly is/was superior production design and costumes.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

The Oscar Narrative: Final Oscar Predictions - Best Sound Mixing and Sound Editing

Best Sound Mixng
Will Win/Should Win - Gravity
Could Win - Captain Phillips or Inside Llewyn Davis
Commentary - Unless there is a bold musical in the bunch, Sound Mixing and its Sound Editing counterpart are always interesting choices. This year, Inside Llewyn Davis has a lot of music, so it cannot be counted out, but to be honest, I just don't think this film is really on their radar this year. The other big contender here is Captain Phillips. Like Gravity, it is a technical achievement, and its sound is an intricate part of the film's experience. It could be a sleeper here and in Sound Editing. But I think that Gravity, being the technical achievement of this year, and having incredible sound work, with walk away with this is a mini-tech sweep. The CAS Awards are this weekend. If they go a drastically different way, then I will consider a change. But for now I am sticking with my guns.

Best Sound Editing
Will Win/Should Win - Gravity
Could Win - Captain Phillips
Commentary - After last year's surprising tie, I guess this is a category to watch for. But, once again, unless there is a big musical in the mix for Sound Mixing, this category tends to match up with the former. Plus, Gravity won the top prize at MPSE, so if voters are looking to the guild for guidance, then Gravity will be there choice. Once again though, the film to watch for is Captain Phillips, which is clearly well-liked within the industry despite two key snubs on Oscar nomination morning.

Monday, February 17, 2014

The Oscar Narrative: Final Oscar Predictions - Best Visual Effects and Best Makeup and Hairstyling

Best Visual Effects
Will Win/Should Win - Gravity
Could Win - The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
Commentary - Honestly, this is probably one of the easiest races to call. After the blunder in 2007, when The Golden Compass somehow beat out Transformers (Hate the move, stunning effects), the Academy has righted the wrongs, by picks groundbreaking visual effects that push the boundaries of film: Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Avatar, Inception, Hugo, Life of Pi, and now Gravity, a stunning visual achievement, will be added to this illustrious list.

Best Makeup and Hairstyling
Will Win - Dallas Buyers Club
Could Win/Should Win - Jackass Presents Bad Grandpa
Commentary - To be honest, as ridiculous as it sounds, Bad Grandpa really deserves to win this award. Forget the quality of the film, of the three nominees, it has the best makeup design of the bunch. And surprisingly, after winning the Makeup & Hairstyling Guild, it could actually do it. But let's face it, that means that voters throughout the Academy will actually have to sit down and watch it, same goes for The Lone Ranger. I just don't see that happening. We know they love Dallas Buyers Club, and while the makeup branch picks the best makeup despite the film, I think the Academy will pick the film they like.

Motion Picture Sound Editors (MPSE) Golden Reel Award Winners

FILM

Best Sound Editing: Sound Effects and Foley in an English Language Feature
"Gravity"

Best Sound Editing: Dialogue and ADR in an English Language Feature
"Captain Phillips"

Best Sound Editing in an Animated Feature (English or Foreign Language)
(Includes ADR, Dialogue, Sound Effects and Foley)
"Epic"

Best Sound Editing in a Foreign Language Feature
(Includes ADR, Dialogue, Sound Effects and Foley)
"The Grandmaster"

Best Sound Editing: Music in a Musical Feature (English or Foreign Language)
"Frozen"

Best Sound Editing: Music in a Feature (English or Foreign Language)
"The Great Gatsby"

Best Sound Editing in a Feature Documentary Feature
"Dirty Wars"

TELEVISION

Best Sound Editing in Television - Short Form: Dialogue & ADR
"Game of Thrones: The Rains of Castamere"

Best Sound Editing in Television - Short Form: Sound Effects & Foley
"Breaking Bad" - "Felina"

Best Sound Editing in Television - Long Form: Dialogue & ADR
"The Bridge" - Pilot

Best Sound Editing in Television - Long Form: Sound Effects & Foley
"Sons of Anarchy" - "Salvage"

Best Sound Editing in Television - Short Form: Music
"Game of Thrones" - "The Rains of Castamere"

Best Sound Editing in Television - Short Form: Music, Musical
"Peg + Cat: The Beethoven Problem"

Best Sound Editing in Television - Long Form Form: Music, Musical
"History of the Eagles: Part One"

Best Sound Editing in Television: Sound Effects, Foley, Dialogue and ADR Animation in Television
"The Fairly OddParents" - "Dumbbell Curve"

Best Sound Editing: Short Form Documentary in Television
"North America: No Place to Hide"

Best Sound Editing: Long Form Documentary in Television
"Deadliest Catch: The Final Battle"

OTHER

Best Sound Editing: Computer Episodic Entertainment
"Mortal Kombat: Legacy Series II"

Best Sound Editing: Computer Interactive Entertainment
"StarCraft 2: Heart of the Swarm Cinematic"

Best Sound Editing: Direct to Video Animation
"Batman: The Dark Knight Returns Pt. 2"

Best Sound Editing: Direct to Video Live Action
"Marvel One-Shot: Agent Carter"

Best Sound Editing: Special Venue
"To the Arctic 3D"

Verna Fields Award in Sound Editing for Student Filmmakers
"Robomax"

Career Achievement Award
Randy Thom

Sunday, February 16, 2014

The Oscar Narrative: BAFTA Shakes Up the Oscar Race

I haven't done an update on the Oscar narrative in a while, for the simple reason that I was waiting for the dust to clear. We still have a few lingering guilds, but in general, the big four: DGA, SAG, PGA, and WGA, along with BAFTA have now spoken, so it is time to take a look at the race as we head into final prediction mode.

A couple of weeks ago, American Hustle won the SAG Award, and the same weekend, the PGA ended in an historic tie between Gravity and 12 Years a Slave. This led to extremely tight three-way Best Picture race heading into Phase 2 of the campaign. After all of the guilds, I think that the Best Picture race is just as tight, just as confusing, and could still go one of three ways. We will not know for any certainty who is the clear front runner until the envelope is opened. After not getting into the tie at the PGA, many immediately counted out American Hustle. I will say, it certainly didn't help its cause. But the SAG ensemble win, and 10 nominations, including all four acting categories is nothing to scoff at. And today's three BAFTA wins, particularly the wins in adapted screenplay, and the surprise win for Lawrence shows us that Hustle is still very popular in the industry, and will garner a tremendous amount of support going into Oscar night.

But, like most pundits, this is shaping up to be a tight two-way race between Gravity and 12 Years a Slave. 12 Years got a big win at the Globes and BAFTA. But in an interesting twist of fate, in both cases it really came away with few awards. At the Globes it only won Best Picture, and at BAFTA, Chiwetel Ejiofor managed a second win for the film. While some are simply looking at the fact that it won Best Picture, I am looking at what is really a weakness. These groups vote for who they want to in every other category, but when it comes to Best Picture they vote for 12 Years a Slave. You get the sense that they feel like they have to vote for it. This system may work at BAFTA and at the Globes, but when the preferential ballot come the into play, I think this hurts its chances. People respect the film, they think it is an important film, but do they actually like it? It will get plenty of number one votes, but when the second and third ballots roll in, will it figure heavily with lots of second and third place votes, that are really the crucial ones for winning? In today's age, it needs more than adapted screenplay to win the Best Picture prize. I still think that Gravity is going to take this. It has plenty of things going against it as well (really only one actor and actors are the biggest branch, no screenplay nod, sci-fi flick). But it did lead the BAFTA totals, and won British Film. Basically, the Brits had a way to honor both films, and they took it. I also think that Gravity rises on the strength of Cuaron as the director. With the Globe, Critics Choice, BAFTA, and DGA wins under his belt, it is a pretty safe bet that he is winning the Best Director Oscar. Even if people are putting 12 Years at number one because they feel like they have to, if they are voting for Cuaron, you can bet Gravity is not far behind. Can 12 Years pull out the Oscar win? Of course it can, but in a preferential system, I think Gravity, and maybe even American Hustle, can pull ahead.

The acting categories also had their share of surprises. The two lead winners were expected. Blanchett is clearly winning the Oscar. If Adams, Dench, or Bullock were going to give her a run for her money, they would have already made an impression. The Oscar is hers. Chiwetel Ejiofor was expected to win here with McConaughey absent. If DiCaprio had pulled off a win here, I think we would be talking about a very different ballgame for Best Actor. Don't get me wrong, both Ejiofor and DiCaprio are prime contenders, and either could pull off the upset. But the American side of the pond loved Dallas Buyers Club, and I think McConaughey is going to pull off the win.

Without Leto, the Best Supporting Actor race was really confusing, and most of us expected homegrown talent Michael Fassbender to take the prize. But instead, a well-deserved Barkhad Abdi upset. I think this is a fascinating win. Leto is still clearly the frontrunner, but Abdi had positioned himself as the clear number two. He is the only one of the nominees, along with Fassbender to be with Leto every step of the way (Cooper and Hill were late additions). He is has been working the circuit like a pro, and has probably the best personal story of the bunch. Also, while Captain Phillips missed out on Hanks and Greengrass, the wins at the Eddies and WGA prove that the film is still very well liked within the industry. I am still picking Leto, but Abdi is truly the dark horse.

Then comes Best Supporting Actress. I fully expected Lupita to cruise to victory here. But here comes the Jennifer Lawrence machine. Those who are fully in the Lupita camp, are already counting out this win because unlike at the Oscars, she has never won at BAFTA, and Lupita supporters may have split their votes between this category and the rising star award. First, if they love Lawrence, it doesn't matter if she won last year or not. Second, the Rising Star is a fan vote, so different voting blocs, and if Lupita Nyong'o were truly their favorite of the bunch, they would have voted for her. She lost in both categories. This is truly significant, and I think it makes way for Lawrence to win back to back Oscars. Plus, I really didn't see American Hustle walking away with zero Oscars. This is the place to honor the film (and I still think it can possibly beat Her in Best Original Screenplay).

The tech categories mostly played out as expected, and Philomena pulled off a win for Best Adapted Screenplay, which was not that surprising. The one category that continues to baffle me is Best Film Editing. Rush wins here, but is not nominated at the Oscars. Many are still predicting the Academy to go for Gravity despite the Eddie loss (different voting bodies). But I am starting to think that Captain Phillips will get a consolation prize, and this will be the place.

Tomorrow evening, I start my final Oscar predictions, doing a couple of categories a day, all leading up to the big ceremony. Like I said before, there are a few lingering guilds that will add their voices to the mix. But for now, we are simply waiting for the final votes to be tallied and the winners to be revealed. As always, we'll just have to wait and see...

The 67th Annual BAFTA Award Winners

I will update them live as they come in:

Best Film - 12 Years a Slave
Best Director - Alfonso Cuaron "Gravity"
Best British Film - Gravity
Best Actor - Chiwetel Ejiofor "12 Years a Slave"
Best Actress - Cate Blanchett "Blue Jasmine"
Best Supporting Actor - Barkhad Abdi "Captain Phillips"
Best Supporting Actress - Jennifer Lawrence "American Hustle"
Best Adapted Screenplay - Steve Coogen and Jeff Pope "Philomena"
Best Original Screenplay - David O. Russell & Eric Warren Singer "American Hustle"
Best British Debut - Kieran Evans "Kelly + Victor"
Best Animated Film - Frozen
Best Documentary Feature - The Act of Killing
Best Foreign Language Film - The Great Beauty
Best Cinematography - Emmanuel Lubezki "Gravity"
Best Costume Design - The Great Gatsby
Best Editing - Rush
Best Makeup and Hair Design - American Hustle
Best Production Design - The Great Gatsby
Best Score - Steve Price "Gravity"
Best Sound - Gravity
Best Visual Effects - Gravity
Best British Short Animated Film - Sleeping With the Fishes
Best British Short Film - Room 8
Best British Contribution to Cinema - Peter Greenaway
EE BAFTA Rising Star Award - Will Poulter

2014 Berlin International Film Festival Award Winners (Berlinale)

In all the heat of the current Oscar season, I have fallen behind on my coverage of the early film festivals. I did a bit for Sundance, but have completely missed any coverage of what was coming out of Berlin. First, this year's Oscar contender The Square takes home another award, angling itself as this year's "social message doc". But the real contenders emerging are for next year's Oscars. Boyhood, after landing at Sundance takes home a few awards here, including the Best Director prize for Richard Linklater. The other, and the one I should have done a separate post about is Wes Anderson's latest The Grand Budapest Hotel. His Moonrise Kingdom landed him an Oscar nod for Best Original Screenplay. The reviews so far are great, and after the heat from this current season dies down, I will start to dive fully into the early contenders for next year's awards. And The Grand Budapest Hotel will most likely lead the conversation. Check out the full list of winners below:

PRIZES OF THE INTERNATIONAL JURY
Golden Bear: "Black Coal, Thin Ice," Diao Yinan
Grand Jury Prize: "The Grand Budapest Hotel," Wes Anderson
Alfred Bauer Prize (for opening new perspectives): "Life of Riley," Alain Resnais
Best Director: Richard Linklater, "Boyhood"
Best Actress: Haru Kuroki, "The Little House"
Best Actor: Liao Fan, "Black Coal, Thin Ice"
Best Screenplay: Dietrich and Anna Brüggemann, "Stations of the Cross"
Outstanding Artistic Contribution: Zeng Jian (cinematographer), "Blind Massage"

BEST FIRST FEATURE AWARD
"Güeros," Alonso Ruizpalacios

PRIZES OF THE GENERATION JURIES

Children’s Jury Generation Kplus
Crystal Bear: "The Fort," Avinash Arun
Special Mention: "Joy of Man's Desiring," Masakazu Sugita
Best Short Film: "Sprout," Ga-eun Yoon
Special Mention: "On Stopping the Rain," Aditya Ahmad

International Jury Generation Kplus
Grand Prix: "Natural Sciences," Matías Lucchesi
Special Mention: "The Fort," Avinash Arun
Best Short Film: "My Own Personal Moose," Leonid Shmelkov
Special Mention: "Away," Roland Ferge

Youth Jury Generation
Crystal Bear: "52 Tuesdays," Sophie Hyde
Special Mention: "Arctic," Gabri Velázquez
Best Short Film: "Mike," Petros Silvestros
Special Mention: "Emo (The Musical)," Neil Triffett

International Jury
Grand Prix: "Violet," Bas Devos
Special Mention: "Einstein and Einstein," Cao Baoping
Best Short Film: "Winter Morning," Sakaris Stórá
Special Mention: "Son," Kristoffer Kiørb

PRIZES OF THE ECUMENICAL JURY
Competition: "Stations of the Cross," Dietrich Brüggemann
Special Mention: "'71," Yann Demange
Panorama: "Calvary," John Michael McDonagh
Special Mention: "Triptych," Robert Lepage, Pedro Pires
Forum: "At Home," Athanasios Karanikolas

PRIZES OF THE FIPRESCI JURY
Competition: "Life of Riley," Alain Resnais
Panorama: "The Way He Looks," Daniel Ribeiro
Forum: "Forma," Ayumi Sakamoto

PRIZE OF THE GUILD OF GERMAN ART HOUSE CINEMAS
"Boyhood," Richard Linklater

CICAE ART CINEMA AWARD
Panorama: "The Lamb," Kutlu? Ataman
Forum: "She's Lost Control," Anja Marquardt

LABEL EUROPA CINEMAS"Blind," Eskil Vogt

TEDDY AWARDS
Best Feature Film: "The Way He Looks," Daniel Ribeiro
Best Documentary/Essay Film: "The Circle," Stefan Haupt
Best Short Film: "Mondial 2010" Roy Dib
Teddy Jury Award: "Pierrot Lunaire," Bruce LaBruce

MADE IN GERMANY – PERSPEKTIVE FELLOWSHIP
"Intershop," Sandra Kaudelka and "274," Sebastian Mez

FGYO - AWARD DIALOGUE EN PERSPECTIVE
"Anywhere Else," Ester Amrami
Special Mention: "Fog," Nicole Vögele

CALIGARI FILM PRIZE
"The Great Museum," Johannes Holzhausen

NETPAC PRIZE
"A Dream of Iron," Kelvin Kyung Kun Park and "Non-Fiction Diary," Jung Yoon-suk

PEACE FILM PRIZE
"We Come as Friends," We Come as Friends

AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL FILM PRIZE
"The Square," Jehane Noujaim

CINEMA FAIRBINDET PRIZE
"Concerning Violence," Göran Hugo Olsson

HEINER CAROW PRIZE
"My Mother, a War and Me," Tamara Trampe, Johann Feindt

THINK:FILM AWARD
"Provenance," Amie Siegel

READERS’ JURIES AND AUDIENCE AWARDS
Panorama Audience Award (Fiction): "Difret" Zeresenay Berhane Mehari
Panorama Audience Award (Documentary): "The Circle," Stefan Haupt
Berliner Morgenpost Readers' Jury Award: "Boyhood," Richard Linklater
Tagesspiegel Readers' Jury Award: "Velvet Terrorists," Pavol Pekar?ík, Ivan Ostrochovský, Peter Kerekes
Else-Siegessaule Readers' Jury Award: "52 Tuesdays," Sophie Hyde

2014 Makeup Artist and Hair Stylist Guild Award Winners

FILM
Best Contemporary Hairstyling - "Lee Daniels' The Butler"
Best Contemporary Makeup - "Prisoners"
Best Period and/or Character Hairstyling - "American Hustle"
Best Period and/or Character Makeup - "Dallas Buyers Club"
Best Special Makeup Effects - "Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa"

TELEVISION (EPISODIC)
Best Contemporary Hairstyling - "The Voice"
Best Contemporary Makeup - "Breaking Bad"
Best Period and/or Character Hairstyling - "Vikings"
Best Period and/or Character Makeup - "Boardwalk Empire"
Best Special Makeup Effects - "The Walking Dead"

TV MOVIE/MINISERIES
Best Period and/or Character Hairstyling - "Behind the Candelabra"
Best Period and/or Character Makeup - "Behind the Candelabra"

THEATRICAL PRODUCTIONS 
"Magic Flute"

COMMERCIALS
Best Contemporary Makeup - "Wash the Day Away (Kohler)"

SPECIAL AWARDS
Distinguished Artisan Award - Johnny Depp
Makeup Artists Lifetime Achievement Award - Dick Smith
Hairstylists Lifetime Achievement Award - Gail Ryan

Saturday, February 15, 2014

2014 BAFTA Predictions - Final List

Best Film - 12 Years a Slave
Best British Film - Philomena
Best Director - Alfonso Cuaron "Gravity"
Best Actor - Leonardo DiCaprio "The Wolf of Wall Street"
Best Actress - Cate Blanchett "Blue Jasmine"
Best Supporting Actor - Michael Fassbender "12 Years a Slave"
Best Supporting Actress - Lupita Nyong'o "12 Years a Slave"
Best Original Screenplay - David O. Russell and Eric Warren Singer "American Hustle"
Best Adapted Screenplay - Steve Coogan and Jeff Pope "Philomena"
Best Animated Feature - Frozen
Best Documentary Feature - The Act of Killing
Best Foreign Language Film - The Great Beauty
Best Cinematography - Emmanuel Lubezki "Gravity"
Best Costume Design - The Great Gatsby
Best Editing - Captain Phillips
Best Makeup and Hair Design - American Hustle
Best Production Design - The Great Gatsby
Best Score - Steven Price "Gravity"
Best Sound - Gravity
Best Visual Effects - Gravity

Makeup and Hair Styling Guild Award Predictions

It has been so long since they voted, that I am really flying blind here, and really have no idea who they will pick (basically trying to match up with Oscar makeup nine). But here is a shot in the dark, and tomorrow morning I will post the winners, and maybe we will have an Oscar front runner:

Film
Best Contemporary Hair Styling - Lee Daniel's The Butler
Best Contemporary Makeup - August: Osage County
Best Period/Character Hair Styling - American Hustle
Best Period/Character Makeup - The Lone Ranger
Best Special Makeup Effects - Bad Grandpa

Television
Best Contemporary Hair Styling - Bates Motel
Best Contemporary Makeup - Breaking Bad
Best Period/Character Hairstyling - Vikings
Best Period/Character Makeup - Boardwalk Empire
Best Special Effects Makeup - The Walking Dead

TV Movie/Miniseries
Best Period/Character Hair Styling - Behind the Candelabra
Best Period/Character Hair Styling - Behind the Candelabra

Friday, February 14, 2014

2014 BAFTA Predictions - Best Film, Director, and British Film

Best Film
Will Win - 12 Years a Slave
Could Win - Gravity, American Hustle, Philomena
Should Win - Gravity
Commentary - Unlike at the Oscars, BAFTA has three major prizes that represent the top awards presented. In terms of the Oscar race, a win in two or more of the categories would really be a big boost. Instead, I think they will split up the top three races, only confirming that we have no idea who will win the Oscar in two weeks. 12 Years is apparently beloved in the UK, and if it wins as many acting awards as it is expected too, I think it can pull off Best Picture. I don't think that a Best Picture win here suddenly shifts the race in its favor. I think it helps, but it is expected. It is the unexpected here that can change the race.

Best Director
Will Win/Should Win - Alfonso Cuaron "Gravity"
Could Win - Steve McQueen "12 Years a Slave" or David O. Russell "American Hustle"
Commentary - BAFTA has split before, even David Fincher manage to win over homegrown talent Tom Hooper. No matter what happens, expect Cuaron to win here, and the Oscar.

Best British Film
Will Win - Philomena
Could Win/Should Win - Gravity
Commentary - If Gravity wins here, this is a big boost, but I think that if they are going for the other two major films in Picture and Director, then they will go for the truly British film of the bunch Philomena. It is a popular film, and clearly has widespread support. It doesn't go empty handed, and this is the place to reward it.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

2014 BAFTA Predictions - Acting Categories

Best Actor
Will Win - Chiwetel Ejiofor "12 Years a Slave"
Could Win - Leonardo DiCaprio "The Wolf of Wall Street"
Should Win - Bruce Dern "Nebraska"
Commentary - Chiwetel Ejiofor is the obvious choice, the obvious front runner, which makes me nervous. I think that Leonardo DiCaprio could win an Oscar this year, as the last minute for campaigning for Wolf has been ridiculous. If he can pull an upset win here, it is proof that the campaign has worked, and he could eclipse McConaughey and Ejiofor.

Best Actress
Will Win - Cate Blanchett "Blue Jasmine"
Could Win - Judi Dench "Philomena" or Amy Adams "American Hustle"
Should Win - Adams or Sandra Bullock "Gravity"
Commentary - Say what you will about the whole Woody Allen situation (I'm keeping my nose out of it), but the fact that something like that could derail Cate Blanchett's Oscar hopes is simply a travesty. I don't think it will matter in the end, as BAFTA will probably only solidify her front-runner status. If there are any spoilers, I think its Dench (British royalty), and Adams (late-breaking entry). But it looks like it is Blanchett all the way.

Best Supporting Actor
Will Win - Michael Fassbender "12 Years a Slave"
Could Win - Matt Damon "Behind the Candelabra", Bradley Cooper "American Hustle", or Barkhad Abdi "Captain Phillips"
Should Win - Matt Damon "Behind the Candelabra"
Commentary - Without Leto here, this race seems like a bit of a mess. The British factor most likely means Michael Fassbender will win a well-deserved BAFTA. This also probably means that Leto wins the Oscar, because stateside, Fassbender's absence will prevent an Oscar win. But if Cooper or Abdi breakthrough with a win here, it could mean a surprising race at the Oscars, particularly Cooper. For the record, after being in his co-star's shadow all year, it would be nice to see Matt Damon get some love for his incredible performance in Behind the Candelabra.

Best Supporting Actress
Will Win/Should Win - Lupita Nyong'o "12 Years a Slave"
Could Win - Jennifer Lawrence "American Hustle"
Commentary - Lawrence won the Globe and Lupita won the SAG, this race feels like the tiebreaker. I see Lupita's raw performance impressing here more than Lawrence's flashy, but a win here for either puts them on path to an Oscar.

Visual Effects Society (VES) Award Winners

Gravity and Frozen, as expected, hit the mark here.

MOTION PICTURES

Outstanding Visual Effects in a Visual Effects-Driven Feature Motion Picture
"Gravity"

Outstanding Supporting Visual Effects in a Feature Motion Picture
"The Lone Ranger"

Outstanding Animation in an Animated Feature Motion Picture
"Frozen"

Outstanding Animated Character in a Live Action Feature Motion Picture
"The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug" - Smaug

Outstanding Animated Character in an Animated Feature Motion Picture
"Frozen" - Bringing the Snow Queen to Life

Outstanding Created Environment in a Live Action Feature Motion Picture
"Gravity" - Exterior

Outstanding Created Environment in an Animated Feature Motion Picture
"Frozen" - Elsa’s Ice Palace

Outstanding Virtual Cinematography in a Live Action Feature Motion Picture
"Gravity"

Outstanding Models in a Feature Motion Picture
"Gravity" - ISS Exterior

Outstanding FX and Simulation Animation in a Live Action Feature Motion Picture
"Gravity" - Parachute and ISS Destruction

Outstanding FX and Simulation Animation in an Animated Feature Motion Picture
"Frozen" - Elsa’s Blizzard

Outstanding Compositing in a Feature Motion Picture
"Gravity"

TELEVISION AND COMMERCIALS

Outstanding Visual Effects in a Broadcast Program
"Game of Thrones" - "Valar Dohaeris"

Outstanding Visual Effects in a CommercialPETA - "98% Human"

Outstanding Supporting Visual Effects in a Broadcast Program
"Banshee" - Pilot

Outstanding Animated Character in a Commercial or Broadcast Program
PETA - "98% Human"

Outstanding Created Environment in a Commercial or Broadcast Program
"Game of Thrones" - "The Climb"

Outstanding Virtual Cinematography in a Live Action Commercial or Broadcast Program
"The Crew"

Outstanding FX and Simulation Animation in a Commercial or Broadcast Program
PETA - "98% Human"

Outstanding Compositing in a Broadcast Program
"Game of Thrones" - "The Climb"

Outstanding Compositing in a Commercial
"Call of Duty" - "Epic Night Out"

OTHER MEDIA

Outstanding Real-Time Visuals in a Video Game
"Call of Duty: Ghosts"

Outstanding Visual Effects in a Special Venue Project
"Space Shuttle Atlantis"

Outstanding Visual Effects in a Student Project
"Rugbybugs"

Lifetime Achievement Award
John Dykstra

Visionary Award
Alfonso Cuarón

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

2014 BAFTA Predictions: Screenplays, Foreign Language, Documentary, and Animated

Best Adapted Screenplay
Will Win/Should Win - John Ridley "12 Years a Slave"
Could Win - Steve Coogan and Jeff Pope "Philomena"
Commentary - Since the best of the bunch Before Midnight is not nominated, then 12 Years a Slave is definitely the clear number two in terms of quality, and will most likely win, especially if the film does as well as expected. But a little film called Philomena could crash the party with their homegrown talent, and clearly a lot of support.

Best Original Screenplay
Will Win - David O. Russell and Eric Warren Singer "American Hustle"
Could Win - Woody Allen "Blue Jasmine" or Bob Nelson "Nebraska"
Should Win - Bob Nelson "Nebraska"
Commentary - Without Spike Jonze nominated here, I think the American Hustle team will walk away with this one easily. Let's remind ourselves that Russell won here last year for Silver Linings Playbook, and that film was clearly not as well liked as Hustle. And once again, the best of the bunch, Nebraska, will walk away without the gold.

Best Animated Feature Film
Will Win/Should Win - Frozen
Could Win - Neither of the other two.
Commentary - If one of those other films beats the clearly superior Frozen, something is wrong with the world.

Best Foreign Language Film
Will Win - The Great Beauty
Could Win - Blue is the Warmest Color
Should Win - Wadjda
Commentary - The brilliant Saudi Arabian entry Wadjda did not make the Oscar cut, but I'm glad, even though it will not win here, that BAFTA did not make the same mistake. But I think that this is a two-way race. The luster for Blue has faded, so I think that the Italian entry, The Great Beauty will repeat its Globe win here, and could be a tough competitor at the Oscars in a few weeks.

Best Documentary Feature
Will Win - The Act of Killing
Could Win - We Steal Secrets: The Story of WikiLeaks or Blackfish
Should Win - Tim's Vermeer
Commentary - The best doc of the year Stories We Tell, missed here and at the Oscars, which is a real shame. I personally loved Tim's Vermeer, but this is probably between The Act of Killing, We Steal Secrets, with Blackfish as the dark horse. I think Act of Killing takes the prize.

RIP Shirley Temple Black

In all of the mess yesterday, bracing for this winter storm here in North Carolina, I completely forgot to talk about Shirley Temple. At age 85, Shirley Temple, or her married name Shirley Temple Black passed away. My grandparents grew up in the 30's and 40's, and for them, no entertainer had more impact on them and their families than Shirley Temple. She was a bright spot in a dark time of the Depression, and brought light into the hearts and minds of Americans. In her later years, she was dignified American diplomat, who continued to represent was was best about America: a bright spirit even in the darkness of times, and an indomitable spirit. My thoughts and prayers are with her family and friends. Rest in Peace.

2014 BAFTA Predictions: Tech Categories

Best Cinematography
Will Win/Should Win - Emmanuel Lubezki "Gravity"
Could Win - Any of the other four.
Commentary - Honestly, I would be jaw-dropped if Lubezki did not continue his streak here at BAFTA on his way to Oscar. With Captain Phillips and 12 Years not crossing over to Oscar, I think that has made this even easier, as there is probably not a clear second.

Best Costume Design
Will Win/Should Win - The Great Gatsby
Could Win - American Hustle or Behind the Candelabra
Commentary - The Great Gatsby is everybody's prediction for the Oscar, but it has two big hurdles. The first is here at BAFTA, and the second is the Costume Designers Guild on February 22nd. I think it easily clears both on its way to Oscars. Hustle could win here and get itself a win before the ceremony, and the garb of Liberace could throw everything off with a win for Behind the Candelabra

Best Film Editing
Will Win/Should Win - Captain Phillips
Could Win - Gravity or 12 Years a Slave
Commentary - The Eddie was a big win for Captain Phillips, and could lead to a well-deserved Oscar win. The BAFTA will be a big test for the film, or a big boost for Gravity who could rebound from its Eddie loss, and make this a real horse-race. I think Phillips, which really works because of its tense editing, will pull off another win here.

Best Makeup and Hair Design
Will Win - American Hustle
Could Win - Behind the Candelabra
Should Win - The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
Commentary - Hustle didn't make the cut with the Oscars, but given its popularity, I think it will win here. Once again the spoiler is Candelabra. If they want to reward the actual work, then Candelabra is a solid bet. If they are enthralled in the film races at the moment, Hustle will prevail.

Best Original Score
Will Win/Should Win - Steven Price "Gravity"
Could Win - Hans Zimmer "12 Years a Slave"
Commentary - I am surprised that Philomena missed here but got in over on the American side (because I might have predicted it). But instead, I will go with the safe, and best choice, of Steven Price for Gravity.

Best Production Design
Will Win/Should Win - The Great Gatsby
Could Win - Gravity or Behind the Candelabra
Commentary - Once again, The Great Gatsby has two hurdles. It won at ADG, and now BAFTA. I think it is a slam dunk.

Best Sound
Will Win/Should Win- Gravity
Could Win - Really any of them.
Commentary -  A great set of nominees this year, but I think that the big technical achievement that is Gravity will take this in a near-sweep of its tech nods.

Best Visual Effects
Will Win/Should Win - Gravity
Could Win - Ain't Gonna Happen
Commentary - Duh.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

2014 International Film Music Critics Association Nominees

Film Score of the Year
"Evil Dead" (Roque Baños)
"Grand Piano" (Víctor Reyes)
"Gravity" (Steven Price)
"The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug" (Howard Shore)
"Romeo and Juliet" (Abel Korzeniowski)

Film Composer of the Year
Roque Baños
Laurent Eyquem
Abel Korzeniowski
Steven Price
Brian Tyler

Breakthrough Film Composer of the Year
César Benito
Sarah Class
Alexander Ebert
Laurent Eyquem
Steven Price

Best Original Score for a Drama Film
"The Best Offer [La Migliore Offerta]" (Ennio Morricone)
"The Book Thief" (John Williams)
"Copperhead" (Laurent Eyquem)
"Romeo and Juliet" (Abel Korzeniowski)
"Summer in February" (Benjamin Wallfisch)

Best Original Score for a Comedy Film
"Instructions Not Included [No Se Aceptan Devoluciones]" (Carlo Siliotto)
"Quai d’Orsay" (Philippe Sarde)
"The Secret Life of Walter Mitty" (Theodore Shapiro)
"This is the End" (Henry Jackman)
"Venus in Fur [La Vénus à la Fourrure]" (Alexandre Desplat)

Best Original Score for an Action/Adventure/Thriller Film
"Grand Piano" (Víctor Reyes)
"Iron Man 3" (Brian Tyler)
"Passion" (Pino Donaggio)
"Rubinrot" (Philipp F. Kölmel)
"Stalingrad" (Angelo Badalamenti)

Best Original Score for a Fantasy/Science Fiction/Horror Film
"Escape From Tomorrow" (Abel Korzeniowski)
"Evil Dead" (Roque Baños)
"Gravity" (Steven Price)
"The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug" (Howard Shore)
"Star Trek Into Darkness" (Michael Giacchino)

Best Original Score for an Animated Feature
"The Croods" (Alan Silvestri)
"Epic" (Danny Elfman)
"Frozen" (Christophe Beck)
"Planes" (Mark Mancina)
"The Wind Rises [Kaze Tachinu]" (Joe Hisaishi)

Best Original Score for a Documentary"Africa" (Sarah Class)
"Anne & Alet" (Mark Rayen Candasamy)
"Die Nordsee: Unser Meer" (Oliver Heuss)
"Space Shuttle Columbia: Mission of Hope" (Blake Neely)
"Tim’s Vermeer" (Conrad Pope)

Best Original Score for a Television Series
"Czas Honoru" (Bartosz Chajdecki)
"Da Vinci’s Demons" (Bear McCreary)
"El Tiempo Entre Costuras" (César Benito)
"Game of Thrones" (Ramin Djawadi)
"Isabel" (Federico Jusid)

Best Original Score for a Video Game or Interactive Media
"Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag" (Brian Tyler)
"Beyond: Two Souls" (Lorne Balfe)
"Company of Heroes 2" (Cris Velasco)
"Puppeteer" (Patrick Doyle)
"Remember Me" (Olivier Deriviére)

Best Archival Release of an Existing Score — Re-Release or Re-Recording
"Breakfast at Tiffany’s" (Henry Mancini) - Intrada
"QB VII" (Jerry Goldsmith) - Prometheus/Tadlow
"The Salamander" (Jerry Goldsmith) - Prometheus/Tadlow
"The Wild Bunch (Jerry Fielding) - Film Score Monthly
"Wyatt Earp (James Newton Howard) - La-La Land

Best Archival Release of an Existing Score — Compilation
"Doctor Who: The 50th Anniversary Collection (Various Composers) - Silva Screen
"Lethal Weapon Soundtrack Collection" (Michael Kamen, Eric Clapton and David Sanborn) - La-La Land
"Michel Legrand Anthology" (Michel Legrand) - Universal/Écoutez le Cinéma!
"Varèse Sarabande: A 35th Anniversary Celebration" (Various Composers) - Varèse Sarabande
"The X-Files: Volume Two" (Mark Snow) - La-La Land

Film Music Record Label of the Year
Intrada Records, Douglass Fake and Roger Feigelson
La-La Land Records, MV Gerhard and Matt Verboys
Moviescore Media Mikael Carlsson
Prometheus Records/Tadlow Music Luc Van de Ven and James Fitzpatrick
Quartet Records Jose M. Benitez

Film Music Composition of the Year
"The Book Thief" from "The Book Thief" (John Williams)
"The Grand Finale" from "Escape From Tomorrow" (Abel Korzeniowski)
"Abominations Rising" from "Evil Dead" (Roque Baños)
"Beyond the Forest" from "The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug" (Howard Shore)
"A Thousand Times Goodnight" from "Romeo and Juliet" (Abel Korzeniowski)

Visual Effects Society (VES) Award Predictions

I expect Gravity and Frozen to add to their guild tallies, as both work their way towards big Oscar nights. My predictions are below:

Best Visual Effects in a Visual Effects Driven Film - Gravity
Best Supporting Visual Effects - Rush
Best Animation in an Animated Feature - Frozen
Best Visual Effects in a Broadcast Program - Game of Thrones: Valar Dohaeris
Best Supporting Visual Effects in a Broadcast Program - Da Vinci's Demons: The Lovers
Best Animated Character in a Live Action Film - The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug - Smaug
Best Animated Character in a Animated Film - Frozen: Bringing the Snow Queen to Life
Best Animated Character in TV or Commercial - Game of Thrones: Raising the Dragons
Best Created Environment in Live Action Film - Gravity: Exterior
Best Created Environment in an Animated Film - Frozen: Elsa's Ice Palace
Best Created Environment in Television - Game of Thrones: The Climb
Best Virtual Cinematography in a Film - Gravity
Best Virtual Cinematography in Television/Commercial - Mad Max: Ethos
Best Models in a Film - Gravity: ISS Exterior
Best FX Simulation Animation in Film - Gravity: Parachute and ISS Destruction
Best FX Simulation Animation in Animated Film - Frozen - Elsa Blizzard
Best Compositing in a Film - Gravity
Best Compositing in Television - Game of Thrones: The Climb

Hugh Jackman to Host 2014 Tony Awards

Before Neil Patrick Harris dominated the Tony conversation, Jackman himself was a pretty good Tony host himself, because he really has a lot of stage talent. So this year, the American Theater Wing has asked Jackman to return as host of this year's Tony Awards to air in June. I like Jackman, and thing he will do a fine job hosting this year. But let's face it, last year's opening number has set a pretty high bar for Tony hosting performances, although I bet we will see some NPH along the way. After the craziness of the Oscars has died down, I will start looking at the Tony Awards, which are starting to heat up in New York as many Tony contenders make their Broadway debuts.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Art Director's Guild (ADG) Award Winners

As expected, Gravity, The Great Gatsby, and Her, all Oscar nominees took the top three prizes. I expect these three to be the leading contenders at the Oscars, with Gatsby taking the prize. Say what you will of the film (I enjoyed it the first time, but it lost a lot for me the second time around), its costumes and production design are definitely the best of they year. Check out the winners below: 

Excellence in Production Design - Period Film
"The Great Gatsby" (Catherine Martin)

Excellence in Production Design - Contemporary Film 
"Her" (K.K. Barrett)

Excellence in Production Design - Fantasy Film 
"Gravity" (Andy Nicholson) 

Excellence in Production Design - TV Movie or Miniseries 
"Behind the Candelabra" (Howard Cummings)

Excellence in Production Design - One-Hour Single-Camera Series 
"Game of Thrones" (Gemma Jackson) 

Excellence in Production Design - Half-Hour Single-Camera Series 
"Veep" (Jim Gloster)

Excellence in Production Design - Multi-Camera, Variety or Unscripted Series 
"Portlandia" (Tyler Robinson)  

Excellence in Production Design - Awards, Music or Game Shows 
"67th Annual Tony Awards" (Steve Bass)

Excellence in Production Design - Short Format Live-Action Series 
"Battlestar Galactica: Blood and Chrome" (Bryan Kane)

Excellence in Production Design - Commercials, PSAs, Promos or Music Videos 
"Call of Duty: Ghosts" - "Epic Night Out" (Todd Cherniawsky)

2014 USC Scripter Awards

John Ridley, and his narrative counterpart Solomon Northup won the USC Scripter Award this year, an award that not only honors the screenwriter, but also the original source material author. So that means over a century and a half after his death, Northup has received a prize for his writing. Most people, including myself, think that Ridley will repeat at the Oscars next month (now three weeks away!), and this is just a nice prize along 12 Years path to Adapted Screenplay Oscar gold.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Art Directors Guild (ADG) Award Predictions

Best Period Film - The Great Gatsby
Best Fantasy Film- Gravity
Best Contemporary Film - Her
Best One Hour Single Camera Television Series - Game of Thrones
Best Television Movie or Miniseries - Behind the Candelabra
Best Half-Hour Single Camera Television Series - Modern Family
Best Multi-Camera Series - Saturday Night Live
Best Awards, Music, or Game Shows - The 67th Annual Tony Awards
Best Commercial, PSA, or Music Video-  Suit and Tie

American Cinema Editors (ACE) Eddie Award Winners

So what did this year's Eddies tells us about the Oscar race? I think it continued to establish Frozen as the clear front runner for Best Animated Feature. They gave 20 Feet From Stardom the first big guild award, and I think it is going to win the Doc Feature prize.  In terms of Best Film Editing and Best Picture, I think it has done nothing but continue to cause chaos. Captain Phillips could easily win the Editing Oscar, but I still Gravity could be the Academy's pick. But with neither 12 Years a Slave or Gravity winning here, but biggest benefactor is American Hustle. Hustle now has the Eddie and SAG, Gravity the PGA and DGA, and 12 Years the PGA and most likely BAFTA next weekend. And Captain Phillips has been strong as well with the WGA and Eddie. I don't think it wins Best Picture, but there is still a lot of love for the film despite the snubs of Hanks and Greengrass. If Gravity had won here, I think it would be send a clear message. But without that win, I think we once again go back to the drawing board in terms of Best Picture.

Best Edited Feature Film (Dramatic)
"Captain Phillips"
Christopher Rouse, A.C.E.

Best Edited Feature Film (Comedy or Musical)
"American Hustle"
Jay Cassidy, A.C.E., Crispin Struthers & Alan Baumgarten, A.C.E.

Best Animated Feature Film
"Frozen"
Jeff Draheim

Best Edited Documenatary (Feature)"20 Feet from Stardom"
Douglas Blush, Kevin Klauber & Jason Zeldes

Best Edited Documentary (Feature)
"The Assassination of President Kennedy"
Chris A. Peterson

Best Edited Half-Hour Series for Television
"The Office" - "Finale"
David Rogers & Claire Scanlon

Best Edited One-Hour Series for Commercial Television 
"Breaking Bad" - "Felina"
Skip MacDonald A.C.E.

Best Edited One-Hour Series for Non-Commercial Television
"Homeland" - "Big Man in Tehran"
Terry Kelley, A.C.E.

Best Edited Miniseries or Motion Picture for Television
"Behind the Candelabra"?
Mary Ann Bernard

Best Edited Non-Scripted Series
"Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown" - "Tokyo"
Nick Brigden

Best Student Editing
Ambar Salinas, Video Symphony

ACE Golden Eddie Filmmaker of the Year Award
Paul Greengrass

Lifetime Career Achievement Award
Richard Halsey, A.C.E.
Robert C. Jones

Heritage Award
Randy Roberts, A.C.E.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

American Cinema Editors (ACE) Eddie Award Predictions

Here are my predictions for tomorrow's Eddie Awards

Best Edited Feature Film (Drama) - Gravity
Best Edited Feature Film (Comedy/Musical) - American Hustle
Best Edited Animated Film - Frozen
Best Edited Documentary Feature - 20 Feet From Stardom
Best Edited Documentary Television - American Masters: Jimi Hendrix: Hear My Train a Comin'
Best Edited Half-Hour Series - 30 Rock "Hogcock!/Last Lunch"
Best Edited One-Hour Series Commercial TV - Breaking Bad "Ozymandias"
Best Edited One-Hour Series Non-Commercial TV - Game of Thrones - The Rains of Castemare"
Best Edited TV Movie/Miniseries - Behind the Candelabra
Best Edited Non-Scripted Series - Deadliest Catch - Mutiny on the Bering Sea

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Golden Globes Set 2015 Date

We already know that we are going to get at least one more round of Amy and Tina (here's hoping they stick around for longer?), but today the Hollywood Foreign Press Association has also announced its date for their 2015 Ceremony. This year's ceremony looks to be a week earlier than last (I hope that doesn't mean the whole calendar keeps moving back) on January 11, 2015.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

London Film Critics Circle Award Winners

Once again, 12 Years collects a Best Picture prize without director. I expect the same at BAFTA. This displays a weakness in its coattails. I think that every time Cuaron wins, it helps its case more than 12 Years winning the top prize.

Film of the Year
"12 Years a Slave"

British Film of the Year
"The Selfish Giant"

Foreign Language Film of the Year
"Blue is the Warmest Color"

Documentary of the Year
"The Act of Killing"

Director of the Year
Alfonso Cuarón, "Gravity"

Screenwriter of the Year
Joel and Ethan Coen, "Inside Llewyn Davis"

Actor of the Year
Chiwetel Ejiofor, "12 Years a Slave"

Actress of the YearCate Blanchett, "Blue Jasmine"

British Actor of the Year
James McAvoy, "Filth"

British Actress of the Year
Judi Dench, "Philomena"

Supporting Actor of the Year
Barkhad Abdi, "Captain Phillips"

Supporting Actress of the Year
Lupita Nyong'o, "12 Years a Slave"

Young British Actor of the Year
Conner Chapman, "The Selfish Giant"

Breakthrough British Filmmaker of the Year
Jon S. Baird, "Filth"

Technical Achievement of the Year
Tim Webber (visual effects), "Gravity"

Dilys Powell Award for Contribution to British Cinema
Gary Oldman

RIP Philip Seymour Hoffman

When it rains, it apparently pours. This one hits really hard, as I have been a huge fan of Hoffman's work for years. I first discovered him when he was Lester Bangs in what is still one of my favorite movies of all time, Almost Famous. I then went back and discovered his brilliant work in Boogie Nights. Since then, I have faithfully followed his career, with incredible roles in Capote, Doubt, Charlie Wilson's War (another favorite
of mine), Moneyball, Before the Devil Knows You're Dead, The Master, Pirate Radio, The Ides of March, Synecdoche, New York, The Savages, The Talented Mr. Ripley, and Magnolia, just to name a few. We still don't know all the details of his death, although an apparent overdose is the initial belief of the NYPD, who are investigating the case and have confirmed the death (there was a cruel hoax not too long ago of his death). Another sad reminder of the crippling nature of drug addiction, especially with someone who still had so much to offer at the age of only 46. Hoffman was one of the best working actors in American cinema, an Oscar winner (and multiple nominee), and his gruff, yet lovable exterior hid beneath it and incredible talent. He will be sorely missed by his fans, and I'm sure by the people who got the opportunity to work with him. My thoughts and prayers go out to his family and friends, particularly his children who have lost their father in such a tragic circumstance. Rest in Peace old friend.

Below, I have also posted a video of Hoffman in Almost Famous. It was this scene in particular that really captured my attention, and turned me on to what a talent he really was: