Monday, December 31, 2007

2007 Movie Year-End Wrap-Up

Happy New Year’s Eve!

Seventeen films vie for my top ten of 2007, which I’ll announce tomorrow. I’ve viewed 65 films theatrically this year; below are my one-line commentaries on each:


“Top Ten” Nominees (Must See Films) [17]
1. 300. Entertaining and creative.
2. 4 Months, 3 Weeks, 2 Days. A punch to the solar plexus.
3. American Gangster. Engrossing; solid ensemble.
4. Away From Her. Startling achievement from 20-something Polley; absorbing, beautifully written and acted masterpiece.
5. Bourne Ultimatum, The. Exciting; terrific wrap-up to one of the movies' best trilogies.
6. Darjeeling Limited, The. Not-for-all-tastes; escape to a rare romanticism for those on-board.
7. Grindhouse. Original and fun.
8. Into the Wild. Ambitious masterpiece; incredible ensemble.
9. Juno. First third is as overtly screenwritery as the trailer but second two-thirds with great performances (particularly Garner and Cera) and smart plot make the film ultimately a winner.
10. King of Kong, The: A Fistful of Quarters. Brilliant; dream "cast."
11. La Vie en Rose. Epic.
12. Once. Slow boil, and a 25 cent budget, but charming.
13. Paris je t'aime. Plays like a collection of the best one page short stories.
14. Ratatouille. Irresistibly cute.
15. Rescue Dawn. Edge-of-your-seat and well played.
16. Sicko. Frustratingly real.
17. Superbad. Imperfect good-natured fun.

Recommended [8]
1. 3:10 To Yuma. Solid entertainment.
2. Eastern Promises. Worthy companion to "A History of Violence."
3. Live Free Or Die Hard. A blast, if a far cry from the "reality" of the original.
4. Reno 911!: Miami. Silly.
5. Savages, The. Imperfect and depressing but not dismissable; Laura Linney characterization excellent.
6. Simpsons Movie, The. TV show creators managed to pull off the impossible: a lot of fun and big screen-worthy.
7. There Will Be Blood. Aimless narrative is rich and unusual enough in its parts to warrant a look.
8. Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story. Parody bounces from sharp to obvious, but the whole is a good time at the movies.

Skippable [32]
1. Alpha Dog. Not bad; among the better January '07 fare.
2. Assassination of Jesse James..., The. Ultimately unsuccessful.
3. Bee Season. Clunky plot with no payoff, this is an OK timewaster at best.
4. Before the Devil Knows You're Dead. Entertaining genre piece with good cast is not deep and quite farfetched.
5. Beowulf. Never really transcends its stylistics.
6. Black Snake Moan. Didn't rise to the occasion.
7. Blades of Glory. Few real laughs.
8. Bridge To Terabithia. Made no sense until the "twist" which should have been revealed from the get-go despite the way the book might be written.
9. Charlie Wilson's War. Messagey film with star power is decent but lacking dramatically.
10. Diving Bell and the Butterfly, The. Certainly has merit but weak in characterization and theme.
11. Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer. Minor.
12. Gone Baby Gone. Interesting genre piece but entirely implausible.
13. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. Actually one of the better entries but a weak story hampered it.
14. Hot Fuzz. Uneven like "Shaun of the Dead" but not as worthy of forgiveness.
15. Knocked Up. Didn't live up to the trailer, and occasionally mean-spirited.
16. Lars and the Real Girl. One-note; picked up a little toward the end.
17. Lives of Others, The. Didn't grab me.
18. Michael Clayton. Hard not to recommend but its too weighted to the (albeit terrific) ending.
19. Mighty Heart, A. Quite ambitious, but with all due respect just barely a movie; Jolie overrated.
20. Music and Lyrics. Hugh Grant fun; Barrymore character underwritten.
21. My Best Friend. Good natured but weak.
22. National Treasure: Book of Secrets. A lot like the first: utterly cartoonish, but a pleasant diversion.
23. No Country for Old Men. Pointless on purpose— I expected the Coens to appear on-screen at the end to say "Ha, ha. Made you look!"; times like these call for a Big Lebowski.
24. No End in Sight. Very informative but not a "movie" classic.
25. Ocean's Thirteen. Didn't ever get off the ground due to its never ending explaining of itself.
26. Rush Hour 3. Dumb.
27. Shrek 3. Best of the "May" blockbusters, but that's not saying much.
28. Spider-Man 3. A mixed bag.
29. Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber... Great score is too Broadway for the film medium; nice Burtonisms, production design make it entertaining fare nonetheless.
30. T.V. Set, The. Not sharp enough.
31. Transformers. Great first half then the Transformers started talking; finale just a string of LOUD action.
32. Walker, The. Oddly retro film is interesting, but if seen at all, is best viewed as a companion to Paul Schrader's earlier efforts.

Avoid [8]
1. Atonement. A bore.
2. Dan in Real Life. Tedious; a letdown.
3. Fred Claus. What you get when you film a first draft screenplay— that was written over a weekend.
4. Ghost Rider. Textbook disaster; almost worth seeing on that basis.
5. Hairspray. Demands to be loved from the first minute.
6. I'm Not There. Torture.
7. Persepolis. Spoiled child leads a relatively charmed young adult life but she knew people who suffered and died, the end.
8. Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End. Incomprehensible and endless.

Sunday, December 30, 2007

The Great Indiewire Poll -- 2007

Years ago, the VILLAGE VOICE started this great big compilation list of top movies and performances that read like an annual SIGHT & SOUND poll. It contained few Hollywood movies in its high ranking and usually had movies you never heard of. In addition, there was a list of best festival movies that had yet to get theatrical distribution. Then, last year, the list vanished (to my horror), until I realized that it hadn't really vanished, it had been taken up by Indiewire: in the exact same format. In years past the list came out in the first few days of January, but this year it's already up. It's a great list for discovering foreign films on DVD.

Link to the Indiewire list.

Here is the Indiewire top ten (I saw just five of these films this year!). I thought for sure NO COUNTRY would get the 2007 honors-- I'm really surprised that it's not at least #2.

1. There Will Be Blood
2. Zodiac
3. No Country for Old Men
4. Syndromes and a Century
5. 4 Months, 3 Weeks, 2 Days
6. I'm Not There
7. The Assassination of Jesse James...
8. Colossal Youth
9. Killer of Sheep
10. Offside

Saturday, December 29, 2007

This Month on TCM: Top Hat (1935)

On Monday, December 31st, TCM is showing several Fred Astaire/Ginger Rogers films, including the Mark Sandrich classic Top Hat, their first "starring" vehicle (following their successful teaming in Flying Down to Rio).

Every Astaire-Rogers film opens great, but Top Hat has the best (albeit simple) opening titles and fanfare of them all, brilliantly juxtaposed with the first scene (a quiet sitting room at a men’s club). Astaire’s disruptive tap at the end of this scene is a memorable laugh. There's a delightful first song (and tap dance) for Fred (“I’m fancy free and free for anything fannnncy”) that includes a terrific “pan” down to the room below introducing Ginger in bed, woken up by the activity, followed by a clever soft-shoe (Astaire’s character uses sand from an ash can).

The film is about an American dance man named Jerry Travers in London falling for a young lady named Dale Tremont, who, after falling for him, believes she has discovered that he’s a married man. Following the mistaken-identity, Ginger gives Fred a slap— and his reaction is priceless. Astaire and Rogers give among their best performances in this film and they are brilliant in a scene where each pretends to have met the other in Paris (first Dale has the upper hand, then Jerry). “Cheek to Cheek” is possibly the greatest song in any Astaire-Rogers film (even if it did manage to lose the Oscar). Their subsequent dance (memorable for Rogers’ feather dress [see photo]) is superb, particularly in light of the way their characters are feeling about each other at the time. Other top-notch sequences include the gazebo scene (where Dale falls for Jerry), which is sweet and irresistible (“Isn’t this a lovely day to be caught in the rain?”) and serves as the perfect dance interpretation of a courtship: each showing off for the other, the occasional misstep, then perfect sync. Handsome cab sequence with corny jokes (“What is this strange power you have over horses?”/ “Horsepower.”) that precedes it, is, thankfully, short. “Top Hat, White Tie, and Tails” tune and dance, with tuxedoed back-up dancers, is classic, integrated into the movie as part of Jerry’s stage show (especially fun is Astaire’s tapping as gun fire, using his cane as a rifle to “shoot” down the other dancers).

The supporting actors are always fun to watch in the Astaire-Rogers movies. Edward Everett Horton (as Horace Hardwick, the producer of Astaire’s show) and Eric Blore (as his valet) are hilarious in their tete-a-tetes. Helen Broderick (as Horace’s wife Madge), appearing in the film’s second half, is particularly funny in her scene where Ginger tells her of her husband’s supposed infidelity (“He chased me in the park.”/ “Really, I didn’t know Horace was capable of that much activity… Did he catch you?”/ “Yes.”/ “Good for Horace!”). Final third of the movie offers a little too much explanation, slowing the film down, but it’s rescued by “The Piccolino” number (“By the Adriatic waters, Venetian sons and daughters are strumming a new tune upon their guitars…”).

Top Hat (1935): Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers give their finest performances among their vehicles, evidenced best by their dancing and acting in the show stopping "Cheek to Cheek"; several other top notch Irving Berlin songs ("Isn't This a Lovely Day (to be Caught in the Rain)," "The Piccolino," "Top Hat, White Tie, and Tails") and the usual funny supporting actors make this one of the team's most outstanding films, if its final third drags a bit.

Friday, December 28, 2007

Rolling Stone's 100 Best Songs of the Year: My Picks

So, just for fun, here are my ten favorite songs of the year, off of and limited to Rolling Stone's list of the 100 Best Songs of the Year. Now, the Rolling Stone list certainly has its flaws. First, there is the "share the wealth" mentality in which no single artist or group has more than one track listed— certainly someone had TWO of the best songs this year. The other thing is Rolling Stone's own top fifty albums aren't entirely represented by at least one song (a lot of them)— could an album that was one of the fifty best contain not even the 100th best song of the year? And finally there is the occasional, "let's not be obvious" picks just to be clever: Britney Spears' "Piece of Me" instead of "Gimme More" and Justin Timberlake's "What Goes Around... Comes Around" instead of "SexyBack," for example. But hey, lists are never perfect and their top 100 is a pretty decent sampling.

My favorites (and their Rolling Stone rankings):

1.) "Makes Me Wonder"— Maroon 5 (#49)

2.) "You Got Yr Cherry Bomb"— Spoon (#16)

3.) "Is There a Ghost"— Band of Horses (#93)

4.) "Four Winds" — Bright Eyes (#5)

5.) "Mistaken for Strangers"— The National (#92)

6.) "I Get Money"— 50 Cent (#14)

7.) "Rehab"— Amy Winehouse (#7)

8.) "1234"— Feist (#19)

9.) "Phantom Limb"— The Shins (#75)

10.) "Teenage Love Affair"— Alicia Keys (#23)

Also like: "Hold On"— KT Tunstall (#55), "Lip Gloss"— Lil Mama (#56) [I admit it!], and "Impossible Germany"— Wilco (#71)

Thursday, December 27, 2007

National Film Registry 2007 Announced


CLOSE ENCOUNTERS OF THE THIRD KIND (1977) has finally made it into the National Film Registry! Below is the full list of twenty-five films selected. Three of my picks made it. This year, the picks skewed entirely to film classics, with just one '80s movie and one '90s movie selected. No new Hitchcock film on the list, even when such classics as STRANGERS ON A TRAIN has yet to be chosen. All in all though, a good group.

Films Selected for the 2007 National Film Registry (click here for press release):

• Back to the Future (1985)
• Bullitt (1968)
• Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977)
• Dance, Girl, Dance (1940)
• Dances With Wolves (1990)
• Days of Heaven (1978)
• Glimpse of the Garden (1957)
• Grand Hotel (1932)
• The House I Live In (1945)
• In a Lonely Place (1950)
• The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (1962)
• Mighty Like a Moose (1926)
• The Naked City (1948)
• Now, Voyager (1942)
• Oklahoma! (1955)
• Our Day (1938)
• Peege (1972)
• The Sex Life of the Polyp (1928)
• The Strong Man (1926)
• Three Little Pigs (1933)
• Tol’able David (1921)
• Tom, Tom the Piper’s Son (1969-71)
• 12 Angry Men (1957)
• The Women (1939)
• Wuthering Heights (1939)

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Film Review: Juno

From its trailer, JUNO seemed like another “quirky” movie peopled with characters who’d never do or say half the things they do or say, and with a lead character that spouts smart-alecky remarks that no one could possibly dream up that didn’t have a week to ponder each of them. In the first several scenes, it appeared to be exactly that. As if a sixteen-year-old would take a convenience store clerk into her confidence about being pregnant and trade one-liners with him instead of, say, freaking out!

Then, bit by bit, scene by scene, the story took surprising turns. The characters became very real. The film is about a high school girl who becomes pregnant and decides to proceed with the pregnancy and give up the child for adoption. The narrative, however, is mainly about the interaction between Juno and the people around her, particularly Paulie Bleeker, the mild-mannered track runner who is the baby’s father. What is especially refreshing about the relationship between Paulie and his baby-mama Juno is that they’re just friends. They had sex once. But the script doesn’t dwell on any “what are we gonna do!” madness.

Lead Ellen Page is getting the lion’s share of the praise by critics, but the rest of the ensemble give stronger performances than even she does. Michael Cera is astonishingly natural (and understatedly funny) as Paulie. And then there are Juno’s parents played by Allison Janney (“The West Wing”) and J. K. Simmons (Peter Parker’s editor at the newspaper in the SPIDERMAN movies)— who give stellar performances. And, finally there is Jennifer Garner and Jason Bateman, as the adoptive parents, who steal the show. It’s the Garner storyline in particular that, in the final analysis, won me over on JUNO. As with all great movies, it’s not just the beating of one single note: but an array of subplots and minor characters whose lives are affected by the lead character’s trajectory that make for an ideal movie experience. The film succeeds because we see how Juno is affecting so many people’s lives. And, in her separate relationships with the Garner and Bateman characters, we see an evolution in her understanding of human nature.

And again, how many movies about teen pregnancy aren’t about what a big, dumb mistake it is? JUNO is practically matter-of-fact about the pregnancy itself. Instead it’s about the world we live in and about how less screwed up Juno is in light of how more screwed up the adults are around her. And it’s about how everything can be okay, no matter how bleak the outlook.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Presents under the Christmas Tree

Merry Christmas!

Christmas has transitioned from presents under the tree to the big MOVIE DAY for me, but that doesn't mean I don't like opening those Christmas presents. And lo and behold this year, I finally got a DVD collection forever on my Amazon wishlist— the Ealing comedy collection.

I've seen just about all of the Ealing comedies, which is why when this came out on DVD initially (and has never been cheap) I didn't run to get it. But now that several years have passed, I can't wait to rediscover them. And, surely, they'll be some blog entries about them!

Best Christmas wishes.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Capra for Christmas Eve: It Happened One Night (1934)

Frank Capra's films often enter the TV and personal DVD rotation at years-end. It's perhaps the fact that they expose society's materialistic tendencies at the most commercial time of year, combined with those happy, upbeat "everything will be all right" endings that make them perfect holiday fare. The dark corners of Capra's films serve as reminders in the blinding happiness of the holiday season that greed, selfishness, and bureaucratic red tape will be back come January 2nd. Maybe its because of the relative social tranquility of the Eisenhower era that Capra's films of the '50s are his least known, footnotes in film history for producing two Oscar-winning best songs (HERE COMES THE GROOM's "In the Cool, Cool, Cool of the Evening" and A HOLE IN THE HEADS's "High Hopes"). And his early films lacked the total creative freedom he needed and demanded in his later work. His better-known movies were made in the midst of the Great Depression, through the war, and during the noirish post-war era (from 1933s LADY FOR A DAY to 1946s IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE). Its these ten films (the number excludes his PRELUDE TO WAR documentaries) that are considered his best work, and each is a film classic. Featuring idealistic hereos who work outside the system to make progress within society thereby exposing conformism (even George Bailey is a nonconformist despite giving up his "dreams"), they end in those signature "only in the movies" climaxes, that have kept them popular through the intervening years.

Frank Capra won three Academy Awards for best director during this period, and received three additional nominations. His first win was for IT HAPPENED ONE NIGHT, which also swept the awards that year.

IT HAPPENED ONE NIGHT is about an heiress who flees her wealthy father (when he disapproves of her new husband) and falls for a street-smart newspaperman who sees her story as the scoop of the year. Claudette Colbert plays Ellen Andrews opposite Clark Gable's Peter Warren, who doesn't let his newspaper or the Andrews fortune blind him from his ideals. And those ideals lean ultimately toward the romantic side, which is why, aside from the occasional social commentary, the movie exists as a blueprint for the romantic comedy (and the start of the "screwball" genre).

Among the film's funniest scenes is when Peter and Ellen work together to fool detectives by pretending to fight like a married couple. The levity of the film is kept up in clever ways as when, for example, it takes time out for a scene in which the bus passengers sing “The Daring Young Man on the Flying Trapeze.” The inevitable romance is not forced, and Peter’s stubborn disinterest in Ellen keeps it real (and gives Colbert opportunity to show off some acting chops: especially in a scene when she’s stung by Peter’s insults after a moment when they nearly kiss). Some post-“production code” moments have pre-code flavor, particularly in the dialogue (Peter: “Why didn’t you take off all your clothes, you could have stopped forty cars.”)

It Happened One Night (1934): Eternally contemporary film with a dash of Depression era realism not only defined the era’s screwball comedy genre but provided the blueprint for the modern romantic comedy.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Film Review: Away From Her


Should Julie Christie’s inevitable Oscar nomination for Best Actress (and probable win) bring AWAY FROM HER back to the theaters in your town do not miss it! A film that slipped through the cracks to some extent in the US in May (although it’s grossed a respectable $4.5 million to-date), it’s one of THE film experiences of 2007.

Directed by twentysomething Sarah Polley (lead actress of such films as MY LIFE WITHOUT ME) it has the assured directorial hand of an old master; in fact to me it was reminiscent of 1970s Ingmar Bergman. Julie Christie does indeed give a tour de force performance, but the entire ensemble is award-worthy.

The story (adapted by Polley from an Alice Munro short story) concerns Fiona Anderson (Christie), who has already begun losing her memory to Alzheimer’s disease as the film begins. She’s decided to have herself placed in a care facility to ease the struggle her husband will eventually face. At one point we see Fiona cross country skiing away from her wintery home as her husband Grant (Gordon Pinsent) watches her slip over a crest and disappear, just as she soon will from his life. In fact, when she wanders off following this excursion, it forces Grant’s hand in agreeing to put her into the Meadowlake care facility.

Her transformation is almost instantaneous in screen time, because the movie has little to do with observing Fiona’s progression into an addled state. Instead its about the discovery of how much her husband of 44 years is in love with her, seen in his actions over the next several months watching her from afar, mostly, as she is frequently disturbed by his presence, never quite remembering who he is. Pinsent plays Grant unsentimentally which is key to the characterization and pivotal to the film’s uniqueness.

In between the scenes at Meadowlake, are intercut Grant’s meeting with a woman named Marian (Olympia Dukakis). Marian is the wife of Aubrey (Michael Murphy), a man who the memory-lost Fiona grows attached to at Meadowlake. Dukakis plays the no-nonsense, almost fatalistic Marian flawlessly. Marian’s “such is life” philosophy in some way eases the audience along in accepting Fiona’s condition and thereby focusing the movie on the bond between Grant and Fiona, which, despite hinted at difficulties, has remained intact over their long marriage.

At several times during the movie the audience seems to be brought right out onto the edge of writing the film off as far-too-depressing, only to have a wrinkle in the plot refocus attention to the love story and away from the downbeat. Several times throughout the film Polley has a character walk away down a corridor at Meadowlake that’s designed to bring in the sunlight; at these perfectly timed moments that cap dramatic sequences, the celluloid brightens and your heart breaks just a little bit reflecting on what has just transpired.

As the end of the movie’s final scene approached, I found myself thinking: wow, this could end right here—and after one nice brief final touch, the credits began to roll. AWAY FROM HER has been out on DVD for a few months and may not suffer on the small screen, however, if you prefer the big screen, you may want to catch it while you have a second opportunity, it’s a stunning achievement, a great film.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

St. Louis Gateway, Las Vegas, Utah, and Florida Critics Also Pick "No Country"


The 2007 nominees and winners (*) for the St. Louis Gateway Film Awards are:

BEST PICTURE
The Assassination Of Jesse James By The Coward Robert Ford
The Diving Bell and the Butterfly
Into The Wild
Juno
The Kite Runner
* No Country For Old Men
Sweeney Todd
Atonement
Michael Clayton
There Will Be Blood

BEST ACTRESS
Cate Blanchett - Elizabeth: The Golden Age
Julie Christie - Away From Her
Marion Cotillard - La Vie En Rose
Jodie Foster - The Brave One
Laura Linney - The Savages
* Ellen Page - Juno

BEST ACTOR
* Daniel Day-Lewis - There Will Be Blood
Don Cheadle - Talk To Me
George Clooney - Michael Clayton
Ryan Gosling - Lars And The Real Girl
Tommy Lee Jones - In The Valley Of Elah
Viggo Mortensen - Eastern Promises

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Cate Blanchett - I’m Not There
Katherine Heigl - Knocked Up
Taraji P. Henson - Talk To Me
Saorise Ronan - Atonement
* Amy Ryan - Gone Baby Gone
Tilda Swinton - Michael Clayton

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
* Casey Affleck - The Assassination Of Jesse James By The Coward Robert Ford
Javier Bardem - No Country For Old Men
Josh Brolin - No Country For Old Men
Phillip Seymour Hoffman - Charlie Wilson’s War
Tommy Lee Jones - No Country For Old Men
Michael Sheen - Music Within
Tom Wilkinson - Michael Clayton

BEST DIRECTOR
Paul Thomas Anderson - There Will Be Blood
Tim Burton - Sweeney Todd
* Ethan and Joel Coen - No Country For Old Men
Mike Nichols - Charlie Wilson’s War
Sean Penn - Into The Wild
Julian Schnabel – The Diving Bell And The Butterfly

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY
* The Assassination Of Jesse James By The Coward Robert Ford - Roger Deakins
Atonement - Seamus McGarvey
The Diving Bell And The Butterfly - Janusz Kaminski
Into The Wild - Eric Gautier
The Kite Runner - Roberto Schaefer
No Country For Old Men - Roger Deakins
There Will Be Blood - Robert Elswit

BEST SCRIPT (Original or Adapted)
Atonement - Ian McEwan and Christopher Hampton
Into The Wild - Sean Penn and Jon Krakauer
* Juno - Diablo Cody
Lars And The Real Girl - Nancy Oliver
Michael Clayton - Tony Gilroy
No Country For Old Men - Ethan and Joel Coen, Cormac McCarthy
Persepolis - Vincent Paronnaud and Marjane Satrapi

BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM
* The Diving Bell And The Butterfly
The Host
The Kite Runner
La Vie En Rose
Lust, Caution
Persepolis

BEST DOCUMENTARY
In The Shadow Of The Moon
King of Kong – A Fist Full of Quarters
Manufactured Landscapes
No End In Sight
* Sicko

BEST COMEDY
* Juno
Knocked Up
Lars And The Real Girl
The Simpsons Movie
Superbad
Waitress
Walk Hard

BEST ANIMATED OR FAMILY FILM
Bridge To Terabithia
Enchanted
The Golden Compass
Persepolis
* Ratatouille
The Simpsons Movie

Here's the link a full list of their winners and runners-up.

Las Vegas Film Critics Society:

Best Picture
“No Country for Old Men”

Best Actor
Daniel Day-Lewis, “There Will Be Blood”

Best Actress
Ellen Page, “Juno”

Best Supporting Actor
Javier Bardem, “No Country for Old Men”

Best Supporting Actress
Cate Blanchett, “I’m Not There”

Best Director
Joel & Ethan Coen, “No Country for Old Men

Best Screenplay (Original or Adapted)
Diablo Cody, “Juno”

Best Cinematography
Robert Elswit, “There Will Be Blood”

Best Film Editing
Christopher Rouse, “The Bourne Ultimatum”

Best Costume Design
Colleen Atwood, “Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street”

Best Art Direction
“Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix”

Best Visual Effects
“Transformers”

Best Score
Jonny Greenwood, “There Will Be Blood”

Best Song
“Walk Hard” by Marshall Crenshaw, John C. Reilly, Judd Apatow and Jake Kasdan
Performed by John C. Reilly

Best Animated Film
“Ratatouille”

Best Family Film
“Ratatouille”

Best Documentary
“Sicko”

Best Foreign Film
“The Diving Bell and the Butterfly”

Youth in Film Award (Male)
Ed Sanders, “Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street

Youth in Film Award (Female)
Saoirse Ronan, "Atonement"

Best DVD (Packaging, Design and Content)
Blade Runner Ultimate Edition (Warner Home Entertainment)

William Holden Lifetime Achievement Award
James Hong

LVFCS Top Ten Films for 2007
No Country for Old Men
Sweeney Todd
3:10 to Yuma
The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford
Zodiac
Into the Wild
Juno
Eastern Promises
The Lookout
Sunshine

Here's the link a list of their winners.

Utah Film Critics Assn.:

Best Film: No Country for Old Men by Joel and Ethan Coen

Runner-up: Juno by Jason Reitman

Other runners-up (in alphabetical order): The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford, I’m Not There, Into the Wild, Juno, Knocked Up, Michael Clayton, No Country for Old Men, Once, There Will Be Blood, 3: 10 to Yuma

Best Non-English Language Feature: The Host by Bong Joon-ho

Runner-up: The Diving Bell and the Butterfly by Julian Schnabel

Best Documentary Feature: The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters by Seth Gordon

Runner-up: My Kid Could Paint That by Amir Bar-Lev

Best Director: Joel and Ethan Coen, No Country for Old Men

Runner-up: Paul Thomas Anderson, There Will Be Blood

Best Actor: Daniel Day-Lewis, There Will Be Blood

Runner-up: Casey Affleck, The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford

Best Actress: Ellen Page, Juno

Runner-up: Amy Adams, Enchanted

Best Supporting Actor: Javier Bardem, No Country for Old Men

Runner-up: Hal Holbrook, Into the Wild

Best Supporting Actress: Amy Ryan, Gone Baby Gone

Runner-up: Cate Blanchett, I’m Not There

Best Screenplay: Joel and Ethan Coen, No Country for Old Men

Runner-up: Diablo Cody, Juno

Best Animated Feature: Ratatouille by Brad Bird

Runner-up: The Simpsons Movie by David Silverman

Florida Film Critics Circle:

Best Picture: No Country for Old Men by Joel and Ethan Coen

Best Foreign-Language Film: The Diving Bell and the Butterfly by Julian Schnabel

Best Documentary: No End in Sight by Charles Ferguson

Best Directors: Joel Coen and Ethan Coen, No Country for Old Men

Best Actor: Daniel Day-Lewis, There Will Be Blood

Best Actress: Ellen Page, Juno

Best Supporting Actor: Javier Bardem, No Country for Old Men

Best Supporting Actress: Amy Ryan, Gone Baby Gone

Best Screenplay: Diablo Cody, Juno

Best Animated Film: Ratatouille by Brad Bird

Best Cinematography: Roger Deakins, No Country for Old Men and The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford

Pauline Kael Breakout Award: Ellen Page, Juno

Best Original Songs: Once

Friday, December 21, 2007

Writers Guild Strike 2007, Week Seven


The strike continues and talk has turned from the TV line-ups to the effect the strike will have on "Awards Season."

The People's Choice Awards had a rumor of cancelation but instead will air "in a different format" and be taped rather than live.

On Tuesday, the trades noted that both the Golden Globes and the Oscars were being denied waivers (to hire writers) from the guild. Also, apparently a request for clips clearances was also denied for the Oscars. Today, however, it was announced that the guild is allowing writers to work for the Independent Spirit Awads (but, unlike the other awards shows, the Spirit Awards's producers had asked for permission before the strike began seven weeks ago).

Thursday, December 20, 2007

SAG Nominations Announced


Here's the film nominations:

THEATRICAL MOTION PICTURES


Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role
GEORGE CLOONEY / Michael Clayton – “Michael Clayton” (Warner Bros. Pictures)
DANIEL DAY-LEWIS / Daniel Plainview – “There Will Be Blood” (Paramount Vantage)
RYAN GOSLING / Lars Lindstrom – “Lars And The Real Girl” (Sidney Kimmel Entertainment)
EMILE HIRSCH / Christopher McCandless– “Into The Wild” (Paramount Vantage)
VIGGO MORTENSEN / Nikolai – “Eastern Promises” (Focus Features)

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role
CATE BLANCHETT / Queen Elizabeth I – “Elizabeth: The Golden Age” (Universal Pictures)
JULIE CHRISTIE / Fiona – “Away From Her” (Lionsgate)
MARION COTILLARD / Edith Piaf – “La Vie En Rose” (Picturehouse)
ANGELINA JOLIE / Mariane Pearl – “A Mighty Heart” (Paramount Vantage)
ELLEN PAGE / Juno MacGuff – “Juno” (Fox Searchlight Pictures)

Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role
CASEY AFFLECK / Robert Ford – “The Assassination of Jesse James By The Coward Robert Ford” (Warner Bros. Pictures)
JAVIER BARDEM / Anton Chigurh – “No Country For Old Men” (Miramax Films)
HAL HOLBROOK / Ron Franz – “Into The Wild” (Paramount Vantage)
TOMMY LEE JONES / Ed Tom Bell – “No Country For Old Men” (Miramax Films)
TOM WILKINSON / Arthur Edens – “Michael Clayton” (Warner Bros. Pictures)

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role
CATE BLANCHETT / Jude – “I’m Not There” (The Weinstein Company)
RUBY DEE / Mama Lucas – “American Gangster” (Universal Pictures)
CATHERINE KEENER / Jan Burres – “Into The Wild” (Paramount Vantage)
AMY RYAN / Helene McCready – “Gone Baby Gone” (Miramax Films)
TILDA SWINTON / Karen Crowder – “Michael Clayton” (Warner Bros. Pictures)

Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture
3:10 TO YUMA (Lionsgate)
AMERICAN GANGSTER (Universal Pictures)
HAIRSPRAY (New Line Cinema)
INTO THE WILD (Paramount Vantage)
NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN (Miramax Films)

Here's the link the full list of their nominations.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

"No Country" Again with Phoenix, (newly formed) Detroit, and Toronto Critics Groups


Phoenix Film Critics Society Picks:

Best Picture
NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN

Top Ten Films (In Alphabetical Order)
Atonement
Away From Her
Hairspray
Juno
Michael Clayton
No Country For Old Men
Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street
There Will Be Blood
3:10 to Yuma
Zodiac

Best Achievement in Direction
Ethan and Joel Coen for NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN

Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role
Daniel Day Lewis for THERE WILL BE BLOOD

Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role
Julie Christie for AWAY FROM HER

Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role
Javier Bardem for NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN

Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role
Amy Ryan for GONE BABY GONE

Best Ensemble Acting
The Cast of NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN

Best Screenplay written directly for the screen
Diablo Cody for JUNO

Best Screenplay adapted from another medium
Joel and Ethan Coen for NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN
Adapted from the novel by Cormac McCarthy

Best Live Action Family Film
ENCHANTED

Overlooked Film of the Year
STARDUST

Best Animated Film
RATATOUILLE

Best Foreign Language Film
THE DIVING BELL AND THE BUTTERFLY

Best Documentary
SICKO

Best Original Song
"Falling Slowly" from ONCE

Best Original Score
ATONEMENT

Best Achievement in Cinematography
ATONEMENT

Best Achievement in Editing
NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN

Best Achievement in Production Design
SWEENEY TODD: THE DEMON BARBER OF FLEET STREET

Best Achievement in Costume Design
SWEENEY TODD: THE DEMON BARBER OF FLEET STREET

Best Achievement in Visual Effects
300

Best Achievement in Stunts
THE BOURNE ULTIMATUM

Breakthrough on Camera
Ellen Page for JUNO

Breakthrough behind the Camera
Sarah Polley for AWAY FROM HER

Best Performance by a Youth in a Lead or Supporting Role - Male
Edward Sanders for SWEENEY TODD: THE DEMON BARBER OF FLEET STREET

Best Performance by a Youth in a Lead or Supporting Role - Female
Saoirse Ronan for ATONEMENT

Here's the link a list of their website.

Detroit Film Critics: winners:

Best Film: No Country For Old Men
Best Director: Joel and Ethan Coen, No Country For Old Men
Best Actor: George Clooney, Michael Clayton
Best Actress: Ellen Page, Juno
Best Supporting Actor: Javier Bardem, No Country for Old Men
Best Supporting Actress: Tilda Swinton, Michael Clayton
Best Ensemble: Juno
Best Newcomer: Diablo Cody, screenwriter, Juno

Toronto Film Critics Association

Best Film: No Country for Old Men by Joel and Ethan Coen

Runners-up: Eastern Promises; Zodiac

Best Foreign-Language Film: 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days by Cristian Mungiu

Runners-up: The Diving Bell and the Butterfly; The Lives of Others

Best Canadian Film: Away from Her by Sarah Polley

Runners-up: Eastern Promises; Radiant City

Best Documentary: No End in Sight by Charles Ferguson

Runners-up: Iraq in Fragments; My Kid Could Paint That

Best Director: Joel and Ethan Coen, No Country for Old Men

Runners-up: David Cronenberg, Eastern Promises; David Fincher, Zodiac

Best Actor: Viggo Mortensen, Eastern Promises

Runners-up: George Clooney, Michael Clayton; Gordon Pinsent, Away from Her

Best Actress (tie): Julie Christie in Away from Her and Ellen Page in Juno

Runner-up: Laura Dern, Inland Empire

Best Supporting Actor: Javier Bardem, No Country for Old Men

Runners-up: Casey Affleck, The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford; Philip Seymour Hoffman, Charlie Wilson’s War

Best Supporting Actress: Cate Blanchett, I’m Not There

Runners-up: Amy Ryan, Gone Baby Gone; Tilda Swinton, Michael Clayton

Best Screenplay: Joel and Ethan Coen, No Country for Old Men

Runners-up: Diablo Cody, Juno; Tony Gilroy, Michael Clayton

Best Animated Feature: Ratatouille by Brad Bird

Runners-up: Paprika; The Simpsons Movie

Best First Feature: Away from Her by Sarah Polley

Runners-up: Gone Baby Gone, directed by Ben Affleck; Michael Clayton, directed by Tony Gilroy

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

San Diego Also Goes "No Country" but Austin Film Critics Pick "There Will Be Blood"; Detroit Nominates "Juno"; Golden Satellites Go "No Country/Juno"


San Diego Film Critics Society

Best Film: No Country for Old Men by Joel and Ethan Coen

Best Foreign Language Film: The Diving Bell and the Butterfly by Julian Schnabel

Best Documentary (tie): Crazy Love by Dan Klores and Fisher Stevens, and Deep Water by Louise Osmond and Jerry Rothwell

Best Director: Paul Thomas Anderson, There Will Be Blood

Best Actor: Daniel Day-Lewis, There Will Be Blood

Best Actress: Julie Christie, Away from Her

Best Supporting Actor: Tommy Lee Jones, No Country for Old Men

Best Supporting Actress: Amy Ryan, Gone Baby Gone

Best Original Screenplay: Diablo Cody, Juno

Best Adapted Screenplay: Paul Thomas Anderson, There Will Be Blood

Best Ensemble: No Country for Old Men

Best Animated Film: Ratatouille by Brad Bird

Best Cinematography: Roger Deakins, No Country for Old Men

Best Editing: Paul Tothill, Atonement

Best Score: Jonny Greenwood, There Will Be Blood

Best Production Design: Dante Ferretti, Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street

Body of Work: Christian Bale, 3:10 to Yuma, Rescue Dawn and I’m Not There

Kyle Counts Award: ("honors those who have made a contribution to film in the city") Larry Zeiger

Austin Film Critics picks:
Top Ten:
There Will Be Blood
No Country for Old men
Juno
Into the Wild
3:10 to Yuma
Knocked Up
Before the Devil Knows You're Dead
Atonement
American Gangster
Eastern Promises

Best Film:
There Will Be Blood

Best Director:
Paul Thomas Anderson, 'There Will Be Blood'

Best Actor:
Daniel Day Lewis, 'There Will Be Blood'

Best Actress:
Ellen Page, 'Juno'

Best Supporting Actor:
Javier Bardem, 'No Country For Old Men'

Best Supporting Actress:
Allison Janney, Juno

Best Foreign Film:
Black Book

Best Documentary:
The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters

Best Animated Film:
Ratatouille

Best First Film:
Ben Affleck, 'Gone Baby Gone'

Best Original Screenplay:
Diablo Cody, 'Juno'

Best Adapted Screenplay:
Ethan & Joel Coen, 'No Country For Old Men'

Best Cinematography:
Robert Elswit, 'There Will Be Blood'

Best Original Score:
Jonny Greenwood, 'There Will Be Blood'

Breakthrough Artist:
Michael Cera, 'Superbad,' 'Juno

Austin Film Award:
Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez, 'Grindhouse'

Here's the link to Variety with the full list of winners.

The Detroit Film Critics Society nominees

Best film
"No Country for Old Men"
"Juno"
"Into the Wild"
"The Diving Bell and the Butterfly"
"There Will Be Blood"

Best director
Joel & Ethan Coen, "No Country for Old Men"
Julian Schnabel, "The Diving Bell and the Butterfly"
Paul Thomas Anderson, "There Will Be Blood"
Sean Penn, "Into the Wild"
Tim Burton, "Sweeney Todd"
Jason Reitman, "Juno"

Best actor
Daniel Day-Lewis, "There Will Be Blood"
George Clooney, "Michael Clayton"
Emile Hirsch, "Into the Wild"
Tommy Lee Jones, "No Country for Old Men"
Mathieu Amalric, "The Diving Bell and the Butterfly"

Best actress
Ellen Page, "Juno"
Julie Christie, "Away From Her"
Marion Cotillard, "La Vie En Rose"
Laura Linney, "The Savages"
Amy Adams, "Enchanted"

Best supporting actor
Javier Bardem, "No Country for Old Men"
Tom Wilkinson, "Michael Clayton"
Hal Holbrook, "Into the Wild"
Paul Dano, "There Will Be Blood"
Casey Affleck, "The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford"

Best supporting actress
Tilda Swinton, "Michael Clayton"
Amy Ryan, "Gone Baby Gone"
Cate Blanchett, "I'm Not There"
Catherine Keener, "Into the Wild"
Emily Mortimer, "Lars and the Real Girl"

Best ensemble
"Juno"
"Lars and the Real Girl"
"Waitress"
"Zodiac"
"Before the Devil Knows You're Dead"

Best newcomer
Sarah Polley, writer-director, "Away From Her"
Michael Cera, actor, "Juno" and "Superbad"
Diablo Cody, writer, "Juno"
Adrienne Shelley, director-writer-actor, "Waitress"
Nikki Blonsky, actor, "Hairspray"

Here's the link a list of their nominees.

International Press Association's Golden Satellite Nominees (main categoriesd only):

And the nominees and winners (with a *) are:

ACTRESS IN A MOTION PICTURE, DRAMA
Julie Christie, “Away From Her” (Lionsgate)
Angelina Jolie, “A Mighty Heart” (Paramount Vantage)
* Marion Cotillard, “La Vie En Rose” (Picturehouse Entertainment)
Tilda Swinton, “Stephanie Daley” (Regent Releasing)
Keira Knightley, “Atonement” (Focus Features)
Laura Linney, “The Savages” (Fox Searchlight)

ACTOR IN A MOTION PICTURE, DRAMA
Denzel Washington, “American Gangster” (Universal Pictures)
Josh Brolin, “No Country For Old Men” (Miramax Films)
Christian Bale, “Rescue Dawn” (MGM)
*Viggo Mortensen, “Eastern Promises” (Focus Features)
Frank Langella, “Starting Out in the Evening”(Roadside Attractions)
Tommy Lee Jones, “In the Valley of Elah” (Warner Independent Pictures)

ACTRESS IN A MOTION PICTURE, COMEDY OR MUSICAL
Katherine Heigl, “Knocked Up” (Universal Pictures)
Amy Adams, “Enchanted” (Walt Disney Pictures)
* Ellen Page, “Juno” (Fox Searchlight)
Emily Mortimer, “Lars and the Real Girl” (MGM)
Nicole Kidman, “Margot at the Wedding” (Paramount Vantage)
Cate Blanchett, “I’m Not There” (The Weinstein Company)

ACTOR IN A MOTION PICTURE, COMEDY OR MUSICAL
Richard Gere, “The Hoax” Miramax
Seth Rogen, “Knocked Up” (Universal Pictures)
Ben Kingsley You Kill Me Ifc Films
* Ryan Gosling, “Lars and the Real Girl” (MGM)
Clive Owen, “Shoot ‘Em Up” (New Line Cinema)
Don Cheadle, “Talk to Me” (Focus Features)

ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE
Saoirse Ronan, “Atonement” (Focus Features)
Emmanuelle Seigner, “La Vie En Rose” (Picturehouse Entertainment)
Tilda Swinton, “Michael Clayton” (Warner Bros. Pictures)
* Amy Ryan, “Gone Baby Gone” (Miramax Films)
Taraji P. Henson “Talk to Me” (Focus Features)
Ruby Dee, “American Gangster” (Universal Pictures)

ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE
Jeff Daniels, “The Lookout” (Miramax Films)
Brian Cox, “Zodiac” (Paramount Pictures)
* Tom Wilkinson, “Michael Clayton” (Warner Bros. Pictures)
Ben Foster, “3:10 To Yuma” (Lionsgate)
Javier Bardem, “No Country For Old Men” (Miramax Films)
* Casey Affleck, “The Assassination of Jessie James” (Warner Bros. Pictures)
[tie]

MOTION PICTURE, DRAMA
“The Lookout” Miramax
“Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead” (ThinkFilm)
“Away From Her” (Lionsgate)
“Eastern Promises” (Focus Features)
* “No Country For Old Men” (Miramax Films)
“3:10 To Yuma” (Lionsgate)

MOTION PICTURE, COMEDY OR MUSICAL
“Hairspray” (New Line Cinema)
* “Juno”(Fox Searchlight)
“Shoot ‘Em Up” (New Line Cinema)
“Lars and the Real Girl” (MGM)
“Knocked Up” (Universal Pictures)

MOTION PICTURE, FOREIGN LANGUAGE
“Ten Canoes” Australia (Palm Pictures)
“Offside Iran” (Sony Pictures Classics)
“La Vie En Rose” France (Picturehouse Entertainment)
* “Lust, Caution” China (Focus Features)
“4 Months 3 Weeks & 2 Days” Romania Ifc Films
“The Orphanage” Spain (Picturehouse Entertainment)
“Margot at the Wedding” (Paramount Vantage)

MOTION PICTURE, ANIMATED OR MIXED MEDIA
“Persepolis” (Sony Pictures Classics)
“The Simpsons Movie” Twentieth Century Fox
“The Golden” Compass (New Line Cinema)
* “”Ratatouille”" (Buena Vista Pictures)
“300″ Warner Brothers
“Beowulf” (Paramount Pictures)

MOTION PICTURE, DOCUMENTARY
“The King Of Kong” (Picturehouse Entertainment)
“The 11th Hour Warner” (Independent Pictures)
* “Sicko” (Lionsgate)
“No End In Sight”(Magnolia Pictures)
“Darfur Now Warner” (Independent Pictures)
“Lake Of Fire” (ThinkFilm)

DIRECTOR
Ang Lee, “Lust, Caution” (Focus Features)
Olivier Dahan, “La Vie En Rose” (Picture House Entertainment)
David Cronenberg, “Eastern Promises” (Focus Features)
* Ethan Coen, Joel Coen, “No Country For Old Men” (Miramax Films)
Sidney Lumet, “Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead” (ThinkFilm)
Sarah Polley, “Away From Her” (Lionsgate)

SCREENPLAY, ORIGINAL
Scott Frank, “The Lookout” (Miramax Films)
* Diablo Cody, “Juno” (Fox Searchlight)
Kelly Masterson, “Before the Devil Knows You’Re Dead” (ThinkFilm)
Tony Gilroy, “Michael Clayton” (Warner Bros. Pictures)
Nancy Oliver,”Lars and the Real Girl” (MGM)
Steven Knight, “Eastern Promises” (Focus Features)

SCREENPLAY, ADAPTED
James Vanderbilt, “Zodiac” (Paramount Pictures)
* Christopher Hampton “Atonement” (Focus Features)
Ethan Coen, Joel Coen, “No Country For Old Men” (Miramax Films)
David Benioff, “The Kite Runner” (Paramount Vantage)
Sarah Polley,”Away From Her” (Lionsgate)
Wang Hui Ling, James Schamus,”Lust, Caution” (Focus Features)

Here's the link a full list of their nominees and winners.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Dallas-Fort Worth Film Critics and the Southeastern Film Critics Association Also Pick "No Country For Old Men"


Press release from Dallas-Fort Worth Film Critics, below:

The Dallas-Fort Worth Film Critics Association voted the Texas crime drama NO COUNTRY FOR OLD
MEN as the best film of 2007, according to the results of its 14th annual critics’ poll released today.
Rounding out the composite list of the top 10 films of the year were JUNO (2), THERE WILL BE BLOOD
(3), ATONEMENT (4), MICHAEL CLAYTON (5), INTO THE WILD (6), THE DIVING BELL AND THE
BUTTERFLY (7), THE KITE RUNNER (8), THE ASSASSINATION OF JESSE JAMES BY THE COWARD
ROBERT FORD (9) and CHARLIE WILSON’S WAR (10).

For Best Actor, the association named Daniel Day-Lewis for THERE WILL BE BLOOD. Runners-up
included George Clooney for MICHAEL CLAYTON (2), Frank Langella for STARTING OUT IN THE EVENING
(3), Tommy Lee Jones for IN THE VALLEY OF ELAH (4) and Emile Hirsch for INTO THE WILD (5).

Julie Christie was voted Best Actress for AWAY FROM HER. Next in the voting were Marion Cotillard for
LA VIE EN ROSE (2), Ellen Page for JUNO (3), Laura Linney for THE SAVAGES (4) and Angelina Jolie for A
MIGHTY HEART (5).

In the Best Supporting Actor category, the winner was Javier Bardem for NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN.
He was followed by Philip Seymour Hoffman for CHARLIE WILSON’S WAR (2), Casey Affleck for THE
ASSASSINTION OF JESSE JAMES BY THE COWARD ROBERT FORD (3), Tom Wilkinson for MICHAEL
CLAYTON (4) and Hal Holbrook for INTO THE WILD (5).

For Best Supporting Actress, the association named Tilda Swinton for MICHAEL CLAYTON. Runners-up
included Amy Ryan for GONE BABY GONE (2), Cate Blanchett for I’M NOT THERE (3), Saoirse Ronan for
ATONEMENT (4) and Jennifer Jason Leigh for MARGOT AT THE WEDDING (5).

Joel Coen and Ethan Coen were voted Best Director for NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN. Next in the voting
were Paul Thomas Anderson for THERE WILL BE BLOOD (2), Tim Burton for SWEENEY TODD: THE DEMON
BARBER OF FLEET STREET (3), Julian Schnabel for THE DIVING BELL AND THE BUTTERFLY (4) and Sean
Penn for INTO THE WILD (5).

The association voted THE DIVING BELL AND THE BUTTERFLY as the best foreign-language film of
the year. Runners-up were LA VIE EN ROSE (2); 4 MONTHS, 3 WEEKS AND 2 DAYS (3); LUST, CAUTION (4);
and BLACK BOOK (5).

THE KING OF KONG: A FISTFUL OF QUARTERS won for Best Documentary over SICKO (2), NO END
IN SIGHT (3), MY KID COULD PAINT THAT (4) and CRAZY LOVE (5).

RATATOUILLE was named the best animated film of 2006, with PERSEPOLIS as runner-up. Diablo Cody
won the Best Screenplay award for JUNO over Joel Coen and Ethan Coen for NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN.

The award for Best Cinematography went to Roger Deakins for THE ASSASSINATION OF JESSE JAMES
BY THE COWARD ROBERT FORD, followed by a tie between Janusz Kaminski for THE DIVING BELL AND
THE BUTTERFLY and Roger Deakins for NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN.

The association voted ONCE as the winner of the Russell Smith Award, named for the late Dallas Morning
News film critic. The honor is given annually to the best low-budget or cutting-edge independent film.

The Dallas-Fort Worth Film Critics Association consists of 32 broadcast, print and online journalists from
throughout North Texas. For more information, visit www.dfwfilmcritics.com.

Here's the link to their site with the full list of winners.

Southeastern Film Critics Association:

Best Film: No Country for Old Men by Joel and Ethan Coen

Runners-up:
There Will Be Blood
Atonement
Juno
Michael Clayton
Zodiac
The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford
Gone Baby Gone
The Diving Bell and the Butterfly
Into the Wild

Best Foreign Language Film: The Diving Bell and the Butterfly by Julian Schnabel

Best Documentary: No End in Sight by Charles Ferguson

Best Director: Joel and Ethan Coen, No Country for Old Men

Best Actor: Daniel Day-Lewis, There Will Be Blood

Best Actress: Julie Christie, Away from Her

Best Supporting Actor: Javier Bardem, No Country for Old Men

Best Supporting Actress: Amy Ryan, Gone Baby Gone

Best Original Screenplay: Diablo Cody, Juno

Best Adapted Screenplay: Joel and Ethan Coen, No Country for Old Men

Best Animated Feature: Ratatouille by Brad Bird

Wyatt Award (for the film that best captures the "spirit of the South"): Waitress by Adrienne Shelly

Here's the link to their website.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

AFI Announces Its Top Ten of 2007


AFI's TOP TEN of 2007:

BEFORE THE DEVIL KNOWS YOU'RE DEAD

THE DIVING BELL AND THE BUTTERFLY

INTO THE WILD

JUNO

KNOCKED UP

MICHAEL CLAYTON

NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN

RATATOUILLE

THE SAVAGES

THERE WILL BE BLOOD

Link to their website.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

London Film Critics Nominations: "Atonement" and "Control" Lead with Eight Nominations; Chicago Film Critics Choose "No Country For Old Men"


FILM OF THE YEAR
No Country for Old Men
The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford
There Will Be Blood
Zodiac
The Bourne Ultimatum

ATTENBOROUGH AWARD FOR BRITISH FILM OF THE YEAR
Once
Control
Atonement
Eastern Promises
This Is England

FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM OF THE YEAR
The Diving Bell and the Butterfly
4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days
The Lives of Others
Letters from Iwo Jima
Tell No One

DIRECTOR OF THE YEAR
Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck — The Lives of Others
Paul Thomas Anderson — There Will Be Blood
Joel and Ethan Coen — No Country for Old Men
David Fincher — Zodiac
Cristian Mungui — 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days

BRITISH DIRECTOR OF THE YEAR
Anton Corbijn — Control
Paul Greengrass — The Bourne Ultimatum
Shane Meadows — This Is England
Joe Wright — Atonement
Danny Boyle — Sunshine

ACTOR OF THE YEAR
Ulrich Mühe — The Lives of Others
Casey Affleck — The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford
George Clooney — Michael Clayton
Tommy Lee Jones — In the Valley of Elah
Daniel Day Lewis — There Will Be Blood

ACTRESS OF THE YEAR
Laura Linney — The Savages
Marion Cotillard — La Vie en Rose
Maggie Gyllenhaal — Sherrybaby
Angelina Jolie — A Mighty Heart
Anamaria Marinca — 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days

BRITISH ACTOR OF THE YEAR
Sam Riley — Control
James McAvoy — Atonement
Christian Bale — 3:10 to Yuma
Jim Broadbent — And When Did You Last See Your Father
Jonny Lee Miller — The Flying Scotsman

BRITISH ACTRESS OF THE YEAR
Samantha Morton — Control
Julie Christie — Away from Her
Keira Knightley — Atonement
Helena Bonham Carter — Sweeney Todd
Sienna Miller — Interview

BRITISH ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE
Tom Wilkinson — Michael Clayton
Toby Jones — The Painted Veil
Alfred Molina — The Hoax
Toby Kebell — Control
Albert Finney — Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead

BRITISH ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE
Saoirse Ronan — Atonement
Imelda Staunton — Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
Tilda Swinton — Michael Clayton
Kelly Macdonald — No Country for Old Men
Vanessa Redgrave — Atonement

SCREENWRITER OF THE YEAR
Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck — The Lives of Others
Joel and Ethan Coen — No Country for Old Men
Paul Thomas Anderson — There Will Be Blood
Ronald Harwood — The Diving Bell and the Butterfly
Christopher Hampton — Atonement

BRITISH BREAKTHROUGH — ACTING
Saoirse Ronan — Atonement
Sam Riley — Control
Thomas Turgoose — This Is England
Benedict Cumberbatch — Amazing Grace
Dakota Blue Richards — The Golden Compass

BRITISH BREAKTHROUGH — FILMMAKING
John Carney, writer and director — Once
Sarah Gavron, director — Brick Lane
Anton Corbijn, director — Control
Matt Greenhalgh, writer — Control
Stevan Riley, writer, director, producer — Blue Blood

Chicago Film Critics Association Winners:

BEST PICTURE – "No Country for Old Men"

BEST FOREIGN-LANGUAGE FILM – "4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days"

BEST DIRECTOR – Joel & Ethan Coen for "No Country for Old Men"

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY – Diablo Cody for" Juno"

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY – Joel & Ethan Coen for "No Country for Old Men"

BEST ACTOR – Daniel Day-Lewis for "There Will Be Blood"

BEST ACTRESS – Ellen Page for "Juno"

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR – Javier Bardem for "No Country for Old Men"

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS – Cate Blanchett for "I’m Not There"

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE – Glen Hansard & Marketa Irglova for "Once"

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY – Roger Deakins for "The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford"

BEST DOCUMENTARY – "Sicko"

BEST ANIMATED FEATURE – "Ratatouille"

MOST PROMISING PERFORMER – Michael Cera for "Juno" and "Superbad"

MOST PROMISING FILMMAKER – Ben Affleck for "Gone Baby Gone"

Friday, December 14, 2007

Writers Guild Strike 2007, Week Six

Little to report as negotiations continue. Still, the emphasis in reporting is in the effect the strike is having on the television industy, rather than the movies. There has been a lot of print about the thin line-up of pilots for the upfronts.

The entire creative community, TV & film, is at a loss about whether or not to attend the Golden Globes if the strike continues. See Variety article.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Golden Globe Nominations Announced; "Atonement" Leads with Seven nominations


The Golden Globe nominations were announced, here are the Film noms:

1. BEST MOTION PICTURE – DRAMA

AMERICAN GANGSTER
Imagine Entertainment/Scott Free Productions; Universal Pictures
ATONEMENT
Working Title Productions; Focus Features
EASTERN PROMISES
Kudos Pictures – UK Serendipity Point Films – Canada A UK/Canada Co-Production; Focus Features
THE GREAT DEBATERS
Harpo Films; The Weinstein Company/MGM
MICHAEL CLAYTON
Clayton Productions LLC; Warner Bros. Pictures
NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN
A Scott Rudin/Mike Zoss Production; Miramax/Paramount Vantage
THERE WILL BE BLOOD
A Joanne Sellar/Ghoulardi Film Company Production; Paramount Vantage and Miramax Films

2. BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A MOTION PICTURE – DRAMA

CATE BLANCHETT — ELIZABETH: THE GOLDEN AGE
JULIE CHRISTIE — AWAY FROM HER
JODIE FOSTER — THE BRAVE ONE
ANGELINA JOLIE — A MIGHTY HEART
KEIRA KNIGHTLEY — ATONEMENT

3. BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A MOTION PICTURE – DRAMA

GEORGE CLOONEY — MICHAEL CLAYTON
DANIEL DAY-LEWIS — THERE WILL BE BLOOD
JAMES MCAVOY — ATONEMENT
VIGGO MORTENSEN — EASTERN PROMISES
DENZEL WASHINGTON — AMERICAN GANGSTER

4. BEST MOTION PICTURE – COMEDY OR MUSICAL

ACROSS THE UNIVERSE
Revolution Studios International; Sony Pictures Releasing
CHARLIE WILSON’S WAR
Universal Pictures/Relativity Media/Participant Productions/Playtone; Universal Pictures
HAIRSPRAY
New Line Cinema in association with Ingenious Film Partners; New Line Cinema
JUNO
Mandate Pictures/Mr. Mudd Production; Fox Searchlight Pictures
SWEENEY TODD
Parkes/Mac Donald and Zanuck Company; Warner Bros. Pictures

5.BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A MOTION PICTURE – COMEDY OR MUSICAL

AMY ADAMS – ENCHANTED
NIKKI BLONSKY – HAIRSPRAY
HELENA BONHAM CARTER – SWEENEY TODD
MARION COTILLARD – LA VIE EN ROSE
ELLEN PAGE – JUNO

6. BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A MOTION PICTURE – COMEDY OR MUSICAL

JOHNNY DEPP — SWEENEY TODD
RYAN GOSLING — LARS AND THE REAL GIRL
TOM HANKS — CHARLIE WILSON’S WAR
PHILIP SEYMOUR HOFFMAN — THE SAVAGES
JOHN C. REILLY — WALK HARD: THE DEWEY COX STORY

7. BEST ANIMATED FEATURE FILM

BEE MOVIE
DreamWorks Animation; DreamWorks Animation
RATATOUILLE
Pixar; Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures Distribution
THE SIMPSONS MOVIE
Gracie Films; Twentieth Century Fox

8. BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM

4 MONTHS, 3 WEEKS AND 2 DAYS (ROMANIA)
Mobra Films; IFC First Take
THE DIVING BELL AND THE BUTTERFLY (FRANCE AND USA)
A Kennedy/Marshall Company and Jon Kilik Production; Miramax/Paramount Vantage
THE KITE RUNNER (USA)
DreamWorks Pictures Sidney Kimmel Entertainment and Paramount Classics Participant Productions Present a Sidney Kimmel Entertainment and Parkes/Macdonald Production Distributed by Paramount Classics
LUST, CAUTION (TAIWAN)
Haishang Films; Focus Features
PERSEPOLIS (FRANCE)
247 Films; Sony Pictures Classics

9. BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE IN A MOTION PICTURE

CATE BLANCHETT — I’M NOT THERE
JULIA ROBERTS — CHARLIE WILSON’S WAR
SAOIRSE RONAN —ATONEMENT
AMY RYAN — GONE BABY GONE
TILDA SWINTON — MICHAEL CLAYTON

10. BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE IN A MOTION PICTURE

CASEY AFFLECK — THE ASSASSINATION OF JESSE JAMES BY THE COWARD ROBERT FORD
JAVIER BARDEM —NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN
PHILIP SEYMOUR HOFFMAN — CHARLIE WILSON’S WAR
JOHN TRAVOLTA — HAIRSPRAY
TOM WILKINSON — MICHAEL CLAYTON

11. BEST DIRECTOR – MOTION PICTURE

TIM BURTON — SWEENEY TODD
ETHAN COEN & JOEL COEN — NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN
JULIAN SCHNABEL — THE DIVING BELL AND THE BUTTERFLY
RIDLEY SCOTT — AMERICAN GANGSTER
JOE WRIGHT — ATONEMENT

12. BEST SCREENPLAY – MOTION PICTURE

DIABLO CODY — JUNO
ETHAN COEN & JOEL COEN — NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN
CHRISTOPHER HAMPTON — ATONEMENT
RONALD HARWOOD — THE DIVING BELL AND THE BUTTERFLY
AARON SORKIN — CHARLIE WILSON’S WAR

13. BEST ORIGINAL SCORE – MOTION PICTURE

MICHAEL BROOK, KAKI KING, EDDIE VEDDER — INTO THE WILD
CLINT EASTWOOD — GRACE IS GONE
ALBERTO IGLESIAS — THE KITE RUNNER
DARIO MARIANELLI — ATONEMENT
HOWARD SHORE — EASTERN PROMISES

14. BEST ORIGINAL SONG – MOTION PICTURE

"DESPEDIDA" — LOVE IN THE TIME OF CHOLERA
Music by: Shakira, Antonio Pinto
Lyrics by: Shakira
"GRACE IS GONE" — GRACE IS GONE
Music by: Clint Eastwood
Lyrics by: Carole Bayer Sager
"GUARANTEED" — INTO THE WILD
Music & Lyrics by: Eddie Vedder
"THAT’S HOW YOU KNOW" — ENCHANTED
Music & Lyrics by: Alan Menken
"WALK HARD" — WALK HARD: THE DEWEY COX STORY
Music & Lyrics by: Marshall Crenshaw, John C. Reilly, Judd Apatow, Kasdan

OMINATIONS BY MOTION PICTURE
ATONEMENT 7
CHARLIE WILSON’S WAR 5
MICHAEL CLAYTON 4
NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN 4
SWEENEY TODD 4
AMERICAN GANGSTER 3
DIVING BELL AND THE BUTTERFLY, THE 3
EASTERN PROMISES 3
HAIRSPRAY 3
JUNO 3
ENCHANTED 2
GRACE IS GONE 2
INTO THE WILD 2
KITE RUNNER, THE 2
THERE WILL BE BLOOD 2
WALK HARD: THE DEWEY COX STORY 2
4 MONTHS, 3 WEEKS AND 2 DAYS (ROMANIA) 1
A MIGHTY HEART 1
ACROSS THE UNIVERSE 1
ASSASSINATION OF JESSE JAMES BY THE COWARD ROBERT FORD, THE 1
AWAY FROM HER 1
BEE MOVIE 1
BRAVE ONE, THE 1
ELIZABETH: THE GOLDEN AGE 1
GONE BABY GONE 1
GREAT DEBATERS, THE 1
I’M NOT THERE 1
LA VIE EN ROSE 1
LARS AND THE REAL GIRL 1
LOVE IN THE TIME OF CHOLERA 1
LUST, CAUTION 1
PERSEPOLIS 1
RATATOUILLE 1
SAVAGES, THE 1
SIMPSONS MOVIE, THE 1

Here's the link to their site with the full list of nominations TV and film.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Chicago Film Critics Nominees


Chicago Announced its nominees on the 10th and the winners will be announced on Friday. Below is the list of nominees:

BEST PICTURE (Total nominations)

Into The Wild (3)
Michael Clayton (7)
No Country For Old Men (5)
Once (4)
There Will Be Blood (6)

BEST FOREIGN-LANGUAGE FILM

4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days
Black Book
The Diving Bell and the Butterfly
La Vie En Rose
Lust, Caution
The Orphanage

BEST DIRECTOR

Paul Thomas Anderson–There Will Be Blood
Joel & Ethan Coen–No Country For Old Men
David Fincher–Zodiac
Tony Gilroy–Michael Clayton
Jason Reitman–Juno

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY

Brad Bird–Ratatouille
Diablo Cody–Juno
Tony Gilroy–Michael Clayton
Tamara Jenkins–The Savages
Kelly Masterston–Before The Devil Knows You’re Dead

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY

Paul Thomas Anderson–There Will Be Blood
Joel & Ethan Coen–No Country For Old Men
Christopher Hampton–Atonement
Sean Penn–Into the Wild
James Vanderbilt–Zodiac

BEST ACTOR

George Clooney–Michael Clayton
Ryan Gosling–Lars and the Real Girl
Frank Langella–Starting Out In the Evening
Daniel Day Lewis–There Will Be Blood
Viggo Mortensen–Eastern Promises

BEST ACTRESS

Julie Christie–Away From Her
Marion Cotillard–La Vie En Rose
Angelina Jolie–A Mighty Heart
Laura Linney–The Savages
Ellen Page–Juno

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR

Casey Affleck–The Assassination Of Jesse James By The Coward Robert Ford
Javier Bardem–No Country For Old Men
Philip Seymour Hoffman–Charlie Wilson’s War
Hal Holbrook–Into the Wild
Tom Wilkinson–Michael Clayton

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS

Cate Blanchett–I’m Not There
Jennifer Jason Leigh–Margot At the Wedding
Leslie Mann–Knocked Up
Amy Ryan–Gone Baby Gone
Tilda Swinton–Michael Clayton

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE

The Assassination Of Jesse James By the Coward Robert Ford–Nick Cave & Warren Ellis
Atonement–Dario Marianelli
Lust, Caution–Alexandre Desplat
Once–Glen Hansard & Marketa Irglova
There Will Be Blood–Jonny Greenwood

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY

The Assassination Of Jesse James By the Coward Robert Ford–Roger Deakins
Atonement–Seamus McGarvey
The Diving Bell and the Butterfly–Janusz Kaminski
No Country For Old Men–Roger Deakins
There Will Be Blood–Robert Elswit

BEST DOCUMENTARY

Darfur Now
The King of Kong
Lake of Fire
No End In Sight
Sicko

BEST ANIMATED FEATURE FILM

Beowulf
Meet the Robinsons
Persepolis
Ratatouille
The Simpsons Movie

MOST PROMISING PERFORMER

Nikki Blonsky–Hairspray
Michael Cera–Juno/Superbad
Glen Hansard–Once
Carice Van Houten–Black Book
Tang Wei–Lust, Caution

MOST PROMISING DIRECTOR

Ben Affleck–Gone Baby Gone
John Carney–Once
Craig Gillespie–Lars and the Real Girl
Tony Gilroy–Michael Clayton
Sarah Polley–Away From Her

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

San Francisco Film Critics Pick "The Assassination of Jesse James..."; Broadcast Film Critics Association Nominees Announced


San Francisco Film Critics Picks

Best Picture
"The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford"

Best Director
Joel and Ethan Coen for "No Country for Old Men"

Best Original Screenplay
"The Savages"

Best Adapted Screenplay
"Away from Her"

Best Actor
George Clooney for "Michael Clayton"

Best Actress
Julie Christie for "Away from Her"

Best Supporting Actor
Casey Affleck for "The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford"

Best Supporting Actress
Amy Ryan for "Gone Baby Gone"

Best Foreign Language Film
"The Diving Bell and the Butterfly"

Best Documentary
"No End in Sight"

Marlon Riggs Award for courage & vision in the Bay Area film community
Lynn Hershman-Leeson director of "Strange Culture" "Conceiving Ada"
and "Teknolust"

Special Citation for under-looked independent film
"Colma: The Musical"

Here's the link to their site with the full list of winners.

The 13th annual Critics' Choice Awards ceremony will take place on January 7, 2008 at the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium, broadcast live on VH1, where the winners will be announced.

Here's the link to their site with the full list of winners.

Nominees 2007 (All nominees listed in alphabetical order)
Best Picture
American Gangster
Atonement
The Diving Bell and the Butterfly
Into the Wild
Juno
The Kite Runner
Michael Clayton
No Country for Old Men
Sweeney Todd
There Will Be Blood

Best Actor
George Clooney - Michael Clayton
Daniel Day-Lewis - There Will Be Blood
Johnny Depp - Sweeney Todd
Ryan Gosling - Lars and the Real Girl
Emile Hirsch - Into the Wild
Viggo Mortensen - Eastern Promises

Best Actress
Amy Adams - Enchanted
Cate Blanchett - Elizabeth: The Golden Age
Julie Christie - Away From Her
Marion Cotillard - La Vie en Rose
Angelina Jolie - A Mighty Heart
Ellen Page - Juno

Best Supporting Actor
Casey Affleck - The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford
Javier Bardem - No Country for Old Men
Philip Seymour Hoffman - Charlie Wilson's War
Hal Holbrook - Into the Wild
Tom Wilkinson - Michael Clayton

Best Supporting Actress
Cate Blanchett - I'm Not There
Catherine Keener - Into the Wild
Vanessa Redgrave - Atonement
Amy Ryan - Gone Baby Gone
Tilda Swinton - Michael Clayton

Best Acting Ensemble
Hairspray
Juno
No Country for Old Men
Sweeney Todd
Gone Baby Gone
Before the Devil Knows You're Dead

Best Director
Tim Burton - Sweeney Todd
Joel Coen and Ethan Coen - No Country for Old Men
Sidney Lumet - Before the Devil Knows You're Dead
Sean Penn - Into the Wild
Julian Schnabel - The Diving Bell and the Butterfly
Joe Wright - Atonement

Best Writer
Diablo Cody - Juno
Joel Coen and Ethan Coen - No Country for Old Men
Tony Gilroy - Michael Clayton
Nancy Oliver - Lars and the Real Girl
Sean Penn - Into the Wild
Aaron Sorkin - Charlie Wilson's War

Best Animated Feature
Bee Movie
Beowulf
Persepolis
Ratatouille
The Simpsons Movie

Best Young Actor
Michael Cera - Juno
Michael Cera - Superbad
Freddie Highmore - August Rush
Ahmad Khan Mahmoodzada - The Kite Runner
Edward Sanders - Sweeney Todd

Best Young Actress
Nikki Blonsky - Hairspray
Dakota Blue Richards - The Golden Compass
AnnaSophia Robb - Bridge to Terabithia
Saoirse Ronan - Atonement

Best Comedy Movie
Dan in Real Life
Hairspray
Juno
Knocked Up
Superbad

Best Family Film
August Rush
Enchanted
The Golden Compass
Hairspray
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

Best Picture Made for Television
The Company
Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee
Tin Man
The War

Best Foreign Language Film
The Diving Bell and the Butterfly
4 Months, 3 Weeks, and 2 Days
La Vie en Rose
Lust, Caution
The Orphanage

Best Song
"Come So Far", Queen Latifah, Nikki Blonsky, Zac Efron, Elijah Kelley - Hairspray
"Do You Feel Me", Anthony Hamilton - American Gangster
"Falling Slowly", Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova, Jesse L. Martin and Cast - Once
"Guaranteed", Eddie Vedder - Into the Wild
"That's How You Know", Amy Adams - Enchanted

Best Composer
Marco Beltrami - 3:10 to Yuma
Alexandre Desplat - Lust, Caution
Clint Eastwood - Grace Is Gone
Jonny Greenwood - There Will Be Blood
Dario Marianelli - Atonement
Alan Menken - Enchanted

Best Documentary
Darfur Now
In the Shadow of the Moon
The King of Kong
No End In Sight
Sharkwater
Sicko

Monday, December 10, 2007

New York Film Critics Pick "No Country for Old Men"; NYFCO Cite a Tie Beteween "There Will Be Blood" and "The Diving Bell and the Butterfly"


The fun thing about the New York Film Critics is each year they announce their awards "live" as each comes in. The first awards posted at 11:14 EST and the suspense kept up until 12:44, when at last No Country For Old Men was announced as Best Picture.

The results:

Best Picture — No Country For Old Men
Best Director — Joel & Ethan Coen / No Country For Old Men
Best Actor — Daniel Day-Lewis / There Will Be Blood
Best Actress — Juiie Christie / Away From Her
Best Supporting Actor — Javier Bardem / No Country For Old Men
Best Supporting Actress — Amy Ryan / Gone Baby Gone
Best Cinematography — Robert Elswit / There Will Be Blood
Best Screenplay — Joel & Ethan Coen / No Country For Old Men
Best Animated Film — Persepolis
Best Non-Fiction Film (Documentary) — No End in Sight
Best Foreign-Language Film — The Lives of Others
Best First Film — Away From Her
Lifetime Achievement Award — Sidney Lumet
Special Critics Award — “Killer of Sheep” by Charles Burnett

Here's the link to their site with the full list of winners.

New York Film Critics Circle Last Ten Best Pictures:
2006: UNITED 93
2005: BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN
2004: SIDEWAYS
2003: THE LORD OF THE RINGS: THE RETURN OF THE KING
2002: FAR FROM HEAVEN
2001: MULHOLLAND DRIVE
2000: TRAFFIC
1999: TOPSY-TURVY
1998: SAVING PRIVATE RYAN
1997: L. A. CONFIDENTIAL

Here is the winners from the New York Film Critics Online (NYFCO):

BEST PICTURE
Tie: There Will Be Blood and The Diving Bell and the Butterfly

BEST ACTOR
Daniel Day-Lewis (There Will Be Blood)

BEST ACTRESS
Julie Christie (Away From Her)

BEST DIRECTOR
Paul Thomas Anderson (There Will Be Blood)

BEST SCREENPLAY
Wes Anderson, Jason Schwartzman, and Roman Coppola (The Darjeeling Limited)

BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM
Tie: The Lives of Others and Persepolis

BEST DOCUMENTARY
Sicko

BEST ANIMATED FEATURE
Persepolis

BEST DEBUT DIRECTOR
Sarah Polley (Away From Her)

BEST FILM SCORE/MUSIC
Jonny Greenwood (There Will Be Blood)

BEST ENSEMBLE CAST
Before the Devil Knows You're Dead

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
Javier Bardem (No Country For Old Men)

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Cate Blanchett (I'm Not There)

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY
Robert Elswit (There Will Be Blood)

BREAKTHROUGH PERFORMANCE
Ellen Page (Juno)

TOP TEN PICTURES (Alphabetical)
Atonement
Before the Devil Knows You're Dead
The Darjeeling Limited
The Diving Bell and the Butterfly
I'm Not There
Juno
Michael Clayton
No Country For Old Men
Persepolis
Sweeney Todd
There Will Be Blood

Members of New York Film Critics Online:
Ethan Alter (Film Journal International)
Chris Barsanti (Film Threat)
Fred & Mary Ann Brussat (Spirituality And Practice)
Marcy Dermansky (World Film Guide)
Edward Douglas (Comingsoon.net)
David Edelstein (New York Magazine)
Jurgen Fauth (World Film Guide)
Ed Gonzalez (Slant Magazine)
Susan Granger (SSG Syndicate)
Ron Henriques (Latinoreview.com)
Brandon Judell (Indiewire)
Harvey Karten (Compuserve)
Glenn Kenny (Premiere)
Kurt Loder (MTV)
Maitland McDonagh (TV Guide Online)
Prairie Miller (WBAI; Long Island Press)
Scott Nash (Three Movie Buffs)
Michelle Orange (The Reeler)
Louis Proyect (Marx Mail)
Rex Reed (New York Observer)
Julian Roman (Movieweb.com; Latino Review; Black Film)
Chuck Schwartz (Cranky Critic)
Dana Stevens (Slate, NYTimes.com)
Armond White (New York Press, AOL Black Voices)
Kam Williams (Black Film)
William Wolf (Wolf Entertainment Guide)
Stephanie Zacharek (Salon)

Here's the link to their site with the full list of winners.

NYFCO Past Winners for Best Picture:
2006: THE QUEEN
2005: THE SQUID AND THE WHALE
2004: SIDEWAYS
2003: LOST IN TRANSLATION
2002: CHICAGO
2001: MULHOLLAND DRIVE
2000: BILLY ELLIOT

Sunday, December 9, 2007

L.A. Film Critics' Best Picture: "There Will Be Blood"; Boston and Washington Pick "No Country For Old Men"

LOS ANGELES FILM CRITICS PICKS 2007:

Best Picture: "There Will Be Blood"
Runner-up: "The Diving Bell and the Butterfly"

Director: Paul Thomas Anderson, "There Will Be Blood"
Runner-up: Julian Schnabel, "The Diving Bell and the Butterfly"

Actress: Marion Cotillard, "La Vie En Rose"
Runner-up: Anamaria Marinca "4 months, 3 weeks and 2 days"

Actor: Daniel Day-Lewis, "There Will Be Blood"
Runner-up: Frank Langella, "Starting Out In The Evening"

Screenplay: Tamara Jenkins, "The Savages"
Runner-up:Paul Thomas Anderson for "There Will Be Blood"

Supporting actress: Amy Ryan for "Gone Baby Gone" and "Before the Devil Knows You're Dead"
Runner-up: Cate Blanchett, "I'm Not There"

Supporting actor: Vlad Ivanov, "4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days"
Runner-up: Hal Holbrook, "Into the Wild"

Foreign language film: "4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days"
Runner-up: "The Diving Bell and the Butterfly"

Documentary/Non-fiction film: "No End in Sight" directed by Charles Ferguson
Runner-up: "Sicko" directed by Michael Moore

Production design:Jack Fisk, "There Will Be Blood"
Runner-up: Dante Ferretti, "Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street"

Animation: "Persepolis" and "Ratatouille" (tie)

Music: Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova, "Once"
Runner-up: Jonny Greenwood, "There Will Be Blood"

Cinematography: Janusz Kaminski, "The Diving Bell and the Butterfly"
Runner-up: Robert Elswit, "There Will Be Blood"

New generation: Sarah Polley, "Away From Her"

Douglas Edwards Indie Award: "Colossal Youth" directed by Pedro Costa

Career Achievement: Sidney Lumet

Legacy Awards: Milestone Film and Video and the Outfest Legacy Project

Los Angeles Film Critics Last Ten Best Pictures:
2006: LETTERS FROM IWO JIMA
2005: BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN
2004: SIDEWAYS
2003: AMERICAN SPLENDOR
2002: ABOUT SCHMIDT
2001: IN THE BEDROOM
2000: CROUNCHING TIGER, HIDDEN DRAGON
1999: THE INSIDER
1998: SAVING PRIVATE RYAN
1997: L. A. CONFIDENTIAL

BOSTON FILM CRITICS PICKS 2007:

Best Picture
No Country For Old Men

Best Actor
Frank Langella for Starting Out in the Evening

Best Actress
Marion Cotillard for La Vie en Rose

Best Supporting Actor
Javier Bardem for No Country for Old Men

Best Supporting Actress
Amy Ryan for Gone Baby Gone

Best Director
Julian Schnabel for The Diving Bell and the Butterfly

Best Screenplay
Brad Bird for Ratatouille

Best Cinematography
Janusz Kaminski for The Diving Bell and the Butterfly

Best Documentary
Crazy Love

Best Foreign-Language Film
The Diving Bell and the Butterfly

Best New Filmmaker
Ben Affleck for Gone Baby Gone

Best Ensemble Cast
Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead

Boston Critics Last Ten Best Pictures:
2006: THE DEPARTED
2005: BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN
2004: SIDEWAYS
2003: MYSTIC RIVER
2002: THE PIANIST
2001: MULHOLLAND DRIVE
2000: ALMOST FAMOUS
1999: THREE KINGS
1998: OUT OF SIGHT
1997: L.A. CONFIDENTIAL

WASHINGTON AREA FILM CRITICS PICKS 2007:

Best Film: No Country for Old Men, Miramax & Paramount Vantage

Best Foreign Language Film: The Diving Bell and the Butterfly by Julian Schnabel, Miramax

Best Documentary: Sicko by Michael Moore, The Weinstein Company

Best Director: Joel Coen and Ethan Coen, No Country for Old Men

Best Actor: George Clooney, Michael Clayton

Best Actress: Julie Christie, Away from Her

Best Supporting Actor: Javier Bardem, No Country for Old Men

Best Supporting Actress: Amy Ryan, Gone Baby Gone

Best Ensemble: No Country for Old Men/Miramax & Paramount Vantage

Best Adapted Screenplay: Aaron Sorkin, Charlie Wilson’s War

Best Original Screenplay: Diablo Cody, Juno

Best Animated Feature: Ratatouille by Brad Bird, Disney & Pixar

Best Breakthrough Performance: Ellen Page, Juno

Best Art Direction: Dante Ferretti for Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, Paramount

Washington Critics Best Picture Winners from Past Years (complete):
2006: UNITED 93
2005: MUNICH
2004: ETERNAL SUNSHINE OF THE SPOTLESS MIND
2003: THE LORD OF THE RINGS: THE RETURN OF THE KING
2002: ROAD TO PERDITION

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Another Season of "Beauty and the Geek"

Whodathunk that Beauty and the Geek would turn out to be such a watchable show. Its not quite the "social experiment" it claims to be and its more like "Bimbo and the Geek," as the show only casts pretty dumb girls (and gives them intelligence quizzes); however, it does show how narrowminded everyone is about these two social stereotypes. This season the "twist" was to have a male beauty and a female geek join the crew and it worked out pretty well-- all the girls wanted the Beauty Guy and all the geeks wanted the Geeky Girl (in spite of the hotties surrounding them). No one really "grows" too much: what happens is a few geeks learn to adapt to society and "fit in" better, generally based on looks (i.e. each season the geeks get a "makeover"). I don't know if this is a good thing, maybe it is. It certainly is for them. I don't really think the women change at all. They may learn to like the geeks in the house-- but I doubt they're all embracing of geeks in the real world. The best advice ever for a geek was given by male beauty Sam: just stop being a geek. Looking forward to Season Five!

Friday, December 7, 2007

Writers Guild Strike 2007, Week Five


Talks behind closed doors have not yielded much in the way of a resolution this week.

Just a few notes and thoughts from the week:

• The Guild gave their blessing to Elizabeth Taylor who didn't wish to "cross" the picket line for a benefit she was doing at Paramount. See link to AP article (at cnn.com).

• Gregg Kilday had an interesting column in the weekend Hollywood Reporter that pointed out how the 1967/8 Oscars brought an end to an AFTRA strike-- could something similar happen this year with the WGA strike? Here's the web address of the article: http:www.hollywoodreporter.com/hr/content_display/features/columns/risky_business/e3i30e25f15c78d91314ef0661fd0df3a2d

• Speaking of the Oscars... although there is some suggestion that the Dreamgirls backlash has led to a quieter Oscar campaign season, could it not also be related to the fact that the late-night talk shows are affected by the strike? Much of the Oscar campaign is seen on the couch opposite Leno, Letterman, etc. Perhaps, this year Oscar voters will have to make their choices, soley by quality!