If you want the gravy…

…You've got to get the biscuits!


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The Guilds Speak, Part II: Directors, Costume Designers, Sound Mixers, and VFXers

Film-The Big Short

Smile. You’re having a hell of a season. (Source)

The final spate of guild announcements before the Oscars announce their nominations (aside from the Makeup & Hairstyling Guild, who announce tomorrow).

The Directors Guild is the big one that we’re interested in. And they’ve made things interesting today.

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Golden Globes Results + Analysis

Steve Jobs poster

Not the biggest winner of the night, but perhaps the biggest success story of the night. (Source)

We’ve got a lot to talk about.

There were some real surprises this year.

And by that, I mean that I was proven wrong.

And I’d like to understand why.

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TRAILER SALAD X: THE HYPER-ULTRA-SUPER-SUPREME-ULTIMATE-PLUPERFECT COMBO-MEGAPACK including THE REVENANT and JOY

We all knew this would be a major Oscar contender from the outset. Last year’s winner for Director (and Picture, and Screenplay) teams up with a cinematographer who’s just won back-to-back Oscars, a star who’s widely considered damnably overdue, a co-star who’s very hot at the moment (and has two other major films this year), and a strong up-and-comer (Domhnall Gleeson). They shoot on location in Canada in the dead of winter, and planned to shoot in sequence (apparently, they weren’t able to), and release the film right in the thick of December.

They know what they’re doing.

And, while I really need to see this trailer in a theater to get the maximum effect, I won’t lie; my interest is being maintained. I could see this being overwrought and too self-serious, but I could also see it being surreal and haunting. It’s a little hard to tell just how good a performance DiCaprio is giving, but I doubt he’ll disappoint. Hopefully future trailers will show more of the rest of the cast, but for now we’ve got Lubezki’s incredible cinematography and Iñárritu’s vivid direction to whet our appetites. The mountain of skulls in particular could be one of the year’s defining images.

I’m predicting many nominations, with Picture, Director, Adapted Screenplay, Actor, Supporting Actor, Cinematography, Editing, Makeup/Hairstyling, Score, Sound Mixing, and Sound Editing being the strongest possibilities.

And here we’ve got the latest from my nemesis…David O. fucking Russell. Read on:

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Final Golden Globes Predictions

Is it in trouble? Or is this just a hiccup on the road to the Oscars? (Source)

A hell of a movie. But can it beat the Boyhood juggernaut?

Tonight’s results might not determine the outcome of the Oscars, but you can’t ignore them either. And I fancy I’ve got a pretty good idea of what we’ll see tonight. So let’s delve right in.

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BIRDMAN, or THE UNEXPECTED VIRTUE OF IGNORANCE Review – ****

"You're scared to death, like the rest of us, that you don't matter! And you know what? You're right. You don't." ()

“You’re scared to death, like the rest of us, that you don’t matter! And you know what? You’re right. You don’t.” (Source)

To what degree can a few seconds impact an entire film? In his review of Thelma and Louise, Roger Ebert argues that the climactic shot ends a few seconds too soon, and as such robs the film as a whole of just enough power that it doesn’t get **** from him. And in the case of Birdman, there are a few moments, which add up to less than a minute of the film’s two hours, which haunt me enough that I cannot rank it higher (as of this writing, I put it at #8 for the year). (Addendum: after further meditation, I’ve decided that these elements are not quite as damaging as I first surmised, so I’m bumping my score up a point, and the film up to #6.)

But at the same time, so much of the film is so good–so well directed and so richly acted–that even considering those troubling moments, I cannot rank it less than ****. One could fairly dispute whether it says anything truly new about the nature of acting and about role-playing in general, but it whatever it says, it says it in a tremendously entertaining fashion.

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Predicting my 4th Annual Film Awards: Second Round

Do I think it'll be a contender? Read on. ()

Do I think it’ll be a contender? Read on. (Source)

It’s been three months since my first attempt at predicting what I’ll nominate come January, and it seems to me, with the Venice and Telluride film festivals underway (and once the Toronto festival is over, I’ll go over what films are looking good, which are looking iffy or bad, which are now on my radar which previously weren’t, etc.), it’s a good time to take another look at what I’ll be trumpeting this year.

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